This past weekend was my husband, Sean's birthday and you can't do a birthday without the cupcakes or any type of sweets for that matter. Or at least I think so. I dashed to Fred Meyer last minute and grabbed yellow cake batter and chocolate frosting. Classic.
May I add here, Sean and I have been killing it at the gym for the past 3 weeks. We came back from a road trip completely inspired to get in the best shape of our lives. We got home on a Sunday and you bet by Monday morning we were up and knocking our goals out. Eating clean and lean. Since then we have been on top of it! I already feel strong, mentally, emotionally, and physically! We're both extremely motivated.
Ok, back to the cupcakes. When I was making the cupcakes I was surprised how much I WASN'T tempted to take the whole bowl of batter and run into a closet to devour. And that goes for the entire party too. I took note and gave myself a kudos for having amazing discipline during this new fitness inspiration.
fast forward to 3AM and 3 cupcakes later. I was in the spirit of birthday fun.
Now don't get me wrong. I am the "balance" queen. I preach balance to whoever gives me the time of day :)
I didn't once feel guilty or feel out of control I just wanted a damn cupcake and I loved the flavor so had two more. Simple as that.
But the whole point of this story is to tell you I did have a quick moment of hesitation not because of the progress I have made in the gym, but because I know the negative relationship sugar and the skin have.
It's not a healthy one that's for sure.
Skin is composed of collagen and elastin, which make our skin supple and soft. Sugar causes cross-linking of collagen, resulting in stiffening and loss of elasticity of our skin. The more sugar we have, the more our skin starts to suffer.
Dr. Nish, MD, Unity Point Health, lists the following ways sugar takes its toll on the skin:
Appearance of wrinkles
Sagging in neck and chin
Development of dark spots
Slower healing of cuts, scraps, etc.
“If you put a banana out on the counter and unpeel it, what happens in 24-48 hours? It gets brown,” Dr. Nish says. “What’s happening is the sugars in that banana are reacting with proteins, causing cross-linking and the brown color (browning reaction). The exact same reaction is happening in our bodies. We’re browning from the inside out.”
Aging is part of growing older, but it’s accelerated by sugar. Without getting too technical, at the end of each strand of our DNA is a little cap, called a telomere, which protects our DNA from damage. Every time our DNA is read and duplicated, those telomeres shorten.
"While our bodies normally replace those telomeres, sugar quickens that shortening, and thereby, advances the aging process." Dr. Nish says.
Research on telomeres and aging is just beginning to come out. It’s unclear how much sugar causes this reaction, what is known though, is the more sugar that’s in the body, the worse it is.
Now that you are equipped with a little knowledge let's go back to that word balance.
Pick and choose your battles ladies.
Having the knowledge allows you to make smarter decisions in life.
I have an old wound from the years of struggling with acne and inflamed skin. So when I decide to have sweets I like to make sure it's a moment where I am celebrating.. And now that I know how sugar affects my skin I can pick and choose those moments. Then I make sure I follow proper "after care" to help my skin heal.
If you are struggling with inflammation, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, uneven skin tone, and/or dullness. Take a break from sugar (processed. Fruits are great. Eat those!) for a couple weeks. If you can go longer, go longer. Take note of your skin and how it changes.
You might surprised at how well it improves.
As for me, I did get a couple breakouts. My skin is still a little puffy and red on my cheeks. I expected that and took accountability. Didn't stress or over react because I knew why they were popping up.
Here is what I did do:
- Drank lots of water
- Doubled down on my greens ie. smoothies, juices, wellness shots, LOTS of veggies
- Went to the gym
- Avoided sugar in other foods
- Used an anti inflammatory mask