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Why I Do It

Why I Do It - 18 August 2010

Hello, I‘m JJ. Aged 24, native New Yorker, tightlacer. I've always been a very slender, athletic person. I used to play sports in school, ride bikes and all that. I never worried about my figure too much. I did like to dress up, and I had many fashion tops that some would think of as corsets, with plastic boning and zippers. I always loved the look and feel of them, but didn't know a thing about steel boning or busk. It wasn't until later in life that I moved beyond fashion to functional corsets.

I first became interested in them when I began working on a costume in March 2010. The costume itself was a strapless leather bustier top with no boning. I began to go over my measurements to ensure the pattern I was drawing up was correct, when I noticed a discrepancy. The last time I'd measured my waist in 2008, it was 26''. I was now sporting a slightly bulgy 30''. Mildly horrified, I raced to the scale. I'd gained 20 lbs as well. I never truly understood women who say they don't know how they gained weight, until that moment. I became incensed with weight loss plans and dieting, with no results. I didn't want to accept my larger waist. I wanted to exercise, but I have a severe disability, so joining a gym was out of the question. I realized that diet and exercise are good, but it's impossible to target weight loss from one particular spot on the body. It will likely go from the areas most of us want to keep it, and many agree the tummy is the toughest place to budge fat from.

I love most of my body, but I crave the tiny waist I used to have. A small waist with a flat tummy emphasizes the hips and bust, and makes every clingy top and elegant gown look fabulous. As I researched low impact ways to obtain the hourglass figure, I discovered body shapers, girdles, high top control hosiery and garments of that nature. I even purchased a few and tried them. They're good for quick fixes and special events, to be worn under clothing to obtain a smooth look. But I desired permanence. That's when I discovered corsets. Real, steel boned corsets, used for waist training. Custom or off the rack, when worn 23 hours a day, 7 days a week, they can reduce your waist by 4 inches. And the results can be seen even without the corset on. I knew I was on to something.

I researched many sites, found corsets ranging from $10 to $500 or more. Many of the low end corsets were actually fashion tops, lingerie or bustier, and not at all suitable for tight lacing. A few of the cheapies were surprisingly sturdy. I found that occasionally the price does NOT indicate quality. I did order an expensive custom job, which had an 8 week turnaround. Still waiting for it. And so I turned to off the rack. I wore the corsets loosely at first, and only for a few hours a day. At no point have I experienced any discomfort or pain from my corsets, because I never tightened them beyond my comfort zone or wore them longer than I wanted to. As I became more comfortable, I began to tighten them and wear them longer. Eventually I began sleeping in my corsets. I ate smaller, healthier meals 4 or 5 times a day. I drank 2 liters of water a day as well. I did exercises daily to strengthen my back and stomach muscles. I stopped looking at the scale.

Amazingly, after one month of waist training, without a custom corset, I have lost 2 inches off my natural waist. This has encouraged me to fully embrace tight lacing as a lifestyle. I am never seen without a corset, whether below my clothing or over it. Wearing corsets makes me stand up straighter, walk proudly and feel incredible. Knowing that I not only look fabulous and unique, but that at the same time I am shaping my body into my personal ideal image makes me happier than I've ever been. Some people may view corsets negatively, but that is because they do not fully understand them or the people who wear them. They see them as painful or harmful when they are not, when worn correctly, or they believe corsets to cause the body to appear emaciated or grotesque.

There are a few extreme examples out there, like Cathie Jung, who is famous for having the smallest waist on a living person. I am in no way trying to steal her crown. For me it's not about the number on the measuring tape, or the number on the scale. I want to have an hourglass figure, a body that is beautiful, healthy and in proportion. I believe that regular wear of corsets, in conjunction with a healthy diet and daily exercise during my hour out of the corset can get me there. I believe that it can be done safely and with no harm to my body. I do wish to say that tight lacing is not for those with any preexisting conditions that would make daily wear of a tight corset uncomfortable or medically unwise.

I will be updating weekly with my experiences in tight lacing, what to look for in a functional corset and general updates on my progress. If you have any questions or any suggestions for what you'd like to hear about, feel free to email me. Waist training is a long commitment if you want your results to be permanent, and I hope you'll join me for the ride.

JJ

nytightlacer@gmail.com

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