It has in fact been quite cold but when I said I’m freezing my fat off, I don’t mean this:
Why am I doing this?
For one, I already exercise two hours a day (30 minutes stair machine set on suicide, 30 minutes pull-ups, pushups, crunches – and not the girl kind, and I walk the dog for an hour) and those rolls at my waist aren’t going anywhere.
I’d rather not eat 1000 calories a day and hate everything and everyone. And counting calories is crazy-making. And I’d just get all bony in the chest and face.
Two, all those inspirational Fitspo things going around the internet have gotten to me. This one in particular:
She’s all, “I love myself despite all my imperfections.”
Right, I get it. Even though you appear to be perfect to EVERYONE BY ALL STANDARDS you will still beat yourself up and fixate on the negative.
But still, talk about a mixed message. If she thinks she’s imperfect, we are all shit out of luck. The irony is that if there wasn’t a picture of a honed, perfect body, no one would bother to read the message.
Unless it is this article Being Thin Didn’t Make Me Happy But Being “Fat” Does, which resonated more with me and didn’t make me angry.
So yes, love yourself the way you are …
… but have you heard of Coolsculpting?
I’ll admit it, I’m vain. I live in a very body conscious town and I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse.
In a nutshell Coolsculpting works like this. A glass of water is equally liquid at room temperature or in the refrigerator. A stick of butter is soft at room temperature and hard in the fridge. Ergo fat freezes at a higher temperature than liquid.
Essentially water based tissue (skin and muscle) can withstand greater cold than fat, thus allowing you to break down fatty tissue without damaging your skin.
Coolsculpting consists of applying a vacuum to a fatty area (in my case, love handles) and cools it by drawing heat out (like air conditioning draws heat of out the air) versus blasting the area with ice (for those of you considering wrapping yourself in icepacks and giving yourself frostbite).
The area is treated for about an hour and then massaged vigorously to damage the fat cell walls. Over the next 4-8 weeks the body will eliminate the damaged fat cells and voila! 25% less fat.
Sounds legit, Imma do it.
I have a friend who has a friend who does this at Boulder Valley Center for Dermatology. She vouched that it wasn’t too painful and actually works.
I was there in a hot minute.
I decided that I would blog about it because I can’t keep my mouth shut about anything that I do. I could be all, “Oh, I just have a high metabolism,” but that’s not really me.
I met with Dawn (her real name) for a consultation. Good news! I have enough fat to freeze but am in good enough overall shape to be a good candidate. I have never before been happy to hear that I am fat enough (not her words)
She took before photos (I’ll share them in 8 weeks) and I kicked myself for wearing my ugliest underwear.
Dawn and I are Facebook friends so I panicked when I saw this post:
Coolsculpting won’t make you skinny and isn’t a way to lose a bunch of fat, but it will help with those stubborn areas.
Because it doesn’t take away all the fat (like liposuction) it has a more subtle, smoothing effect. It also means that if you gain a bunch of weight, the other 75% of the remaining fat cells will pork out so you want to be at a manageable, stable weight.
For me that is 138 pounds even with wine and nachos every now and then.
Here’s what my experience was like.
I arrived at 9am having eaten breakfast and ready to go. There is no prep because this is a non-invasive procedure.
Clients usually lie down but I chose to sit in a massage chair so I could blog. Natch.
Dawn started by marking my skin with a pen and applied a chilled gel pad.
I was all, “Wow! That’s cold!” and then felt kinda stupid since I was there to have my fat frozen.
She applied the applicator to my waist and there was an immediate strong suction and cooling. It wasn’t that big of a deal and not terribly uncomfortable.
I mean, it was cold, but that’s the idea. Dawn said that a few people can’t handle the suction and bail out but I’ve had two kids and a tummy tuck.
I am no stranger to pain. This was not painful.
I’ve had massages that hurt more. Like when Tabby works on my quads … holy shit, the agony.
Dawn made sure I was comfortable and left me to cool out for the next hour. After the initial ten minutes of cooling the area was so numb that any discomfort I originally felt went away.
She came back when my hour was up and removed the cup from my side. The treated area literally looked like block of butter, it was hard and distended.
Then came the massage part.
This was the “worst” part. It went from being an uncomfortable ticklishness to downright painful but it only lasted a minute or so. It’s nothing a little Lamaze breathing couldn’t get me through.
She applied a warm towel and then moved to the other side.
The 10-15 minutes it takes for the treated area to heat back up feels like a dull ache but it had subsided by time I was underway on the other side.
Dawn told me to be on the lookout for dizziness. I experienced a little light-headedness after the cup was removed but it passed after 30 seconds and never was very serious.
I took this picture right after we finished. The area felt numb and was swollen and red, like a giant hickey.
Dawn sent me home with some icepacks (which I didn’t end up using) and her mobile number. If you are considering this procedure, call Dawn. Seriously.
That day I felt like my love handles were hard and cold and tender to the touch but they didn’t keep me from doing what I usually do. They certainly didn’t keep me from passing out at 8:30 while watching Psych with the kids.
I was aware of the area but it didn’t stop me from using the stair machine and doing my usual ab workout.
I felt bruised and sore, like after a HUGE ab workout when I’m all Ouch-ouch-ouch-fuck yeah! Awesome workout! but it’s even better this time because it’s like Yes! Die-fat-die!
And it didn’t stop me from making these incredibly stupid cat mugs with a matching pitcher in pottery class.
I’ll admit that I have a high pain threshold.
I pole dance. Anyone who is into pole has a no-pain-no-gain attitude but I really didn’t find it to be that big of a deal, especially when the other options are surgical or starvation.
Or self-acceptance but that is not happening. Not yet at least.
Now I’m on day three, the area is still sore but whatever. I’m used to being sore, this is nothing.
I’m still a bit swollen, too. The area feels jiggly and a little numb. I’m hoping at 8 weeks I will have a noticeably smaller muffin top when I wear jeans.
Please don’t chastise me with the You are perfect just the way you are speech. On some level I know that and there will come a time when I have to cry uncle to father time. But for now, if I can get rid of those muffin tops, I will.