We have waited ever so patiently for this summer to warm our bones and lift our spirits. There is nothing to compare to the wonderful feeling of sunshine gently caressing the skin. It is rejuvenating, detoxifying, reenergising and bottom line, we smile more during the summer. I have grown to love the smell of sand and ‘beach’ in the car, especially when you go to hoover it out in October and, no matter how many times you have hoovered, there is still more sand! I am ever more conscious now that there will be a time when the back seat will be empty, no more wrappers, no more smelly gear kicked under the seat, no more football boots rattling around the boot and, despite the fact that you tell your kids to shake off the sand before they get into the car, they always manage to leave a trailer load on the back seat! Change is inevitable, change is wonderful but for many, change is a scary thing.
The summer season can be a challenging time to dress for many women. This is a time that you reveal more of yourself than at any other time and have fewer layering tricks at your disposal to cover up certain parts. It is also more difficult to create a ‘new’ look every day, as the temperatures can often prevent you from adding jackets or scarves or wraps.
Summer is a complex beast, it makes us show our legs in public and ditch the endless nights of Netflix addiction, as we realise that there is more to life than clicking ‘Next Episode’. Then one summer you wake up and discover what CELLULITE is! How you enjoy your summer depends on whether you ‘care’ or ‘don’t care’ about cellulite because summer is a conscious cellulite-sufferers worst season. Do I care? Not even in the slightest, I am ever so grateful to be alive – there is absolutely no way that something as pathetic and trivial as ‘THE PEEL’ (the best way to describe cellulite) will be allowed to ruin even a second of my day. Do I have cellulite? Yes of course I do. Do I focus on it? Nope. Do I wear short shorts? Never out of the house in this country, it’s as simple as that. As far as I am concerned, those short ‘shorts’ are for my daughter’s generation. Trendy little beach dresses are far more flattering and cover exactly what you need them to cover. I don’t know how many women I meet every summer whine endlessly about their legs in shorts…while they are wearing them and looking unbelievably uncomfortable in them!
Are there any cures for cellulite? Cucumbers are wonderful and watery and hydrating and if you cut them lengthwise and rub them on your legs or upper arms – hey presto…they tighten the collagen in your skin’s outer layer and instantly reduce the appearance of cellulite. This is a great trick for a summer wedding or occasion, especially as fake tan does not hide cellulite and can, in fact, exaggerate it. The more you rub cucumber on your legs, the better – it has a cumulative effect, as the phytochemicals work to penetrate the next layer of skin.
Of course you can buy a ridiculously expensive cellulite-reducing cream and hope that it will work. In my opinion, they are a waste of money, you would be better served gently massaging your legs with upward strokes, try it out and do each part of your leg six times in a row. This does work and those of you who regularly read my articles will know that lovingly massaging any area of your body (especially the parts that you don’t like) improves circulation, drainage and weight loss!
I remember sitting in Prof. Morrissey’s Nutrition lectures; he mentioned hormones in meat causing cellulite…it was about seven or eight years later, sitting by the pool in NY that his words came back to me. I was blown away by all of the teenage girls that I saw with loads of cellulite. I genuinely believed that cellulite was something that appeared, as you got older, not as a teenager. Well, that used to be the case but our heavily processed diets have changed that and now, whether you are 18, 25 or 40, as skinny as a whippet or gloriously voluptuous, cellulite is having a field day in your body. Do what you can, eat as many fresh and raw foods that you love on a daily basis, drink lots of water with lemon, laugh loads and live your life. The flawless skin images in magazines are illusions created to sell creams and promote cosmetic surgery. So embrace your body, love it, including all of what you perceive to be its imperfections. Be body confident, stop comparing yourself to others and every morning when you wake up and your toes touch the ground, say a big fat THANK YOU for having the amazing body that you do, without it working the way it does, you wouldn’t be YOU!
Invest in a few good semi-casual dresses; there is nothing as glamorous and cool as a good summer dress. Tone it down with cute flipflops and paint your toe nails the brightest of colours, throw a denim jacket over your shoulders and off you go. I have several dresses that come out every year, sometimes one or other needs to be replaced (yippee…a shopping trip) but every single one of them gets worn, many times over. If you love wearing shorts or shorter-than-usual dresses but are fearful that your legs are not what they once used to be, USE DISTRACTION…throw on an exotic kimono over it and this will pull the focus away from your legs. In other words, you can continue to wear what you love but you might have to find a way to create a little illusion.
If you are worried that your arms resemble and wobble like chicken wings (do I ever hold back?) then don’t despair. Use accessories, shoes, colour, pattern and graphics to make things more interesting. Clever use of the aforementioned can immediately distract the eyes from your ‘yikes’ parts and can elongate and slim just about any body shape.
Sunglasses are probably the most important summer accessory that there is. They instantly add glam and hide tired eyes and cover a bad hair day when propped on your head…just so you know, when you have sunglasses on, you don’t even notice your cellulite!
If you want to feel cool and look cool in the summer when the temperatures rise, then white is your very best friend. It is the most versatile colour and can be combined with almost every colour and pattern in your closet for a clean look. You can cover yourself up as much or as little as you like. The most important thing is to be comfortable in your clothes, as when you are, it shows. Forty-plus is a time to say good-bye to cut out sleeves and somewhat limit transparency. Keep your boobs where they are supposed to be, snuggled inside your top! Regularly soak your feet so that you don’t have that dreaded hard skin. Keep your toenail polish in tip-top shape. Use your hair as your greatest accessory.
When you are a wonderful 90-years-old, will cellulite bother you? If it was possible to write a note at 90 and send it back to your 40 or 50 or 60-year-old self, what do you think you would write? Would you tell yourself to waste precious time obsessing about wrinkles or cellulite? You can be guaranteed that there will not be a mention of such trivialities! There just might be a mention of wearing swimming togs and swimming as much as possible. Perhaps a mini lecture on grasping every opportunity to love and be loved, to learn and grow, to get hurt and get over it, to be silly and never apologise for it, to step away from gossips, to stand up for what you believe in, to have the courage to change what doesn’t work for you or your loved ones and to let others be different and have differing opinions. Somehow I doubt that there will be any mention of clothes, wrinkles, cellulite or weight. So here’s to making it to 90, to meeting all my grandchildren and maybe some of my great-grandchildren! Wishing you all the very best on your journey to 90.