SKIN UPDATE: 6 Ways To Stick To Your Lifestyle Change

It’s been 6 months since Skin Renewal guided me on the path to cutting out grain, dairy and sugar.

This morning I looked in the mirror and I almost cried.  But this time with gratitude.  Because 6 months ago when I looked in the mirror, I hated myself.  Even after destroying my body with various medical interventions (including antibiotics and two courses of Roaccutane) I was still suffering with terrible skin!  Skin so bad I would have willingly ripped it from my face.

But when I looked at myself this morning I realised that not only does my skin look SO MUCH BETTER but I feel better too.

After 6 months on Roaccutane I was almost blind, my lips were bleeding every time I smiled and although my skin looked great, I felt terrible.  Now after attacking my issues the natural way, my skin is clearing up nicely (with the help of some treatments – more info on what I’m doing here).  I’m the thinnest I’ve been since I was a pubescent teenager, my three x baby tummy is FLAT and I just feel great!

So why didn’t I just go the natural way from the beginning?

Well, um, have you ever thought about willingly cutting out grain, dairy and sugar?  Think of all your indulgences that you’d have to give up.  For me, who devoured some kind of milk product at least 4 times a day, adored pizza so much that I actually cried at thought of giving it up – I just couldn’t do it.  I had to try the quick fix.

Twice.

And neither time worked.

Now, while this natural way is so much better for me for more than just my skin, I’m not going to lie to you friends.  It’s been hard.  So very, very  flipping hard.  We no longer consume milk, cheese, ice cream, pasta, bread, biscuits (of any kind), sweets, chocolate, most sauces, carbonated drinks and alcohol.  But we do still eat butter (in very small amounts and rice (although we’re trying to change the to quinoa as much as possible).

All I can say is – thank goodness for potatoes!!

Here’s the 5 month update (I still need to take a good pic for the current 6 months)

But how do we stay on track when all we want is to smash a pizza in our face?  Here’s a few tips and tricks that have gotten me through the last 6 months.

6 Ways To Stick To Your Lifestyle Change

1. MAKE IT A LIFESTYLE CHANGE – NOT A DIET

Just the word diet screams NO!  If I viewed this as a diet, I would have crumbled ages ago.  This is not a diet, it’s a change that I am making to my lifestyle for the long run.  It’s not fleeting.  It’s not going to end.  Which is really hard to accept.  Ask my pillow that I cried into many times.  But knowing that you are in it for the long haul helps to make you more committed to making it work.  Have a little funeral if you have to, but do something to end the old you and start the new you.  The you that’s going to own it.

2. STOCK UP ON CHEAT FOOD

This sounds silly doesn’t it.  But I’m not talking about stocking up on real cheat food – I’m not a total sadist – making you stare at the cheat food you can’t have every morning while you eat your banana.  No, no, I’m talking about something that you are allowed within this new lifestyle change.  So for example, I can no longer eat Nik Naks until the cheesy residue is all over my face anymore.  But I can eat lightly salted chips.  It’s still a cheat because I’m sure there’s some kind of crap in there too, but if you weigh it up against eating a whole slab of chocolate, I think it’s OK.  Because the thing is, no matter how invested we are in the lifestyle change, we’re still humans with cravings.  And after a bad day a relatively OK packet of chips is better than a milkshake and a pizza.

3. DON’T FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT

Let me save you all the time, money and tastebuds in telling you that 99% of the time, the imitation version of the thing you want is just crap.  I have not had a grain, dairy and sugar free anything that tastes as good as the real thing.  Except that time we went to Honest Chocolate.  But apparently I can’t move in there so that sucks.  Seriously though, trying to make a million expensive recipes just to imitate the thing you want is going to leave you disappointed.  Believe me.  Don’t buy in to trying to replace your cravings with imitation things, replace them with something else entirely.

4. STAY FULL

I’m not one to eat breakfast (because who even has time to make bacon and egg in the morning) but by lunchtime I am RAVENOUS.  I would literally eat your head.  So I have learned to make sure that I stay full, because when I’m hungry I make bad decisions, like eating heads or like buying that cheeseburger.  Staying full means eating bigger meals but also having access to healthy snacks at any given point.  I keep a bag of peanuts and raisins in my car door, so if I’m hangry it takes the edge off.  Also, if you are more like, organised than I am, you could totally pack in things that are good to eat – so you won’t have the opportunity to crave something bad.

5. FIND NEW THINGS TO LOVE

Because imitations suck, it’s important to find easy, go to meals or snacks that satisfy you just as much.  For me I’ve started making a huge batch of date balls that have chia seeds, coconut and almonds that are so chocolatey it satisfies my chocolate craving in one, OK three, balls.  But still, I figure even if I sit down to eat all 20 balls in one go, it cannot be worse for me that eating an actual chocolate.  Because the date balls are healthy and the chocolate, really really, isn’t.

We’ve started eating a lot of curries (with coconut milk/cream instead of the real thing) as well as lots of roasted meat and veg or salad.  Because of the fact that I literally hate vegetables and salad and fruit and healthy things, getting into making things like this was such a mind shift.  But now that I’ve made 6 months of meals, some great – a lot a super flop, I have go to meals that I can cook without even trying anymore.  Some options here.

6. DON’T WRITE YOURSELF OFF

You are going to cheat.  And not with the “good cheat” stuff either.  One day you are going to have a flipping awful day and you are going to order a pizza and a bottle of wine.  It’s going to be delicious and in between your tears of joy at how incredible it is, you’re going to start feeling guilty.  And then you’re going to think, well, while I’m at it, I might as well wash it down with a milkshake and a packet of Nik Naks.

DON’T DO IT!

Don’t write off the day.  Because then it will turn into two days.  Or a week.  And then you’ll be starting again on Monday.  No not this Monday, next Monday.  Not that one, the one next month.  Then one day you’ll be on your death bed and realise that you never started again.

It’s a slip up and it happens.  But just keep fighting the good fight and you’ll be all the better for it in the end.

It’s really, really worth it guys.

Bonus tip –

Try and do it with your family – if you’re all on the same page, you’re less inclined to cheat.  Especially when your kids start shouting at you, “Mommy is cheating!  Mommy’s not supposed to eat that!  Mommy is going to have a red face!”.  Somehow having your own thoughts shouted right in your face as well as letting your kids down has the effect of not wanting to do it anymore.

You’re welcome 😉

20 thoughts on “SKIN UPDATE: 6 Ways To Stick To Your Lifestyle Change

  1. That is amazing! So good to see your hard work rewarded! It is SO tough to give up the “good” stuff, but you must be feeling super motivated after comparing these pics. WELL DONE! Have you noticed a difference with your digestion? When I cut out sugar and carbs, I had stomach cramps for about a week, and then massive improvement.

  2. I loved reading this. You are SO right about so many things! I’m on a similar path ( mine is weight loss) of having to have funerals for most of my favourite foods. Ive lost 12 kg with about 15 more to go.
    Aaaand yesterday I had a MAJOR MAJOR CHEAT day and consumed more than 4X my allocated kj. O.Shit.
    Today I’m back to “the lifestyle”. Getting back on that horse an all.
    You inspired me. Thanks !!!

  3. Looking good Cindy. Hubby has been diagnosed as lactose intolerant and gluten allergy. Surely this should make it easier for me to finally give up my coke and sweets…..it has not. But after reading your post im ready to finally start being healthy and and eventually take out life insurance without worrying about being obese.

    • You can do it Megan! It’s flipping hard in the beginning, but you get used to it. And I don’t think you could ever worry about being obese!

  4. Ive just embarked on a similiar adventure. Not easy, but Im sure very worth it. Thanks for a good read and some much needed encouragement.

  5. Good for you Cindy. My son can tell his dad that the bad food will affect his “blood sugar” I guess he learnt the words from me! Keep going and keep strong.

  6. My favourite from these pics are how your smile has changed. The first pic is so grim and sad, but by the last one, you’re smiling ever so slightly, because you can see that it’s been worth it.
    Thanks for the kick in the ass. I went paleo/primal/banting a few years ago (real meal revolution style) a few years ago, and it was the best thing I ever did. But then I fell pregnant, and pregnant me was NOT having that high fat/low carb life. She wanted carbs. I joke that my son is 3/4s hot cross bun, but honestly, he really is.
    Then, as a new, working mom, I just couldn’t face the sheer prep work and difficulty of going back to an eating lifestyle that I KNOW is good for me. But. BUT.
    This is the kick in the ass I needed. Because I can’t be tired and fat and uncomfortable forever.
    So thanks 😀 And well done, and good luck for winter.

    • I know what you mean! I was sick sick with my pregnancies and I wonder now if I’d eaten this way, if I’d have felt better? I almost don’t want to know though, because then I might be tempted to have more babies 😉

      You can do the change back to the healthier lifestyle – and everytime you have a craving just snuggle your little hot cross bun hahaha

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