"I swear, after the last session even my husband was like, 'You look great — not that you didn't before!'" the actress exclusively tells PEOPLE

By Kaitlyn Frey
September 16, 2020 07:30 AM
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Like many of us, Malin Akerman wasn't as strict with her workout and diet regimen at the start of the coronavirus pandemic while sheltering in place at home.

"We were eating nachos at midnight and drinking wine. When quarantine started, I let everything go, and I maybe did three workouts in two or three months," Akerman, 42, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "Before that, I tried to get three workouts in a week if I can and I try to eat right. After a while I was like, 'Wait a second, this isn't a vacation. We have to get back to our lives,'" she adds.

Even with her routine of Pilates, hiking, cycling and CrossFit, Akerman always felt there was one area of her body she couldn't get looking as toned as she wanted.

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"There's only so much we can do, especially with busy lifestyles. I try to exercise as much as I can. I have a healthy diet except for my cheat days. Especially after having a child, I've always had this little part of my abdomen where there was this little bit of fat that wouldn't go away around my love handles," the actress explains. "That was just one of those things that my eyes always went to whenever I looked in the mirror."

So when Akerman discovered the FDA-approved treatments — fat-freezing CoolSculpting and body contouring CoolTone — she had to give it a try. After four visits, the noninvasive procedures gave her such incredible results, that the star's now the face of the treatments and ready to share her experience with the world.

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"I swear, after the last session even my husband [Jack Donnelly] was like, 'You look great — not that you didn't before!' Of course, he has to add that!" she laughs. "I felt stronger and more toned. It felt like I deserved it after putting in so many years of hard work into myself, and I just couldn't get rid of that last little piece."

The under-60 minute, noninvasive treatments also easily fit into her busy life. And while they may feel a little "strange" in the moment, the experience is not painful with zero downtime. "For CoolSculpting, suction cups go on you and it sucks the fat, and then it bursts cold. For the first five minutes, it's like putting an ice pack on your shoulder but then you go numb and don't feel anything," Akerman says. "Then for CoolTone, it almost feels like your body is doing sit-ups without you doing anything! Your muscles are contracting and you're going, 'Wow, this is kind of amazing.'"

Like indulging in a CoolSculpting or CoolTone treatment, Akerman puts time aside to do other self-care rituals that help her decompress. "Many years ago I invested in a DIY, little one person sauna. So I will go in there with a book and I'll sit and sweat it out," she says. "And sometimes I just stare at the wall with a cup of coffee and do nothing!"

But her main focus is making sure 7-year-old son Sebastian's life feels as normal as possible during such trying times.

"I like to find a silver lining in everything. The beauty of this time is that I've had a lot of time with my son and get to check in with where he's at, how he's doing in school and how he's doing as a human being. But some days are harder than others," Akerman says.

Right now, like many other families in America, she and her husband are adjusting to Sebastian's at-home school scheduling due to the pandemic. And she admits, it isn't easy. "The homeschooling... I definitely will never become a teacher, and bless them all! They should be paid $1 million a year for what they do," Akerman says.

The actress tries to be as honest as she can with Sebastian about what's going on in the world  by telling him "only the bare minimum of what he needs" and trying to "put a positive spin" on the situation.

"We have that dialogue with him that's not fear-based and let him know that this too shall pass, and we'll get through it. We're all here together," Akerman says.

She also discussed the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement with her son. "It was everywhere and of course he heard it on the news and in the car. So we went into the history of it all, and the whys," Akerman explains. "Now when we drive the car around and he sees a #BlackLivesMatter, he gets super excited. He's like, 'They care too! They care too, Mama.'"