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Note to Self: Love Your Body

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January is self-love month, and there’s no better place to start than with your body, especially areas like cellulite. I’ve always eaten healthy foods, exercised regularly, and never needed to lose weight. One of my doctors used to say I was boring because all my tests (blood, cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, etc) were perfect. And yet, I’ve had cellulite on my thighs since my early twenties. In my younger days, I tried stinging creams, painful massages and supplements, but nothing seemed to erase those little dimples. I finally decided to embrace my cellulite and love my body. Read on, and maybe you will too.

Cellulite is not a medical term or condition, although the media seems to make it such. The word was coined by European spas several decades ago and later took hold in the U.S. in the early 1970’s. It has plagued women ever since that time. According to ScientificAmerican.com, ninety percent of women have dimpled skin around their thighs and hips that is referred to as cellulite. That seems like more the norm than the exception to me.

Beauty norms change from generation to generation. At one point in history, dimpled flesh was considered beautiful. In the 19th century, a super thin waist was in, and so women squeezed their internal organs out of shape to fit into a tight corset. In the 1920’s, women bound their breasts flat—it was the accepted look while dancing the Charleston! Fast forward to the 1990’s through today where the perfect female body is supposed to be super skinny with big boobs. That’s probably the shape that’s the most unnatural to achieve without a little anorexia and a lot of plastic surgery.

The way I see it, you’re left with two choices—accept and love your body as it is naturally or continue to loathe it for not looking as the current media says it should. You have to draw the line somewhere. What if it was suddenly decided that women’s feet over a size six were deemed grotesque? Would you start binding your daughter’s feet as a child or cutting off some of your toes as an adult?

No one should be able to decide which perfectly normal feature—tall or short, thin or full-figured, big lips or small—is better than another. As I know first hand, even if you live a healthy life by exercising daily, eating whole foods and staying within a good weight range, you can still have cellulite, and you’ll never be any taller. Of course, if you are overweight and out of shape, you could reduce your overall fat (and hence cellulite) with proper diet and exercise.

While cellulite and body issues can affect men, these issues primarily affect women. So, for all the women with cellulite or whatever else you don’t like about your body, make peace with your body, love it for being your trusted vehicle that carries you through this lifetime, and move on to more important issues.

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