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.

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.