I often see billboards exhibiting the slim and gorgeous silhouettes of famous international artistes like Christy Chung and Fann Wong after giving birth.
Anyone can shed weight with proper diet and exercise, so why go to a slimming centre, I thought. That was before I gave birth.
Some years ago, I met a native Hawaiian woman in my gym. Exercising was challenging for her as she was obese. But she worked hard and regularly attended cardiovascular classes. I admired her tenacity in her quest to lose weight.
It was a slow and painful process for her. After a whole year she did lose but a little weight. Then she disappeared for a few months. When she greeted me in a mall, I could not recognise her. She had shed 30 kg and attributed her success to slimming treatments. I thought I wouldn’t ever need it.
During the final trimester of my first pregnancy I went to Marie France for a relaxing massage and the Indaba facial treatment to lighten, firm and tighten my skin and boost collagen production. My bulging middle startled a fellow patron as the centre is well-known for effective slimming procedures. With bewildered eyes and a finger pointed at my huge belly, she asked why I was so eager to get slim.
I laughed and explained to her.
Even at that time I did not foresee going back for post-natal slimming treatments.
I had piled on a massive 25 kg during the pregnancy and the number kept increasing during confinement. With an expanded waist, thunder thighs and being hefty all around, I had difficulty moving about. Carrying Baby Cat was my only exercise.
I felt sluggish and lethargic. Equally frustrating was the fact that I could only fit into pregnancy clothes and even those were tight.
I used to be active but having stopped vigorous exercises for almost a year, I could not jump into it so soon after confinement.
It was then I was resigned to the fact that I needed professional help to achieve my pre-pregnancy figure and went to Marie France Bodyline again.
My favourite treatment is Venus Freezes, a warm treatment that uses a hi-tech machine for 30 minutes to send pulses to different layers of skin for different effects – helps to boost reproduction of collagen, firming and lightening stretch marks and breaks down fat bulges. A mask treatment of 20 minutes follows. This amazing treament successfully reduced the fat in my abdomen, hips, arms, inner and outer thighs, and lower shoulders.
Coupled with the Cryocell Phase Therapy treatment which involves using a hot blanket and massage to reduce the fat in the tummy, the circumference of my middle reduced and I could wear my pre-pregnancy dresses. What a joy!
But that’s not the end of my vanity worries. I was also concerned about the ugly stretch marks and cellulite due to the massive weight gain. Fortunately another procedure that uses suction, masks and thermo ray was effective in reducing cellulite and lightening stretch marks. My skin became supple again, thanks to increased collagen production.
Having noticed my reduced waistline and slimmer figure, my husband asked in jest for the brand name of the powerful suction equipment used so he could buy one to vacuum his favourite cars.
Each session ended with Ginger Wrap to release ‘wind’ and water retention from the body while I enjoyed a cup of ginger tea, snacked on green apples and read magazines. During this time, paraffin wax was applied on hands to hydrate the skin and improve blood circulation.
Knowledge is key
The cold wrap started after eights rounds of ginger wrap. This effective freezing cold procedure is known for causing patrons to jump around the room to keep warm.
Adamant to sit still, I decided to wrap my lower body since my problem areas were the tummy and thighs. It was a smart move and I sat comfortably while sipping tea.
The body releases toxins after therapy, so I happily underwent a natural lipolysis therapy detox programme to flush them out of my system.
Like many women, I had the misconception that slimming treatment is only needed after we are done with childbirth. But the longer the fat remain in our bodies, they become more stubborn and harder to rid of it. It is best to lose the fat soon after each childbirth before they harden.
I also learnt that drinking lots of water, eating certain types of food and making lifestyle changes are essential in shedding the extra weight. But the most effective method is to drink home-made fruit infused water to detox the body.
Although I felt guilty for not tending to Baby Cat whenever I go for the two-plus hour sessions once or twice a week, they were welcome breaks from breastfeeding during which time I surrendered my body fats and cellulite to the experts while I relaxed.
My weight dropped 11.4kg in total and I shed 9.3kg of body fat in less than 3 months. Amazingly, my body scored a metabolic age of a 19 year old!
Thankfully my current weight gain during this pregnancy is not as drastic as the last time. Nonetheless, I have weight to lose and I am assured that I will be in good hands after delivery as I can count on these experts to restore my figure.
Frankly, I am actually looking forward to relaxing in the comfort of the slimming centre again and let my fat and cellulite gradually disappear.
Chermaine Poo is a chartered accountant turned actress, TV host, emcee and columnist. Now she juggles between motherhood and running her classic car restoration workshop, Restoration Performance Design. And because she doesn’t sleep, she writes this columns and a blog on www.chermainepoo.com. Follow her on Facebook.com/ChermainePoo, and Instagram.com/ChermainePoo or drop her an email at email@example.com