I bought an Enell Sports Bra, because Oprah told me to. It arrived yesterday afternoon, and despite all better judgment, I decided to give it a test run. Literally.

It’s not a pretty bra, but with a little imagination, you can pretend you’re into some weird bondage stuff with it, because… well, because I’m pretty sure it’s an actual instrument of bondage. Twenty hook-and-eyes go along the front of it, which is easier said than done when you’re binding yourself into this Ace bandage with hooks, trying not to pinch your precious skin between your fingers, as you shove yourself into position. Once you’re all hooked up, it looks like you’re ready for some kind of cheesy Sci-Fi scene. The boobs are so flattened and frozen in position that you actually feel like the top half of a Barbie, only able to swivel from side to side at the waist.

But the whole point of this thing is to keep yourself from bouncing, and I was so happy at the very idea of giving up the two-sports bra thing that I’ve been doing for years. I layer two bras on top of each other, and that’s still not doing much more than the equivalent of taping my breasts to my chest. This bra has been aggressively engineered and is supposed to keep you from even remembering you have boobs. It’s supposed to let you run free and wild, like you’re a kid again, or a boy.

So I hit the street and started running. No bounce. Not even shifting. It was fantastic. Everything the bra said it would be.

Then at mile 1.5, when the sun was really beating down and I was on a slight incline, it felt like someone was grabbing me from behind and squeezing my chest with everything he had. I was gasping for breath like I was having an asthma attack, but I wasn’t having an attack. There wasn’t anyone behind me.

The bra was trying to suffocate me. It was constricting my diaphragm, and the more I panted for breath, the harder it was to breathe.

So I try and hike the bra higher up underneath my breasts, which is very difficult because the entire concept of this bra is that it stays put through compression and restriction. I’m pretty much feeling myself up as I walk down the street, struggling to get my breath back. Hello, Los Angeles. Am I turning you on?

I get it hiked up a little more and run another half-mile. Again, it feels like I’m being Heimliched. I hunch forward and it’s worse. I stand up very very straight, and it’s almost okay.

Of course I can’t breathe. I decided to go running in a corset. What the hell was I thinking? Why wouldn’t I give this some kind of tiny trial, in my backyard, with a jumprope? I’m miles from home and I can’t breathe and nobody’s going to be able to figure out that I died because my bra was made with fibers taken from Christine.

I jam my thumbs under the bra and hold it away from my body. I can breathe. And this is how I have to walk for the next mile, like a complete moron, and the best part is, I’m telling myself that I must have put the bra on incorrectly, because how else does Oprah wear it?

And now I know. I have an Oprah problem. Because I’m willing to blame myself before Oprah. I’m willing to suffer suffocation, humiliation, and bank account draination, just to follow her suggestions. Maybe Oprah has never turned blue from her Enell because she uses it to do some pussy Pilates. Why didn’t I think about that? Oprah probably hasn’t gone running since she crossed that marathon tape. I wouldn’t, either. I’d be like, “Bam! Now it’s just stretching for the rest of my life.”

Every time I broke into a run again I could only go a good half-mile because the breathing got so difficult. Now, I could have been tired, I was running when it was really hot, I haven’t been treating my body like a temple or anything, but I don’t normally wuss out that quickly over and over again. After a two-minute walk, I can normally go another mile without wanting to fall to the ground. I had to admit, it was probably the bra.

I made it home, gasping for breath, and the one thing I can absolutely praise about the Enell is that it’s easy to rip off with a good clenching and a few twists of one hand, just like a good bodice should be.

You know I’m just going to try the thing again this weekend. It’s hella expensive, and maybe I wore it wrong, and Oprah, and I’m pathetic.

(Forum discussion: “There’s a place on your website where girls talk about their boobs? What the hell have I been doing with my life?”)