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.

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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.

Image

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…

Gratitude

Gratitude - Skin Deep Story

Wondering why I’ve been absent recently?  Here’s why.

In the past week I lost my job, moved in with my parents, and got diagnosed with PCOS.  Yeah…that’s a whole lotta whole lotta.  Let’s just say I needed some time to process.

So you’re probably wondering what’s with the title?

I have two choices here.  I can wallow in self-pity or I can focus on what I do have.  I choose both – sort of.

wallowing with ice cream - skin deep storyQuite honestly, I’ve been wallowing.  Big time.  I stayed in bed, watched way too many movies, ignored all my friends, cried, ate a truckload of chocolate, and now, honestly, I’m just bored of it.  Wallowing gets old really fast.

I’m ready to move on and move up.  And the best way to do this is to witness all the amazing aspects of my life that I can be grateful for.

Today I am grateful because (drumroll please…), my skin is finally improving!  With the PCOS diagnosis I chose to go back on a pill I used to take called Spironolactone.  To some this may seem like “cheating.”  This is a holistic site for curing acne, right?  Yes, it is.  And I have tried every holistic and natural diet potion, lotion, herb and meditation out there.  I am thin with PCOS so unlike most overweight people who have this disorder, I’m not able to diminish the symptoms by simply losing weight.  Believe me, I’ve tried it (see my last post).  So I made peace with the fact that for me, going semi holistic is my path.  And I am fine with that.

Anyway, that’s a little off topic, but what I really want to say is, I’M SO GRATEFUL!  My skin is finally improving.  I’m noticing the changes every day.  Yes, I am looking at tons of red marks that I pray will eventually fade.  And there are a few new pimples that arise but they are smaller and not as physically (and emotionally) painful.  And I will have to continue to cover up with makeup while my skin heals.  But wow.  This is the first hint of light I’ve had for months!

Happy Skin Deep Story

This reminds me how important the title of my blog is.  Skin Deep.  The state of my skin is not a shallow issue for me.  It hits me on such a deep level.  It’s been a source of pure and utter depression.  It’s caused me to isolate myself.  Binge eat.   Abuse drugs.  And limit my life to a self-punishing standard of living.  What I know is that my skin is a true gift.  I am so grateful because if it didn’t literally get “in my face” and tell me my life is on the wrong path, I would never have woken up.

So today I have immense gratitude for my skin.  Not just because it is clearing, but it showed me there is so much more to life.  I’m ready to start the next chapter and learn that life does not have to be a painful battle to make it from one day to the next.  I choose freedom, happiness, adventure and love. 

Losing my job and getting this diagnosis has been a total blessing. I get a fresh start to map out the life I’ve always wanted but never had the courage to go after.  Can’t wait to see what life brings me now!

I finally got the courage to start Gabrielle Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles book today – so with that said my affirmation is:

I am willing to witness my fear.

So far I am loving this book.  You may want to give it a try too 🙂

When Diet Just Doesn’t Do The Trick for Acne (And When It Kind Of Does)

Acne Diet

I’ll try to make this post brief, though I can probably go on forever.

I have tried EVERY diet.  I’ve been vegan, raw, pescatarian, paleo, and vegetarian.  I’ve followed the Body Ecology Diet, PINK Method, Beauty Detox Diet, Zone Diet, 10 Week Transformation, Clear Skin Prescription, and several version of the Candida Diet (these people just can’t agree about what keeps the yeasties away).  I’ve done the Master Cleanse (worst idea ever) and had a colonic (not the worst idea ever…) among other cleansing techniques.  I’ve gone all organic, no sugar (not even fruit), no caffeine, no legumes, no starches, no oil, no chocolate (yikes!), no gluten, no alcohol, no dairy, no random things that the candida diet won’t let you have (I mean, no tomatoes or brown rice – really?!) and basically no FUN.

And you know what?  I still have acne.

At some point I need to realize that diet just won’t cut it!  It is clear to me there is something going on in my body that cannot be controlled by what I eat.  THAT is a scary thought.  I feel POWERLESS.

I know I’m not the only acne sufferer that has spent hours nose-deep on google and discovered that they have twelve different dis-eases and that there are 14 thousand different ways to cure all of them.  I’m convinced I have candida, leaky gut, adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance and PCOS.  But…I haven’t actually been tested.

So, rather than feel overwhelmed and hopeless and start attempting to follow every diet recommended for all of the above diagnoses (which would leave me eating nothing but celery sticks and chia all day) I am going to take the plunge to get tested.  It’s time I stop living in fear of the unknown and creating my own hopeless future because I have no idea how to treat an unknown dis-ease.  THIS is how I can take back my POWER.

In the meantime, I plan on using a little tried and true common sense when it comes to my diet.  I know that no matter what dis-ease I may or may not have sugar, dairy, soy and gluten are not going to help.   I am making vegetables the star on my plate and will be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.  That, to me, is a common sense diet.  It’s not too restrictive (maybe it sounds like it, but this is coming from a girl who lived off of nothing but kale and quinoa for weeks) and can only help my situation.  Plus, I can still eat THESE Chewy Chocolate Cookies (how good do those look?!).

The truth is, acne can be complicated and sometimes diet just won’t cut it.  Rather than allowing this news to spin my life out of control, I am doing my best to remain optimistic and get down to the bottom of it.  And in the meantime, the best thing I can do is stay healthy, balanced and empowered.

Affirmation: I am powerful and fearless.

P.S. I have three “likes” on my posts!!  Are people in web-land really hanging out here?  Yippee and welcome!  Feel free to say hello and share your thoughts.