Upper and Lower Abdomen/Flanks - Time Will Tell... - Richmond, VA

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*Treatment results may vary

I'm a 40-year-old mother of four (no c-sections)...

I'm a 40-year-old mother of four (no c-sections) and after fighting with my body in the gym and being responsible with my nutrition, I'm still not where I want to be. I see my mother and she's like a pattern book for what I expect I will look like in another 30 years (she eats well and exercises too, but also had 4 kids and put on stubborn fat over the years) if I don't do something different. I'm tired of beating my head against this wall only to feel like time will get me in the end. I can't possibly keep up the caloric/carb deficit required to achieve and *maintain* a lower bodyfat percentage that will get me back to my size 4 ideal body shape. So, after fighting with my husband about it (he's scared of long term negative side effects), I decided I needed this for myself, despite his objections. It's not been a fun week.

That said, I had my first treatment a week ago: lower abs. Second treatment 4 days ago: upper abs. I go back for flanks in 9 days. Candid thoughts:
1. The suction/freezing discomfort is just that: discomfort. It was no biggie. Breathe deep, don't fight the suction by tensing, give it five minutes to numb out and you'll be fine.
2. For any of you who've had kids, you'll know what I mean when I say: FUNDAL MASSAGE SUCKS. Seriously, the massage part after the applicator comes off is no walk in the park. It hurts. And I had 4 kids naturally, so I understand pain. I think it hurts mostly because a) you're sensitive because your tissue is traumatized (i.e. see also: fundal massage), and b) the frozen bits of you are "waking up" and so you combine injury with that horrible burning sensation that comes with frostbitten extremities. Anywho - the good news is that the massage lasts for less than a minute or so and a lot of deep breathing and distraction (I hum or curl my fingernails into my palms to "prick" them and focus on that sensation) will get you through it.
3. Post procedure recovery is dicey. Compression garments (and by that I mean Assets camisole, NOT anything that has any ridges or seams or anything else that would irritate your skin or apply inconsistent pressure across your entire abdomen) are key. DON'T TAKE IBUPROFEN (or any other anti-inflammatory) or you just undo/dilute your body's healing/fat-cell-destruction-clean-up process. You'll probably feel pretty good for the first day or two, but then be prepared for the cramping/burning/shooting/searing pain on day 3, 4, 5 and beyond. So far, that's the worst, and again, full coverage compression garments really help. Tylenol didn't help much, but made me mentally feel better for a day. For now, I'm med free and just focusing on compression. Ice the first day seemed to help but only by numbing it temporarily. I decided to just stay out of my body's way in terms of healing after that so that my immune/repair response takes down as many fat cells as possible.
4. I wouldn't exercise beyond walking, and make sure you wear supporting compression garments if you do. I do think some movement is good (circulation, relaxation, positive thinking, etc. helps loosen the traumatized areas), but I don't understand how people work out after this and don't think they're doing damage. Your body needs time to heal and do its work. I decided to move around a bit more than usual yesterday (and without my Assets) and man... today I'm paying for it. So I went to bed early to get extra sleep, the Assets are back on and I'm taking it easy. I can already feel some improvement in the delayed onset pain.

Other random tidbits: I was worried about visible bruising, but didn't have any. I thought there might be more swelling, but it's really been pretty minimal (about the same as overdoing it at my favorite Mexican joint). I am thankful I was only recommended for 1 treatment in each area because, like childbirth, I think I'd need some time to psych myself up for a 2nd round. Hopefully, flanks won't be as sensitive (the nurse says they're not). I'll report back.
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