Oh Cellulite, please go away..
So you’ve stepped out of the shower, looked in the mirror and once again feel a tiny bit depressed when you see the cellulite on your thighs. Ugh, those weren’t there 20 years ago, why are they creeping up on me? Is it just because I’m getting a bit older – ah well, it’s inevitable, isn’t it?
I don’t believe so.
I believe that many women spend too much time worrying about cellulite, and too little time taking action. It’s so easy to climb onto Google, look up everything you can about whatever problem you are facing, and then do nothing.
I agree, it’s confusing. Some say “go to the plastic surgeon”, others say “change your diet” or “rub in this cream”. And what do you do? Nothing.
Why haven’t you started yet? What have you done, today, to help get rid of the cellulite that is bothering you? Gone for a walk? The gym? Or are you putting it off? Putting it off until you know everything you need to know about how to get it done quickly.
Well, guess what, that’s not going to happen. Unless we all take action, today, we will get no closer to our goals.
Maybe you’ve got a few extra pounds to shift. Did you do just one thing today that might help to make that happen? Make one choice towards that goal? Or was it a case of “oh well, I’ll do it tomorrow”, “I’ll start properly on Monday”, “we’re going out for dinner tonight so it just won’t happen”? Or any of the myriad excuses that we use to simply not get started.
Maybe it’s a fear of failure. If you have a problem with your weight, or your cellulite is upsetting you, it might be that your mind is your own worst enemy. We fear the failure of not achieving our desired outcome, so we end up not making any goals. Not taking any action. And the worst thing is, that when we know what we should do, there is a naughty voice in our head that says “well it won’t work anyway, and I’ll start tomorrow, so this is my last nice meal”. When the reality of it is that we don’t “start tomorrow” and every day that we think we will is just another day when we eat badly and pretend “I’ll give up this chocolate habit tomorrow”.
The Myth of Discipline
Strength coach Charles Poliquin wrote a fantastic article called The Myth of Discipline. He believes that it’s not “discipline” that makes us achieve our goals – whether they be weight loss, muscle-building, or anything else for that matter, it’s love, and making loving choices to support ourselves.
So instead of arguing with yourself, worrying that you will fail, that it won’t work, that you won’t be able to stick to it, and all the other excuses that we all use, try thinking of yourself in a loving way.
Is my cellulite really that bad? Does it matter? Do I love chocolate brownies more than smooth and toned thighs? Do I love myself enough to allow myself the freedom to pursue my goals of getting into better shape, being healthier and losing that cellulite? Or do I let the naughty little gremlins in my mind tie me down and make me fearful of change or failure?
These days we expect results instantly. We no longer have to wait for a letter from our friend, as an email will arrive in two minutes. We can keep up with what people are doing in real-time on Facebook. We see no reason to be patient. Patience is what is needed for most endeavours in life. A doctor didn’t become a doctor overnight. A top-class actor didn’t become top-class overnight. Those beautiful physiques you see on some women in magazines didn’t happen overnight. They happened as a direct result of a commitment to the outcome.
Being committed to an outcome also means being committed to the process of achieving it. That way there is no “discipline” needed when you politely refuse the plate of cookies someone offers you, or the gooey dessert the waiter recommends.
Have you really taken action?
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard women say, despondently, “nothing I do seems to get rid of my cellulite”. And when I politely enquire what they actually have done, I get a blank look. Or “well I went on a diet a couple of months ago but it didn’t work so I stopped it”. Or they’ve tried, and expected overnight results and been disappointed when that hasn’t happened.
So, when you read articles that state “cellulite is genetic and there is no way to get rid of it”, it reinforces your fear of failure.
Ask yourself the question: how bad is your cellulite? How motivated are you to get rid of it? Or is it just one of those things that if a genie appeared out of a bottle, you’d ask for a million dollars and a cellulite-free, toned body of a worked-out 22-year-old?
Are you ready to make some changes?
Does your cellulite upset you enough to make you want to do something about it? Or are you rushing around on the internet trying to find a quick-fix solution so that you can go on pumping pizzas and pro-inflammatory foods into your body? Do you actually want to make a real change?
I had an acquaintance, a woman in her 40’s, who would drink heavily, and eat fast food all the time. She did very little exercise. She was rail-thin. Mutual acquaintances would often remark how “lucky” she is, “how does she do it”, “what’s the secret”. My remark was always that it can’t be done. Something is very wrong. The body doesn’t work that way. Sure enough, she wasn’t “lucky” at all. Turns out, she had cancer, which prevented her from putting on weight. So no, she wasn’t “lucky”.
Have you ever noticed what happens to your petrol car when you put diesel into it? Right. It doesn’t work. In fact, it doesn’t go at all and it requires a man with a spanner and you with a fat wallet to make it do anything, ever again. Why do we keep thinking we can pump our body full of junk and expect it to run smoothly?
Start with One Thing
Can you name one thing that you did today that is getting you closer to your goal of being cellulite-free? One thing? Maybe you went to the gym, and when you had a lovely dinner at a fancy restaurant you said no to the fries and opted for extra vegetables instead?
Or did you do a big fat nothing? If you felt like fries, you ate them, if you wanted that cookie instead of that apple, you had it. Do you still say “I’m trying so hard to get rid of my cellulite”? No, you are not.
Those dimples and bumpy bits didn’t appear overnight. They are not going to magically disappear overnight. Do you love yourself enough to actually do something to change your habits in order to get the beautiful thighs you long for?
For some women, probably not. They’ll keep searching Google for the next promise of “use this cream and it’ll get rid of your cellulite fast” or “lose weight by eating a million calories of junk every day”. Shiny objects. Things that you chase, and things that ultimately stop you from ever starting to take one small step towards your goal.
But you are not those women. You want to make a real difference.
Do ONE thing, every day, that brings you closer to your goal. But first, define your goal. What actually do you want? Are you wanting to get rid of your cellulite because your partner hates it, or because you hate it? Do you not love yourself enough to accept those dimples? Or do you love yourself too much to allow yourself to be plagued by them?
Either way. Ask yourself if you really want to get rid of those extra pounds, if you really want to get rid of cellulite. And if the answer is yes, then embrace that decision. Instead of worrying that you will feel “restricted”, embrace the joy of pursuing a goal, embrace the joy of movement.
“But I hate exercise”. Rubbish, you have simply not found the exercise that you enjoy. Why look at it as “exercise” even, as a task you have to perform against your will? When I climbed Kilimanjaro and trekked to Everest Base Camp, I wasn’t “doing exercise” (though I most certainly was), I was climbing mountains and trekking through some of the most fascinating and beautiful landscape in the world.
Perhaps you love listening to music and never have time to do so, as the kids always have the TV on. Take a half-hour walk with your iPod and indulge in a wonderful music-listening session. See it as a way of listening to your music instead of “going for a walk”.
If you love swimming, perhaps join an open-water swimming club instead of going to that smelly old council pool. That way you meet people, engage in an activity for its’ own sake, not for the sake of “doing exercise”.
Are there any sports you enjoy? Maybe knocking a tennis ball around? Join a beginners tennis club if you are a beginner. This way the “exercise” is simply an integral part of something you enjoy, instead of being something you “have to” do.
Don’t eat boring food!
The same applies to food. Why do we automatically think that the food that nourishes us is boring? It’s NOT. I certainly don’t recommend idiotic diets that have you consuming 1000 calories a day and living off shakes.
If you see your body as a garbage can, then you dump garbage into it. If you love your body and want to nurture and improve it, then surely you will want to sustain it with the best food possible.
So often we get caught up in an “all or nothing” approach, we decide to go on a “diet”, sign up at a gym and jump straight in. And then it fizzles out when the initial excitement has worn off. It all feels too difficult. It all feels too overwhelming. Perhaps it’s better to take the opposite approach. You know what you should do, in your desire to lose some weight and get rid of your cellulite. So make a list of the changes you need to make and tackle them one at a time.
You think you should be eating more fiber? OK, so as of right now, focus on that one thing. Opt for fresh veggies over pasta, eat a piece of fruit instead of a biscuit. And then be kind to yourself. That’s one habit that you can change, and tomorrow, keep doing it.
After 2-4 days add one more new habit. So that you can feel each step as a success. And keep a journal with your goal: Get rid of this cellulite. Break the goal down into little steps, and make little changes. And keep making the changes. Do you always have a cookie with your coffee at 11am? Change this. Have some guacamole and carrot sticks, or a delicious pesto. Or even better, a nice high-protein snack that will stabilise your blood sugar and keep you fuller for longer.
What do you eat for breakfast? A bowl of cereal and a piece of toast? Can you possibly have poached eggs and some spinach instead? Or smoked salmon? One small change.
And rather than staring at your thighs every day, write down what you have achieved. Reflect upon how far you’ve come making the changes that over time will ensure you reach your goal.
Impatience can be a virtue
Or are you impatient? I understand that – the “all or nothing” approach works well for some people. You have to go “all in” to tackle your cellulite, or you are doing nothing about it.
The trouble with this is that if you spend 11 months of the year doing “nothing”, then the one month that you go “all in” is unlikely to make much difference. So you’ll give up, go back to the “nothing” approach, until the next time you feel motivated to do something about it.
However, if you are really serious about doing what it takes then get out a notebook and write down what you need to do. Get that bone broth cooking, use that NutriNinja to make green smoothies, get a decent exercise programme and go for it!
And don’t fear failure. Keep pushing, if you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up. Follow the 80-20 rule.
80% of what you do – whether it be what you put in your mouth or your exercise routine – must be spot-on. The other 20% is your allowance for times when you simply can’t do it. Perhaps there is a family birthday and you don’t want to be rude and refuse that piece of cake that grandma baked. Well, have it, but have the one slice. And don’t feel bad.
Get Started Now!
Whether you are choosing the slower path to success or you want to jump right in, here are some tips to get you started:
- Get a notebook (or use your favourite app) Write down your goals, for this week, for two weeks from now, for one month, for 3 months and for 6 months.
- Food Diary. Before you start, keep a food diary for a couple of days. This can be very revealing, and we do it with our coaching clients all the time. “But I eat healthy” – and the food diary shows otherwise. Identify the changes you need to make. Write them down. Keep making entries in your food diary to stay on track with your new habits. This will motivate you and will allow you to identify where mistakes have crept in.
- Make a plan. Make a shopping list. Prepare healthy, delicious food in advance and freeze it. That way, a week that suddenly gets out of hand doesn’t compromise your plan. Know what you are doing. And importantly remember why you are doing it.
- Enjoy the process. Sure, if I could offer you a pill to get rid of your cellulite overnight, I’d be a millionaire. Instead, learn to love and embrace the process of getting the body you wish for.
- Keep faith. Keep pushing forward towards this goal, even when you feel like quitting. “Ugh I’ve seen no results” – maybe the results will show up next week, next month, either way – the only way you be guaranteed of no results is if you quit.
- Embrace the idea of a “lifestyle change” instead of a short-term “diet”. This is one reason that I hate these overly-restrictive, low-calorie idiotic diets that are unsustainable. Sure, it’ll take some effort, but what that is worthwhile ever didn’t take effort? Indeed, there are dietary modalities that can incorporate specific lower-calorie protocols or low-carb protocols which can work very well when undertaken properly. But these need to be done in the context of an overall lifestyle shift, and a basis of good dietary habits.
- Exercise: If you already exercise regularly, ensure that you incorporate more resistance-based workouts. Two hours of slow jogging will not have the same effect as 40 minutes of lifting weights. Resistance training that targets the posterior chain will not only strengthen the muscles below those dimply bits, but drive circulation through the area.
- Rest and relaxation. Consider the quality of your sleep. Are you sleeping deeply and peacefully? Are you very stressed? Adding some Yoga or meditation (or both) will not only help your stress levels but it’s a wonderful way of putting yourself first, occasionally.
- Take action! Most important of all – take action now. Why do it tomorrow or next week? The sooner you start making the changes you need to make, the sooner you can see the results you want to see. Start setting your goals and seeing your results!
Action begins by taking one small step. Just the one. Then incrementally adding more steps. If you don’t take action now, suddenly it will be next week or next year. Don’t be afraid of not succeeding, because you will succeed. But only if you try. Make some changes, stop chasing the next shiny new product that promises to remove cellulite. Take matters into your own hands and your results will follow.
What is the one thing you are planning to do today to help conquer cellulite?