So I haven't updated in a while...
I've been sticking to a vegetarian diet and drinking lots of veggie juices.
Over the past 10 days, I haven't had any gluten. The entire left side of my face... has no pimples. None. If you look at my pictures... I usually have a lot. I have maybe 9 on the right side of my face (not really counting so it doesn't bother me).
This is the MOST drastic change I've seen since I've been doing holistic things since November.
I'm wondering if gluten is the answer... Going to stick with it.
Anyone else find that gluten is your main trigger? Do you still avoid other foods?
My face has exploded. I woke up yesterday with 5 new cysts and some white heads on my forehead.
Is it because I haven't been super strict with the supplements?
Is it because I ate some greasy potato chips?
Is it because I'm stressed out about school (started again this past week)?
Is it because my body is detoxing?
So frustrating. How do I know if it's a good sign of detox or if I really screwed something up??
This breakout is really really bad and I don't want to see anybody. Especially since I don't know ANYONE else with acne. Ugh.
Well... December is a rough month.
I had pretty much 3 weeks of finals (exams, papers, clinic, more work to do....), then Christmas eve and day...
So I had a ton of coffee (I never said I'd stop having coffee.... but I'm pretty sure I had some migraines from withdrawal) and I ate some sweets.
One thing I read said something along the lines of "If you aren't ready to give up a food... then don't give it up yet. If you force yourself, then there is an emotional attachment to the food. You are just going to desire this food more until you let go of your emotional attachment to the food" -- I think that was from Carol Alt's book on eating raw food.
So, I've been going along with that idea. Food has always been very emotional for me.
Think about it-- You cry, your mom gives you a cookie. You're depressed, your dad takes you out for ice cream. I'm not blaming parents-- as a culture, we turn to food for comfort, joy, etc.
We are living to eat instead of eating to live.
and changing that takes some time.
Overall, I've still been quite healthy as far as what I've been eating.
As far as emotions...
I got pretty frustrated yesterday. I didn't know if there really was any difference. Maybe the only difference was in my attitude?? What's the point of all this, I should just give up and go have a beef sandwich with tons of mozzarella. Why am I even trying, this is chronic. What am I doing this for???
And then I stopped and looked at the pictures I've taken since I've started.
It is SO GOOD to take pictures of your skin, even if it's just for yourself.
...Because then I noticed that it WAS worse and it WAS more inflamed. And I've only been doing this for 2 months.
So I chilled out and decided to just keep on keepin' on.
Why did I decide to change my regimen?
I was pretty good at taking them all everday. I made a table listing what to take in the morning, what to take in the afternoon, and what to take at night. Then I had 7 boxes on the side so I could mark each day of the week that I took the pills.
My skin was improving, but I was frustrated about how many pills I was taking. I told myself that I would relax about and avoid stressing out if I forgot a pill.... but that's unlike me. If I went to bed without taking my niacin, I would think about it until I got out of bed and took it.
So I edited my chart.
It now looks like this:
I take the first 3 in the morning, the next 3 in the afternoon, and the next two at night. BM stands for bowl movement--for that box I tick how many BMs I had that day. W stands for water--I tick how many glasses of water I have that day.
What am I doing talking about bowel movements??
---The body needs to detox. The body tries to remove toxicity in any way possible, which sometimes ends up being through the skin (pimples). To decrease the skin removing any toxins, you need to provide another way out. I have been taking a fiber pill and 2 glasses of water each morning before any breakfast. Then I have my BM and can have breakfast after that. I've been having about 3 BMs/day and my skin is clearing up.
I also changed my cleansing method a bit. What I was doing was working, but then I ran out of cleanser. As I had bought everything imaginable in the past, I had plenty of old, harsh, painful cleansers--- but I decided I was done with that. Skin care does not need to be painful.
I had read about the oil cleansing method, so I decided to try that. I was told that olive oil is too thick of an oil for my skin (and from experience it didn't help). I had recently bought some grapeseed oil, so I decided to use that to clean my face.
I rubbed some grapeseed oil into my skin, covered my face with a towel soaked with hot water, and repeated the steaming with the towel a few times. I did not apply any moisturizer afterwards, since my skin was comfortable. I waited a few minutes to see if I would need any, but my skin stayed moisturized from the oil. When I woke up my skin looked much tighter and less red. For the morning, I rinsed my face and applied my usual moisturizer.
I have been using the oil at night and, since I found some more cleanser, my usual cleanser in the morning. Sometimes I just use water in the morning.
My skin is improving.
It is still frustrating, as there are still pimples and blemishes there. I am trying to enjoy the normal colored patches of skin that are emerging. My dark circles under my eyes have lessened as well. I believe in the power of positive thinking and am trying to tell myself that this will go away. I will keep up my lifestyle (diet change, skin care) and it will clear my skin.
I am currently inspired by a line in a song I'd like to share: "Some things I cannot change, but til I try, I'll never know."
Might as well go for it--change may be possible.
Why am I writing this? I've been inspired by the people here. Hopefully I'll soon have my own inspirational story.
As for my past... I got acne when I was 10 years old. I got acne and my period that year--huge hormonal changes, especially for someone so young. I remember always being bullied about my acne. My older brothers had severe acne and I had developed moderate-severe acne at a young age. My face was always red and irritated. As I grew older and got into high school, I fortunately found a good group of friends and was never bullied about my skin. I still, however, went through bouts of depression about my skin.
I had seen dermatologists over the years, and I cannot remember one good experience with a dermatologist. I felt that they were uninterested in my concerns--it seemed like they had a blanket remedy for everyone. They never asked me questions. I thought they would want to do experiments with my skin--but that was up to me.
My acne got really severe when I was 16 years old. I didn't want to see anybody. If anyone was rude or unkind to me for any reason, I attributed it to my acne.
I told myself that my acne would go away by the time I was 18. My brothers seemed to "miraculously" clear up, so I thought I would, too.
Then 18 came, and my acne was still severe. I thought, Ok, maybe when I'm 21 it will be gone.
I don't know why I felt that with every "monumental" birthday my skin would change.
But now I am 25 and I've had acne for 15 years.
I've tried topicals, antibiotics, B5, dermatologists, masks, doing nothing to my skin, and probably some more things.
What made me consider the holistic approach?
My husband and I watched a video (yes, I'm married. And I am still terribly upset that I couldn't have close up photos of my husband and myself on our wedding day. Any close up photos show my acne through the make up. So disappointing.) about health and food. This video encouraged allowing the body to heal itself by giving it the proper nutrition. They showed cases of people who had cured serious diseases through eating fresh, raw food and taking vitamins.
I tried everything else... so why not?
That was the beginning of November.
I decided to eliminate:
sugar (or at least keep it low)
fried foods (which I already been avoiding)
I decided to eat:
healthy snacks (hummus & veggies, almond butter & apple, etc.)
eat small meals more often (to keep sugar level consistent)
D with Calcium
Candida Cleanse (probiotic pill)
I went to whole foods and talked to the skincare people there... they recommended a gentle cleanser with some oils in it. I was uncertain, but I went with it. I also got a natural lotion to go with it. I figured if this stuff is safe to eat then it is safe to apply to my largest organ (skin).
I had been on these supplements and this diet for 5 weeks. I was noticing a difference. I read some people's blogs that said it took them 4 months to see a change.
Sooo.... how did it go?
I waited until I saw some changes to take photos of my skin (and I will get them up when I figure it out), so I don't have photos of when my skin was really bad.
I DID notice a difference. I stopped getting cystic acne. Patches of regular color skin (like the skin color on my neck or ear) started showing up on the outsides of my eyes. My skin really was red all over. But the peachy skin color began expanding. A small strip of peachy went from my eyes to my chin. It kept spreading.
This was after 5 weeks, I had 6 pimples and the others were clearing up. My pimples have always taken a long time to clear up.
I took pictures and was feeling good about my skin.
There was, however, still a lot of pink. I still wore makeup everyday. I still felt like people were staring at my acne. The emotional part of it really is a huge bi......
The rest of the story and the changes to come in the next entry....