I used to think my appearance was far from perfect (and by perfect I mean society’s standard of perfection), but you know what I’ve realised?
I have vitiligo, a skin condition where one loses their pigment. When it was just a few spots in my twenties it didn’t bother me so much, but by the time it spread in my late thirties to about 60% of my body, including half my face, well, let’s just say my levels of self-consciousness, anxiety and fear were busting through the roof.
To the outside world, it was “just” skin, yet thinking about it dominated my life. I’d gone from a beach-loving girl from the Gold Coast, Australia, to someone who dreaded beach visits because it meant revealing my skin.
Putting on my research cap, I found myself confronted with very little information available to me, even on the Internet (I couldn’t believe how much of it was contradictory and confusing, not to mention uninspiring). And reading about other unhappy people in the same situation only made me feel worse.
I was looking for someone I could trust to tell me that it was all okay, that my life wasn’t over, and there were ways to take back my health and enjoy life again.
In the summer of 2014, I was very fortunate to meet the amazing Professor Schallreuter, who in my opinion deserves a Nobel prize for the work she (and her team) does. She’s the only true specialist dermatologist for Vitiligo, and the only doctor I would personally recommend for this condition.
In conjunction with following her treatment, I made key changes to my lifestyle, diet and mindset, and in time my pigment started to return!
Yes, it may take years and my pigment may never fully return, but the best part is: I don’t care. I love my skin, my body is strong and I am grateful for it’s healing power and all it can do.
But the best part is: how I FEEL is no longer conditional upon how I LOOK.
After a lot of research I have learned this: if you don’t address what’s going on in your head, (even if your fairy godmother could click her fingers and magic you into someone else’s body), within a few months you’ll find some other flaw to focus on and be back in the same place, wishing for an upgrade yet again.
Because it’s normal. It’s human nature!
Having surgery, crash dieting to lose weight, covering up with makeup and clothes and hiding your physical imperfections may give you a short term fix, but does it ever give you the peace of mind of being truly comfortable in your own skin?
I want you to aim higher, for yourself and those around you, because we are all role models, to our daughters and sons, nieces and nephews, and so many other people that we know.
It took me years of research to work out that while we are all individuals and what is right for one, may not work for another, there are some basic essentials we all need to maintain a healthy and vibrant body.
I discuss these core essentials in my blogs and upcoming book. Please sign-up to join our community for feel-good inspo and to never miss a post!