In a society where we want it all and we want it now, gradual weight loss, healthy eating and exercise is tedious and time consuming. When I rock home from work at nine in the evening I stuff my exhausted face with more sugar than a piñata at a fat American children’s party.
I have never exercised to enhance my life-span, for fun, to quench an unattractive competitive streak, or even for the pursuit of endorphins. It (sadly) has always been in the hapless quest for a hotter body. But, try as I might, I remain as far from that as Katie Holmes is from freedom.
In the past I tried exercising like Mr Motivator on death row: pumping, boxing, running, swimming. But the trouble is I always want a pay-off: if I put in I want out. I consider endorphins an urban myth (exercise does not make me gleeful), so my pay off is food – ergo the more I run the more I eat (nothing, oh nothing, will be left on my plate). It transpires that by eating cheese like one will an apple, doesn’t make part of my five-a-day.
Girls in my office will have Ryvita (best intentions – but what is the point in eating cardboard food?) with a Cadburys Dairy Milk chaser, and constantly whine (wine) that they can’t shift the pounds. “I’m no dietician, but I have a sedentary job. I don’t exercise, the fat fairies aren’t going to come and chip away at me like 1920s South Americans carving Mount Rushmore.”
I have the staying power of a swimming brick, and am as good at dieting as Madonna is at growing old gracefully. If I created my own aftershave it would be called ‘Excess’ and smell of chips and beer.
Every Sunday I sit and squidge my fat for a good self-loathing half hour, sometimes seeing how deeply I can immerse the remote between my tummy rolls, sometimes getting it so deep it ends up looking like a cheap little burger on an oversized bun. I vow, after one last binge, to clean up my act from Monday onwards, but inevitably one biscuit tips the scale and I wander down the same old ‘naughty’ path for the remainder of the week.
When you’ve gone down one path and come to not only a dead end but a dead end with someone laughing and spitting in your face – as I did with exercise as a means of paunch removal – then it’s time not to take a different path but a MOTORWAY.
I decided to up the ante in the war on my lard. Google, the modern man’s moral/social/educational compass, led me to a new little treatment for slim-fatties like myself.
I’ve always kept myself fit, eaten relatively healthily and have never been overweight, but still my stubborn little paunch will not concede. Summertime requires specially tinted sunglasses to hide my incandescently green-with-envy eyes when other lads peel off their shirts to reveal a perfect undulating six pack; with precisely carved rivulets perfectly framing each individual muscle mass.
Following my visit to Google the oracle, I find what I am looking for: Advanced Smartlipo at the Wimpole Aesthetic Centre. A state-of-the-art treatment which can achieve exceptional body sculpting results and is best suited for targeting small fat deposits in healthy people; in short, SmartLipo had my name all over it.
During my comprehensive consultation with the warm and enigmatic Dr Berkowitz he tells me I am the perfect candidate as I am fit and healthy, and not overweight, but my tummy has not responded to diet and exercise. Dr Berkowitz explains that Advanced SmartLipo is designed specifically for body re-shaping/contouring, and to tackle ‘difficult to shift’ fat deposits such as saddle bags, abdomen, love handles and double chins. I book in to have my upper and lower abdomen treated immediately.
On the day, Dr Berkowitz and his team lay to rest any nerves I have with their professionalism and generally lovely demeanours. The procedure itself is carried out using local anaesthetic: a small cannula is inserted through small incisions into the fat. The laser beam of intense sound breaks down the unwanted fat, almost like grapes being shaken free from the bunch. Those fat cells are permanently destroyed, meaning you will not gain weight in the same place again. Some of the melted fat is sucked out right there and the rest my body will process and dispel over the next few months.
“There will never be a magic wand of cosmetic surgery, but this technique certainly comes close to it,” Dr Berkowitz says.
Far less invasive than its primitive liposuction predecessor, swelling, bruising and pain is minimal and I am able to return to work the following day. The incisions are insignificant and heal within a few days. Having been given a little nudge in the right direction I have begun to enjoy exercising more and I have already had some positive comments. I look forward to seeing what happens over the coming months, as I inch ever closer to my goal.