Cellulite is probably the thing that upsets me the most when I look at my body, and if the volume of messages I get about the subject (a third of the total) are anything to go by, it seems I share this with quite a lot of women. Pleased as I am with my hourglass figure, unfortunately this makes me relatively more prone to cellulite than someone with, say, an apple-shaped body. The fat tends to go straight to my buttocks and legs, and those horrible dimples are the tell-tale signs.
My cellulite got really bad during my 2 pregnancies, because of all the oestrogen my body was producing. Fortunately much of it disappeared afterwards, but it reared its ugly head again after I took part in Expedition Robinson and also during my training for the New York marathon. That was because my body was producing too many stress hormones, while at the same time I was also eating a lot of soy products, which stimulate the production of oestrogen.
So what is Cellulite?
Cellulite is a condition in which subcutaneous fat causes dimpling of the skin, giving it the appearance and feel of orange peel – hence it is commonly referred to as ‘orange peel skin’. But let’s be clear: cellulite is not to be confused with cellulitis, which is a bacterial infection of the subcutaneous connective tissue that often causes redness, swelling and fever. Cellulite is not an infection, but the result of fatty deposits within the underlying connective tissue of the skin.
If you have cellulite, you are not alone, so don’t feel embarrassed about it. Some 90% of all women admit to having it, though some worse than others. Oestrogen, the female hormone, can have a particularly marked effect on the skin during puberty, pregnancy and the menopause. Smoking is also bad for cellulite, so it’s best not to, or at least to cut down.
It’s not exactly the best-kept beauty secret that scrubbing removes dead skin cells and stimulates circulation. Poor skin circulation is one of the causes of cellulite, so scrubbing your skin is an effective way to reduce it. I scrub myself once a week with the grounds from my coffee machine, but if you don’t have one, why not get one of those old fashioned little coffee pots? Or there are many other products out there to buy if you’d prefer. Not only does a coffee scrub soften the skin, but the caffeine also reduces fluid retention and dilates the blood vessels, thereby stimulating the blood flow in the skin. The antioxidants in coffee also remove toxins, plus a coffee scrub supposedly helps you burn fat faster.