Photo Credit: canva.com
I think itâ€™s safe to say that everyone has a particular part of their body that they reallyÂ obsess about. (And if you donâ€™t, more power to you.) It could be your nose, thighs or any other perceived flaw that wonâ€™t fix itself, and thatâ€™s why many of us turn to dermatologists or plastic surgeons to fix them. In my case, itâ€™s my stomachâ€”and my insecurities started well before I had an 8.5-pound baby and tipped the scale at 200 pounds before giving birth to my one and only son just about 11 years ago. I never took action until four years ago when I tried Ultrashape, one of the first non-invasive fat-reducing treatments. Iâ€™d like to say it worked at least a little but looking back, I canâ€™t say I was wowed. However, body sculpting treatments have advanced dramatically in the years since, and three months ago I embarked on my Emsculpt journey at BodySquad in Boca Raton (which was founded byÂ Dr. Janet Allenby of Allenby Dermatology in Delray Beach, Florida). In this case, I can definitely attest to the results, both aesthetically and physicallyâ€”and an amazing experience. BodySquad has truly mastered the art of making body contouring treatments feel like an indulgent spa day.
For my account of the actual treatment experience, click here.
After completing my two sessions a week for two weeks over Memorial Day weekend, it was all about the wait-and-see. I was especially diligent about sticking to my five to six Pilates classes a week, as well as the keto diet I started after having minor surgery in April.
I didnâ€™t do anything different during or after my Emsculpt treatmentsâ€”other than apply Alastinâ€™s TransFORM Body Treatment twice a day. This lightweight lotion has been proven to enhance the results achieved with non-invasive fat-reduction treatments (and Emsculpt targets excess fat as it tones your muscles), and I had saved the bottle that was sent to me just for this purpose.
I stuck to my existing fitness, diet and skincare protocol knowing that August 13 was the day of reckoning, so to speak. In the weeks following my treatments I totally noticed an increase in ab strength that enhanced my Pilates practice, and I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw in the mirror as well. There was no denying the improved muscle definitionâ€”or the extra wiggle room in the waistbands of my jeans, pants and skirts.
I knew for sure that the Emsculpt had worked, but about two months after I completed my treatments, I got the ultimate compliment. I was in a Pilates class and we were doing an exercise that involved planking on the reformer and pushing the carriage out and in. My forearms got sweaty and slippery, so I stepped off and used my shirt to dry my arms. This exposed my stomach for all of 10 seconds (which I would neverdo) and the woman next to me saw it. She said, â€œPaigeâ€”you have abs! You didnâ€™t get those just by doing Pilates, did you?â€ I quietly (as not to disrupt the class) whispered, â€œI got Emsculpt!â€ We continued the conversation after class, and I told her to look up BodySquad and check it out. (This was possibly one of the best compliments Iâ€™ve ever received!)
I was definitely feeling confident and pleased with my results as I headed to my appointment for the three-month post-treatment photos. I am as far from an exhibitionist as anyone could possibly be, but I obviously knew that before-and-after photos was going to be a part of this gig. With that said, Iâ€™m much happier with my personal â€œselfieâ€ images from three months ago and last week, so thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m sharing with you here. (Iâ€™m also decidedly uncomfortable having photos of myself in a paper bra and string bikini on the Internet.)
I donâ€™t know about you, but I see a dramatic difference. For example, look at the beauty mark to the far left of my belly button. Itâ€™s significantly higher in the â€œafterâ€ than the â€œbefore.â€ Overall, I can see with my own two eyes that my stomach is less saggy and flabbyâ€”but itâ€™s not all about looks. I FEEL incredibly stronger and much more confident, although Iâ€™m not exactly filling my closet with crop tops.
So, where do we go from here? Since any and all muscles are prone to atrophy due to lack of use, itâ€™s important to know that Emsculpt isnâ€™t a once-and-done permanent fix for enhanced muscle toneâ€”and itâ€™s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to preserve the outcomes. BTL (the company behind Emsculpt) does not recommend a specific maintenance protocol, and they actually suggest waiting a year before getting additional treatments (or longer depending on how the results hold up). However, the crew at BodySquad (as well as many other doctors) finds that one treatment a month starting one month after completing the Emsculpt series helps optimize the longevity of the muscle-defining results.
My takeaway: Emsculpt totally works and is worth the investmentâ€”so long as youâ€™re committed to being an active participant in the process. Donâ€™t expect to have chiseled abs if youâ€™re just sitting on the couch. But if youâ€™re willing to make the most of your gym membership and keep an eye on your diet, Emsculpt just might deliver the boost you need to take your efforts to the next level. I know it has been for me!