Friday, August 27, 2010

Acne-Free Skin Can Be YOURS!!

Okay, so enough with the info-mercial title - but seriously - it's true!

I started the Whole30 a month ago because I wanted to feel healthy again. I was tired of feeling rundown and crappy all of the time, and also tired of the guilt I felt after nearly every single meal that I ate. Those were my primary motivations for starting this new way of eating. . . but over the course of the last 30 days, I've noticed a few other unexpected bonuses!!

  • CLEAR SKIN!!! - I had acne as a teenager, but always assumed that it would go away when I "grew up". Unfortunately, I'm in my early 30's, and was devastated at the fact that I still had regular breakouts! Rarely a day went by that I didn't have at least one blemish on my face, and most of the time, I had several around my chin and nose. I just assumed that it was my genetics, and did the best I could to minimize them with skin care and prescription topical acne meds. Even with the prescription meds, I broke out regularly though. About half-way through the Whole30, I noticed that my skin had cleared up - I was skeptical, and braced myself for another round of breakouts, but they never happened! I've been 100% acne free now for about 15 days. . . not long enough to prove anything really, but I'm confident that my new way of eating is responsible for my clear skin. It's the ONLY thing that I've changed :) Reference the pic above - I took this pic last week after a haircut - but notice that there are NO blemishes on my face - this is absolutely the first time I've been blemish free for as long as I can remember - and I'm LOVING it! Not only am I blemish free, but my skin looks much healthier in general - it's no longer dull, and has a little bit of a "glow" to it!

  • Weight Loss - My primary goal was not weight loss, but I knew I had a few inches to lose from my hips and legs that had crept on as a result of my crappy diet. I didn't take measurements before hand, and didn't weigh myself throughout the month because i didn't want to be a slave to the scale or the measuring tape. I DID weigh myself the day that I started though (July 29th). I was 154.4 lbs. I weighed myself again this morning, and was SHOCKED to see 140.4 pop up on the scale! I've somehow lost 14 lbs in the last month. I haven't gone hungry one single time - I'm eating a much larger volume of food than I was before - it's just healthy, clean food! My jeans are falling off of me (Darn - guess I'll have to go shopping!!), and my workout pants nearly landed around my ankles when doing double unders this morning! And I can say with confidence that I haven't lost an ounce of muscle. My strength gains over the last month have been great!

  • Improved Performance in the Gym - All of my WOD times are steadily improving. I can do more pullups in a row than I could 30 days ago (23 vs. 6 - really). I can lift more weight, and do it faster. I don't get winded as easily (more stamina). Really, what more could I want?

  • No More Energy Dips - I'm no longer experiencing a roller coaster of energy levels throughout the day! I'm not a slave to the coffee pot (although I still enjoy a cup of black coffee in the morning), and I don't find myself nodding off mid-afternoon! I sleep better at night, and have more energy throughout the day - it's great!

  • Emotional Stability / HEALTHY attitude toward food! - I'm an emotional person - always have been. I cry at chic flicks, and I'll get weepy at the drop of a hat. But aside from that, I was on an emotional roller coaster that I couldn't seem to get off of over the last several months, and most of it was driven by food, and guilt associated with food, or frustration over trying to refrain from eating foods that I was craving like crazy - and then ultimately guilt again when I caved into the craving. It was a vicious cycle that I couldn't seem to break. I was constantly fighting myself. I couldn't ever be happy because I was obsessed with food. I was always either fighting a craving, or feeling guilty for giving into a craving - there was never any "peace". I know this sounds crazy to a lot of people, but I love food - I had an emotional attachment to food. I used it as a reward and as consolement when I was feeling bad. I snacked constantly when I was bored, and every achievement was "rewarded" with food, most of the time bad food, which killed the feeling of accomplishment that I got from whatever the achievement was. When I was extremely happy - I ate to celebrate. When I was extremely sad - I ate to comfort myself. I can now HONESTLY say that I have finally broken this cycle!! This for me is the BIGGEST accomplishment of the month. I don't crave crap anymore, which means I'm not fighting myself constantly - which results in me being less grumpy, crotchety, and irritable ALL THE TIME! I am able to view food as nothing more than a fuel source. I eat when I'm hungry, and don't eat when I'm not. It's that simple. I never thought I'd get to this point, and am absolutely awestruck that I managed to get here in such a short period of time. Don't get me wrong - I still LOVE food! But it doesn't rule my world and my emotions any more :)

There are probably a ton of other subtle improvements to my overall well-being, but these are the ones that I've most appreciated. I am a new woman. I am a happy woman. I am a healthy woman. I am an energetic woman. I am NEVER going back. Not ever. No amount of sugar or chocolate is worth it!


Tracy said...

I can totally relate! I have had the same relationship with food that you describe here. I am on day 6 of my challenge and so far so good. It sounds like you have had awesome results. I am hoping for the same and like you I hope to make permanent changes beyond the 30 days. Thanks for the inspiration today!

Emily said...

Sis-in law here! How did you break your dependency on food? Did you just go cold turkey? Or do you have something else you do for comfort?

Christie said...

Tracy - good luck! If you're experience is anything like mine, you're in the "tough part" right now.

I think that day 5 - 9 were the absolute worst for me, especially b/c 7-9 fell over the weekend where I had less to keep my mind busy - if you run into this problem, go grocery shopping and start looking up yummy paleo recipes, and prepping food. By the time I was done w/ all of that, I was in a much better frame of mind :)

Christie said...

Emily! Hey :)

I broke my dependency on food by going cold turkey Whole30. I just decided I was sick and tired of always feeling sick and tired, and I knew that what I was eating played a big part of it (I'll be honest. . . there was a good bit of fast food and ice cream . . . ). So I committed to the 30 days of 100% whole foods and clean eating. I knew I could do anything that I put my mind to for 30 days! I was worried at the start though because I wasn't sure that would be long enough, and I was afraid that I'd go on a binge at the end of the 30 days if I hadn't "reset" my cravings and attitude toward food by then. Thank Goodness by the end of week 2, I was feeling so great, I knew that there was NO turning back!

When I went 100% Whole30, I was more able to recognize hunger, and also recognize "not hunger" - those times that I used to eat when I really wasn't hungry (emotional or reward or punishment or bored eating). When I thought I was hungry, I mentally pictured a big bowl of brocolli or something similar. If I was REALLY hungry, the mental picture would start to make me start salivating. If it was just my cravings/emotions trying to convince me that I was hungry, the bowl of brocolli in my head didn't look good at all, and I realized taht I was just craving sugar or salt or something like that.

Hope that helps!

Lacie said...

That is so inspiring! How have you managed all the planning/preparation to eat this way? Has that been difficult?

Tom A. Thorogood said...

That's really good to know regarding the acne. I'm in the same boat. Had it bad as a kid, and still have regular breakouts now. It's super annoying!

Christie said...

Hey Lacie - glad to hear from you :)

The planning/preparation was tough for about the first week and a half because I was used to just grabbing "convenience foods", and hadn't been spending much time in the kitchen. I knew that planning was the key to my success this time around though, so I just MADE it happen.

Typically, I would sit down on Saturday morning and plan out the entire week's worth of meals. I had a lot of fun searching for and making new and interesting recipes that were Whole30 compliant! I'd print out the recipes for the week, create a grocery list, and go grocery shopping early Sat mornings before the crowds would hit. Then, Sat night, I'd do as much prep work as I could like chopping all of my veggies, baking my sweet potatoes for post-workout snacks, hard boiling eggs, etc. Also, I planned out my meals so that I could eat dinner leftovers for lunches and snacks the next day so that I didn't waste food. So I'd alternate what type of meat I ate each night. Like I might eat Fish on Mon/Thur, Ground GrassFed Beef on Tue, Chicken on Wed/Sat, and GrassFed Steaks on Fri. Sunday was usually leftover day - eating anything that I didn't finish off during the week. I NEVER got bored w/ my meals :)

Cooking dinner each night took anywhere from 15 - 45 minutes depending on what it was, but I just made the time, and after the first two weeks, it was easy because it had become part of my daily routine.

I did go on two business trips during the month which was hard, but I just prepared as many of my meals in advance that I could (that I could fit into a cooler and carry on), and I also made sure to stay in a hotel w/ a mini-kitches so that I could go grocery shopping after arriving at my destination and prepare skillet meals in the evenings in my room :)

Christie said...


Yes, Super Annoying about sums it up! I had heard that a strict Paleo diet could clear up acne, but I honestly didn't believe it would work for me because I've ALWAYS had acne. Also, I've gone "mostly" Paleo before, and my face never really cleared up. I guess that making my diet 100% made the difference! YAY :)

Amelia said...

I have a lot of acne and acne scars all over my face.osmosis skincare. Is there any natural remedies to get rid of them in a week? I have to get rid of them in a week cause I am going to a wedding! It doesn't really have to be a week, a month will do. Thnx.

Amelia said...

I cant seem to find the right acne treatment for my skin... let me know what has worked for you.. best acne treatment here and try to keep it cheap and simple...

Alaina said...

Well when i wake up in the morning before school i have very dry skin even if i go to sleep with moisturizer...its the winter and its the worst...Any Help??? best body acne treatment

Alaina said...

I have extremely dry skin, however I still have a problem with acne on my chin and the sides of my cheeks. I was wondering what acne treatments or face washes work well for getting rid of acne but won't dry out my skin more than what it already is. Thanks! acne treatments at home