Skin Care updates.

Hello darlings.

Let’s talk about skin care today and the state of my skin and whatnot.

For reference. I am 40 will be turning 41 in March. Very VERY oily skin that is prone to:

  • Peeling
  • Rashes
  • Dehydration
  • Major hyperpigmentation and scarring often for no damn reason.

I also have skin that is highly sensitive to weather changes, hormones, anything. My skin as I get older gets more extra.

SO wanna see?

nakedface

[image caption: photo of the blogger, brown skinned femme with a naked face.

I really wish I still had my old phone so y’all could get a better idea of where I started. I do still have a scar/s on my forehead from a bad bout of dermatitis but, with gentle regular care they have faded. Also if you look at the corners of my mouth where my skin splits in the Winter, it is lookin pretty clear.

On my check on the right, you can see two dark marks. Both of those are from two MAJORLY clogged pores. Traditionally, since puberty I’ve been prone to whiteheads. From the teeny ones to big ole HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT type ones. The smaller ones caused the most hyperpigmentation on my face. Even if left alone.

Those two marks were the other clogged pore, just clogged up for ages without a bump. I treated them at first with a drying solution which only made the top layer of skin peel.

SO y’all…I know this is counter intuitive but I ignored them.

My skin care routine has been a little off. I’m trying not to buy new skin stuff until after we move and I figure out my storage situation. Here’s what I do in general lately.

  1. Remove make up with whatever, balm, oil, make up wipe. Occasionally I take my eye make up off with castor oil if I’ve been more extra than usual that day.
  2. Cleanse with cleanser.
  3. Rinse very well.
  4. Pat dry.
  5. SOmetimes mask right away.
  6. Or skip #5 use my ACV/Water toner.
  7. Vitamin C/hyalauranic acid serum (under 20$)
  8. Retinol (I’m out and my fave is discontinued *SAD MOO*)
  9. CVS even skin oil.
  10. Moisturizer.

Now. I’ve been doing the 10-sometimes up to 13 step skin care for about a year now. This is the result. My skin is visibly softer, I am way WAY LESS prone to scarring. Let me tell you a story.

A few periods ago, I grew a monster pimple. The likes of which I thought I left in my 20s. It hurt, it was red and ragey for a good four days before it even started to whitehead up. I treated it with my favorite OH SHIT mask.

Let me pause here.

ORIGINS Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask to Rescue Skin Problem. Y’ALL. I know I talk about this product every skin post but I am on tube #3 and it is my real ride or die oh shit product. It is potent. I used a dab of it on Zitzilla every day and it withered. It is in fact expensive but one tube goes a LONG way if you have fairly clear skin and only really need it for oh shitness.

Now, even two years ago I would have wound up with a big almost black mark on the side of my face. When my face scars, the hyperpigmentation will sort of spread like a blob as you can see.

I had a faintish darker than me brown spot for a few weeks and it was gone.

That is HUGE.

Now for most of my life I’d STILL have the scar.

Look at my left cheek, no scar.

Up close I have a few little slightly darker brown scars but they fade fast.

The huge thing is that I stuck with the extra routine. The basics are my skin likes being very clean then, exfoliated and heavily moisturized. This is where I say, you have to give stuff a chance to work.

Right now this moment my face is a bit broken out because I’m out of some of my stuff as I mentioned. My skin is still in good condition, I am concentrating on keeping my skin well cleansed, I do a light peel mask weeklyish and I am still using my spin brush. I also moisturize really well.

I moisturize more than I thought I ever would. I mean, had you told me twenty years ago I would not only moisturize but not be using sebum killer cleansers and aggressively trying to perfect my skin.

Instead, I’ve learned to be gentle with myself even in trying to clear up my skin.

So there it is. After we get moved and whatnot I will talk about what I’m putting back in and going to try out.

 

2018 Priorities and Shit

Holy shitballs it is 2018.

I don’t do resolutions because I find the whole culture of that to be so shamey and gross. So instead let’s talk about priorities.

So far, my number one priority in 2018 is getting the partner and I moved and settled into a new place. This move will improve the quality of our lives so much, I’m super impatient but trying to stay calm about it. I’ve been saving and fundraising for months and after the illnesses and whatnot from Sept-December I was terrified I couldn’t do it.

BUT, I got the coins to cover at least move in so I’m happy.

Correlated to moving is that I’m hoping to be able to afford to do more for my health. I deal with a lot of chronic shit, some of it is shit I’ve had literally since birth. And as has happened time and time again in my life, my unintentional weightloss fixed none of it and exacerbated some of it.

What does more for my health look like? I want to keep up with a few things. I do a double shot of EmergenC in ice water every day. I do vitamins too. Unfortunately I lost my ability to swallow larger pills so I’ve been subbing in gummies. They are okay but my ride or die line up are all horsepills and I’m trying to get back to be able to take them. I’m back up to being able to take some medium sized pills so hopefully 2018 is my year.

Correlated to that, my hair. I’ll be continuing to do the LOC method and my main goal is retaining length. Since braids were a total fucking fail (why yes, I am still salty AF about it) I’m back in wigs. Currently rocking a silver bob that I feel magical as fuck in.

20180105_061338.jpg

[image description: photo of the blogger, a Black femme person in a silver asymmetrical bob wig]

I’ll probably do my annual blowout soonish. My last one, my hair looked AMAZING. I may start doing a blow out once a month or so. Mainly to give myself the encouragement to do a monthly deep detangle. All the way to the scalp with the little comb.

I really want to avoid the deep terrible tangles I struggled with this year. I’m also cycling taking biotin and am going to mix up some hair oil for my scalp because I tried giving up greasing my scalp and nah son.

My poor scalp gets so dry like the rest of my body except my face. So yeah, I’ll be liberally greasing up literally from scalp to toes forever.

Overall my priorities this year are to remember how to take better care of my whole self. I want to return to my habit of figuring out DIY remedies and things. I want to maybe eve start making body care items again.

Hopefully, I will remember to bring y’all along for the fails and wins.

See y’all soon!

Ten Steps- My current skin care routine.

Okay darlings. Today we’re gonna talk about how extra my skin care routine has become and I’ll review some stuff for you. Affiliate links will be used cause Auntie needs coins.

Ready?

Okay step 1 and 2 At night.

Lately I’ve been using the Garnier Clean+ Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser Sensitive Skin. I had been using the Rice Bright Oil which is wonderful but I wanted something a bit easier to get and a tadbit cheaper. I use the cream on my dry face to remove my foundation and eye make up. This cream does a pretty nice job. I will say that on days where I’m wearing a fuckton of mascara or liner it doesn’t totally do the job. Then I swoop in with the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover. Alone I don’t feel like the micellar water can handle the amount of make up I wear but a quick swipe with it after the cream cleanser and make up is gone.

Step 3.

I’ve stumbled upon a bit of genius when it comes to my fickle face. I have a little collection of cleansers I rotate depending on how my skin is feeling. Unfortunately, African Black soap started drying me out so I busted into my stash. Pro tip, if you want to try expensive skin care, get travel sizes. First cleanser I’m into is the First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay. I love that it is a nice thick gel texture and it leaves my skin very soft and clean without stripping it. Next one I’m into but not fully sold on is the boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser. It hasn’t done miracle wonders BUT I do really love the warming sensation when I use it with my Spin for perfect skin brush.  Once a week or so I’ll do a cleanser/mask combo. I’m trying out the Freeman Facial Apple Cider Vinegar Clay Mask + Scrub. Not a miracle but I really do like how my skin feels after using it. The scrubby aspect isn’t super scrubby so it’s very nice. I also have a few random sachets of cleansers I will use when the mood strike. I tend to listen to what my face is saying. This week it says, HEY I WILL JUST BE UP HERE BEING A PEELY ASSHOLE. ENJOY THAT.

Step 4.

I use a 80/20 mix of Braggs ACV and purified water as a toner. Um. Y’all. Let me be real I HATE this step. I hate the smell of ACV and I hate how much my body loves it. Now I was skeptical about the claims I’d seen about this mix helping with balancing out skin, sebum production and apparently it’ll heal your soul. Um. Bruh. This shit…y’all…listen. I experimented and used it nightly for a month. The biggest thing I noticed was that my face felt more balanced. It was softer and had a brighter look. I went off it and yep there was a difference. I am so mad.

Step 5.

Sheet mask/other mask. I’ve been masking several times a week. From Amazon I picked up a variety pack of sheet masks. Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Full Face Facial Mask Sheet, 16 Combo Pack. And I picked up a pack of ten honey based ones as well. Those are so great for major hydration. If I’m breaking out I’ll use a skin clearing mask. Some in rotation are: FORMULA 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Ultra Cleansing Mud Mask. That one is excellent for the price point, it does have a strong smell and will sting your eyes. There is my ride or die Origins out of Trouble mask.  It is pricey but, y’all this shit will dry up a pimple on my face very fast and it’s not a mask I need to use weekly.

Step 6.

Next up I use a vitamin C serum. I’ve experimented and my favorite is the Clarity Vitamin C serum. I had stopped using it for a while and noticed that my dark spots were a bit more prominent and I was having a lot of them left over from any little pimple or whatever.

Step 7.

OKAY here is the first thing from the ordinary. First thing is the 1% retinol. Now I went through the peeling from that and I love this product. It had made tactile difference in my skin. My face is absolutely smoother, my pores look a bit smaller and the areas where I have trouble with texture have improved. Also the product is so friggin silky feeling.

Step 8.

For general anti aging I also picked up the Buffet from The ordinary. It feels very nice on the skin. I usually wait for about ten minutes after my retinol to apply it.

Step 9

Also from the Ordinary I picked up the 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil. It is meh. It smells like olives to me and feels nice. I also smooth it over my hair. It’s not as good to me as the Tarte Maracuja oil. My hair and face are both pretty meh.

Step 10.

My night cream. I’m still looking for my holy grail. I’m almost done with a jar of the Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Night Cream. It’s okay? It is very moisturizing which I want. It doesn’t do anything spectacular.

SO what is the point of all this?

Not perfect skin. My skin will never be perfect. My goals first and foremost is to have a more comfortable face. I have very oily, acne prone, highly reactive skin. Basically my face is hella greasy, I get pimples and I will peel or break out in a rash for no good damn reason.

I could get the same results in half the steps but, my ten steps are my nighttime self-care ritual. I take my time doing them. While I’m cleansing my face, I say a little cleansing meditation in my head. While I’m lubing up my face, I tell myself some affirmations and thoughts for good dreams.

This is a way I spend time with myself. Hands on my own skin making myself feel good. Yes it is wonderful to have my face feel smoother and more supple. Yes I LOVE road testing skin care but, I love knowing that I am caring for myself and treating myself with the best gentle love.

The last thing I do before I settle down to try and sleep is moisturize my butt. Right now I’m SUPER into the Tree Hut Moroccan Rose Body butter.

And there y’all have it.

 

Musings-Poverty trauma, exhaustion.

I’m experiencing one of my least fave perimenopause things today. The Crushing Fatigue. I was fine and doing stuff and now I am not.

I’ve been tracking a lot of stuff about my day to day life and I have one pattern that I just cannot seem to shake. When I am exhausted or in this fatigued state, all I can think about is how much more I should be doing to support my little family.

I’m not sure what it is about being so tired I’m unable to do much, triggers this intense mix of guilt, shame and sudden NEED to be all hustle. Or, I look at my budget for things I’m saving for (currently Ninja Blender) and I come up with eleventy forty seven reasons why I should not be doing that and should do X thing instead. Right now, that feeling is a bit more intense because we have an unexpected bill this month that pretty much has eaten my “extra” money in my budget.

On one hand, I feel that shame that poor people feel because of how our culture treats us. Part of my brain says, if I worked harder. If I made better decisions I mean I don’t need to eat “good” food, I don’t need  to write something that meant I bought research materials, I don’t need new drawers, I can surive! Of course I can. I have survived worse!

One part of my brain is like, FUQ U I CAN DO THIS SHIT!

Then I open a new tab and start a whole new tighter, leaner and meaner budget. When I feel this way, my budgets are like. Fuck you and your entertainment. Fuck your hair. Fuck your raggedy ass panties too. You don’t deserve shit you didn’t work for.

On the other side of my brain, things are far more chill. That part of my brain says, you know if our culture actually was decent, you’d not feel like your worth is only what you can produce. That side of my brain says, you didn’t fail and destroy your whole life because a bill was bigger than anticipated. You are allowed to not be hustling all the time.

The latter is what I really believe. Rationally, I know and believe that there are many intersecting things that contribute to my experience of being the working poor, the trauma and the anxiety triggers. I know that. Shit, I’ve fucking written about it.

So much of my brain is arguing with itself because I know these things, but sometimes I can’t feel these things. I feel ashamed because I bought TWO pairs of skinny jeans on clearance in December and I could really use that 42.89 (Yes I remember the exact price) right now. On one hand, I rage because I don’t make a living wage and don’t see that changing anytime soon, but I also know that I am worth being paid a living wage.

This push and pull is also a feature of how my anxiety manifests. I know that so much of this is a stinky mix of triggers and anxiety and panic.

know I am worth spending the money on my own personal health on my personal comfort etc. On having a better quality of life. I know that. A lot of my work is deeply rooted in that.

So really, my job in this state is not to listen to the part of me that says I’m lazy and terrible and not worth it.

That’s all I’m gonna do for right now because it’s all I can do.

I am not an “after”-About Fatness

Folks who’ve known me for a long time to know my weight has fluctuated over the years. Recently someone had a looksy at some old outfit photos of mine and then emailed me to let me know how “proud” they are of my weight change.

Okay, so first of all, do not do that to people. It doesn’t matter how fat someone is or was, unless they ask you mind your damn business. Losing weight, whether it is, on purpose or not is not always something to be applauded regardless of the before. Also, other folks don’t owe you thanks for noticing the size of their ass at all. They don’t. So don’t.

Next thing. I am not a good or bad former fatty. My change in ass size has not changed my body politics or staunch fat acceptance. Actually, no that’s a lie. It’s a hot fucking lie. My stance on fat acceptance, has gotten stronger. The fact that I now reside in an area of privilege where I’m a little smaller than the average American woman, I’m pissed off. It shouldn’t be a privilege for me to now be able to buy 7$ leggings. Or be pretty ding dang sure if I go to Target, there will be at least a few pairs of pants I like or whole lines of clothes I can buy.

My position of privilege means that some makers, now deem my money worthy and will make me a skirt or dress without charging 50$ extra. It means that if I go buy a dress makers dummy, I won’t have to pad it except maybe the boobs. It means that when I go to the doctor, I’m listened to a little bit more. Oh, you lost weight YAY but you still have these health problems? Maybe it wasn’t your weight after all.

Here is where we get body posi graduate level. Rather than looking back at the place where I didn’t have these privileges and wallowing in my relief not to be the face or ass of the bad fatty, I’m pissed off. I want to smash the privilege I’ve slid into because I can see just how shitty it is.

There is zero reason that my smaller ass should mean that suddenly I’m a better, more moral, more trustworthy person. Being less fat, being closer to thinness and having thin privilege by being close to it, did not change my soul.

Now folks who are not fat, I am talking to you right now. Former fatties, I’m talking to you too.

Listen, when we are in this position of having privilege due to proximity to the “ideal” it’s not the time to disappear into the mealy mouthed body posi that pays zero attention to people whoa re really fat. Let’s talk about using our position of privilege as a fucking weapon.

These days when I inquire about sizes, I don’t limit myself to my own size 12ish ass. I ask why doesn’t this come in a size 26? I tell retailers, hey there is a market of folks who want this thing who are above your (insert largest size here). Because of how privilege operates, the response I’ve gotten to these inquiries has been markedly more friendly than they were when I would say things like, I want to give you my money, why doesn’t this come in my size?

That is how privilege works.

Now, as far as my own weight changes, they kind of are what they are. I still don’t really want it. I still am not really okay with the size of my ass, I felt perfect in my body at a larger size, but it looks like this is how things are gonna be so I am making peace with it.

I am enjoying my 7$ “one size” leggings. I am enjoying that I can usually go to big lots and find the size 6 panties I like for super cheap. Those things are great. When I was fatter and didn’t have access to those things, I wasn’t mad at the folks who did, but at the fact that being able to buy a bushel of discount panties is a privilege.

I am angry at a system that magically turns me into a “better” more trustworthy and generally more “worthy” person because my butt is smaller than some other folks.

I am angrier still because, weight changes aren’t moral victories. People who succeed for however long at purposefully losing weight aren’t heroes. It is not some magical morality bullet that turns them into amazing wonderful people. As I said years ago, if you were a fat asshole you’re probably gonna be a thin asshole too.

I don’t want it.

I don’t want jubilant congratulations on something that was not okay with me in the first goddamn place.

I don’t want to be reminded every time I deal with a medical professional that the health problems I have now, had when I was fat, had when I was super thin and have had for decades at this point are suddenly, magically real because my weight changed.

I am not an after shot. I’m not at the midpoint between before and after.

Yes, I live in a body that is often in flux. Yes, my body has changed. Yes, I’ve got some health stuff going on.

No, it’s not actually any of your business. I am not obligated to share my super ass changing secrets. No, I don’t want your speculations about how I’m a whole brand new me. I’m the same weirdo I was when I was fatter.

Can I share with you what weight loss again has not cured?

  • Any-goddamn-thing.

 

The culture of fat stigma has caused me and a whole lot of other people harm. Irreparable, sometimes fatal harm.

The culture of deifying dieting culture and intentional weight loss has done me and a whole lot of people irreparable and sometimes fatal harm.

The refusal of people who claim “body positivity” to extend that to ALL bodies, yes, ALL bodies regardless of size, ability or gender has done irreparable and sometimes fatal harm.

So you know what?

If you are in my type of position of privilege, step up. Don’t leave fat folks behind because you’re basking in the glow of conditional acceptance. The same stigma that follows fat folks, will come for you too.

That’s all for right now. We’ll talk more about it later.

 

Surviving and some things.

Now for something completely different.

Let’s talk about what your fave Fine Ass old Auntie is up to?

First, let’s talk about some of my fave cold weather shit cause y’all, it is getting WAY too damn cold already for me because I am a big baby whiny cat who hates to be cold. Affiliate links, ahoy.

Skin stuff first.

For my body skin, colder weather means my butt is just gonna be itchy and dry. I’ve found that I need to not use my liquid African Black soap because it cleans too well and leaves me too dry.

A couple of winters ago when I was still getting Julep boxes, in one of them there was this super fancy shower body cleansing oil. It smelled citrusy and bubbled up and felt overall holy shit amazing. (Not an affiliate link) Lookit this shit here. It is 38 goddamn dollars. THIRTY EIGHT MOTHER FUCKING DOLLARS to wash your ass. Y’all know, I love fancy things. Y’all love fancy things but come ON BRO. Granted, using it was so great. It really made me feel silky all over and I found the scent (I’m not usually a citrus scent person) very light and unisexy.

I’ve been literally pining for something like it for a good year and a half.

Now if you’re like me and you have sensitivey dry persnickity ass skin and you like things that smell nice, this sucks. I used some Etsy whipped soaps (I’ll do a post about those) but I feel like every time I find one I love it gets discontinued or the shops close etc.

SO I’ve found some thangs y’all.

Can we talk about Ulta majorly stepping up their in house brand body stuff?

Ulta house brand body stuff is very nice to me. I really love their body butters.

My first and forever love is the Cocount Cream Moisture-Intense Body Butter. Y’all. It smells deliciously dessert like without being overbearing. It is thick and creamy. My skin LOVES this shit. Pro tip about Ulta brand stuff. They often have amazing sales that are buy 2 get 2 etc. Keep on that shit, get on the newsletter. I just got myself some new tubes because I’m at the bottom of my last one.

For cleansers, y’all. They have a bubbly shower oil cleanser. This is not a drill. I JUST got my first bottle and will report back soon.I also picked up some of their Luxe Creamy wash as well and will report back.

I even have some of their regular bubbly body wash and it doesn’t leave my skin stinging or ashy. If you have some body skin stuff happening, I recommend checking out their house brand of stuff.

So there’s hope if you have sensitive, rage prone skin and you still want to smell tasty. The important thing is to watch out for problem ingredients that don’t agree with you. My personal nemesis is mineral oil. Also pro tip. Try not using products with mineral oil like MANY of the popular and higher end drug store dry skin lotions. Over time it could make your skin dryer because it forms a layer on your skin and further moisture can’t penetrate.

Now some quick n dirty advice.

If you find yourself peely but don’t want to use an oily sugar scrub in the shower invest a few dollars in an exfoliating towel. Don’t spend more than 6-8$. Do not use this more than once a week at first. Use it with something with a nice rich lather. Work it in circles on your skin and then once you’re out of the shower, moisturize with something rich and heavy.

Another easy fix.

Are your feet not…okay? You need two plastic bags, some time, a pumice stone or other rough thing, some oil and some socks. After you bathe, scrub the dead skin off of your feet, rinse and slather them in oil. Put the plastic bags on them, then the socks. Chill out.

Remove, rub extra oil in and voila soft ass feet.

Why am I saying this now?

Y’all, shit is hard out there for a lot of us and I believe in not only surviving the bullshit, but thriving in it as well as we can. So, sometimes we gotta talk about our itchy butts and feeling good.

We may not be okay, but we gonna be as okay as we can be.

In some other side hustle news. If you check out my Amazon store you‘ll see I’ve added some new sections and stuff. With a lot of the stuff, I highly suggest googling to find better prices. So use my shop as a guideline or place to have ideas from AND shop if you’re so inclined.

With that. Take care of yourselves my loves.

 

Stuff I like for Fall

There will be affiliate links, y’all know what it is.

So I have a little stack of stuff that I’m super into right now and I want to share.

First up let’s talk beauty stuff.

I’ve been tinkering with my skincare routine and added some new stuff in the last few months.

The first thing I’m in terrible love with is the The Face Shop – Rice Water Bright – Cleansing Light Oil. I’ve been using it religiously since June. I use it to remove my make up before I cleanse. I’ve tried regular oil cleansing to remove make up before. I tried Olive oil, jojoba, sweet almond, castor oil etc. Overall using a plain oils kind of underwhelmed me. In terms of the actual effects on my skin, it was blah. But, I am into Korean beauty like a bunch of other folks and on a whim I picked this product up. Y’all………..this shit right here.

First week, here’s what I noticed:

  1. It took off ALL my make up. All of it. Even my super waterproof mascaras, forty pounds of liner, a lot of matte long wear foundation. Melted off.
  2. It does not sting my eyes if it gets in them, which it does cause I’m messy.

After a couple of months:

  1. My face is intensely soft. Like aggressively silky. I didn’t change out other products (remember I only switch one thing at a time) and wow. I can FEEL the difference.
  2. My eyelashes are in much better condition. I noticed that because of the vigor it took to remove my waterproof mascaras my lashes were starting to feel brittle and dry.

All in all, I’m very into this product. I haven’t noticed extreme brightening but, my skin tone overall started to improve and I’m for it. Love it. Also it’s super economical, I still have a good quarter inch in my bottle to go.

All summer and now into fall my ride or die foundation has been the L’Oreal Paris Cosmetics Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation Makeup, Soft Sable. For the hotter months I was wearing it sheered down the tiniest bit. The Soft sable can run a teensy bit too light but I warmed it up with a slightly dark powder. For building up the coverage I use this brush.  If I want to beat my face and go for a heavier coverag I use this brush.I’ve used a few other foundations in the past few months and nothing drugstore has given me the finish, the coverage AND the color I need.

I am not sure if I’ve mentioned this but I am a lip product fanatic. I love ALL things lips. Quite a while back I picked up a couple of tubes of Mentha shine from Bath and Body Works. Y’all. I LOVE that shit. Super shiny, tasty, tingly wonderful goodness. This is my Fall/Winter go to stuff to wear at work or whatever. My favorite is a tossup between the Cinnamint and the Peppermint.  They are a little expensive for me so when I do buy them, I snag them on sale.

Season changes really put me through the wringer so I have been switching out some of my other skin/body care stuff while I adapt to the changing weather.

My huge indulgence is this Korres Japanese Rose Body butter. I picked up a sample set on discount a long while back and I just love this so much. It’s not the richest, most awesome butter, but, it smells so damn good.

On my OH SHIT MY SKIN IS GOING ALL THE WAY LEFT list is my fave Exfoliating hydro towel. I recommend only using it once or twice a week because it will scrub your butt hard. I use mine with a creamy anti itch body wash and always follow up with some heavy duty moisturizer.

If y’all recall from my itchy baby post, remember even though a product might look good, check those ingredients. I was all hype to buy the Cerave moisturizing cream UNTIL I saw it has both silicones and petrolatum.

For me my current go to butter has just not been enough. As delicious and creamy as it is, no dice. I LOVE my Chocolate Macadamia nut cocoa butter stuff from Q2 naturals on etsy but,  I need more. My body skin is so dry and cranky. Also I’m such a sucker for having an array of super moisturizing things that also smell good I’ll probably indulge myself in a few extra butters.

Next faves post I’ll do a Struggle Bus Naturals post with some updates on products and stuff.

In the meantime, happy Fall for my Fall folks and happy Spring to the rest of y’all.

My Body Image is Broken

Content Warning: Body image, negative self talk, weight.

Lately I have not been super nice to my body. My weight shifted slightly again and I’m very disappointed in myself and my ass. I don’t want to be losing weight at all.

I’ve been looking at my body and tend to be thinking shitty things about it. I’m mad because my ass is not as full as I want. Because the random perimenopause bloat means I’m never totally sure what will fit. I’ve been in a lot of pain lately, new pain, different pain and I’m mad about that.

Ugh.

I feel a need to confess some things so y’all understand what I’m struggling with.

My personal idea of the Ultimate Shannon Body isn’t really like a thin body type. Frankly, when I’m much smaller than I am now, I’m mad uncomfortable.

What would make me the happiest would be to be built like a beefy, big titty having, brick shithouse.

Basically, my ideal is all muscle under my chub (my body does not do serious body fat reductions without a lot of harm) with big boobs.

I know how to achieve that. The how isn’t really a problem. The problem is that doing so causes me a bucketful of other problems. That much exercise exacerbates my insomnia, low blood sugar issues etc. It’s just not really worth the toll it takes.

I know that intellectually.

Emotionally, I want it.

Emotionally, I want to resume what I used to do to deal with my feelings. Soul crushing, punitive work outs.

Once upon a time I worked out mainly to punish myself for feeling things. I made my body suffer so I wouldn’t necessarily have to deal with my emotions. That is not okay and was a huge problem for me. It was another way to turn my aggression inward and often I’d wind up having trouble walking because of my knees and ankles, pulled muscles, falls nothing good.

What I’m going through now is emotional.

These are the type of feelings that for me can lead down a real dark path. Disordered eating, depression, etc.

So what do I do?

Instead of muscling, pun intended, through it I’m thinking about it. I’m letting myself have these feelings and examine them.

For right now, there are non brickhouse baby things I’d like to do.

  • Relearn how to bellydance
  • Increase my flexibility
  • Decrease some of my pain as I can

The thing that gives me pause is the potentiality of weightloss I don’t want. Also the cost. I need a sports bra, those are expensive as fuck cause big ass titties. I’m not going to get a gym membership, too much temptation for going balls out.

So what I’m going for is harm reduction. Lately I’ve been doing some power walking (YAY) and light stretching. I am looking for a flexibility training thing to do, we all know I still hate yoga.

I am going to do my level best to take it easy on myself.

Right now, I’m doing what feels okay and not like it is putting myself in harms way. I feel kind of okay about all of it right now. I’m still bitter about my body not being the same fat body I was in love with. I’m bitter about having pain that I can’t really do much about.

My main goal here is emotional soothing rather than physical change. Some extra flexibility is great, but peace of mind is better.

We’ll see how it turns out.

I feel better already.

 

Thoughts on Health and Money and Shit.

vitamins

Most of the shit I take.

Behold an arty shot of my health woo.

Lately, add in an allergy pill and add in a calmag powder and usual nighttime otc pain relief and you have a large amount of what I spend my money on.

I know I can see some of y’all rolling your eyes and whipping out one or another study that says that vitamins and supplements and anything not X thing is bullshit or you might wander off having lost all respect because, OMG WOOWOO.

I have been a lover of the vitamin for a long time. Over the years I’ve experimented and whatnot and what you see there in my palm is what feels best to me. Over the years I’ve been on various meds for things, I’ve radically changed my diet from time to time, I’ve lost weight, gained it back etc all in search of Health.

For years I believed that if I only tried hard enough, that if I stumbled on the right combination of Unicorn Piss Smoothies, proper sleep hygiene, and the perfect BMI that I would in fact be Healthy.

What I didn’t think about is the fact that my body, this poor much abused body has some specific things that don’t function well on it/in it and well, that’s just how it is. I have one kidney that isn’t bad exactly, but it doesn’t function all that great. I have a weak immune system. I was born very premature and that’s one of the things that never worked itself out. I have a glittery assortment of some sleep disorders, joint problems from untreated injuries. My feet are made in a way that sometimes makes walking kind of painful.

This body, my body is a bit of a trashbucket of shit that doesn’t work right.

Part of me figuring out my health woo has involved digging deep into my own internalized ableism. It’s another case where I told myself ALL the things I would never think or say to other folks. Days when I’ve not had quality sleep in weeks, I spent a lot of time with the most bullshit internal dialogues.

At one point in my life, I bought the idea that the solution to ALL my problems was fitness. Enough exercise and I would overcome my somehow self imposed health problems that have been with me since childhood. I exercised and saw no change so I exercised more. I used to exercise to punish myself for having a body that did not function the way I thought it was supposed to.

To this day, sometimes I go by the stairs, I used to run and shudder. I did the thing, the DO IT DO IT DO IT thing, I remember falling halfway up those stairs because my knees were in such bad condition I shouldn’t have been doing that. And I did it anyway. I lifted a lot of weights, I did all the things and my health took a steady downturn.

Then I went vegan for a while. Also to disastrous results. My diet was on paper beautiful. Dreamy even. However, it did not agree with my particular body and I started losing my hair. I started taking vitamins and experimenting with supplements back then out of sheer desperation.

During my first foray into vitamins, I had a moment of clarity. A come to Jesus talk with myself about my internalized ableism and I started to examine how the binarist view of Health as being you have it or don’t is damaging.

Holy shit. I’m not saying that when I started to really investigate the function of that idea in my life and how detrimental it was to me changed my life, but I’m gonna say it changed my life.

Health, capital H Health is often presented as the most moral thing. That if X person can do a thing, you should be able to do the thing as well and if you don’t, can’t or just don’t want to there is something wrong with you. You’ve let yourself down. You’re afraid of commitment or whatever the going jargon is now.

But what about health?

Health as in, taking stock of what you’re working with and doing what you can do with it? What if health in that context isn’t about it being moral, or competitive or as some sort of duty to prove something? What if you just want to feel as good as you personally can feel at any one time?

Back to my vitamin woo for a minute.

All my research and testing on myself with various vitamins and things was a start to me developing a less adversarial hate based relationship with my own health.

All this said, while I’m not the most woo person ever, this is my woo and it helps.

I like my vitamins and supplements, my experiments with medicinal teas and herbs.

When I get all restocked, I’ll probably do some posts about my woo. My current line up of things that are great. Why I take certain things, I’ll wax poetic about my witchy herbs and shit.

If this woo is not woo you approve of, feel free to skip these posts. I really don’t want to be lectured about my woo. Seriously. Don’t.