The most common complaint I hear from ladies who share an hourglass figure is that we have big thighs, big wobbly sometimes cellulitey thighs. They can be hard to flatter in casual outfits because they don’t fit into skinny jeans (or any jeans) too well, or we don’t want to get our legs out in the summer because they don’t look good enough (guilty). In fact, I must admit to hating most of summer fashion because the sun and outdoors requires mainly casual outfits from me, and mainly skin-baring outfits of some sort.
Well I’m here today to tell you the good news: I managed to cure my thigh wobbliness by a good 70%* using a handful of very simple techniques, and have a few ideas for improving the skin of my legs so they can become legs I’m proud of.
(*this number may be entirely speculative…)
First up, the thigh wobbliness strategy. This is what changed in my habits to produce legs that are nearly shorts-worthy (still a work in progress…)
- Started walking to work. For me this means 35-40 minutes of walking, sometimes twice a day (so 80 mins of walking) on at least 3 days a week. I live outside of Auckland, so have to get a bus into town, but I made the choice to walk the second leg of my journey so I could get fit again and tone my legs. The walk is a refreshing way to start the day and I don’t get too sweaty so I don’t have to shower when I get to work. If the walk was more vigorous however, I’d wear workout gear for the journey, and have a back-pack with my work clothes to change into, plus a few shower bits and bobs (the hassle is worth the healthy feeling, and the reward your thighs will give you). Personally I believe (from own experience and reading online plus a bit of medical knowledge) that walking is excellent exercise for women – it’s great cardio, it lacks the adverse effects of more extreme exercise on your soft curves, it’s accessible to all and I personally have always lost weight when I’ve had a regular walking habit. Is there some way you could fit in some walking to your daily schedule? Make it part of your normal comings and goings if possible as you don’t have to go out of your way to achieve it then and it becomes a habit.
- Started squatting like nobody’s business. This and a bit of weight loss I think are the most responsible for the tighter thighs I’m currently sporting. I’m not a gym-goer currently, and I eschew weights because I am mesomorphic (put on muscle easily) and don’t need any more chunk on these gams. What I do, in my simplistic way, is chuck on a Beyonce song, and I will pretty much squat repeatedly for about twenty minutes in my room, as well as doing lunges and leg raises (you on all fours, one leg extended straight and lifted up and down), then finish off with some sit ups and…um..back ups (?the back version of sit ups). It’s cheap and effective and because I’m using only my body weight to squat I’m getting thinner but more powerful thighs and butt. Oh, I need to say also that squatting is THE thing for cellulite. So, squat ladies like there’s no tomorrow.
- Weight loss. I have a very simple and probably nutritionally inadequate way around weight loss, but it works for my hourglass frame. I eat a medium banana instead of breakfast, and drink loads of tea to fill me up. Lunch, for short periods of 3-5 days, I will just eat an apple and a banana, then I have dinner from My Food Bag which is essentially a nutrient-packed fairly-healthy-but-not-too-extreme and filling evening meal. I may also take a multivitamin whilst I’m dieting just so I’m not missing any key nutrients but I’m pretty forgetful. When snacking during the day, I keep a 1kg bag of mixed dried fruit and nuts, and will grab a small handful to conquer any snack attacks (maybe twice a day), plus drinking more huge mugs of tea or coffee which suppress appetite and fill you up. And aside from this, I try to avoid all other food, especially sweet sugary snacks and drinks. The result of all this, for me, is gradual weight loss, about 1lb a week, without any noticeable hunger. You end up with a great body, but yellow teeth due to tea-staining. So, you know, you can’t have it all. Another thing I’ve looked into in the past is intermittent fasting – the science is sound and you don’t ruin your metabolism, but I’m quite a hungry gal so I’d rather eat a banana than fast. Note, I have not looked into the nutritional aspects of this at all and am not trained to do so and will not recommend it as an awesome thing for other people to do, but this is just what is tolerable and effective for me. But back to the original point, the thighs have improved because I’ve got less flesh on top, and better muscles beneath the flesh.
Lastly, improving skin texture on legs. I don’t know if it’s a problem with all of us who carry more weight on the legs (due to poor surface circulation perhaps?) but I have got quite bumpy skin on my thighs and calves (keratosis pilaris) and my fake tan will often stick to the bumps = awesome. My strategy for improving the skin quality (and this may be useful for those who don’t have keratosis pilaris too) involves the following:
- Weekly body scrubs – I’m currently using a gorgeous coffee body scrub with those exfoliating gloves you can buy from any pharmacy or dollar store.
- Daily intensive moisturizing – Jergen’s Oatmeal and Shea Butter is one of the best body moisturizers I’ve used.
- Weekly or fortnightly aspirin peels (salicylic acid, dissolves the upper keratin layers on the skin) – obviously only use if you’re not allergic to aspirin, but its a gentle peel that you don’t need to neutralize other than applying water to rinse, and it leaves your legs incredibly smooth. Google aspirin peel for recipes, and start low strength if in doubt. I use this recipe personally. Used regularly, you should gradually start to improve the bumpy texture of your legs.
- My next plan is a weak strength glycolic acid peel – ideally you’d have a professional doing this for you. I’m probably going to obtain mine through my laser salon, Avana, in Auckland. Be careful if you buy any online, ensure you only use reputable sources even if it costs more, as you do not want to end up with burns. If you are doing it at home, always stick to the instructions as glycolic acid is not really to be messed with as far as I understand (I haven’t tried it at home personally)
- Obviously if you are not happy with the texture of your skin on your legs, fake tan and instant bronzers will make a world of difference to your confidence. My typical regime when good legs are needed over summer involves one or two layers of a good fake tan the night before (ModelCo tan in a can is fab), wash this off then moisturise. Then apply Sally Hansen’s airbrush legs (lotion is what I’m using currently, not the spray although both are fantastic, literally the best in my opinion). On top, I’ll spray some of my Sephora shimmer body oil and voila – shiny, smooth, perfect looking limbs. Oh I should’ve said – shaving or waxing is a must before all this 🙂
So I hope this long-winded post has proved useful to you, and might inspire you when it comes to figuring out your own regimes.