Cellulite... Why so much fuss?


23 Sep
23Sep

I have decided to start wearing shorts, volleyball style, to the gym at least a few days a week. I decided to do this because I realized that I hide my thighs. Why? Because of the light cellulite that I developed on them in my mid-20s. I gained quite a bit of weight between ages 17 and 18. (Thanks puberty!) After I started college I decided I was going to get into shape. As I began to lose weight my body slimmed. And then at some point around 24, cellulite just showed up. I remember feeling totally dismayed that my thighs were not tight and taught like my other athletic friends putting in what felt like an equal amount of effort. What was I doing wrong? I wondered to myself. Turns out the same thing most of us do wrong in 1st world countries. Bad diet and not enough movement throughout the day.

I recently came acorss this article https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-cellulite-forever which lays out the situation very clearly. Here are some excerpts I think are especially interesting. 

What exactly is cellulite?
It's a condition that affects 90 percent of women and 10 percent of men, mostly in industrial nations. As women [age], estrogen starts decreasing. From 25 to 35 is when you start seeing the appearance of cellulite. Estrogen has an impact on the blood vessels. When estrogen starts to decrease, you lose receptors in blood vessels and thighs, so you have decreased circulation. With decreased circulation you get less oxygen and nutrition to that area, and with that we see a decrease in collagen production…. [Also, at this time] fat cells start becoming larger, [they] begin protruding through the collagen [and become the bumpy fat known as cellulite]. 

Uh yea, but tell us some information most of us DON'T know.

"Women tend to get cellulite around knees, saddlebags and buttocks, because they have three layers of fat in these areas [instead of just one]. Women also have three levels of fat in the stomach and in the triceps areas."

Gotcha. But I know I am still stuck on the fact that  90 PERCENT of women from industrial nations are afflicted? Why?

"I've spent a lot of time traveling in developing countries and photographing local women. When I photograph these women [who don't have much, or any, cellulite], you see the kind of work they're doing and the kind of food they're eating. They're eating all organic foods, they're constantly moving from the time they get up."

On top of that, turns out that "tight underwear" and panyhose can MAKE IT WORSE. So the spanx we were under a tight dress, to hide cellulite, can make it worse. How ridiculous. So then I got to thinking... what are my yoga pants doing to me? They fit like modern day panty hose. Do I need to stop wearing them everyday?!  What is the article recommendation, you ask?

I tell people the most important preventive thing you can do, if you can't afford treatment, is change your [style of] underwear: Wear a thong. 

Such practical advise. I will just wear a looser size. Thongs are not comfy. 

And then the biggest NON-SHOCKER of it all: 

It's really a whole biochemistry... It's hormone balance—you need to eat healthy, you need activity.

So it comes down to a few options if you really care about treating cellulite. Creams and medical procedures. None of the options are cheap and the medical procedures can be quite painful. 

So with all that knowledge I am left here thinking... "Why do I care? I do eat well. I do exercise. I feel good most of the time. Why should this one thing be worth the thousands of dollars of treatments out there?"

That is when I realized that I don't care. It's great to have information and options but the cheapest option is this; just keepin' on with making my lifestyle focused on wellbeing. 

90 percent of women in my culture have cellulite. Ok, I am part of the majority. But I can say with 100% certainty that I have gotten to a point where I love my body and it loves me. No point in focusing on something that doesn't hurt me.