If you know me, you know that I practically worship at the altar of the Kardashian. I am so into Kim, Kris and Kompany. I follow them all on Instagram. I freak out and send cute photos of North West to my girlfriends. I even follow those Kim K style Instagram accounts run by teenagers. I’m devoted. So of course I was instantly intrigued when the sisters were posting about their waist trainers.
I reached out to my friends at Hourglass Angel and they were kind enough to send along the Amia Classic Cincher Waist Trainer. Since my natural waist (27”) places me right on the cusp of sizes, they recommended I start with a Medium and size down later. It’s fairly priced at $54, so if you end up hating the experience or do stick with it and size down, you’re not spending a ton of money.
Hourglass Angel sent over a few tips for me, the most important of which is that you’ve got to exercise your core while you’re wearing a trainer. The results aren’t permanent unless you stick with the regimen and do some basic exercise. For best results, they advise you work your way up to wearing a trainer for eight hours a day for several months.
I’ve had my trainer for a little over a month. I wear it every weekday (mostly) for at least four or five hours, sometimes more. I kind of enjoy it, to be honest, and I’ve gotten a few friends to buy them too! Here’s what I’ve learned thus far.
- It’s practically a workout the first time you put your waist trainer on. I finally understand why women in the corset-wearing eras had ladies’ maids. Cut to me attempting (with long fake nails, mind you) to hook myself into the trainer, taking breaks to curse and text friends for advice. I laid on my bed sweating and panting as I tried to smush myself into this rubbery contraption. It’s not easy the first time, but the good news is that it gets much, much easier. I start from the top and hook downwards, and now I can cinch myself into the smaller hooks, which was a very triumphant moment chez Kara.
- Start slowly. I started wearing my trainer for two to four hours a day at first, then worked my way up to longer periods. It’s still a little uncomfortable to wear for nine hours of a workday, but it gets easier as you adapt to the feeling.
- Working out is weird. There are cinchers specifically made for exercise, and I’m pretty sure my Amia isn’t one of them. I do wear it while I exercise, though, and the first time I flipped my legs over my head while doing Pilates I had to laugh because it felt so strange, almost as if my organs were all playing musical chairs. It might be better used for cardio.
- Waist trainers improve your posture like crazy. I work from home and sometimes find myself slouching in my inappropriate “desk chair,” which is really just an antique chair. The trainer forces me to sit up taller and push my shoulders back, which instantly makes you look thinner. It’s worth it for that alone.
- You can’t eat nearly as much as you think you can. I went to dinner with my brother in my trainer and thought I was going to die after a glass of wine, half a burger and some truffle popcorn. I may or may not have taken the trainer off in my car in plain sight immediately afterwards. However, this is a good thing! You can’t overeat in a waist trainer, so you learn your limits.
- It feels great to take it off. It’s almost a reward each time I take my trainer off. I made it through the day! I’m a champion! (Note: Don’t bring your trainer on vacation. I can’t imagine how it would’ve worked on my boozy, BBQ-heavy trip to Austin.)
- It works! My natural waist size hasn’t gone down even though I’m ready to size down into a Small, but I see more definition between my hips and my waist. If you stick with it and do the work, it could work its magic on you. I will have that Kim K hourglass just in time for summer!