(Good Enough To Eat) Brown Sugar Scrub

I’ve been plagued with bumpy, red arms my entire life from a skin condition called keratosis pilaris. It is really common, affecting as much as 40% of the adult population. Essentially, the body makes an excess of the protein keratin, which gets stuck in the hair follicles and causes small red bumps. As a kid, I was never super aware of it until a friend would brush up against my arms and comment on their “sandpapery” quality. Luckily for me, my freckly self makes it hard to see, but I hate the way it feels: I’ve always wanted smooth, silky skin like that of my friends.

Not much has eradicated it, but I’ve found several things that seem to help. Along with diet (some people seem to find a correlation between gluten and their aggravated skin, mine gets worse with dairy) the best method of treatment I’ve ever done was to exfoliate and moisturize well.

Enter this gem:

After using this in the shower yesterday and today, my arms feel . . . almost smooth!

It is super simple, and I don’t have exact measurements for you all because I simply eyeballed it myself.

Good Enough To Eat Brown Sugar Scrub
Brown Sugar
Olive Oil
Honey
Essential Oil of Choice (Optional)

1. Fill a glass jar not quite full with unpacked brown sugar (I used an old natural peanut butter jar–you can see part of the label is still there!)


 2. Pour olive oil into the jar, about 1/4 the amount of brown sugar used.

3. Next, add your honey. Add slightly less honey than you did olive oil.

4. Add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil. I love minty things, so I added 10 drops of peppermint and 5 of spearmint.

5. Stir it all together:

And enjoy your smooth, moisturized, happy skin!

Do you have any DIY beauty favorites?

To see another homemade beauty product from my old blogging work at The BindingBee, visit this post.

This post is shared on: Teach Me Tuesday.

Dare to (Not Compare) Check in Day 6

Good Morning! Happy Sunday!

I am so grateful that this is how I started off Pit Stop Mondays–I think it has definitely set the tone for the rest of the challenges. Now, one week after intentionally not comparing myself to others, I can see that it has definitely made an impact. Since I’m not constantly looking to others to see how I measure up, I’m better able to assess my own abilities and appreciate myself.

Because of this week, I’ve noticed a few patterns that were probably very apparent but that I hadn’t connected before. First, comparison–> a more negative body image, whereas refusing to compare–>more appreciation of my body. When I appreciate my body, I treat it better and listen to its needs–whether it needs food, rest, exercise, etc. I’ve also noticed this week that there has been a drastic decrease in my temptation to binge. Because I’ve been encouraging rather than disparaging myself, I’ve been happier and have had a more realistic (and optimistic) view of myself, and I think that is what has lessened the impact of what has historically been triggering.

One of my close friends with who I have dialogued constructively about these issues shared a parenting practice a mother she knows uses. When her daughter was a baby and toddler, every time she bathed her she would say “beautiful, beautiful, beautiful” as she moved the washcloth over her body. Now that the little girl is starting to bathe herself, she too echoes that she is “beautiful, beautiful, beautiful” as she washes herself. What would happen if we adopted this practice–affirming every part of ourselves as beautiful, beautiful, beautiful?

Another realization: in my quest to avoid comparison, I’ve been focusing primarily on bodies. After going on a run with a guy friend of mine and getting discouraged that he was seemingly fitter than me (after months of only sporadic exercise and running because of an  injury, whereas I’ve been exercising consistently), I realized that I also can’t compare myself to others in terms of performance. I can do my best and no one else’s.

This is a pit stop Monday week practice that I’m going to continue. Many of the others will last only a week, but I’m keeping this around for the long haul.

Have a great week! See you tomorrow for Pit Stop Monday, Week 2!

Have you noticed a subsequent increase in happiness because of a decrease in comparisons? 
What is one challenge you could practice for a week to increase your overall health?  

 

Dare to (Not) Compare: Check in Day Three

Well, this was interesting. I had anticipated not having a lot to say as I checked in, something along the lines of “well, I consciously didn’t compare yesterday and that was interesting . . . ”

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I was shown about a dozen images of very thin, idealized, media-saturated bodies in class and told to compare my own body to them, then rate my satisfaction with my own body. Interesting how I choose a week to consciously make an effort to appreciate myself without reference to other women, and I’m instructed to do that in a classroom setting.

Now, before we all go up in arms (as I surely would if I didn’t have the background), let me contextualize this. A faculty member in our psychology department came to my wellness class to talk about eating disorders–their classifications, risk factors, treatment, and preventative measures. To illustrate a research study done, she asked us to rate our bodies on a scale from one to ten and write it down. Then, we were shown a series of thin, idealized celebrity and model bodies and instructed to re-rate our satisfaction with our own bodies.

Because I simply looked at the images and tried my hardest to not comply with the instructions, my own “satisfaction” rating stayed constant (I did not write it down, but kept it mentally. The request to write it down made me uncomfortable).

It was a hard one for me to sit through as many of the harmful practices I have indulged in were described. Some of the images shown in the presentation could have been very triggering for someone who is just starring out in their pilgrimage to healing. While I think that there does need to be much more talk, dialogue, and education about these issues I’m not sure in what way. They need to be taken from shameful, stigmatized, dark places and brought to light: but in what setting, and how? I was very uncomfortable with the study re-enactment, but I wonder if I would have been as aware if the plan to not compare wasn’t my focus this week.

After three days of consciously avoiding comparison, I have noticed . . . a quietness. There is a stillness in my mind where there was an almost incessant, disparaging voice.

Have you noticed a change in the inner monologue? 
Have you experienced any educational measures about eating disorders? What did you think?