Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fight cellulite at home. Part 1. What is cellulite and why it happens: know your enemy before the battle.

5 September 2009

Hi there! It's me Svetlana.
Today I want to shift gears from "Fitness for lazy and frugal" (I will definitely come back to it many more times). Following my favorite principle of exercise "change your routine frequently to avoi boredom" I think I should switch from exercise topic to something that is equally painful for many ladies around there: a vicious beast CELLULITE. The topic of my next several posts will be "Fight cellulite at home".

Being such a budget beauty chick, over years I learned many inexpensive and effective tricks and ways of fighting cellulite at home without spending tons of bucks. My mother, who is a huge natural beauty enthusiast herself, tought me some of these approaches when I was still a teenager, and I have been following them since.

My boyfriend George (in his own, typical doctor's words) is "very happy with the status of my subcutaneous tissues" and he tells me from time to time that I "don't have a touch of cellulite". Well, this may not be entirely true, and in my opinion I am not 100% cellulite-free, but the situation is definitely under control at my age of 43.

So I am going to go over practical things I have been doing for years to fight cellulite, and you are welcome to try and give me your feedback. But first, let's get known the enemy we are about to fight.

Cellulite is a real epidemic affecting millions of women around the globe. As much as we hate the famous “orange peel”, a part of us thinks it’s OK to have it because everybody else has it. The truth is, approximately 90 % of women in developed countries are affected by it to some degree during their life span. There is no data about the third world countries, but I bet you the situation is the same, if not worse. I dare you, my dear ladies, to start an unprecedented and merciful war against this aggressor we call cellulite. Our opponent is strong and vicious, and in order to defeat it we have to know it well.

What is cellulite? The outermost layer of skin is called epidermis. Immediately under epidermis lies dermis, filled with hair follicles, sweat glands, nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The next layer of tissue is the first of three layers of subcutaneous (which means beneath the skin) fat. This upper layer of subcutaneous fat represents fat-cell chambers separated by connective tissue. From these fat-cell chambers, small projections of fat cells protrude into the dermis. This irregularity of the subcutaneous fat gives skin the “bumpy” and “lumpy” appearance of cellulite we call “orange peel” and hate so much.

The word “cellulite” came from the French medical literature over 150 years ago and implies that it is a disease (as it ends with “ite”). Later studies, obviously, proved it was not the case. The protrusions of fat responsible for cellulite have nothing to do with disease or obesity. They can be observed in perfectly healthy, slender females of any age, even in their teens. The subcutaneous connective tissue in women is much less strong than in men, allowing pockets of fat to “escape” and protrude into dermis, and explaining why cellulite is almost exclusively a condition affecting females (sad and unfair, isn’t it?).

Cellulite most frequently involves thighs, buttocks, abdomens, and hips. In these areas women tend to store fat tissue which gradually develops problems with the blood and lymph circulation. Fat is naturally much less metabolically active than the muscle, simply because it does not play such an active role in body’s vital functions. As the result, the smart body redistributes the blood (and thus the oxygen supplies) to those tissues and organs which are vitally important, and leaves fat tissue “cold” and passive, metabolically inert and hard to get rid of. To demonstrate this, simply touch the skin on your hips, thighs, buttocks, and you will feel how cold it is comparing with other areas, which have vigorous blood supply. Insufficient blood circulation means the relative lack of supply of fat tissue cells with oxygen, nutrients, and poor lymph drainage and toxins elimination. As the result, the less blood supply we have to those areas, the more fat accumulates, and the process becomes a vicious cycle.

If you belong to a rear specimen of a female gender who does NOT have a visible orange peal, bumps and lumps and other unpleasant changes indicating you have cellulite, you may squeeze the skin on your thigh with your fingers. If orange peel comes up, welcome to the club! You also have cellulite, but it’s just less advanced.

Because cellulite is such a complex and stubborn problem to fight, we have to cover all the bases and to develop a multidisciplinary approach to the war on cellulite. We have to attack it from all possible direction, with all available forces, and leave absolutely no chance to it. We know we are dealing with the strong opponent (cellulite by far is the most evil thing we ever face in our quest for beauty), so we have to appeal to the most effective and trusted techniques in our armamentarium, and be very consistent.

Several things to remember about cellulite before launching a war against it:

-Skinny women have cellulite too. Simply loosing weight will not cure existing cellulite.

-No matter how obese MEN are, they do NOT have cellulite. Comparing with women, men have much stronger subcutaneous connective tissue and thinner subcutaneous fat layer. This serves as a protective mechanism against the development of cellulite.

-There is no 100% solution for advanced cellulite.

-The best strategy to prevent cellulite and to stop a progression of the existing cellulite is active and consistent PROPHYLACTIVE measures.

-One can reduce the appearance of the existing cellulite to some degree, which is determined by your unique body type and genetic predisposition. Don’t think that everybody get the same results from the same anti-cellulite techniques. With this introduction, I will describe several effective anti-cellulite measures you should do at home to fight this most annoying and stubborn condition... in my next blog post. Please keep reading and come back!

Love you.

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