Before I get into my story, a little bit about me: I’m in my late-30’s and I’m very active. I work out at least 4 times a week, and I have for more than a decade. I eat healthy… sometimes… I don’t count calories or follow any special diet, but most of the time I do watch what I eat. Most people would describe me as slender and that’s always been my body type. That being said, there’s always been a bit of my body that holds on to my weight and I’ve never been able to lose that. It’s in the middle of my stomach, so it affects how I look, how I fit into my clothes.
So I decided to get CoolSculpting done. It’s a process whereby they freeze the part of your body that has fat on it. The fat cells get frozen and then your body gets rid of them on its own. It sounds crazy, like something out of a science fiction movie. But it actually works. I saw some before and after pictures, and then I decided to try it myself.
The entire treatment takes a couple of hours per body part. Because the fat cells have to be completely frozen, the freezing device has to be on them for a while. It suctions up the area that needs to be frozen, you lie covered in blankets for a couple of hours, and then they take the blankets and device off, and massage the area that’s been frozen so that the fat cells start to break down and can be discarded.
Having your fatty area frozen feels… uncomfortable, then a bit painful, and then you’re just numb. The hardest part is sitting in a chair by yourself for over an hour, but I brought my phone with me and read a book. Getting your frozen body massaged also hurt a bit, but the pain started after I had left the clinic. I was pretty sore and very swollen. I couldn’t wear tight clothes for a week because they showed how swollen I was, and you can’t take ibuprofen for the pain because it decreases the inflammation which is actually what helps your body get rid of the fat. Other than the soreness, there’s no actual downtime after having the procedure. You can continue to go to work and live your life as usual.
Because I wanted to get 2 parts of my body treated (upper stomach and lower), I spaced out my treatments a week apart. I had been told that I would be in pain afterwards and I didn’t want my whole body to be hurting. If I were to go in again, I think I would do all the treatments in one shot even knowing that it would mean more pain on my body. It’s easier to go in for 1 day than it is for me to book multiple afternoons off. I needed a total of about 3 hours per area. 1.5 hours for the treatment, and then extra time to get settled, pack up, etc.
It takes a month or two for your body to completely get rid of the fat cells, so the results aren’t immediate. But it happened, and the results were exactly what I wanted. I didn’t actually have a lot of fat that needed to be removed, so I needed 1 treatment on each area and after a couple of months I could see that the fat was gone. What’s crazy is that even though you don’t have fat cells in the area that was just treated, you still don’t lose any weight. And what I’ve noticed is that when I gain a bit of weight, I gain it in a different area now, like on my legs.
The treatments are expensive (if you are targeting your stomach like me, be prepared to spend over $1000 per treatment) but they work. I noticed better results than a gym membership and the results are permanent. I could still gain fat on my tummy but there are fewer fat cells and there will always be fewer fat cells. I could just enlarge the fat cells that are still there. You can lose 20-25% of your fat in the treated area with each treatment. I found that this was enough for me and I was very happy with the results. I was happy that everything is topical and there is no surgery or anything required.
This is a completely non-invasive procedure and it may not be for everyone. Besides possible side-effects, ideal candidates have a healthy lifestyle already and are struggling with losing a bit of fat in areas that seem to be untreatable. No matter now much I targeted my core, I was unable to really reduce my fat in that area, and it’s been a problem area for my whole life. I was really happy to finally have it treated, and a few months after the treatment, I’m still happy with the results.
If you are considering it, find a clinic near you (you can find one here:https://ca.coolsculpting.com/find-a-clinic), and go for a consult! If you’ve already had a treatment, I’d love to hear what you thought – leave me a comment!