Tiff's Gone Granola
It's gonna be a long one guys...I felt the whole story was important. I hate New Year's Resolutions.
The concept of determining the things in your life that you have the power to change and then setting out to change it all at one time is incredibly flawed, and, in my experience, only sets people up for failure and regret.
What I do believe in, is the continual pursuit of self-growth.
Not "continual radical transformations and life altering choices"...just, growth.
Around the Holidays I found myself in a strange place. I was working at a restaurant, starting a new job as a babysitter, and turning down every audition that came my way.
I went home for Thanksgiving and packed up my camera like I always do, because Thanksgiving is when we take our family picture for our Christmas card.
Except we didn't take a picture this year. I didn't even bring it up. Because I didn't want my picture taken. Ever. Cell phones were maybe ok in dim lighting and from a distance, but I was horribly self conscious about my face.
My acne was spiraling out of control. The worst it had ever been.
I went through high school and my first couple years of college without acne. This photo is from when I was 19. It's completely unedited.
When acne started popping up right after I turned 20 I freaked out. I ditched the ProActive I'd been using and tried a grip ton of other solutions: AcneFree (from CostCo), Biore (I think I bought every product they have), Epiduo Gel (prescribed by a dermatologist), a pill that I can't remember the name of that made me break out in hives, MaxClarity (which was discontinued about 3 months after I started using it for "undisclosed" reasons), PerfectSkin (the Kardashian skincare line...this was an all time low in desperation), and PCA (Physician's Care Association).
PCA is what finally started working for me. I used it for a year and half. It didn't get rid of my acne, but it made it more predictable and made me feel like I had control.
Last January I decided that I was going to get rid of my acne once and for all! (my last New Year's Resolution ever) So I racked up about $800 of credit card debt on extractions, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and chemical detoxes.
Things would get better, and then go back to being the same.
When I moved to LA it got worse.
"Oh, it's just stress."
I didn't like that answer. I'm always going to be under "stress." I'm acting in LA.
Right around January of this year I realized something had to change. Drastically.
My family didn't send out Christmas cards this year because the family-photo-instigator didn't want her picture taken. That's bad.
I wasn't auditioning. Also bad.
I didn't trust people to see past my acne. Badness.
My self confidence was plummeting. Bad, bad, bad.
One day while stumbling around on Pinterest, I found a pin that talked about "Oil Cleansing" for your face.
After years of "Oil-Free", "Oil-Stripping", "Oil-Absorbing" lingo I thought this was a steaming pile of cooked bologna.
But I also knew that I was going insane - "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Oil cleansing was so opposite of what I'd been doing my whole life I decided go for it 110%. How long was I going to try it to see if it worked? I didn't really think about it. I just decided that that was how I was going to clean my face from now on. Things couldn't get any worse at least.
Hey, Tiff, what is oil cleansing?
Basically, the theory is that oil dissolves oil. So, you use a combo of a cleansing oil (usually castor oil) and a carrier oil (like olive oil), massage it into your face, and steam it into your pores with a hot washcloth. There's all kinds of different theories and combinations of oil. I made a Pinterest board for it.
In an effort to debunk the "your acne is caused by stress" theory, I decided to start doing yoga every morning. I did yoga my last year of college, so I knew the basics. I found a few free videos online and began starting my day with 15-20 mins of yoga.
This all happened almost immediately after I moved into my new apartment.
All of this oil cleansing research led me to my new favorite doctor - www.TheLoveVitamin.com. Check out her story and her site and be as amazed as I was.
The blog writer is a Canadian girl in her 20's named Tracy. And she claims that acne is caused, mostly, by what you eat.
Lies. Lies! All of it, lies!! I'd been told for my entire lifehood that acne is hereditary, it comes from uncontrollable hormones, and pollution, and- and- and! And it's not my fault!
Au contraire. Tracy does a way better job of explaining the science behind how and why this is true. But, in Tiffany language, our food is riddled with chemicals and pesticides and artificial crap that the body is not designed to digest. But it does digest it. The consequences of this, are those chemicals interacting with our hormones causing them to act out in something we call, acne.
But not for everyone.
You can see how people who want you to buy their products and services can use words like "hereditary" and "hormones" without it being a total lie.
*Steps off soap box.*
Acne is an outward sign of an infection in your body.
From The Love Vitamin I also began reading about candida and I decided to do Tracy's Candida Cleanse.
Hey, Tiff, what is candida?
It's a fungus that grows in your body. Which is totally fine, until it gets out of hand. It feeds off of sugar. And it presents itself in ways like finger/toenail fungus, thrush, and...acne.
Candida Cleanse (in a nutshell): Only eating the best quality meat and veggies. Only.
While also taking soluble fiber, a pro-biotic and an anti-fungal.
I spent the first two days throwing up on this cleanse.
And then I lost 10 pounds, and my acne cleared up. After 10 days.
I went ahead and did the cleanse for three weeks. The goal was to maintain my diet by going Paleo after the three weeks, but I missed ice cream a lot, so I'm still working on totally getting on board that train.
A couple weeks into the cleanse I went to an audition to be a spokesperson for a new wrench (yes, a 'wrench' wrench) and I rocked the crap out of it. My makeup covered my acne scars, I wasn't worried about any sort of muffin top finding its way out of my jeans, and I did the work it takes to prepare for a spokesperson audition.
"Oh, so you booked it!"
No. I didn't even get a callback. But I can tell you with 100% certainty that I was not the look they were going for. Because I did an amazing job at that audition and the casting directors loved me.
I also started *sigh* running??
This is totally new for me.
I am not a "morning person" by any sort of definition. Unless you're talking about 2:00 in the morning.
But between my 20 mins of yoga, about 30 mins of preparing my healthy food every morning, and running/working out for 30 mins I was waking up almost two hours before I needed to leave my apt.
Then this led to a crazy phenomenon of me having more energy, and wanting to find more ways to grow, so I started doing Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way and now I wake up with an extra hour to write three pages of long hand journaling every morning. (That's three hours early total, for all you mathematicians out there).
Also, I went "all natural" with my shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, hand soap, and cleaning supplies. I read all the labels on my food now. I rarely eat out. And I drink tons of water.
I even quit Dr. Pepper.
Ok, fine, I had a Dr. Pepper once while driving to Phoenix...it was either that or die at the wheel.
So it's true. I went granola.
Some rules I have about my new lifestyle are that I will never have dreadlocks, I will always shave my legs and my armpits (ew! girls don't have armpit hair...), and I will try new healthy things. But I will also not force myself to eat disgusting things just because they're good for me. There's too much delicious, healthy food out there to choke down food that makes me gag.
I also know that sometimes I have to rest so that I don't burn myself out with all this 'self-growth'.
And that's the story of how I went granola.
Sorry it's so long. But I'll probably have posts about my new delicious Paleo recipes or oil cleansing tricks and I felt like I needed to establish my new lifestyle for the world first :)
If you have any questions or want to know more about this process, please leave a comment or shoot me an email!
Oh! And this is me two weeks ago. All of the "blemishes" you see are scars. The scar-recovery process is a much longer one, but they've already slowly started blending away as my skin keeps healing.
7/24/14 - Update!! Here is a new before/after pic -