As a child I would say I was a hypochondriac.
My Mother would say I was honestly sick.
But now as an adult, I look back at my childhood ‘sickies’ and I just want to tell myself…
suck it up blondie
Yes I have been sick. I have had the common cold and flu, the nasty bugs that remind you of the privilege it is to have control of your muscles (all kinds), pneumonia, a benign lump found near the heart and my recent adventure was the discovery of a protozoan parasite making home within my intestines.
But besides that I have been fairly fortunate with my health. And the older I get the more controlling I become. I’m all for fluids, vitamin C (fruits), Vicks, hot water bottles and soup for the common nasties. If the hubby is sick, forget candy striper wife, I am sergeant lets kick this bug! But it is learning to be ahead of the game and the onset of any cold or ailment waiting around the corner that is the key.
And then this struck…Acne.
Ok ok before you laugh or judge me, hear me out.
I never had it. Yes I had the few pimples that ruined the perfectly caked on make-up or the evening ahead because of the boy I was hoping to catch on the dance floor would see it. I had the few that were due to the freshly cut bangs that assisted the sweat to linger longer on my forehead and yes I went through puberty and naturally so did my face. BUT! I was never on any medication for it, never had to see a doctor about it nor was I teased because of it.
And then it happened.
All over again.
But this time all I got was the unsightly, irritable, scorching redness of what I could only describe as embarrassment that I would never wish upon anyone.
I was 27 and experiencing acne as a 13 year old experiences it.
The cause? Possible hormone change. Stress. Diet. Then I went in search of help.
A course of general antibiotics.
A change of contraception.
Three months of stronger antibiotics.
Two topical creams.
And 9 months of unsightly irritation.
And I bring you to August. And finally some control. We never really figured out the source of why the change, I believe it to be due to a number of factors. But during those 9 months (and no baby) I did some vigorous research of probable causes and possible solutions. I do believe antibiotics assisted and the topical creams helped but not wanting to be on such medication for the rest of my life I went in search for a more holistic approach.
We invest in a house. We invest in our financial future. We invest in schooling and education for our children. So why am I not investing in myself? Investing in the one thing that will be with me until the end of my days. My body.
I started to question what I was eating. Or more like what I wasn’t eating.
My diet wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. I am a sucker for my cravings and a real magnet for comfort foods. But when I stopped to listen to my body and really took a hard awful look at myself in the mirror I didn’t like what I saw – what I saw in the things I could change – naturally. A broken face, dry skin, limp hair, bloated belly and a sad girl. And so I went in search of change.
With a new juicer.
A new found love of greens
And a stocked fridge of freshly grown organically harvested fruit and vege – I began.
Two months of a green movement, choosing less carbs and more raw** materials (a.k.a not processed foods like fast food chains) – I saw it happen. A healthier me. A regular me. A changed me.
But I am not here to convert you or to be wishy washy over a huge and important conversation you should have with yourself. The information out there is endless and inspiring. And if you have 5 mins, if you are going to read anything then head on over too http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/ and you will be amazed at what raw eating is all about (it isn’t about eating rabbit food, you get cake too). Jess Ainscough is the pioneer for my slow transition into a life of happy eating. One day I would like to say that I am process free but for now I will begin just by substituting and creating.
And so 10 months on from the onset of acne, a new pantry and a juice a day (and once I can get myself out of bed to attempt some decent exercise despite the cold) I may actually be pretty confident to wear that two piece in summer. But also have the energy, mood and body to enjoy life to the fullest.
And so, I am thankful for health. I am thankful that I have a choice to be healthy. That I have been given education and information to be aware of what it means to invest in myself. And I am thankful for not only when I am ‘healthy’ but also when those nasties do attempt to break through all lines of defence, for my case is nothing compared to those who don’t have an easy choice.
What is your choice?
P.s. Latest addition to my green movement is identifying not only what I am putting into my body but what I am putting on it. I dare you – I double dare – get out your favourite moisturiser or cream cleanser and research ALL those ingredients, you may just be lucky enough to be wearing todays flavour of urine or whales vomit.
**due to a recent public misunderstanding I’ve decided to explain myself slightly and if you would like further clarification please contact me. Some people have chosen to live by the traditional Raw Diet guidelines, which according to SALT Magazine ‘Eating raw means consuming – ideally organic – uncooked, unprocessed, fresh, live foods, which have not been exposed to heat over 40°C, therefore keeping their nutrients and natural enzymes intact’. This type of diet is up to the individuals discretion and lifestyle choices. However, in my post above my reference to Raw or the Green Movement is about choosing to eat foods before they are highly processed and depleted of all goodness. This means eating MORE fresh vegetables (more green) and fruits, grains, fresh meats and using good fats and sugars. And when finances permit then these purchases are organic. To some people this might seem common sense and already part of their diet but for me it was a pro-active decision.
Some examples of changes I have made;
A Green Smoothie addition; consisting of kale, spinach, apple, coconut water
Minimise gluten products; gluten free pasta & avoid white breads
Additional nuts and seeds
I still enjoy wine, coffee and sugary goodness (in moderation).
And I am still eating McDonalds (sorry).