Being officially ‘middle aged’ I had succumbed to the fact that my stomach was reflecting this with a ‘middle spread’ that was now emphasising my still skinny legs even more. Despite predominately ‘eating clean’, combined with some albeit ‘gentle exercise’ the excess fat on my lower abdomen was really getting me down. I started to research why it was there and how I could ‘shift it’!
Like many women out there, I LOVE a glass of wine or ‘two’. The downside? Wine is laden with sugar which, you guessed it, turns to fat. Starting in our early 40s, our bodies go through a series of changes that profoundly affect digestion, metabolism, and other bodily functions. Thanks to hormonal and other changes, the very growth rate of our cells slows down. Distribution of body fat shifts from subcutaneous (under the skin, evenly over the body) to visceral (around the internal organs). Creating stubborn pockets of fat in the abdomen and flanks (love handles).
Most of us will have heard of fat freezing or cool sculpting treatments, as these non-surgical treatments are taking the beauty and aesthetics industry by storm as a non-evasive alternative to liposuction. I wanted to know ‘first hand’ why celebrities and ‘joe blogs’ alike are booking the treatments AND whether it could improve my lower ‘sugar induced’ belly in time for me to squeeze into that LBD for Christmas.
I started looking for a reputable salon that offered the fat freezing treatment to see what all the hype was about! Having down my research, I booked in with Claire Whittle at her salon CJ in the City, which is located in the fabulous ‘Bling Bling’ building, home of Herbert of Liverpool, Celebrity Hair Salon. Upon entering Claires beauty salon, which is located on the lower ground floor, I was impressed (but not surprised) with the uber glamourous decor of plush black furnishings, red carpet, candles and flowers.
One of the girls greeted me warmly and offered me a drink while I filled in my new client consent form. Claire appeared with a big smile and took the time to sit with me and explain the cryolipolysis procedure, which I had since learned was the medical term used for ‘fat freezing’ stubborn cells at a low temperature. All sounding good and well, I went through to the treatment room and got prepared for ‘the big freeze’.
Having worn loose clothing, it was just necessary to lower my bottoms while Claire applied an antifreeze membrane which was a very thin disposable pad coated in a gel that was rather cold when applied to my lower abdomen (jelly belly). However, as this is necessary and must be used prior to performing cryolipolysis to prevent pain, skin discolouration and ultimately ‘frost bite’, I decided to ‘deal with it’.
Snuggling into my lovely thick and fluffy blanket, I was ready for the hand held part of the machine to be lowered and operated to suction and retrieve as much of my excess fat as possible. This proved to be a lot more than I had originally envisaged… damn you wine! Once this had been achieved, I was to relax for an hour while my fat cells were targeted and ultimately killed. This sounds far worse than it is, the only discomfort I experienced was when I foolishly tried to retrieve my phone that I had dropped. You don’t need to keep totally still during the treatment, but attempting to roll onto your side with your gut sucked into a machine, is not a good move, although no bruising occurred anyway.
Upon returning to check on me, Claire sussed out ‘relaxing’ wasn’t my strong point and suggested that I have a Medik8 facial peel. After a brief overview of the treatments and products, this sounded like the perfect opportunity to ‘kill two birds with one stone’. The anti-ageing peel was applied and I experienced no discomfort or irritation at all. After just 10 minutes, my skin was looking great with a more even complexion and firmer appearance. My recent sun damage seemed to disappear. I’ve had more evasive peels in the past with less visible results! Claire swears by the Medik8 products and also gave me some samples to try at home, including her favourite, Retinol Night Serum.
Back to my ‘fat freezing’, with only a few minutes remaining, I was eager to see whether I had achieved any immediate results, which can occur. The machine slowly started to ‘un-suck’ my lower stomach and then it was ready to start adapting to room temperature while Claire gently massaged the area to assist the breakdown of fat cells.
Once completed, I stood up and was pleased to see and feel a difference already. This would only improve over the next few weeks as the fat cells would continue to die off. Although no aftercare is required, it is advisable to drink 2 litres of water per day to aid the process and ‘flush out’ the cells for up to six months after the treatment.
With no ‘downtime’ and noticeable results, I now know ‘first hand’ why this treatment is so popular and still growing (or should I say ‘shrinking’?). Priced at £99 for one area at CJ in the City, this is also an affordable treatment. Next on my hitlist are my flanks…. ‘love handles’ aka ‘muffin tops’, I’m coming to get you!
Look out for my follow up review for before and after results!
The Bling Bling Building
69 Hanover Street
Liverpool, L 3DY
Tel: 0151 709 7834