The power of zits

If you have ever struggled with acne, you know how devastating it can be.  Since December my skin has been bonkers.  I don’t know why.  Maybe from getting off the pill after 15 years?  Maybe from swimming in chlorine every other day for tri training?  Maybe from stress?  Something I am eating?  Something I’m not eating?  That’s one of the most frustrating things about acne – it has a multitude of causes and a multitude of fixes, some which work for some people, some of which don’t.  It’s one of the most frustrating, self-confidence shattering things to deal with.  Especially if you don’t like to wear a lot of makeup and can’t cover them up.

I’ve finally gotten mine under control, I think.  I almost hate to say that because I think I’ll jinx my skin. People who struggle with acne know how superstitious you can get about stuff like this!!  It’s as if the zits are sentient organisms that can read your mind and foil you at every opportunity.

What have I done that’s worked?  Well, it’s combo of a bunch of different stuff.  I’m not sure which thing is working, so I’m just going to have to keep doing every one of them for the rest of my life.

1.  I started using manuka honey on my face.  I read about it on this blog.  I also combine it in the evening with jojoba oil, like Tracy does in the video.  I’m on the fence about the jojoba oil – not sure if it makes my skin break out or not, but the manuka honey is amazing.  It helps shrink zits, and it helps clear up acne scars faster.  It’s wicked expensive, but totally worth it in my mind. I ordered from the shop Tracy recommends in Australia, so I had to pay $15 in shipping.  I might try Amazon next time.

2.  My nurse practitioner put me on 2 supplements – B-Supreme and Colostrum.  The B-Supreme is good for skin health, and the Colostrum is good for gut health.  A lot of skin issues are due to gut issues.  Anyway, within a week or so of taking these, my skin started to improve dramatically.

3.  I also started using a new face powder.  I’ve used Bare Minerals Mineral Veil forever, but it didn’t seem to be doing much for me anymore.  My mom’s stylist started selling Jane Iredale, and she told Mom it might help me.  I have SUPER sensitive skin.  I bought this sample kit, and I really love it, especially the loose powder in golden glow.  It gives a very natural look to the skin, and it’s very light.  The shadow, blush, and lipstick are all great too. I never use the circle delete stuff.  But the kit is awesome.

So, that’s the trifecta that’s been working for me lately. I’ve also started washing my face with jojoba oil after I get out of the pool.  The chlorine sucks all the moisture out of your skin, so the oil cleanse really seems to help.  One day I didn’t shower after my swim, so I had wet, chlorine-laden hair all day.  The next day my whole forehead was broken out.  Some people say that chlorine improves their skin (dries out the oil and zits), but I don’t think it’s good for my sensitive skin.

So there you go.  If you struggle with acne too, some of this might be worth a try.  I really think there is no one answer that works for everyone, but I know that I appreciated all the blog posts I found when I was searching for a solution.  Good luck in your search!!

Sooo….Training for a Triathlon and managing cravings

Today Tim and I did our first “brick” which means we trained on 2 of the 3 exercises.  We swam 600 yards in the pool and then biked 15 miles in the super cold, sunny, windy outdoors.  It wasn’t as exhausting as I anticipated, at least not physically   However, I think it’s rather draining emotionally.  At least something is draining me emotionally today.  Exercise usually makes me feel happy and energetic, but yesterday and today I’ve had a serious case of the Sundays (I just want to lay around, not do anything, and think about how I don’t want to go back to work tomorrow because I have so many things I would rather do at home, none of which I feel like doing when I have a case of the Sundays).

I think that my mopey grouchiness, while exacerbated by the 1.5 hours of pretty intense exercise, is compounded by a few factors:

1.  My bro was in town last weekend, and as is our custom, we ate a lot of delicious (non paleo) food and drank A LOT of beer.  I drank mostly cider, which is gluten free but definitely not carb free.  I gained the Benny differential (about 3 lbs).

2.  We had a little get-together here Friday night.  We had a great time, but having a party is an emotional roller coastal in and of itself.  You have the stress of preparation, the stress of hoping the weather cooperates, the excitement of looking forward to the event, the stress of hoping people have a good time, and then you enjoy the party, and then it’s over.  You have nothing more to look forward to except for cleaning up and dreading Monday.  Plus, at parties you usually eat too much (pizza, pretzel turtles, Triscuits, etc.) and drink too much (whiskey, Rumchata shots (BAD IDEA), and caramel apple shots (another horrible idea), which does not leave you feeling awesome the next day.

3.  And finally, Boys – feel free to skip this paragraph – I’m in the hell week of my cycle.  I’m 36 years old and should have figured out how my body works by now.  However, I’ve just generally noticed that around day 15 I hate everyone.  I hate life.  I hate myself.  I hate everything except for sugary, fattening foods.  Life would only be fair if this period of the cycle lasted one day at the most.  However, I’ve been feeling this way for like 3 days, so I finally googled it today.  I found it hilarious that the first search results for “What to expect during days of your period” were hits for adolescent sites.  I should have read this stuff when I was 13, evidently.  Anyway, I found this enlightening article.  I’ve discovered, much to my dismay, that “hell week” is actually “hell 12 fucking days.”  Sorry for the cussing, but it’s warranted in this instance.  The only reassuring portion of that article was the assurance that gaining 3-5 pounds during this time frame is normal.  So that, combined with the Bboo’s visit, explains why I can no longer see my abs.  Man, sometimes it really sucks to be a woman.  Except for days 6-13.  Why do the feel good days only last for 7 days, and but the bad days last for 12 + the 5 days of your actual period??  It is SO unfair.  Bleh.

Anyway, I’m done wallowing.  On to brighter topics.  I’ve planned some delicious paleo meals for the week.  I’m going to try writing more in this blog now that school is over – hopefully once/day.  I’ll post reviews of the recipes.  We also bought some herbs (cilantro, dill, and parsley) and flowers (vincas and impatiens), so I’m going to plant those once the weather cooperates.

My cravings also drove me to discover a tasty “paleoish” treat.  I had some sunflower seeds hanging out in the freezer forever.  I kept trying to get Tim to put them in smoothies, but he wasn’t listening!  So tried to make sunbutter out of them.  No matter how much I processed it, the butter was pretty mealy.  I even added some honey and olive oil.  Finally I got it to a point of tasty paste and gave up.  However, I’ve really been wanting some peanut butter cups, so I had a flash of inspiration. I put 2 squares of dark chocolate in the bottom of a silicon muffin liner, added a tablespoon of the sunpaste, then a shaving of coconut butter, and put it in the microwave.  I did the first one for 30 seconds, which was too long.  I burned the chocolate.  The second one I microwaved for 15 seconds, and it was just perfect.  I used a knife to slightly mix up everything, and then put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.  They turned out really tasty!  They don’t look beautiful, but they taste really good.  I got my peanut butter cup fix!!

And that’s it for today.  It’s about supper time, and we’re making pork chops and roasted cauliflower (spiced with cumin, turmeric, and salt).  It’s going to be super deeeeelicious.

Hope you have a great Sunday and talk to you tomorrow!