Thursday, February 7, 2013

I am what I eat - Week 2

It's been quite a week, and although I was already seeing and feeling a lot of changes after a week, they're all becoming major now after two weeks of this new healthy me.
This whole thing started because I went vegetarian, so I decided to go to the naturopath because I wasn't sure what I needed to eat to replace the nutrients I used to get from meat. I've got the vegetarian thing sorted now, with beans and chickpeas in my pantry and humus in my fridge, along with a heap of healthy veggies.
Getting my skin healthy started out being just a bonus of seeing the naturopath about the vegetarian thing, but now, after two weeks, it's turned into the most major change.
Let me pour my heart out for a second here. I have suffered from acne since I was 14 years old - that's nearly 11 years ago. I was that one crater face kid at high school and curled up into a tiny shell to make myself invisible throughout most of high school because of it and have only just gained my confidence back in the last few years. I went on Roaccutane, a very hard-core prescription drug for acne, followed by a bunch of antibiotics. I went to a dermatologist. My amazing mum bought me every cleanser and moisturiser off the supermarket shelves, the pharmacy shelves, and finally, the Caci Clinic, where I went through a series of treatments that temporarily improved my skin.
Although it has improved a lot over the years, I have never been able to get it to a point where I feel confident enough to go out shopping or even to my parents' house without wearing makeup. I have made myself do it a couple of times, but I've never felt confident about it, I've never gone out with a smile, I've spent the whole time wanting to go home and put makeup on. But yesterday was a turning point. My skin looked amazing. Seriously the best I've seen it in 11 years.
It's hard to explain to people, especially those close to you who have always seen past the acne and the resulting scars, how it feels to spend every single morning for 11 years looking in the mirror and not liking what you see. To get out of a hot shower every single morning and see all of you skin's faults laid bare and inflamed. To see people out and about and hear "ooh, you're skin isn't looking very good", and knowing they're looking at you skin rather than listening to you. To have a massive ball of anxiety lodged under your ribs when you go to the beach, even though you love the beach, but you know your makeup will wash off when you go swimming.

So yesterday before my fiance and I went out to buy a new fridge, I decided I would go without makeup. I had looked in the mirror that morning and, instead of fussing over it, I simply stood there and smiled and felt my smooth, healthy skin over and over. When I told my fiance, who has always looked past the acne and the scars and told me I'm beautiful for the last six years, I was going to go without makeup, he thought I was mad at him because I got tears in my eyes. Then out of nowhere I just burst into tears. It took a few deep breaths to tell him I wasn't upset, I was happy. So happy that after 11 years I've finally got the skin I want. And although it's not completely clear yet, at the rate it's going I know it's going to be by the time our engagement party rolls around in three weeks and I won't have to spend ages painstakingly covering up the spots with concealer.
To be honest with you, I felt a little scared yesterday. I felt like my final obstacle that has been holding me back from being the most happy, confident person I can be has finally been knocked down and that's a little frightening because now I have nothing to hide behind. There is nothing holding me back. I sought help from the naturopath, which was the first step, but it's been my responsibility to carry through with her advice and for that I'm proud of myself. I now feel beautiful in my own right. I feel worthy. I used to let other people make me feel worthy, be it boyfriends, family, friends. But now I have made myself worthy and I feel invincible, I feel like I can do anything.

If you've read this far, thanks so much for taking the time to read about my journey! It feels amazing to be able to share it all, and I hope I have inspired others to make a change in their lives because one little change can lead to so many great things. But the journey's not over yet! I'll be posting again next Thursday, so stay tuned! And I think I might have the guts to post a no-makeup pic soon... xo

2 comments:

  1. Sarah, I don't know you, but I saw your tweet about this post and I had to read it. My daughter is beautiful but her skin is oily and worries her a lot - not acne, but pimply - and therefore she always wears makeup- and it makes my heart ache to see how much anxiety and time is spent on this part of her day. Your post is incredibly honest and also inspiring, thank you. I will show my daughter. And I want to say - good luck and well done - you deserve it.

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    1. Hi Mary, thank you so much for this lovely message, I'm glad it inspired you. If your daughter ever wants any advice, get her to email me (sarahrhardie[at]gmail.com) I'm no expert but after 11 years I've learnt a lot and I now know there is a safe and healthy way to deal with it. Good luck to her and to you, I know mums go through almost as much emotion as their daughters with things like this xo

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