Ah weddings… they bring out the crazy in all of us. About two months back I went in to meet the woman that is making my dress. In that, it came to my attention that I had grown slightly larger then I used to be.  Oops. I mean ok, so I haven’t gone for a run in like 9 months, and I may have become too close and personal to a pint of ice cream, but I’m not that big am I?

I was in denial for a while. It happens to the best of us. I had gone up a pant size, and was about to need to go up another when I decided enough is enough. I stepped on the scale. It had been months since I’ve done that. I had gone up 25 lbs in 6 months… big Oops.

So ok, I needed to workout more and eat less. I get that. I tried that. But nothing seemed to be happening. I’m not willing to starve myself. I like food (ie check out my very first post). And I was working out for an hour several times a week. That’s gotta do something right? But, nothing. Nada. Zip. That equaled to a very annoyed, very stressed Amy. I do not like to be annoyed, stressed Amy. Neither does Mr. Right. 🙂

And while all this was going on, I also had my face to worry about. Let’s side step a little bit and talk about acne. I have had acne since I was 9 years old. I started getting the occasional zit (I mean the big ones) in elementary school, and by middle school my face was covered. I had tried everything. I tried the hardcore stuff, the natural stuff, the dermatologist, and everything in between. The only thing that ever worked for me was antibiotics, but I’m obviously not going to stay on those forever.

I am now 23 and my face looks just like it did when I was 16. It still flares up terribly around my cycle, and only starts to calm down a few days before my next one… and that’s while I’m on birth control. Let’s not talk about the 3 months that I tried to go off the pill. It was a nightmare! My face ached it was so broken out. Add on the fact that I’ve been trying to workout more, and it seems like when I workout really hard my face breaks out even more!

So, here I am, at my wits end. I do not want to be fat and acne-ridden on my wedding day. I refuse. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! So I started doing research. It couldn’t just be from what goes on my face. It has to be hormonal, and it has to be affected by what goes on inside me.

That’s when I discovered the link between inflammation and acne. I had read The Clear Skin Prescription by Nicholas Perricone about 2 years ago, where he stated that acne was an inflammatory disease. But for some reason it didn’t click until now. While I was recently looking up information on how to control acne with diet, I stumbled up on the Paleo Diet; otherwise called the caveman diet. It’s centered around eating as our ancestors did. The main staples are meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and berries. You completely cut out all grains, legumes, and sugar. Dairy is allowed only in small amounts, and only if it is organic, grass-fed, and full-fat. In all the research I was doing on acne, this kept coming back as the bases of an anti-inflammatory diet. It stabilizes your blood sugar, which lowers your inflammation, and BONUS, keeps you full longer. Who knew that what I did originally for my face, could actually help me lose weight? And guess, what? I’ve been at it a week, and have lost 3lbs! No crazy exercising, a few runs, some yoga, and walking my dog. I feel great, full of energy, and NOT HUNGRY! My cravings for sugar are almost all gone, and each day it’s becoming easier.

I found a great book (at Costco of all places) called Practical Paleo. It’s full of research, ideas, and recipes. It’s full of big pictures, and easy to understand text. It helped answer a lot of my questions.

Oh, and my acne? Doing a lot better. It’s obviously not going to clear up in a week, but I have no new cystic flareups, and my face isn’t tender at all. (What am I using on my face? Remind me to tell you all about my love affair with Lush. 🙂 )

Granted, it is pretty hard to eat out- but it’s completely doable. Just make sure to ask the server all you can about the food and tell them that you can’t have any dairy or wheat (that usually does the trick). Look for meats, fish, and lots of veggies. Salads are pretty easy to work with.

This is all pretty new to me, so I will make sure to let y’all know of any good recipes I’ve found, tips I have, and how my results are going.