Video Before and Afters

I have been looking through a few of my shorter video recordings on my computer and it occurred to me that I could create a sort of before and after video collection. It is worth noting that these videos have different content, and have been created with different settings and lighting. Nonetheless I think they might say or indicate something.

The skin changes between the first and second clip are obvious but I also think there is some subtle facial difference between the second and third clips. What do you think?

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The Grand Supplement Testing Project

I think I have something like twenty bottles of supplements accrued.  I have already tested about five of these, but I intend to systematically try the others. The first thing to mention is that I have mild type 1 (flushing) rosacea and mild IBS-C, and these conditions are what I will be testing the supplements against. I also sometimes get mild to moderate acne, which I will also test the supplements against. I am also growing my hair.

None of the supplements I have tried so far, have improved my IBS in any way or form. But a few have benefited my acne, had other positive effects on my health  and appearance, and I can only think of one thing I have tried which has helped my rosacea.

Here are the supplements that I have tried so far.

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The zinc picolinate, and the spirulina seem to genuinely reduce what little acne I get. This makes sense as zinc deficiency can cause acne, and spirulina reduces lipid peroxidation in the body which is positively correlated with acne. Spirulina also contains zinc, along with a myriad of other minerals.

Gotu kola helps maintain the integrity and function of blood vessels, among other things, and appeared to help some spider veins I have on my legs. Unfortunately it did nothing visible to my rosacea.

The maca seemed to increase my libido for a while, and I think may generally make me feel more energetic.

The flaxseed oil, a common anti-inflammatory remedy for rosacea which might help the skin barrier, did absolutely nothing to me.

I just opened the probiotic bottle, but I don’t expect much from it.

In regards to the only thing, which is sort of like a supplement, that I tried that seemed to help my rosacea, I have literally no idea why it seemed to help. It might be a mere fluke, but drinking diluted apple cider vinegar every morning actually seemed to reduce my flushing. It wasn’t even an expensive variety. It really confused me.

Anyway, there are a substantial number of supplements I have yet to try, and I am going to break down by the order I am going to test them in.

1. Remedies (garlic and l-lysine)

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These two supplements are often taken as remedies on rosacea forums, and I am not very confident that either of them will help. I think the anti-inflammatory qualities of the garlic means it could have some use, if it is going to help at all.

I remember that I used to eat garlic cloves for my acne, and that actually helped. Perhaps again because of the anti-inflammatory effects of the garlic, and likely also due to the anti-bacterial effects.

I think people try l-lysine for rosacea because someone marketing it invaded the forums at some point. That is my theory anyway.

2. Potent Anti-inflammatories (curcumin and astaxanthin)

I am actually quite excited to try these two. The bottle of astaxanthin reads “helps to relieve pain and inflammation, supports health, blood flow, and vessel integrity, the most powerful known natural anti-oxidant”.

I think one or both of those might help.

3. Probiotics


These may or may not help my IBS, we shall see.

4. Digestive Enzymes

The last time I tried these I ended up running to the bathroom for some reason. So I am going to work my way through the orange ones over the easter break.

5. Betaine HCL

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Rosacea is associated with infection by H Pylori, which reduces stomach acid. You can see the logic in trying it. IBS and GERD also overlap a lot in patients, and my mum has GERD. GERD may actually be caused by low stomach acid according to Chris Kresser.

Low stomach acid can also cause digestive issues in itself.

So I am quite intrigued by the idea of trying this one.

6. Biotin (for growing my hair)

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This one is kind of a bonus and will probably require long term supplementation when I finally crack the bottles open.

So there you have it. I am going to test, and report back on, all of these supplements. I will likely take the supplements for a month to see what happens.

I’ll keep you posted.

New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Study or write essays everyday, between 1 and 5 hours.
  2. Learn how to  use eyeshadow to create some sort of ethereal or slightly unusual smoky eye, that I can wear most days.
  3. Go on Duolingo everyday, and do at least one lesson in french and dutch.
  4. Use my credit card to a limit, and pay it back on time every month to build my credit score.
  5. Walk or cycle to university and back every time.
  6. Be able to do basic bicycle maintenance and related activities, such as fit a water bottle, fit lights, fit panniers, pump up tires, repair punctures and whatnot.
  7. Express my needs and wants more directly in friendships and relationship.
  8. Continue my volunteering helping the ‘street angels’ keep the night life safer.
  9. Travel independently  by train at least twice to somewhere I haven’t been yet.
  10. Remember to wash my mineral sunscreen off before going to sleep.
  11. Listen to my language podcasts on the way to university, if I am walking.
  12. Go to a swimming pool, get in and learn about swimming.
  13. Do something new, and social, that I am scared of like karaoke.
  14. Improve my oral posture by remember to ‘suck’ with my tongue, to keep my tongue up at the back of palette.

    In some ways I have gone way backwards this year, but that is okay. As long as I LEARN how to get out of this rut and why it happening or perhaps happened. If I can just add something new onto what I have been then this will be enough.

    I tried to make these resolutions tiny but effective, to be things that can actually be accomplished.

    Things I did in 2015 that I am happy about:

1. I dressed better and created a clearer and more consistent style.

2. I got cheap makeup, perfumes and accessories that are actually good and suit me.

3. I got into the habit of dressing to impress more on a daily basis.

4. I grew my hair longer and looked after it.

5. I took on a more cheerful and relaxed demeanor by the end of the year

6. I use more emojis, and this makes me seem friendlier.

7. I was more expressive.

8. I made decent progress on Duolingo, learning dutch.

9. I tried lots of things and made what is likely a new best friend.

10. I helped my little brother try new things and feel better about himself.

11. I found a volunteering position I really like, and that I can progress in.

12. I created a beautiful work space for my university work.

13. I was brave enough to go through and complete my dental implant.

14. I broke my relationship length record, I have now been with my boyfriend for over 2 years.

15. I have pets I was initially scared off, to be fair I have had my ferrets for about half a year now and I have only been bitten twice.

 

The Flawed Beloved

I’ve written before about my experiences that parallel something similar to the story of the ugly duckling. About how, people mocked me on the street, in class, how I attained invisibility for the most part from people who might have otherwise wished me well. If you have been following my blog, you’ll know that these experiences were rooted in the complex consequences of the child neglect and emotional abuse I experienced as a child and adolescent.

A new state of being is a new vantage point for observations. Over the past year I have collected some more experiences to add to my understanding of my past. Fortunately, I don’t feel so flawed anymore, so I feel it does not add so much to my current condition.

I have asked a lot of people over the last year about what sort of appearancial qualities they are looking for in a partner, what the people they fell for looked like and whether there have been any usual qualities in others that they sought.

My little disabled brother’s favorite type of woman is one who is very fit and even muscular. My dad prefers women with extra weight on them, and preferably of the gothic variety. He loved my mother who was not gothic in the slightest and towards the slim side of the spectrum. Unlike his stated preferences my mother had red hair, not dark hair. My crush thinks my blushing, aka my minor rosacea, is cute and reminiscent of sex. My boyfriend originally held stock for a ‘classy woman’, which might be exemplified by an old photograph of a beautiful woman from some time ago. And yet, he loves me despite my fashion sense which is some combination of earthy, mysterious and ethereal according to him. Not only that, but I have a very asymmetrical face which is not exactly beautiful. Maybe cute on a good day. It is plain or worse most days.

I have been with a short strawberry blonde haired and curvy woman. A tall, skinny, ash brown haired man, with acne and of the dorky variety. A semi-short dark haired and dark haired man with puppy fat. And now I am with a tall, mousy brown to ash blonde haired man, with a short beard who probably has mild seborrhoeic dermatitis on his face. It is obvious by now what my point is, I’ve said before that because most people end up with a long term partner irrespective of what they look like, that you will most likely find someone even if you are unattractive. Of course there is a limit below which finding someone becomes difficult. The good news is, unless you become homeless and extremely bedraggled you’ll probably never get to that point. You know you’ve dipped below the line when shop clerks begin making sarcastic comments about your appearance, and people seem to actively move away from you in a crowd.

We have all read the studies about men focusing more on women’s bodies when they want sex, focusing on women’s faces when they want a relationship, that men prefer a certain hip to waist ratio around 0.7 and whatnot. This is true, and people will treat you differently according to how you look, and it will affect your life. But maybe you have noticed the inconsistencies between women preferring more dominant men which may imply some degree of aggression and that apparently they also prefer men who are good with children and dogs. This apparent inconsistencies are likely in part due to women’s monthly hormonal shifts, and yet such studies usually look at averages and general tendencies.

It is likely that people dating people who are less attractive is in part due to the market, and yet even if men value appearance more than anything in surveys the number of variables that fall underneath it is large. My point is, the world is not so simple. That studies looking at single variables are not an exact representation of the reality you are part of. Being more attractive will probably contribute to your happiness, but you have a massive amount of personal power in spite of what you have. The same unhappiness and doubt that can be so powerful as to push you to lock yourself away from the world. That can cripple you. Make you a shadow of your former self. Can be equaled in power by positive emotions and actions. That is part of the root of charisma, and why some people are saved by others and themselves.

There is also a certain power in featuring your flaws and using them. If you can use your  unusual face to make an artistic or aesthetic impression, great. You made what many would have considered a flaw or weakness into something powerful. If you can educate others about the world and give others hope by showcasing your flaws. You are excellent, just the same. If you cannot do such with your flaw, then let the pain and stress caused by your flaw, give you energy so that you might grow in other ways. You are your best tool. Remember that.

Elliot Hulse: Can’t Fix Ugliness Feature It

Rosy Cheeks in Art (a section in my lovely friend Nat’s blog on rosacea 🙂 )

Repeat after me:

Attractiveness is important.

Improving it will make my life better.

But is not everything I have.

It is not the determination I have.

It is not equivalent to the intelligence I can use in pursuing my goals.

It is not the power I have to influence others and myself.

Attractiveness is not me.

I am a whole person and I live in the real world.

If something stands in my way, I can find a way.

No one cares if I broke a few boring social norms to get there.

People will treat me like the person I am.

It doesn’t matter so much how I got there.

What matters is that I became stronger.

In trying to get where I am and where I want to be.