Kim Kardashian has never been shy about just how hard she works to stay in tip-top form: Like so many of Us, she foregoes carbs and hits the gym on the regular. More unusually, she straps on a waist trainer to whittle her waist. Her sisters Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian have also proudly flaunted their corsets in selfies, and the craze has even spread to fellow reality stars Jenni "JWoww" Farley and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi.
With the flood of images cramming our Instagram feed, it got Us thinking: Would the technique work for a non-celeb too?
"I really made the waist trainer for every girl," PreMadonna, founder of What's A Waist (the line that the Kardashians use), tells Us Weekly. "It gives you that extra curve without any tricks or gimmicks."
While you can create dangerous curves with a girdle, like most things, waist-training has its downfalls. "Long term, corsets can compromise your ability to move and breath. It can displace the lungs, liver and intestines," says Dr. Sara Gottfried, author of The Hormone Reset Diet. But, in moderation, there are benefits. Adds Gottfried, "They can stabilize your core and encourage reduced consumption of food."
In an effort to find out what waist-training is really like, Us Weekly enlisted editorial assistant Jamie Blynn to try the technique out for 10 days (increasing the amount of time she wears her Hourglass Angel Shaper from four hours to eight).
Here's what happened (Spoiler alert: It's not a cinch!).
11:30 AM: While hooking this bad boy on, I host the most pathetic wrestling match with myself in the bathroom. Eventually, I walk out with a flat stomach, moderately crushed lungs, and surprisingly, no bloody knuckles.
11:35 AM: I feel like someone is stabbing me. I can't lean over, but my posture is on point.
12:15 PM: "If it cuts off all oxygen to my brain, am I going to die?" I ask my coworker. "This is going to be the saddest obituary: Girl dies after wearing waist trainer for 45 minutes."
3:35 PM: After wearing it for four hours, I take it off only to discover I now have deep indents on my sides that burn. I do feel skinnier, but as someone that's a tad overdramatic (see 12:15 PM), it could be the placebo effect.
10:30 AM: Putting it on today is much easier. But, wow, bending over to put on my pants is a struggle!
8:15 AM: I've never worn a push-up bra, but now I have an idea of what it's like. This thing gives me pornstar boobs. It's annoying to figure out what I can wear.
8:30 PM: After wearing it for five hours today, I throw it back on for an hour because I have a date later and I feel thinner with it on. Fake it 'til you make it, right?
3:16 PM: At this point, it's quick to get on -- and more comfortable to move in. Plus, I've realized it's easier to start hooking the clasps from bottom to top and vis versa when taking it off.
6:15 PM: My coworkers are concerned with the deep, red marks the waist trainer leaves on my body when I take it off after 7 hours. But the indents disappear in about 15 minutes.
2:30 PM: Feeling ballsy, I hook the trainer on to the tighter hooks. With ease, it goes on!
8:22 AM: It's become part of my routine put it on right away. But, I also cannot wait to go back to normal living.
4:30 PM: With the Rocky theme song playing in my head, I measure myself -- I've lost two inches! It may be uncomfortable and awkward, but waist training does work, albeit temporarily! Granted, give me some Oreos and a few days and that measurement may not be the same.
It's been two weeks since I stopped wearing the waist trainer every day and I've gone up an inch. I can honestly say I miss wearing it so will definitely break it out from time to time on the weekend or at work just to keep the progress going.