Great Skin on the Cheap

How many times have you grumbled at the department store counter because you could NOT believe that companies actually have the nerve to ask what they do for their skin-care lines?  Well, how many times have you amazed yourself even more because you actually PAID what they were asking?  The more expensive the product, the better quality ingredients and, better yet, the better results…right?  Now, just hold on there!!

Let me just start by saying that I have never received so many compliments about the way my skin looks as I have in the past few months.  Lately, and I am not exaggerating, I am told at least 3 to 4 times per week that I am (or my skin is) glowing.  The word “flawless” is occasionally thrown in.  I will confess that, thank God, I have naturally been blessed with great genes.  Even as a teen, acne break-outs and other skin issues were rarely my issues.

So, why at age 54 are people literally stopping me on the street to tell me how beautiful my skin is?  (God, I LOVE that!!!)  Simple!!  I ditched soap.  That’s right.  I stopped being pimped by the big-name, small-named (and/or no-named) cosmetic companies alike.  Instead, for the past few months, I have been cleansing my skin through a process known as the Oil Cleansing Method.  Now, this method is nothing new.  However, I have only just recently become aware of it.  I am a firm believer that there is ENOUGH of everything to go around.  So, when asked, I excitedly share my beauty “secret” with friends, family, strangers and co-workers.  Listen to me: there is MORE THAN ENOUGH “beauty” to go around.  One Friday, two co-workers cornered me to ask just WHAT I was doing to my skin.  Again, I heard “beautiful”, “flawless, “glowing”…and trust me, I can never hear these words about myself too many times (heh).  I shared The Oil Cleansing Method with them.  My co-worker, Gloria went home THAT night and started cleansing her skin with this method.  The following Monday morning, when she saw me, she literally could not thank me enough.  And (I kid you not), her skin was GLOWING, dewy, youthful after just a few days of cleansing with this process.  Her exact words were, “I wish I’d known about this sooner…I am NEVER going back!” She is amazed at how thoroughly it removes makeup and has since shared this little secret with her 20-something daughters.  My point is, although this method has been around for a while, there are still those who (like me a few months ago; or my co-workers just a few days ago) are not enlightened.  Hence, this blog post.

Before I explain the process, I am compelled to share a chemistry refresher quote from www.acne.org: “Oil dissolves oil.  One of the most basic principles of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.”  The best way to dissolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: other oils.  By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin.  When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderate acne–while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized.”

With that out of the way, you’re probably wondering exactly WHAT I cleanse my skin with?  You ready for this?  I use (drum roll) O-I-L.  Yes, oil (duh, the Oil Cleansing Method).  During the chilly months, my oil of choice is extra virgin coconut oil that I get here www.tropicaltraditions.com.  However, you can find coconut oil at most health food stores and even some supermarkets.  My co-worker, Gloria is hooked on Extra Virgin Olive Oil by itself.  I like to use this during the summer months.  Do the research and come up with a preparation that best fits your skin-type.

I first heard about this method from a Pinterest post. The link took me to the Simple Mom blog – She has a detailed explanation of how to do the OCM here: http://simplemom.net/oil-cleansing-method//. Go over and check her out (follow the link).

♥♥♥That’s the method in a nutshell.♥♥♥ One more thought: about once per month, I use my exfoliating gloves and I gently exfoliate my face with the oil on and then follow by wiping with a soft cloth. For those of you with VERY oily skin, about once-per-week, you can use a natural astringent made of a blend of ½ Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and ½ filtered water.  Dip a cotton ball in the concoction and wipe your face.

In a very short time, you’ll be writing me to tell me that people are stopping YOU on the streets.

Here’s to youth, wellness and beauty!!!

Change Is GOOD!!!

Life is such a journey.  I have been with my employer for over 23 years.  Things change!  They just do.  The man that I have worked for the entire time I’ve been at the firm recently left.  It’s so odd without him there.  Such a wonderful opportunity for me to re-evaluate my job situation. Would I just LOVE to work closer to home? Youbetcha!!! Does that mean a cut in pay?  Probably…but somehow, in my mind, it all evens out.  Less stress, less traffic, less wear-and-tear on the car.  Heck, I could even walk, bike or take the bus to work. Hmmmm…this is sounding pretty darned good.  I need to assess my skills, see if I REALLY want to be back on the market…and get back to you on that.

In the meantime, I am down over 15 pounds, feeling great and wearing clothes that I have not been able to wear for SEVERAL years.  I have to give Ernest some of the credit for this.  He is wonderful and I am grateful that he is in my life.  He such a motivator.  He gently, kindly and even lovingly motivates me to stick to it.  His dad was a body-builder and he is an avid weight-lifter (and has been since he was 15).  I get to benefit from all he has learned.

Thank you, Ernest.  You’re wonderful.

Did I mention that I have had (and I mean REALLY HAD) some challenges lately?  The challenges have everything to do with change.  All I can say is that my girl, Umika posted this last month (http://upmotivation.wordpress.com/2013/01/) and it has literally saved my life.  It is not something that I didn’t already know and practice.  It is something that I’d gotten away from and needed JUST when she posted this.  Thank you so much for your faithfulness, dear friend.

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FINALLY!!!

I am finally doing something for myself that I SHOULD have done a long time ago.  His name is Ernest and he encourages me, he pushes me and drives me to a fitness level that I have not encountered in recent years.  Hanging out with Ernest for only three weeks and I have lost about five pounds and definately some inches.  Clothes are fitting better already.  Those slacks that were a bit tight in the waist (and a little high-water) because of they were tight in the thighs, are now hanging exactly the way they were designed.  I absolutely LOVE Ernest.  He inspires me.  More to come.

Props to Ms. Slim Beauty Within

While driving to work this morning, I realized something that I am still trying (err, more like ~ kinda struggling) to digest:
my doggone metabolism HAS slowed down
. I know, I know…you hear it, you even SAY it…but when it finally starts to sink in, you (as in “I”) still want to deny it. REAL TALK: when I was in my 30′s, I hit the gym regularly three times per week. At that time, I could eat as much as I wanted of WHATEVER I wanted and still keep my lovely slim frame. I never knew what it was to be overweight. I always struggled with being UNDERWEIGHT until my mid-20s, when the curves came in all the right places. How did I strategically place those curves where I wanted them? By LIFTING WEIGHTS and cardio work-outs. In my 30′s, although I did not have a problem with weight, I worked out for purposes of maintaining my excellent health and stunning figure.

Lordy, Lordy…enter my 40′s, a highly stressful marriage and stress at work. Coupled with eating more, consuming LOTS of alcohol and very little exercise. Let me tell you that I honestly did not see myself as FAT until I was already 40 pounds overweight. When I looked into that mirror, I saw the old, slim me…but with tighter fitting clothes. When I had to buy a size larger (A COUPLE OF TIMES), it STILL was not registering. Finally, one day I was walking down the street and saw my reflection in the large window of a storefront. My first reaction was that the window had distorted my image. My next reaction was to CRY, followed by shame for allowing myself to get here. That was about five years ago. Since then, my weight has been up, it has been down, I have tried both Weight Watchers and sorta/kinda played around with Atkins. However, every time, as soon as I decide to “relax” from the “lifestyle change”, the weight piles right back on. (Some of you know exactly what I am talking about.)

With all of that said, I realized today…that although I now work out, in some form, at least three times per week, I CANNOT eat anything, everything nor as much as I want. I have managed to build some muscle mass in the past month…and I am hopeful that although the scale has not budged much, I am working towards that leaner, healthier me. You know the one…my “Slim Beauty Within”. You see, she INSISTS that she is reclaiming her body back…and that I better get with the program. I am convinced that it is she who is gently and all so subtly helping me to face the reality of who I am today…twenty years later…and both gently and aggressively coaching me to become the woman that we both know that I can be. Guess how she is making me do it?…by LIFTING WEIGHTS and cardio work-outs. (Hmmmm, sounds familiar!!)

I give props my Slim Beauty Within. You go, girl!!!

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I Did Alright

Well, I believe after this week’s weigh-in, I will have netted about a 4-pound weight gain over the holidays. Hmph!!! Piece of cake!!! ♥ I will have that off in NO TIME!! You see, once I go back to my “normal” eating habits…the weight comes off.

On a different note, I recently signed up for a web site called “Pinterest”. It is a collection of things I am interested in.

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The ♥Holidays♥ Will NOT Be Upon Me!

So, I started this quest on October 12th, 2011. In six weeks, I have lost TWELVE POUNDS. That is exactly an average of TWO pounds per week. In the past two or three weeks, I have consumed very little poultry or fish and NO red meat at all. Two days ago (Monday), I was downright ANGRY!!! I was tired of eating healthy, tired of taking supplements, tired to having to THINK about what I put in my mouth. When I tell you that I was on the brink of tears, I MEAN I was on the BRINK!!! Had to call my sister for support and to VENT!!! At that point, all I felt was that I could not do this “one more day!!!”

Enter Tuesday and the attitude is “better” but not ideal. I suppose that my quest has been void of the self-talk that is rumored to get folks through the tough times. Also, in the back of my mind, I am thinking that my mentality this week has been that of an addict. You see, with Thanksgiving Day approaching, I could easily find a reason to “slip off the wagon” so that I am free to consume whatever I want and as much of it (as in “more than I need”) at our family’s Thanksgiving feast. Think about it…had I thrown my hands up on Monday and said “enough of this ‘good eating’ stuff!”, I would be abandoning the very thing that is a major factor in salvaging my physical, mental and emotional health. Hmmmm…and just in time for Thanksgiving. Wooo-saaaaah – are you kinda seeing a connection here?

So, I literally had to sit myself down and say to myself “Self, get your mind right! I can see STRAIGHT THROUGH YOU!!! – You ain’t foolin’ nobody!” Heh, and guess what? I gave myself permission to eat WHATEVER I want on Thanksgiving Day. The compromise is that I do so IN MODERATION. Then, on Friday (or even Saturday), it goes back to the way it has been. That way, the “fat girl” is happy and the “Slim Beauty Within” can continue her journey to the surface.

Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving. I know I will!!

Only 28 to go!

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