In the olden days prepping your body to go on a summer holiday meant lying like a starfish for 20 minutes on your bed, sporting your worst pants, while you Immac-ed the corners off your bush, ready for six rain-soaked days, shovelling in sticks of rock, while learning to sail on the Norfolk Broads. Now of course, things are different.
Firstly people seem to go away for ages. The idea of a few days off in August seems an anathema. Also with the advent of Ryanair and its orange rival we don’t stay home any more. We nip off to Thailand just as easily as we did Torquay. And, as our holidays have become more elaborate, so has the prep we put into them.
There are those of us who do the whole mani, pedi, fani thing – stripping themselves of all hair, arriving at the beach like some waxed, scrubbed, depilated human snooker ball, entirely smooth and shiny.
There are others, who shall remain nameless (Claudia Winkleman), who ST Tropez themselves the colour of an old teak bench before they get on the plane and then spend their holiday lying on the beach slowly getting paler.
Being a low maintenance kind of girl, I simply dye my eyelashes, slather on any old factor and persistently post my pubes back into my extremely low-cut black bathing suit.
However this year, in the name of Gloss, I have decided to do something a little different. After months of eating nothing but dust, when I squeeze on my only bikini I could almost not scare the children, and certainly, possibly a few less people than usual might barf on the beach. Save for some rather loose, fatty, crimply, wobbly stubborn cottage cheese bits I am practically Pamela Anderson. Well, without the life-saving watermelons, but you get my drift.
So in a last ditch attempt to get rid of the wobble I booked in for a DNA Contour Treatment, at the Debbie Thomas Collective at Hari’s on the Brompton Rd.
Seeta, the lovely therapist, talked me through the treatment which consisted of lying back for an hour, while she covered my stomach in protective cream and ironed my fat with a small hot device that reports to destroy fats cells once it reaches a certain temperature. The area is then massaged and helped to drain by opening up the lymph-drainage system. So eventually you simply pee out all those extra packets of Hula Hoops and mini Magnum ice creams.
It is not a painful procedure, it is just mildly uncomfortable and I am sure your skin gets used to the heat and some areas are more sensitive than others. But I was slightly paranoid that I might leave with belly-burn, which Seeta insisted was not possible. I have very white, very thin skin on my stomach so when it came to checking to see if my skin was over-heating, I erred on the side of caution.
The whole process was also not terribly helped by the constant farting sound-effects. Poor Seeta; how she managed to maintain a straight face as she sucked and ironed away at my extremely flatulent fat, I don’t know. Much like when someone blows off in Pilates, it was a sound that both of us pretended not to be able hear.
But it was worth it. After I hauled myself off the bed, Seeta measured my waist. I had lost 3cm in the hour that I had been lying there. My skin tone was a little less-wobblesome and a little more firm. DNA Contour is usually sold in a six-treatment package which includes an extra weekly lymph massage to help with fat drainage, and some Valmont Body Time creams with caffeine to ramp up the slimming process - and I think done in conjunction with not shovelling in the sticks of rock it could probably work a bit of a miracle.
However one, on its own, is not bad. Anything that helps you lose 3cm in an hour has got to be good. Sadly I have a few more centimetres to go. Safe to say that I’ll still be in my old black faithful once-piece again. I’ll have to put the life saving and the melon purchasing on hold for another year.
Prices start from £300 per treatment at Debbie Thomas Collective , Hari’s Hairdressing, 305 Brompton Rd, SW3 2DY