I know they say beauty is only skin deep, but let me tell you, whoever said that was utterly wrong. Beauty is actually the outward manifestation of what’s happening internally. In today’s society, we are trained to treat the symptoms, not the problem. I recently had a light bulb moment while shopping for makeup. This experience changed how I look at makeup and skincare. I started to realize the true depth of something that I believe to be a fundamental truth...everything in the body is connected. Let me tell you the story and then how this sounded down my own beliefs and my action plan going forward.
I went to Sephora to buy a new foundation. Because I love to be outside, my color changes from season to season. It was time to purchase a new foundation for my winter color. Because I’m darker In complexion this is always a task! I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to color match darker skin tones and I honestly wish I had skin that was clear enough to skip the whole ordeal. But I don’t. As I’m going through Sephora the lovely lady helping me starts asking me all these great questions about why I need new foundation, what kind of coverage I’m looking for, what problems I’m looking to correct. So I start with my laundry list of negative physical traits I’d like to eliminate. I start with “I break out often and I scar easily. I’m left with hyper-pigmentation issues that really bother me. I know people say ‘it’s not that bad’ or ‘I barely even notice’ but to me sometimes it’s all I can see. If I could change anything about myself, it would be that. I wish I had that beautiful, blemish-free chocolate-colored skin you see in every ad ever. But I don’t, so until I do, I’ll have a permanent makeup budget and a lifetime Sephora rewards card.” Woah! I stand in disbelief that I even said all those things out loud to a person I’ve never met. She smiled at me and said “don’t we all?” Then I noticed, even though she was fair-skinned she also had on layers of makeup to hide her not so great skin too! Then she asked me “can you think of a time that you loved your skin?” I thought about it and came up summer 2013. Now let me tell you what was happening then.
2012 was probably the worst year of my life. I lost a husband, friends, family...honestly I lost my entire identity. Add to it that I was in my early 20’s. I hope I never have to feel as bad as I did that year ever again! I didn’t know if I was coming or going. I felt like someone had put me in a high speed spin cycle then let me out to regain my orientation. And I spun dizzily for a while, trying to find my center of gravity. But, out of the wreckage of a soul on fire, a new version of myself was born. December 2012 was the first time I stepped foot in a gym. Struggling with anxiety and depression and being fed up of the little blue pills my doctor kept prescribing I decided to try the holistic approach. I started eating better! I’ve never been vegetarian or vegan but 70-80% of my diet was plant-based. I was exercising 6 days a week and drinking my bodyweight in water.... well not in pounds but in oz. Yes, literally...115 oz of water a day (that was my body weight at the time). Every single day! I changed my habits, I changed my diet, I changed my life. As a result my skinned beamed the brilliance of a body aligned and a soul content. The worst year of my life was quickly followed by one of my best, the first in a series of great years.
As I came to this realization it hit me...CRAP...IT’S INTERNAL! The problems I face with my skin, which by the way is your body’s largest organ, are my body’s way of telling me “something’s not right.” First, it whispers, then it yells, then it screams and starts throwing things. Just like any problem left ignored, the destruction was catastrophic and will be hard to repair. But fortunately, that’s what the body does. It heals. Not only does it fix itself but it’s constantly looking for ways to do so. So, I left Sephora that day with no makeup! I left with a face wash, an exfoliator by Herbivore and a night serum from Drunken Elephant. But better than that, I left Sephora that day determined to get back on track. Plant-based is hard, yes, I know that. So instead of committing completely, 70-80% is what I’ve promised myself. 132 oz of water, because that’s what I weigh now and 30 minutes a day for a minimum of 6 days a week of physical activity and self-care.
Looking back I’m not sure how I fell so far off my routine. It happens slowly and softly. Like an unanchored boat drifting to sea! But it doesn’t matter that you fall, it only matters that you get back up. I’m excited to report my results! I invite you to not only follow me on my journey but to come along. It’s a beautiful ride.
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