Good Posture: lose 5 pounds without breaking a sweat

March 30, 2011 in Fashion, Self-Health, Style by alliemcc

vintage deportment

Image via Life in Style

Way back in elementary school, our school principal was a super-stylish middle aged lady with the perfect hair and soft voice of a rather intimidating but elegant fairy queen. She really did have the uptight, genteel bearing of royalty—then again, I never got sent to the office for bad behavior, so I don’t know…

During lunch, she would stroll through the cafeteria, and between gesturing for us to use “12-inch voices”, she would silently touch her hand to the back of those of us who were hunched over our lunch trays like feral seagulls guarding their hard-won scraps of grocery bag. For this, we mocked her mercilessly in later years. Good posture—how ridiculous!

Nowadays, I’m wishing that we had started the day with mandatory, school-wide deportment lessons and core muscle exercises.

I recently heard a radio piece on Alexander Technique, a series of posture lessons that seem to do a number on lower back pain. I was intrigued.

And it got me thinking about style.

And how much you can change your appearance just by changing your posture.

Dare I say it, you can dramatically improve your quality of life by changing your posture.

I used to get almost weekly tension headaches, usually appearing on weekends, which needless to say put a damper on my quality of life. This continued throughout high school and a year or 2 into college.

Then on a whim I took a few ballroom dance lessons. My teacher traumatized me with stories of fascia-gone-wrong, and his gruesome explanation of how hunch-backs actually form. (The medical term is kyphosis.) I’m still terrified of getting a hunchback.

Those lovely little chats led me to yoga and therapeutic massage, where I stretched, aligned my spine and other bones, and got my knots worked out.

More recently, changes in my diet have helped me to basically eradicate my old friends, the tension headaches.

I’m not saying I’m a well-disciplined, nutritious, foxtrotting yogini, but as I get older, I’m more and more conscious of my body, and conscientious about my health. So I’m sticking to my nutrition plan and trying to keep my spine in good shape.


In Western culture, at this particular point in time, we’re all quite interested in looking taller and leaner – and this is the most basic goal of wardrobe consulting (personal styling, image consulting, call it what you will). Learning to clothe your body to highlight your best assets, camouflage your less-than-best spots, and create a longer, thinner appearance is one step.  The right outfit can instantly create the illusion that you are at least 5 pounds thinner.

The next step to improving your appearance (as well as your mental and physical health) is good posture that comes from a healthy back and strong core muscles.

If you’re not already physically active, I highly recommend dancing and yoga, along with therapeutic massage for good measure, to help you loosen up, live long, and look lovely. I challenge you! Try it!

And next time a beautiful and intimidating woman tells you to sit up straight, please take her advice.


I can’t help you with the exercises, but I can help you “lose” 5 pounds by putting together the clothes you already own in strategic outfits designed just for your size and shape.

Click here to give my Personal Style Services a try.