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Hey everyone!

The point of this blog is not only to track my progress but also to keep me honest... I do think that the root cause of my acne is health-related, and that my poor habits are resposnible for how bad my skin has gotten. I've had a problem with binge eating for several years and I know the sugar spikes and crap I've injected into my body has definitely taken its toll. It seems like the severity of my acne really came rather quickly, but was after months of drinking A LOT of alcohol, not sleeping enough, and binge eating all the time.

I've been doing better for awhile with giving up dairy and wheat, which did seem to be helping, but I f'd up (as usual) and binge ate last night and today.... candy, frappucino, pizza, ice cream, and more candy. WHOOPS! Definitely a deviation from the vegetables and hormone free chicken diet I've been trying to stick to. Anyways, I'm assuming that the effects of this will show up on my face within the next few days :( So that's really upsetting but life goes on.

So I'll be recording my diet, but another important component is my emotional health. I'm going to try to be as honest as possible, although that might get kind of embarassing or whatever. But I feel like acne.org is a safe place :)

Hmm this is long but I'll keep going and give you guys some background about me. I'm 25 now so this has been going on for about ten years. So my acne started in highschool, mostly on my chin and a little bit on my forehead. I always knew it was hormonally related because when my period would come my skin would get crazy and then usually clear up after. Freshman year of college my skin was nearly flawless, which still blows my mind, and unfortunately I can't pinpoint why it was so clear. It definitely wasn't my diet, so I'm not sure. Maybe it was related to the medicines I was on. I've taken various meds for anxiety and depression through out the years. Anyways that is when I started drinking, and also when my skin started to get worse. Nothing out of control but certainly not clear. So through college my skin got worse, then a bit better, than mostly worse and as I got a job in the real world it stayed about the same. So this winter I went to Ireland for seven months...and that's where it went down hill. As you can imagine, LOTS of drinking, not healthy eating, and because of so much stress with my job I was binge eating a lot. When I got back to Minnesota my skin just kind of exploded. I have acne all over my forehead and cheeks now, as well as on my chin. I also have some back and shoulder acne as well. So I think alcohol, stress, and diet have had a big part in it. Since I've been home (since June) my skin sadly hasn't improved leaps and bounds, although I've tried several new methods, like revamping my diet and sticking to natural products. But, as strict as some parts of my diet were/are, the binge eating hasn't stopped. Wow as I write that I'm kind of realizing that. So that really really needs to change.

Emotionally....acne has really screwed with me. I am SO self conscious, sick of avoiding situations and people because of the redness all over my face. And it sucks, because I can tell that other people see it. Two of my friends have actually asked me, like woah are you stressing out or something, WHAT is up with your skin?? And I just want to crawl into a hole...ahhhhh so frustrating. I feel guilty writing that, because the world is full of SUCH bigger problems - I have acne, not leukemia. Yet it still really gets me down and holds me back in so many areas of life. It consumes so much of my time, researching various products or cures online, as well as money as manuka honey and fruit are more expensive than what I was using on my face/eating before. Anyways enough bitching!

So here is my plan:

diet --> cutting out gluten and dairy. I think gluten might be in some of the granola bars that I eat, so I should probably cut those out (as there a binge-trigger food anyway) but sometimes I'm just stuck and in a rush and need a simple food. Other than that the main things I'll be eating will be A LOT of veggies, 2 to 3 servings of fruit a day, rice, hormone free chicken, and fish. Definitely gets bland but its better than the craziness that is my complexion...

vitamins --> vitamin d, b-complex, zinc, and vitamin a

face wash --> ive been using what i thought was a natural face wash but I looked more deeply at the ingredients and its actually not oh so natural. but I do wear a lot of makeup (unfortunately) so I need something that will get the gunk of my face. I bought some manuka honey today and if that can get the makeup off all the way I'll use that as a cleanser. Often I mix some tea tree oil in with it. Tea tree oil has been questionable...I think it helps but at the same time it seems to cause white heads, although I guess that's just bringing it to the surface? I've popped a lot of pimples and I knowww that's bad, but sometimes I just can't help it! I'm going to try to stop though. Anyways, so for spot treatment I've been crushing zinc and mixing it with aloe vera and that helps with active spots. It dries them out really well. That I'll definitely continue. For moisturization I use 99% organic aloe vera and sometimes mix a litle jojoba oil in there.

I use shampoo and toothpaste with no sodium lauryl sulphate, just a random fact lol as I've read that can play a part.

As for sleep...I need to get more of it! My job is rather stressful (the easiest way to explain it is that I'm kind of like an accountant...but do a lot more work than what I'm paid for lol) and I always have tons of deadlines. I work a second job as a waitress. So I'm generally pretty stressed and with very little free time. This has made exercising tough. I know everyone says you can make time, but I swear, some days I really can't! I sleep through my alarms like crazy, which is bad. I need to make sticking to a sleep schedule more of a priority.

Hormone info ---> in last January I guess it was, I got my hormones tested and it said I had slightly elevated testosterone and am at risk for pre diabetes. This freaks me out, yet I haven't done much to change it, which pisses me off. I have another appointment with my endo in about a month. She, and my primary doc want to put me on the BCP, but I think we all know that will not solve my acne, just screw it around a bit. I'm hoping by a month from now I'll have seen some real changes.

Other than that...I guess that's all. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if anyone has any suggestions or comments or even questions please feel free to bring them to my attention! Thanks for the support :)


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