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Unread 05-25-2010, 10:23 PM   #1
Jinglebrarian
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Post Losing Weight Before a Con: Emergency Tips

Hi guys!

There have been several threads discussing losing weight in cosplay, cosplay as a motivator for losing weight, cosfluff, and how annoying being heavier (or lighter!) than we want to be is in regards to our favorite hobby. This thread is not like the others; it's going to be a tip database. I am not a doctor, and tips here are meant to be taken in moderation and with consideration; they work like a charm, but don't push yourself excessively just to lose a bit before a con, okay? I'd rather you know how to do it safely than starve yourself. This was going to be written for a friend, but I thought I would share it with you guys, too!

It's a collection of tips regarding APPEARING SLIMMER (not losing weight, but giving the illusion thereof) and ACTUALLY LOSING WEIGHT (don't push yourself too hard on this one, it's much healthier to take a slow approach to a healthier lifestyle if weight loss is your goal). I looked through prior threads with the keyword "weight" and saw a few, but none that were directly on this topic. This is specifically tips on how to shed a pound or two before the convention; please ask relevant questions or suggest a tip to be as on-topic as possible [as opposed to just discussing cosplay's motivation for weight loss, etc].

-Jingles

It's the week before a big convention. You're debuting your new costume, and you're so excited! But you'd like to shear off the extra few pounds that snuck in somewhere along the sleepless nights at your sewing machine, VHS copy of Yu Yu Hakusho blaring in the background and sewing tools everywhere. You want to show off your costume and get as in-character as possible - so how can you do it, reasonably, while staying healthy and not hurting yourself by neglecting to eat?

The question: How can I lose a little bit of weight/appear slimmer for a convention if I don't have much time?

The suggestions:

1.) Drink water. If you don't drink enough water, your body will retain it. A normally slender arm will be subtly bloated - your belly will pooch more than it should. Why is this? It's because your body is trying to keep itself alive. It wants to make sure it has the H20 inside to keep everything regulated and working properly. We as a society do not drink enough water at all; we drink soda pop, tea, frappucinos, etc. These may be liquid, but they aren't water! Your body can't be tricked. It gleans what water it can from the sugary things we tend to prefer to drink and holds onto it like a greedy kid. If your body had a thought process, it would say, "I don't know when I'll get any fresh water, so I've got to hold onto what I have!" Your body swells up as a result. So, drink plenty of water. Some doctors suggest 2 litres a day. It sounds like a lot, and, heck, it is, but it filters cleanly through your system and in the tail end of a week you'll see results. You will visibly look slimmer (your body is starting to trust you, and believe that you won't parch it of pure water anymore; so it's letting the water filter out of your system less reluctantly), you will feel cleaner, and you will weigh less. Bonus? Your skin might clear up a bit if you have acne.

In a nutshell - H20 POWER!

2.) Don't drink your calories. You don't need to. I mean, with all the water you're intaking as of Tip 1, you're not going to be thirsty. Plus, you wouldn't believe how much fat Americans intake from non-water beverages daily! So put down your soda pop, at least for the week before the convention if weight-loss is your goal.

3.) Do crunches twice a day. This is really effective for me; I do proper crunches the week before the convention. Twenty in the morning when I wake up, before I even bother to roll out of bed, and twenty before bed - whereupon completing I collapse in a happy heap and nod off. I now do sixty crunches in the morning and evening, but twenty will see a subtle but pleasing difference in the tightness of your belly in just a week.

3.5) Keep in mind that cardio exercises are the true path to victory when it comes to slimming your tummy. If you're able to fit that in between all of the costuming you're doing before a convention, do it! It is great for sleek long-term results. Crunches are a quicker and less time-invasive exercise, which is why I suggest them.

4.) Avoid snacking on too much salt. Salt likes to make you appear bloaty, even if you aren't actually gaining weight. Instead of the Pringles, just nom on something less salty that you like. Unsalted nuts are good because they have protein, so they'll stick with you.

5.) Rest properly. A deficiency in sleep impairs your body's ability to work on getting rid of fat.

6.) Improve your posture. Simply standing differently accentuates your figure, male OR female, and gives you an aura of Tip 8, which is critical. Practice this: Stand up straight, and pretend there is a delicate little fishing line being gently pulled from the top of your head, coaxing your spine straight without it being uncomfortable. Now, tilt your pelvis by curling your tailbone in towards the front of your body (kind of like a half-done pelvic thrust! ^^). Your belly will sink in naturally without looking forced or "skinned-in". Lastly, you can tip your shoulders back a fraction of an inch. Check out the difference in a mirror - holy guacamole! This works great for photoshoots!

7.) Know your poses. If you don't want someone to notice your muffin top, don't bend over and squeeze it out of your outfit at them. Subtle, more natural poses work well with the camera; try not to let the photographer get an 'up the nose' shot unless that's their/your intention. Shots from above are very flattering on most people, and can make you appear lighter than you actually are (and possibly closer to your character's apppearance).

8.) Confidence. You are BEAUTIFUL, wonderful, and worthwhile. You do not need to lose weight or appear slimmer; you do it because you want to. Walk proudly and enjoy yourself; you're indulging in a hobby you love, with a costume you've invested time into and people who are interested in seeing you! You are amongst fellow fans, don't forget!


If you guys have any more tips, please go ahead and post! I tried to post tips that would not disrupt a person's life excessively; I mean, this isn't hard core weight loss, it's just trimming for cosplay. If you have questions also feel free to ask, I or someone else here on the forums can probably answer you.
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Last edited by Jinglebrarian : 05-26-2010 at 12:21 PM.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 01:04 AM   #2
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This is a great thread! Love the last tip. That is so sweet!! (:
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Unread 05-26-2010, 01:34 AM   #3
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This was very helpful. Thank you.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 02:10 AM   #4
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Exercise is something we should ALL do, and not just for a couple weeks before a con. I stopped driving to work and walk to the route 20 bus stop, which is a quarter mile away, a quick 20 minute walk. Even though the Route 67 and 84 stops are right around the corner, on nice days and nights I prefer the 20 so I can get exercise.

I do drink water at work, but I intersperse a cup of fruit punch or an occassional cup of soda if I need a caffeine boost. But it's all mostly water.

Be aware that trying to suddenly lose weight may or may not work. You should always see a doctor prior to starting any exercise routine. But in the end, if walking is all you want to do, then seeing a doctor really isn't required. Keeping weight off is continuous, so just because the con is over doesn't mean you can go lax on your exercise. >.<

Some real quick exercise tips:

-Skip the elevator or the escalator and use those steps! A low impact workout at best. At worst it takes you a minute longer to get where you need to go.

-Park at the far end of the lot and walk in. That extra 200 feet helps out!

-Like going to the mall? Window shop! Walk the mall and window shop. Just don't be tempted to buy all that food in the food court or the candy stand. ^.^

-Two heads are better than one. Find a friend to exercise with and it becomes fun! It's always easier to accomplish stuff in groups, and exercise is one thing that seems to get people motivated if done in groups.

-Wanna try for some strength exercise? Lift a stack of newspapers, or take two filled one gallon bottles and you have a set of weights. Be sure to lift safely and properly. Any sharp pains mean there's something wrong or you are not performing an exercise correctly. STOP and let yourself recover. If pain persists or gets worse, stop your routine and see a doctor. You may have injured something. >.<

-Change the diet. Try for less fattening foods. Aim for foods that give you energy (protein, fiber, etc) but try not to bulk up on carbs. That has less desirable results. Avoid sugars if possible. Get your sweets from natural foods like fruits or use Splenda if you want a sweetener.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 02:23 AM   #5
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A newspaper article I read back in January had some good tips for walking exercise.
1.) If new to walking, try starting with 10 minutes 3-5 days a week. Try to increase your time by 2-5 minutes each day every week. (i.e. do three 10-min days week one, do 4 12-min days week 2, etc.) The distance is not as important as the time spent.
2.) Walk on relatively flat terrain.
3.) Avoid carrying weights while walking as they will mess up your stride, pace and posture.

I forget the rest of the tips, but those were the basics. If I find the article again I will post it.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 02:27 AM   #6
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This is very helpful!
I'm going to cosplay for the first time this summer, hopefully I put this thread to good uses
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Unread 05-26-2010, 05:25 AM   #7
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Last resort things, wearing things like waist slimming belts to sleep actually helps a bit, It's probably not the best thing to do on a regular basis but it helps squeeze out excess water in the area. If you want a permenant approach you can try corsette training but that's only for hardcore people, world record 15 inch waist was achieved through this. (Looks nasty as hell imo)

besides that drinking a lot of water, and taking in a lot of fiber staying away from processed foods, and just plain working out. If your salt intake is high most people don't realize most of excess salt intake will actually be sweated out through normal exercise which helps with bloating.

Just exercise and eat right smaller meals more often throughout the day, and snack on healthy things, try to eat wheat breads, and brown rice etc whenever possible. Fiber actually helps regulate your digestive tracks and cleans it meaning foods will process through your body faster, faster it goes through the less you actually intake into your body.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 06:28 AM   #8
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I would like to add that waist cinchers work for just tightening up a slightly flabby belly under a top. Curvation is a good brand--buy it maybe a size larger than you actually are and it a.) still does it's job and b.) is very comfortable. These also help support your back, which helps you maintain good posture as per Tip 6.

I use mine all the time, particularly under tight dresses like my Yuuko dress that kind of needs to be perfectly slim and smooth. Also, if you crossplay, it can double as binder in a pinch
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Unread 05-26-2010, 09:20 AM   #9
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Remember, a single limb can weigh as much as 15lbs depending on your weight and level of exercise. You can still function with one good arm (the one you write with preferably) so take this into consideration when choosing a character. Long sleeves and War Veterans are appropriate choices.


Also don't be afraid of control top panties, Spanx shorts, and editing your costume to better suit your figure.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 09:35 AM   #10
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Yes, this is an excellent idea for a thread, and those are great ideas. But it should be important to keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't turn into a general weight loss tips thread. I don't think that's what we're about here, and distributing weight loss tips on the internet can be dangerous. Some people can become quite obsessive about this, and I wouldn't want anybody to think that it's okay to "crash diet" before a con.

In other words: CRASH DIETING IS A BIG NO-NO!!

That said, I am having some success getting ready for my con next week by consciously eating about 60% of what I normally eat (which is a lot), drinking only water (okay, and coffee), and watching my salt intake. That salt is a killer, man. I've also been quite successful keeping away from the Hershey's kiss jar at work. They're so tiny, and only about 40 calories each, but you know...a person could put away ten of them without even thinking about it.

Doing some light weight routines - unless you have joint or muscle issues that could result in injuries - might also help with toning and slimming. Don't go overboard, just a few reps in major muscle areas every other day in the two weeks before the con can help a lot, even if the only visible difference is that your muscles are a little swollen from the excess work!

I'm also a big proponent of lotion. Applying lotion to your "problem areas" can help smooth out and moisturize the skin, which makes it appear more lithe, pliant, and healthy. Also, I think on some weird physio-spiritual level, paying a little extra, positive attention to those areas can help you see them in a better light, which means others will too.

When all else fails, Spanx are a god-send, and having some people with you who think you're beautiful is amazing. Confidence is definitely the sexiest possible trait!

ETA:

Had to throw in my two biggest tips here:

The water thing. It's been said, but I really want to beat this into people's heads. Drink it all day, starting with the moment you wake up and ending with the few minutes before bed. The benefits are countless. It's just...they're countless.

Also, WALK. You're going to be doing a lot of walking at the con anyway, so you might as well get ready for that. Need a gallon of milk? Walk to the corner store instead of driving to the grocery store, and carry that sucker back. If you're close to work, walk to work, or take public transportation. Park far away from the entrance to the store and walk across the parking lot. Take a walk during your lunch break, or even just pace around the house while you're talking on the phone. Also, housework can keep you active and keeps your house looking good. Bonus! If you're going out of town for your con, you don't have to worry about coming home to a messy house.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 10:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinglebrarian View Post
[font="Arial Narrow"]
Hi guys!
[center]
3.) Do crunches twice a day. This is really effective for me; I do proper crunches the week before the convention. Twenty in the morning when I wake up, before I even bother to roll out of bed, and twenty before bed - whereupon completing I collapse in a happy heap and nod off. I now do sixty crunches in the morning and evening, but twenty will see a subtle but pleasing difference in the tightness of your belly in just a week.
I really have to disagree with this. Abs are my specialty, and this is something that should be corrected in your post for the sake of correct information.

crunches and other exercises should be done every other day and definitely not twice a day.more importantly, crunches will not make the belly slimmer necessarily. true building muscle burns the fat, but cardio is the key to a flat stomach, not crunches alone. Otherwise your input is quite informative, concise, and helpful. Great job!
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Unread 05-26-2010, 12:20 PM   #12
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@Toraxchan: I am glad!
@Ravenskies: Youíre welcome!
@Technowraith: GREAT tips, thank you very much. I love the tip about simply parking farther out in the lot and fiber!
@Saiyamanmasenko: Sounds awesome, those are good tips.
@CrescentZero: Good luck!
@DistantArray: Itís true waist-slimming belts can help, but we should be very careful - those are our precious organs inside! XD Thanks for the tips, especially about the fiber.
@Juusanbantaigrr: Interesting!
@Lithium Flower: Control-top panties are probably one of the best inventions ever.
@Hellparadiso: This thread is certainly not about general weight loss - Iím keeping the tips on the first post all about temporary weight loss/slimming appearance for a con. Since itís an open forum, I have no control over what other people say - but I do have control over the first post at least. ^^ Thank you for mentioning the no crash-dieting! I like the tip on lotion.
@Kasinator: I chose to suggest crunches instead of cardio because this thread is targeted at people who want to appear slimmer right before a con - people who are truly interested in pursuing a diet should discuss with a trained fitness instructor or dietician. The thread was aimed at people like me, who are very busy before a con and might not have time to work in a good cardio workout like we all wish we could to get that Ďideal tummyí. As you know, cardio takes up a lot of time! I will edit the first post to make sure that people know that cardio is the key to longer-term success, though.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 02:31 PM   #13
Lithium Flower
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Originally Posted by Jinglebrarian View Post
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@Lithium Flower: Control-top panties are probably one of the best inventions ever.

I will edit the first post to make sure that people know that cardio is the key to longer-term success, though.
The bodysuit I got for my Motoko costume...actually a Spax-like body shape thing. XD I didn't realize it until I'd already bought it.-snarf- it did wonders though.

Also, here's the Spax website for those who don't know what it is or want one RIGHT NOW DARN IT.

But really, those things aren't just for girls who are drastically overweight or mothers with 6 kids. Regular size gals (and guys don't be shy) can use them under slinky dresses and tighter fitting cosplays.


You should also mention that cutting off ones limb for immediate weight loss is not helpful in the long term.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 03:05 PM   #14
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I fantastic way to give your metabolism a jump start and keep is going throughout the day is to:

1) Eat something as soon as you wake up. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to eat junk, but I've just been throwing cereal into my face every morning, even when I'm not hungry

2) Replace large, spaced out meals for small, more frequent ones. In stead of a large breakfast at 9AM, a decent lunch at 1PM, and a hearty dinner at 6PM, try fitting sandwiches, fruit, maybe some soups, etc at about every 3-4 hours.

Honestly it sounds silly, but it has been working like wild fire for me.


Also, going for walks every once in a while can only help. To remain healthy, the human body should take a certain number of steps a week. If you can't get out of the house, just run around in circles for a while xD

And water is A+
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Unread 05-26-2010, 03:53 PM   #15
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@PsychoLove - The whole breakfast thing is true. I've never really been big on breakfast foods so when I get a chance to I'll have a container of yogurt and some blackberries as a quick snack to get me going. It's also great throughout the day and very tasty ;3

So for people like me who never really got into the big breakfast of eggs,ham,and biscuits having some yogurt and a glass of juice or water is a good alternative to that big sit down hearty meal.
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