Cellulite Stories, Declassified (Codename: Alteo’s Beauty)

03 Mar

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.

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1. At what age did you first notice your cellulite? How would you describe it?

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.

2. How has your cellulite fluctuated over the years?

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.

3. What do you suspect is your kryptonite?

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.]

4. What has been your experience with cellulite treatments?

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’.

5. What cellulite treatments are you planning to try next?

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.

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To participate as a Source in the Cellulite Investigation, please email your responses to the above five questions to Analyst (at) CelluliteInvestigation (dot) com. Your Cellulite Story will be featured here at CI (let me know if you want me to link back to your blog or website in the post).

*This post is part of Real Food Wednesday hosted at Cheeseslave.

A Cellulite Investigator Update

Thanks for stopping by The Cellulite Investigation.  Things are a little quite around here at the moment.  I’m taking an extended break as I get married and settle into married life and a new home.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon!

Comments

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Elizabeth Walling says:
3/3/2010

Wow, my heart really goes out to you. Have you tried introducing coconut oil to your diet? I have heard it is beneficial for cellulite and it is a vegetarian fat as far as I know.

Oh, and thanks for linking to my post, Melissa! :)

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Perfect idea, Elizabeth! Did you somehow read the blog post I just wrote for tomorrow? (Hint: it's about a cellulite success story involving coconut oil!)

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Gina A. says:
3/3/2010

This is so sad. Though the part about the sugar cravings has really piqued my interest. It sounds like she could actually be ALLERGIC to sugar. I highly recommend reading Julia Ross' The Diet Cure, which is tremendously helpful for this. Also, look into using a rebounder (mini trampoline) as your main form of exercise.

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I've never heard of a sugar allergy. Thanks, Gina! They have this book at my local library and I'm excited to check it out. I like how she focuses on underlying biochemical imbalances.

And thanks for the tip about the rebounder, too. AB and I were brainstorming about gentler ways to exercise and your suggestion fits the bill perfectly.

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Holly says:
3/3/2010

Yikes…I complain about my cellulite but it doesn't sound bad at all now. I do need to start dry brushing…I also need to sleep more and get back on the exercise bandwagon.

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Good luck with your efforts, Holly! Do let us know how it works out for you. Sometimes treating cellulite is not as straightforward as it might seem.

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AB says:
3/4/2010

Thanks to everyone for their comments! Elizabeth, I'll look out for some coconut oil today. Now I've started I'm open to trying everything! And Gina, I'll do some research into sugar, see if I can get the book you recommend. I think sugar is a drug for my body.

I'm now dry brushing once before I get into bed and then in the morning before a shower. Just a few days of this and I'm already feeling more conected to my body and more sympathetic towards it – a new feeling for me!
AB

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Thanks again for sharing your Cellulite Story, AB! I think a lot of women will connect with what you've written here. Your cellulite treatment is of to a great start. Keep us updated!

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Laurie says:
3/4/2010

I vote for adding in the best quality coconut oil you can afford, and plenty of it. I do find that it helps satiate me and and curbs cravings. Dry brushing = thumbs up. :-) I've just started a bit of reading about emotional healing, too, so glad to see you mention feeling more sympathetic and connected with your body. I hope you have success in healing.

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Elizabeth Walling says:
3/4/2010

Oh, and I wanted to add that if you're not used to eating coconut oil (and especially if you've been eating low-fat), it's important to introduce the coconut oil slowly, maybe only starting with 1 teaspoon at a time, 1-3 times a day. Work up slowly until you're eating at least 2-3 tablespoons every day.

There are two reasons you need to work up slowly: one is that coconut oil has some very strong antifungal/viral/microbial properties. If you have candida or some other kind of pathogenic overgrowth (which is very possible if you have massive sugar cravings), this will prevent some of the "die-off" symptoms that can occur. Secondly, if you're used to eating low-fat, your body may not be used to digesting fats anymore, so going slowly will help it readjust. Coconut oil is a fairly easily digested fat, however, so the body usually adjusts quickly.

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Good point, Elizabeth! I had problems with my fat digestion when I first started adding it back into my diet. A glass of whole milk or even an avocado would set me off. Now I can eat as much as I want and I don't have a problem with it at all.

Laurie, I'd love to hear more about the 'emotional healing' info your reading about. I think this could be an important part of the process.

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AB says:
3/6/2010

Yesterday I got myself some coconut oil, and started with a teaspoon as Elizabeth suggests. Dry brushinh has improved the texture of my skin already, after only a week! It's softer and smoother, and although no visible improvement, I'm really delighted and amazed. I also enrolled for a Qi Gong (Tai Chi) class and really appreciated the synchronicity when I went and found out the teacher uses a lot of gentle lymph drainage exercises.

My acne has gotten a little worse in the last week, only on the main lymph areas of my face. I'm taking that as a good sign that things are moving. I've also been thinking a lot about the psychological aspects of cellulite, and one thing in particular really hit me. My father was an 'alternative health' practitioner and practiced/experimented on me when I was a kid. This week I remembered that he would always be doing 'lymphatic drainage' on me – I think in the early 80s it was thought that you had to be quite rough with the lymph glands. It hurt like hell and I hated it; most of the time I'd cry before, during and after the treatments (I haven't spoken to my father in 15 years; he was a pretty crap dad). I can't help but think 'Bingo!'
Amaryllis

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Whoa, this sounds like a major breakthrough to me! I don't understand how it works, but there does seem to be a real connection between emotional and physical healing. I couldn't find a cure for my acne until Mya prompted me to address my childhood fears of the dentist. Once I acknowledged those fears and validated the emotions I felt as a little girl (even though it felt silly to me as an adult), the cure appeared within days. Maybe it was a coincidence, but we all know what Oprah says about coincidences, right ;)

You're on the right track, Amaryllis. Great work! Also, one thing that really helped my acne is steam. I bought a facial steamer and anytime I accidentally ingest fluoride, I try to spend 20-30 minutes steaming my face once or twice a week. More if I have an event and want to look my best. It helps take some of the load off the lymphatic vessels in the face/neck by detoxifying through the skin. Good luck!

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