Hands up if you are both nervous and excited that restrictions have finally been lifted after 680 days? If so, you’re not alone, this is absolutely me, I’m glad that it’s all coming to an end but equally I’m totally unprepared for ‘normal’ life again!
I went from working in a busy office all day, attending events and premieres in the evenings along with a busy social life at weekends (and more weddings than I could count!) to working from home, limiting my movements and connections, and little to no in-person social events. I took up hobbies like at-home cocktail making, zoom quizzes and a new found love for baking and cola bottles. As a result of moving my work and social life to solely online, and with no press photographers to snap me at events, I lost focus on what weight I was given I was only gracing everyone with my presence from the neck up. I was seeing nobody in person so how my body looked became less important than it previously did, we were in a pandemic, those extra calories and indulgence got me through and it was thoroughly deserved. No regrets!
Now though, I feel like I am about to be catapulted somewhat back to pre-COVID hectic life and I need a bit of help shifting some stubborn fat I’ve gained over the last 20 months. I’ve also gotten used to wearing the comfiest of leggings and tracksuit bottoms which I will very much miss, but I need to start feeling comfortable in work pants and jeans. Not to mention I have some holidays coming up! As you know I am not one for heavy exercise, I’m quite active and like to hike and walk with my dogs, but even if I dialled that up with some gym going and a squeaky clean diet, some fat is just incredibly stubborn, and time is of the essence for me too.
I know visibly when you see me in real life or on instagram I don’t necessarily look like I’ve put on weight, but as my stubborn fat is around my tummy area it is easily hidden given my arms and legs remained slim. A quick scroll on my instagram will see me wearing mostly dresses (god send!) and where I’m wearing pants they are mostly leggings or Spanx and my tops and t-shirts are always loose. My work clothes however don’t fall under any of these categories for the most part so I need to take some action. To lose some weight I’ve gone back to basics by increasing my water intake, making better food choices, and doing Dry January, but aside from weight loss, I need help to get rid of stubborn fat.
This leads me nicely onto Coolsculpting. As you all are very much aware, I have been going to the Laser and Skin Clinic for all my beauty related needs for many years, I first met Anna back in 2017 and both her and the team at the clinic are exceptional. Anna knows me very well at this stage and when I mentioned to her about my weight gain concerns back in July last year she recommended that I get a Coolsculpting consultation, to understand a bit more about it, and check to see if i was a suitable candidate for the treatment.
Coolsculpting is a non-invasive, fat freezing treatment. Non-invasive meaning no surgery, which personally is key for me – the downtime of recovery and the thoughts of going under the knife is just not for me. It uses freezing technology to naturally remove fat cells, and it is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental area, thigh, abdomen, and flank – all of where is prone to holding on to stubborn fat, despite dieting or exercise. For men you can treat the chest area too!
CoolSculpting uses controlled cooling to target, freeze and crystallise fat cells, a process known as cryolipolysis, and it destroys these fat cells. It gently and effectively targets the fat cells underneath the skin, the fat cells are crystallized (frozen), and then die. Over time, your body naturally processes the fat and eliminates these dead cells.
The full list of areas where you can avail of Coolsculpting treatments are as follows:
- Abdomen (tummy and post-baby bulges)
- Double chin
- Love handles and flanks
- Inner and outer thighs
- Bra bulges and back fat
- Upper arms / bingo wings
- Banana roll
- Male Chest
My Coolsculpting Treatment
Following my consultation, the recommendation was to initially do 6 cycles of the abdomen, and doing these all in one day. You can of course spread the treatments out if you prefer but it made sense for me to get the first session done in one go.
When I arrived, Sorcha talked me through process, what to expect, possible side effects and the after care. Once I was happy she started to assess my tummy again and drawing on the areas in which she would be applying the treatment. Everyone is different and bodys come in all shapes and sizes so this part is really important so she could determine which of the applicators to use on each of the 6 parts of my tummy she was treating. She was very precise and exact in her measurements as fat doesn’t always sit symmetrically and she needed to ensure she was outlining the correct areas to get the best results. Once she was done it did kind of look like she drew a puzzle (which I didn’t fancy trying to solve!)
So there I am, with my very sexy disposable shorts on and a puzzle drawn on my tummy, and up I popped onto the bed. Sorcha applied a gel pad to the first area which felt a little cold and then applied the applicator which was like a little suction device. This needed to be strapped on using velcro straps and she propped me with towels to ensure I was comfortable with my positioning. So far so good, no pain, no discomfort, just a small chill from the gel pad like you would feel if anything cold was placed against your body.
Sorcha then started the treatment and at first it felt like a cooling sensation as if cold liquid was making its way to the targeted area, a little bit tingly, but then after a few mins it went numb so I couldn’t feel anything then. I lay there on my phone for the 35 mins relaxing whilst the machine worked its magic on killing those fat cells (bye bye!). Once the treatment was finished, Sorcha removed the applicator which left what looked like my fat shaped like a salmon darn, i’m not gonna lie it was a little weird looking! It was relatively numb still, cold to touch and visibly red. Sorcha then massaged the area for 2 minutes to bring warmth back into it and this is the part that most people find a bit painful or uncomfortable. I found it absolutely grand but disclaimer – I have a relatively high pain threshold so my experience may be different to yours. There were two elements to the massage, almost like a pressing motion to break up the fat and then a rubbing of the area which I actually found nice! This process occurred 6 times, and I took a break after the 4th cycle to grab some snacks.
Post Coolsculpting Treatment
Following the treatment I was a bit swollen which I knew would be the case. I felt perfect though to the point where I popped into the office nearby and went back to work for an hour, and walked my dogs when I got home. I then started to feel a little tender after the hours progressed but it didn’t disrupt my day, I could easily have popped in for a cycle on my lunch break and back to work no bother if I wasn’t getting all 6 in one go and time was of the essence. It’s important to stay hydrated post treatment too by the way.
The next morning, I had some mild bruising which was expected. I actually thought I would be worse given you just need to look at me and I bruise. They weren’t sore bruises, just visual. The 6 areas I got treated started feeling more tender than the previous day, almost like I had done an intense ab workout and I was swollen as expected. It didn’t interrupt my day outside of the fact I had to wear something loose on my tummy so I wore leggings (which I live in anyways so no love lost there!). So that is the only thing to consider post – treatment is that you will not be wearing jeans or anything restrictive. I had a premiere actually a few days after so I just wore a dress so that any swelling wasn’t noticeable and so I would be comfortable. So the downtime is very little compared to say, surgical methods of fat removal, the only other thing to note post treatment is that the swollen areas feel almost foreign to touch, so not numb or anything, a little tingly to touch maybe is the best description, and as mentioned already, a bit tender but not painful. I was out and about as normal walking the dogs and closing my circles on my Apple Watch.
Before and After
The treatment can take up to 12 weeks to show results but I will be checking in with the Laser and Skin Clinic at 8 weeks, I will then be back for another session around the 12 week mark and I already can’t wait! Keep an eye on my instagram stories where I will be keeping you up to date in real time and answering any questions you have. I will keep updating this post with any updates, addressing any frequently asked questions and to update with my Before and After and final results!