Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for the CoolSculpting procedure. I was provided with complimentary CoolSculpting treatment to write this review which includes an honest look at my CoolSculpting results.
I’m going to be honest. This post is not going to be pretty. Here’s why.
I’M FAT. Or to be more accurate, I’m about 34% fat. That’s not a dramatic statement, a plea for compliments, or an exaggerated number. It’s a real number from my scale. Whether or not my weight goes up or down, I feel pretty accurate when I say I’m fat.
Women typically need more fat than men. While men start with an essential need for 2-5% body fat, women need 10-13% just for their body to function as designed. A woman athlete might have up to 20% fat while an average woman might have up to 31% fat. So, as you can see, I’m definitely fatter than I should be.
I’d like to blame it on age or metabolism or diet or exercise or THAT BABY I HAD NINE YEARS AGO. But there’s no one thing to blame. It’s a combination of factors that make up our lives and shape who we become mentally and physically.
The truth is that I tend to carry a lot of fat around my middle. Unfortunately, that can be a tough area to lose. Abdominal fat is also where our “stress” fat goes. Just ask your adrenal gland about that. What we don’t have to do is live with where it decides to take up residence.
For me, I have the largest fat deposits on my lovehandles (what a horrible name), on my belly proper (some on the surface, some deeper abdominal fat), and just below my belly button stretching across my abdomen.
I don’t like any of it and I know toning up is at least partially within my grasp. But if I could find a way to reshape my body and sculpt it the way it should look, that would be worthwhile, right? That was the promise of CoolSculpting when I was asked to work with them last fall.
What is CoolSculpting?
In case you haven’t heard of it, CoolSculpting technology was developed by Harvard scientists and is based on science of Cryolipolysis®, a process demonstrating that when fat cells are exposed to extreme cold, they die, and are naturally eliminated from the body for good.
During a CoolSculpting procedure, non-invasive applicators deliver precisely controlled cooling to the treatment area to specifically target underlying fat, leaving surface skin and other surrounding tissue unaffected.
Following the CoolSculpting procedure, patients typically see a 20-25 percent reduction of fat in the treated area, with results as early as three weeks. The most dramatic results are typically observed 1-3 months after treatment.
Sounds easy enough. At least, that was my thinking behind the CoolSculpting procedure I signed up for. I chronicled the entire 6 hour procedure where we ran 8 cycles of CoolSculpting on the rear and side lovehandles and the four quadrants that make up my upper and lower abdomen. Then I regaled you with tales of recovery which took several weeks. And now, after three long months, I achieved the maximum results from my CoolSculpting and I have the before and after pictures to show you.
Get ready. You won’t mistake me for a swimsuit model.
CoolSculpting Results: Before and After Photos
When you have CoolSculpting done, they take clinical photos before, one month after, and two months after the procedure. You stand atop a hexagon and have somewhat unflattering photos taken from eight different angles. These are pictures that only you and your clinician would look at but it’s an important tool of the procedure.
When I walked in for my final appointment, Le-Nhu, the clinical operations manager who worked with me every step of the way, asked me how I was feeling. “Fat,” I replied. Because I was just back from an indulgent vacation and was experiencing some monthly bloat. I was not looking forward to these pictures. In fact, I weigh MORE (only a pound, but still) than I did before the procedure.
But the photos… well, the photos are the proof that my body did not betray me.
Before and After CoolSculpting – Front View
I know you’re envious of those adorable string panties I’m wearing.
I’m not skinny but I think there’s a pretty clear difference in the before and after. The lovehandles are smoother and, more importantly, that area of abdominal fat often known as the all-too-familiar C-section “shelf” was visibly reduced.
Before and After CoolSculpting – Side View
Surely she must be pregnant!
No, no pregnancy was involved in the photographing of that belly, although I have been asked that before. That should be an indication that I need to lay off the chips and salsa.
In this case, they were able to reduce the amount of superficial fat and what’s left is mostly deeper abdominal fat that I need to lose through diet and exercise.
I actually have a lot more before and after photos (they did shoot from eight angles, after all) but when I showed my husband he said, you’re not putting THAT online, are you? I took that to mean that those photos probably revealed more than they should for public consumption.
I think the photos here show the most dramatic results and give you a general indication of the success of my treatment. And yes, I do deem it a success.
Final Thoughts on CoolSculpting
If you’ve read my series of posts, you probably know that the procedure wasn’t fun and the recovery wasn’t ideal. But the results? They made it all worthwhile. So what’s next?
Remember that fat is GONE FOREVER. While I can create new fat cells, those old ones aren’t coming back. But I still have a ways to go. I’d like to get my fat content down through diet and exercise and then I’d certainly consider additional CoolSculpting treatments for my midsection again as that’s where I need it most and where I saw the most dramatic results.
One thing you should know… results are not always predictable. While the risks are low, you might notice in my front view photo that my abdomen fat shrunk asymmetrically. If you look at the right side of the AFTER photo (my left side), you might see a bit of a shadow. That side ended up flatter than the other so I’m a bit uneven. It doesn’t bother me as I don’t wear a bikini and don’t plan to but it’s not uncommon.
After talking with my fab technician Le-Nhu, she assured me that I looked great but… I could look even greater with additional treatments. Her suggestion of four additional cycles on my stomach would probably take care of the asymmetry and secondary treatments tend to have results more dramatic than the first.
If you’re considering looking into the procedure and want the best CoolSculpting results, here’s my advice.
- Lose weight. This is not a weight loss program. I think my results would have been more dramatic if I had been in better shape. In fact, it’s recommended for those that are near their ideal weight but have stubborn pockets of fat that don’t diminish with diet and exercise.
- Go for a consultation. CoolSculpting can help you find a provider in your area and set you up with an initial visit through their consultation request page.
- Plan your procedure for the winter months. I had the initial procedure done in November. While the holiday eating and winter inactivity didn’t help, being able to wear baggier clothes and layers post-procedure was ideal.
Did I miss anything? If you have any questions at all about my experience with CoolSculpting, I’m more than happy to answer. Just remember that each experience is individual and results may vary.
UPDATE: How long does CoolSculpting last? Read my thoughts on CoolSculpting two years later.