Wednesday, 26 June 2013


There has been so much written on this subject, yet, we are still very confused about it. Every day there is an article, a book or a study published discussing cellulite, its causes and possible cures. Opinions on what cellulite is and how to get rid off it vary so widely, one might almost feel it has been brought on us by jealous aliens. And tons and tons of products are being manufactured to help us fight our battle with this modern life female plague. Or to promote the fear of it? I leave this to everyone's personal opinion.

Of course the media and all those manufacturers made us more aware and worried. When you see images of women from the 70s, everyone has cellulite. It did not bother them then but it does bother us now. Well, some of us. I applaud all of my female comrades who do not care if they have some dimples or not. Who can feel goddess-like regardless of it. I do care and I do not like to admit, that there has been a recent unpleasant development on my dimple front. It is not too bad yet, however my thighs are definitely not red carpet-worthy! Take a look at pictures of my behind from about 5 years ago. I was then suffering from what I read was the first stage of cellulite - which means you can  see it well when you squeeze your skin and you can also see one or two very gentle dimples on the surface if light hits you the wrong way. How pathetic of me having to squeeze my skin to deliberately look for imperfections. I wish I could turn back time and keep my behind and thighs from those days.


I think back then I fell for the trap of the beauty industry. I bought several courses of the Endermologie treatment. After the initial pain (it feels like you are being pinched by an army of very angry Oompa Loompas for eating all that yummy chocolate) it started to feel like a massage and I was enjoying it. I did notice changes in my body and my skin was feeling smoother.

But I was doing a lot of yoga and Pilates then as well. I believe that getting rid of your cellulite is possible with a combination of things and sticking to a regime you create for yourself. I have seen the results but I didn't stick to my routine. I actually completely stopped once I saw the good results and I was happy with the look of my thighs. I thought I got rid of it forever.  However cellulite does come back for you. Once you think you have killed it, it will turn into a ghost that will haunt your dreams. It will whisper into your ears every time you take a bite of that amazing sugar-filled desert. You can listen to it and control yourself or you can ignore it and you will just return back to where you started or even worse. I believe that we can be cellulite-free if we stick to a strict regime. However, I don't like strict regimes and being a slave to certain lifestyle even though it is a good one is scary. I like to enjoy myself. Therefore I intend to eat desserts. I believe I can but I just need to be disciplined about it. I have to respect the ghostly whispers and exercise some self control. Not overindulging and being sensible are the keys.I hope I can get away with it. I will elaborate on this when I explain my diet ideas.

I have read numerous books, magazines, websites, etcetera trying to find the magic cure. Then, a couple of years ago, I just gave up. And even if it was so amazingly blissful to just eat 3 chocolate bars a day, cakes and biscuits and just living, working, resting, thinking, writing and eating all from my couch, it did take its toll.

I am back to square minus one. But with my newly found motivation I am determine to kick cellulite's ass. And my own for that matter.

I can not stick to any single regime, to follow any specific book or study completely. It would make me feel too deprived. So I made up my own ritual. I have been researching this topic for so many years and there is not a study I am not aware of (I think) so I feel well prepared to start the fight.
A couple of weeks ago I bought a book on Amazon written by Dr. Leland Benton:  Getting Rid of Cellulite in 10-Days.

What a positive name! 10 days! Wow! I read through it. I bought the supplements the author suggests (I will write about the supplements separately in the next few days). He describes cellulite like this: It is "an accumulation of fat globules trapped between the muscle and the skin. If allowed to go unchecked, the fat globules may increase in size and compaction and the result: a quasi-armor plating of fat that robs women of their self-esteem and causes untold misery to millions of American women." He also believes that cellulite is not related to excess body fat, it is not caused by eating too much fat, it is not treated by strenuous aerobic exercise, it is not caused by fluid trapped in the tissues, it is not eliminated by vigorous massage or by eating high fiber diets and diuretic foods (cucumbers, celery, grapefruit). According to him, cellulite's main cause is the lack of essential fatty acids in our diet.The best part of his book is this sentence: "Magic pills don't exist but in the case of cellulite they do!" How motivational is this?!

And the most shocking thing I read in his book: "More than two-thirds of all the deaths reported in the United States involves nutrition" (nothing to do with cellulite, I know).

To sum it up, he advises us to:
- take the supplements
- eat wholesome low carbohydrate food
- stay away from processed food and adulterated fats
- eat natural things like nuts, fruits, vegetables
- eat in moderation and only when you are hungry
- exercise moderately- only anaerobic exercises

It is an exciting little book that does not only talk about cellulite, diet, nutrition, vitamins and supplements but also about our psychological aspects, our feelings and their effects on us.

My very first cellulite book was Cellulite Solutions by Helen Foster.  I bought it on Amazon years ago and tried to follow it for about 10 days. By day 10 I was ready to murder someone! I felt too restricted and could not cope with some tasteless food because I was not allowed to use any salt. I could not handle the shopping list and having to have things ready in order to follow the meal plan. I will turn back to this book for the few things I liked in it. I used to do a little yoga routine from this book every morning and it was a great start of the day. I would like to get back to it again. I also liked some recipes. I enjoyed the massages, the dry body brushing before showering and the hot/cold showers and bath massages. I felt invigorated doing these and I will do this little regime again.

I have bought some products that I will try to use regularly from now on and will let you know how it goes.

My cellulite routine will involve:
- supplements
- drinking green tea, detox tea and other healthy brews
- exercises
- eating according to my sensible diet
- doing some yoga in the morning
- dry skin brushing before showering
- performing my own lymphatic drainage massage
- maybe a salon treatment (I am still researching these)
- moisturizing and using cellulite creams and oils
- regular body scrubs and home made spa treatments (body masks, wraps, etc.)

I will elaborate on these in my future posts.

I have 3 weeks before I go on my beach holidays. I hope I will get rid off my cellulite by then.:)

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Tea time

I have been getting back into my good old habits of healthy tea and infusion drinking. I was swapping coffee and black tea for the healthier options. I only had 3 cups of coffee and 2 cups of black tea this week (as opposed to 2 or 3 of each every day).

I have started each day with hot water and lemon. I use about half a lemon in a cup of hot water. I do this almost as soon as I wake up. What a difference to my stomach this has made already. I find hot water with lemon to be the best remedy for that balloon-like belly feeling. It is very refreshing, energizing and of course detoxifying. It helps the digestion as well. I then drink a small glass of water, just to rinse the lemon off of my teeth and go to prepare my breakfast.

We all know about the greatness of green or white tea. I have been having a few cups of those as well. I especially love the tenderness of Japanese Sencha tea. Clearspring  makes an excellent one.

Brewing a cup of green tea with roasted rice - Genmaicha - is simply a fun experience. It smells delicious as well. I bought a huge bag in Chinatown in New York and it is lasting me a long time. When it comes to delicious smells, one tea stands out in the crowd - White Rose white tea by Rituals. It smells and tastes divine. You can make a whole tea pot from one bag. A perfect companion on a work overloaded day - it sits on the desk in front of you and smells simply lovely. So inviting!

I have a huge selection of teas from around the world. One that I can not forget to mention is lotus leaves tea I bought in Vietnam. It is very mild and refreshing. Perfect for the moments when you don't feel like having a strong cup. Plus it is great for your liver. It also helps with anxiety and stress. When I was buying mine in Vietnam I asked the lady in the shop what is the tea good for and she just folded her hands, rested her head on them and closed her eyes. I understood that it should be a good sleeping aid. Therefore I drink it in the late afternoon or after dinner. I visited Vietnam many times and one of the most amazing experiences was to see the lotus fields. Just take a look at the picture I took:

People eat or use every bit of the lotus for medicinal purposes.To see these fields we took a boat which our driver rowed with her feet! When we were exploring this breathtaking Vietnamese countryside and taking pictures, she went right in the middle of the field, legs deep in the water, just to get a lotus flower for my daughter. My girl was so happy! But then, as we were returning back to the boat after our second picture break, we saw our driver eating the lotus flower. She opened it and was eating the seeds. My daughter burst into tears and said, pointing at the driver: "The lady ate my flower!" And now, every time I drink lotus tea, I think of this funny (well, sad for my daughter) episode. It would not happen in London.

Now, talking about Vietnam, I realized that there was another drink I learned to drink over there - hot water with fresh ginger and honey. I came across this lovely drink in other places in South East Asia as well. I love spa treatments. And spa treatments in tropical places are a heavenly experience. I always choose a treatment that uses native ingredients. In South East Asia, after each treatment, I was brought to a relaxation area. It is always surrounded by nature so you  can hear birds singing. Then they bring you ginger tea with honey and offer you some fresh or dried local fruit. You never want to leave! Living in London, the closest thing I have to relive my South East Asian experience is drinking home-prepared ginger tea. I alternate between ginger (always fresh) and honey, ginger lemon and honey, or ginger and lemon. Ginger in a hot drink acts like a chilli - it warms you up and cools you down at the same time.

I grow mint and lemon balm in my little garden. I brought the roots from my home in Slovakia and now I have a little bit of Slovakia in my London garden. I often make hot or cold drinks from the leaves of these plants, either as a combination or separately. Both are so refreshing!

The very last drink I will mention today is my substitute for coffee. There is a product in Slovakia that my grandmother used to prepare for me. She called it "coffee", even though it is not coffee as we usually know it.  Every time I came to her after school she would give me either a freshly baked cake or buttered bread with homemade jam and serve it with my "coffee". The names of this drink vary. My favorite is Mleta by Kavoviny.Sk. Basically it is a roasted chicory and barley mix, coarsely grounded, which you cook in a pot like turkish coffee. I liked mine mixed with milk. I brought this product back to London with me. It gives me a whif of nostalgia and the rich creamy texture can fool you into thinking you are drinking real coffee. This drink is good for you as well, as it supports the digestion process. So it is a win-win for me.

I can talk about tea all night, but it is time to finish my rooibos tea (another of my favorite) and go to sleep.


Friday, 21 June 2013

"Before" pictures (taken on Monday)

Please bear in mind that this is a big deal for me! Exposing myself publicly like this, showing all the bits I prefer to hide. Please be kind :)

Here I am. Feeling like a teapot - short and stout. At some point I will publish pictures from a few years ago because I used to be slim and lean.  Slim and lean is exactly what I would like to get back to. I hope my body remembers.
I started to gain weight after undergoing hormonal therapy (I had polycystic ovaries and precancerous cells). Within a week I could hardly fit into my old jeans so I bought these (one size bigger). Now even they don't fit!
When I sit at my desk I feel like a sausage. Always stuffed. I feel my thighs compressing.
I really refuse to keep buying bigger clothes.
And here are my bikini "before" shots. They really are self explanatory and I do feel embarrassed now!
Where did I get that extra skin from?!
I will be working hard on rejuvenating as well. No more skipping cleansing in the evening. No more running to school with my daughter without putting any moisturizer on. No more forgetting to drink water throughout the day. And the hardest of all, no more sleeping 4 hours a night! I am too old for this kind of lifestyle. This is the only time I will ever admit being too old for something!
With good make up and well chosen clothes I can disguise most of my faults. When I mentioned my blog idea to some of my friends and relatives, they all acted surprised. They think I should feel more settled with myself. That I should be putting my efforts into my work and be happy with how I look because it is only going to get worse. They might be right, however I am doing this for myself. Is this so bad? Is this all just a stupid superficial vanity driven fling, totally inappropriate for a woman of my age? Well, I always associate a lean body and glowing face with good health. So lets just say I am doing this purely for my health and not for the idea of an imaginary red carpet moment .
I hope to find more like-minded girls and ladies who are going through a similar journey. We can share ideas and dwell together upon our hardship.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The beginning....

I have been starting this blog for about 4 years. I remember watching the Oscars in 2009 (my guilty pleasure. I do this every year!) and feeling so envious of Natalie Portman's slender waist, Anne Hathaway's sleek arms, Angelina Jolie's beautiful complexion, the youthful look of Penelope Cruz! And I said to myself: "From tomorrow onwards I will work so hard to look just like that!" There have been countless tomorrows since the day after the Oscars in 2009. And there have been countless excuses for why tomorrow's tomorrow is better than today's. The main excuse, the one that used to hold me back until today: I don't have a good "before picture" taken of me. I have just taken numerous pictures of everything I intend to improve on my body. Some of the pictures are a bit disturbing. I do apologise. One thing is to take photos of oneself ugly bits, but displaying them to the world feels really scary. I always thought blogging was for the young and beautiful (this was another excuse that held me back). I was in my mid 30s 4 years ago and felt that people would only want to take weight loss / rejuvenation / diet / beauty advice from someone who either has a lot of weight to lose or has already done so or from someone who looks amazingly beautiful and flawless. I know, an excuse!
Anyway, here I am today. I am 39. I Have a 12 year old daughter and 2 cockapoo puppies to take care of. I have a very busy life, but by the time I reach 40 (February 25, 2014) I would love to look red carpet-worthy. I am terrified of anything invasive - like botox or collagen fillers or any form of plastic surgery! So my journey will not involve these. I love good food and cooking and I am real chocoholic. Therefore, I do not intend to undergo any dramatic diet change, I will just try to think about my food choices more and be more careful about when I eat and what I eat. I will be also exercising and trying various products and non-invasive treatments and see what really works. I have numerous books, magazines, cut outs and computer files filled with advice and information on dieting and rejuvenating. I will be trying and reviewing books, products, treatments, remedies, supplements and any advice I have read about and would like to follow. My intention is see if a regular woman, like me, can achieve a body and face that is worth parading on the red carpet.