Buckle Up: 3 Lessons Learned from the Ugliest Belt I Own

I really love my sacrum. In fact, I love it so much, that I accessorize it whenever I take a yoga class with the very sexiest of all the orthopedic medical supplies out there, the sacroiliac belt. It looks like this:

Hot right? Now just imagine it wrapped so tightly across the hips and butt that all the skin, fat, and muscle around it have nowhere to go except for bulging helplessly over all sides. Trust me, it is a look. And it is a look I now proudly sport in practically every class I take, thank you very much!

For those who may not know, your sacrum is the triangular bone at the base of your spine. It is held in place by ligaments and attaches to the pelvis at the sacroiliac joints (stay with me here…I’m promise not to go too heavy on the anatomy). The location of the sacroiliac joints is visible on many of us because of those adorable little indentations on the lower back that I recently learned bear the nickname, “Dimples of Venus,” which is weird but also kind of cute. I’m talking about these guys:

My own Dimples of Venus may seem normal on the surface, but the actual joints that lie beneath them are shot to hell. By that I mean that the ligaments that are supposed to hold my sacrum in place are so loose and overstretched, I sometimes imagine them looking like the waistband on a pair of undies whose elastic is shot.

Enter the sacroiliac belt! The process alone of getting into the thing makes me feel like I am ready for battle, literally girding my loins for yoga! It involves stretching what feels like military grade velcro, pulling it as taut as humanly possible, and connecting it in three places. The salesman who fitted me for it likened it to fastening a seat belt just as tight as I could right around my ass. I guess he did that sort of thing a lot? Who knows.

The squeeze and support that the belt gives me is absolute heaven. For any ladies out there who have given birth, remember how excruciatingly your back hurt during labor? And if your partner or whomever knew how to press in on your hips in the right place with all of their might, you had a tiny bit of delicious relief? This belt is like that squeeze but constant!

Of course I know it is also a crutch. The belt provides external support when what I ultimately need is internal strength. It also limits mobility and is ugly as sin. And the gnashing, ripping sound it makes if I need to make even the slightest adjustment to it is awful (and sometimes embarrassing). But despite its imperfections, my ugly-ass belt helps me feel safe and supported, especially in group class settings, and I am really grateful for it.

In closing, I’d like to thank my sacroiliac belt for teaching me 3 very important things:

  1. All your strength does not have to come from within. It is ok to get external support.
  2. It is very important be able to laugh at yourself. Even more important to fully embrace your muffin top.
  3. Sometimes the ugliest accessories are the very best ones.

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