No pain, no gain?
With a desire to ‘reshape her silhouette’, Red’s columnist Rosie Green embarked on three days of sparse eating and body torture. But was it all worth it?
Rosie Green hopes a ‘reshaping’ programme will fast-track her to slim
The email arrived on a day I was feeling particularly lumpen. Sender: Henri Chenot Spa, Italy. Subject heading: Reshape your silhouette and achieve a new bikini body. SOLD! Forget months of slog in the gym, here’s 72 hours to
Malibu Barbie, on a luxury three-day slimming programme! Where do I sign?
I wanted (slash that, needed) to kick-start a leaner, healthier me, but was lacking the oomph to instigate any lifestyle changes on my own. So after some undignified begging to Red’s
editor, I was hurtling towards the glamorous L’albereta Hotel, an hour outside Milan, accompanied by my husband, in the hope of combining my total body overhaul with a romantic minibreak.
We checked in and went to dinner. As my husband savoured the bread basket and relished his mozzarella, fillet steak and red wine, I ate my calorie-controlled salad and fish. He left feeling satiated, but not stuffed (what a skill!) while I felt envious and slightly empty.
Back in the room I found the next day’s schedule: physical examination at 9am, then hydromassage, cellulite treatments, cryolipolysis and ‘LED Body’ (nope, me neither). It was at this point that my husband, realising my timetable of body torture would render me absent from our romantic minibreak, devised an agenda of his own – morning cardio session at the hotel gym, coffee and papers, working off his sleep debt and back to the restaurant for lunch.
DAY ONE WAS NOT UN-PAINFUL. I was bubble-pummeled, wrapped in mud and plastic sheeting, and hosed down with a small water cannon. A mechanical cellulite massage felt like being attacked by a crab with a vendetta, while a suction massage was toe-curlingly painful.
Afterwards I met my husband for lunch, a little broken. Bright eyed and rested, he gloated about his workout (sweaty, rewarding, endorphin inducing) and ordered pasta. I had a small and healthy version of risotto then rushed back to my paper pants, leaving him planning a strength training session in an enviably self-motivated way.
After lunch came cryolipolysis, aka fat freezing. Considering this to be a major treatment (more hitech and recovery can be hard) I declined, but did concede to LED Body, which used different wavelengths of light to tone and reshape (the treatment of choice for Victoria’s Secret angels, no less).
Day two was much of the same for both of us. Then on day three, after some final mud wallowing and hosing down, we were on our way back to the airport, pondering the trip. Although I felt lighter and cleaner, in reality the only pounds I’d lost were in sterling*. While my husband, who’d listened to his body, done exactly what he pleased and thoroughly enjoyed his eat/sleep/gym repeat cycle, looked great and had dropped five pounds. There’s a lesson in that…
*If you had pounds to lose and ate ‘Chenot’ for seven nights you would lose weight. Fact.
The Slimming Programme costs from around £2,100 per person in a double room, for a minimum two nights; Albereta.it/en/hotel
So what’s the key to reshaping your silhouette?
Rosie, below, embarked on a three-day slimming programme at L’albereta Hotel in Italy