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Poikiloderma of Civatte

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Well, bugger. I'm pretty sure I've figured out what is going on with the skin on my neck and chest, and it isn't simple aging. Well yes, it is aging, but something else added on.

I grew up in the desert southwest, and sometimes used sunscreen. I didn't diligently start using sunscreen until I was in my late teens, although I wasn't an avid sunbather. I have strawberry blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin, so a deep golden tan just wasn't in the cards for me. But I did get my share of sunburns.

When I did start to regularly use sunscreen, I focused on my face. I really didn't pay any attention to my neck or chest. Weeeell, now I'm seeing the consequences.

My oldest son had a lacrosse tournament yesterday in Santa Cruz. It was a beautiful sunny day in a gorgeous beach town, about 80 degrees with a nice ocean breeze. I was prepared...lots of sunscreen and a very wide brimmed straw sun hat, long sleeves. When we got home around 10pm last night, I took a sho…

A Healthy Craving!

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I had a craving for one of my favorite salads for lunch today. It's so simple...sliced cherry tomatoes, chopped avocado, and feta crumbles. Drizzle on a tiny bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and voila! A flavor explosion full of nutrients!

It's Atkins compliant, but the tomatoes and avocado are a bit on the high-carb side for veggies. So I'll just scale back slightly for the rest of the day.

I Think This Glycolic Acid is Actually Working!

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So the picture on the left is from about a week and a half ago. The picture on the right is from half an hour ago. The lighting is a little bit different (evening vs afternoon), but I'm definitely seeing less bumpiness and pigmentation. I've only been applying once per day, after I get out of the shower. Maybe in another week or so I'll up it to twice per day, after my skin builds up a tolerance to it. So far so good, I think?

I just woke up and discovered that I'm 46! Ack!

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I'm not bonkers, I promise. I actually did know that I was 46. But over the past few days, I've been noticing new things happening with my skin. They've likely been happening for a while, and I've probably just put blinders on and chosen not to see them. Or I haven't spent real analytical time in front of the mirror to assess the exact state of my skin.

Well, now I'm spending hard time in front of the mirror. And I wasn't happy with what I saw. I thought I was coasting through my 40's just based on my past vigilant use of sunscreen and Retin-A in my 20's and 30's. And for the most part, I still have very few lines and wrinkles on my face.

But then I took a look at my neck and decolletage. And then I took a closer look. O-kaaaay...not good. Here's a photo of my neck area, taken a couple of days ago:

My skin tone is mottled, uneven, and just...aged-looking. I really haven't been paying attention to my skin in this part of my body at all! So…

What's Going On?

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A few weeks ago I posted that I was sure that I had gained weight...but when I got on the scale I was pleasantly surprised that I had lost a few pounds! This morning I was absolutely sure that I would see a drop on the scale. My jeans were feeling slightly looser, I was noticing a definite difference in my lower tummy (the baby pooch, I call it), I had been adhering to Atkins really well, and...nothing. Well actually not just nothing, I was up a pound! 203.1. Grrrrr.

On the Atkins message boards I see lots of people posting that they try not to look at the scale, but focus on their shape and how their clothes fit. But I just don't get it. If my clothes are feeling looser and the baby pooch is definitely flatter, then why wouldn't a difference show on the scale? Is it simply water retention? But if so, where is the water parking itself on me? Or pooling itself on me, I should say.

So I took an update photo, just to convince myself that I'm not going crazy. I can surely see …

Family Dinners

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Growing up, my family did not sit down to family dinners. Ever. My parents' marriage was basically over from the time I was pretty young, and the only reason they stayed together was for me. Lots of people do that, and it may or may not be good for their kids. Let's just say it was not good for me...kids are not stupid, and I knew their marriage was kablooey from the time I was in 5th grade.

Anyway, we never sat down to family meals because my parents rarely talked to each other. They never fought, just didn't talk. If we were to have dinners together, that would require actual conversation! My dinners were usually spent eating by myself in my room, watching TV.

Needless to say, it was a silent, uncomfortable, lonely way to grow up. My friends didn't like coming over very often, because they thought it was creepy and called it "The House of Silence." I would go over to their houses instead.

Going into parenthood, I was determined NOT to do it that way. Study a…

Birthdays on a Diet

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My baby boys turned 13 on Sunday. I'm the Mom of three teenagers! And six teenagers, including my wonderful stepchildren!
Anyway, this is not a post to talk about how ancient I've become...it's about how I handled my diet on the day of the birthday. I always make my kids a yummy cake: flavor, icing, and topping of their choice. Since the twins are spring babies, they usually go for fresh strawberries which are in season. This year was no different, so I made a chocolate double layer cake with vanilla frosting and a double layer of strawberries.

Now with Atkins this time around, sweet treats have not been a problem for me. I used to have much more of a sweet tooth, but after the twins were born, my sweet tooth inexplicably vanished. Poof! Our bodies can do some crazy things after childbirth, but that one was unexpected. And welcome, actually! It has made Atkins just that much easier.

However, I'm a bit superstitious. I feel that it's bad luck to not have a bite of y…

Divorce, Kids, and Custody

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I intended this blog to be an honest journal about the good, the bad, and the ugly, mostly about my weight loss journey. But since I threw "Motherhood" into the description as well, I think I can get my thoughts out about what went down yesterday. This blog has been helping to clear my mind, which was one of my goals with it.

One of my twins, I'll call him JR, has been having a lot of difficulties with my ex. JR is 12, turning 13 next month. Their personalities just seem to clash.
JR is now saying that he doesn't want to live with his dad anymore. My ex and I share 50-50 custody. Yesterday, as I was dropping JR off at his dad's house, JR refused to get out of the car. Apparently the night before, his dad's girlfriend told his dad (who was not there at the time) that JR "disrespected" her by slamming a door. JN, JR's twin, witnessed it and said that JR did not slam any doors and did not disrespect her. But, their dad went on to tell JR that if he…

Aging and Wrinkles in My 40s

Do I look old now, or just fat? Or does being fat make me look old?

Before I started to gain all of this weight, which was about 10 years ago, people were always surprised when I told them my age. They usually assumed I was at least 5-7 years younger.

I grew up in the hot desert southwest in the 1980s, where tans were ubiquitous (and almost socially mandatory) for teen girls. I, however, had pale Scottish skin, strawberry blond hair, and blue eyes. I didn't tan. So while I got a few sunburns in the quest to fit in with my tan friends, I eventually threw in the towel and heeded the guidance of my Mother: wear sunscreen. I wore sunscreen religiously on my face from the time I was 16. I credit my wise and wonderful Mom for my lack of wrinkles today.

I look at pictures of myself when the twins were little, before I started to gain weight, and I still looked like a hot mama! Has the weight gain aged my looks, or will I still look middle-aged when I lose the weight? My skin is largely w…

This Was Unexpected!

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I had convinced myself that I had gained weight. My adherence to Atkins was, I felt, not committed enough, and the trip to Austin was a C+ on the Diet-O-Meter. My clothes felt like they were tighter, not looser. I hadn't gotten on the scale for a while out of dread for what I would see.

However, when I mustered up the courage and stepped on the scale this morning, I had to do a double take. 202.2!

Since I wasn't strictly following Atkins over the past month, I had to stop and think about my eating and exercise patterns. What had I done differently that caused the weight loss? I have been under a rather high amount of stress lately, and I think my appetite went down. I haven't been keeping a food diary so I didn't really pay attention to that. Also, I've been conscious of incorporating more movement into my day, whether it be actual exercise or more passive things, like standing instead of sitting.

Whatever the reason, I'll take it!

So these photos are taken abo…