Saturday, April 2, 2011

Operation Beach Body and the "C" Word Mystery

Every year, on my birthday (which happens to fall on March 21st--the first day of Spring) I start an intense routine which I call: Operation Beach-Body. I love to spend every spare moment on the beach in the summer- soaking up the sun, feeling the sand between my toes, taking an occasional dip in the cool, refreshing water. In order for me to really enjoy all this, however, there is a great deal of preparation involved. You see, I have this ridiculously unfounded, deep-rooted fear that the Coast Guard and a team of marine biologists will gather 'round for a beached-whale rescue mission the moment I sprawl out on a beach blanket in my bathing suit. Just because I am a nutritional consultant and recently made the transition from Vegetarian to Vegan, doesn't mean I am immune to winter weight-gain and a few lumps and bumps here and there.   I have those "OMG! I have to wear a swim suit in public" panic attacks just like everyone else. This is why I prepare well in advance for those hazy, hot, humid days by the seashore.

Here's my Operation Beach Body Routine:

Break out the swim suits.....
I have several but my faves: a one piece with a deep plunging neck-line and my push-up bra bikini- both black, of course. I remove them from storage and hang them over my bedroom door for inspiration. I won't even consider indulging in a late-night snack or skipping a work-out as long as those sexy suits are in view. I know I only have a few short months to squeeze my body into them or be forced to wear my "Good Christian Girl" bathing suit. I don't think so!

Shift into Hyper-Drive.....
I tend to get lazy in the winter. I try to slide by with a little daily yoga, some weight lifting (when I feel like it) and an occasional stroll on the treadmill. I want to show some skin in the summer so I know I need to step it up with consistent hard-core work-outs.

Skip the Comfort Food.......
No more mac and cheese, chili with homemade cornbread, pasta, pancakes or potatoes. When the first day of Spring arrives, I stock my fridge and pantry with lots of fresh fruit, green veggies, nuts, avocados, and lean protein like tofu, tempeh, and beans. I also make sure I drink plenty of water.

The Morning and Evening Skin Prep......
My skin tends to be dry so spring, summer, winter, fall, I religiously exfoliate and cover my body with cream and oil.  I don't want to look and feel like an old catcher's mitt. My Operation Beach Body Morning and Evening Skin Prep is something all together different. I am almost ashamed to admit this. Brace yourselves because I am going to say it--the dreaded "C" word! CELLULITE! I have it....that's right....those yucky, cottage cheese lumps and bumps that all women fear and try to cure or hide. Every woman in my family has cellulite. It's genetic. My mother is loaded with it. My poor Aunt Ann (God rest her soul), had it so badly, she actually looked deformed. It was as if her torso rested on two giant overstuffed sacks of marbles.

My mother and my aunt never really exercised a day in their lives so they are extreme cases. I am still young and fairly active, so I really only have a little touch of cellulite. But I know it's there on the backs of my thighs and I am self-conscious about it.

 I am absolutely terrified my genes will dictate the envitable--that my thighs will some day resemble those in this photo. To prevent the
'DeSanti Curse', as we affectionately call it in my family, I eat right, exercise, and use cellulite treatment creams. The creams cost me a few hundred dollars every year and it's a two-part system- a day cream and a night cream. It's so darn cold in my house I use only the day cream in the winter, as soon as I step out of the shower. On my birthday, that all changes. I use both every single day. The night cream is thicker and the application is a bit more complicated.

I must apply it liberally, massage it in with one of these, and let it dry......

I have been doing this for years. It hasn't really cured my cellulite problem but as long as I keep using these creams, it's less noticeable.

So on my 49th birthday, I broke out the night cream and my cellulite massager.  There I stood naked in front of my full length mirror for the first time this year. You can imagine my surprise when I turned to inspect the backs of my thighs and there wasn't any cellulite! 

I ran to get my glasses because I was convinced that old age had stolen my eye-sight and my mind. Even with the cellulite!

 I racked my brains trying to think of what I did differently this winter. I wanted to join a gym this year, but couldn't fit it into my already hectic schedule so I worked out at home, as usual. I thought about subjecting myself to a treatment like this......

but......I just couldn't justify spending all that money!

What did I do that made my cellulite disappear?

Then it dawned on me! This past September I made two radical changes. I stopped drinking alcohol and I became a full-fledged Vegan. No Happy Hours. No Friday nights hanging out at the local bar. No glasses of wine with dinner. I stopped eating dairy, eggs and all animal products. There have been occasional slip-ups but as rule, these things are no longer a part of my life. 

Oh. My. Goodness.....this is incredible!

What am I trying to say? Well......I can't promise that giving up Happy Hour or adopting a Vegan diet will make your cellulite disappear, but it certainly worked miracles for me! If you don't want to make such drastic changes to your life, why not cut back on milk, cheese, eggs, and meat and limit your cocktails to one or two a week and see what happens? It's worth a shot. And even if you don't experience the same results I did, I promise you will feel so healthy, vibrant and self confident, you won't give a damn about a little bit of cellulite!

I am still applying both of those creams daily, by the way. I don't think Mother Nature is playing an evil trick on me, but just in case she is, I want to be sure I've got it all covered! 

And this is my Daily Cyn......

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