"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.
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.
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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:
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
If this is an area you struggle in, try these few tips to stop skin picking for good.
Does discipline trump motivation?
I recently read an article that struck a nerve with me.
It was written by a fighter pilot and the topic was motivation and discipline. His viewpoint was that discipline trumps motivation every time.
The fighter pilot said that when it's time to run head first into the enemy you don't feel motivated to do it. After all you're full of fear and would rather turn and run the other way. He said rather it's discipline that's so important at this moment. It's the discipline you've developed, your knowledge on the subject, the training and practice. You know what you have to do so you simply do it.
As I read this piece I felt immediately drawn to what he was saying. I realized that although he was referring to war time battle, the same principle applies to just about every area of our lives.
In fact, for many areas of our lives if we only relied on how motivated we felt to do something, nothing would get done. Am I right?!
I see this often in my private coaching. Women come to me feeling motivated to make a change. They are tired of the way they look and feel. vThey know they need a change and at first the prospect of it all is really exciting.
They feel motivated to do something different.
But then reality begins to set in and the truth is changing the way you eat isn't always a straight, easy road. At this point discipline has to step in and take over. Otherwise you find yourself right back where you started.
When I had adult acne so severe that nothing I tried was working, I began to look at my issue for what it was.
A sign of a deeper rooted problem that needed to be solved.
This is when I decided to change the way I was eating to bring restoration and healing to my body and therefore, ultimately heal my skin.
Motivation didn't play much of a role during this process. Initially, I felt motivated by the prospect of clearer skin but that quickly faded. One thing to understand about using food as medicine, is the results are not always immediate. Obviously, this can feel frustrating.
More than that is what others around you see.
To my friends and family, the dietary changes I made, seemed extreme (although they really weren't).
People wondered if I was nourishing my body properly. I began to feel a bit of a stigma because I wasn't eating what everyone else was. The biggest struggle was that my skin didn't clear overnight and as it was healing it went through a few purging stages. You know the old adage, "Things get worse before they get better"? In my case I experienced this. Therefore to those around me it appeared that all my efforts were in vain.
During these times I didn't feel motivated to keep pushing forward and pursue my goal. In fact, at times I felt downright defeated. Was I completely crazy?! This entire process required discipline on my part. I knew what I needed to do or I would never know the real results. If I quit half way through I would never realize the truth.
Worse, if I gave in to temptation or peer pressure to be normal and do what everyone else was doing, I'd have to start back at square one. I had to be disciplined everyday to follow the plan I laid out for myself.
Motivation is overrated.
If you want to accomplish real changes in your life, you have to develop discipline.
For many of us, this is a struggle to handle on our own. We need guidance and accountability.
Ready to take that step towards clearer skin and better health? Click here and I'll be in touch with you real soon.
Here's the link to the article I referenced http://www.businessinsider.com/top-gun-pilot-dave-berke-discipline-2017-7
Lately I've been seeing an increasing number of women post about their acne on various social media channels. The most frequent posts have been in a number of private Facebook groups I belong to.
Did you know stress is one of the top 5 factors contributing to your acne?
Think about it. How many times have you had a huge breakout appear right before a special event?
How about break outs that show up before a job interview?
When healing acne you must look at the whole picture and stress is definitely apart of it.
Obviously, it's important to reduce our stress levels. I don't think anyone would argue that going through life while constantly worrying is a productive, healthy way to live. The problem is it would be impossible to completely eliminate all stress from our lives. I don't care who you are you deal with stress to some extent on a regular basis.
Stress doesn't only revolve around big, life issues. Although that can definitely be apart of it. It's also the smaller things that lead to stress and sometimes I think these may be worse. These little issues are easier to ignore and therefore they can build upon each other until you have a mound of stress.
What exactly happens when we are stressed that would cause a breakout? There are a few factors.
Have you ever considered the connection between stress and acne?
If you're using quality skin care and your nutrition is on point but your acne still lingers, stress could be the culprit. In my own personal situation, my adult acne flared up because of a stressful event in my life.
Chronic, unresolved stress leaves us with excess inflammation in the body which then leads to a weakened immune system along with an increased likelihood that the body will attack itself, as in autoimmune diseases. All of this will do nothing to help improve your acne and could be a contributing factor as to why your acne lingers.
As for myself, I notice a direct correlation between stress in my life and the appearance of my skin.
How should you deal with this? Obviously, it's not possible to be 100% free of stress 100% of the time. Life presents challenges and unexpected circumstances do arise.
Let me share with you a few key things I recommend you consider.
What gets your thoughts gets you. What do you spend most of your time thinking about? Answer honestly. It may help to sit in a quiet area and journal for 15 minutes to really figure this out. Let your thoughts come out on paper and see what's in front of you.
Do you find yourself constantly being negative in every situation? Then it may be time for an adjustment. We have different personalities and some people are naturally more upbeat and positive, while others tend to see the glass as half empty. It may not be in your nature to put a positive spin on things in life. That's okay. I do believe you can train yourself to change your thoughts and the way you speak and think.
I read somewhere that it's easy for people to be negative. It's easy to see the bad things in life and dwell on those. It's easy to complain and sometimes it even makes us feel good to stew over a situation that upsets us. Here is where you have to consciously decide to stop negative thoughts in their tracks. Like any new habit it will take time to develop but it's one that is worth the effort.
Look at who you surround yourself with. Speaking of your thoughts, what are the thoughts of your friends and co-workers? Are you surrounded by positive people, or habitual grumblers and complainers?
First recognize you can't change the way those around you speak and react to situations. The only person you can control is yourself. However, when you speak positively and keep your cool in stressful situations, it has the potential to spill over onto those around you. Negativity breeds negativity just as happiness breeds happiness.
If you have a friend who is particularly negative all the time consider approaching the person about it. They may not realize what they are doing. If you're not comfortable having the conversation you may want to consider limiting the time you spend with that person.
Remember, you are in control of yourself and your time. It's your choice who you surround yourself with. Choose wisely.
Grieve it, be angry and move on. Things happen in life that upset us. Things don't always go our way.
Someone at the bank may cut in front of you in line. Another driver may cut you off. Someone may make a comment about your clothes that hurts your feelings.
There is no way to stop these inconveniences and hurts from happening. Again, the only part you can control is yourself and your response. How much energy do you put towards the guy who cut you off in traffic? If you need a few minutes to stew, take it. Set a timer for 10 minutes be angry, call a friend and complain and then when the timer ends let it go.
I'll admit this is a tough one for me. When something upsets me I want to be mad for awhile. I realize this does nothing to help me or better my health, and it only gives more power to the person who wronged me. Learn to let the little things go!
Don't worry about that over which you have no control. I confess, this isn't my strong suit. I tend to dwell on things even when all my worrying won't change the outcome.
The truth is many situations in life are this way. No amount of worrying will change anything. What will be, will be.
When a situation arises that has got you stressed, ask yourself, "How much control do I have over this circumstance?". If there is something you can do to better the situation then create a plan and put it into action. If the answer is that you have no control over it, then it's best to put it out of your mind. I find the only way I am ever successful at this is to leave it in God's hands through prayer.
What are your thoughts? How do you manage stress? Please comment and share your ideas you may be an inspiration to someone else!
When it comes to healing acne with nutrition, there is a lot of talk about what you can no longer eat.
The first things to leave your diet are gluten, dairy, processed foods and refined sugar. To a lot of women that is a bit overwhelming. However, it is true that these foods are inflammatory in the body, especially when eaten in excess, which we tend to do.
While it's important to reduce our intake of inflammatory foods, it is equally as important to increase our intake of foods that reduce inflammation and are full of antioxidants.
When I first began changing the way I ate to heal my skin, I almost fell into a state of depression around food. I knew the foods I shouldn't be consuming, but I didn't yet have a strong taste for the foods I needed to be eating. I longed for the comfort foods I grew up with. Because of this I oftentimes felt hungry, but didn't feel like eating.
This struggle left my body lacking a great deal of nutrition. In fact, my body was so nutrient deficient that my hair started falling out. Hair may be our crowning glory, but our bodies don't recognize it as being necessary for survival. Therefore, it's a go to place for the body to stop sending nutrients when necessary. It wasn't until I visited a naturopath (although not before I ended up with a bald spot on the side of my head) who informed me that I simply wasn't nourishing my body well.
The amazing thing about your body is you can teach it what foods you want it to crave!
The concept is simple. Feed your body the foods it should be having and thanks to metabolic reprogramming you'll be craving those foods in about 30 to 90 days. So cool, right? The old adage, 'you are what you eat' is correct. Your cells are literally made up of what you feed them!
Now that you know, the next step involves making a decision: Keep doing what you're doing while getting the same results or change the way you eat and possibly get better results.
If you're ready to start making some changes I encourage you to take small steps. Don't go buy a ton of produce you've never cooked with before. Start with the fruits and vegetables you know and are comfortable with. Find a few recipes that suit your tastes and build from there. I often eat the same few dishes for several weeks before I tire of it and find something different to add in the mix. I recommend you do the same.