Clear Skin: Luck or Hard Work?
A few months ago, I received a comment on one of my Instagram posts that stated, “You’re so lucky to have clear skin.”
Although I am sure the person’s intention was innocent, this statement authentically triggered me. I want to be very direct: The clear skin I portray today is not from luck, chance, or coincidence. It’s from hard freaking work.
What is luck?
By Google’s definition, luck is “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.” It’s taking self-responsibility out of the outcome and leaving it to some higher energy or force that makes it happen. Many would use the term luck to describe situations like someone winning the lottery or surviving a tragic accident.
But luck is not how I choose to define my clear skin.
If you’ve been following my healing journey or have read previous articles, you would know that my skin has been a reflection of the consistent actions I’ve taken over the past 6 years and counting.
A shifted mentality
But that’s not how it’s always been. For 22 years of my life, I settled for my eczema and thought that this was just something I’d have to live with for the rest of my life. I was dependent on topical steroids and petroleum jellies to soothe my skin. I was insecure and held such deep resentment towards my body (and God) for “giving” me this skin condition.
My mentality, however, took a deep shift when I realized there were over 30 million other Americans who lived with eczema. When I saw that there were people who healed from eczema and were actually living a “normal” life. When I realized that I wasn’t alone and there was a whole world out there that was rooting for my healing.
From hopelessness to action
It was at that point - in 2014 - that I made a commitment to myself to do whatever was necessary to bring forth healing. Here were the 3 main areas that I’ve taken action on then and still continue to take action on today that has brought forth this "clear skin."
I’ll begin with dieting because it’s one of the first areas where people make significant changes. Ever since 2014, I have played around with my diet, adding more greens and fruits and less processed and sugary foods. I’ve tried being vegetarian and a vegan to intermittent fasting and just juicing/having smoothies. Each experience has been life-altering and has impacted the way I eat today.
When it comes to food, I eat what makes me feel GOOD and for the long run. I don’t get upset with myself or beat myself up when I have chocolate or ice cream because I also know the importance of balance and overall having a healthy lifestyle, which includes sugar and grain sometimes!
In my experience, exercise is oftentimes resisted or pushed aside because of how difficult it can be while living with eczema. I completely understand this and empathize with those who resist it. I also know that exercising and moving my body is what has worked best for me in my healing journey.
Every year, I feel like I have gotten physically and mentally stronger when it comes to working out. This year, I’ve been heavily focused on working out consistently, so much so that since January 27, 2020, I’ve been working out six times a week. No exceptions. While this may be doing 10 squats one day or a 60-minute high interval training the next, I am committed to moving. As long as I am moving and acknowledging each body part, especially those that have remained so stiff all of these years due to eczema, then I know I am doing what I can to heal.
Every day (and I literally mean every day), I am doing some type of mental practice. Whether it be meditating with my long-distance partner every morning, or doing my Bible studies, or reading, I am always trying to elevate my consciousness and learn about my thoughts and behaviors.
There is so much I have learned about healing through the knowledge and wisdom of other people’s stories and reading books. The more I read and the more I apply what I’m reading, the more I learn how to control my mind when my body flares up.
So in conclusion: No, this clear skin you see on me now, is not as a result of luck, but rather as a result of the consistent work I've been putting in to EARN this healthy body.
Have you been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis?