Joining the current craze for activewear, Amanda Blair finds herself in a seriously tight spot. Could her obsession for compression lead to depression?
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.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Amanda Blair lives in Adelaide with her four children and a husband she quite likes when she sees him.