The first step is admitting you have a problem.
The second step is making no effort to change and continuing in the same problematic routine until you cannot take it anymore.
I recently realised I have an addiction to sugar. I actually realised this months ago but let’s not dwell on that. Long story short, about two years ago I started breaking out on my face. I had always had pimples now and then but this was ridiculous; incessant and never ending. I kept waiting for it to get better but it got worse and worse until my face became a cesspit. In typical fashion I just went about my life without being pro-active until one day I thought to get to the bottom of it. Perhaps it was the makeup I was using, or making I wasn’t cleaning my makeup sponges properly. Maybe it’s my pillow-even though I changed the pillowcases every week that was apparently not enough. My formerly smooth-ish face was ravaged with ugly pimples and the nasty dark spots they leave in their wake.
It wasn’t until I spent Christmas 2019 with my family that it even occurred to me that my diet could be a factor. I was surrounded by my family, ate mostly home cooked food and did not have my typical deluge of junk at my disposal. Surprisingly my skin was largely co-operative leading me to the conclusion that sugar is bad for my skin. What did I do upon realising this? Eat more sugar of course.
As if my skin was not problematic enough, lockdown brought about an entirely new problem. A few weeks in, my face was attacked by angry painful pimples across and under my jaw, the likes of which I had never seen before. I was flabbergasted. Surely some evil forces were against me. I thought back on Christmas 2016 when a friend remarked on how clear my skin was and how my problems started soon-ish after (a year and a half later but who’s counting). Surely by uttering those words, my friend dared the universe into afflicting me with acne?
A quick google search revealed that the cherry on top of the acne sundae was called cystic acne, and a major factor is dairy. I switched to soy and other plant based milk a while back, but I always have yogurt in my fridge, I don’t say no to ice cream and cheese is my true love. The lockdown induced baking craze was another factor; semi skimmed milk costs less than half the price of soy milk so me being a cheapskate I briefly went back to animal milk for all the baking I was doing. This must have jolted my system, resulting in the cystic acne. Again what did I do upon realising this? Go back to plant based milk but continue with cheese, greek yogurt and ice cream, of course. At a point I even started drinking soft drinks (7up, pepsi etc) which I hadn’t drank in years, because I thought what the hell my skin is effed up, might as well gorge on nonsense.
However enough is enough, every idiot has its breaking point. I took inventory of my face and mah God it’s a mess. I was too lazy to go out last week and so did not get to stock up on toffee sweets and gummy bears, the result of this was that I did not get any new breakouts. So I have decided to stick to this and be good. No processed sugars and no dairy. I nearly slipped on this because I was about to order food from Dominos until I reminded myself that cheese is in fact dairy (heartbreaking!). I also just had a diet coke but it says zero sugars so we’ll see.
If I learned one thing from this experience, it is that I am not that different from a crackhead; the addiction to sugar is real and destructive. I have so much sympathy and empathy for everyone dealing with an addiction because it’s really not easy. I knew the adverse effects sugar was having on me yet I could not stop. I would exercise by taking a walk to the shops and leave with a bag of sweets which I would devour within hours; once I popped I could not stop. At a point I was not even enjoying the sweets; they were there so I had to eat them all. It was madness and chaos. Part of this is due to the fact that I live alone, and with no company there is nothing else to do but eat and watch television. I have realised I have zero self control when it comes to sweets so it’s best to stay away and not buy junk at all.
The first step is admitting you have a problem and then taking serious steps to rectify it. (I am a sugarholic and I have a problem).
My goal is to clear my skin and improve my life. So help me God.