Without the benefit of airbrushing and photoshopping, her holiday snaps reveal that she is gratifyingly normal in having lumps, bumps and wrinkles up the backs of her legs, just like the rest of us, despite being several stones lighter.
So what can you do to get rid of the wobbly bits on your legs, buttocks, stomachs and upper arms if you don't fancy a full-scale surgical procedure with all the risks that accompany a general anaesthetic? Liposuction might be effective but it's not for the faint-hearted, and many women and men shy away from such an invasive process that requires time off work while bruising subsides.
That's why a new, non-surgical alternative to liposuction is expected to be so popular in Scotland. Just introduced and only available at Beyond MediSpa, at Harvey Nichols, the VelaShape technique uses a combination of four technologies: infra-red energy, radio frequency, vacuum and mechanical massage. This widens the blood vessels and heat-treats fatty tissue to dissolve fat cells through increased lymphatic drainage, so there is no need to pierce or cut through the skin.
Joanna Such, Beyond MediSpa's director, says women are choosing the treatment over liposuction for several reasons. "It's non-invasive, carries a minimum risk, has an immediate recovery and there's no scarring. You walk out after having had a lymphatic massage, so you feel better and it's working naturally with your body rather than against it."
Using a mini vacuum cleaner that sucks and smooths out the skin, VelaShape feels like an over-affectionate aunt at a family gathering, puckering up and slurping away at you, and while it might not be your favourite sensation, the rewards are worth it. Used in 40-minute bursts over a recommended course of six sessions, VelaShape works on three different settings and, given my desperation for something to tame my flabby bits, I asked for it to be whacked up to full. In for a penny, in for a pound. Or rather a lot of pounds, as this doesn't come cheap and my 'hourglass' treatment would set me back 1,250.
You can choose to concentrate on the upper arms, for a Michelle Obama look – assuming the rest of your body is toned, of course – or you could follow my example and have multiple areas treated – the abdomen, buttocks and thighs.
Apart from the gentle sucking, VelaShape gives you a massage and improves local blood circulation, so I wound up with my back and legs feeling as if they'd had a gentle pummelling, with all aches having been soothed away too.
Despite being clad in a paper thong, which is not a good look for me, I was soon put at my ease by the therapist, Stacey Swinton, who has seen it all before. Any embarrassment was quickly dispelled as she chatted away knowledgeably about the treatment and her experience of using it. In the short time it has been available, Swinton reckons it has been a hit with clients because, used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, they are seeing tangible results. "People see an average reduction of two to seven centimetres, and you can see it working from one session to the next," she says.
Six sessions on, I would agree. My legs, in particular, are smoother, much less dimply and altogether slimmer than they had been at the start. And, as predicted, I have definitely lost centimetres off my legs, hips and waist, and only wish I could afford to go back for more. While VelaShape isn't cheap, the impressive results make it well worth considering before taking more drastic steps and rushing off to go under the knife.
VelaShape, Beyond MediSpa, Harvey Nichols, 30-34 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh (0131-524 8332, www.beyondmedispa.co.uk). A course of six treatments costs: 750 for upper legs (front and back, from the knee); 1,000 for upper legs and buttocks; 750 for stomach and back; 1,250 for hourglass (stomach, thighs and buttocks); 375 for upper arms; 1,000 for complete upper (upper arms, stomach and back); additional areas are available on request. There is a 30 per cent discount if you book in April
This article was first published in The Scotland on Sunday, April 18, 2010