The body-positive conversations have helped. And as they continue to increase in frequency, the more inclined we’ll be to feel comfortable in our own skin. That doesn’t mean we’re going to stop striving to be the best version of ourselves. Only that the goal will be better aligned with our physical and emotional qualities, rather than a steady stream of photoshop-ed images we absorbed during our most formative years.
We each have our own relationship with fat, and that’s not going to change overnight. But simply being able to focus our attention and energy on a particularly problematic area or two, like the belly or thighs, is so much more useful than thinking of ourselves as just plain fat.
To that end, there have been some really exciting innovations, most notable of which has been the advent of a non-invasive fat-reducing procedure called CoolSculpting. You’re probably already familiar with it on some level. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering it.
What’s the procedure like?
CoolSculpting for women can treat just about any unwanted bulge, but it’s FDA-approved for the abdomen, love handles, thighs, upper arms, “bra fat,” back fat, “banana roll” underneath your butt, and double chin.
An applicator that looks kind of like a big vacuum hose applies suction to the area you want to target. It then applies carefully regulated cooling plates to bring fat cells down to a temperature at which they’re irreversibly damaged. For most areas, the treatment takes a little over a half-hour.
The frozen fat cells will then die and be eliminated by the body over the course of the next few months. You’ll start to see results within a few weeks, but it should take about three months for the final effects to become apparent.
Key to the process is having enough fat for the applicator to adhere to. In other words, enough to pinch.
The treatment itself is relatively gentle. You may feel some initial discomfort as the cooling begins, but it’ll dissipate. And then you’ll be able to catch up on email, scroll through Instagram, or even close your eyes and appreciate a bit of solitude.
What about after it’s done?
There’s no downtime with CoolSculpting for women. So you can return to the office, run errands, or even hit the gym following a treatment.
Over the coming weeks, you can expect up to a 25 percent reduction of fat in the treated area. The results are permanent—once the fat cells are frozen, they’re gone for good. Though the remaining fat cells will still function as normal, which means they’re subject to getting bigger with weight gain. (Contrary to popular belief, fat cells expand with weight gain. They don’t multiply.) So, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly are as important after the treatment as they ever were.
When we think of ourselves as fat, it’s very hard to ever gain any meaningful traction. But by focusing on key areas, momentum is much easier to come by—and sustain.