Join­ing the cur­rent craze for ac­tivewear, Amanda Blair finds her­self in a se­ri­ously tight spot. Could her ob­ses­sion for com­pres­sion lead to de­pres­sion?

The Australian Women's Weekly - - Contents -

Amanda Blair burns the calo­ries with a fash­ion state­ment

I’ve de­vel­oped a com­pres­sion-tight ob­ses­sion, which may seem a lit­tle odd, con­sid­er­ing I’ve long ral­lied against in­ac­tive wear­ers of ac­tivewear, those women with soy de­caf latte in one hand, mobile in the other and not a sweat bead on their per­fectly made up faces. Gen­er­ally seen alight­ing from 4WD ve­hi­cles, the only time these women get an in­crease in heart rate is when they’re no­ti­fied of a Lu­l­ule­mon 40 per cent off sale. But no, I’m not like them. I’m ac­tive in my ac­tivewear. Well, as ac­tive as you can be when you feel like you’re about to ex­pe­ri­ence to­tal or­gan fail­ure be­cause you’re so bloody “com­pressed”.

My daugh­ter says they look ter­ri­ble and that I should take them back, but I didn’t buy them to look good, I bought them to en­hance my per­for­mance. I read on the side of the box that con­stant com­pres­sion will in­crease blood flow within my mus­cles, pre­vent­ing lac­tic acid build-up, and oxy­gen­rich blood will whiz back to my heart, so I can main­tain the burn longer.

I’ll be hon­est, there isn’t much call for burn in a pelvic floor re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and in­con­ti­nence pre­ven­tion class, but it doesn’t hurt to be pre­pared.

I’ve worked out why so many are get­ting sucked into be­ing sucked in. Com­pres­sion tights are a mo­ti­va­tional tool, nay a per­sonal trainer in a pant. You could hire a real per­son to yell at you about what an in­ac­tive, overindul­gent pig you’ve been for the past 25 years, but wear­ing com­pres­sion tights does ex­actly the same thing and for a frac­tion of the cost. All you have to do is look in the mir­ror and im­me­di­ately you want to run fast, so fast and so far that there is no chance of ever see­ing your­self in a mir­ror again. A nor­mal track­suit just won’t get you to this mo­ti­vat­ing level of

Wear­ing these pants makes you feel so much worse about your­self.

deep per­sonal dis­sat­is­fac­tion and low self-es­teem.

Sure, ini­tially you may think you look skin­nier in them be­cause ev­ery­thing is be­ing sucked in, but let’s con­sider ba­sic physics. Mass is never lost. So, when you slide your am­ple thighs into a tight-fit­ting com­pres­sion gar­ment, all your ex­cess fat has just moved some­where else. In my case, it moves up­wards to join that lovely hard-to-shift mid­dle spread at my waist. From here it trav­els up­wards again, caus­ing me to de­velop an ad­di­tional set of boobs just un­der my real ones, which brings a new chal­lenge to the engi­neer­ing of the cross-your-heart bra.

The lit­tle ex­tra I’m car­ry­ing on my post­par­tum pos­te­rior (yes, I know the last birth was nine years ago, thanks for the re­minder) is forced up­wards too, join­ing the rest of my skin folds and form­ing a cor­ru­ga­tion of lower back fat, like those wrinkly Shar-Pei dogs. I tried to cor­rect this grav­i­ta­tional pull, fig­ur­ing, if it had gone up, it must go down (par­tic­u­larly if I forced it down) so I bought a com­pres­sion T-shirt.

Wedg­ing my­self into the T-bar tank was an act of phys­i­cal en­durance like no other. My neck cramped and I al­most dis­lo­cated my shoul­der try­ing to peel the tank down to meet the waist­band of my com­pres­sion pants. But the tank tanked, it wouldn’t stay down and con­tin­ued to rolling up­wards over my stom­ach, caus­ing the naked “mass” be­tween belly and hip to pro­trude so far out of the gap it looked like I was wear­ing a flesh-coloured rub­ber ring.

I gave in and peeled off my gar­ments, lay­ing down on my bed ex­hausted yet to­tally sat­is­fied. Hon­estly, I haven’t had a work­out like that for ages. I burned just on 120 calo­ries just get­ting in and out of my ac­tivewear and it only took me 15 min­utes.


Amanda Blair lives in Ade­laide with her four chil­dren and a hus­band she quite likes when she sees him.

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