Archive for February 27, 2015

Growing up flawed: Living with acne

acne-cartoon

When most people hit puberty, they develop acne. We are told, by doctors, parents, and those much older than us, that it’s a part of growing up and that “it will go away.”

But for some of us it doesn’t go away. And unfortunately that’s been the case with me. Sure, it’s not as severe as it was when I turned fourteen and started high school with a face full of little red mountains of fury (gross, huh?), but now that I’m in my early twenties, I’ve noticed that my skin does more than just break out—it’s dry and/or red in certain areas, and it’s discolored from past acne. Also, there’s more hair growing on my face.

All I do when I look in the mirror some days is frown. Shouldn’t my skin be at it’s prime when I’m entering my twenties?

I can’t even begin to explain how many times I’ve looked up remedies for blotchy skin or those damn blackheads that never want to leave. Pinterest has provided me with more than enough information, which I never seem to try. Why is that?

I wonder if maybe it’s because I don’t want to be one of those people who blow through tons of money trying numerous products filled with chemicals that could do more harm than good. Instead, I’m trying a new approach that allows I’m comfortable with my skin and accept that it’s flawed. After all, it was flawed when I was young, it is now, and will obviously be when I’m older.

I see far too many celebrities who still look 30 when they’re more like 50 or older, like Cher or Madonna, and it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. 

They’re talented, yes, but I can only imagine what they have to do on a daily basis to keep that flawless skin. To me, that seems like much more trouble than it’s worth. What’s going to happen when the inside of their bodies: heart, lungs, liver or kidneys, doesn’t work anymore and they can no longer take care of their faces? I hope that they are taking care of more than just cosmetics. Isn’t it important for us to take care of our entire bodies and to accept that one day we will look older? It doesn’t mean that we won’t or can’t be beautiful.

I’m not saying I don’t take care of my skin; I do. I wash my face daily, remove my make-up before bed at night, and moisturize to keep the dry and flaky patches at bay. But I’m tired of fighting my skin and feeling like I’m in a losing battle.

Recently I tried something I’ve never been able to do before. I had gotten one of those really big red bumps right beside my nose and couldn’t touch it without making it have a heart beat, so I left it alone. Yeah, my behavior surprised me too. But it also helped me realize that I can have some acne and be okay with it and the way I look. Self confidence is literally just that. Self. I realize now that as long as I’m okay with it, then being imperfect doesn’t really matter.

Brittany Eldridge

Feeling rad about clean, organized eating

Cauliflower

Have you ever looked at the ingredients of a food that you were about to eat and then asked yourself what you were about to put into your body? I have. In fact, I do it all the time.

So I decided to cut things out like canned soups, frozen dinners, hot dogs and bologna, fast food (who knows what’s really in that stuff) and more. The truth is, eating those types of things, especially fast food, was making me feel awful. I was constantly tired and my energy was nonexistent, my skin was vacillating back and forth between clear and a war zone, and I had no confidence.

I just wanted to feel good again.

One of the things I’ve started doing since I began this new clean eating approach a few months ago is making sure I eat my fruits and vegetables. I’ve always like them, but I never took the time to make sure I ate them with my meals. Now I make sure to eat some everyday. Sure, it may not be the exact amount that doctors say I need, but some has to be better than none at all.

But now that I’ve been doing this I want to take clean living a few steps further…

First of all, I want to learn to control my meal times. I think eating at the same time every day can help me avoid snacking throughout the day (when I tend to gravitate towards cream cheese doughnuts).

Second, I’m always on the hunt for recipes that substitute healthy ingredients for unhealthy ones. Like mashed potatoes. It’s not hard to replace the potato with cauliflower, and the end result tastes great, maybe even better than the original.

And lastly is breakfast. I’m also not a breakfast person. I can’t wake up in the morning and sit down to eat. I’m just not hungry that early. So I came up with the idea to try making a green smoothie. I had been doing a lot of research on how they can give you energy and make you feel full until lunch time. Well, my “green” smoothie turned out brown. Yikes. I added kale, strawberries, apples, and orange juice. It was a simple recipe, but somehow I messed it up. On top of being ugly, it tasted bad. It was just too healthy for my taste. But it’s all about trial and error; I plan to try again and hopefully next time it doesn’t look like mud.

I’m going to try more foods soon and hopefully my eating will become a little more clean.

Brittany Eldridge

Will the real slim shading please stand up?


Every Girl is Beautiful Photo

 

It’s no secret that I am my mother’s daughter. We have similar facial features, the same hair color, same attitude, and same body frame.  It’s always a common joke in my family to poke and prod at our bodies because we have no meat on our bones, as if we’re a couple of Thanksgiving turkeys on display. But the truth is that it seems as though the older I get, the more my family seems to notice that I’m skinny, or more importantly, underweight.

My doctor of fifteen years has always tried to push me to eat more than three meals a day just so I can put on a few extra pounds. But I found that more and more I was eating foods with a high fat and grease content in the hopes that it would give me the boost I needed, but instead the weight didn’t stick. And I would just be left feeling gross and empty.

From the time I was fifteen until I turned nineteen I felt guilty about being skinny. I felt like something was wrong with me. How could I not when every time I would see a relative they would ask if I was ever going to put any meat on my bones and if I still ate like a bird? (Many times I wanted to correct them and say that birds eat quite a bit of food even for their small sizes.) There were even times when people in high school would ask me if I was anorexic because I “just kind of seem a little sick…”

But who were they to make me feel a way I didn’t want to? It took some time, but I finally realized that I could be happy with the body I have. Instead of eating all those fatty foods, I started to balance what I was eating by making sure my body was getting the vitamins and other things it needed. For a while I took an iron supplement to get myself away from borderline anemia. It helped with the pale skin and sickly look that everyone thought I had. I also started to take a daily vitamin, and I made sure to drink water and eat the best that I could.

It took a couple of years, but now—at almost twenty-one—I am maintaining a healthy weight for my age and height: I weigh approximately 120 pounds, and I feel good. There is no longer any guilt or question about whether or not I’m underweight. I can look in the mirror and smile at myself, and to me that’s a victory. Of course my family still says I’m too skinny, but I think they do that now just to give me a hard time.

I think it’s important for people to be proud of what they have: you’re the one who has to live in your body so I recommend making it a home.

Brittany Eldridge

 

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