As I sit here drinking my daily cup of bone broth, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around what was going on with my body last last week. Nothing extraordinary or exciting happened, but I was feeling off. I’m half way through my 8 week challenge, so ideally my skin would be consistently showing signs of repair. And in some cases it is, the scars from my burns in week 1 are beginning to fade and I’m feeling much better about them.
But on other days, I wake up with the all-too-familiar pain of those deep hormonal blemishes that form deep below your skin before they make a guest appearance as your new partner-in-crime. One started in its most reliable spot at the front of my chin and and it was so deep that every time moved my face or smiled it felt like someone had knocked me upside the head and left a bruise where I was hit. The others are in less predictable places, coming up on the side of my nose, on my forehead and around my eyebrows.
Seems simple enough, but each morning I was greeted with a new surprise on my face I found myself looking in the mirror with the same tense anxiety I would have when I was facing the remains of a blow-out fight that didn’t get resolved the night before. The kind where you know you’re in trouble, but you’re not totally sure why.
So naturally, my response was to jump in to anything I might have done to cause this. Yes, I just changed my birth control so I am inevitably expecting some of the predictable hormone breakouts like the one on my chin. But what else had I done to cause my nose and forehead to breakout? As far as I could tell — nothing. Immediately I searched for other remedies. Unfortunately, it became a week of trial and error with a lot more error than anything else.
The first day I made it was Tuesday in the afternoon. It’s nearly impossible to mess up Celery juice, but leave it to me and I’ll find a way. I put way too much water in and ended up with a semi-transparent green, tart liquid. I drank it, but it was terrible. Like collegiate, one-night-stand sex terrible. (But I always love a good story ;) The next day I made it correctly and drank it first thing in the morning before my ACV tea. But I have to be honest, I didn’t feel great afterwords. It could have been too much acidity for my stomach right before ACV, or maybe it was drinking it on an empty stomach that made me feel sick, but I was fighting off waves of slight indigestion and nausea for about an hour afterword.
And then today happened. Quite possibly due to the dim morning lighting, it almost looked like my scars had significantly faded overnight. The deep blemish on my chin seems to have receded slightly, tho I read hormonal acne has a tendency to subside for a week or so and come back with a vengeance — stay tuned for that fun update. And while I can now clearly see the red spot on my nose starting to surface, the one on my forehead (although red) appears to be healing. Maybe the Celery juice is actually detoxing my body, and I do believe the benefits from drinking it are real. So I’m sticking with it, but not on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Instead, now I’m drinking it with my first meal of the day to ease any indigestion and hopefully that also helps me absorb more of the nutrients I so clearly need.
This might just be one of the most depressing stats I’ve read in a while. But the article pointed out that it’s not our inability to focus, it’s the amount of information we’re bombarded with every waking moment of the day. Unable to pinpoint specifically what I did right or wrong last week, and feeling down on myself each morning I woke up with a new blemish on my face, reading this reminded me that my 8 week challenge is about the long game. Maybe this is a chance to undo some of that unhelpful behavior I’ve learned over the years, and immediately researching quick fixes isn’t where I’m going to find the answer. I’ve spent a lifetime using technology to absorb as much information as possible throughout the day, and now it takes conscious effort to focus and be still.
So maybe it’s not about changing directions every time I hit a bump in the road. Questions like ‘Where did it go wrong?’ or ‘What can I do to fix this?’ and ‘How can I get back on track?’ are great when you’re trying to learn from something in hindsight, but maybe they’re not the right things to focus on in the middle of a sustainable, long-term lifestyle shift. Maybe, what I should be doing instead, is not ask questions at all. Maybe I should be saying, ‘Look how far you’ve come and how much better you feel. It’s okay to have an off day, or even an off week. But, if something is off, listen to your body. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time. And at the end of it all, you will be better for this and that’s what matters. Just. Be. Patient.’
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Acne Woes— Trial and Error, But Mostly Just Error was originally published in we are all daughters. on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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