Category Archives: clear skin

Vacation Over and Time to Be Fifty

It’s been quite a while since my last post.  A birthday vacation, of sorts.

Actually, I’ve been spending some time on blog construction —  not this one, but an additional one with my younger sister Susan.

It’s called Ess & Jae V2.0.  Get it?  Ess (S) and Jae (J)…..?  The V2.0 stands for the second half of life.

We actually started it after a dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Allium in Westboro, where we did a lot of complaining about how much weight we had gained over the summer, eating out, drinking wine, sitting on patios… get my drift.

The blog started out as an accountability tool with us posting our weight loss each week.  However, it’s morphed into a lifestyle blog about being 40+ or 50+ and enjoying the best things that life has to offer.

We don’t always work compatibly together, so this should be an interesting ride.   Time will tell….

On another note, we had our annual Sister’s Weekend in Vermont this year.  I chose the location and Burlington was awesome.  Love the town, loved the valley, loved the people and loved the atmosphere.  Of course, there was big food and lotsa wine, but we managed to squeak in a hike (that nearly killed me!).  Pictures are following…..

Now you can see our pores and everything.

That’s me in the middle.  As you can see, I’ve gained some weight this summer.  Enjoyed every minute of it.  But not enjoying the fact that my pants don’t fit.  And I have a roll around my belly.  Geez, I’m looking like Mom.  I sure don’t want to look like Mom.  Love her, but she’s struggled with her weight all her life.  Nope.  Not good.

So, I have started a new program based on what I’ve learned about my eating habits and physiology this year.  It has been a great year for learning things.

I’m eating moderately high protein, high fat (yum!) and low carb.  After two decades of trying to muscle through the hunger of low-fat dieting, this feels different.  I’m also eating reckless amounts of vegetables.  Observations so far:  this keeps me full longer, on fewer calories.  My skin has cleared up.  And (TMI ahead – brace yourself) a lot less bloating and gas.  It’s been several weeks and I’m down 5 pounds since just before Labour Day.

I plan to continue this blog as well because….well…..sometimes a girl’s words just have to be hers alone.  Not shared.  Just a personal truth.  And maybe a little more frankness than in a family situation.

Thanks for coming back.


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Filed under acne, clear skin, dieting, fitness, food, fun, health, menopause, summer, wine

A Makeup Free Day

It’s been a relaxing, lounge-y day…..spending time at home, gardening, tidying, reading ( The Help ), and primping!

There was a morning pedicure on the deck – Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Cinna-Something.  Can’t remember the name but it’s a groovy color.

Followed that up with a mini-facial.  Boots Botanics Clay Mask.  It’s just a so-so product but anything that soaks up the extra grease is a good thing.  Isn’t this oiliness  supposed to slow down sometime soon?  Aren’t peri-menopausal women supposed to have dry skin?

And last but not least, a root touch up.   Miss Clairol in medium brown.  If I’d known how much time and effort my hair would require after I started going gray, I would have enjoyed my pretty virgin hair more in my 20’s!

Just a word or two on makeup, which I did not wear today…..

I have really oily, problem skin all my life.  Lots of TLC required to keep it looking semi-decent.  And some exceptional makeup products.  These are my favorites…

Lise Watier 24 Hr. Glam Mascara.  This baby does not run or rub off no matter how sad the movie or steamy the day.  Exceptional product.

Vichy Dermablend Foundation.  This has a beautiful feel, tons of pigment and nothing nasty to irritate skin.  A little goes a looooooooong way.

Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes Pencil Liner.  This stuff goes nowhere once it’s on.  Best liner ever.  No raccoon eyes.

Clinique Black Honey Lip Gloss.  This gloss looks good on everyone.   It’s been their top seller forever.  You can’t go wrong with this no matter what you’re wearing or where you’re going.

And of course, MAC eye shadows.  Nothing outperforms these babies.  Tons of pigment.  I stay away from the shimmer (at my age) and the girlie shades, like baby blue and neon green.

That’s my All Star lineup.  Some are expensive, but they’re worth every penny.

And sadly, it’s time to prep for another work week starting tomorrow.  Summer weekends are so short.

Enjoy a lovely holiday Monday night.


Filed under acne, clear skin, menopause

Menopause Symptom Inventory

Since this blog is titled “Flowing to Fifty”, I thought I would address some of the interesting things that have been happening to me as I approach my (somewhat unwelcome) milestone.

Menopause gets a lot of press these days, whether it’s about HRT, or weight gain, or aches and pains.  Interesting to absolutely no one…..unless you’re in the middle of it, I guess.

Where am I in the process?

Almost nowhere.  I think I’m a late bloomer, maybe?


1)     hot flashes – none.

2)     night sweats – none.

3)     irregular periods – I’m like clockwork.

4)     loss of libido – sadly, not a problem.  🙂

5)     moodiness – well, I do have a lot less tolerance for bullshit!  I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.  Know what I mean?

6)     sleep disorders – sleep like a rock.

7)     difficulty concentrating – all good here.

8)     memory lapses – nothing yet.

9)     weight gain – this has always been an issue, so I’m not sure if this has changed.

10)  Incontinence – no, thank God!

There are tons of other possibly symptoms that make menopause sound like torture-by-hormones.    No wonder we all dread it.

The changes I’ve experienced have been relatively few.  I gain weight more quickly. I’m a little slower.  PMS lasts a little longer (Yay!  Just what we all need – more PMS). I’m a little creakier.   All in all, not much to complain about, really.

Except the shoulder, damn it!

Oh well, how would I appreciate all the great stuff if there wasn’t something to complain about?  🙂


Filed under acne, clear skin, dieting, fitness, food, health, maturity, menopause

Good Decisions

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  there are no good decisions made in the grocery store at 5:00pm.

After several weeks of careful budgeting and controlled spending….

After a couple of weeks of very healthy eating…..

I needed to go to the grocery store at 5:00pm on my way home from work.  Cue the “Jaws” music.  😦

I had to order a cake for my Mom’s 80th birthday this weekend.  The plan was to put her picture on the cake and the bakery department needed 3 days advance notice.  That meant I had to order it tonight.This is my Mom at her RN graduation.  Isn’t she lovely?  She’s still just as beautiful.

Could I have come home for dinner before going to the grocery store?  Sure.  But it’s -30 degrees with the windchill and that just wasn’t going to happen.  Coming home meant staying home.

I succumbed.   The evil force overcame me.  This treat stalked me up and down every aisle.  Alas, I bought chocolate.  The most delicious kind when you have PMS, as I do….a checkout  line chocolate bar.  Supersize.Now, to be fair to myself, I also bought a bag of frozen blueberries and some grapefruit.  And I did come home and eat leftovers before devouring my KitKat.

And it was oh-so-good.  But that’s enough.


Filed under acne, clear skin, dieting, food, health

Snow Day!

And I didn’t have to go to work today!  I love to play in the snow….but I don’t love to drive in it.I did spend some time shoveling the walk ways and the back deck.  It was fun!

I’m on Day 5 of low-carb/high-protein.  And I have ENERGY!!  I don’t know if this is normal, but it feels really good.  Normally, I’m totally burned out on Saturdays after a long, long work week.  But not today!  Could it be the eating program?  Or maybe I’ve just turned a corner at work….I care a little less and I am not giving quite as much. Or maybe I’m just at an energy point in my cycle.

So, what does a LC/HP Saturday look like?

Breakfast: greek yogurt, a few blueberries and some chia seeds.

Lunch: 3 eggs (fried in butter – no kidding!), ham and some coleslaw with full-fat dressing.

Snack: an ounce of cheddar cheese and a half dozen almonds.

Dinner: chicken and veggies cooked in butter (again…no kidding!) with a coconut milk/curry sauce.  And a couple of ounces of white wine – not really on the program but it’s Satuday night and I have energy!  Celebration!My skin is clearing up….I’m not assuming it’s the LC/HP program yet.  After all, it had to clear up sometime, right?  But maybe it is.

My toughest challenges with losing weight are lack of energy and BIG BOY hunger.  Is this THE program to change all that?  In any case, it feels decadent and gluttonous eating butter.  I feel like the Diet Police are going to pound on the door and drag me off for unlawful fat consumption.  Never mind the nuts and the cheese!  🙂

I have a summertime goal.  Yes, I know it’s Jennifer Aniston, but I want to look great in a black tank top and shorts.No problem!

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An Interesting Exercise

I read about an interesting exercise on another blog today….wish I could find it again so I could give it appropriate applause.

The exercise is this:  write a letter dated January 2012.  Let it be a letter to the “you” in January 2011, congratulating yourself for everything you accomplished in 2011.  Include how you felt about everything that happened — how proud you were of your achievements, how disappointed you were when you didn’t achieve your goals.  Let the year you have planned unfold in this letter….For example, if my goal is for the low-carb plan to help clear up my skin, I would say…

“You were so hopeful that the low-carb plan would help clear up your skin and you were overjoyed that it only took 2 months to show incredible results!  So, you followed the plan all year long and your skin is now healthy and glowing.”

This sounds like a great exercise.  I’m going to think long and hard about what I want my life to look like a year from now.

The plan is to then put the letter away and open it in January 2012.  I’m hoping that the results will be even better than I could imagine!  I may share it….or not!  I’m kinda private that way sometimes.

I just found the blog – here it is on the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans blog!  I love this paragraph:

“Because January, heck, 2011 isn’t going to be about weight-loss, it’s going to be about soul-searching and finding out what you’re made of. It’s about goal-setting and goal-reaching and persistence and finding and re-finding motivation”.


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Filed under acne, books, clear skin, food, health, menopause

Information Applied is Power

The good thing about lots of time on the couch over the holidys is lots of time to read, surf, watch TV, and generally catch up on the news of the day.

While surfing, I came across the newest book written by the speaker of a video I watched some time ago.  Yay!  I’d rather read than do just about anything else.  I even paid full price for it at Chapters because I was too impatient to order it online.  Why We Get Fat….And What To Do About It is a fascinating read.There’s lots of science, which I love, but also lots of good information which I found easy enough to get through.  I wonder if it’s really this simple?

Summary:  you don’t get fat from eating fat or protein.  You get fat from eating carbs.  Period. Too many carbs spikes an insulin release which packs the carbs into fat cells.  Dietary fat and protein take much longer to enter the bloodstream and can be used by the body more efficiently for energy before any storage occurs.  That’s why high-protein diets seem to be very successful.

This fits well with what I’ve been thinking about lately, so I’m going to try a 60 day experiment.  If I can eat low-carb for 60 days, will I drop some weight without being hungry, and more importantly….will my face clear up???????

Sis went to the Derm yesterday…who told her that sugar and carbs have a direct impact on acne!  Why, oh why, have I not tried a low-carb, high protein diet before now?

AND…if that weren’t insult enough, the book also says that insulin resistance (what happens when too much sugar = too much insulin = too much body fat) gets worse as we get older.  Another joy of being 49-almost-50.  I wonder how many carbs are in red wine?

I will update as I go.  Hoping for the best.

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