Hi my name is Ava, and I have cellulite.

When I was 17, I had a body that was as good as it gets for me, thanks to a minimum of 3 hours a day spent at my dance studio.  On Sundays we danced for 8 hours, and on our breaks we went to Dairy Queen’s Grill & Chill for oily, monster sandwiches or Burger King for a combination of fried foods.  Before my solo lessons I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a large Coolata.  How we didn’t puke is beyond me, but that’s besides the point.  We ate like crap but were poster children for “the perfect dancer body”.  Oh, I would do unspeakable things to get that metabolism back.

A fun throwback :)

When I was 18, I continued to eat the same way, took a solid 6 month break from dancing, and gained 15 pounds.  Yes, my mom instilled good eating habits in us, but by the time I was left to my own devices it was Diet Cokes, Chinese takeout, heavy pastas from my part-time hostessing job – I also discovered my love for craft beer and chicken wings.  Seriously, it took me 18 years to discover buffalo wings, and holy cow!!! I was hooked.  I would call my dad twice a week and be like “Let’s meet up for wings and beer!” I was also dating someone at the time that used to play the airplane game with me, but with cookies.  I was so, so happy with food, but getting heavier by the day.  I have always been a part of the “clean plate club”.  Ha, I tell anyone to this day, “I can eat you under the table”.  My sister and I always make grandma proud at her 4 course Italian dinners.

Anyway, I let this sleigh ride of a weight gain continue for about a year, before my friends and family would say “It’s not that you look BAD, it’s just different seeing you so filled out”.  Aww, at least they tried to be nice.  I was always the tiny one, but here I was looking like an overly stuffed sausage.  Luckily, in my young age, it took no time at all to bounce back.  I started dancing again, doing workout DVD’s, re-training myself to eat healthy and get back to my former self.  At this point I was still lucky enough to not see a trace of cellulite.

Fast forward to right now – after many years of yo-yoing between 5 or 10 pounds based on how on point I am with exercise and diet and figuring out how to grocery shop and eat healthy on a “budget”, I’ve pretty much discovered how my body reacts to certain foods; what makes me bloat, what makes me breakout, etc.  I can also tell you this: my metabolism has officially slowed down and cellulite has made its way into my life.  This past summer I was so, very aware of it.  And trust me, I was upset.  Never to the point of tears, but almost.  I work out, I eat clean 80 % of the time, COME ON! Why do I have cellulite?! It really makes me want to throw in the towel.

And for a week, I did just that.  My day of bakery hopping, which started out innocently enough, turned into a week of gorging myself on anything and everything I saw.  Now, I am never one for depriving myself.  If I want something, I get it.  Luckily, I usually don’t want the “bad” things too often.  But in that week, I was an emotional eater.  I let a food addiction get the best of me, leading up to one horrible day in the mirror where I realized that the overload of salt, sugar and fat left a ripple of cellulite all over my stomach, legs, thighs and butt – 10x worse than before.

Here’s the harsh truth; cellulite is genetic.  My mom has it, my grandma has it.  There are no ways to “cure” or “treat” cellulite.. but there are ways to help it: avoid processed foods, avoid alcohol, avoid caffeine, avoid excess salt & sugar, eat a lot of fruits, eat a lot of veggies, and drink a lot of water.

Here’s the other truth: I’m not going to give up my glasses of wine, avoid coffee, and not have a slice of cheesecake or an amazing homemade pasta from time to time.  If I’m not willing to make those sacrifices, then I’m not going to pointlessly cry a river about having cellulite.  I’m a New Yorker, and I’ve got access to the most amazing restaurants in the world.  I’m a foodie.  LIFE HAPPENS.  Happiness happens when you stop trying to achieve perfection.  It all goes back to balance and moderation.  Not over-indulging as I so poorly made the decision to do.

What I CAN do is listen to my body and nourish it with the foods that make it feel best.  After just 4 days of attempting to regain my body with exercise and proper diet, that ripple of cellulite has diminished greatly.  Gone?  No.   Hell, no one is perfect.

Juice & a Think Thin “brownie”

Jumbo Salad

Ezekial French Toast :)

So, are you constantly putting your body down for one reason or another? Don’t.  Am I “doomed by cellulite?” Not quite.  Things don’t have to be so drastic.  Does it suck? YES, OF COURSE.  But some things are out of my control.  I’ll do what I can to keep it at bay.  I made the vow to myself to have some damn willpower, and only eat the foods that I’m REALLY craving, not eat the foods that I’m turning to in a state of boredom or emotional weakness.

Forget your faults, and focus on your strengths.  Do you have jiggly thighs but great arms? Show those babies off.  Life is too short.

Hi my name is Ava, and I have cellulite.

But I have great calves.  ;)