The Seven Day Mirror Challenge Results (For REAL This Time)

skindeepstory.com i hate how i look

Hello Beauties,

Geez it’s been a while since my last post.  Nearly a month!  Sorry.  I just haven’t felt the inspiration to write this post and I don’t want this blog to ever feel like a chore.  It just wouldn’t be authentic.

So, I finally did the Seven Day Mirror Challenge!

As you may know, I kind of failed the last time I tried.  I felt so bad about my appearance that I literally didn’t want to look in the mirror, much less look in it and say nice things about myself.  But I followed through with my promise and you know what?  I was right.  A huge shift happened.

skindeepstory.com how to love the mirrorThe hard part the first few days was being genuine.  I’d look into the mirror and say “Sierra, you are beautiful” but my ego would shout back at me “Liar!”  I kind of felt bipolar in the beginning of the challenge, so I decided I wouldn’t say things if I didn’t really mean them.  So those first few days I said things like “I am really smart,” or “I’m a very loyal friend,” or “I can cook up a delicious stack of pancakes.”  I believed these compliments wholeheartedly and was happy to look myself in the eyes and point them out.

After a few days, I started to get more comfortable with the exercise and found myself saying things like “I have really pretty  hands” or “I love the color of my eyes.”  I started playing around with the idea that maybe I have physical traits that are…gulp…actually BEAUTIFUL!

By the end of the week I started to look forward to my daily mirror ritual.  Finding new qualities about myself that I could actually be proud of was really eye opening.  I have spent so much time focusing on all the imperfections that I wasn’t seeing the beauty.  It was like tunnel vision.  The last day I found myself listing even more than 5 positive traits – and they were both physical and non physical compliments.  I have great cheekbones and a warm smile.  I’m very creative and I love making people feel good about themselves.  And yes, I do make a mean pancake breakfast 🙂

When it was all done, I could actually look into the mirror, red dry pimple-filled skin and all, and genuinely say “I am beautiful, inside and out.”  Such a huge shift in thinking…I still look into the mirror on occasion and repeat that affirmation.  The trick is to really mean it!

skindeepstory.com keep calm and love yourselfThere’s one more thing I wanted to share…and this is the best part!  As the week progressed I noticed a dramatic change in my skin.  I went from having three new cystic pimples a day, to literally NO NEW ACNE!  I remembered a documentary I watched recently called “What The Bleep Do We Know” (which you can watch for free HERE).  It’s all about how our mind creates our own reality.  Not just how we feel about ourselves, but actual physical changes that occur solely from a change in thinking.

Full disclosure: I have been on spironolactone, birth control and medical grade topicals for several months and it’s certainly possible that the change in my skin was simply the medications finally starting to work on my acne.  But, I like to think there’s more to it.  I finally saw my own beauty even through my pimples.  I think that may have been the lesson the universe was trying to give me.  It’s like a twisted version of Beauty and the Beast.  I had to first find the inner beauty to achieve the outer beauty.  Cheesy?  Maybe.  But it’s the honest to goodness truth.

It’s been a few weeks since the challenge and I really haven’t looked back.  My skin continues to improve in strides, but more importantly, I like myself again.  I haven’t felt that way in ages.  I’m so happy I completed the Seven Day Mirror Challenge and I really hope you try it too.

xo

Sierra

Daily Affirmation:  I am beautiful, inside and out.

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The 7 Day Mirror Challenge

acne and the mirror

Sorry I have been absent for so long.  Reflecting is something I’ve been avoiding lately.  Emotionally, and physically as well.

When did the mirror become my enemy?  As a woman, I feel this innate need to be feminine and beautiful.  I used to admire my own reflection.  Now when I catch myself in the mirror I obsess, picking out every flaw, especially my acne.

mirror mirror on the wallI have given an inanimate object all the power.  The mirror can completely make or break my day, and more often than not lately, it has been the latter.  I am preoccupied with a physical perfection that is high by any standards, and I know that any time I see what I look like I am just going to feel disappointed and hopeless.

At this point I’ve started avoiding mirrors altogether.  I will consciously keep my head down when I am in a room with one.  Even just knowing that my reflection exists makes me anxious, whether I see it or not.

This is true on another level as well.  I have really been avoiding looking within to face all of my negative feelings.  I try to preoccupy myself during all waking hours, but my thoughts always seem to find me.

Unfortunately, I just can’t keep hiding from myself.  It’s impossible.

What I realize is that in order to truly face the mirror, I must look past my inner critic – my ego.  When I look into the mirror I am not seeing the real me.  My ego takes over and all I can perceive are my insecurities.  It’s time to take the power back because when it comes down to it, I get to choose how I feel about myself.

Take a stand with me and try The 7 Day Mirror Challenge.  For one week, I am going to look in the mirror every morning and list five things I admire about myself, physical or otherwise.  It’s one small shift that I’m betting will have a big impact!

happy without acne

I’ll let you know how the challenge goes in a week, and I hope you do the same.  Comment below and let me know 5 things you really admire about yourself! 

Affirmation: I am beautiful, inside and out.

The Perfectionist’s Pimple

life is wonderful skindeepstory.wordpress.com

I remember reading Louise Hay’s Heal Your Body A-Z: The Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Way to Overcome Them a few months ago and being really touched when she explained that it is the perfectionist and hyper-critical types who tend to get skin disorders.  This really struck a chord with me because that is exactly who I am.

(By the way, I love Louise Hay and secretly wish she was my wise and loving grandmother.  I bet she bakes a mean apple fritter… but I digress.)

So, the hardest thing for me, as a perfectionist, has been “coming out.”  The only people that know the severity of my acne are my parents.  They are really supportive and I am so grateful for that.  But for some reason I have intense shame about this imperfection.  I have always strived to be beautiful, thin, successful and basically perfect, and can’t imagine letting people in on the big secret. I am anything BUT perfect.

hiding acne with ski mask skindeepstory.wordpress.comWhen you have severe acne, there is NO way to hide it.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  I immediately know if a room has a dimmer switch. I scout out soft and dark lighting.  I have grown my hair out and styled it in such a way to try and cover my face as much as possible.  I try to only hang out in social situations at night when it’s darker.  If I have a “good side” then I will make sure I am always facing that side when I talk to you.  I avoid mirrors at all costs, and I’m just waiting for burglar-style ski masks to come back into fashion.  Do you think they ever will?

If I were giving advice to someone like me, I would say “Wake up!  Your whole life is passing you by because you are obsessed with the impossible task of being perfect.  You are chasing an unrealistic goal.”  Easier said than done.

On the advice of a total stranger on acne.org (but someone who I am very thankful to have met) I decided to let go of the perfect facade for a minute and I “came out” to my sister yesterday.  I told her that I have PCOS and acne that has been ruling my life.  As soon as I said it, I realized there was nothing to be scared about.  She was so understanding and non judgmental.  I let her know that I am not a perfect sister and that right now I am 28, I have acne, I lost my job and I live with my parents.  And you know what?  It felt good to tell her about it and just laugh.  And laugh I did! I mean, this is kind of hilarious…

Strong Beautiful Woman with Acne skindeepstory.wordpress.comYes, this is probably the low point in my life, but with a little change of perspective, and a little loosening of those perfectionistic tendencies, I can see that humor and the gift that is my situation.  Acne is teaching me something new every day.  I let my need for perfectionism create unhappy and unhealthy situations at work, in my relationships, in my social life, family life, and personal emotional world.

Little by little, I am letting go.  Life is not about being perfect.  If you live that way you are constantly dismissing what’s right in front of you:  The beautiful imperfections that make up your story.

Daily Affirmation: I love my imperfections.

Are YOU a perfectionist?  Check out this article about the Top Traits of Perfectionism.  This was quite an eye opener for me…

Love to hear your feedback.  Feel free to comment below!

The Magic Pill!

Hello Lovelies!  It’s a gorgeous sunny day today and life is good.  Acne is not good, but acne is not life.  (Note to self, read that last sentence when doubt arises.)

Today I want to talk about a magic pill that will heal you in just 7 days!!  You will be acne-free, lose 10 pounds, have boundless energy, make loads of money, get married, have 2.5 kids, a dog, a house – the whole nine yards.

Just kidding.  I want to talk about how there is no such thing as a magic pill or a perfect diet and lifestyle that works for everyone.

You are unique. No one else has your body, your mind, and your particular needs. You are an incredibly complex being and every experience you have had up to this very second has shaped you into who you are.  When it comes to you, one size does NOT fit all.

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So why would you think that what worked for someone else is going to work for you?  It’s so easy to fall into the trap that “this NEXT diet or pill is the one that is going to work!  If I follow this protocol to a T then I am for sure going to be healed.”  Believe me, I’ve fallen into that trap at least a hundred times.

I don’t want you to be hopeless!  There is hope!  And I don’t want you to become a critical pessimistic person.  But, I do want you to be discriminating.  What works for someone else may not work for you.  If I had never discovered that I had PCOS I would keep on trying these different diets and supplements that, in retrospect, would have never worked.  I have no doubt that the people who created these programs were indeed very successful on them.  But they are not me.

With that said, I do believe there are incredible health protocols out there that take your unique body into account.  They are flexible to your needs and allow you to actually discover what works and what doesn’t without a rigid “my way or the highway” point of view.

ImageWhen it comes to your health, consider yourself a scientist.  I encourage you to experiment.  Mix and match to find what works.  If you decide to try something new, go full out and be smart about it!  If you make 10 changes at once, you’ll never know what made the difference.

Be precise.  Be objective.  And (this may be the most difficult part) be patient.

You will discover your own “magic pill.” 

Today’s affirmation: I am filled with hope.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Feel free to start the dialogue below.  I have a feeling this is a hot topic…