#pcos, Mental Health, Self Love

How Kicking Coffee Out Of My Diet Improved My Acne | PCOS

I struggled with acne a lot when I hit puberty. It was truly horrible. Wait let me see if I can find a picture. I had this particular picture in mind and finding it meant deep diving on my old external hard drive. It was bad. Really bad. I’ve seen things.

Here is a picture of my mom and I when I was about twelve or thirteen. As you can see my entire face is covered with acne. I felt so self conscious about it, we went to the doctor and I was placed on the pill which I stayed on all the way till I turned nineteen. It helped with my acne a lot. I was in no way perfectly clean skin but outside an occasional acne pop up here and there my worries was behind me. Of course I scratched at my acne like crazy and now have scars on my chin that really comes out when I’m getting hot. They’re a nightmare in the summer. Is this even making sense? Anyway my point is I’ve had my fair share of acne problems that didn’t go away even when I was on the pill. Wait before I continue here is the picture.

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When I came abroad as au pair I had to go onto a new pill and  my body just didn’t respond well to the pill at all. My periods were all over the show and really bad. My acne was flaring up like crazy and after about three months I decided to stop taking the pill all together. At this point my logic was well like I’m single and my hormones should be all together now that I’m older so let’s see how it goes without the pill. The acne was a bit better without the new pill and my periods took two months to return to normal but otherwise it felt like the best choice. I was regularly washing my face and never slept with my make up on (I only started to wear make up around this time anyway). The acne wasn’t as bad. I could handle it. Anyway I met my now husband and went back onto the pill for two months before I just couldn’t take it anymore. My body responded horribly to this pill (why I didn’t go to the doctor and asked for a different kind is beyond me). There is a point to this. You need to know my back story with acne. Also I’m too far in to go back now. To get to the point though, I always had acne on my face but once I went off the pill I had a little more here and there. It was controllable and I didn’t mind it too much. Flash forward to a few months and suddenly my acne was just ten times worse. I was basically two pimples away from my thirteen year old self but throw in back acne in the mix. I was still in South Africa at the time without a medical aid so I figured I can wait till I’m in the Netherlands.

Once I got here and returned to my healthier lifestyle, some of the acne approved but not all of it. When I started to gain weight like crazy out of the blue, my acne flared up again. This time it was horrible. I felt so self conscious and dirty about it and I tried everything. I started using face masks once a week (which made a difference) and a face scrub and cleanser everyday but the back acne, boy that girl was here to stay. No amount of greens and products changed that.

After I was diagnosed with PCOS, I did a lot of research. Some of my research showed that coffee (or well caffeine in general) is horrible for our hormones and can make our acne worse. At this point I was desperate to feel more like myself and just feel attractive again in any shape or form I can, so I kicked all coffee out of my diet. I immediately saw a response. My back acne completely disappeared and my face cleared up. Now I do have to add that around a month after I stopped drinking coffee, I started drinking supplements for my PCOS which also cleared up the last bit of lingering pimples. I now only get pimples when I’m on my period or when I eat too much junk food.

For those who would be interested in why coffee is so bad for those with PCOS here is a section from the main PCOS book I follow, Natural Solutions to PCOS by Marilyn Glenville (—https://www.marilynglenville.com/books/natural-solutions-to-pcos-book/ — ).

*If you have, by now, made the switch to unrefined carbohydrates, you will already be working hard to keep your blood-sugar levels on an even keel. It is the energy dips and troughs and long gaps between meals that trigger the adrenal glands into action, encouraging them to pimp out the stress hormones that are so harmful to sufferers of PCOS. But if you are serious about getting to the bottom of your PCOS symptoms, you really need to try to keep those adrenal glands as happy as possible. The key to adrenal health is to cut right back on caffeine. Anything containing caffeine acts as a stimulant that will make your body release more of the stress hormones and cause blood-sugar-levels to fluctuate. We know that women with PCOS have increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, so it is vital to help reduce these in order to reduce insulin levels. Like alcohol, caffeine also acts as a diuretic, so if you drink a lot, you risk losing valuable nutrients like zinc (which is crucial for hormone balance) through your urine.*

I do need to add that in the same breath that I’ve seen other websites on PCOS disagreeing with the no coffee statement of Dr. Marilyn but if you have PCOS and your struggling with acne, I recommended just trying it for a month. I tried it, saw I benefited from not drinking coffee and now I only drink coffee every now and again. There is a lot of options out there for those addicted to coffee so not all is lost. I hope this helps. I will share the face products I use another time.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Mental Health, Self Love

One Week Offline For My Mental Health

So this blog post is probably going to be hard to write. I can’t be sure yet as I just started to write it and I’m 30 words in. Awwh I’m so funny. I guess I should explain a little although I have no idea how to really explain it. How to explain something like this? I felt like shit because of my family stuff and couldn’t emotionally handle the pressure that came with social media so I took myself away from it and just allowed myself to feel every single emotion and get well. Well now look at that. It was quite simple to put in words. I got straight to the point.

Now I don’t make it a habit to be out in the open about family stuff because it’s not just my story to tell but I can talk about some things I guess. So I’m just getting straight to the point before I get to emotional. My dad injured himself at the work and he had to go in for an operation. I obviously worried myself sick. My dad’s health history isn’t the greatest so that only added to the stress. The operation itself was a success and my brother was by my father’s side so I relaxed and breathed, but two days after my brother left (he lives six hours away) my dad’s leg got infected and he was admitted back into the hospital. For the next week it was a constant ride of one moment good news and the next moment bad news. It got too much and I took a step away from the social media although I wasn’t that active while all this went down. I just felt the responsibility to be active on social media and that was just unnecessary pressure on myself. Eventually things started to look up and my father was released. Once more my brother was at his side and the two of us are now comforted knowing that my dad is settled and he has people in town to be there to take care of my dad when the two of us can’t be there. I can finally breathe.

The thing I never thought before moving abroad was how it would feel when my parents need me but I can’t be there for them. It’s like a punch right where it really hurts and there is nothing you can do about it. These last few weeks I’ve been feeling so many emotions and it took me years to accept that sometimes I can’t control my emotions and it’s okay not be okay. I don’t just feel sad, I feel heartbroken. Negative emotions are heightened and positive emotions are followed by a tint of guilt. Even though I try to get myself out of my funks it’s something out of my control. If something upsetting happens in my life it effects me in ways I can’t even begin to explain. I’m working on it as recently I’ve been trying to make it a habit to prioritize my mental health more. So for now I’m just allowing myself to feel every single emotion and take a moment to myself. Eventually I want to be able to have steps I can follow to get myself out of the funk as I can’t just put a pause on my life every time I feel bleh. This post is turning out to be a little too personal in a way. I don’t feel too comfortable talking about my mental health. I don’t really know how to handle it so the last thing I should do is talk about it like I know what I’m talking about. One day I will sing a different tune. It will just take time. After some thinking I came up with a plan. I really do want to concentrate on my mental health more so for one entire week every month I’m going to take 30 minutes every day and spend those minutes on my mental health. I’m not sure what I’m going to do in those 30 minutes but I will figure it out I’m sure. I’m going to end it here with one last fleeting goodbye thought that technically speaking isn’t mine.

“You cannot heal a lifetime of pain overnight, be patient with yourself. It takes as long as it takes to rebuild yourself.”

Be kind to your MIND

Do what you LOVE

Have FUN with friends and be active

CELEBRATE what makes you SPECIAL

EAT healthy

Take a BREAK

CONNECT with others

Give your TIME

Help out SHARE a smile

SING

GIVE a hand

SLEEP

Do things BIG and small

Be UNIQUE

Feel totally free to BE SILLY

Giggle & LAUGH

If you want to learn more about mental health then follow this link https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health/index.html although I can’t say I’ve read through the entire website. It looks quite good though. Another website that I’ve bookmarked to fully read through is https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2014/09/mental-health-101-developing-coping-strategies/ and last but not least here is a website for advice on coping mechanisms for people who struggle with mental health – http://www.mhww.org/strategies.html