Five months after having my first child, I still had a big tummy that was cramping my style. So, I decided I would go and buy a waist trainer. I had heard a lot about them, but my bank account couldn’t afford that luxury, having quit work to be a stay at home mom. I didn’t give up though, I scrimped and saved and forked out 15 thousand Naira for a waist trainer.
Sadly, it didn’t bring me the joy or results I desired. After some time, I abandoned it, beating myself up for wasting all that money.
Six weeks after I had my second child, I was ready to snap back, and I decided I would buy another belt, this time, a post-partum belt. It cost me a paltry N3500. Let’s just say it not only gave me results, but it gave me joy, peace and hope. Lol
What was the difference?
There is no magic in any tummy belt, no matter how fancy, expensive or popular it is. Matter of fact, I always tell my clients: “everything you need to lose weight and tone up is already within you.
With my first experience, I gave all the power to the belt. I thought for 15 thousand Naira, the belt had better hand me my flat tummy back complete with Abs. I didn’t work out, I didn’t change my diet – I just wore a belt and expected magic. Well, what I got was discomfort, compounded by even increasing abdominal region. The hooks dug into my skin, the side supports made me uncomfortable as they kept bending. I couldn’t breathe properly and worst of all, it awkwardly showed from underneath any outfit I wore.
I would eventually go ahead to lose 30kg in 4months and without a belt, but that is story for another day.
Now, what changed with my second pregnancy?
I didn’t just buy a belt and expect it to do magic, I bought a belt to augment my own efforts in such a way that I got results a little faster
The interesting this is, these belts are designed to work in the same manner as what our mothers used to tie our bellies after childbirth with a wrapper. The only difference is that the belts are more practical.
Ever heard anyone say, ‘Engage your core’? In Naija speak we say, ‘suck belle inside’. Well, that is the posture we should always have, not just when we want to take pictures. If our cores are going to be strong and firm (flat toned bellies and everything), we must engage them always. Unfortunately, it is not something that we can do all the time easily, and usually, with our workout, we are still struggling to master the move and form, so we cannot simultaneously suck belle inside.
Something for new moms
A new mom must always engage her core to help her abdominal muscles firm up again after all that stretching. This is where the external help comes in, and the belts, or wrapper, helps you hold your core tight while you just focus on breathing and working out. This is also why it is called a ‘waist trainer’. It is always training your core to be engaged, and if you wear it long enough, you soon learn how to keep a tight core every time. It does take some practice though.
Sadly, a lot of us are like me during my first pregnancy. We want to eat without restrictions and expect to have the results of the snatched waist we see in the package of those waist trainers when you take it off. No, Ma’am. Ko le werk… You must put in the work and then the belts augment your effort.
No belt? there’s still hope
Of course, you can still achieve results without the belt if you learn to always keep your core tight, especially when working out and doing those core exercises while breathing right.
So naturally, I do not recommend that you should wear them all the time. Especially to avoid having respiratory and circulation problems. For instance, I wear mine when working out and say for half to ¾ of my day. Some days, I go without it. Some manufacturers tell you to wear them only when you work out. While some tell you the number of hours you should have it worn.
What to look out for
When using a belt after delivery, make sure it is a ‘post-partum belt’ and not just a waist trainer. A post-partum belt is usually held fast with Velcro, sometimes double Velcro, properly supporting the tender abdomen. Also, the material is easier on the belly even for a C-section. Belly Bandit is a very good brand. Unlike the regular waist trainers with hooks that aim to cinch your waist and promise an hourglass figure. I really don’t recommend those personally.
There are some specific belts called ‘sweat belts’ which are made for use only when you work out. But don’t be deceived by the amount of sweat that pours out when you take it off. That is expected because there was contact with your body during such high-intensity workout. After all, you are also sweating on your face and you didn’t wear a face belt. However, it is effective because it helped you maintain a strong core. It is even recommended for men working on their 6-packs.
Regardless of the belt you choose, they should be worn firm, but not overly uncomfortable.
Remember, the magic is inside of you and not in any belt, and no matter how expensive a belt it, you should workout consistently and maintain a healthy diet if you want results.
If you have any related questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org