Fract or Fiction

Just when I thought I had tried it all in my ongoing effort to “opt-out” of the ageing process I was invited to visit the clinic of Dr Daniel Sister to try a treatment called Fractora. When I explain it, you may think I have gone a bit bonkers.  Fractora uses Radio Frequency (RF) energy to the skin through the tiny pins producing localized heat and small “micro-lesion dots” in the areas that are treated. The heat and “dots” promotes collagen regrowth, which rejuvenates and re-structures the skin  In other words they use a probe with lots of little needles sticking out of it to poke tiny holes in your skin whilst simultaneously heating it, causing the skins natural healing process to firm and re-vitalise areas that are lined and need toning.  The idea is that by treating areas that need firming the body’s natural healing process will tone sagging lacklustre skin as the body produces more collagen in the treated areas.

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Before

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After (current)

I had the treatment over my face and neck.  My primary area of concern was around my neck.  Where I have lost so much weight my neck has a distinct lack of tone and is something I am quite self-conscious about.  So, the promise of this area being tightened without surgery is quite the incentive to try the treatment.   Fractora can be used all over the body including legs and stomach.  It can treat a range of age and related skin conditions.  Such as; fine lines, deep lines, rough skin texture, irregular pigment, visible blood vesicles and uneven pigmentation. Though it is not necessarily just for the signs of aging as anyone can suffer from rough uneven tone.

Due to the nature of how the treatment is carried out a local anaesthetic cream is applied over the face 30-45 minutes prior to the treatment.  There is an element of mild pain to the treatment.  However, it is completely manageable.  I would describe it as a quick stinging/burning feeling at the point the needles and RF makes contact with the skin.  But, it goes away instantly.  There is no lingering pain following the procedure. The whole treatment took around 20-30 minutes.  My skin looked quite red and sore following the treatment.  But, there was no pain during the healing process.  I was advised to use a heavy barrier cream following the treatment in order to protect the skin where it was open and healing. No make-up could be worn for 48 hours whilst the treated areas closed to prevent infection.

one hour post Fractora

one hour post Fractora

24 hours post treatment

24 hours post treatment

3 days post treatment

3 days post treatment

Although the treatment does not have any specific downtime, my face was visibly sore and raw looking straight after.  It is definitely a treatment worth doing.  However, if you are someone who likes to be discrete about treatments this maybe one to have on a Friday to give your skin a day or two to settle.  The difference in redness is significant even the following day.  I did have what I would describe as stamp marks from the pins.  However, any residual marks were easily covered with make-up once I was able to wear it.

It can take months for the full effect of Fractora to be seen.  I am several months post treatment and can see a definite difference in my neck area. The general tone of my skin has improved as well as a reduction in fine lines. This was obviously after one treatment.  However, depending on the nature of your skin, you may require a series of treatments for the most dramatic effect.  This is definitely a treatment to consider before resorting to surgery.

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After (current)

For more information or to find out who your nearest practitioner contact  http://www.invasix.com/

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That’s a Wrap!

So, you know I am all about the experimental when it comes to losing weight.  I believe I can safely say I have tried most treatments and am open to anything and everything.  So, when a lovely Mum Dianne from my morning school run offered me the opportunity to try her It Works Body wraps I was all in!

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Di Before

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Di After

Dianne does the treatments in her home.  The atmosphere is far removed from your average salon. But, it’s a really refreshing change from a bustling salon! She makes you feel instantly at ease and more than knows her stuff.  The It Works wrap is intended to help you lose those stubborn pockets of fat that plague your summer wardrobe like wasps at a picnic, total nuisance! The claim according to the It Works! website, the body wrap is a “contouring product that can tighten, tone, and firm any area of the body, excellent for getting rid of stubborn extra inches on stomach, waist, buttocks, thighs and upper arms.” Ok I am sold!  Dianne is “wrapping” herself as well as another mum Chelsea. So, it’s a bit of a pamper party. Dianne can do the wraps as a single treatment, however a series is recommended to get the best results. The result was impressive and the difference in all of us was quite dramatic.

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Melissa Before

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Melissa After

So, Dianne applies the cloth infused with botanical based formula, which once applied feels a bit like deep heat on the skin.  It isn’t unpleasant.   It feels quite nice actually. Once the wrap is applied you relax on the treatment bed for an hour whilst Di gives you an even more relaxing facial.  Like I said this girl is the business! You could not feel more pampered!  She even re-applies my make-up after the facial so I don’t have to face public transport with a naked face!   The great thing is that Dianne creates an atmosphere that is pure pampering.  The results were amazing.  But, the afternoon of beauty and  the gorgeous smoothie she makes whilst you wait for your wrap to do its thing more than surpasses any expectations I had of the day.   The results following were brilliant and all three of us had a dramatic change.  Di has a myriad of beauty talent and is definitely someone I will be seeing again.

For more information or to book a treatment with the lovely and talented Dianne Cross, you can find her here: http://www.toneupwithdi.myitworks.com/

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Chelsea Before

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Chelsea After

 

Serious Jane Plan of Action

IMG_20150601_174108The last couple of months have been a time of perspective. I know there are those much worse off than myself and I of course acknowledge that I have many, many blessings to be grateful for.  However, it has been a really stressful time!  I feel like I have been to hell and back.  Like most times of great stress and pressure my oldest friend, nemesis and major opportunist, food crept in.  I was doing really well at keeping him at bay.  I have found that for me the best way to stay on the wagon is to eliminate all of the crap from my site and surround myself with only the good stuff.  Out of sight out of mind eh?  But, sadly as much as I hate to admit it, I am human.  Once the door was open, that was it! I had a good two months of food debauchery.  Humiliating and deeply depressing, but it happened and I needed to move on. No time to cry into a Big Mac! If I learned anything about being fat it was that I never, ever want to go back there!
Time for drastic measures!  I had met Jane Michell at The Anti-Ageing Show and had chatted about Jane Plan.  Jane spoke to me about her past weight issues and I learned that she once had a weight problem and that experience had spurred her on to train in nutrition and start her company to help others that were struggling with their weight. The plan works as a total meal replacement, including all of your snacks.  The only items you supplement are fresh vegetables and fruit if needed.  It is a fully balanced plan that takes all the guesswork out of dieting.  Jane is your personal chef for the duration of the plan! Tired and stressed out, how could I possibly resist.  This seemed the perfect way to get back on track.
20150622_061740I had chosen the box that had a variety of meals.  However, they cater to your specific dietary needs.  Prior to my meals being sent I had a comprehensive phone consultation that covered any specific preferences or intolerances I may have had.  I received my box of meals the following day.  One of the things that was particularly convenient was the meals do not require refrigeration.  So, it was easy to pop a meal in my bag for lunch.  In fact I ended up keeping my lunches in my desk for extra convenience.

I started Jane Plan on a Monday and although optimistic I did have concerns about pre-packaged food.   My concerns quickly went out the window when I had the most lush toffee cereal for breakfast. I had the majority of cereals with almond milk.  The porridges I prefer to make with plain water.  As someone who normally skips breakfast I had to really push myself into a routine.  But, the breakfasts were so nice it was fairly easy to get used to. Although all of the breakfasts were grain based, the varieties of flavours were such that it never became boring.

IMG_20150610_122147The lunches were a mixture of cold and hot lunches.  There was a variety of soups including Pea and Wiltshire Ham, Potato Leak, Carrot and Coriander, Tomato Basil, and Broccoli Cheese name a few.  The soups were all very thick and perfectly seasoned.  The portions were a good size and very filling, in fact not at all what I was expecting in a “diet” soup.  Food for me is more than just about eating.  It is the whole experience of how it feels and the depths of flavours as they mingle together.  I suppose this is part of my problem, I love it too much.  But, the Jane Plan in taking the guess work away from portion control makes the process of keeping myself in check much easier, as left to my own devices I could easily dive into a pool of the pea and ham soup and eat my way out.

The cold lunch options were equally as nice as the soups.  In addition to being healthy those clever chefs have managed to make them taste freshly made.  The Moroccan Salad with Wild Salmon was absolutely beautiful.  The big chunks of salmon were tender and well-seasoned.   The other options were equally as lush.  The Tuna Pasta and Cous Cous were two of my other favourites.  But, again there was not a single dud in the selection.
So, let’s talk dinner, so many yummy choices!  There were spicy creamy curries, beautiful meaty and veggie lasagne’s, meatballs, casseroles, cassoulet, chilli and ratatouille.  All of the meals were unique and delicious.  There was not a single meal I found boring.  The portions were all a decent size and consisted of a complete meal other than salad or other fresh produce you may want to add as a side.

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The nice thing for me as a genuine food addict is that each meal was portioned perfectly, so there was no possibility of overeating.  You have your three meals done and dusted once gone that is it for the day.  Jane has thought of everything though and there was a lovely selection of snacks to choose from each day.  They ranged from oat cakes which were often my choice if I wanted a snack in the afternoon to sweeter biscuits that I tended to have in the evening.  They were all wrapped separately which like the other meals was a great idea as having a box of loose biscuits is just too tempting.  The care that has been put into the plan is obvious and based on the flavours; it is obvious Jane is someone who enjoys food.

The plan fits perfectly into a busy lifestyle and was not a struggle to stick to.  In particular I could see Jane being my go to girl after a holiday of excess.  It is the perfect way to throw your big booty back on the horse.  There are even nutritionists you can access for the duration of the plan if you are struggling or have any other questions.  So, Jane has all the bases covered.

20150718_175104For me I felt the plan really got my focus back.  I lost a stone over the month, which is amazing!  But, more importantly than the weight loss is the structure she helped me get back.  There is nothing worse than the feeling that I have lost control.  I know there are those who don’t understand the psychology behind all this. But, I am very much an addict!  I don’t say this to take away the responsibility.  I am 100% responsible for my past obesity.  However, I do falter at times and I do not ever want to back to where I was.  I am incredibly lucky to have people like Jane around me to kick my big ass back in line.

For more information and to benefit from a great discount off of Your first box click here http://www.janeplan.com/ and add the voucher code AB618AE when prompted.

Hands Down, A top Discovery!

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Well another year has gone by and it seems as if I have no choice but to accept the fact I am officially middle aged.  I find this particularly difficult because I felt robbed of a young adulthood by my self-imposed quarantine that results from lack of self-esteem and enduring obesity that plagued the years I should have been feeling “young, free and single”.  So, here I am at 45 trying desperately to take back the time I feel has been lost.  Sadly it appears that for all my fight I am entering the dreaded “peri menopause”. This is a time in a woman’s life her reproductive abilities drop significantly and symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats start stalking you like a predator.  As I always say I do not intend to take all this aging malarkey lying down.  I worked too hard to get the body I should have had as an 18 year old to give up now.

Inevitably all this aging means using products appropriate to my skin.  I met the people behind Stratum C skin care a few months ago at Professional Beauty.  Though it can be a bit off putting someone handing you a product that specifically says it is for menopausal skin, I resisted the urge to kick him in the crotch and walk away.

275026877Sadly, I am bang on in the middle of the product demographic.  I feel for the most part I take good care of my skin.  But, like most women my age I have made it all about the face.  I am sure you have heard people refer to celebrities like Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker as looking really young, until you see their hands.  Even women with access to the best and most expensive products forget about their hands.  So, what hope do I have? But, alas Stratum C to the rescue!  The product purports to use “a combination of 6 peptides (including Matrixyl) to replenish lost collagen and reduce existing wrinkles. Concentration of these peptides is crucial as clinical research shows that anything below 2% is ineffective. Stratum C uses the highest concentration (up to 12 times that of high street brands) which is proven to stimulate the skin to nearly double collagen production, leaving your skin looking plumper, radiant and protected against wrinkle formation.”  After prolonged use it will make your hands appear softer and smoother.  The first thing I noticed is that although the lotion looks quite thick it disappears into your skin without leaving your hands feeling greasy.  I did initially find it difficult to remember to lotion my hands; once I used it a few times it became a habit.  In fact it felt so nice on my skin that I found myself furiously searching for it in my bag as the softness that resulted was very addictive. I have now been using is for a couple of months and can honestly say there is a visible difference. My hands feel better and look plumper.  I cannot stress enough that we need to remember our hands!  I use the cream after I brush my teeth and I can say it is definitely a habit I am happy to admit to having.

You can find out more information about Stratum C from their website at: https://www.stratumc.com/home-uk