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Cellulite: Why We Have It – and How to Get Rid of It

One of my facebook friends, Patti, asked me a great question this week. She asked “Is there any REAL help for cellulite dimples? Bought some smaller shorts today :), but now, there’s that cellulite!!!”

I’ve got good news – I DO have an answer! Here it goes!

celluliteMy answer isn’t a cream, nor is it a complicated surgical procedure. My solution is something that has been around for years – diet and exercise. Surprised?

You see, I don’t believe the issue is always the lumpy fat we call cellulite. I think the problem due to the amount of body fat we gain, as well as the muscle we lose. The unfortunate combination can leave skin loose and lumpy. Cellulite can also be a problem after losing weight because the weight loss leaves our skin loose, and many times people lose muscle if they aren’t working out or getting enough protein.

“What causes cellulite?”

celluliteLet’s look at the facts. Women, who do not exercise, lose an average of 5 pounds of muscle per decade before menopause and up to a pound a year thereafter. Since cellulite is more common for women, this causes a couple of problems.

Each pound of lean muscle lost decreases your metabolism, making it easier to gain weight. If you already have a problem with cellulite, the slowing metabolism will only make matters worse. Weight gain causes the cellulite to be more pronounced as the fat cells grow.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the firm muscle that once supported the skin and fat is now shrinking. Lumpy fat cells are growing, and smooth firm muscle is withering away. Have I scared you into working out yet? I’ll try harder! 🙂

Although diet and exercise may not get rid of all the cellulite in the world, it can make a HUGE difference. A low-calorie diet can reduce and manage overall body fat, affecting the size and visibility of cellulite. Exercise can preserve and increase lean muscle mass, which can prevent, and even reverse, a lot of the problems.

“I gain muscle too easily so I don’t like to lift heavy weights because it just makes me bigger than I already am”.

strong legsBuilding lean muscle not only increases your metabolism to help fight weight gain, but it builds firm shapely muscle to support our aging skin. The problem is, many women who already feel like they are already too thick, are scared to lift heavy in fear of appearing bigger. This fear often keeps them away from the very thing they need most – weights.

Resistance exercise is not what makes people look thick, DIET is what makes people look thick. If you want to trim down your thighs or waistline, you have to reduce calories. If you don’t, you will just be a more fit version of the thick you. Unfortunately, many women start lifting weights, which builds much needed muscle, but they keep the same amount of body fat (because they aren’t paying close enough attention to their diet), so they do feel bigger. The key to success is to reduce body fat and build muscle. Then, you will be one happy camper with less noticeable cellulite – and you’l be stronger, fitter and healthier.

Butt implantsHere is a perfect example of how adding muscle mass can drastically improve cellulite. I googled butt augmentation to find a before and after photo of someone who just added “muscle” (pictured left). As you can see, just by increasing the simulation of muscle mass greatly improved the appearance of her body fat. Of course she didn’t have to go under the knife to get that result, but it’s a great illustration of the point I’m trying to get across to you today. (…and if that doesn’t make you want to do squats, I don’t know what will!)

tone legsSome may argue my theory, but I have seen too many transformations as a result of diet and exercise that are undeniable proof that it works. Although diet and exercise may not always get rid of the problem completely, I bet it works ten times better than any cellulite cream on the market!


Here is a great lower body conditioning workout that not only will help burn fat, but will tone muscle. Powerful plyometric exercises are another great way to build muscle mass – plus it burns a LOAD of calories to help with reducing body fat. Give this workout a try and you’ll realize why we call it Dead Legs!

3 rounds for time

20 Jailhouse Squats (prisoner squats)
20 Mary Catherines (plyo switch lunge)
20 X Squats (Squat wide, jump feet together and then back out wide, making an X)
20 Crisscross Squats (180 Jumps)
20 Bridges (butt lifts – with hands and feet on floor, lifting butt to up toward the ceiling)
1-Minute Wall sits 

Obesity Exposed: What If Your Body Could Talk?

Fat vs ThinEvery where we go we are inundated with weight loss commercials, diets, exercise gimmicks, workout fads and commercials for healthy food. Just by all the commercials alone, it is clear everyone knows America has a weight issue.

149 million Americans are overweight or obese. We suffer $208 billion in lost productivity and $46 billion in direct medical costs as a result of our weight issue. One out of three youth are overweight, and one out of six is obese. And, if a parent is overweight, their child has a startling 70% chance of being overweight or obese too. So, it would only make since that anyone who wants to make money would jump on the weight loss bandwagon to sell us something to fix our problem.

So how do diet and fitness brands try to grab our attention? They don’t attempt to hook us by listing health risks or obesity facts. No, they capture our attention with six-pack abs and hot fit bodies. Why? Because our outer body is more tangible and real to us. It’s what we see. But what about what we cannot see?

Rolls of fat are bothersome, and tight jeans are frustrating. Our outer layer of fat speaks to us every day. It stares us in the face and screams at us constantly – but what if your organs, blood and bones could talk to you and explaim how your weight affects them?

This picture (posted above) is a look inside the body of a person who is overweight vs a person at a healthy weight. Look at how crowded the overweight person’s organs are. Look at how the body fat shifts their joints out of whack and changes their posture.

Let Me Hear Your Body Talk

tired heartIf your body could talk, your heart may ask you for a much-needed break, and complain about how hard and fast it’s been beating. Your lungs may tell you how cramped they are and how badly they would like to expand more so you could perform better. Your bones may cry for relief from carrying such large loads day in and day out. Your blood might be too busy yelling at your artery walls to even have time to complain to you about your cholesterol issues. Each blood drop is probably yelling “pardon me, coming through, make a way” because of all the build up it has to dodge or squeeze through every second of the day.

fit and healthyWe take life for granted. It’s not that we forget the fact we are alive, but we neglect to realize all the work it takes to keep us alive. We have such high expectations for our body. We expect our body to perform well even when we treat it like crap. We act surprised when we have health issues when, if our body could talk, it’s probably been struggling for years.

Sure, weight loss looks great, but we can’t forget about how much better weight loss looks on the inside too. Don’t you think your body deserves a break – and maybe even a little pampering? It’s been working so hard all these years. Let’s take good care of it, so it can continue taking good care of you.


Today’s Fitness Motivation:

Fat vs Fit

30 Days of Motivation: Fat WILL Surrender

When you can’t catch your breath, when your muscles are on fire, when your alarm goes off before your early am workout, when you’re hungry, when you’re tired, when the scale won’t budge, when you’re feeling sorry for yourself for how hard you are working to lose weight and get fit this year…Just know this;  “Fat WILL Surrender”.

fat will surrender

If you are doing everything right, counting calories, and working out regularly, fat WILL eventually surrender and give up the fight. Sometimes it takes a while to break a plateau. Sometimes it takes a while to see the results you want. But, IF you are doing everything right, fat will have to eventually raise the white flag.

Fat and Muscle, What Happens Behind the Scenes

fat vs muscleJust because your scale hasn’t budged YET, doesn’t mean you aren’t wearing fat down. You could literally be losing fat and gaining muscle – and your weight could be the same (while you are losing fat). Of course, over time, your weight will eventually drop, but it is common for the scale to remain the same in the beginning of a fitness program because of these changes going on inside.

Our muscle gets fuller from the new activity, causing them to weigh more. That’s why our muscles feel firm and “pumped up”. While our muscles fill out, we are also simultaneously losing body fat, but our weight appears to balance out on the scale (or worse, it actually goes UP!). Have no fear. Just because you don’t see the changes on the scale doesn’t mean you have SERIOUS changes going on inside.

Look at this photo of me holding a replica of 5lbs of fat (left) and 5lbs of muscle (right). See how much smaller 5lbs of muscle is compared to 5lbs of fat? This is why we can appear smaller, but our weight can be the same. That’s also why you can swear you are losing weight, then get on the scale, only to be discouraged that the scale is not agreeing with your belt. Your belt says you’ve lost in your waist, but the scale acts like no changes have been made. If you are feeling thinner, you are right. You are getting thinner – and eventually, the scale will agree.

If Only We Had X Ray Fitness Vision

x ray bodyWithout doing a fancy body composition analysis (like the one we have, called the InBody), it’s hard to believe what is really going on. Yet, if you could see that you’ve lost 4lbs of fat and gained 4lbs of muscle, you could celebrate – and let that information motivate you to press on. Unforunately, it’s around this time that people give up. They let the scale sabotage their progress. They’ve worked harder than they ever have before, yet they aren’t getting the reward they want on the scale, so they quit – and they quit RIGHT before the scale would have started to show major progress.

Tomorrow, I will go deeper into fat vs. muscle – and I will address some of the exceptions to the rule, as well as some warnings. I  will also give you some ideas of what to expect while you are working toward your goal. If you don’t subscribe, be sure to subscribe today so you don’t miss it!

Remember, the key to any fitness program is remembering you are a science project – and science projects have many variables. You have to understand that weight loss may take some trial and error ..and a lot of patience. Just promise me this: Keep Showing Up and Never Give Up! If you do that, Fat WILL Surrender To You!

Learn more about healthy weight loss:
Get weight loss tips and find helpful BMI and calorie counter tools at Reader’s Digest Health section

BMI: The Unreliable Formula that Costs You Money

Many health professionals rely on unreliable methods to measure your health and determine insurance premiums.

Insurance companies are getting smarter and smarter by the minute. They now realize rewarding people for good health and providing fitness incentives pays. Maybe they are a little slow to learn but, overall, they are starting to get the whole “healthy” concept. However, there is a big loophole in their plan. Many insurance companies use unreliable methods, like BMI (Body Mass Index), to help determine if someone is a risk.

What is BMI?
BMI is a mathematical formula, based on height and weight, to help doctors determine if someone is at a healthy weight or not. The problem is the BMI does not take body fat and muscle mass into consideration. Basically, it’s just measures how much mass you take up in space for your height. If you are over the limit, you are labeled “overweight” no matter what how low your body fat is.

For instance, when using an online BMI Calculator for Steve, his BMI was 28.29, which is overweight – although Steve’s body fat percentage is normally around 8%.  After the calculation was made the site said he “would benefit from finding healthy ways to lower his weight, such as diet and exercise.” I almost had to laugh, but the BMI is no laughing matter to fit people who are getting charged more for being so-called overweight, according to the BMI.

The BMI Lies – and YOU are the one who pays
One of our members has experienced this first hand. Every year he stresses out about his company health insurance tests because, although he is not a big bodybuilder kind of guy, his muscle puts him in the overweight category. He gets docked for that, costing him an extra $500 a year for being “overweight”.

Meanwhile, people with less muscle and more body fat, who register at a healthy weight, save money even if they haven’t worked out a day in their life. While our member works his butt off in the gym, this other lazy guy gets rewarded for not doing anything.

False Readings Give False Hope
LiveStrong actually addressed this very issue, referencing a study from the Mayo Clinic. The study found as many as half of all individuals with a “normal weight” according to the BMI test, were actually overweight or obese when they tested their body fat. We see this all the time at the club because we use a high-tech InBody machine to do our body compositions. Our machine not only measures height and weight, but it also considers your age.  Then it measures your intracellular water weight, extracellular water weight, muscle weight and body fat, resulting in a very accurate report.

Many people are completely shocked when they see their body fat-to-muscle ration puts them in the overweight category, even if their weight is normal for their height. Since most people lose muscle as they get older, unless they are purposefully working to maintain it, this is even more common for seniors. The InBody machine is one of the few machines that gives accurate details of what is actually going on inside your body, beyond the scale.

Insurance Agencies Still Live in the Dark Ages

Insurance companies need to get out of the 1800s, which is when the BMI was first actually first devised. Originally known as the Quetelet Index, BMI finally made headlines after a paper was published in 1972 by Ancel Keys, stating the BMI was the best proxy for body fat using the weight and height ratio. However, everyone seemed to ignore Keys’ remarks about BMI being appropriate for population studies, but inappropriate for individual diagnosis. So, not only is the BMI as out of date as polyester and bell bottoms, it’s also not being used as it was originally intended.

Some insurance companies may argue they also measure body fat, but many insurance agencies are not using reliable methods. Fat caliper measurements test the fat in the skin folds, but results can vary depending on the person doing the pinching. Also, the less pinching, the less reliable. A 7-site skin fold test is the best, but you still have plenty of room for error depending on the person’s expertise. Two different people can do measure the same person and come up with two different results.

While some insurance companies attempt to do caliper testing, many rely on the easy route, which requires no technical skill at all. Cheap body fat machines, like a body fat scale or a handheld device are their method of measurement. These machines use electrical impedance to measure body fat like our machine, but it only uses two points of contact, where our machine uses 8 conductors. This means the scale version only measures your lower body, and the handheld device only measures your upper body.

Then you have the issue of your thighs touching each other on a small scale or your arms touching your sides on the hand held machine, which can throw off the already less than accurate reading. In addition, hydration and food intake have a huge effect on the reading, making you look like your body fat is 15% higher or lower depending on your hydration prior to the reading. All in all, these cheapy body fat machines could cost you money.

While I love to hear insurance companies offering incentives and holding people accountable for their body weight (and maybe something is a little better than nothing) I hope the medical industry can catch up with the fitness industry, when it comes to using more reliable ways to measure someone’s body composition, so fitness and health can see eye to eye.

How to get an accurate InBody Analysis
Measure first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
Do not receive your analysis right after a shower. Skin and hair should be nice and dry.
Space legs and arms apart, not touching other body parts.
Do not drink prior to your analysis.
Do not workout prior to your analysis (as it will skew muscle mass from the muscles being pumped up)
Make sure your body temperature is regulated before your reading, not being excessively hot or cold.
Do not wear jewelry.
Avoid measuring during your menstrual cycle.
Always measure the same time of day for the most accurate comparisons.

Bring a printed copy of this blog and get one InBody Report at Max Fitness Club for $20.00 (regularly $50.00) or 2 for $30.00.

BMI Comparison Cartoon:
Chart: Healthy Weight Forum

THE FAT CHAT: How to Talk to a Loved One About Their Weight

I know from experience this is one tough topic to bring up. I’ve had firsthand experience facing the dreaded “Fat Chat” with my own family. With a subject as sensitive as this one, you can’t take it lightly and your words should be carefully chosen. Unfortunately, most people are so scared to talk about it, and they avoid it altogether.

It’s not much different than approaching someone about a drug problem or mental illness. You probably wouldn’t even hesitate if your loved one was anorexic. Obesity is just as serious. It’s not just plain unhealthy, it can cause depression, loneliness, low self-esteem, sadness, tiredness, hopelessness and even social stress.

It will never be a fun topic, but it could cost them their life if you choose to ignore it. Although there are no set rules to follow, there are some tips I learned along the way that may be useful if you face this situation yourself.

10 Tip to Having Effective Conversation

1. Don’t enable them. You don’t take an alcoholic to a bar, so don’t take someone who struggles with their weight to a pizza parlor. Lead by example and encourage healthy choices.

2. Don’t just tell them what they want to hear. Often times, people will complain about not losing weight and swear they are doing everything right. The fact is, they aren’t doing everything right if they aren’t getting the right results. Unfortunately, many people will say stuff like “you are probably just turning fat to muscle” to make them feel better about not losing weight. If they aren’t losing weight, instead of meaningless encouragement to help them feel better in the moment, brag on their effort and encourage them to try something else.

3. Encourage them to keep trying. If someone says they are trying to lose weight, but they aren’t successful, encourage them to keep digging and keep learning. Challenge them to never accept little or no results. One time a member came to me saying she hadn’t really lost any weight since she joined a year ago. I told her weight is all calories in vs. calories out. She told me she ate healthy, and I told her she was probably just eating too much. I encouraged her to count up the calories and dig deep to find the extra calories. A couple of months later she stopped and thanked me. She said she had lost 10lbs and discovered she was taking in way more calories than she thought.

4. Be honest. Many people flat out lie when it comes to people’s weight. I’m not suggesting you tell them their butt looks big in their jeans, but I am suggesting you don’t lie to them. There are many loving things you can say to someone without lying like “I’m sorry you feel bad, you know I love you no matter what” or “I have fat days too, do you want to go for a walk with me?” And sometimes, it’s best to say nothing. Many times people are already lying to themselves. If you confirm their lie, they will start believing them – and begin to accept their situation (weight), instead of thinking about fixing it.

5. Empower them with knowledge. You’ll never get anywhere with opinions. However, education is empowering. No one is motivated to do things until they understand. They must truly grasp why, and how, those things work. The more someone learns about weight loss and how it all works, the more willing they are to apply it because it makes sense. They will learn it’s just science and it works – and it will work for them too.

6. Don’t allow them to make excuses. This isn’t a fun one, but I’ve had many people make a long list of excuses they were holding on to with a death grip. With every excuse they gave me, I had to explain why that excuse wasn’t a valid one. (Ironically, they already know this) When my own mother finally accepted her situation and decided to do something about it, her motto was “no more excuses” as she realized she had been making excuses for YEARS – and it was only prolonging the inevitable. She went on to lose over 80lbs.

7. Whatever you do, do it in love. This is the key to any type of confrontation. If you don’t have love, you can’t be productive. If you address their weight and make it clear it is because you are concerned for them, you are worried, you want to help them, and you want them in your life for as long as possible – who can really be mad at that? However, if you come across judgmental, you might as well right them off. They will tune you out as fast as a staticy radio channel.

8. Help them. Never tell someone what to do if you aren’t willing to help them. If you really care, your actions must speak louder than your words. If they aren’t ready for your help, let them know you are there for them when they are.

9. Let them know they CAN do it. Most people who are overweight truly think they were born that way. They think they have some kind of health issue preventing weight loss or that their body just won’t lose weight like everyone else. My sister thought she was just born a big boned girl. I had to convince my family that her weight was a direct reflection of calories consumed. At first my mom whole-heartedly believing she didn’t eat that bad. It was only after my sister lost her first chunk of weight, when she came to live with me, that she confessed all the junk she was eating (and hiding). Low and behold, after losing a ton of weight, she found her smaller bones hiding behind the fat. 🙂

10. Ask them what they need. Don’t assume what your loved one needs, ask them. Ask them if they’d like the accountability and find out if they enjoy the support. Be honest with them and let them know you only want to discuss it, but only if it’s helpful. Let them know how much you care about how they feel. Not everyone is motivated by the same things so find out specifically what encourages them the most, as well as what discourages them.

As with any sensitive subject, there’s always a risk of hurting someone’s feelings. But feelings heel and your chat may save their life. Be patient, loving, kind, understanding and sensitive. They may not respond overnight, but know some of life’s biggest challenges bring about big rewards. 🙂

What If They Don’t Respond?

If you brave this subject, there is one last tip I’ll give you: Release them. If they don’t respond or they are not ready, you have to let it go and release them from guilt. Everyone wants to be fit and healthy, but if they give you a million excuses, and it’s clear they aren’t ready, it’s important they don’t have that extra guilt weighing on them.

Let. It. Go! Don’t harass them, don’t keep inviting them to the gym, don’t push it. If you are leading by example, your lifestyle will remind them – and if you were genuine, they will call on you when they are ready.

The seed is planted. Now you just have to wait for it to sprout.


When is the right time to bring up someone’s unhealthy weight?
Here’s what some of my facebook friends had to say:

Abominator D Goheen when their shirts don’t cover their bellies.

Sarha Chalmers I would say when u know it is affecting their health 😦 not a great chat to have but it has to be done when u care for someone

Malinda Wilkerson Blevins You can help-give them info-nothing works till they make the decision…it is honestly something they have to WANT to do.

Laurie Colón I’d say no chat is needed. Not like they don’t know already. Why hurt them. Just plain cruel actually

Stan Black When you can point out how it is negatively affecting thier life, health, and welfare.

Skinny Aint Fit never !!!! unless its a loved one and the health is in jeopardy 

Robin Testa Sullivan I have never done it unless the person brought it up first. I know what its like on the other side, although nobody ever said anything to me…think they just tiptoed around the issue like the elephant in the room, LOL. 

Share your thoughts and experience with us below!

Photo Credits:
Gold Digger Pic 
Fragile Pic 
Handle with Care Pic  
Love Never Fails Pic 
How Can I Help You Pic 
Seed Pic 

Fat Kills: Don’t underestimate it’s power!

I rarely am motivated to workout. It’s just something I have to keep doing, like brushing my teeth, to maintain the body God gave me best I can. Fat on your body is like fuzz on your teeth – when is OK to just leave it there? It deteriorates your body, and even makes you less attractive. It’s just not plain healthy – and it feels awful too.

Again, I’m bringing up the fact we treat fat differently than any other thing in our life – and body. Our health should be equal. If we have a sore spot, we treat it. We take care of our teeth, hair, nails, and even a minor sore throat. Tet, we may carry around a load of body fat and an unhealthy lifestyle that is going to kill us if we don’t do anything about it – and we totally ignore it or play it down.

Sure, I’m not overweight – however, I too often abuse my body. Whether it’s putting my workouts last, or eating something I know is bad for me, somehow it’s easy to justify our unhealthy lifestyle or decisions.

Even “fit” people, who supposedly are into exercise, are abusing their bodies with extreme diets and unbalanced exercise routines. Whether a person is running all the time and never doing anything to preserve muscle, flexibility, balance and core strength, or they are pumping iron all day long without ever exercising their heart and lungs – it’s like treating a heart condition and ignoring the big tumor on the side of you head.

Whole health is not some yoga pose and “Om” chant. Whole health is taking care of your body in it’s entirety. It’s getting check ups when you are supposed to, it’s exercising your heart and lungs as well as your muscles. It’s losing excess body fat that puts you at risk for an early death and poorer quality of health – and I’m not even talking about HUGE amount of weight. I’m talking about just 10-20lbs. If you don’t think your weight is killing you, think again.

Look at these statistics via US Department of Health & Human Services:

  • Even moderate weight excess (10 to 20 pounds) increases the risk of death, particularly among adults aged 30 to 64 years.
  • Individuals who are obese (BMI > 30)* have a 50 to 100% increased risk of premature death from all causes, compared to individuals with a healthy weight. Car accidents, trip and falls, illness – you name it.
  • A weight gain of only 11 to 18 pounds doubles your chance of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Over 80% of people with diabetes are overweight or obese.
  • Women gaining more than 20 pounds from age 18 to midlife double their risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, compared to women whose weight remains stable.
  • For every 2-pound increase in weight, the risk of developing arthritis is increased by 9 to 13%.
  • Obesity during pregnancy increases risk for both the baby and the mother by 10 times.
  • Obesity during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of birth defects, particularly neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
  • Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.

We tend to play down our body fat. We can always point out someone in worse condition and often treat the need to lose 10lbs as a vanity thing. If you are holding excess body fat, it’s not just about how you look and feel in your jeans – it’s staying alive so you can even wear a pair of jeans to begin with. This is about your health and quality of life. Don’t under-estimate the impact body fat makes on your life – or death. If you have it, it’s time to get rid of it.

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