I made a point of dressing in loose items most of my life. Even something fitted felt too tight, too restrictive and I used to roll my eyes at ladies who wore things they had to wriggle into. Now…I am one of them.
Once I started running, I found that by wearing targeted compression wear, I had virtually no running related injuries. It felt SO GOOD to have a snug pair of running pants on and a fitted, compression top on when I was on the road. I’d keep them on through my complete cool down and often for hours afterwards at home. Even with my half marathons, I am in the running gear six or seven hours after the race is over. Just feels awesome.
And so does compression that isn’t running related.
I use the ‘heavy duty’ compression pieces to help give me a less lumpy and bumpy line under my clothes because I have not yet had any plastic surgeries to cut away the extra skin. And hoo boy, do I have it.
But I also discovered something else delightfully true when I wore compression vs when I did not…and that was the utter awareness of even a bite too much of food or having a nibble when really, I did not need one.
Belted pants, tucked shirts, snug pants, fitted sweaters…they all help me be very body conscious and aware. When I wear something long and flowing…like an oversized top over leggings, I often have a belt no one else can see reminding me of the need to worry more about my waist than any waste.
When I had hernia surgery earlier this summer I had to wear this most horrific piece of binding compression, it made me a little nauseated to wear it and hit my ribs and rubbed my hip bones and effectively…I was miserable in it. At my first post-op visit I told the doctor (and showed him the raw red areas) about how the binder was rubbing me wrong and he said if I had quality compression wear, that would be OK with him; I ditched that awful thing and went back to wearing my beloved belly skimming pieces with glee. There is such a thing as too much compression, or ill-fitting compression wear. But if it is a struggle to get on and doesn’t roll up once it is on…it’s the right size and strength for you. It DOES wear out, so plan on replacing your pieces with the same cycle on which you refresh bras and panties.
When I am seated, the compression is just as effective as when I am standing and so having a meal at the table or having a nibble and nosh opportunity as I walk about…the reminder is there. Sometimes all I need is a small reminder to snap me out of mindless behavior. Picking up that free cookie at hotel check in and then turning to walk to the elevator and getting ready to bite in and feeling that constriction…it is the pause in which I can ask myself if I am really wanting to invest that many calories in that item or not. Normally, the answer is no. And there are times I do this very consciously—declining the offered cookie from the get go. Other times, I need that little hug I gave myself with the investment of shapewear.
I do enjoy wearing my running clothes even when I am not running and part of that is a great expander to my compression undergarments. If you need support for your lower body for health reasons I am a tremendous fan of the CW-X brand, Stabilyx model of capris and full length targeted compression. Calves, knees, quads and hips are all cradled in REALLY STRONG compression. The first time I put them on, I was sure they were too small, but the woman fitting me put me in an even smaller size! Once she showed me how to put them on (basically the sturdiest pantyhose EVER) and I learned how to get the targeted compression on the right spots…it was amazing, comfortable and very high impact for not only my running, but my food choices those days as well.
Give it a try. And go someplace like Athleta or Lucy where they will spend time fitting you and making sure you are in the right size of the active wear compression. Find a Spanx or other event at the local lingerie section of your department or specialty stores for undergarments with compression to be properly fitted.
Truly a game changer for me and rarely will you see me lettin’ it all hang out…I want to keep my silhouette tight and smooth and the gentle pressure is reminding me I’ll have more than an inch to pinch if I make a poor choice.
Have you tried compression? Do you love it? Has it been a game changer for you as well?
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