I’m the first to admit that my body is not what it used to be, y’know, before the giant baby. That and the getting older. And possibly the consumption of massive amounts of chocolate. Whichever. Either way, I’m 20 pounds heavier today than I was in college. This is not entirely a bad thing considering that back then, I was once mistaken for a feather that had fallen off of a 3rd year jewelry student’s boa. Drinking coffee nonstop and eating nothing but dry popcorn will do that to a girl. My friend Sharon agrees. She too followed the supermodel waif diet back in the day. Caffeine and air with a side of nicotine. What were we thinking? Not much, because as it turns out, the brain requires fat in order to function properly. This might explain several of my choices during the 90s.
Still - like so many others - my goal weight is always exactly 10 pounds less than my actual weight. So you can imagine my excitement when, while at Macy's not so long ago, I saw this giant claim calling out to me like gluten-free buckwheat pancakes. With honey.
Look 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds? Are you freaking kidding me? I was SO in.
Instead of having to spend months with my Everyday Workout VHS tape in the hopes of tightening up a stomach that was once stretched out like a Macy's Thanksgiving day parade balloonicle, all I had to do was slip on a piece of shapewear, while standing in a Macy's store.
Shapewear. What a lovely word. It rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Nevermind that today’s body slimming garments are what grand ‘ol dames back in the day referred to as girdles or corsets or compression restraints. Shapewear sounds so much less painful. Sexy almost.
I decided on two items. An Extra Firm High Waisted Control Brief and an Extra Firm Support Camisole. Nothing says comfort like “extra firm”. Am I right?
I read the fine print and selected my size based on the chart on the packaging. How deflating. Then, I procured a fitting room, giddy with the possibility of being able to wear one of those crepe paper shirts without having to grab and pull the fabric in an outward motion -- a feeble, far-from-delicate attempt to conceal my gut every time I sit down to enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate. With whipped cream.
Here’s the thing. Shapewear is hard. And by hard, I mean it’s difficult and stiff. I started with the briefs. I pulled, yanked, grunted and groaned my way into a pair. By the time they were on, I realized that the manufacturers claim of looking lighter in just 10 seconds was off – by about 290 seconds. While I did look 10 pounds lighter (from my crotch to my ribs) that extra bit of stomach had to go somewhere. Mostly up, where it settled nicely, just beneath my boobs. I was a dead ringer for a sci-fi movie siren with three sets of breasts. Four boobs in front, two in the back. Not really the look I was going for.
I decided that in order to pull off the illusion of a 10 pound drop, I probably needed to combine shapewear items. Understand, most of the blood flow to my brain had been cut off by the knickers.
The camisole was even trickier to get on than the briefs. But I persisted, in part due to the reduced brain activity. By the time I was through, my arms were bruised and I looked like a contortionist from that weird S&M circus that used to travel to big cities. An injured gymnast with a substantial amount of back fat – again, far from the appearance I was trying to achieve.
|Much better on the hanger.|
Half an hour later, I was back in my street clothes, breathless from the exhaustion. Still, a extraordinary event did occur on that fateful day in the Macy's department store.
It was a miracle I got the shapewear off.