Never underestimate the power of hormones!
“A hormone is any member of a class of signaling molecules produced by glands in multicellular organisms that are transported by the circulatory system to target distant organs to regulate physiology and behaviour.”
Did you read that carefully? Hormones regulate physiology AND behavior. The way we look, act, think and feel. Need I say more other than Hormones. Are. Powerful. And they can express their power both positively AND negatively.
…and when we realize that, we have the answers to so many questions! We have some relief.
Why do I have these pimples? Hormones.
Why am I so moody? Hormones.
Why am I feeling so weak today? Hormones.
Why can’t I lose this extra fat when I’ve been eating perfectly and training my butt off? Could be hormones..
Does this give you a sense of relief? I mean, hormones aren’t the simple solution to your every question, but I do want to emphasize their strength as a simple reminder to not be so hard on ourselves.
Brief history about me..
I started training in the gym 15 years ago. And for 14 of the 15 years I was a gymrat to the max. I would prolong my workout because I didn’t want to leave the gym, and count down the hours until I could go back.
I got my first pimple in 4th grade. That was 20 years ago!
Why did I just jump from the gym to pimples? Because fastforward to me now, age 30, and I’m still battling acne and just overcame what I thought was a minor loss of interest for the gym… something I would have never thought possible! And they’re totally related.
About a year ago I decided to try a new medication for my skin. My ‘clear skin’ diet could only help so much (albeit A LOT), I had tried every topical ointment, laser treatment and other procedures, several antibiotics in the distant past (including Accutane three times) and for two decades, nothing completely worked and many attempts just completely didn’t work. Exhausting my resources for a cure, I was ready to tackle this issues at what had to be the root cause: hormones.
I’m pretty anti-pill in general, even with vitamins and especially with medication, but it was time. My hormones were causing me so much discomfort in the form of acne, that I finally needed something synthetic. All decided with my doctor, I made my way up to 200mg spironolactone daily (the max dose) over the past year (in addition to a perfect diet and some laser treatments). As intended, my androgen (male hormone) levels were reduced enough to give me that extra boost of (FINALLY) clear skin!!! The hormormal pimples (along the chin and jawline) that felt like they would never go away, are gone, and stay away for the majority of the time.
Over the past year, my love for the gym was quickly dwindling. “What’s wrong with me?” I wondered, but in denial of admitting the obvious relationship between testosterone & strength, energy and drive. With my newfound clear skin, I wasn’t going to let myself believe that a single pill would totally just destroy my passion (…and eventually career?!? Or at least that’s what my hormonal thoughts tried to wonder lol.) “Should I just find a new hobby slash career so I can enjoy my clear skin for the first time in two decades? Maybe I’m finally just sick of the gym and ready to try something new…”
Umm, NO! Duh.
Just like the spironolactone was necessary at one point in my life, it was finally necessary to stop. It had run its course, served its purpose, my testosterone was no longer through the roof and I was ready to get my life back.
So about two weeks ago, I tossed the meds!
As hoped, my LOVE for the gym, desire to train hard, get sweaty, feel strong and delay the end of every workout came back. And pretty instantly. I feel like I have my life back: my drive, my thoughts, my real feelings.. And bonus, my skin is maintaining its clarity.
Will my skin go crazy again? Maybe, if my testosterone is persistent enough to unbalance itself. But I do feel like it’s very controllable with other factors alone, especially diet (diet details coming next blog). And I’m not opposed to another cycle of this, or another, medication if the time comes that it is absolutely necessary, because I understand and really want to emphasize the POWER of hormones.
If your hormones are imbalanced in any direction, that’s where problems arise. And the problems can be as extreme as severe acne or as minor as having one “blah” day. It’s when we’re aware of their potential to be SO controlling that we can take action, stay calm and find some relief.
Really really really consider that the root cause of an issue can be traced back to hormones. If you TRULY feel like you’ve exhausted other, simpler solutions, please do consider a hormonal imbalance or more simply (and not requiring anything more than a deep breath), a temporary hormone fluctuation.
Especially as women, our hormones fluctuate daily. So if you’re having a bad day, that’s not to say you’re out of balance and need to be medicated, but simply remember the power of hormones and breathe deeply, change your outlook and attitude and remember that tomorrow will be a better day. If you’re dealing with an ongoing problem like acne or complete loss of interest in something you know you love, or more commonly, extra weight you can’t lose or strength you don’t have, hair loss, fatigue, etc, and you’ve tried EVERYTHING to fix it, cut yourself some slack and realize that the root of your problem may be something more complex than needing a new face wash, searching for motivational memes or hiring a new trainer.
And please don’t think I’m suggesting you should just pop a few pills and voila! That is not my message in this blog.
I just want you to have an awareness that both our physiology and behavior are controlled, in large part, by hormones. And I want you to understand this so you have a sense of relief and some hope if you can’t understand your bad skin, bad day, or big ol booty that won’t shrink.
In addition to this awareness, I want you to develop acceptance too.
Our bodies are such complex machines that we will never be in perfect balance and harmony all of the time. There is no single solution to constant clear skin, mental clarity and perfect body composition. We can control very much the way we look and how we feel, but we also need to accept the notion that perfect balance and harmony don’t exist all of the time, for anybody.
Strive to be the absolute best version of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally, but don’t destroy yourself over a pimple, a moment of bitchiness or a dimple on your buttcheek. It’s not always something you are doing or not doing, but maybe something your hormones are doing.
Hormones are powerful. Beyond powerful. Give them a chance to express themselves naturally, try and try and try again to achieve all of your physical, mental and emotional goals yourself, naturally, but if you feel like you’ve come to your whit’s end about a solution to a problem, consider the fact that hormones are powerful and maybe it’s time to reassess your chemical situation.
Stay tuned for my top acne breakthroughs (diet, washes, tips & tricks)