It’s no secret that I’ve been a little quiet here over the past year. I’m sure you can relate… Life gets busy. A year ago, I made some major life changes. I was tired of feeling sick and tired. I have suffered for many years with chronic pain due to Systemic Lupus. I was well above my ideal weight. My overall health was pretty poor, and my doctor was growing more and more concerned. My physical activity was basically non-existent, and that was reflected in my personal and social life. All of this showed on my outward appearance, all of the visible signs of aging that suddenly creeps up on us. I didn’t realize how bad I looked until I recently looked back on photos of myself from 2-3 years ago. I was struck by the fact that I look younger today than I did then, or so I believe. Others have noticed it too, though, and remark pretty frequently about the changes they see.
What’s the secret, you may ask? It certainly hasn’t been a magic pill or a magic cream or serum. I could only wish it were that simple! It’s been a combination of diet, lifestyle, and also a careful selection of skincare products and routine. Let’s start with the diet.
The day my life changed was exactly February of 2019, when I walked into my doctor’s office for an annual physical. It’s no surprise that I wasn’t my doctor’s star patient. Desperate to see change, he talked to me about changing my diet and lifestyle. He mentioned a diet (more of a lifestyle really) called “paleo.” I had heard of it before, but all I knew was that it was incredibly restrictive, and I immediately dismissed it for that fact alone. He asked me to watch a YouTube video, which I did. That’s what changed my mind…. and subsequently changed my life. After that, I binge-watched any documentary I could find on paleo, keto, processed foods, and the typical American diet. I was determined that I would eliminate the foods that were causing so much harm to my body, mind, and soul. And that’s exactly what I did.
Don’t get me wrong. This journey wasn’t easy. Eliminating sugar from your diet is difficult. Eliminating grains and dairy is even more difficult. We were taught that those things are healthy. It seems like they’re in 95% of products you find on grocery store shelves. Here’s a challenge for you. Look at every label in your kitchen pantry and refrigerator, and try to find something without added sugar. It’s almost impossible. I hate cooking, and I couldn’t fathom the idea of standing in front of the stove and cooking natural, healthy foods every single day. uhhhhh How would I survive? Well, that’s exactly what I did!
Within 2 weeks, I felt absolutely amazing! I transitioned from someone who couldn’t get out of the bed and was completely fatigued after sleeping for 14-16 hours a day, unable to get up before noon…. to someone who slept 8 hours and then was wide awake and raring to go before 8am every morning. I had so much energy that I literally couldn’t sit still. I joined the gym! Yep, you read that right! The same person who was in so much pain that I could barely walk through the grocery store or stand for any length of time was going to the gym and working out for 1-2 hours at a time, eventually 7 days a week.
I had a couple of slip-ups throughout the year, and I paid the price. I learned that if I had processed foods and sweets even once, my body would immediately tell me that it wasn’t a good decision. I would immediately revert back to feeling the pain, to feeling the fatigue (which would last up to 3 days at a time), and having no energy, just after one slip-up. It just wasn’t worth it. This was proof to me that our diet is the likely cause of many of our ailments today, not to mention the leading cause of our obesity crises. In addition, it was definitely contributing to how I was aging on the outside. My physical appearance completely changed on the outside. People who knew me for years remarked at the remarkable changes. At the age of 44 (soon to be 45 this year), I believe I look younger and better than ever before!
During that same time period, I also made significant changes in the skincare products that I was using, and I recommend to you. I’ll cover more about this in future posts, but for now I’ll share a few key products that I believe have played a major role in my physical transformation. I am not affiliated with any of these companies.
Forget all the ineffective options available in drugstores and Sephora/Ulta and consider this. Curology customizes a prescription product for you that addresses your individual needs. Do you have acne? Do you have discoloration/hyperpigmentation? Or is your skin relatively clear, but your main concern is fine lines and other signs of aging? When you sign up for Curology, they customize a serum that you apply once a night that can address anything you need. It includes prescription-level effective ingredients that are superior to any product you can purchase elsewhere. My formula combination treats signs of aging and hyperpigmentation: Tretinoin, Niacinamide, and Tranexamic Acid). They can also mix in a variety of other treatments, including antibiotic medications for those with more severe acne issues. Curology will assign a clinician to your case to evaluate your needs, legally prescribe the formula, and help you along the way. It’s not yet available in all states (due to state laws), but it’s worth checking out to see if it’s available in your area. They will auto-ship a 2 month supply, and you can delay shipments or cancel any time.
Curology price varies by package you select. I receive a 2-month supply bottle for $39.90.
FARMACY HONEYMOON GLOW
I used to recommend Sunday Riley Good Genes, but since I discovered Farmacy Honeymoon Glow, I’ve been shook and a total convert! The great thing is that it is less expensive, and my skin has better results. Honeymoon Glow is a leave-on AHA/BHA resurfacing night serum. If you want to keep your skin vibrant, bright, and glowing, it’s absolutely necessary to use a a resurfacing AHA/BHA product like this. Just be careful not to use this on the same night that you apply Curology or any other prescription retinol. The combination can be very harsh. My skin has adjusted to where I can use both, but I still go through sensitive periods where I have to scale back and alternate days. This product is available at Sephora. $58
This company deserves their own review, and I will do that very soon. There are 3 key products that I use from Timeless without fail every single day. They have my favorite Vitamin C product, made with the most effective form of Vitamin C + E (20% l-ascorbic acid). I use this every single morning to brighten my skin, reduce hyperpigmentation, and address other signs of aging. The next product favorite is Coenzyme Q10, which contains powerhouse ingredients such as Matrixyl® 3000 and Hyaluronic Acid. It works as an antioxidant, helps rebuild collagen and elastin, and keeps your skin moisturized and plump. Lastly, I love the Matrixyl Synthe ‘6. This is a polypeptide that targets pronounced wrinkles and expression lines, and it helps tired, damaged skin. The Hyaluronic Acid keeps the skin moisturized and plump. This is a great product for those in their 40’s and up.
Timeless Skincare often runs sales on their products, and that’s when I stock up. This is an incredibly affordable product line! Look out for sales where they run all their products for 40% or my favorite time is when they offer coupons for 50% off a $75 purchase. I can stock on an entire year’s supply for less than $100! They also offer large refill sizes that are an amazing deal!
So there you go! That’s what I’ve been up to over the past year since I last checked in. As always, please consult with your own personal physician before beginning any type of diet and lifestyle changes. This is what worked for me. Everyone will have their own personal preferences and unique body composition, so this stuff may or may not work for you. Let me know if you’re interested in hearing more about this topic. In the future, I am looking forward to writing more about lifestyle, fitness, and overall health and well-being.
What are your favorite products and secrets to living your best life? Comment below!