*Update 10/19 I was recently interviewed by the New York Times about my Coolsculpting experience. Click here to read it.
So if you follow me on Instagram you might have seen me mention how I was having Coolsculpting, I also added a few pics to my live story. Since then I’ve noticed a surge of traffic from Instagram, probably the result of hash tagging Coolsculpting, so I thought I probably should put something up. It’s been (I’m writing this on day 4) 5 days since my treatment, which has not been long enough to see any results at all. Results are supposed to take about 3 months, many people see small changes before that so I will update before 3 months. What I can tell you right now is a bit about the process, the discomfort involved, and why I decided to do this.
The dreaded bulges, ugh….these 2 spots I hate so much! I honestly couldn’t decide which areas I hated more so I just decided to do them both. Before the treatment started I took “before” photos so I have those for later reviews.
I’ve kept track of my measurements for almost 10 years. I’m very familiar with what my measurements are in different weight ranges and the inner thigh area is one that hardly budges at all even when at my lowest possible weight. I’m not trying to get the supermodel thigh gap, but I’d be thrilled with any sort of improvement in this area.
Now the muffin top does improve when I lose weight, but at my lowest possible weight it’s only about 50% reduced. Sometimes I go through phases where I temporarily stop working out, it’s usually around the hectic holidays, but otherwise I do 3-4 times a week, occasionally 5.
It’s very hard to stay at my lowest weight year round, and it’s becoming more and more of a struggle! I honestly eat pretty healthy on my own, I avoid a lot of carbs. I haven’t had a bowl of pasta in probably 5 years, I don’t keep junk food in the house. When I go to a restaurant I never touch the bread basket and I usually eat steak & grilled vegetables. I do like to drink wine and indulge in chocolate occasionally, though. I honestly feel like I really can’t further restrict myself diet wise and still be a happy person. Life is meant to be enjoyed and the taste of food is the most glorious thing ever!
Ok, so now that I’ve explained a little bit about why I decided to do this I’ll show you the process. These photos were taken with my phone so it’s the best I’ve got.
In the past I had heard how painful Coolsculpting could be. People reported pain and misery for 10 days afterwards. It put me off of Coolsculpting for a long time. Recently I’ve been hearing about the new Coolsculpting machine called the CoolAdvantage. With CoolAdvantage the treatment time has gone from 60 minutes to 35 minutes and there is no intense pain that was accosiated with the old machine.
Hmm….taking inner thigh photos has to be the most awkward thing ever, but here we go! I’m wearing swimsuit bottoms in these pics. I looked for the biggest, thickest, most full coverage granny-like industrial stregenth bathing suit bottoms I could find. So have no fear.
To start with, the areas you want to target are marked on your skin, this is done standing. That way if you stretch or move the area they can tell exactly what to target. Then a protective barrier is put down to protect your skin. It’s sticky and slimy but washes off easily afterwards.
This right here may be the world’s most unflattering photo ever…and my feet were cold, lol. Several sized attachments are available, I think I was told this is the medium-sized one. The machine is attached and suction starts. Once it’s determined that you have a good suction and the attachment is in just the right place the cold is turned on.
It gets very cold quickly, it’s not miserable but I wouldn’t call it a party either. The good news is the area goes numb about 7 minutes into the 35 minute treatment. I was given a call button if I needed help, covered up with a blanket, and left to chill….literally.
After Coolsculpting the fat cells are frozen and dead but studies have shown that massaging the skin afterwards improves the benefits. This can be done by hand or machine. They used a machine called the Z Wave. It felt like a jackhammer against my skin but I was still numb and it didn’t hurt.
Now afterwards the area starts to thaw and that’s the worst part. I’m very sensitive to pain and it wasn’t unbearable but I thought it hurt. It was a stinging achey intense feeling, not just on the skin but it’s a sting I could feel deep into my bones. IT ONLY LASTS 10 MINUTES THOUGH! Honestly after those 10 minutes you feel back to normal!
Now for the flanks. Each treatment was done separately. I found this area to be a little more uncomfortable than my inner thighs. It was also more awkward, for the machine to get the best suction on the fat I had to straddle a chair. After the treatment, the way the skin looked grossed me out. It looked different from my thigh area. The lumpy hard fat was blobby and very pronounced. When I touched the area if felt squishy and gross, kind of like squeezing one of those squishy stress balls in your hand.
After the massage the afterpains kicked in and this area felt worse than the thighs. I wanted to roll up in the fetal position and just not move, the pain seared deep into my lower back and I worried I’d injured it. Then poof, after those 10 minutes I was completely fine. When I left, the skin felt back to its normal temperature and soft again, just a little numb still.
LATER THAT NIGHT – I felt back to normal and did my regular routine.
THE NEXT DAY – I felt fine and it was only when putting on a pair of tight jeans that I could tell the areas were a little sore. Nothing unbearable just a little sore when I touched them. I did a spinning class and had no issue with my thighs hurting. Skin still slightly numb and more firm than normal. It feels like the areas are a tiny bit swollen.
DAY 3 – Soreness has increased a lot, similar to being sore from a hard workout, but just in the areas that were treated. Areas treated feel just slightly firmer, no bruising.
DAY 4 – I took measurements and my thighs were 1/4 inch bigger and my low waist was 1/2 an inch bigger, I’m positive this is from swelling. Areas still feel a little numb. Soreness is gradually improving each day, no bruising.
One thing I was told is that Coolsculpting only kills 20-25% of the fat cells, some places say up to 30%. Some people have a second treatment done, I have no idea If I’m going to be one of those people or not, but I do know for a second treatment on the same area you must wait a minimum of 6 weeks. Time will tell what the results will be and I’ll be sure to keep you informed! I’ll probably update at 1 month, 2 months, and 3 months. Treatment costs vary by location and what size applicator you use.
Hope this helps, stay tuned for results. For more info go to www.coolsculpting.com