I first became conscious of what cellulite was in my teens in the late 1990s. Stick thin supermodels were still in, and it’s what everyone wanted to be. It would be many more years to the “strong is beautiful” movement would start. And just like all the girls I knew, I wanted to look like one of those supermodels or the girls on Beverly Hills 90210. I’ve already written about coming to terms with my body (you can already read about it here), but this story goes a little deeper, and if you’re a woman over age 18, I think you might be able to relate.
Once cellulite as a “thing” entered my consciousness, I lived in fear of the day it would show up on me. As a dancer, I was always running around in leotards and costumes, and I remember constantly checking to make sure it wasn’t there. When I was 21 I was teaching dance, and I performed in the company recital that year. I remember going back to check the tape to make sure I still didn’t have any cellulite. It became a bit of an obsession, and I really don’t know why – BECAUSE I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE ANY!
It’s like I knew it would come one day though. And it did. I was 22, and it just showed up out of nowhere. I hadn’t changed anything about my lifestyle or habits, but there it was. And it was my mission to keep it hidden. I thought I was doing a really good job too! Then one day, I remember getting into an argument with a boyfriend at the time, and he threw an insult at me…about my cellulite. I was distraught. I thought no one had noticed.
Over the years, it became a real point of shame for me, especially as I moved into the fitness industry. No matter how lean I got, it was still there. Even when I’d cut weight (my lowest weights were 116 and 119 at various times), it was still there. So I’d mostly wear pants, avoid swim wear, and constantly check to see whether or not it was visible. It seemed like all the other fit girls didn’t have any, but I did. I do.
Like many women, I’d purchased some creams, rollers, and other things that made promises of helping my problem, but nothing helped. I felt stuck and ashamed. If eating crazy clean, training 5-6 times a week, and getting down to around 15% body fat didn’t make the appearance go away, what would?
Well, nothing. I still have that same cellulite that first appeared when I was 22 years old. The difference now is that it’s ok. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you I’m totally fine with it because I’m not. I hate that it’s still an issue that weighs on me when my work is meant to help women love and become the healthiest, most confident versions of themselves. But I’m MUCH more accepting of what is now! I’ve been proudly wearing shorts the past few years without really thinking about it too much.
My quest is no longer for perfection because it’s not a real thing anyway. I do the best with what I’ve got. I take amazing care of my body, and I’m incredibly proud of that. I share this unflattering story with you today because I know I’m not alone in my struggle to embrace a “flaw”. I know I’m not the only one who has limited my wardrobe or had extremely negative, damaging thoughts about myself because of this physical trait.
Though I still don’t like it (really, I doubt anyone ever will!), it doesn’t stop me from being the authentic, generous, passionate, hard-working, and creative person I aim to be. I am so much more than the shape of my body, and so are you. It’s easy to preach self-love, but what I’ve learned is that it’s a true daily practice.
If you can relate to this, I’d love for you to reply. And if you can, I hope my story helps in some way. <3