Don’t beat yourself up over a bit of cellulite and know the facts

Why are we all so driven to have a cellulite free body? Why does the paparazzi zoom in on a patch of cellulite on someone sitting in a cab at 3am in the morning?

Why are we spending £2 billion annually worldwide, and rising, on anti-cellulite creams and surgery and does it even work?

We need some reassurance here ladies.

OK, I know cellulite is more common in women than men, actually 80-90% of women have cellulite to some degree, this is partially due to the types of fat and connective tissue in the female body, not because men spend longer in the gym or eat a better diet.

We’re not alone, super fit athletes, body builders and even lean women have cellulite. So when we look in the mirror and see the dimpling, let’s try not to beat ourselves up about it.

There are other reasons for us women having cellulite, some we cannot do anything about.

1) Hormonal Factors, Hormones such as oestrogen and insulin are thought to be part of the cellulite production process.

2) Genetics, certain genes are required for cellulite development. Some genes may predispose an individual to a particular characteristic associated with cellulite.

3) Diet, eating too many fats, carbohydrates and salt can cause increased cellulite.

4) Lifestyle, according to Medical News Today, cellulite may be more prevalent in smokers,   and in people who don’t exercise.

So what can we do to reduce the cellulite that we stress about so much?

Diet

A study done by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that fat tissue distribution in the thighs was significantly correlated with insulin resistance (a pre-diabetic state)

By eating a healthier diet, high in protein, lower in carbs and consuming good fats will help lower and regulate the insulin level.

Exercise

Another study, by the same medical school found that DIET and EXERCISE TOGETHER shed fat between the muscle and under the skin of the thighs, producing a much better effect on reducing cellulite than diet alone.

Regular exercise also increases muscles strength and improves skin tone

Staying well hydrated

Keeping well hydrated will help improve connective tissue and tighten your skin, helping reduce the appearance of cellulite.

So there we have it…we all have cellulite. The good news is,we can reduce it by eating a healthy diet and following a well designed fitness programme. A healthy diet and increased fitness has other added benefits too. It leads to more energy, a clearer head and hopefully increased confidence to say,

“So what, I have cellulite. It’s  part of being a woman and I’m working on it”

Finally, when you look at all these glossy magazines, don’t think that these women are as perfect as they look, they look like you and me without the airbrushing!

Are There Really Any Benefits of Red Wine?

Having spent three weeks picking grapes and preparing Sant Elia’s red and white wine, I began to think about the very publicised benefits of drinking red wine.

We’ve all read about the wonder of the antioxidant polyphenol resveratrol found in red wine, and how it helps to:

  • Lower blood pressure,
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes,
  • Protects against age related mental decline,
  • Fights weight gain,
  • Protects against certain cancers;
  • and even helps us live longer!

But does it?

Extensive research by John Hopkins University of Medicine found no link between resveratrol levels and the rates of heart disease, cancer and death.

“We were initially surprised by the lack of any apparent protection against heart disease or cancer, and no association with life span,” says Dr Richard Semba.

“Since limited animal and cell studies suggested that resveratrol might have beneficial effects, I think people were quick to extrapolate to humans. In retrospect, this was really oversimplified. But there are ongoing trials, so we must keep an open mind about possible benefits.”

So how much resveratrol should we be having daily if any?

No one really knows…

If we are hoping to get our daily dose from red wine…

“You would need to drink one hundred to a thousand glasses of red wine daily to equal the doses that improve health in mice”, says Dr David Sinclair, Professor of Genetics at Harvard University.

From supplements.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre report that a reasonable dose is around 500mg a day, but the safety of resveratrol supplements has yet to be evaluated in clinical trials!!!

It’s all rather confusing and can be somewhat controversial, so before coming to any conclusion with regard the benefits of red wine, let’s look further at some research into alcohol intake in general.

Calories, in a single serving of red wine (175 ml.) with an ABV of 13% (Alcohol by volume) there’s approx.160 calories

A study published in Alcohol and Alcoholism found that there’s evidence to suggest that, drinking wine could increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer.

Women drinking more than 10 units a week over 6 months will find it more difficult to conceive than those drinking 5 or fewer units a week.

Alcohol may be a trigger for acne rosacea, and red wine as well as spirits have been implicated .

Heavy drinkers, usually involving more than 30 units a week, have been linked with a range of cancers including mouth, liver, colon and stomach tumours.

An alcoholic binge by the mother during the critical times in the pregnancy can damage the foetus.

Although alcohol is often used as a way of coping with anxiety, it can also be a depressant after two to three units.

As we’ve seen alcohol is not only high in calories, but can also boost appetite, which can lead to weight gain.

Having spent the time reading the research my conclusion is:

  1. Follow the health guidelines, no more than 3-4 units of alcohol for MEN ( one and a half pints of beer, 4% ABV)
  2. For women, no more than 2-3 units (175 ml glass of wine 13% ABV) but not on a regular basis, meaning not everyday
  3. Don’t start drinking red wine because you think resveratrol will ‘cure all ills’ and lead to longevity, there’s no conclusive evidence of this.
  4. Do as the Italians do, drink only when you eat, and then only one or two small glasses of preferably ‘red’. Add a diet rich in fresh fruit, vegetables and extra virgin olive oil… some sunshine helps as an added bonus!
  5. Get extra resveratrol from your diet by eating red grapes, berries, i.e. blueberries, cranberries and mulberries. Even a piece of dark chocolate or cocoa powder will give you more resveratrol than a glass of red wine.

I’m still going to enjoy my glass of red, after-all the research continues, and you never know resveratrol may well be the miracle antioxidant after all.

Finally, the words of my grandmother often ‘rings in my ears; “everything in moderation”

Workout In Your Hotel Room

I feel that I’ve spent the last six months on a roller coaster of hotels. Not luxury spa hotels with gyms full of the latest equipment, but are ‘overnight stop’ hotels, which also boast ‘a gym’.

I’ve given up being excited by this admission, they are always so small with just enough room for a running machine and little space for anything else… Why these gyms insist on having a running machine baffles me, ok you can run or walk, fast or slow, flat or incline, but that’s all.

The gyms I’m talking about are often unattended, and if there is room for anything other than the cardio machine, it’s often dirty or in need of repair. I can’t remember when I last found a Swiss Ball that was usable, they’re often soft and need inflating.

Above all I’m not overly impressed with the general cleanliness of these gyms.

But, this is no excuse not to train whilst travelling, why not make the bedroom your gym. I know some rooms are tiny but this workout takes very little room.

Try it, and let me know what you think. Wear your trainers; hotel carpets are slippery and so don’t forget to put a towel on the floor when it comes to crunches etc.

  • 60 seconds ‘on the spot’ jog, keep it light and that’s not just for the folks in the room below.
  • 30 secs High Knees, chest and knees high, pump those arms, and land light.
  • 30 secs Jumping jacks, half jacks if you prefer.
  • 20 seconds rest, take a drink.

ALTERNATING STATIC LUNGE

  • 2 sets of 15 reps. Concentrate on your technique, don’t let your knee go over your toes.

SQUATS

  • 2 sets of 15 reps. Don’t rush it, down for the count of two and up for the same.

SKI SIT

  • back pressed against the wall and legs bent at right angles, thighs parallel to the ground.

Hold for 30-60 secs. depending on your fitness. If there’s any pain in your knees, stop.

TRICEP DIPS

  • 2 sets of 15 reps.

Do these on a stable chair, stool or even the side of the bed.

PRESS UPS

  • 2 sets of 10 reps.

Unless you have a back problem, don’t go on your knees. Adopt a full press up position, core tight, even if you only go down a couple of centimetres.  With practise you’ll soon be doing a full press up.

CRUNCH

  • 25 reps. These don’t have to be big movements, knuckles into the temples, eyes looking at the ceiling, core tight and lift.

SIDE CRUNCH

  • 12 reps each side, elbow to opposite knee.

PLANK

  • 30-60 second hold.

Finally,

SHOULDER BRIDGE

  • 12 reps. Slow and controlled, really squeeze your buttocks as you lift.

Now shower and off you go, you’re ready for whatever you’ve planned next.

No new clothes (or accessories) for six months

Have you ever had the dread of opening your wardrobe door? Everything inside is looking so angry, sleeves looking tortured with necklines hanging off the hanger, everything crammed so tightly there’s no breathing space.

This was exactly how I had been feeling for months, and late last year I knew I had to do something about it.

Along with the ‘dreaded wardrobe’ there was another demon looming, I had to address my finances… how easy it is to bury our heads in the sand when lack of money is staring us in the face?

I had a goal, my gym had to increase in size, I not only needed more floor space but also urgent headroom. This would not be a cheap fix!

I knew that one way of saving money was to regulate my spending. It doesn’t take too many brain cells to reach that conclusion! I’m not a big spender, but I’m interested in fashion, love clothes and looking good.

Going back to my wardrobe, could I go into summer 2016 without buying any more clothes? Make do with what I’ve got, save money, with a goal of a bigger gym and growing the business.

So, I gave myself a six-month challenge. I’m now into my third month and feeling positive.

I started my challenge by going through my wardrobe, everything had to come out, it was such a mess. I took time and asked myself all the usual questions:

  1. When did I last wear it?
  2. Do I still like it?
  3. Do I feel confident when I wear it?
  4. Does it still fit?

If I had the slightest doubt to any of the questions, the item was out. I did the same with shoes and scarves. The clothes I didn’t need were neatly folded and taken to the Salvation Army, who I know make full use of clothing given to them.

I now have a well organised wardrobe with half the amount of clothes. At least once a week I would say ‘I’m not going to wear jeans tomorrow,’ tomorrow came and went, and I was still in my jeans.

I’ve been reunited with the dress and skirts I’d forgotten about. I love them, and no more difficult to wear than my jeans.

I always thought I knew what suited me, but now I feel even more confident. I really feel like I know ‘my style. I can easily walk through a clothes store now without having the need ‘to buy,’ I found this difficult for the first month. Did I really need a new sweater, ‘no,’ so it stayed on the hanger and that money went towards my leg press for the gym!

Making what I suppose, initially, was an effort not to spend money on clothes, has made me far more aware of my finances in general.

I shocked myself last week when I walked in and out of a coffee shop as I suddenly realised I was paying £2.50 for a coffee and was just 20 minutes away from home. Drinking coffee whilst shopping has become a habit.

I feel confident I will reach my target of six months without buying clothes, and will be very mindful of what item of clothing I buy next.

Image: taken from of Sew Obsessed