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These stretchy biker shorts boosted my confidence after surgery — and they're only $22

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

As a size 2, I never thought I'd need shorts with a tummy-control waistband. But a few years ago, 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 discovered a pair of top-rated shorts that promised to provide a slimming effect and a comfortable fit for my sensitive stomach, 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

With a $22 price tag and almost 13,000 five-star ratings, these slimming shorts almost seemed too good to be true.

my belly before and after surgery
My belly before and after surgery.Katie Jackson

I ordered a size small and braced myself for them not to fit. Post-surgery, I had to start unbuttoning my denim shorts (which I only wear when it's too hot to wear joggers). I also stuck to low-rise bottoms with drawstrings I could let out. These shorts are the total opposite.

They have a wide, high-rise waistband

front view of the ODODOS tummy control workout shorts in black
Katie Jackson

These shorts fit me so well, I could probably get away with telling people I had them tailored. The high-rise design hits just below my belly button and instead of a drawstring, the bottoms are made with an extra-wide waistband. Fortunately, they're also made out of four-way stretch fabric, so there's plenty of wiggle room if I need it.

Wearing black ODODOS workout shorts with tummy control while hiking
Katie Jackson

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

Chafing? No. Slimming? Yes.

Wearing black ODODOS workout shorts with tummy control while hiking in Montana
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. Clearly, 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, in my experience, a can of bear spray).

As someone who usually wears shorter shorts, I didn't think I'd be crazy about the 9-inch inseam that I accidentally ordered (these shorts are also available with a 5, 6 and 8-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.

highly satisfied with my tummy control shorts
Katie Jackson

My swollen belly didn't last forever, but I was thankful for a pair of shorts I could rely on to comfortably get me through the day — and I still wear them to this day. They always do a fantastic job of making me feel less self-conscious and more confident.