Saving My Skin: An Introduction

Hi All!

While I sit here drinking tea there are brownies baking in the oven so forgive me if I get a little distracted.

SAVING MY SKIN

This is a post I keep meaning to do but was a little intimidated with tackling it. I have mentioned this previously but I have pretty awful skin and this post is a prelude/introduction to a small project of mine related to that. I know that having bad skin might seem pretty minimal (and in a lot of ways it definitely is) but this doesn’t mean I can’t try to deal with it or talk about it in an honest way. I’m not looking to complain specifically but more just provide a perspective that is mine and perhaps may be similar to some other people out there and that will help explain why I am starting this series of posts.

I get a lot of eczema and just generally dry, angry, resentful skin issues. I have had skin issues since before I can remember although there has always been periods where it was fine and then where it got bad. Now it just seems to be barely manageable (at a stretch) and has become part of how I define myself.  I choose outfits based on how well they are going to cover my skin. I wear tights and scarves to hide redness which is fine in Winter but becomes a little challenging in the Summer. I can only wear makeup on the rare days where my skin feels mostly normal (it seems cruel that when my skin is at its worst it is too dry to try and attempt to hide with makeup, or my super-sensitive buddy  just decides to react to the makeup and get even worse. Awesome). I shy away from any cameras because I hate the way my skin looks and seeing it just makes me angry. I sleep terribly and although it is not just my skin feeling sore and uncomfortable 24/7 can become frustrating.

The only thing that controls my skin is bursts of prednisone/hyrdrocortisone and other things that are great but not really beneficial or healthy for my skin/body in the long term. I should warn you that I have done zero research for this post because my goal isn’t to create a new Wikipedia page or act like I know what I am talking about,  I just want to describe how it seems to me personally. I’m not a dermatologist and all I know is that my skin feels like it is slowly getting worse in the long term not better. It reacts to more things more easily and is just generally less controllable. Hydrocortisone creams and short bursts of prednisone are great (and usually necessary) when my skin flies out of control but they really just treat the symptom at the surface and don’t do anything in the long term at making my skin and overall health better, in fact it is more likely doing damage over time and overuse.

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One thing I have learnt is that we are responsible for our emotions  so for me it was a decision to stop wallowing in these kinds of thoughts and try and actually deal with it. So after a slightly negative and rambly intro (sorry) here is my project for the foreseeable future.

The plan is to choose different trials/experiments and run them for two weeks whilst keeping a diary to monitor as best as I can how certain changes I make affect my skin as well as my general health. Types of trials include diet related ones like no dairy products as well as more lifestyle focused changes like going to the gym more often or focusing on improving my mental state. Obviously there are so many factors involved it can be close to impossible to know what factors are causing what outcomes but there is no harm trying. This is a way I can try and proactively find a better solution that medication and take some control of my skin. If two weeks of a certain change has an effect than a longer trial may help confirm the effects. I have just finished my first fortnight trial of going gluten free and will be posting about how I found it as well as some restaurant/cafe/meal tips that I found but I thought an introduction may be in order first. I also thought that in this series I could talk about some skin care options that have worked well for me (though they are few and far between).

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I know a lot of people won’t be interested in this but I started a blog to focus on things that are important to me and trying to improve my skin is definitely something I think about a lot. If anyone reading has any tips for sensitive skin/eczema or something similar than please share. Likewise if you have any tips for changes to my lifestyle/diet that I should try let me know.

Hope you guys are having a great week 🙂 See you soon with a going gluten free post!

Xx

Looking forward: Goals for 2013

Hi All!

So I find it hard to believe it is already 2013. Where did 2012 go? Every year that flies past and leaves me breathless makes me a little uneasy because, as I am sure a lot of people feel, I want to feel like I am getting the most out of each year I am lucky enough to be alive! And yet I know this year, it felt like I scraped by day by day, a bit of an emotional wreck just trying to finish University and deal with Life’s lovely challenges. So 2013 I want to try harder. Now I have this lovely wee corner of the internet I think trying out some goal-setting may be useful. Having my goals up here to see whenever I want makes me feel a little more accountable and I plan to do either 4 monthly goal review posts to see how things are going. Anyway, after that rambly introduction here are my rather random goals for 2013.

1. Look after my body better. Ok so I resisted my usual “lose 15kg” type of goals (although that would be great) because as much as I would love to be a skinny wee thing, I’m not and I don’t think its a particularly healthy goal, for me anyway. Instead 2013 will be a year to focus on health. This includes more balanced meals (not just skipping meals to make up for naughty takeaways the night before), more vegetables and fruit (which have been seriously lacking in my student budget diet of 2012), more exercise (3 times a week for half an hour, any kind of exercise I feel I can motivate myself for) and other generally healthy activities. All at once this probably won’t happen but over time I hope to make some small and manageable changes that will move me in this general direction.

2. Put myself first. In terms of my relationships I want to learn how to put the needs and wants of others aside every once in a while in order to focus on my own mental health and priorities as well as my relationship with Edd. I love my family and friends but life is complicated and putting my needs second in order to please everyone is the habit of a lifetime that I want to keep working on reducing. This doesn’t mean I don’t care about all these wonderful people but just want to put a bit of care into myself as well.

3. Make blogging more regular and less stressful. I love this little blog but I would like to improve the regularity of my posts. I want to become one of those people who has multiple post planned and drafted so that I am not constantly doing things last minute. Having a journal where I can keep a plan of when I want to post certain things is something I am going to start doing to keep things less stressful and more organised.

4. Become more organised in other areas of my life. This ranges from cleaning schedules, keeping my makeup and nailpolish under control, keeping more written records, sticking to my list making which helps me more productive on a day to day basis and so on.

5. Read more books. I love books and I don’t read enough thanks to 4 years of university which made me feel guilty every time I wasn’t reading lecture notes or text books. After seeing people do the 50 book project in 2012 I think 50 books is a good number but we’ll see how manageable it is once I get into a better routine. I would also like to share more about what I read on the blog, although I’m not sure people would be particularly interested haha.

6. Go on more dates. I love spending my evenings curled up on the couch with Edd and Callie, watching movies and eating pizza and popcorn, but I want to try more things with Edd and go out more often. As lovely as it is to stay home variety is the spice of life so 2013 will bring some new restaurants, new activities together, new holidays overseas and who knows what else!

7. Develop a more positive outlook on life. This something I started working on this year with my Made me smile posts which I found so helpful in encouraging me to look back on the past week in terms of the highlights and the positive moments. I hope that I can continue to improve in this area as my default position in life has always been more on the stressed and pessimistic side.

So there are 7 pretty general areas of my life that I want to work on in 2013. As I mentioned in my What I learned from 2012 post, change in these areas won’t come without some hard work and perseverance from me so I’ll do my best to use this year to its potential and enjoy each moment!

Does anyone else still set goals? I know they go in and out of fashion but I think setting goals is useful as long as there isn’t a lot of guilt and self-punishment involved when things don’t go to plan. For me I just need a little direction in life that keeps me on track and stops me losing sense of myself and what I want from the year to come. Let me know what you think and if you have set any goals or resolutions for 2013!

Xx

p.s. Last night I read this great post by a fellow tweeter and blogger which talked about the importance of Values as opposed to goals. Sarah discussed rather brilliantly the danger on having incongruent goals and values in life which makes achieving one’s goals harder than it should be. After reading her post I went and thought about the kind of values I want to focus on for 2013 and things that I wrote down were happiness, health, love and relationships amongst a couple others. I then used these to edit and refine some of my goals, removing a couple that I felt weren’t in line with the values I wanted to focus on. I highly recommend checking out her post (Here!) and her blog in general 🙂

Sample Bar Glam Pack!

Hi All!

So today was an exciting moment for me as I received my first ever beauty subscription box! Sample Bar has started the only New Zealand beauty subscription service and this is the starting box that they have sent out to the first 400 people who were on the waiting list. The service is $25 each month to receive a pack of 5 products. So I thought I would show you guys the products that are in this first box and give you some of my first impressions. Firstly I think the way it is packaged is really elegant! I love the black and white simple design and have many ideas for what I can use these boxes for in the future… (okay not that many, but I’m still thinking!)

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Surviving Stress

Hey Guys,

A really quick post today as I have two assignments that are due tomorrow that are finished but so terribly done that a lot of reworking needs to occur and in a miracle amount of time! I thought this may be an appropriate time to throw up some of the tips I have for how I survive the stress of study.

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