Today Is A Great Day To Stop Worrying About Cellulite
We all want to live our lives to the fullest and feel strong, empowered and confident in who we are. For many of us, our fitness journeys are a powerful way to foster those feelings.
We feel so strong each time we lift a heavier weight, squeeze out one more rep, run faster or further, or discover that an exercise which once felt impossible has become easy.
But for some of us, a lack of body confidence can hold us back from even starting.
Recently, a study of 2,000 women aged between 18 and 45 found more than a third don’t participate in sports due to concerns about the appearance of their skin and things like cellulite, stretch marks and eczema. One in four women have also given up sports completely due to a lack of skin confidence.
We know that the gender exercise gap negatively impacts women and girls of all ages, with Women In Sport also highlighting how a large number of teenage girls disengage with sport and physical activity due to a lack of confidence or feelings of self-consciousness.
Whether it’s being part of a sports team, throwing a ball at the beach or doing a workout, it’s about time we stopped letting our skinsecurities hold us back.
What is cellulite? How do you get rid of it?
We thought the best way to tackle this topic is to bust some of the most common myths about cellulite. Did you know, on average, there are over 25,000 monthly searches for the term how to get rid of cellulite? That’s a whole lot of women who are searching for a way to change something that’s totally normal!
Myth 1: Cellulite is abnormal or uncommon
According to Cleveland Clinic and a 2015 scientific review, between 80-90% of women have cellulite and around 10% of men. It’s incredibly normal and common for women and tends to show up in areas of the body such as the thighs, stomach and buttocks.
Cellulite makes the skin look dimpled, rippled or uneven in texture, and is due to fat tissue pushing against the connective tissue beneath your skin. Mayo Clinic also highlights that it’s not only very common - it’s also totally harmless.
It’s not completely clear why cellulite is more common for women than men. The two strongest theories are around differences in hormones and estrogen levels, differences in the structure of connective tissues, and higher levels of body fat in women - which is important for hormone health, warmth, organ protection and potentially carrying a baby.
Myth 2: Having cellulite means you’re unhealthy, unfit, overweight or have lots of “toxins”
Definitely not! Cleveland and Mayo Clinics explain that people of all body shapes can have cellulite. Some people experience a reduction in cellulite from a change in body composition, such as a decrease in fat or an increase in muscle mass, but even super fit and healthy people can have it.
The structure, texture and appearance of your skin is influenced by many factors, such as genetics, age, nutrition, stress, ethnicity, sun exposure, body weight and body composition. Skin changes are also common as you age and your skin loses its elasticity.
Myth 3: Exercising and eating healthy will get rid of cellulite
Although some people may experience a reduction in the appearance of cellulite from exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet or changing their body composition, it’s not a sure-fire solution.
Myths 2 and 3 can be great reminders that setting a fitness goal to get rid of cellulite isn’t always a good idea, to remember you can be fit, strong AND have cellulite, and to never make assumptions about the lifestyle or health of another person based on their appearance.
Aesthetic goals aren’t inherently bad and for some people, they can be powerful motivators to make healthier lifestyle choices (we know how exciting it can be to see your muscles growing!). However, it’s important to make sure your goals are realistic, achievable, healthy and empower you to be the best version of yourself.
Myth 4: You can permanently get rid of cellulite through cosmetic treatments or supplements
There’s a variety of cellulite treatments on the market, such as creams, laser, dry-brushing, supplements, deep-tissue massage and needling. Some people see a short-term difference, but evidence of lasting change is lacking.
According to a 2015 review which analysed 67 research articles on the efficacy of cellulite treatment and reduction, there’s no clear evidence about the long-term effectiveness of these treatments.
Because cellulite is common, harmless and doesn’t say anything about the state of your health, treating it also isn’t necessary or going to positively impact your body’s overall health. Cultivating a positive relationship with your body is better for your mind AND your wallet.
Tips for skin and body confidence
- Feeling self-conscious about cellulite is very common, but it’s important to remember you’re not alone, with 80-90% of women feeling the same way.
- Follow people on social media who make you feel inspired, happy and empowered. Creating a feel-good feed by following accounts that celebrate body diversity is also a great idea!
- In situations where self-conscious thoughts can be more frequent such as on the beach in summer or in a new gym environment, it can help to notice all of the body diversity around you. Remember - every body is a beach body!
- Wear clothes you love that make you feel confident, both in your everyday life and when you’re dressed for a workout!
- Because you can still have cellulite even when you’re fit, healthy and strong, it’s important to make sure your fitness goals are focused on things you can definitely achieve. It’s perfectly fine to have aesthetic or weight loss goals, but it can also help to have performance based goals such as lifting a certain weight, mastering a new exercise, finishing a Sweat program, or hitting a new PB on your jogging route.
- Focus on the things you like about yourself. You can also try using positive affirmations for a boost - Sweat Trainer Kelsey Wells is a huge fan and has even made this a key part of her Redefine Fitness program!
“I have never ever thought less of another woman for her cellulite, so why on earth would I think less of myself!?” Kelsey shared on social media. “Your body is BEAUTIFUL— and you are SO MUCH MORE than your body.”
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.