Real Housewives Cryotherapy

No one knows whether blondes or brunettes actually have more fun, but what Sally Steele and I do know is that having contrasting color hair clearly makes for the perfect weekly (fingers crossed) segment on Big Blonde Hair. In Blonde vs Brunette, Sally and I will be trying out and/or commenting on popular trends related to the Real Housewives and letting you know our individual take on them. This week we are talking about the Cryotherapy sessions made “Housewives famous” by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Yolanda Foster and was most recently seen being done by a bopping Dorinda Medley-sicle on the Real Housewives of New York.  Sally and I hit up Unlimited Tan in Chicago’s South Loop to see if we too would come out of their Cryo session’s -184 degree temps looking like Real Housewives orrrrr just like freezing cold idiots.

The Brunette Says: 

You know those weirdos who wear sweatshirts and sweatpants in the middle of sweltering summer heat? That’s me. I shower in scalding hot water with the knob turned all the way to the left, and it’s not hot enough. On the other side of the spectrum, I work out every day and the amount of sweat that leaves my body can be likened to a cartoon projectile sweating. But unless I’m in cartoon mode, I’m in arctic mode, so when I drove by the first of many Cryotherapy places that have been popping up around Chicago, I pointed to it and told my husband “it will be a coldUnlimited Tan South Loop Chicago Cryotherapy day in hell before I go in one of those.” Well that was until about two days later when Lauren asked me if I wanted to join her to try out the newest craze, right after the Real Housewives of New York promo showed Dorinda bopping around a cryo chamber with her happy smile first aired. I mean, if the Housewives are doing it…

So to say I was nervous would be an understatement- I couldn’t sleep the night before. Why subject oneself to such torture?? I arrived a bit early to Unlimited Tan South Loop, which graciously hosted our adventure and is conveniently located ten minutes away from my house, and proceeded to barrage the sweet employee with ridiculous questions, which he patiently answered. I asked him how long people usually stay their first time, and he said that usually people will stay in for 30 seconds out of the full 3 minutes, at the highest of three temperature settings. So naturally my goal was to stay in for 15 seconds.

Lauren arrived and we were both given robes and goofy gloves and socks and what can only be described as sort of water scooba shoes to put on, and Lauren went first. I watched her step into the chamber like it was some sort of experimental space machine and the adventure began. She kept saying “it’s not that bad” but I was sure she was saying it for my benefit, and she did an amazing job by staying in there for over two minutes!

Then it was my turn: I stepped in, removed my towel, and with my heart racing I was determined to make it to 15 seconds. It was cold but it definitely took my body at least a minute to realize just how cold it was, and by that time I was doing high knees and butt kicks inside the chamber, and weird faces and noises as the clock was ticking. I only asked how much time I was in there twice and to my surprise I made it the entire three minutes (this is where my competitive edge came in). Perhaps it was the dread that loomed over the few days before, but ultimately the actual experience was not as bad as I expected.

So the overall result? I can’t quite put my finger on it. It doesn’t tighten you up and it doesn’t make you look instantly younger, but I can definitively say that I walked away from there and liked how I felt, which is shocking all things considered. I  felt energized and crisp for the day, and it helped me cure my post-workout soreness that usually sets in about half a day after my workout. For something I said I would never do, I’m certainly excited to go again!

The Blonde Says: 

To preface, the first time I saw Yolanda Foster step into the Cryotherapy chamber on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills I seriously thought it looked like the most miserable thing on earth. You see, despite accidentally being born in the Midwest and for some reason being perpetually stuck here, I’m really pretty sure I was supposed to be born in the California sun where I wouldn’t have to spend half of the year freezing my arse off. And for those of you who have never had the pleasure of living in a climate that sees actual snow, despite what my fellow blonde Elsa has to say, the cold always bothers my anyways.

That being said, I have as much love for free things as I do hatred for being cold (to clarify, it’s a lot of on both accounts). So when Unlimted Tan South Loop offered my girl Sally Steele and I a complimentary Cryo session I simply couldn’t turn it down due to personal principal! I mean, what better way to bond with the newest writer at Big Blonde Hair than to see if she was serious enough about ‘dat Housewives life to get cold in the Cryo with me?! Plus, I heard maybe it would tighten my booty up and any last ditch effort before hanging out with 200 skinny minnies at the Rewardstyle Conference I was set to attend totally had to happen. And, as Sally said, if it’s good enough for the Housewives…

Sally beat me to the spot and was already besties with the sweet man who was stuck helping us. Upon my arrival he proceeded to give us our lovely gear which included some mid-calf socks that hi-lighted my pasty legs, shoes that looked like aqua socks (remember those?) and a robe to match (not in a good way).  Sally and I debated who would go first, don’t tell her, but I willingly bit the bullet just to get those clothes off my body before the fashion police stopped me.

I was told the longest I was allowed to stay in was 3 minutes, and truthfully, I was expecting to make it to around 45.3 seconds and I’m not really one to set numerical goals, so I was okay with that. I hopped in, ditched the robe and waited to see what my fate was, determined to not scare Sally enough to quit in the process.

Once the cryo machine was on it was cold, but not quite as cold as I expected. I mean, I used to walk to a bus to walk to the El in the dead of the winter in Chicago to get to work which I think may have been worse than what I was feeling. I chatted and bopped around ala Dorinda Medley at my counterpart’s suggestion, again, trying not to scare Sally. I made it two something minutes before I decided to pull the plug, mostly because I didn’t realize Sally Steele was the fierce competitor she proved to be. She definitely gets the A+ for staying in the whole 3 minutes and I’m pretty sure I’ll never unknowingly challenge her to anything again ;-p!

As someone who has been a total slacker about working out since I got preggo with Valentino, I’m pretty sure I didn’t reap any of the muscle repair benefits of Cyrotherapy, as the freezing cold air would have had to look pretty hard to have some muscle to repair. Fortunately, our Sally let us know her take as someone who actually walks into a gym as opposed to walking by it.  In terms of rumored tightening benefits, I didn’t bring my ruler, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t walk out looking like Yolanda Foster. And I would think to see the anti-aging benefits you’d have to do it with some consistency, but I definitely wouldn’t rule out anything that is popular in Beverly Hills that relates to looking younger!

In summary, if you’re an athlete or dedicated enough to attend sessions regularly to find the fountain of youth, Cryo might be for you. I don’t know if I’ll ever be back in the cold, but I’ll gladly hold the stopwatch for and take Instastories for Sally anytime she wants to pop back in!

Thank you to Unlimited Tan South Loop for having us and to Sally for facing her fear of freezing like a champ and joining me!

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