cellulite jennifer dene wellness

Let’s Talk About Cellulite (Dare to Bare this Summer)

Cellulite. Now there’s a topic that nobody likes to discuss.

Unlike concerns about hair, pimples, or even weight, talking about cellulite feels really personal. But while we may not be talking about it, being saddled with cellulite is something that many women think about, and even obsess over.

So today we ARE going to have a chat about cellulite and why you should shake off your sarong this summer…dimples and all.

Let’s dive in.

So you have cellulite. Welcome to the club.

Here’s a reality check for you: 90% of women have cellulite. I’m one of them, you’re probably one of them, and you’d better believe that most magazine cover models and A-list actresses aren’t immune from a bump or two either.

Yet despite that reality, cellulite is something that makes most of us feel insecure and — let’s be honest — even a little ugly.

I get it.

I first discovered that I had cellulite when I was just 24 years old, and let me tell you, I was taken by complete surprise. It was as if I went to bed one night, skin as smooth as a supple leopard, and woke the next morning to find the little buggers broken out over my backside.

My first reaction was one of slight horror and embarrassment. Did my friends have cellulite? Would other women judge me? Was I destined to spend the next 80 years wearing long pants?

At that time I was living in hot and humid North Carolina where baring one’s legs is unavoidable during the long summer. I looked at my social calendar and, to my dismay, I noticed that the coming weekends were filled with pool parties, lake parties and shorts-appropriate cookouts. I felt a little devastated.

Admittedly, my initial response was rather dramatic (as was the hasty decision to invest in multiple pairs of linen trousers), but I can understand why it happened. Every day mainstream media makes women think that cellulite is ugly, unhealthy and not at all sexy.

Apparently, being beautiful is being dimple free.

Of course the magazines can’t say those exact words — what a PR nightmare that would be! —but the message they’re sending is loud and clear, and it’s delivered by airbrushing all the lumps and bumps off their already gorgeous models.

Why I Dare You to Bare

Having cellulite does not mean that you’re an unhealthy, unfit, or undesirable woman…it doesn’t even mean that you have too much body fat.

Cellulite occurs when the top layer of fat cells (those which are responsible for padding your body and supplying energy) push up into the outermost layer of skin, creating dimples at the surface.  Your susceptibility has to do with the strength and elasticity of your skin, which declines with age, and how well it cushions and compacts your subcutaneous fat.

While it may not always feel desirable, having cellulite is actually quite normal.

So don’t hesitate to reach for that pair of shorts or your bikini bottoms this summer.  “Perfect” is an Instagram filter that you don’t need, and life’s more fun when you love the skin you’re in.  So go ahead and flaunt it!

With love,

Jennifer Dene

how to be beautiful jennifer dene wellness

Rejoice In The Beauty Of You

I’ve always been something of an introvert; I enjoy spending time doing my own thing and tend to feel nervous in big social gatherings. But when I first moved to America in 2011 I told myself that I would become more outgoing, accept more invitations and basically just be more confident being me. If only the power of thought was enough.

As it turns out, I felt even more like a fish out of water. Stripped from the ease of living in Australia — where I understood the culture, the landscape, the ebb and flow of daily life — I found myself struggling just to fit in, much less be my most gregarious self.

My feelings of being disconnected to the people around me was not due to anything that they were doing, rather it came from my own negative self talk (you’re not as interesting; you’re not as pretty; you’re not as smart). Instead of spending energy building new relationships, much of my attention was focused inward, comparing how I felt about myself to what I perceived about others.

The more I played this game of “comparisonitis,” the less beautiful I felt. If only I could have understood that the power of knowing yourself and being comfortable in your own skin is far more attractive (to yourself and others) than any external physical feature.

This brings me to today’s topic: rejoicing in the beauty of being you.

The other day I was listening to an interview with Tera Warner, a body-image-detox coach. Like me, Tera believes that when women place too much emphasis on how they look, they take the joy away from how they live. 

Tera discussed how passive intake of body-obsessed media images (social media, advertising, entertainment and the like) is making women feel less at ease in their own skin. She went on to say that if women don’t stand in their own shoes and put their own mark on the world, then they’ll never escape the hamster wheel of negative body image.

And boy, do I agree with that.

Even after all the work that I’ve done on my own “body enlightenment” I can still catch myself scrolling through Instagram or watching other people’s YouTube videos and feeling less-than.

Such is the power of image and social perception.

I believe that you too play the game of comparisonitis (perhaps with other people you know, those you see online, or even with past versions of yourself) — so what are you going to do about it? Because you have to do something.

Doing nothing fuels the fire of self-doubt and keeps you focused on the fabricated media obsessions around body image.

Doing nothing keeps you small and means that you will never truly fall in love with your body and life (morbid reminder: you only get one of each).

Doing nothing diminishes a woman’s worth to believing that she is only as good as her appearance.

Obviously, you can’t do nothing.

In her interview, Tera shared a quote that I absolutely love: “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the first two syllables in beautiful are BE U.”

With that in mind, here are 10 things that you can do to not only love the skin you’re in, but to put your mark on the world in a way that shows other women that we, as a gender, are so much more than our bodies.

How To Be Beautiful You

  1. Live with compassion for yourself and others; be loving to those around you
  2. Be intentional about how you spend your time
  3. Achieve something every day that makes you feel proud
  4. Know your purpose in YOUR life…this doesn’t have to be exotic, it just has to be real
  5. Know what lights you up and brings you down; do more of the former and less of the latter
  6. Don’t spend too much time alone — real connections matters, social ones don’t
  7. Get offline as much as possible (your world won’t end if you delete some of those apps)
  8. Highlight your weird, unique differences — being the same as everyone else is boring
  9. Live in the now and appreciate who you are today, don’t try to be the person you once were or spend too much time wondering about the person you could become
  10. Spend more time and energy on creating things that you can put out into the world and less time on absorbing information and messages; be the curator of your own life’s photo album

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

What did you think about today’s topic? If you find yourself feeling deflated after spending too much time on social media, or comparing yourself to other people on a regular basis, what are you going to do about it? Which of these 10 suggestions, if any, feels like an area that you need to address? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

With love,

How To Stop Overeating Halloween Candy (And Other Holiday Treats)

Is the thought of a kitchen filled with Halloween candy giving you the heebie-jeebies?

Are you feeling frustrated, and helpless, about your annual binge on fun-sized bars?

Perhaps you’re thinking of boycotting “Trick Or Treat” this year, just to avoid the temptation…

I get it. Those mini chocolate bars have a way of getting themselves eaten, and the guilty feelings that follow are as horrid as a Wes Craven movie. But that’s not going to happen this year. 

In today’s post I’m sharing the tricks that I use to avoid bingeing on treats. Read on for three strategies that you can use this year to stop overeating Halloween candy (and avoid holiday weight gain).

Halloween should be scary for the movies, the costumes, and for your husband’s terrible attempt at pumpkin carving. But, for many of us, the real fear comes from premonitions of uncontrollable candy binges.

Memories from last year — snacking on Snickers and crunching on Kit Kats  — is enough to induce the ghost of a belly-ache. Not to mention a wave of pre-emptive guilt; your assumption is that it’ll happen again.

And it’s not only Halloween night that causes concern; that leftover loot has a way of making eyes at you from across the kitchen counter all week long. 

If you have, or have ever had, a problem with over-eating, emotional-eating, food-addiction, or sugar-addiction, then being faced with an oversized bowl of bite-sized candy is a recipe for disaster.

Since you can’t rely on willpower to get you through Halloween night, let alone the whole holiday season, you’re going to need a strategy. So let me break this thing down, and make it as simple as 1, 2, 3…

How To Stop Overeating Halloween Candy

Tip One: Buy Yourself A Real Treat

Have you ever declined dessert at a restaurant or dinner party, only to go home and raid the cookie cupboard? When it comes to food, willpower can only take you so far, which is why deciding NOT to have any treats isn’t always a smart move.

But that doesn’t mean giving in to the wrong temptation.

The problem with Halloween candy is that it’s just downright crappy. Unless you’re giving out organic, Fair-Trade, single serve dark chocolate bars — thereby killing your “cool status” with the neighborhood kids — the stuff that you’re sharing is low in quality, high in sugar, and often made via third-world child labor (1).

Normal Halloween candy is wreaking havoc on your blood sugar, messing with your metabolism, and generally making you feel pretty bad about yourself. It’s simply not worth the splurge.

(P.S. Have you grabbed your copy of my Boost Your Metabolism Guide? It’s free! You can grab it by clicking here.)

If you’re going to indulge, then I recommend doing it properly! Buy yourself a small, high quality treat, and savor every mouthful. Whether that’s an expensive chocolate bar or a ridiculously beautiful pastry from your local bakery, eating something decadent should feel sensuously satisfying, and be an event to be (fondly) remembered.

Tip Two: Do You Really WANT More Candy?

Food should make you feel good: physically, mentally and emotionally. Overeating food that doesn’t tick all three boxes is a sign of self-punishment, not self-love.

The “Want Test” is something that I share with my clients when it comes to eating treat foods. You can eat anything you WANT, in the amount that you WANT, if you’re eating from a place of self-love, emotional clarity, and epicurean delight.

Feeling guilty about eating often leads to overeating; you may have had the thought of: “I’ve already blown it by having some, so I might as well have the rest…” In doing so, you’re telling your body that (a) it doesn’t deserve a little treat from time to time (it’s not good enough / thin enough / fit enough to warrant anything special); and (b) that your body is basically a trash can, a place where unwanted food gets tossed. 

This is why one donut leads to five, or two chocolates leads to ten; and it’s what holds you hostage to the food that you eat. In the past, that way of thinking has seen me empty a box of cereal or polish off three bowls of ice cream; not exactly actions that speak self-contentment, are they?

The “Want Test” puts you back in a position of power by choosing what, and how much, you eat.

If you find yourself starting to unwrap another piece of candy this Halloween, take a moment and ask yourself:

  • Do I really want this?
  • Why do I want this?
  • Do I want this for my taste buds (will it taste any better than the last)?
  • Do I want this for my body?
  • Do I want this for myself emotionally?

As you answer these questions remember that there is ALWAYS more food, you can always have another treat tomorrow, and your decision making is more powerful than your sweet tooth.

Tip Three: Discard The Leftovers

The morning after Halloween is when reality hits you  — last night’s sugar binge, and overeating food that you didn’t actually want, feels pretty ordinary the following day. The morning brings with it that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, and the negative self-talk that yells: I can’t believe you did this again.*

You’re left with no choice but to get the leftover candy OUT OF THE HOUSE.

Here’s what not to do:

  • Don’t take it to work (you still have access, and your co-workers might not feel so thrilled)
  • Don’t try to hide it for later in the holidays (come on, we all know that doesn’t work)
  • Don’t stand in the kitchen eating it while trying to come up with a solution.

Here’s what you can do:

Throw it out — in the outdoor trash if you have to do. Worried about waste? Don’t be. Worry about your health. My mum taught me that it’s wasted food anyway, if you eat it but you don’t want it.

*Of course, hopefully this year you can wake up to a bright and sunny morning feeling totally at peace. You implemented tips one and two from today’s blog post, and you DIDN’T eat too much candy. Well done you! But don’t be a hero; get that leftover loot outta there.

I hope that these three strategies can help you tackle Halloween, and the entire holiday season, with a sense of calm. Trust in your body and, no matter what happens, remember to be patient and kind to yourself as you continue to tweak your healthy-living routines. 

With love,

JDW Signature

How To Boost Self Esteem With Compliments

The simplest things can make a big difference to how we feel about ourselves and our lives.

Getting a good nights sleep. Having fresh flowers around the home. Laughing at a friend’s joke. These small, daily actions not only help us to feel more happy and relaxed, they can also boost self esteem.

Appreciating life’s little joys is a gentle reminder that every day is a gift, and that each of our lives is special and unique — something that should be valued.

Yet unfortunately it’s easy to focus on the negatives, on what we don’t have, or what we wish we could change.

We might catch ourselves comparing our life, our body or personality, to other people, and particularly other women. Whether this manifests itself as you judging them, or you judging you, someone is going to get devalued.

Comparing yourself to other people won’t boost self esteem, it won’t change how you feel about yourself, and it won’t help you to make the positive changes that you need to live a life that you love.

No matter how perfect someone else’s life, or body, may look from the outside, we all struggle with feeling insecure from time to time.

The simple strategy that I will share with you in today’s video takes less than 30 seconds and will allow you to feel more confident and satisfied in yourself, as well as share those positive feelings with other women around you.

Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you.

What simple, daily, action, habit, or experience helps you to feel happier, more confident and boosts self esteem?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Remember that this video is part of my series: 7 Ways To Love Your Body & Life This Week. Catch up on all the videos here.

Click the image to download your free Self Love Checklist!

7 Ways To Love Your Body (Cheat Sheet)

Just to recap, here’s your task for today…

Go out and pay a genuine compliment to another woman (and remember that it doesn’t just have to be about appearance).

Then, dive into the next video where I’ll show you how to ditch the diets and live at your ideal weight without deprivation.

Thank you so much for joining me here on Jennifer Dene Wellness. I know that together we will create a bright, healthy and purpose-filled future for ourselves, and the women that come after us.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Don’t forget to download your Self Love Checklist. Here it is.