July 24, 2014
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Mr. Adventure: Waist Away?

Saying ‘yes’ to everything landed our writer in a fat-reduction program, among other pleasures.

Gary Hovland

 

I’d like to tell you there’s a good reason that at this very moment I’m sitting, rather nonchalantly, in a terrycloth skirt, with black dress socks pulled up snuggly to my knees and wires sprigging out of a Velcro belt that’s been wrapped around my waist. Yes, I’d like to tell you there’s a good reason. But I can’t. It’s drafty— and everything that’s happened in the last week is a blur.

You see, several months ago when I wrote a column about going a full week without lying, someone suggested it would have been a better idea if I chose to just answer “Yes” to every question asked of me for a week. That really did seem like a better idea (I couldn’t lie). And so in a moment of quiet reflection, I started the clock on “Yes Week.”

Basically, the premise is that if someone asked me to try a food item I’ve never tried (which is a majority of food items), I would have to say, “Yes.” If someone asked me for a ride to the airport or to mow their lawn or to shave my head, I would be forced to say, “Yes.”

So with very little fanfare (on purpose), “Yes Week” began. Three minutes later this magazine’s associate publisher asked if I was interested in trying a new cosmetic procedure over at Plastic Surgery Associates of Naples.

“… Yessssss,” I said.

“It’s the new i-Lipo,” she added, before walking away.

“Great! … Wait, what? … Is this invasive?” I asked.

She was already halfway back to her office and perhaps didn’t hear me. I’d like to believe she didn’t hear me. Within minutes I was scheduled to be right where I am—pantsless and en- joying the company of Melissa, master technician in charge of lasers.

Luckily, it turns out that the procedure is, in fact, noninvasive. It’s called i-Lipo and Dr. Stanley Gulin was the first to bring it to Southwest Florida, according to i-Lipo’s website. The procedure uses these small boxes that emit low-level laser light at specific areas of concern in an effort to target fat reduction. It’s billed as a quick way to shape your body, with results being seen in as little as 20 minutes. That was good enough for me.

Melissa asked if there was a specific area I’d be interested in targeting. Up to this point I hadn’t really given it any thought, but my midsection—the area where abs should be—seemed like a good idea. Especially if all I had to do was sit in a reclining chair for 20 minutes. Ask any of my bosses and they’ll tell you that sitting in a chair is my best thing.

“Well, let’s take some measurements first,” Melissa said, standing in her stylishly unstylish white medical pantsuit. “You know, a lot of people see results after the first session.”

“Terrific,” I said as she handed me what I thought was a towel.

“How many people have you done this to?” I asked.

“You’re the first,” she said, smiling.

“If you want to slip into that, that would be great.”

She then left the room.

It turns out that if you want your middle lasered into six-pack abs, the waistline of your pants is going to get in the way. So there I was with a terrycloth skirt in my hand, standing in a room featuring a surprisingly large number of breast implants of various sizes on display. I made a mental note to ask Melissa if anyone ever buys the small ones. I had no sooner slipped on my skirt when Melissa knocked on the door. It was time to get the party started. But before I could be strapped into a laser light show, she needed to take measurements to track my progress.

A red marker and a measuring tape came at my midsection and she drew dashes at three different heights around my waist. (Melissa would then use those marks as reference as she measured my lower, middle and upper waist. Who knew there were so many waists?)

“You’re a perfect candidate for this because you’re already pretty much at your ideal weight and you just want to treat a specific area,” she said.

First measurement: 33 inches.

In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that I wear pants with either a 31- or 32-inch waist.

“I guess I shouldn’t have ordered the Mongolian Wonder at Loving Hut before I came here,” I said.

Next measurement: 37 inches.

“Wait, what?” I said. “That better have been my inseam. That can’t be right.”

She looked at the tape measure perplexed and then flipped it over. There did seem to be some discrepancy.

“Damn right there’s some discrepancy!” I shouted to myself.

“Let me do this again,” Melissa said, as I stood in full skirt regalia, my white button-down dress shirt pulled up to my chest.

“Hmmm. That’s weird. The numbers aren’t the same on both sides of this tape,” Melissa said.

“Thank God,” I replied. “That would have been crazy. … So what’s the real number?”

“37.”

“...”

I can’t type my words at that point, but rest assured they ran blue. I would be re-measuring when I got home later that night. The treatment recommends that patients use it with a sensible diet as well as a required 30- to 45-minute period of exercise following the procedure as the lasers help the fat cells release their stored triglycerides, immediately shrinking the fat cells. Exercise helps those triglycerides find their way into the body’s lymphatic system, where they can be expelled.

Apparently, it was going to have its work cut out for itself because I am officially out of shape.

Oprah once famously said, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” And while that is a giant lie (Apple pie? Vanilla milkshakes? Hello?), it’s the right attitude to take if you have just been told by a perfect stranger that you are 5 inches wider than your pants have led you to believe. After all, few things are more embarrassing that telling the world that one of your waists is 37 inches.

Luckily, Dr. Gulin and Melissa asked if I’d be interested in going through a full round of treatments—a 10-session course—and, of course, I said “Yes.”* (That’s what I do.)

*FYI, it turns out I lost 2 total inches off my three waists in one treatment. Check out our Along the Gulfshore blog at gulfshorelife.com to see my final results!

 

Other Consequences of ‘Yes’

• Tried 5-Hour Energy for the first time. (While it didn’t seem to give me the desired five hours of energy, it also didn’t allow me to sleep for 24 hours.)

• Agreed to take my neighbor’s small, yippy, wired dog for a walk on my day off. (A dog that is the canine equivalent to 5-Hour Energy.)

• Wrote a letter of recommendation for a colleague without mentioning she lives off the grid because she might be wanted by the DEA.

• Agreed to landscape the entire backyard at Miss Adventure’s request. The entire backyard.

• Let a family member borrow $2,500.

• Agreed to start a business. (It’ll probably be either landscaping or collections.)

 

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