Hayley Matthews: Is this how to fix a tummy like a Baked Alaska gone bad?
I'm writing this with my stomach in a fat-freezing machine called Cristal. I'm not aiming to look like Heidi Klum, just a tummy that doesn't resemble a Baked Alaska gone wrong.
I’ve never been thin and never will be – that ring of skin, the one that hangs down from your tummy, just never seems to budge.
I don’t know any person who wouldn’t mind a flatter midriff or smoother flanks and I’m finding that the closer I get to 40, the more I’m up for trying the odd procedure. Nothing invasive, just a little help here and there.
I’ve said before that I’m a huge fan of the girls at Aesthetica and how welcoming they are, so if I was going to let someone tackle my post-pregnancy pouch (my son was 9lb 6oz when he was born so I looked like a baguette with a watermelon attached to it during the last trimester) then it needed to be women that I felt completely comfortable with.
Jacqui Fenner, of Aesthetica in the West End, had told me how she’d tried Cristal the fat freezing machine on herself, not that she needs it because she actually does look like Heidi Klum.
I admired and valued her honesty and wanted to give it a go.
I’d researched loads on cryolipolysis (fat-freezing) and everything pointed to destroying fat cells with very impressive ‘after pictures’. The thing is, this machine is completely non-invasive so, no needles, nothing going into your body and certainly nothing being sucked out of you like you’re an extra in a Hallowe’en horror movie.
I booked in with Jacqui and Emma and was greeted on the day with a large latte and a hug. You can just tell client comfort is one of Jacquis’s priorities because she’s very attentive with everyone and beams from ear to ear. Emma placed a cool protective gel sheet on my tummy and Cristal was switched on. The suction started slowly so I could get used to the feeling.
It’s not painful, just a bit weird. It felt like pinching in the spare-tyre region with a powerful suction. It did get a little cold. After 10 minutes, I couldn’t feel anything and was numb just like when you’re at the dentist for a filling, but without the jag – and with a flatter belly, bonus!
The idea behind the machine is that freezing your fat cells to -8C can get rid of them – without doing any harm to the other cells.
After an hour on the machine and some moral support from my friend Kate (she’s a legend for having to see me naked), the small device was ready to be lifted off so Emma could do the tummy massage.
This bit is really important as it smooths out the area and brings warmth back to your skin, apparently kick-starting the fat-destroying process.
I’ve looked at many after pictures of the procedure and I’m massively impressed. If I’m brave enough, come December, when I head back for the big reveal in the clinic, I might just share the pics with you too.
The treatment starts from £400 for one area. If it means I can see my toes again, it will all be worth it!
Hayley Matthews – @hotlipshayley – is a TV and radio presenter.