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These $23 tummy-control shorts are helping me feel confident this summer

They even have pockets!
Katie Jackson / TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

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As a size 2, I never thought I'd need shorts with a tummy-control waistband. But in late May, a surgeon took about 2 feet of my large intestine out. Somehow, instead of looking lighter, I came out of the hospital with a belly so swollen I could have passed as six months pregnant.

Fortunately, I recently discovered a pair of bestselling shorts that promised to provide a slimming effect thanks to a stretchy, shaping waistband. Could these shorts give me my summer back and boost my self-esteem? I had to find out.

Ododos Tummy Control Yoga Shorts

Too promising to not try

With a $23 price tag an impressive 4.5-star average rating, these slimming shorts almost seemed too good to be true. They're even ranked No. 2 on Amazon's list of Bestsellers in Women's Athletic Shorts.

My belly before and after surgery.Katie Jackson

I ordered a size small and braced myself for them not to fit. Since my surgery, I've been unbuttoning the top button of my denim shorts (which I only wear when it's too hot to wear my favorite forgiving joggers). I've also been sticking to low-rise bottoms with drawstrings I can let out. These shorts are the total opposite.

High rise, wide waistband

Katie Jackson

First, they're high rise and hit just below my belly button. Second, instead of having a drawstring or elastic, they have an extra-wide waistband. Fortunately, it's made out of four-way stretch fabric, so there's plenty of wiggle room if I need it. These shorts fit me so well I could probably get away with telling people I had them tailored.

Katie Jackson

Initially, I was worried about the wide waistband rubbing against my incision, but it hasn't been a problem. If anything, I feel they cover and protect my most vulnerable region. I've managed to wear them everywhere, from doing chores around the house to covering 7 miles of rocky terrain in Montana's Beartooth Mountains.

Chafing? No. Slimming? Yes.

Katie Jackson

These shorts never caused me any chafing, even when I got them wet during stream crossings. The seams are flatlocked, so I never feel them. Whoever designed these shorts checked all the boxes, including adding pockets. There is one on each side and they're big enough to fit an iPhone (or a can of bear spray).

As someone who usually wears shorter shorts, I didn't think I'd be crazy about the 8-inch inseam I accidentally ordered (these shorts are also available with a 5-inch inseam). However, I now subscribe to the theory that longer shorts can be far more flattering and certainly more slimming. In black, these shorts act like an optical illusion to elongate my legs. They're basically the athletic version of these bestselling slimming dress shorts.

Katie Jackson

Most of all, I appreciate how they tackle my temporary muffin top. Actually, "tackle" sounds too aggressive. These shorts hug my mid-section in the tight yet comforting way I've wanted to be held ever since touching each other became taboo.

I don't see myself having a swollen belly forever, but whether I'm a size 2 or a size 10, I can see myself wearing these shorts. They may not have saved my summer, per se, but they're doing a fantastic job of making me feel less self-conscious and more confident.

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