"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.
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.