My Updated Goals For 2020 (Because Who Could’ve Predicted What This Year Would Bring)

Hi everyone! Hello and welcome back to my blog πŸ™‚ It’s been a while since we’ve last talked. I believe I took a month or two off since my last post but it was something that I needed. There has just been so much going on in the world, as we all know, and I just needed a moment to myself to think, reflect, and digest it all. In that time, a good amount of things have changed too. I’ll be updating you guys about it all as we go along. I thought today I would share with you my updated goals for the rest of 2020, because you know what, most of the goals I made at the beginning of the year have pretty much gone out the window. None of us could’ve predicted what this year would have brought us. We all had grand plans at the beginning of the year; we were just so bright eyed and innocent back then. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t still make the most of this time (mostly) at home. Here are my updated goals for the remaining 6 months:

  1. Eat normal and allow my body to find it’s set point. I hesitate to say this but I think I’m coming to the realization that I have an eating disorder. I’ll get into this more in a later post when I feel more comfortable to open up. But basically the more I’m reading on the subject and looking at my own eating patterns and thoughts towards food ever since I was 12, I realize there’s definitely a problem there. I have basically never not been on a diet for more than 2 weeks (not until this month since I am now trying to heal). I really am eager to share with you guys all about my journey with healing my body and the issues that I’ve had with eating for the past 11 years. It’s just a sensitive topic since I am currently in the midst of it. I worry that if someone were to make a negative comment about my journey towards healing, that it may hurt me enough to want to relapse. And I of course don’t wamt that. I also don’t want to put information out there on something I’m just starting to learn. So in due time, we will talk about it all. My goal is to continue to listen to my body, eat healthy and nutrious food but still allow for sweets and snacks when I’m craving them. I basically don’t want to go on a diet or starve myself. I want my body to be able to settle where it needs to without me getting in the way of that.
  2. Continue to grow my small shop. During my time away from my blog, I’m excited to say that I started my own business selling handmade goods! Right now I have fulfilled a couple orders of baby booties and hats. It’s just what people have been interested in so far. I can knit anything that people want though. My Instagram business page is @PeachyCreamPaula in case you’re interested in seeing for yourself. I do always appreciate a like and follow so feel free to do that if you do in fact like what you see. Along with knitted goods, I also make macrame baby teethers and have plans to make more macrame things. I also love drawing so I plan on eventually selling some of those too. I have just always had a love for arts and for making beautiful things with my hands ever since I was young. I thought it was time to finally start my own shop and I’m very excited to see where it goes.
  3. Save Money! It’s so funny because out of no where, I suddenly want to save all the money! I don’t know if it’s just an age thing and I’m maturing (I’ll be 24 this december) but out of no where there has just been a shift in me in which I refuse to spend more money than I have too. I think it has just been that I’ve realized that I’ve wasted money buying things from a certain brand or store that I honestly could’ve gotten a dupe for SO much cheaper. I think that just aggravates me. I think of how that money could’ve been used towards something that actually mattered to me like home renovation projects or a nice vacation. It’s upsetting when you find something for so much cheaper but you already spent your money on the more expensive version. So I am just on a mission to save as much money as possible. That means going to Wal-Mart and the dollar store whenever possible, making eating out only for special occassions (maybe like twice a month), packing my husbands lunches, and renting movies only on rare occassions. This is my first month putting these policies into place so we’ll see at the end of the month just how much we were able to save. I’m so excited for it and I can’t wait to share the results with you all. I’m also switching my makeup to the cheapest ones possible (while still maintaining the look and quality that I want) so I’m eager to share with you the cheaper finds so it can help make your switch even easier too (if that’s something you’re wanting to do).
  4. I do plan on blogging regularly again. It may have to be less times a week since I also have my small shop that I’ll also be working on. I’m thinking for right now I will focus on posting one article a week since that’s a managable goal for me. You can expect to see a new post from me evey Monday morning at 11am EST. I have so many new posts for you guys talking about all the things listed above along with some outfit lookbooks for the fall, what a normal day for me in my restricitve eating recovery looks like, what motivated me to get off the dieting cycle, and so much more. I’m also open to taking recommendations from you guys for anything new you all want to see.
  5. We also plan on possibly moving to a whole new state! That may come as a shocker to some of you since we literally just bought our house less than a year ago (it’ll be a year in December). It honestly was a surprise for us too since we had planned on living here for a while. But some things have come up, I’ll get into it in another post, and we may be moving states in a year’s time. Pretty much my husband and I are not crazy about this city in California that we live in (and also where he grew up). We’re not crazy about the state as a whole and it’s way too texpensive. So this home we moved into was our last hurrah and chance to still make it work. If we have to move (which it looks like we will) we don’t really want to stay here. We are really loving North Carolina based off what we have researched and what our friends who have moved there have said. So my goal for this year is to keep researching it, gathering information, and visiting a few times if it’s safe enough to do so. It will be a challenge trying to visit with the whole pandameic that’s going on. I don’t even know if we’ll really be able to. We’ll wait to see if things calm down and if they don’t then we’ll just have to reevaluate at that time.

I think that wraps up my updated goals for this year. I can’t believe how different some of them are from where I thought I’d be at the start of the year. Like moving? I never would’ve imagined that and yet now my husband and I are willing to move to a state we’ve never been to blindly! But that’s life; it’s ever-changing and always surprising us. I like that though, it’s like a new adventure. But I have to say, it’s the reason why when people ask me: “where do you see yourself in 10 years?”, I honestly have no clue and no real answer to give them! I had no idea that I’d get married at 18 and move from ky home town of Boston to California. I didn’t expect to have my daughter at 20 or to be a homeowner at 23. One thing’s for sure, I like to move fast. I’m impulsive and impatient. It sometimes kicks me in the butt but for the most part it leads me to unexpected adventures, and I love that.

If you guys enjoyed this little life update, please make sure to give it a like and to subscirbe so you can be the first to see the latest and the greatest from moi. Let me know any new updated goals that you guys may have for this year. Where has 2020 left you? I’d love to hear how you all are doing during this time too.

Yours truly,

PaulaπŸ¦‹

How I Transformed My Skin And Finally Got Rid Of My Cystic Acne (With Pictures)

Before: On the right, After: left
Both with no makeup and no filter. What a difference!

(*Little disclaimer: I am not a doctor by any means. This is just what I found through my research and what ultimately worked for me. So please do your own research and check with your doctor first before trying any of these things.*)

If you didn’t know me before I had my cystic acne, you would never be able to tell that it was something I once struggled with. I don’t have any scars, discoloration, or deep indents left on my face. It wasn’t always like that though. It actually wasn’t until these past two years that I was finally able to smooth out my skin and get rid of all traces of my past acne. But to see how I finally ended up with smooth, acne-free skin, I think it’s important that we go back to the start, when my acne first began to make an appearance.

I started getting acne when I was in 5th grade at only 11 years old. At that time it was simply bumps all across my forehead and that’s where it remained. There was no redness to my skin but the bumps were still noticeable so I always made sure I had bangs to help cover it all up. That was 5th grade.

There was no hiding it; the acne consumed my face! I was already 19 by this time and still struggling with the scars

It wasn’t until 6th grade when I started getting the cystic acne all along my jaw. That would be the start of years and years of battling with this extreme type of acne. I actually had a teacher once tell me “You think I’m listening to you when you’re talking to me? I’m just staring at all the acne on your face. You kids need to wash your faces.” That was so crushing to hear and just overall a really harsh thing to say to a 12 year old. But you know, I wish it was as simple as that. I tried so many soaps like Clean and Clear, Proactive, apricot scrubs, even a sugar scrub. Those cleansers either did nothing for me or they just aggravated my acne more. I also tried tea bags and toothpaste on my face, all home remedies that many people swore by. I was willing to try anything, no matter how painful. I cried many times throughout these different treatments because a lot of the time they hurt so much and it was so frustrating that none of them even worked. So after trying everything we possibly could have, my mom took me to a dermatologist.

Even with makeup, there was no hiding the bumpy texture m scars left behind.

My dermatologist prescribed me about 5 medications in total. There were about 2 or 3 creams I had to put on at night, one for the day, and an oral antibiotic. At first, they worked and I was so ecstatic! I thought that this was it. That I could see the sun over the horizon, I could see the end to this long fought battle. That was of course until it stopped working.

It was all down my neck too so I was super self conscience of ever tilting my head back- that meant no looking up and no throwing my head back in laughter either.

You see the thing is that bacteria can become antibiotic resistant. They get used to that antibiotic and learn how to become stronger so that it no longer works on them. (I’m not sure if I’m getting that explanation 100% right but based on my research, that’s how I understand it.) That’s exactly what happened to me. After being on my antibiotics for 2 years, my body became resistant to it. It no longer worked and my acne came back stronger than ever. (The pictures you’re seeing above are not even the actual acne ones, those are just the scars. So imagine all those scars, plus oozing puss, redness, and lumps and bumps all along my jaw and neck. It was not a pretty sight.) At this point, my doctor thought to prescribe me with an even stronger antibiotic. I would have to take it two times a day and the side effects for that one would be: yellow teeth, blue skin, dizziness, and fainting, just to name a few. I am not even joking, those were the actual side effects. So I thought to myself, I may end up up looking ugly with all these side effects but at least I’ll be acne free right? That is a huge joke if you could not tell πŸ˜‚ So even though I was reluctant, I decided to give it a try. I literally took 3 doses of that medication before those side effects started kicking in. I started to feel dizzy while walking to school, going up and down the stairs, and getting onto the bus. It was to the point that I almost fell several times in one day and it felt like it was out of my control, like I wouldn’t be able to stop my body if it began to fall. So after that, I realized I needed to find a different solution. I just couldn’t keep getting on stronger and stronger antibiotics each time they stopped working and I didn’t like the fact that there seemed to be no end in sight when it came to taking all these medications. I knew that couldn’t be healthy, especially long-term. So I began my search for a holistic approach to solving my acne once and for all.

Now this face is as smooth and scar-free as can be. I’m happy to say too that this is without any filter whatsoever. I’m really proud of all my hard work and research finally paying off. It’s been a long road but I’ve stuck with it.

Through my research, I learned just how harmful antibiotics are to our gut and overall health. I learned how your gut’s health really impacts every other function in your body so if it’s not healthy, then you won’t be either. I also learned how you shouldn’t be on antibiotics for no more than 2 weeks. I was on them for 2 years and my doctor wanted to continue with that regime even longer! I don’t know why she would be OK with having me take them for so long. I trusted her though and did exactly as she said with no question (I was only 12 so can you really blame me?) Looking back, I really think that it was my unhealthy diet that started my acne in the first place but I think taking the antibiotics exasperated the problem even more so that it took a whole lot more work to heal myself by the time I had finished the antibiotics after those few years. So once I knew I needed to make a whole lifestyle change to heal my gut and thus cure my acne, I looked into how I could go about doing that.

I believe at that point I had leaky gut syndrome especially with all the abuse my gut had gone through with years of antibiotic use. Many sources said to heal leaky gut, you would have to remove dairy and gluten from your diet since they just caused more inflammation, so I did. After removing the inflammation causing foods, I learned that I needed to also be sure to restore my gut’s healthy microbiome with a bunch of probiotics. So I took supplements, drank kombucha and apple cider vinegar, and just about took every gut loving thing I could while at the same time avoiding anything that caused inflammation like processed foods and keeping sugar to a minimum. Doing these things helped me to finally get rid of my acne. But I was still left with the scars you see above for years later. So how did I finally get rid of those?

I’ll save you a lot of time and money of having to do your own research and I’ll fast forward you to the products that truly worked for me. I finally found the cleanser that worked for me: Cetaphil. It’s specifically designed for people with sensitive skin and my skin adores it! I’ll try different cleansers from time to time just out of curiosity and to see if there’s anything better out there, but right away I’ll just start breaking out. For some reason my skin just really loves Cetaphil so I stick with that. (I’ll link all these products below for you guys so you know just where to get them.)

Next, buying an exfoliating brush for my face (along with a massage head) really helped to smooth out the lumpy texture my skin once had. My face really responded well to a cheap $4 brush I found at Marshall’s. I noticed that every time I would massage my face, my scars would smooth out, to the point that I don’t have them anymore. I would apply a good amount of pressure to my face while I was doing this to bring some blood flow and redness to my skin (but not so much that it hurts). In the beginning, I would massage for 60 seconds everyday. But once I realized I didn’t need it as much, I just did it for less and less time. Massaging my face is what got rid of my bumpy texture for sure. It helped to soften and smooth my skin. It was a huge game changer!

Another important item was Rosehip oil. That helped to get rid of the discoloration on my face. Keep in mind though that with these things, you need to give them time. I would say it took about 3 months to notice a huge difference with the discoloration. So just keep at it. At least you know that it will work, you just need to give it some time and make sure you’re buying a quality oil (not one from the dollar store). I would drench my face in oil every night (I still do, especially to help prevent any fine lines and wrinkles.) But don’t worry if you have oily skin, because I do too and I still put oil on my face. Putting oil on your face does not cause more acne, that’s just a myth and I’m living proof of that. It was actually when I avoided any oil in my face products when I would have tiny breakouts all over. Keeping my skin dry just exasperated my acne. Your skin needs moisture so don’t be scared to give it some. Just try it and see how it works for you.

Another game changer was witch hazel. Witch hazel really helped to reduce the appearance of my pores. They used to be huge! But wiping my face with witch hazel day and night helped to tighten the look of my skin. My mom was even shocked when she saw my face without any makeup and realized just how tight my skin was looking. By using witch hazel, it’s helped my face to look pore less (as if I’m wearing foundation). I also notice that using witch hazel helps to keep breakouts at bay. It’s only when I’m not using it (or have just eaten really bad the day prior) when I’ll actually breakout. So witch hazel is a must. It’s a staple that I still use to this day.

So that is the complete guide to how I finally got rid of my cystic acne and all the scars that came along with it. It literally took me years and years to finally get the smooth, clear skin I have today (10 years to be exact)! I think what took the most time was trial and error; just having to try so many different things to get to the root cause of my problems and see what worked for me. But hopefully with me condensing what I’ve learned during all that time into one blog post, your journey to clear skin will be a lot faster than mine was. I still think you may have to tweak your regime here and there to suite your personal skin type and see what your body responds best to. But I still think you’ll get there a whole lot faster than I didπŸ˜‚ I think really understanding inflammation and how your body responds to it is key.

We need to be healthy internally in order for that glow and radiance to project from our skin. I think it would be in vain to religiously stick to a skincare regime while at the same time continue to eat junk and processed foods. Your body will not be tricked. The true answer to clear skin is eating healthy. You may have to play around with foods to see what agrees with your body and what may be triggering your acne. For example, maybe you can’t do dairy (or at least not a lot of it) whereas maybe your friend can eat all the dairy in the world and still have beautiful skin. Everyone’s body is different so you’ll just have to play detective and see how your body responds to foods. What may be healthy for one person may cause irritable bowels for another. Just play around with it, see what works for you, and maybe use this guide to help you on your journey to clear skin. I honestly thought I was eating healthy at the time and you may feel that way too. But if your skin is so irritated and inflamed, there’s something going on that your body does not like and it’s trying to let you know.

I hope this article is able to help you guys save a whole lot of time. If you liked it, please give it a like down below and let me know what you thought of it. Are you currently trying to clear up your acne or is it something you once struggled with? I’d love to hear from you!

Links:

  1. Cetaphil- https://www.amazon.com/Cetaphil-Gentle-Cleanser-Types-Ounce/dp/B07GC74LL5/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=cetaphil&qid=1590380998&sr=8-5
  2. Rosehip Oil- https://www.amazon.com/Radha-Beauty-Certified-Organic-Rosehip/dp/B00LNOV8JO/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=rosehip+oil&qid=1590381118&sr=8-8
  3. Massage Brush- (the one I originally used had hard bristles for the massage head but this was the closest match I could find on Amazon) https://www.amazon.com/Face-Brush-Cleansing-Exfoliating-Exfoliation/dp/B07TFH7RKZ/ref=sr_1_257?crid=9QMP2MAQ3NE2&dchild=1&keywords=face+brushes+for+cleansing+and+exfoliating&qid=1590381527&sprefix=face+%2Caps%2C287&sr=8-257

Till next time,

Paula

Why I Started My Fitness Journey

Ever since I was little, I was a chunky girl. You could look as far back of pictures of me when I was 3 and I was thick. Not huge, but just thicker than average. But gradually throughout the years, that little extra thickness grew and grew until finally I was 12 years old, only 5’2 and 170 pounds. On the BMI chart, I was technically considered obese. That gave me the wake up call I needed.

At that age, I went on a weight loss regimen and ended up losing the weight. For years now, my weight has steadied at 150 pounds. I have tried to lose about 20 pounds more now for years but to no avail. But it was because I never really took it seriously. I wanted to keep my same eating habits and still somehow lose the weight. But that’s just not possible. If you want to lose the weight for good, you need to change your habits for good too. Since my attempt at losing the weight over the past few years didn’t work, I tried to convince myself that I was happy with the way I looked, that I was content, and didn’t even want to lose the weight anyways. But in reality, that was a big fat lie.

I really didn’t feel comfortable. I felt too big and the style of clothes that I wanted to wear just didn’t flatter my current weight. I felt really self conscious and insecure all the time. I would even hide my face with my hair so that it’d somehow look slimmer. But finally on May 2018, I had my breaking point and decided that enough was enough.

I was tired of acting like everything was OK when it wasn’t. I was ready to finally get myself together and lose the weight. I was and still am determined and motivated to lose the weight. I want to finally be confident no matter what I wear. I’m tired of hiding behind clothes. I’m ready to get my life together, be the person I want to be and finally live my life. I want to live a full and exciting life but I can’t do that if I’m constantly scared and hiding behind oversized clothes. It was finally time to reclaim my life. I just wanted to reach this weight loss goal once and for all. I didn’t want to be someone who was never happy with how they look, just constantly feeling miserable.

So for the past month I’ve been putting in the work to reach my goals. I’ve been hitting the gym three times a week and each time I go, I make sure I kill it! I’ve always eaten healthy so this time I just make sure that I’m eating portion controlled. I’m happy to say too that after 5 weeks, I’m seeing great results! I can’t wait to show you guys the complete results when I reach week 12 of my fitness transformation.

I hope this article has helped motivate any of you who may have felt the way I did. As I continue on my fitness journey, I’ll share with you all my results and the things that I’ve learned along the way so that it can hopefully help you all.

How many of you are currently on your own fitness journey? And for those of you that are, what was your reason for starting? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you πŸ™‚

How To Stay Motivated On Your Fitness/ Weight Loss Journey

I’ve just started on a fitness journey of my own and I can say that one of the hardest things about it can be staying motivated. In the beginning it’s real easy because you know exactly why you’re doing this, you’ve got momentum, and you just go. But after a few weeks, that all starts to wear off especially if you’re not seeing results as quickly as you’re wanting to. So you have to keep yourself motivated if you’re going to stick to your fitness journey long enough to get the results you want.Β  As someone who has been in need of motivation from time to time, I have some tips I’d like to share with you. They’ve helped me to keep going strong and I’m hoping they’ll do the same for you. So let’s get right into it:

  1. Get yourself some cute fitness gear. This is probably my #1 tip. I don’t know about you but when I look good, I feel good. It gives me more confidence and makes me just want to kill it at the gym. It also motivates me to even want to go to the gym in the first place. I’ll just feel so cute that I just have to show myself off…lol. But you know what I mean, I’m not going to look this cute and have no one see me.
  2. Reward yourself throughout your fitness journey. I think it’s nice to give yourself little gifts every couple of weeks or just once a month for reaching your fitness goals. It gives you some extra incentive to push through and continue working out even if you’re not yet seeing the results you were hoping for.
  3. Buy some beauty products that you only allow yourself to use at the gym. I use some good smelling soaps and lotions for my post workout shower but again, I tell myself that I can only use those at the gym. So if I’d really like to use them, I have to go workout. Just keep in mind too that when I talk about buying all these things, it doesn’t have to be expensive. I am not rich by any means so all of these things (fitness gear/ clothes, soaps and lotions) are very affordable. There are many stores that can sell all these things at very affordable prices. I tend to just buy a few things at a time anyways.
  4. Save your favorite songs for working out. I try not to listen to music during the day and save it for when I workout in the evening so that it gives me something to look forward to. So just like with the last point, if I want to listen to my music, I have to go workout in order to do so.
  5. Look up some before and after transformations online. On days when I just don’t feel like going to the gym or am already feeling tired, I look up weight loss transformations. I love to see just what a huge difference people can make in their appearance in just 12 weeks or so and it reminds me that if I just stick with it, I will soon have my own transformation. 12 weeks is really not a long time either to see such a drastic change.
  6. Remind yourself of why you’re doing this. This kind of goes along with the last point, but you need to remind yourself why you embarked on this weight loss or fitness journey in the first place. For me, I was tired of feeling so self conscious of the way I looked, not feeling good in the clothes I wanted to wear, and acting like everything was OK when it really was not. I’ll go more into my reasons in a later post. But sometimes when you’re just focused on the moment and thinking of how much you really don’t want to workout, you need to stop and think of what it’ll mean for you in the long term.
  7. Keep in mind how great you’ll feel afterwards. I love the feeling you get after you’ve just kicked butt at the gym and gave it you’re all. You end up feeling so good and confident about yourself. I love knowing that I’m actually working towards my goals and not just sitting at home feeling sorry for myself. I know that with each day I go out there and give it my all, I’m making progress towards my goals and that is very empowering.

These are a few of the tips that I’ve been using to help me keep going on my fitness journey. I hope they’ll help you too. Please let me know in the comments below if you found any of these especially helpful and please let me know what things you do to stay motivated. We could all use each others help πŸ˜‰