Like most people in this industry my journey to here has come through healing myself.
When I was 14 I saw my first dermatologist. She told me that what I eat does not affect my skin. She gave me retin-a, an astringent, and put me on an antibiotic. I took her word as gospel and began the regimen. Through the next few years she never took me off the antibiotic, she just changed what type I was on.
Thinking back on it, my skin was pretty ok. Before seeing her I had never had cystic acne I just got the occasional breakout.
Fast forward to me being 19. I am still on antibiotics - so for those of you counting - that is pretty much 5 years of non-stop antibiotic'ing. Which. Is. Crazy.
So there I am 19 years old and I head off to the Netherlands for my sophomore year of college. In the Netherlands I cannot get my prescription filled, so it is the first time in forever that I have no antibiotics in my system. And I CAN DRINK BEER LEGALLY!!! And it is the NETHERLANDS! CHEESE!! BREAD!! ALL THE THINGS!!! WHEEE!!!!!!! !!! ! !
My face went nuts.
I got cystic acne that just wouldn't go away. It was painful both in the literal and emotional sense. I remember going to bed and wanting to wake up and have it all be a nightmare. That I would wake up and have clear skin.
I drank to forget about my face.
I bought all the products I could find. All the masks. All the creams. All the astringents. Nothing helped.
When I got back from the Netherlands I was happy to be in a land of healthcare once more. A place where I could once again get drugs for my face.
So my junior year of college I got myself on Accutane. The saying with Accutane is that it gets worse before it gets better. My face became peely and dry. I had to be on two forms of birth control because it can cause birth defects. I had to get my blood drawn every month to make sure my liver was a-ok. Pretty serious stuff. But I didn't care. I just wanted my skin to be normal. And it worked... for a bit.
I had a few good years.
And then everything came back with a VENGEANCE. By now, I was living in Seattle... and it got bad. Worse than it had been in the Netherlands. It crushed me.
The first thing people see is your skin. I remember thinking, well I can't go camping because if I go camping I wouldn't have make-up and that is JUST NOT OK.
There was the time that a street bum shouted at me... shouted... "NOXZEMA!!!!"
Which sucked. I would do a lot of mental gymnastics to convince myself that people weren't seeing what I was seeing. That it wasn't that bad. And then Mr. Streetbum chirps up. Or that random stranger on the bus who tapped me on the shoulder and wanted to talk about Proactive - AS IF I HADN'T TRIED PROACTIVE!!
I tried everything.
I went to a fancy spa that had special acne facial treatments and I bellied up money that I couldn't afford. My first consultation I cried... I remember that I was in a show where I had to be on stage that night. The woman consulting with me told me how "brave" I was to be going on stage with a face that looked like mine.
GAH. Kill me. So I shelled out the money.
Got poked and prodded.
And then, one day I went to a different esthetician who said "Annette, have you ever considered you might have an allergy?"
Because I am made of hearty midwest stock. We don't have allergies to things like dairy and gluten. PAH! BAH! A gluten allergy is soooo Seattle.
For the first time I considered it. That was my first step.
My first step to understanding how connected EVERYTHING is.
It blows my mind that I thought what I consumed had no impact. Including all the antibiotics I took. They killed my happy gut flora. Which made my gut a sad place that couldn't, and still has problems, digesting food.
Wheat exacerbates this problem. Keeping it out helped me heal. And the great thing about healing is that the more you do it, the more you can get away with -
My face was a big motivator for change and though it really sucked - like really, really - I am also grateful. It helped me grow and learn to dig to the root cause.
There are a lot of people that don't have super obvious symptoms and only figure it out when the machine breaks. I am happy I had a catalyst for change.
I am a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner & CrossFit Level 1 trained. I have also completed the CrossFit Movement and Mobility Trainer Course via Kelly Starrett and have attended nutrition seminars by Matt LaLonde, Chris Kresser, Daniel Kalish, and Robb Wolf.
Nutrition is my jam.
By eating better I became nicer and started to enjoy life! When you connect to your body so much magic can happen. Follow me on the social medias: