What I Wish I'd Known About My Skin
I've been at this nutritionist thing for a while now, and you might've been around in the beginning when I specialized in skin health and female hormones.
Things have changed a lot since then (although most of my client work still revolves around these targets).
But I'm here to tell you my skin story, in the hopes that you don't have to struggle with your skin for as long as I did.
I was a kid who really struggled with food, whether it was sensitivities, digestion or just worrying that something I ate would make me sick. (I'd always had patches of eczema and just felt like food affected my skin more than other people.)
Being a sickly child I was always on rounds of antibiotics for one thing or another. Knowing what we know now about how this affects our microbiome and overall health, I'm not surprised things turned out the way they did.
SICK AND TIRED TEEN
When I was a teen, I went on the birth control pill, without being informed on how it can affect hormonal balance and digestion. And (go figure) my digestive symptoms got even worse.
At this time, my mental health also took a turn for the worse. Depression and anxiety ruled my life, and I eventually went on an SSRI (anti-depressant medication). This isn't something I regret, but SSRI's can have an effect on our nutritional health and, by proxy, our digestion and hormonal health.
I was also struggling with disordered eating and depriving myself of pretty much any nutritional food besides apples. (Remember those 100 calorie snack packs?)
WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS
Flash forward to my 20's and after years of student stress, hustling joe jobs and partying way too much, it's safe to say I was primed and ready for the cascade of hormonal imbalances soon to come.
I started struggling with painful acne on my forehead and jawline.
Honestly, it became so debilitating and my self-esteem took a real nose dive. I've never felt more vulnerable or down on myself than when I was struggling with my skin. I wish I could go back now, knowing that my skin doesn't equal my self-worth and build myself back up.
But, when you've got issues with your skin, it's like your insecurities are on display for all the world to see - and that's not fun for anyone. Especially when society places such value on how we look.
This was also the first time I experienced symptoms of PMS, but didn't realize at the time that this was a big sign of hormonal imbalance.
CAMEL'S BACK = BROKEN
I wasn't taking care of myself. I was burnt out and exhausted. Pushing myself wasn't doing any good.
It's no surprise that eventually, my body just gave out and one day, I woke up covered from head to toe in burning, itchy eczema.
HELLO ROCK BOTTOM
So here I was, struggling with even more skin issues, feeling as awful on the inside as I felt on the outside.
I couldn't keep doing the same thing if I wanted things to change.
And then it clicked. I realized everything was connected - the medications, the skin issues after coming off the pill, my stress levels and digestion and food allergies and uncontrollable eczema.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
So that's when I decided to go to school for holistic nutrition. Looking back it makes total sense that I'd specialize in female health - (especially skin and hormones specifically).
But at the time, I didn't realize that my relationship with food was so much more important than any "healthy choice" I could make.
I became so worried about doing everything perfectly, following all the "wellness rules" and trying to stick to a diet that would solve all my problems, I didn't realize I'd fallen into seriously disordered eating behaviours.
Ironic, but stressing out about wellness was holding me back from actually finding health.
Now, I can safely say I know how to make the healthy choices without the food guilt and overwhelm that often comes with. I can say my relationship with food, my body and myself has never been better.
NOW WE'RE HERE
This is my story. It shaped me into the person and practitioner I am today. And now it's my mission to help others out there who might be struggling.
Remember, you are so much more than the package you come in. In fact, your body and your skin are the least interesting things about you.
There is a way to be healthy, enjoy wellness and keep your sanity at the same time.
💛 Swapping wellness-overwhelm for a better relationship with food will change your health (and your skin) from the inside out.
💛 No more crash cleanses, problematic detoxes or Monday morning "overhauls". You deserve so much more.
tl;dr: My skin issues are what propelled me into holistic nutrition. But I missed the part about avoiding disordered eating and food fear. If you want to tackle wellness, the best place to start is a better relationship with food.
💛 Now's your chance to start your Food Freedom Breakthrough. If you're ready to shift your mindset and change your relationship with food, click below for my free Journal Prompt Workbook!