You have heard of it, and you have probably even seen the commercials popping up all over the place. CoolSculpting is the latest and greatest for fat reduction and body contouring and I am going to give you the ins and outs of my experience with it.
First of all, why am I doing CoolSculpting?
I am all for this whole “love yourself” movement and I think it is very empowering, however there are parts of me I simply do not want to love. My abdomen has always been my “problem area” and no amount of dieting, working out, sit-ups or anything I have tried has made an impact on it. It was all I could see when I looked in the mirror. So that being said I will be happy with my body the way I want to be happy with it. So what if I need a little helping hand? Which brought me to CoolSculpting…
So how does CoolSculpting work? Basically a glass of water is equally liquid at room temperature or in the refrigerator, but a stick of butter is soft at room temperature and hard in the fridge. Therefor fat freezes before water. It works the same in your body. Water based tissues (your skin and muscle) can withstand much more cold that your fat does, thus allowing you to break down fatty tissue without damaging anything else.
CoolSculpting applies a vacuum to your fatty area – in this case my abdomen – and cools it down by drawing the heat out, similar to the way an air conditioner draws heat out of the air. It does not blast the area with cold, so for those of you considering wrapping yourself with icepacks you can forget it. The only thing you will achieve with that is frostbite!
Spa by the Beach has the newest CoolSculpting applicators that only take about 35 minutes per treatment area – unless you are doing the outer thighs or a larger applicator where it takes a bit longer for desired results. After your 35 minutes are up the treated area is vigorously massaged to damage the fat cells further and in the next 1 to 3 months (and even longer) your body will eliminate the damaged fat cells naturally. Sounds pretty legit and the reviews back it up. Worth a shot right?
I went to Jodi at Spa by the Beach, she does CoolSculpting in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She gave me a free consultation and lucky for me I am a great candidate for CoolSculpting. I am not obese and try to work out a few times a week, I eat relatively heathy (I say relatively because lets face it, I won’t say no to nachos). It is important to remember that CoolSculpting won’t make you skinny and it isn’t a way to lose a bunch of fat if you’re obese, but it will help with those stubborn areas. The best way to know if CoolSculpting is right for you is to just get a consultation done, it’s free so you’re not losing out on anything.
The thing about CoolSculpting is it really does work. How do I know? I have already done it. Twice. So a little history here: being the skeptic that I was when I went in the first time for CoolSculpting I really didn’t want to drop my money on a procedure that I wasn’t sure would even work. Yes, to get the full blown results you should do the transformation package – I am cheap though so I went with my biggest issue – my lower abs. 3 weeks later and I was already seeing a difference! So back to Jodi I went to get my love handles taken care of. Boom. 3 weeks later… guess who is back at Spa by the Beach? I am.
Well last week I headed out to get CoolSculpted in Virginia Beach by Jodi. The undeniable results that only half of my treatment plan was already giving me had me knocking down her door to get more. We did a large applicator on my lower abs, two smaller applicators on my upper abs and I have every intention of doing one more above that when some time opens up. All in all I was in the CoolSculpting chair for about 3 hours last week.
How was the process?
I got there at 9am, and though I am not much of a morning person Jodi’s sunny personality soon had me ready to face day. I had a small breakfast on my way over but she had a great offering of snacks too! There is no prep needed beyond not having an empty belly because this is a non-invasive procedure. So non-invasive that I was able to work on my laptop while getting treated.
First thing we did was take pictures. Quick, easy and painless. Always good so you can see the before and after!
Then Jodi marked me up, drawing on my skin with markers to get the right plan for my desired outcome. After settling down in the chair she applied a gel pad to my lower abdomen, it was sticky but not at all unpleasant. Then came the applicator – it draws your tissue right into the cup area using strong suction. It is not painful at all, just sucky. Then Jodi propped me up and made me nice and comfy, surrounded by pillows and soft music (though you can listen to whatever you want, or even watch a movie on their projector screen).
Then came the cold. Let me tell you, it is very cold. Which makes sense since we are freezing fat. Still, after about 6 minutes of intense cold and I was numb. No feeling or discomfort and I could happily type away on my computer knowing that at this very moment those fat cells I hate so much were dying. 35 minutes is not a long time and before I knew it that area was done.
When she removed the applicator there were little crystals on the gel pad! And my skin was red, hard, and very cold but very numb.
Then the massage. This was the worst part in my opinion. It is like a painful tickle that lasts about 2 minutes, but 2 minutes of pain for lots of fat cell deaths? Yeah I can handle that. This short massage is breaking up those fat cells that were on the verge of cell death and making sure that they are too damaged to repair themselves and therefor will die forever.
There was some uncomfortable but mild cramping from the area warming back up but by the time the next area was underway and freezing away my fat the feeling was gone. About 10 minutes or so.
After about 3 hours of fat freezing, Jodi sent me on my way! My whole stomach was numb, red and slightly tender to the touch but that didn’t stop me from hitting up the gym a few hours later. It did not effect my workout at all.
The next day I was swollen, no remaining redness at all, just a bit more bloated than usual. The skin still felt strange to the touch, kind of numb. Very hard sensation to explain but having already done this once I had expected it. In the past week I have had some pains from my nerves waking back up and some itching. Not unbearable and as I am writing this (a week later) there is no pain, tenderness or swelling. The skin is still strangely numb but that usually does last a bit longer. Crazy thing is… and maybe it is because I am not swollen… I feel like I am skinnier. I know, they say it shows the best results around 3 months but it has been almost two months since my first round on just my lower abs and wow is it starting to really show.
Is it worth it? Oh my gosh yes. If you’re on the fence, don’t be. I am fitting in clothes I haven’t in a long time. I bought a bikini for the first time in over two years. Two years. After being too self conscious about myself to wear a bikini and actually bear my tummy to the world, I went to Target and ended up buying three bathing suits. THREE.
I seriously cannot wait to see what I look like by Christmas… photos to follow!
*Results may vary from person to person.