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  • Writer's pictureGina Cullen

Cellulite: I Have No Reason To Hate You

“What the heck is it, and why do I have it?” 

We are often told that cellulite is as simple as excess fat; however, this is beyond true. The clinical definition of cellulite is the collection of fat that pushes up against the tissue beneath your skin. Everybody has fat; however, not everyone has the muscle, hormone levels, skin type, or (actual) excess fat that causes this push of fat to the surface of one’s skin. 

Our cell’s membranes would have no means of holding themselves together without fat/lipids. Fat is actually one of the most important molecules in protecting our health. Excess fat can, of course, lead to specific composition-related health diagnoses; however, cellulite is NOT excess fat. We begin to accept things such as cellulite without error or reluctance when we turn away from the “truths” of the media. 

It is always best to consult with your doctor if you truly feel that your cellulite may be a symptom of an underlying health issue–not a fitness page on Instagram. 

“Does it go away?”

The truth is: Maybe. If not, that’s cool! If so, that’s cool! Everyone’s body is composed differently, and some people have the means to lose muscle, change hormone levels, undergo skin tightening procedures, and decrease overall fat composition in the body; however, no one exists without any fat. The presence of fat in the body may directly lead to the appearance of cellulite. You NEED fat!

“Why should I not care about something that everyone speaks so poorly of?” 

It’s hard. It is so hard. We often have to rewire our brains to neglect past thought patterns. (I will write all about rewiring in a separate post!) We are born into a society of shared beliefs and thought patterns; therefore, it can be difficult to truly believe that what people state they value or find attractive simply isn’t what they truly value or find attractive.  

One of my favorite statements is that we did not pop out wanting to have __ or be __. The same applies to cellulite. Socialization kills the opportunity to form your own, untouched preferences. This is NOT to say that socialization is a bad thing in its entirety. Socialization can build communities and connections. I do, however, promise you that you did not arrive wanting to condemn individuals for having dimples in their skin, and the individual who you want to admire you did not arrive truly believing that these skin dimples were unattractive. 

Whether it is cellulite or the color of your hair, you are with yourself the longest; therefore, it is important to seek validation from yourself without adding the society around you to the equation. This is not easy, but you can do hard things. Again, ask yourself: Did I arrive not wanting ___ on my body? The answer is no. You arrived wanting to survive. 

We don’t gain anything of value when we please the people around us with our physical appearance, but we gain so much when we validate ourselves. The confidence we endure after receiving validation from the outside world is short-lived; it is long-lasting when it comes from within. 

My experience with cellulite: in short…

I’ve had noticeable cellulite on my entire body since I was 15 years old. I even had cellulite when I was at my lowest weight/in rehabilitation for anorexia nervosa. I have begun to notice more cellulite on my body in the past six months as I’ve been focusing on weight training/building strength in my arms and thighs. I have actually maintained my weight, decreased my fat composition, increased my muscle composition, and gone up 2 sizes. The weight of my body has no effect on my mental state in recovery; however, it was a struggle to accept that having more muscle mass has altered my size. 

I’ve recently been struggling with hormonal imbalances due to an error in medication/possible diagnosis (will find out mid-June) and for a long time… untreated PCOS. (Dun DUn DUUn.) I have yet to undergo any sort of medication or deliberate treatment for these issues; therefore, I have been enduring edema that is similar to what I experienced in treatment, acne, occasional swelling of the arms and neck, tight skin, mood-swings, excessive fatigue, and (with a wave to this blog) more prominent cellulite. Not knowing what is going on has been frustrating, and my desire for control over these issues has sparked temptations that would harm my recovery. It is difficult to watch others receive aversion for validating themselves during the ups and downs that I am currently struggling with, and I’ve feared receiving the same hostility. I will always be truthful of my experiences in recovery, and I vulnerably share this with a hug to those who feel that their recovery is not “clean” enough. Me too! 

The truth is that I know my body does not meet the standards of the media that surrounds me, and I would be lying if I stated that I’m unbothered by my lack of access to validation from the external world whenever I want by simply posting a picture. I also know that my body wasn’t built to be praised by others. I know that my body wasn’t put through hell and back to meet the standards of the people around me. My body was built to protect ME, and it went through a demonic era to suppress MY pain. I claim this body, I claim it’s fat, I claim it’s skin, I claim it’s cellulite, and I claim it’s history. 

My body is no one else's. It is mine. I will take care of it. 

My body is MINE.

Love, Gina

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