I don't think it's a secret to anyone that knows me well that I really love my birthday. I blame it on the fact that growing up with 5 siblings meant that your birthday was the one day you it got to be all about you. And if you're me, it was the whole week. (#notsorry)
Birthdays A.C. (after college) have started to pile up and I'm starting to feel like I need to stop putting off the things that I always told myself I would do when "I'm older". I think the biggest thing, which everyone rounding the corner from mid to late 20's thinks about, is my skin. I really have terrible skin... and it's not getting any better. I actually can't tell if I'm looking older or not because I can't see past the acne that makes me look 14.
I've literally tried everything from natural skin treatments, going gluten free for 30 days, going dairy free for 30 days, prescription treatment, supplements, and hundreds of dollars worth of skin care products over the years that I hoped would be the thing that saved me.
None of it has worked.
What I'm starting to realize is that there's probably not ONE thing. It's probably a combination of many factors, starting and ending with stress management and what I eat (and drink). My skin flared up really badly last winter/spring when I was sleeping less than 6 hours a night and trying to run two businesses. I lost a lot of hair on my head (which my amazing hair dresser, Jade, informed me of) and messed up my hormones pretty badly.
In the beginning of summer I had to step away from my bootcamp business and went away on vacation for a week. Relaxing for 8 days gave me a false sense that I "was rested" and back to normal after a particularly rough 6 months. I think the reality is that is takes more than 8 days to get better, and then I jump right back into 8 more weeks of really early mornings and lots of intense exercise.
Since coming to California I have been sleeping more, but have also been working out just as much. I think the level of work that I do and the amount of stress I carry at work is not something that's realistic for me to change. There has to be a way for me to mitigate by allowing the rest of my lifestyle to be centered around taking care of myself in order to support that level of stress.
I like new beginnings: Mondays, new months, new years, new birth-years, etc. I think it would be great if I could look up on my next birthday and say that I am healthier than ever and have that be visible on my skin.
What's the going to take? I think it's a lot of things...
- Sleeping 7.5+ hours a night. NON-negotiable.
- Working out just 3x a week in the gym (hard/heavy/or breathless work)
- Walking or easy yoga for stress relief
- Drinking less... not sure what that level is but it's probably never waking up with a hangover
- Get my coffee consumption down to 12 oz. a day or less. I think I've been drinking too much coffee and that is stressful on an already stressed out system. (Another tough one for me.)
- Get back to a gluten-free diet. (Lowering systemic inflammation)
I always thought it would be easier to be healthier "when I'm older", but I'm starting to realize that nothing changes unless you do.
It's the tough choices in life that are the most painful in the moment but will ultimately make the biggest difference in your happiness.