How to Use a Scale Without Driving Yourself Crazy

"I thought my life would be so much better, that I'd be so much happier, once the scale read a specific number.

After a long time of not weighing myself I couldn't believe it when I stepped on the scale that day and discovered I was actually below my goal weight and yet life was the same.

I wasn't any happier than I was before, life still felt empty. That's when I knew I needed to do something different and change my perspective." 

This is a conversation I recently found myself in with a woman I've known for a few years now.

I was a bit taken aback when she shared this with me. She always seems so confident & poised, as if life is completely put together for her. I didn't realize that she had an obsession with the number on the scale. 

The reality is I think many woman do. I've struggled with this myself. 

It isn't wrong to have a scale related goal.  However, what can be dangerous is believing that the number on the scale will magically change everything in your life for the better.  Or that the number on the scale defines you or is somehow the most important measure of success. 

Instead of viewing the number on the scale as the most prevalent factor, look at this way: the scale is a tool and the number is information.   

That's it. 

The number doesn't define you.  The number shouldn't  be your only measure of success.

In fact, there may be more effective ways for you to track your progress. 

Here are 3 ways to track your success without using a scale: 

1. Take Before and After Photos 

Photos don't lie. It is easy to tell from a photo whether or not you are on the right track. You can take your photos with your smart phone and a tripod or have someone else take them for you. You might find it helpful to take the photos in your bra & underwear or swimsuit, but you can also wear leggings and a sports bra. You definitely don't want to be wearing baggy clothing because that will make it more difficult to notice any change that is happening. 


2. Take Measurements.

It is often true that inches lost are more significant than shifts on the scale.  To get the most accurate measurements, it is helpful to have someone else measure you. However, you can do it yourself if need be.  You'll want to measure your chest, hips, natural waist as well as around the belly button, neck, calves, thickest part of your dominant thigh and thickest part of your dominant arm.  Grab your FREE measurement tracker by clicking here. 


3.  Take note of how your clothing fits. 

You know that feeling when you button your pants with ease? Such a rewarding feeling! Pay attention to how your pants and skirts are fitting. You may notice they start to feel loser in the legs and more comfortable around your waist. You may also notice that your shirts are not as snug as before. Let this encourage you regardless of how big or small changes on the scale have been! 


If you must use the scale, here is how to use it without driving yourself crazy. 

1. Don't weigh yourself daily. 

Choose one day per week or every other week that you will weigh yourself. Record that number in your planner or your phone. Look for small changes over time. 

2. Do weigh yourself at the same time on the same day.

If you choose to weigh yourself every Thursday, try to weigh yourself around the same time of day. I recommend first thing in the morning, after you've released your bladder, but before you've had anything to drink or eat. You may also want to weigh yourself without any clothing on. 

3. Don't be married to the number staring back at you.

It can be helpful to know around which number you feel your best. For example, you may know that you have always liked the way you look and feel when you weigh 145 pounds. That's good information to have. Remember, depending on where you're at in your cycle, how much or how little water you've had to drink and whether or not you had a high sodium diet the day before can all impact the number on the scale.  

I want to share my personal experience with this to illustrate how much one dinner can fluctuate the scale. My family and I went out for burgers and fries. The next morning I weighed myself and the scale was up 3 pounds. This doesn't mean I gained 3 lbs. This was a reflection of what happens when you consume a dinner high in sodium. Out of curiosity, I did weigh myself daily until I got the number to reflect that the 3 pounds had gone away. I drank plenty of water over the next two days and was able to see the scale go back down. Again, this wasn't weight gain or actual fat loss - it's very important to understand that - this was clearly an issue of water retention that occurred from consuming a delectable burger and delicious fries. 

Do you need to step away from the scale for a time? 

Maybe if.......

  • You have a long history of yo-yo dieting and you're working to break free of the diet mentality. 
  • You find yourself constantly thinking about your weight. 
  • You find it difficult to go a day without weighing yourself. 
  • You place your whole measure of success in the number you see staring back at you. 

Then maybe some time away from the scale would be beneficial to your health. 

The truth is, the scale is NOT the best measure of success for your overall health and wellness. It is easy to become obsessed over a number and feel that only when you reach and maintain a certain number can you achieve happiness. This is a lie. Stop believing it. If the scale is your only measure of success, you will be hard pressed to find peace and happiness in that. 


Posted in Nutrition, Wellness.

3 Reasons You're Stuck in Diet Mentality and How to Break Free

Have you ever wondered why you are stuck switching between diets? Do you wish you could break free of the dieting cycle but you're not sure how? I've got you covered. I'm going to share with you 3 common reasons I see that keep women stuck in diet mentality and 3 ways to shift those thoughts so you can break free.

Diet mentality. It's easy to fall into this trap.

Here's a typical scenario. You desire to lose 15 pounds so you go on a diet that your friend recommended. It's trendy, it's popular and everyone seems to be doing it. You lose the 15 pounds following the plan. You make a resolve to stick with "the plan" as much as you possibly can.

But then... life happens. You go on vacation and overindulge in everything you weren't allowed to have on your diet plan. You come home and resolve to do better but it's so difficult to get back on track. Several months go by and you've now not only put back on the original 15  and an additional 5 more. You're now on the hunt for your next diet plan so you can lose the excess 20 pounds.

This is one example of diet mentality and having this mindset will keep you stuck in a yo-yo diet cycle. 

How to break free from diet mentality

Diet mentality teaches you to label foods as good and bad. It teaches you to follow a list of rules that don't necessarily fit into your lifestyle. It teaches you that the only way to lose weight is to follow a strict diet plan. 

Freedom comes when you can break away from diet mentality, ditch the cycle of yo-yo dieting and really learn how to nourish your body the way it deserves. 

Here are 3 reasons you may still be stuck in diet mentality and 3 ways you can break free. 


You're stuck because you don't see food for what it is.

You have grown accustomed to labeling foods as good or bad. You might even be putting foods into a "cheat" category.  While it's true that certain foods provide more nourishment than others, it's best to break away from labeling. What happens when you do indulge in something on your "cheat" list -- feelings of guilt, shame and failure usually follow along. My question to you is, "Is this productive?" The short answer is no, it isn't. 

How to break free from this: See food for what it is. Food is the tool God gave you to nourish your body. Food isn't your enemy, it's not your friend, it's not your comforter. Food isn't inherently good or bad. When you learn to separate some of the emotion around food, which we all have, it's much easier to gain a sense of control over it.  I have previously talked about how to never cheat on your diet again. You can click here to check that out. 

Just to clarify, when I say food is not your comforter, I don't intend to imply that food is not comforting. In fact, just the opposite. Food can be quite comforting. The problem becomes when you create a reliance on food for a continual source of comfort. It will be well worth your time to find non food sources of comfort. A few I have found to be helpful are reading my Bible and spending time in prayer, exercise, go outside for a walk with my kids, or talk to a friend on the phone.

You're stuck because you are being overly restrictive around food.

When you put too many things in the no category, it may make them seem more enticing to you. Instead of thinking on what you can't have, think on what you can have.

How to break free from this: When I work privately with a woman who has a long history of yo-yo dieting, one thing we do at the beginning of our time together is to remove restrictions around food. Nothing is truly off the table, literally and figuratively. She can have anything she wants. However, I do teach her to ask herself a few questions before taking a bite of anything.

  1. Am I actually hungry?

  2. What I am hungry for?

  3. Do I really want this?

What is often discovered is how often she might be eating something when she's not even hungry, she might be eating something she    doesn't even want simply to satisfy a social norm (think office gathering or a similar social situation). The other thing that usually comes            up is my client will realize she doesn't know how to answer the first question. She doesn't really know when she's feeling true hunger.                  This is all part of breaking away from diet mentality. It allows you to get in touch with your body's true hunger cues. Then you learn to                  honor that.


You're stuck because you're more focused on the numbers than on whole food nutrition.

While it's true that you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, I don't believe this means being overly obsessive with numbers. Sometimes counting calories or tracking macros can be helpful. It can help give you an idea of how much you're actually consuming. A lot of times we underestimate how much we are eating.

However, I view tracking as a temporary thing. When your diet plan becomes all about the numbers you just might end up consuming a lot of foods that aren't nourishing to your body.  Reminder, we're not labeling foods here as good or bad, but we are recognizing that certain foods provide the body proper nourishment and fuel while others provide little nutritional value and only satisfy a craving or desire. 

How to break free from this: Focus on giving your body lots of whole food nutrition. Shift the focus to eating real food, rather than items from a box. Two things will happen here. One, you will start to feel more energized, lighter and more satisfied. Focusing on whole food nutrition allows you to get more of the vitamins and nutrients you need. Not all packaged foods are bad per say, but next time you're in the grocery store, or maybe in your pantry in your house, turn a few boxes over and read the ingredient label. It may surprise you. The other thing that happens here is you will naturally start to crave the junk less. Remember, no foods are off the table. If you really want an Oreo you can have it. However, the more whole food nutrition you eat, the less tasty the Oreo will become. What I see happen with my clients, is they find they no longer crave the old foods. There are still no restrictions around it if they really want it they can go have it. But they want it less or not at all.

Diet mentality keeps you stuck. As long as you are in this state of mind, you will always be looking for the next great diet. Freedom comes when you learn to nourish your body well, honor your true hunger cues and make peace with food. The greatest book on the planet tells us

                                          What has been is what will be,
                                                     and what has been done is what will be done,
                                                                            and there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9 

This is no less true in the world of dieting. Most trendy, fad diets are actually older diets that have been re-named. Don't fall for the hype. 

Links to other posts you may want to read

Posted in Nutrition, Wellness. Tagged as dieting, diets, weight loss.

Yoga and Christianity: Christian Yoga to Christ Alone

Note from Hannah: This is my friend's testimony of how the Lord brought her out of yoga. It is written with the Christ following woman in mind. If you are not a follower of Christ, I still welcome you to read this story. If you are a woman who is a Christ follower, I invite you to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read this article.

Christian Yoga to Christ Alone

I was often anxious.
Searching for ways to hide.
Looking for ways to numb out.

I considered myself a grey-area drinker. For me, this is the space where:

I never got a DUI. No one ever got hurt. You would never look at me and say, "Saralyn, I think you have a problem..."

I just didn't understand  people who could be satisfied with just one glass of wine. That was never me. 

I drank when I was anxious, not always, but most days. I liked white wine and it often took up a ton of head space.

Was it in the house?
Was it cold?
Did I have enough to get me through the week?

On February 12, 2018, the Lord called me to fast from wine and, by the grace of God, I have been alcohol-free ever since. To read more about my testimony, please click here: Saralyn's Testimony

After the 40-day fast, I continued to see changes in my body, spirit and mind. I was really in this place of wanting to feel my feelings, my body and to get to the root of why I needed to drink. During this exploration, I discovered a "Christ-centered" yoga practice.

I still remember the first time that I did Christian yoga. I could not believe how connected I felt to Christ, my prayer life catapulted and I felt like it was something I was called to share with others.

I was determined to get certified and to help others experience Christ like I had. My husband was incredibly reluctant, but over time, his heart was softened.

I enrolled in an online training program in the spring of 2019. I was in love and I had so much support from my family, friends, and community.

That summer I was teaching as much as I could. In different churches, people's homes and other secular spaces. At one time, I was teaching at 5 different churches in one week. It was so much fun, and tiring at the same time. I felt like this was where I was supposed to be. I was passionate about Christian Yoga and I felt like this was how the Lord wanted me to share the Gospel.

By the end of the summer, I joined the marketing team for the organization, and I considered it an honor to be able to share my gifts in this way.

On October 6, 2019, I was baptized as an adult in the Roanoke River. 

I was now a new creation in Christ and things started to shift in my life. This baptism was  about going ALL IN with Jesus. I felt like the Lord was calling me to be more focused on being home and making our family the priority. I took a step back and then fully left the organization at the beginning of the pandemic.

Since I had taken the marketing position, I no longer had time to teach or to have much of a home practice. I felt like the Lord discreetly took the desire out of my heart... almost without me noticing. 

Once the pandemic hit, I was homeschooling and quarantining. So if I only had 30 minutes to workout, I found myself choosing other forms of exercise over Christian Yoga. And of course, due to the pandemic, I could not teach even if I had wanted to.

During my quarantine, I was leading a Bible study about the Armor of God. This study was all about Spiritual Warfare, and it was a biblical topic that I had not previously studied. Over time, one of my mentors, who was in the study, asked if I would like to learn more. Spiritual Warfare was becoming a passion of mine, and I agreed to join her in learning more.

Together, we met with a deacon from church for 4 weeks to learn about the topic of Kingdom Authority; how to live in the abundance of what Jesus did for us on the cross. It was very powerful, and led to some much-needed spiritual healing in my life.

After leading the Bible study on the Armor of God, I stepped into leading another study about Discerning the Voice of God. Both have been crucial in my walk with the Lord. Specifically, I feel better equipped when it comes to the deception of the enemy; how the enemy twists the truth just a little. The most important way to enter into spiritual battle is on our knees.

I had scales on my eyes from things that were passed down.
I was still kept warm with the wool from my old life.
My own willful ignorance covered up truth and righteousness.

School was getting ready to start back, in-person, for my children. A mom asked if I would be interested in leading a bi-weekly Christian yoga class. I felt like this might be the Lord's way of inviting me back into this space. So why not?! I agreed.

The Lord placed a very special friend into my life for a specific reason. This is the kind of friend that will pray with you when she feels like you need it. The kind of friend that meets you with Love and Truth.

I was sharing with my friend about my opportunity to get back into teaching Christian Yoga. I could tell there was a pause on the other end of the phone. She asked me, "Do you ever feel convicted about yoga?" I don't even recall my reply. I was stunned! She continued to tell me that she felt prompted to pray about me teaching yoga. I was taken back, but still very much open to praying about this.

So, we prayed.

The next morning was my scheduled private group class. It was strange because I had this lingering feeling of the prayer that I had experienced the day before. This is when the Lord started to reveal things to me.

I opened up the back of my car to collect the extra yoga mats to take up to the house like I always had. Except this time, I didn't even want to get the mats out of my car. 


I just didn't understand why. 

Once at the house, I learned that one of my students had a neck injury. I was so relieved to guide the class through restorative stretching, while reading scripture over these women. That felt safe.

I felt dirty taking their money, and I left as fast as I could.

As soon as I came home, I found myself on YouTube and a video popped up about Why I Left Christian Yoga. I could not believe I was pressing play for this video.

The woman who was in this interview went through the same training as me. I was blown away by what I was listening to! I was a wreck to say the least, and I was crushed all the same. But it was in the strangest way; like I was being held safely in it too.

I took a deep dive into researching yoga. It was like I was seeing this for the first time. I was shown so much about yoga and its Hindu roots. 

According to Yogapedia, The word "yoga" means "to yoke" in Sanskrit.

Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India. First codified by the sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras around 400 C.E, the practice was in fact handed down from teacher to student long before this text arose. Traditionally, this was a one-to-one transmission, but since yoga became popular in the West in the 20th century, group classes have become the norm.

The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning "to yoke," or "to unite". The practice aims to create union between body, mind and spirit, as well as between the individual self and universal consciousness. Such a union tends to neutralize ego-driven thoughts and behaviors, creating a sense of spiritual awakening.

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, and whilst many different interpretations and styles have been developed, most tend to agree that the ultimate goal of yoga is to achieve liberation from suffering. Although each school or tradition of yoga has its own emphasis and practices, most focus on bringing together body, mind and breath as a means of altering energy or shifting consciousness.

Yoga is a collection for meditative disciplines for withdrawing one's senses from the world, to yoke with Brahman/Universal Spirit the all-pervading, divine reality behind everything in the universe. 

In yoga, we usually start off with certain postures like Sun Salutations to get the body warm and to produce heat. In Sanskrit, a sun salutation is called "surya namaskara" this is a prayer or honoring the god of the sun, Surya. 

According to the Bible and the 10 Commandments, this is a clear violation of the First Commandment: You should not have any other "gods" before me.

I was in complete agreement with this in my mind and in my heart. Why would I want to disappoint my good God by paying homage to other gods in these poses? That no longer made sense or was worth it to me. 

I was done. 

In the classes I taught, we went through many different poses, or asanas, that represented various deities in the Hindu faith.

Going back to what I mentioned earlier about my new knowledge of spiritual warfare and the battle we are constantly fighting, Scripture is clear that our battle as believers is not of the physical but of the spiritual.

According to apostle Paul, Ephesians 6:12 tells us this: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."

I really appreciated the insight from Corinna Craft on the topic of Christian Yoga:

Christian yoga is an oxymoron. Authorship implies ownership. Ownership implies right of possession and control. Yoga is "not just a human invention" but co-authored with the "Spirit realm."

Whatever Christians call yoga postures, they are a "moving liturgy, an embodied form of worship, a physical offering to Hindu gods" who are "attracted to the offering."

1 Corinthians 10:20-21 - No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons.

While I believe that my intentions were always pure, to point people to Christ, I also realize that it was an idol for me. Being linked to Christian yoga made me feel special. I felt like this was the primary way that the Lord wanted me to share the gospel.

There were many tears over this particular weekend and a painful yet beautiful experience of repentance. 

In my awakening, I realized that I didn't need any kind of prop or crutch to share the gospel. 

His word is all we need and it stands alone....on its own!

Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Christianity is full of mystery. For some reason, the Lord had me walk through Christian yoga, walk out and walk back in it again.

While the Lord opened my eyes to the truth about spiritual warfare, listening to His voice, spiritual healing, and yoga, this is my conviction. 

In my personal, spiritual growth, the Lord has placed me in a ministry of leading others to Christ. I never want to confuse, or lead anyone astray. He has taken the scales off my eyes and I share all of this because I want others to be aware of too.  

Thank you for taking the time to read my experience with Christian yoga. If there are any questions or you would like someone to pray with, feel free to reach out to me at!

In Christ,

Saralyn Hamilton






Posted in Fitness, Spirituality. Tagged as yoga, yogaandchristianity.

Beyond Willpower - How to Succeed With Your Weight Loss Goals

"If I just had more willpower, I'd be successful."

I have heard this numerous times in my coaching practice. I've said this before myself and I bet you have probably said this yourself.

It's a common misconception that your lack of success is due to your lack of willpower. 

In the world of traditional "dieting" this might be true. Diets in the traditional sense rely heavily on your strength of willpower. This is due to the fact that diets rarely address nutritional needs. Cutting out carbs, for example, won't meet your nutritional needs. Your body actually needs them so it craves them  -- your body is telling YOU to eat the carbs. Your diet is telling you not to eat the carbs. Enter the power struggle. Willpower matters a great deal in this situation.

Another example, would be following a 1,200 calorie diet in an effort to drop weight. (I strongly discourage this by the way. You'll be in for a huge backfire if you take this route). The problem with a 1,200 calorie diet is for most of us that number is too low. If you follow this strict caloric intake, you will be hungry. . . all. the. time! Again, following this type of a strict diet requires lots of willpower.

I know I would have an incredibly difficult time following either of these options. In both of these scenarios you're setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to be successful in this arena without extremely reducing your caloric intake or cutting out all carbs.

First, make sure you are following a plan that addresses all of your nutritional needs. This is where working with a coach one on one can be a wise investment.

Here are 3 tips you can start implementing today to help ensure your success:

1. Access Your Physical Environment: Open up your pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Is your kitchen set up to help you reach your weight loss and health goals or is it set up for self-sabotage? Take note of foods in your home that are no longer serving your goals. Common examples might be potato chips, ice-cream, cookies, etc. It isn't that you won't ever eat these items again. However, you are much more likely to consume foods that are in your home, readily accessible.

The simple truth is you can't eat what isn't there. Rather than toss these items out, simply don't purchase them again. Instead, replace them with nourishing, life-giving foods. For the potato chips you might swap those with canned chickpeas. When you roast these with olive oil, sea salt and garlic they can really satisfy a chip craving! For the ice-cream, maybe you swap those with a fruit sweetened treat. You might also decide that you really don't have the desire for frozen treats and only ever ate the ice-cream because it was in the house. When I go through this process with my clients, many of them realize they don't miss the old food items at all.

Set your kitchen up for success. Let your kitchen work for you, rather than against you. If you have family members who show resistance to this exercise, consider giving them a designated cabinet in the kitchen. By storing those food items in a separate place, you'll be less likely to reach for them. Out of sight, out of mind.

2. Crowding Out Effect: Start by incorporating more nutrient dense foods into your diet. Your body is smart. It will continue to tell you are hungry until it gets the nutrition it needs. This is why, among other reasons, you can consume a 1500 calorie fast food meal and feel hungry again in an hour.  Perhaps it's enough calories to satisfy your entire daily need, but there is very little nutritional value. By including foods rich in nutrition, vitamins, minerals and fiber, you'll naturally feel fuller for longer. Keep this simple -- think minimally processed whole grains, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, etc.

3. Distraction: Let's face it. Sometimes you eat out of boredom.... or procrastination....or due to stress. We all do! It's a reality of the world we live in. This is where having distractions can be beneficial. Learn to recognize your true hunger cues. Before eating, ask yourself if you are actually hungry. Consider the last time you ate. Ask yourself if you are stressed or bored or putting off a project. If you're not truly hungry, have a distraction set in place.

Here are a few you might try:

  • Call a friend
  • Go for a walk
  • Do a load of laundry or some other household chore
  • Take up a hobby that keeps your hands busy - knitting is a great option

Don't place too much emphasis on willpower. Willpower and motivation are fleeting. Creating sustainable habits and discipline is what will drive your efforts.

Posted in Nutrition, Wellness. Tagged as dieting, willpower.

How to Feel Pretty in the Midst of Acne - 3 Practical Tips

"I'm so ugly."

I see this stated OVER and OVER again in the acne community.

Have you ever felt this way? I know I have, especially when I was in the midst of dealing with severe acne.

acne, clear skin, how to feel pretty with acne

While I believe this is a natural emotion, I don't believe it's the most constructive way to talk to yourself and about yourself to others. I want to pose to you a few ideas that may help give you a shift in perspective.

First off, let me say that I have met a lot of women who struggle with acne. Some of the MOST beautiful women I've ever known have struggled with this issue.

Acne is a nuisance for sure, but it doesn't make you ugly.

Remember, you will always be the biggest critic of your own skin.

Here's a little exercise for you that will help you see your true beauty. Write down two or three things that you like about your appearance. Yes, this sounds a bit vain, but we are talking about feeling pretty here so go with me on this one. Think about features that people often compliment you on. Maybe you have fantastic hair, striking eyes or awesome cheek bones. Don't be shy when completing this exercise -- write these things down. Refer back to this when you start to feel overwhelmed by the appearance of acne.

Second, I want you to consider how often you are looking at yourself in the mirror. Constantly checking your skin to see how your acne looks at the moment can be quite detrimental to your mental and emotional health.

Step away from the mirror.

Let the focus lie on other areas of your life. The people you are with, those who love you and support you, your goals and dreams. Where are you going in life?

You are not an evolutionary mistake - you were created with a purpose. Don't lose sight of that. Rather, focus on it. Always remember that you are more than just your skin. Never let your skin define you. If this is a struggle for you, you may want to read my post on how to develop a clear skin mindset. You can find it by clicking here.

Lastly, consider how often you compare yourself to others? I think we all do this to some extent. I know I have this skill nailed down pat and I know there have been countless times I've let this one thing kill my joy.

Ever heard the expression, "Comparisson is the thief of all joy."? It's true!

When you are comparing yourself to someone else it robs you of enjoying the moment you are in.

Just so we're clear, there's a difference between being inspired by someone and comparing yourself to someone in a negative light. You can absolutely and should have those women in your life that you look up to and admire. Let them inspire you! But be careful to recognize as soon as it stops becoming about feeling inspired and starts becoming about comparing. Be sure to put on the brakes once you recognize it happening.

Next time you catch yourself saying, "I feel so ugly." or "I just don't feel pretty." remind yourself that you are a person of value. Surround yourself with those who love you. You might find it helpful to have a designated friend you can reach out to in these moments for some encouragement and uplifting talk.

Do you ever find yourself saying these negative things about yourself? Tell me one thing you plan to do when this happens so you can nip this negative self-talk in the bud.


Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, clearskin, hormonal acne, how to feel better about yourself, how to feel pretty, how to feel pretty with acne, women's adult acne, women's hormonal health.

Acne and Omega 3's

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy here.

If you want clear skin that lasts, and I am pretty sure you do, I encourage you to look beyond just skincare. Skincare is important, there's no doubt about that, but to truly get the skin you desire you have to consider what you are eating.

Your skin is only as healthy as each cell in it.

Think on this a moment. That's a powerful statement, right? The same can be said for every organ in your body and the skin is really no different. After all, your skin is your body's largest organ.

Let's talk about the benefits of omega 3 essential fatty acids for clearer skin. The term "essential" in this case simply means that your body doesn't make these fatty acids, you have to consume them.

The benefits of omega 3's reads like a laundry list of things you definitely want in your life!

Omega 3's are shown to help:
  • Clear skin
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve learning
  • Mellow mood
  • Lessen colitis and IBS
  • Improve the health of your gums, vision and hearing
  • and the list goes on....
What I want to share with you specifically is how you can use omega 3's to help improve the appearance of your skin. Fortunately, there's been a lot of good research done in this area. While there is a lot to say about this topic I'm going to break it down for you into a few simple ideas.

Acne and essential fatty acids, acne diet

First, some basic science.

Omega fats are called long-chain fatty acids. The longer the chain, the healthier the oil and the greater benefit for your body and skin.

Omegas are categorized as:
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which has 22 carbon atoms and 6 double bonds.
  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which has 20 carbon atoms and 5 double bonds.
  • ALA (alpha lineoic acid) which has 18 carbon atoms and 3 double bonds.
There are two ways to get omegas into your diet: plant sources and seafood sources. DHA and EPA are only found in seafood, while ALA only comes from the land.  As mentioned above, the taller an omega gets (22 and 20 carbon atoms) the smarter it is and the greater the health benefits.  It's clear to see that DHA and EPA (seafood sources) are the taller omegas.

This isn't to say that plant sources of omegas don't have their place in a healthy diet because they absolutely do. Flaxseed, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts are a few examples of plant based sources of omega 3's. These foods also have many other health and skin benefits as well, so don't hesitate to add these to your nutrition plan.

However, there is one key thing to consider if only using plant sources and that is....

Rate of Conversion

When you consume plant sources of omegas (ALA) your body must perform a series of biochemical steps in order to convert ALA into DHA or EPA so the body and brain can actually use it. The conversion rate of this process can be as low as 1%. Some people are naturally "low converters." In other words, you may be eating plenty of plant based omegas but your body isn't able to utilize them well.

How do you know if you are a low converter or a high converter? The only way to know for sure is with a blood test and it's not exactly inexpensive.

When it comes to seafood based sources there are two that I recommend. The first is wild caught alaskan salmon. I wrote an entire post about this amazing fish and you can read that here.

I recommend purchasing wild caught salmon from a trusted source such as  Vital Choice Seafood offers wild caught fish, never farmed, offering only sustainably-caught seafood. Use this link to receive free shipping on your $99 order.


Wild caught salmon is a superior choice for omega 3 fatty acids. This fish contains DHA and EPA as well as astaxanthin which is a powerful antioxidant. Astaxanthin is what gives wild caught salmon it's beautiful pink color.

Notice I keep saying wild caught. This is important because farmed raised salmon does not contain the same powerful antioxidants nor the same amount of quality omega 3's. In fact, farmed salmon often has pink color added to it to make it appear more like it's wild caught counterpart. Therefore, I recommend you always opt for wild caught.


What should I do if I'm vegan?

If you are vegan you can still get a "seafood" source of omegas by choosing a supplement that contains algae. This is the plant that the fish eats so it's a little bit like "cutting out the middle man." Some people who aren't vegan have found they prefer a vegan based supplement over a fish oil supplement because there is no fishy aftertaste. Personally, I have found that there is no fishy after taste if you choose a high quality fish oil supplement. I recommend Vital Choice not only for their delicious seafood products but also for their omega 3 supplements

Omega-3 Therapy + Vitamin D3 - high potency - 850mg softgels - 180 ct

None the less, if you prefer a vegan option they are available.  Juice Plus offers an Omega blend that is a superior option for vegans or those preferring to steer clear of fish. You can click here to find out more about this wonderful option.

omega blend, essential fatty acids for clear skin

It's not enough to consume omega 3's. You must also must limit the amount of omega 6's you consume. The same enzymes that metabolize omega-3 into nutrients for the body, are also responsible for metabolizing omega-6. A diet high in omega-6s will use all these enzymes. Then there aren't enough enzymes left to metabolize the omega-3s. Unfortunately, most diets are very high in omega-6s and low in omega-3s.  The ideal ratio of omega-6s to omega 3-3s is 2:1. The standard diet is 10:1. I've even seen research that points to diets being as high as 30:1. The good news is this can be shifted.

Here are a few oils that are high in omega-6s:
  • cottonseed oil
  • corn oil
  • safflower oil
  • grapeseed oil
  • soybean oil
While you may or may not be cooking with these oils in your home, these oils are often found in abundance in packaged, processed foods. Turn over almost any box of crackers, chips, cookies and you'll most likely see at least one of these oils listed in the ingredient list. They also sometimes lie in unexpected places such as jarred marinara sauce. This is why I encourage you to always read the ingredient list. The nutrition label has important information as well, but you can often learn more by reading what is actually in a food product.

Also important to remember is that anytime you are eating in a restaurant you are probably consuming these oils which are higher in omega-6s.

The are two main reasons why these oils are so commonly used:
  • they are inexpensive
  • they are shelf stable - meaning the food will have a longer shelf life

So now that you have this information, what are you supposed to do with it?

Never go eat in a restaurant? Never buy any packaged foods?

Absolutely not!

Not only is that unrealistic but a large part of life is enjoyment and that includes having a meal in a restaurant as well as being able to enjoy a packaged snack on the go. 

And remember, you aren't trying to ELIMINATE your intake of omega-6 essential fatty acid. That would not be wise! You simply want to be mindful about how much of them you are consuming.

It's what you do MOST of the time that matters.

Here are a few tips to increase your omega-3 intake while reducing your intake of omega-6.
  • Cook at home using as many fresh ingredients as possible. Making your meals in your own kitchen is really the only way to ensure what oils you are consuming. You have complete control as the chef of your kitchen and that's exciting!
  • Become an avid label reader. Read the ingredient list of items you commonly buy. The good news is for most packaged foods available, there is always a healthier alternative. A perfect example, is jarred marinara sauce. There are versions that include added sugar and cheap vegetable oils. Keep looking and you will find one that does not contain these things.
  • Consider adding wild caught salmon to your diet a few nights a week.
  • Consider choosing an omega-3 supplement. Vegan seafood source (find that here) or fish source (find that here). *Always talk to your doctor before beginning any supplement routine.
  • Start slow. If this feels like a lot of changes for you, please don't make them all at once. Choose one thing that you can start doing and focus on that. I firmly believe that when making nutritional changes, slow and steady wins the race.
How is all of this related to the appearance of your skin?

It's simple. Acne can be a sign of excess inflammation in the body. Acne itself is a form of inflammation. By reducing the amount of excess inflammation in the body, it is possible to reduce the amount of excess inflammation that makes it appearance on the skin. The beauty of your skin goes far beyond your skincare routine.

Did you enjoy this? Please share with a friend!

Have you received your free copy of 10 Things in 10 Days  for Blemish Free Skin? If not, click here to download it now.

Resources: William Sears, MD "Prime Time Health: A Scientifically Proven Plan for Feeling Young and Living Longer."

Nicholas Perricone, MD "The Clear Skin Prescription: The Perricone Program to Eliminate Problem Skin."

This blog post is not intended to be used for medical advice. Before beginning any supplement routine or making changes to your diet it is advised that you seek counsel with a medical health professional.


Posted in Acne, Nutrition. Tagged as acne, acne and essential fatty acids, acne and omega 3's, acne diet, adult acne, skincoach, vegan diet and acne, women's acne.

Detox Skincare - What's The Deal?

Have you ever wondered about detox skincare? ⠀

This idea is gaining popularity, but is it actually necessary? ⠀

It's important to remember that your main detoxifying organs are your liver and your kidneys. So each time you go to the bathroom YOU ARE DETOXIFYING.

For the average person, this process works well, meaning the liver and kidneys are good at doing their job!

Of course, there are simple things you can do to help these organs function at their best but for the most part there's no extreme measure that needs to be taken here. ⠀

Now that we've established this fact, we can look at detoxifying skincare. ⠀
Detox Skincare for Acne #acne #clearskin #detoxskincare

The idea that you need to rid your skin of toxins isn't entirely accurate. Your skin is your body's largest organ but it's not a main detoxifying organ and actually acts more as a barrier to keep out outside junk.

When you look at products marketed as detoxifying skincare, it doesn't tell you which toxins they are targeting. They are relying on your trust that the product does what it says. ⠀

Not only is detox skincare not necessary, it may cause more damage than benefit. Acne sufferers, in particular, are likely to worsen the problem rather than alleviate it. Detox skincare tends to contain many ingredients that aggravate acne such as witch hazel, menthol and denatured alcohol. ⠀

The best thing you can do for your skin is choose a proper cleanser, moisturize and wear a good sunscreen daily. This will do FAR more to benefit your skin than any detox skincare possibly could. ⠀


Posted in Acne. Tagged as #acne #clearskin #adultacne #womenshormones, #acneskincare #skincareforacne, #hormonalacne #eatwellfeelwell #detoxskincare, #howtotreatacne.

Developing a Clear Skin Mindset

Mindset talk seems to be everywhere these days. Am I alone on this or do you notice it too? 

I believe having a proper mindset effects outcomes, and having clear skin is no exception. 

There's an expression: What gets your thoughts, gets you. Start paying attention to this and you'll be amazed at the validity of this statement.  

A key difference between women who clear their adult acne for good and those who struggle for years and years is their ability to believe it can be done.

I've spoken with many women who have acne and there are two main themes I've discovered.

Some say to me, "I've tried many approaches but I'm willing to keep trying until I find the answers to clear my skin."

Others say, "I just don't think clear skin is possible for me. I've already tried everything and nothing works."

To the woman who is willing to keep trying the answers will come. To the woman who believes nothing will work she already has her answer. In her mind she's decided that nothing else she tries will clear her skin so she will most likely continue to feel disappointed with any new approach. 

#clearskin #acne #mindfulness #skinpositivity

Mindset really does matter. Below are a few ways to develop a "clear skin" mindset. 

1. Change your language. Don't allow what ails you to define you. Instead of referring to it as "your acne" or "my acne" just say acne. Be mindful of the way in which you speak about your skin to yourself and to others.  

2. View it as a problem seeking a solution.  A key element in the women who do finally clear their skin is their ability to believe it can be done. I fervently believe acne can be stubborn and acne can be resolved. Yes, some women take longer to heal their skin than others. However, that doesn't mean it's impossible. You just don't have all the pieces to the puzzle yet. Believe it can happen and your mind will be open to the answers. 

3. Treat yourself as if you have clear skin now. Make an impact now. It's easy to feel like once you have clear skin you'll have the confidence to move forward with life. I know I felt this way myself. There was a lot I held myself back from because I was waiting for my skin to clear before I could move forward. Looking back I see that was a mistake. You have a purpose in life. You are here for a reason. Discover that reason and start doing! Surround yourself with people who love you and support you.  

4.  Practice saying, "I believe I can have clear skin. There is a solution and I am open to receive it." The mind is powerful and your body will believe the things your mind says. 


Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, adult acne, clear skin, healing acne, healing acne naturally, mindset, positive thinking, women's hormones.

What to Do When Acne is Slow to Heal

We live in a world of quick fixes. It seems like everywhere you look there is an advertisement for something that will help you to "look good and fast." This can be tempting and many of of us fall prey.

After all who doesn't want to look good in a bikini by Friday or have perfectly clear skin in only one month?

I know there was a time in my life when I fell for this stuff all the time! And guess what? Some of it worked!
The problem was nothing worked for long and then I was right back where I started.

Today I want to talk to you specifically about treating acne and how those changes may look.

We tend to think of acne as being only an external issue. After all, it's clearly visible on our skin so a really good face wash should clear that up, right?

It may not be that simple.

Proper skincare IS incredibly important. However, let's not ignore the fact that acne can often be a sign of a deeper internal issue. Where I see women face trouble is they only address the visible signs of acne. There's a lot to be missed by not looking a little deeper.

In fact, by looking deeper you may discover improved digestion and better energy levels among other whole body benefits. I know this was true for me!

What to do when acne is slow to heal #acne #clearskin #acnefree #clearskindiet

For years I was on an acne specific skin care line. My face remained clear as long as I continued using the product and it worked for a decade!

I falsely believed that the acne had been eradicated. I thought it was gone and all I had to do was continue to buy this certain face wash. I could not have been more wrong!!

Not only would I later learn that this particular skin care line is actually quite damaging to the skin, but I had also spent an entire decade neglecting my total body health. I failed to address any internal issues that were, in fact, affecting my skin. 

When the above said skin care line failed to deliver it's usual results,  I was left with an enormous mess. My skin had never looked worse. I was devastated.

For the first time in my life I was forced to look at other options. I naturally tried a few  other acne specific skin care lines all to no avail.  This prompted me to do more research on acne as well as how to treat acne.

I learned there was a holistic side to healing acne. What?!

I had never before even considered that there was a root problem to my acne, never mind addressing it.

This didn't mean that skincare wasn't important. Quite the opposite - I finally began to understand how to properly care for my skin!

It did mean though that I had a lot more control over the situation than I previously believed. Through simple nutritional and lifestyle changes I experienced great improvement in my skin and my health.

These changes don't happen overnight and some people (while well intentioned) simply say the wrong things. These are some questions you may receive (I know I did!):

Shouldn't your skin be completely clear with all the dietary changes you've made?

Is your body getting proper nourishment?

Why are you doing this to yourself? Aren't you miserable? You know I have a friend who sells acne skin care. You should call her.

With all the self-doubt that can go along with these comments, it may be best to tune them out.

Here are a few thoughts I'll leave with you:

Remember who you are doing this for - YOU! You deserve to look and feel your best. If it takes a bit longer than expected to get where you want to go, won't it still have been worth it to arrive? There's much to be said for perseverance.

It's important to remember that external remedies are only a band aid. It's not that you can't use them, it's that you have to also address the underlying issue or you will never truly be free of your acne.

It's important to quiet the external voices. Don't try to argue or reason with those who find your new dietary lifestyle to be crazy. You'll never win the argument! It's better to smile, thank them for their concern and move on.

Which brings me to my final point don't overshare!

I know this may seem odd because when we're trying to lose weight or step up our fitness game, we're often encouraged to tell lots of people so we hold ourselves accountable.

Treating acne is different though and is often misunderstood. Because of that it is better to not overshare with too many people. Having one or two people close to you who you trust is the best option. They can help hold you accountable and offer encouragement and support. This support may not come from immediate family. It's nice if it does but it doesn't always happen that way.

Where are you on your journey to healing your skin? What approaches have you tried? Do you feel you have proper support? Leave a comment I'd love to chat!


Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, acne scars, acne skin care, acne treatment, heal acne, heal acne holistically, health and wellness, how to eat to heal acne, skin care.

How to Stop Picking Your Face so Acne Can Heal

Do you pick at your acne? I recently saw an article that might help you break the habit.

Picking at your acne is one of the worst things you could do. Yet it is a common problem among acne sufferers. It can even feel slightly satisfying to squeeze pimples and it can certainly turn into a bad habit quickly.

Each time you squeeze and dig at blemishes on your face, you increase the chances that you'll suffer scarring. I know I have some scars on my face that wouldn't be there had I simply left my breakouts alone! You also are potentially making your acne worse. As you squeeze blemishes bacteria underneath the skin gets pushed around and can lead to further breakouts. What may begin as a pimple or two can easily lead to three or four if you mess with it, so you're better off leaving it alone.

How to Stop PIcking Acne #clearskin #acne #acnefree #stoppicking

If this is an area you struggle in, try these few tips to stop skin picking for good.

  1. Don't look at your blemishes so often. You know the drill. You have acne so you stop at every mirror in your house each time you pass it and check just to see if it's magically disappeared or somehow gotten worse from the last time you checked. All this does is take any stress or anxiety you have around your acne and make it 100x worse. It also makes it more likely that you are going to touch your face. If you have to take down some of the mirrors in your house or cover them with a cloth. Just temporarily, of course. It may help remind you to back off a bit.
  2. Keep your skin care routine simple. Don't spend too much time in your bathroom taking care of your skin. Your skin care routine should be fairly simple anyway. Overdoing it can irritate your skin and make your acne worse. Whatever your current routine, it should only take you a few minutes to complete. Breathe, relax and enjoy the time of caring for your skin. Once you're finished with everything, leave your bathroom. Don't stop and stare.
  3. Ditch the magnifying mirrors. You don't need them and they will only make you feel worse about the state of your skin. If you don't currently own one, please do not buy one. If you do have one store it away or consider donating it.
  4. Visualize. If you are picking at your skin, visualize the bacteria that lie beneath the surface. Picture it in your mind being transferred around and potentially causing new breakouts. The temporary satisfaction you may feel from squeezing your blemishes isn't worth it.
  5. Recognize that squeezing the pimple often makes it look worse, not better. Enough said, really! How many times have you messed with a pimple and had it look better? Probably never. I know for me this has never played in my favor. It always ends up looking much redder, more irritated, and more inflamed.

Skin picking can be a hard habit to break. But it is that, a habit. It's like any other habit such as biting your nails. You do have control over it and you have a decision to make.

Are you struggling to find solutions to clear your skin? Book in a consultation today. I look forward to talking with you.

Joyfully, Hannah

Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, acnescars, preventacnescar, skin picking, stopskinpicking, wellness.