“I’ve been saying that instead of the ‘freshman 15,’ it’s the ‘COVID 19’ that everyone is dealing with,” Malin Akerman jokes, as she recounts what led her to begin her self-described “body contouring journey.” That journey includes CoolSculpting® Elite, the next-generation edition of the popular non-invasive fat-freezing tool, and I recently had a chance to chat with the actress and producer over Zoom about why she chose the procedure, what the process was like, and how it fits into her holistic approach to health and wellbeing.
Why Try Body Contouring
“Quarantine was a roller coaster ride, as I am sure it was for everybody,” says Akerman, adding that her family was “one of the lucky ones” because they all remained healthy. “There was a point during quarantine when we got settled into this new lifestyle and it felt kind of like a vacation — let’s eat and drink anything we want at whatever time because we don’t need to be up at any certain time,” she recalls.
When she got the chance to team up with CoolSculpting®, the offer felt right on time. “It’s funny because this opportunity presented itself during quarantine to partner with CoolSculpting® and start my body contouring journey, which I was very excited about because, I’ll be honest, there were places on my body that I didn’t like so much anymore,” she laughs. “I didn’t have a gym to go to [during the pandemic], and I am so not a self-motivator. Being over 40, things just shift a little bit. So, I decided to accept and start this journey.”
Earlier this year, she visited Grant Stevens, MD, a board certified plastic and reconstructive and founder of Marina Plastic Surgery in Marina Del Rey, CA, to begin CoolSculpting®. Focusing on her stomach and flanks, she received two treatments with the original CoolSculpting® device before coming in for a follow-up session to experience the new CoolSculpting® Elite.
What’s Different About CoolSculpting® Elite
For the uninitiated, CoolSculpting® by Allergan Aesthetics is a non-invasive body contouring treatment that uses cryolipolysis technology to freeze away unwanted fat. It’s approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat nine areas, including the abdomen, buttocks (think: banana rolls), bra fat, flanks, inner and outer thighs, male chest, submental/submandibular (under the chin/jawline), and upper arms.
Ten years after the OG device hit the market, the manufacturer is back with a fully redesigned version, CoolSculpting® Elite, that improves upon both the procedure and the results. “It’s been rebuilt from the ground up,” Dr. Stevens explains. Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of a second applicator. “It’s quicker because there are two applicators that can run at a time instead of one,” he says. “You can accomplish the same thing in half the time.”
And then there is the design of said applicators. “They fit better, they are more comfortable, and they actually capture about 18 percent more fat,” Dr. Stevens says. The new C-shape cup applicator allows for more tissue contact, more suction, more even cooling, faster treatment times, and quicker results. “We see results in weeks instead of months,” he notes.
Akerman says she noticed the difference immediately. “Upgrading to the Elite, there was a huge improvement in terms of comfort level — the applicators are contoured to your body, so it feels more comfortable,” she shares, adding that the initial ‘freeze’ is also more tolerable with the new device. “The first couple of minutes, it’s really, really cold,” she says. “That is still there, but it subsided much quicker with the CoolSculpting® Elite.” After that icy jolt, Akerman says you become “numb” to the cold and “you just kind of scroll on your phone or whatever you want to do for that half hour that you sit there.”
A Holistic Approach to Health & Wellbeing
Needless to say, Akerman is pleased with the final outcome. “I am very happy with my results,” she says. But, rather than think of it as a quick fix, she treated her CoolSculpting® Elite experience as a catalyst. “It really helped kickstart me back into shape and back going to the gym as the world opened up,” she recalls. “It motivated me to get out and do all of that.”
A “big believer that wellness and health come from the inside out,” Akerman tries to move her body for at least 20 minutes every day. Her fitness routine includes pilates classes three times a week and regular hikes with her dog. “I have an eight-year-old boy, and my focus has been to find ways to get the most energy out of what I am doing so that I can keep up with him,” she shares.
That focus on stamina has actually changed her approach to exercise. “Really, truly, it’s a journey toward optimal energy levels and not draining my adrenals,” she says. “It’s about finding the right workout that gives me energy instead of being too drained a few hours later because I worked too hard.”
And then there is the element of eating well. “I believe in focusing on what you are putting into your body,” she says, noting that she tries to incorporate as much fresh food and produce as possible. She’s found an omega-rich diet to be beneficial for maintaining her glowing complexion (which she also credits to genetics, SPF 100, and a few key serums and oils).
When it comes to how CoolSculpting® Elite fits into her larger approach to beauty, health, and wellness, Akerman says “it was just part of my journey.” She views the procedure as a “top me up,” and, at 43, she says this decade of her life has given her a new sense of ease. “That’s been the biggest shift in my forties,” she shares. “It’s being really confident about who I am, what makes me feel good, what I want, and then catering to that and creating a wellness routine around that.”
These days, Akerman’s thinking revolves around “I feel good when... fill in the blank” — and CoolSculpting® Elite has helped her feel good. “Your body changes in your forties, and you accept those changes,” she says. “But you also go, ‘alright, what do I want to do about that?’ Everyone has their own personal journey.”
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