I had weight loss surgery six years ago, and I’ve done incredibly well with it. I’ve maintained a loss of 150 lbs on my 5’7″ frame, became a much healthier eater, have more options for clothes, and many other wonderful things that going along with losing the equivalent of a whole other person. BUT, I’ve also never had plastic surgery. I’ve never been covered by insurance either on the east coast in Boston (where I had my surgery) or here on the west coast at Kaiser. When you lose a ton of weight, some of it just “evaporates” but most of it stays there, in a different form, as a constant reminder.
I’ve been extremely fortunate because I didn’t have a lot of extra skin on my legs and arms. Even at 311 lbs, I was pretty active swing and latin dancing, so those parts of my body (that were smaller to begin with) stayed pretty toned throughout the whole process. But my stomach? Not so much. I look like I’ve had the equivalent of a small children’s choir living in my gut. It’s ridiculous. And the (innocent, but uninformed) answer from people is usually, “Why don’t you try exercise?” “OMG! Exercise? Geesh, I hadn’t thought of that!” There are no numbers of crunches of push ups, of sits ups, of cross-training, kickboxing, zumba ANYTHING that will get rid of this gut. For those of you who have had several children, you may be able to relate. The only way this is going away is with some serious plastic surgery, which we have already discovered is not an option for me without insurance coverage.
If one of more person asks me “when I’m due,” I may lose it and just start shopping strictly in the maternity department and start lying about when my beautiful, talented, genius of a children will be brought forth unto this world.
“But I’ve found options other than straight up insanity. It’s called shapewear.”
Shapewear is daunting if you’ve never worn it before. There are so many pieces to choose from, each helping with a different problem area, some working with all problem areas. So what I’ve decided to do is give you the solutions and shapewear that I’ve found works best for me, with different types of outfits. All are very affordable, but I consider shapewear an investment in my sanity. 🙂 It does take some getting used to – being stuffed into something like a sausage you can’t eat anymore, but you’ll become used to that too, and a lot of the restriction loosens up after a wash or two. Here are my favorites:
DRESSES: I live in dresses in the summer. Because of this, I need a great shaper that works all-over, so I opt for the bodysuit shaper, which is almost like a bathing suit. My absolute favorite is “Beauty by Bali” Smoothing Lace Shaping Bodysuit. Not only is it an amazing piece of shapewear, but it is sexy as hell. My husband LOVES these and thinks they look like amazing lingerie. You can also find these in most department store lingerie departments. It’s the ONLY piece of shape wear I wear with dresses. It provides great midsection coverage and the girls look pretty damn good in it!
TOPS: For tops of any kind, I always use the Self Expressions Cami Shaper from Maidenform. It comes in a range of sizes and colors, and could really be worn all on it’s own as a top. What I like about them is the the most shaping coverage is in the midsection (where I need it most) and it doesn’t smoosh the girls. Also, another bonus for tall upper torso girls like me is that it has adjustable straps and enough length to cover the pouchy midsection below the belly button. I also really like Slimpressions Tanks A Little because it provides coverage for the mid section, but you can wear your own bra with it. Plus, the material is SUPER comfortable.
BOTTOMS: When it comes to bottoms, I’m fortunate enough that I don’t need any coverage around the thigh or knee area. I know lots of folks that do, though, so I thought I’d direct you to a few great companies for that: Slimpressions, Spanx (which I find very expensive and very uncomfortable, but lots of ladies love them), and HERROOM has tons of great selections. You can also do some searches on Ebay, Google Shopping, and Amazon.com for more items to choose from.
PANTIES: I tend to wear lightweight shape wear panties or else I feel like I’m wearing a chastity belt. I just need enough coverage to make sure the pooch doesn’t get out of control. I tend to like boy short cuts, and I can find a ton of different options at Bare Necessities. If you sign up for their email you get access to a ton of discounts too, so I would definitely try that route. I also love Slimpressions Full Cut Panty. Really great coverage without sucking every ounce of air out of my body. Seriously, though, they’re very comfortable.
SUMMER TIPS: As summer starts to roll around, we all start to freak out about SWIMSUITS. Have no fear! I have some helpful hints for that as well. There is a great company called MiracleSuit that has some seriously rocking styles, but all have really great shaping coverage. There’s a reason “Miracle” is in the name. Here’s the one I’m coveting for this summer: Tile Style Suit and Sarong.
QUICK TIP: Remember the Bali Bodysuit Shaper I mentioned at the top? You can wear those under nearly any bathing suit to help you feel more shapely and confident. I did that all last summer and it made me extremely comfortable to walk around in my suit.
Another tip? Self-tanner. I don’t advocate tanning in the sun – it’s bad for you! But self-tanner can darken your skin a few shades and hide some of the extra cellulite and icky parts that we don’t love so much.
Hopefully, you found this helpful. Have any questions about where to shop or what types of shape wear to get? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest post by Diva Taunia, a professional musician and music educator located in the greater Los Angeles area.”
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