Our next Cellulite Story comes from a 38-year-old vegetarian woman living in Germany. I think you will all agree, this is the most heart-wrenching story we’ve shared here. Yet, I have no doubt we can ALL identify with some aspect of AB’s story. If this is true for you, I encourage you to leave a few words of encouragement or maybe a great tip for all the women like Alteo’s Beauty who are just starting out on their quest for cellulite healing.
I first noticed it when I was about 19. My younger sister and I both have very large bottoms –I am a UK size 12 and she is a 14. It was the classic ‘cottage cheese’ at first, making me self conscious but not really upsetting me. My sister did not have any cellulite, and still doesn’t, even though her weight fluctuated with an undiagnosed thyroid problem for some years. I could die with envy!
Now, twenty years later, it’s extremely severe. I have both very large and small lumps –real lumps — ALL OVER my bum and thighs; I have raised areas on both thighs and bum, like massive, flattish lumps that have joined together to form one big one. My bum is no longer bum-shaped, it has been deformed (I’m not exaggerating) and my thighs from the front look like I’ve had flesh-coloured playdough stuck here and there on to the sides.
None of this ‘squeeze to see it’ for me — it’s out there. It looks like porridge with extremely thick, rippling and disfiguring lumps. It feels wavy and full of tough striations, like fibres. It’s very painful, mostly when I sit or stand, and most of the time I’m aware of pain. Leaning against something with my bum or thighs is agonizing. Photos of Level 3 cellulite are nothing compared to what I have. The main word I would use is ‘disfiguring’. I know that people live with real disfigurement, and are brave and strong. I use this word as an indicator of the strength of my feelings and the changes that have taken place in my body, my inability to lead a fulfilling life because of a painful, obvious, and physically distorting problem.
The rest of my body is average, I am small-boned although my hips are fairly broad (curvaceous is the word I’d use if I didn’t despise my body so much), and I have no cellulite anywhere else. I started to suffer from acne when I was also about 19, and I do still now, although mainly on my chest and back.
It has steadily become much worse, along with my acne. In the last three years it has become extremely bad. I moved from the UK to Germany three years ago and my diet has changed from a healthy vegetarian one to a poor vegetarian one. I find it hard to get the varied proteins I need. In the UK I ate a lot of vegetable protein products, lots of fresh salads and vegetables. Here I can only get soya or wheat protein products. Soya makes my acne worse almost instantly, so I avoid it. I assume it would make my cellulite worse too. Eating meat will never be an option for me.
I find high quality, tasty veggies here to be quite expensive and a ‘luxury treat’ rather than a daily thing, and have to stick with uninspiring and often poor-quality ones instead. I have also gained weight, nearly going up a size to UK 14, and notice that cellulite is worse with weight gain.
More than one, but at the top of the list – sugar, followed by soya, and then coffee. I find sugar the hardest to let go of, experience difficult withdrawal symptoms, like headaches, irritability, and massive cravings.
[Analyst's Note: For tips on overcoming sugar cravings, see 6 Ways to Stop Sugar Cravings from Ruling Your Life by Elizabeth from The Nourished Life.]
Some half-hearted ‘cellulite treatment’ oil self-massages. I recently started using a Bodyshop massager, not a dry brush but one with little nubs all over it, for use with shower gel in the shower. I’ve been using it for about two weeks. Don’t know if it’s my imagination, but cellulite seems to be getting worse. Mostly I take the ‘no real treatment’ announcements to heart and despair, really despair, that this is my ‘fate’.
In the weeks before I found this amazing site, I took up a gym subscription, despite being awfully fatigued by just waking up. I am going to try cutting down on sugar, but some employment and stress problems have made my craving almost constant. After research, however, I believe that lymphatic drainage is the major problem. My acne runs along from the backs of my ears, along my jaw, at points on my neck, collarbone, chest, and in two lines down my back. I am fatigued constantly.
[Analyst's Note: This acne route is similar to what I experienced with my fluoroderma. It's amazing how acne traces the dense lymph pathways around the ears, neck, and collarbone. For more info, see This is What Fluoroderma Looks Like.]
After reading the site I am going to take up dry brushing, starting tonight. The last few weeks it seemed clear to me that I can’t go on living like this, ashamed, in pain, horrified at what I see in the mirror, pretending to be ‘normal’ but hiding this disfigurement, remaining single because I’m too scared to reveal my secret to a future partner. Dry brushing and exercise are where I’m going to start.
I’m still figuring out how to set up our forum, but feel free to come over and say hi while I’m working on it. It’s always nice to hear from my fellow cellulite investigators!