I would do anything

  • Published
  • By Capt. S.J. Brown
  • 934th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Editor's Note: This is a three-part series on what some people (including the author, a 40-something-year-old Air Force captain with a bit of a body issue problem) will do to lose weight and inches in an attempt to get the perfect body without doing the obvious - eating less, exercising more.

I get these alerts in my e-mail inbox every day from "group deal-of-the-day" organizations. Some offer 50 percent off an oil change, some offer 75 percent off movie tickets. But one day, I got an e-mail with two deals that just looked really odd together. One was for half off dinner at a local restaurant and the other was for 60 percent off this non-invasive weight loss technique. That was just one technique out of several that are on the market now. This got me thinking.

I've probably spend thousands, if not millions, of dollars packing on about 40 extra pounds since I had my baby (14 years ago). I began seriously debating whether or not I should give these safe, effective weight loss methods a try. Who could resist returning to their high school weight, and receive a 50 to 60 discount on the procedures? No wonder these techniques are gaining popularity with first-timers who just want to shed a few pounds and inches before their fitness test.
I blame ... me.

I see advertisements everywhere that claim people have found the fountain of youth through certain products. Before I joined the Air Force in 1994, I was 5-foot, 7-inches tall and weighed 104 pounds. More than 16 years have passed and I've packed on 50 pounds and every pound shows in my 5-foot, 6-inch frame (hey, I want to lose weight, not height).

I'm not thrilled with what has happened to my body, nor do I blame society, stress or marketing for my weight increase. I did it. I let these pounds creep up over the course of almost two decades by not living right - serious partying in my twenties, severe overworking in my thirties and being sedentary than my early forties.
I'm not some naive person who thinks there is a miracle pill to magically shed the fat. But is there something to speed along my current weight-loss program of eating less, working out more and really paying attention to all the food/chemicals I put in my body? Is there a jump-start, something to make me feel like I am getting somewhere?

Wrap me up Scotty

A Google search revealed more than a dozen different "detox body wraps". Some even claim to have been used by Hollywood stars to lose inches. There are several on the market, but few offered in this state. The clinic I found that offers this type of non-invasive technique was more than 20 miles away so I had to take that into account as that would cost me money in fuel and time.
The detox body wrap I used claims to "permanently eradicate cellulite and change the body shape." It also guarantees that you will lose an average of 4-14 inches during a series of three to six wraps. I did lose a little over four inches and have kept them off for more than a week, which makes me think this is not just a water loss system like other products.

This body wrap was created in 1979 to increase circulation and lymphatic flow to stimulate body cleansing and provide a loss of cellulite and inches. All I know is that when I showed up for my appointment, I was skeptical, but still hopeful.
First step, fill out a questionnaire about my eating habits and work out program. Do not withhold information on these questionnaires. I paid my money and was taken to a very nice room to strip down to my skivvies. After being completely measured (in the same place for each wrap) - ankle, calf, lower and upper knees, lower and upper thighs, hip, abdomen, waist, rib cage and upper arms - I am exfoliated with a grainy substance to slough off dead skin.

I can't imagine someone comes in one day and says "I think I want a career in sloughing off dead skin cells off other people." But, that is exactly what my wrap tech does. Then, she quickly covers me in a wonderful smelling lotion that I have come to call "Snickerdoodle Cookie Batter," or "SCB" for short. Now, I realize you might not want to think about food when you are trying to lose weight so eat before you go to get a wrap or you might gnaw off your own arm. I can't attest to the lotion's taste because as soon as it is applied, the wrap tech starts running around me at high speed with a roll of cling film.
The sight of me in cling wrap as a garment was so absurd, I can't even show you photos (which I did have taken as evidence). But I can say that I am sure I have worn tighter clothing than cling film in my teenage years, but it was usually to get the shock factor out of my mother, not to lose weight.

As quickly as she began, the wrap tech finished circling me with the cling film and told me to lie down on the massage table. Have you ever tried to lie down, bend or move at all when wrapped ankle-to-neck in plastic wrap? Well, that is easier said than done, so my wrap tech kind of pushes me over.

During the waiting-for the lotion-to-sink-in phase (about 45 minutes), I get reflexology and a neck message from my wrap tech, so I fell asleep, and didn't even hear the timer go off. I woke up to the wrap tech tapping me on the shoulder warning me that she was going to cut off the film and measure me again. Let me assure you that if you are in anyway modest, this is not the procedure for you
Over the course of three treatments (one every week), I lost a total of 4.1 inches from a combination of various body parts. So, let's recap, I was dressed up like a mummy before Halloween, got three great massages while I napped and lost 4.1 inches and five pounds at a cost of approximately $66 per pound. If you think about it, $66 can buy a lot of cupcakes and potato chips to put the pounds on, as well as to take the inches off!

In the next two installments, the author will look at micro-current body toning and cold laser treatments in her quest to have the perfect body with the least amount of effort possible.

By the numbers
Detoxification Body Wrap
Total inches lost: 4.1
Retail cost: $273 for a package of three wraps.
Time involved*: Three body wraps, measuring, travel and initial consultation. 6 hours, 45 minutes.
Comfort level: Very comfortable
Pros: The detox lotion smelled wonderful and the message during the wrap was well worth the cost.
Cons: Not recommended for people with extremely sensitive skin or allergies to Niacin.
Did it work as advertised? Yes
Cost per inch: $66

* including driving to and from appointments