“Facing” the facts…

Something that I don’t really talk about a lot is issues rooted in self esteem. I consider myself a fairly confident person, and I work really hard to reach my goals both professionally and personally. Lifting, losing weight, and changing some negative habits I had have all done amazing things for my self esteem, and I am oddly a lot less focused on my outward appearance than I ever have been in the past.
One thing still kind of plagues me, though.
I have adult acne.

As a teenager I would get a pimple here and there, but nothing like the stuff that happens to my face on a daily basis now. I contribute it a lot to my work – not just the nature of being in a kitchen for long hours with deep fryers running, but also the stress that comes along with it.
I am hydrated, I eat fairly clean, I wash my face. It’s still there.
I’ve seen doctors about it, but I don’t want to go on medications that could have a serious impact on my overall health, and I am not a fan of long term antibiotic use age, either. I had acupuncture for awhile, laser treatments, microdermabrasion, chemical peels – all of which were great temporary fixes, but extremely costly for long term use.

Today, I’m going to start using Proactiv. I know it sounds cliche, but my mom bought it for me under the suggestion of “it really can’t make things any worse.” Unfortunately that is true. So here’s where I’m at day 1 of this whole experiment.

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I am also well aware it’s time for an eyebrow intervention – I have an appointment this week, though.

This blog is typically about all things gym and fitness related, but I wanted to share this experience for you because it truly does tie in with that.
Even though I feel good about the way my body looks, and I am so much more than my outward appearance and can prove it in my daily work, when one thing is off, sometimes it can make your confidence levels as a whole tank.
Some days my acne is so bad, I don’t want to be seen or talk to anyone. I can pile on as much make-up as I want, but it’s still there, and it doesn’t make me feel good about myself. Sometimes it is downright PAINFUL, it bleeds, and I can’t control it.

I want to be no make-up Martha (except for special occasions), happy, confident, and ready to tackle more adventures. I will let you know a month from now how this all pans out, and if it doesn’t, we will explore other options.

Do you guys have anything that holds you back from feeling as confident as you want to on a regular basis? How do you deal with it?

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20 thoughts on ““Facing” the facts…

  1. I also have adult acne. I gave in and went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Cystic Acne – I’ve actually have surgery on three different areas to have cysts removed that wouldn’t go away and ranged in the size of a pea to a cherry – yeah not fun. I hope Proactiv works for you! I never tried it, but I’ve heard amazing things.

    One thing that holds me back from everything is my weight. Although I am trying (well half assing) to lose weight I still can’t seem to get my act together.

    • Thank you for commenting because I can completely sympathize with all your points. Surgery for cystic acne sounds really painful – I’m sorry you had to endure that! What do you use on a daily basis and does it work?
      And I hear you on the weight thing. My weight held me back for a very long time. As an overweight person I felt like I didn’t deserve to be treated as well as any other human beings, and I didn’t deserve the opportunities to live a happy life like my peers. This is completely FALSE obviously and having joy in your life isn’t contingent on how much you weigh. Still, it took losing weight for me to realize this, and now I find something else wrong with my life to nitpick at. It’s a vicious cycle!! You should take pride in working towards your goals be it weight loss related or otherwise… That alone is a reason to have confidence in yourself. I think one of the greatest traits in a person is their work ethic and willingness to strive towards self improvement. You have those qualities and you should definitely be proud of yourself!!!

      • Thank you for your extremely kind words šŸ™‚

        For my face I wash with Cetaphil, and then the prescriptions come in:

        -Adapalene Cream (Like Differin Gel)
        – Clindamycin Pledgets (think Oxy Pads)
        – Desonide Cream – cortizone so my skin isn’t inflamed.

        I’ve only been doing this regime for a month, but my skin is vastly better.

  2. You’re so cute, girl.. hoping it works for you! (And your eyebrows look way better than mine! I usually get them done when I get my nails done, but have been super slacking on that since my hands have been quite abused in the gym lately.. I looked at myself in the mirror and decided I cannot go another day..!!)

    I am so fortunate to have never a skin problem, but my baby sis has a horrible time with keeping her skin clear. I keep telling her it’s all the pop and bread she eats.. who knows. Did you notice a difference when you weren’t eating grains?

    As far as my own self confidence, I used to always hate my Polish nose.. but I’m not going to do anything to change it, so just have to learn to love it.

    Good luck with the skin issues, girlie šŸ™‚

    Keep lifting! xoxo

    • I usually get mine done when I get a haircut which honestly hasn’t been in over a year… Seriously!! I have gotten way too comfy with ponytails and headbands!
      The omission of grains hardly had any impact on my skin, and while no dairy had some impact, it was short lived. It seems like everything so far has been a temporary fix – and I need long term.
      As far as Polish noses go – I hear ya šŸ™‚ I have one too and I used to really have a hard time dealing with it! Now I just embrace it because I won’t be a “ski” forever, so I need to hold on to what I can of my heritage!

  3. Oh sweetheart, you are not alone! I have struggled with acne since my teen years and I absolutely hate that you are dealing with this. I totally get where you are coming from with the embarassment and shame.
    I use Proactiv and have for several years. It does help, just be sure to stick with it twice daiy no matter what.
    You are absolutely gorgeous anyway so this will only help you shine even more than you already do.
    I know that since I have been sweating heavily on a daily basis my skin has been having more flare ups, so I try to exfoliate once a day as well just to make sure that all the dead skin doesn’t get mixed up with my natural skin oils and sweat and clog my pores even more.
    I hope that this works for you!

    • Thanks for your kind words! You are too sweet.
      I’m glad to hear proactiv works for you, that’s comforting! And for real on the sweating and getting greasy weird dry skin situation – I love exfoliating, so it’s on šŸ™‚
      I’m sorry you have to be my pimple pal – seriously if we have to have the skin of a teenager why I can’t We also have the metabolism and lack of responsibilities that go along with it??

  4. Hello. I had really bad acne. Funny thing is it didn’t really start until the end of high school and got really bad college/post college. Proactive didn’t work for me. Anything over the counter didn’t work for me. I tried every cream, 2 different antibiotics from my dermatologist. I finally did Accutane, which I know you hear about bad side effects but I didn’t have any besides being tired all the time and the dry flaky skin/lips, and it is the only thing that cleared me up. I get the occasional pimple when I eat like crap or don’t wash my face but it was the only thing that saved me from gross looking cystic (pus filled raised pimples) acne. Your face doesn’t look nearly as bad as mine did so good luck! If you end up with more questions about antibiotics, Rx face creams, or accutane just email me!

    • Thank you for being so helpful!! I think what’s steering me clear of accuntaine is the fact that though we are not actively trying to conceive right now, we also aren’t not trying to if that makes sense? We are goofy “it will happen when it happens” kind of people. I don’t potentially want to deal with the implications of the affects of accuntaine if it happens. I’m so glad it worked for you – and I hope it continues to! Thank you again!!

  5. Oh man, I can completely relate to the adult acne! As a teen I never had issues with my face quite this bad. I am allergic to dairy, so that is a trigger. But I recently have had to cut out chocolate, too. It helps but lately it doesn’t seem to be helping much.

    Let me know how the Proactiv works! I am looking forward to hearing more about how this works for you šŸ™‚

    • Thanks for stopping by! Dairy is a very common trigger in a lot of people – the hormones in cow’s milk apparently emulate what causes some people who are otherwise clear to get pimples around their period. I went a very long time without it, and it unfortunately had no effect on my skin!
      It’s insane how our body changes as we get older! Not only do we have our own adult problems, but then we get to cope with teenage ones, too!

  6. Working in a kitchen actually holds me back from a lot. I start at 5am most mornings. I work 8-9 hours, wearing a baseball cap and crappy clothing. After work I just feel GROSS and dirty and never want to socialize right after work, so I’ll usually go home, shower and never leave. *sigh*

    • This is so true. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I too put in long hours in the kitchen. My attire ranges from grungy on a good day (it looks purposeful and chic), to downright frumpy. On my rare day off I don’t feel like being pretty. After work I want to shower and pass out. Woah is us!!!

  7. You look SO different in every picture I see of you, I didn’t think that was you at first! They’re all cute, btw.
    I had bad skin problems and after years of antibiotics, prescription creams, every over the counter thing possible, the acne.org regimen, and like everything under the sun… I finally did accutane over the summer. I had a lot of (temporary) joint pain, but in the end I’m so glad I did it. I haven’t had a fat lip from a zit in almost a year, which is a huge deal for me. It was worth every sucky moment. Not trying to tell you to do it at all, especially if you’re considering kids… just sharing my experience. I hope proactiv works!
    Now that my skin is good, the thing holding me back is definitely the weight… but I’m working on it!

    • Thank you. It’s all about lighting, make up, and flattering camera angles šŸ™‚ I’ve become proficient in bathroom selfies. Haha
      I’m glad you found relief in acutaine! I hear a lot of people say that. If it wasn’t for the reproductive issues I might look more into it. Also, as a lifter, I can’t do joint pain – I already have enough of it self inflicted haha
      And as far as the weight thing goes – if you are actively trying to live a healthier life, then you should be confident about yourself! Weight can change, and it doesn’t make you a bad person because you are heavy, especially if you are working on changing it. Be proud of your daily accomplishments!!

      • Yeah, accutane was amazing. I have really oily skin and it was so fun (but kinda sad) to see what life is like for most people who don’t have to blot their face every hour… the oil is slowly coming back but the zits aren’t, thankfully! The dermatologist didn’t really make it clear how serious the joint pain could be… I’m almost glad she didn’t though because it was a rough 5 months.
        And thanks, yeah, I definitely feel better about myself for at least trying to get healthy. Now I’m working on the inner monologue that happens every time I look in the mirror though. Not easy!

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