Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Beautiful You with LeAnne

It was such a wonderful revelation when I learned I did not have to live by my feelings. It was liberating and a great relief! Before I learned this valuable truth, my emotions were all over the place! I was glad I'd managed to lose a few pounds, but sad that I had so much further to go; hurt that I'd been spoken about so terribly by co-workers, irritated with myself that I was still bothered by the opinions of others; feeling victimized even by strangers (a new neighbor) who made comments about my height and weight, and beating myself up because I wasn't as far along in life as I should be. Imagine living life according to such was absolutely chaotic! There was very little genuine self-esteem, and besides going into total social seclusion, my relationships suffered, also. I felt like I was crawling out of my skin with misery! But one day, in the middle of another one of my one-woman pity parties, I heard someone say "You need to stop letting your feelings have a vote in everything. Feelings are fickle and, therefore, unreliable. We were given emotions to feel, but not to live by!"
Of course, this is me paraphrasing, but those words set SO many things in motion! As dramatic as it sounds, I felt like I'd been set free! Yes, PCOS was and is a royal pain in my backside and, most days, it made me feel like Ursula, the sea witch from The Little Mermaid. But just because I felt this way doesn't mean I WAS this way. There is a difference between feelings and the actual truth. The truth was that beneath that misery was a goddess of beauty waiting to uncover and share some juicy, life-changing secrets. And, slowly but surely, amazing things came to light, and I began to change. I thought of the person I wanted to be and, battered and bruised, began to walk in that direction. What's even better than all that, is that the same thing is about to happen to you!.....if you want it to. I'm here to help. And though it may be a long road, it's surely an exciting one! To make things a little easier on your road to winning the battle against PCOS, here are a few true beauty secrets to remember.

You Are No Victim!--You are not powerless, and you certainly are not "less than". PCOS does not make you less of a woman. In fact, it brings out the woman in you even more! What other species can war against something so difficult and draining, yet still come out laughing and strong, their ability to nurture still in tact. Only a woman! We were created as nurturing and uniquely feminine creatures; nothing will EVER change that. For good measure, and so it will sink in, I'll repeat myself: Nothing will EVER change the fact that you are a woman". Not infertility, not struggles with facial hair or male-pattern baldness, not rapid, excessive weight gain; not anything. You're not beautiful just because I say so, or even because you or anyone else says so. you're beautiful because that's the way you were created. You can argue that all you want, but this is the truth, not opinion. Being a woman is a beautiful, surreal thing to be. And to show our gratefulness for being it and having it, we first have to accept it and appreciate it. It must be maintained with grace and humility, and we should allow it to be uncovered for every one else to see. Remembering this is your first beauty secret.

Love Your Skin--PCOS can cause premature aging and, combined with unhealthy lifestyles and harsh weather conditions, this can wreak total havoc! Two of the best secret weapons? Exfoliate and hydrate. Using a gentle exfoliator on your face and skin about three times a week is like pruning and caring for a delicate, exotic flower. Sloughing away the "dead" cells to reveal newer, younger ones means dewy, radiant skin, and a more even complexion. But be sure to use a more gentle exfoliator for your face, since it's skin is more delicate! Follow up with a moisturizer that's thick enough to coat and hydrate skin, but still light enough so it won't clog your pores. Want a natural moisturizer? Try grapeseed oil! This oil naturally renews skin and deeply penetrates to soften and enhance skin tone.

Use A Masque...For Your Legs!!--Masques (or masks) or normally designed for the skin on your face, and there are a lot out there that do a fantastic job (I recommend using one that contains avocado and/or oatmeal). But what about your body? Generally, though it's only the face that has troublesome pores, it's the body that collects the most dirt and oil. Like teenagers, women with PCOS can also have troublesome spots on the skin that are plagued with acne and other oily, hormonal bumps. So before exfoliating, wet your skin, then apply a mask to the legs, thighs, and any other area you choose. Leave on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off in the shower. That way, once the impurities are drawn to the surface of your skin by the mask, you can allow the exfoliator to slough them away along with dead skin cells. This will allow your naturally radiant skin to shine through!

Remember that Beautiful You is about YOU!....No one else! There are more secrets to come next week, but only a few will be revealed at a time so that you'll have time to practice and gradually incorporate these tricks and hints into your routine. It's up to YOU to do YOUR part in contributing to YOUR happiness! You're not alone, woman soldier...we're in this together. And, before it's all over, we'll be writing and living out our own amazing stories! Next week will bring more beauty secrets and I'll also share jeweled pieces of encouragement from my wonderful friends all over the world (Nigeria, Ethiopia, England, Scotland, and Japan). Stay tuned!

*Please note that I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist or trained counselor. I am not qualified to give out any emotional advice. I am a woman with PCOS, who is sharing my personal experiences in this blog and I ask you to consult a professional.

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