Don’t worry, I’m still a moron.

In case any of you got the mistaken impression from my last post that I’ve actually started to get my shit together and grow as a person, just know that I’ve been missing 1/4 of an eyebrow for the better part of two weeks. Because I’m a moron.

Following my wild success with Doctor Google’s recommendation of Brazil nuts to help babysit my temperamental thyroid hormones, I paid the good doc a return visit to address the issue of my skin and some concerning topography thereof.

Namely, a metric crapload of tiny, annoying bumps on my thighs and upper arms.

No, I’m not going to subject you guys to any gross skin pics. You get frozen molehills, because I’m nice.

I’ve had these things on my legs for ages. They were originally confined solely to my inner thighs and knees, so I always just assumed my skin was irritated from years of wearing skinny jeans. The things we do for fashion, right?

But recently they started to show up on my arms too. And I definitely haven’t been wearing skinny jeans on those. At least, that I know of. I suppose it’s technically possible that someone’s been sneaking in at night and clothing my upper extremities in tight denim just to fuck with me, but if that’s the case then I have bigger problems than a few patches of bumpy skin.

Anyway, after some creative keywording and a string of “yikes, thank fucking god I don’t have that” Google image searches, I finally discovered the culprit behind my disgruntled dermis: keratosis pilaris.

The good news is it’s harmless. It’s just a simple keratin build-up that blocks the hair follicles and makes a nuisance of itself.

The bad news is, no one really knows why it happens, and so there’s no way to prevent it from rearing its ugly head. And all you can really do when it does is throw acid on it until it whimpers and runs away.

I’m not kidding. The recommended treatment is acid; albeit of the alpha-hydroxy, lactic, or salicylic varieties and not something like drastic like hydrochloric or sulfuric, but at the end of the day you’re still basically burning your skin off for the sake of vanity.

…okay, so I’m vain enough that I figured it was worth a shot.

I made the rounds of a few forum discussions on the subject, and people seemed to have the most success with the lactic acid, so I went to the drugstore and picked up a bottle of that.

Y’all, this is making it really hard for me not to start taking all my medical advice from strangers on the internet. Because within a week my legs were as smooth as a baby’s behind. Hell, I’m not even sure my skin was this supple when I was a baby. Seriously, acid is AWESOME.*

*Statement applies to lotion only. Don’t do drugs, kids.

But while my legs were celebrating their long overdue facelift in almost no time at all, my arms remained as stubbornly bumpy as ever, even after two weeks of treatment. This made no sense to me. My upper arm skin couldn’t be more resistant to chemical exfoliants than the scaly, battle-scarred surface of my long-suffering knees, could it? There had to be some variable I hadn’t taken into account.

And then it dawned on me: the humble razor.

Before every slathering of acid-laced lotion, I had showered and shaved my legs, presumably fucking up the tough surface of my little keratinoid molehills and thereby allowing the acid to better penetrate and do its work.

Couldn’t hurt to try, right? So fuck it, I guess I’m someone who shaves their arms now.

And I’ll be goddamned if I wasn’t right on the money about that being the difference, because my arms AND my legs are now silky smooth 24/7 and there’s a good chance that if I don’t stop constantly feeling them up they’re gonna start playing the Divinyls every time I walk into a room.

 

So by now you’ve probably figured out what happened to my eyebrow.

Don’t judge me. Face shaving has been a beauty trend all over the internet for the last two years. I’m not the only sucker who’s tried it.

Granted, most of those other suckers probably managed to exit the experience with about 114% more eyebrows than I did, but still.

Guys, I was SO careful. I planted myself in front of the mirror and I looked into my eyes and said firmly, “Nutty, you are coming out of this with two intact eyebrows. Period.”  And then I went to work. Slowly. Methodically. And I did a damn good job, if I do say so myself.

So perfect a job that as I completed my last stroke, I instinctively flicked my wrist in a triumphant flourish.

Pro tip, people, wait to do your flourishing until you put the razor DOWN.

The eyebrow will grow back, but the jury’s still out on my dignity.

 

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Think of something you’re grateful for.

I’m not quite sure exactly how it happened, but apparently 2017 has become the year of Nutty Quits Being A Doughy Weakling And Goes All GI Jane On Fitness.

Okay, so that doughy weakling bit may be a bit unfair. I mean, it’s not like I’ve spent the last several years sitting around on my duff twiddling my thumbs instead of exercising. I’ve always done my best to keep active, occasional brief lapses aside.

That said, after the past several months I’m finding that what I would have considered a challenging workout back in January I can now only describe as laughable.

It all kind of started with nuts. Appropriate, I know.

Following my last dismissive walk-in clinic experience that resulted in, surprise surprise, no results, I did exactly what you’re not supposed to do and turned to good old Doctor Google for advice. Long story short, I began supplementing my diet with Brazil nuts because the selenium is supposed to hand-hold my stupid thyroid hormones and help them do their thing.

And holy shit, guys, IT’S ACTUALLY WORKING.

I mean, mornings are still the worst. Stress still aggravates my symptoms something fierce. I’m certainly not “cured” by any means, and don’t have any illusions that I ever will be. But I’m also not freezing cold all the time anymore, and more importantly, my muscles are no longer giving up on me well before my workout sessions have a chance to do me any real good.

I’ve gotten back just enough of the old Nutty to give me hope.

And I’m taking advantage of it. Every bit. In case it doesn’t last. In case something else gives out, like it always seems to. Knowing my luck, I’ll develop a selenium allergy and then we’ll be back at square one.

So in the meantime, I push. I push and I work and I sweat and I kick my own ass while I still can, and I’ll be goddamned if I’m not finally getting some results.

For the first time in a long time, I find myself instinctively coming up with more reasons to get my body moving than excuses not to.

It’s fucking fantastic.

I’ve started going to power yoga again. My crazy (in the best possible way) teacher likes to talk us through challenging poses by having us think of something we’re thankful for. In my first few weeks of class I considered all manner of things to whisk my mind away during these short moments of reflection; the wealth of natural beauty at my city’s doorstep; my love for Nutty Hubby; the simple enjoyment of a deep gulp of cool, thirst-quenching water…dear god I’d give my left fucking tit for some water right now…

Packed classes + relentless vinyasas = intense collective body heat = Nutty rehydrates a lot.

Me during Warrior III, every single time.

But then something shifted. I remember the exact day I noticed. I recall being smugly pleased with myself for having made it up into a handstand for two whole seconds, besting my previous record by…two whole seconds, probably. And as we moved on into my nemesis, Chair Pose, for once I didn’t automatically try to escape from the experience. I kept my breath slow and steady. I sank deeper into my leg muscles, relaxed my shoulders, and really goddamn went for it. I was the chair. Not a chair with a rickety leg or a loose seat or a missing rail. Just a regular ol’ chair, fuckin’ chairin’ it up.

“We’re going to be here a while,” came the soft voice of our teacher.
“Breathe. Think of something you’re grateful for.”

It came to me, unbidden.

I am grateful for this. Because right now, in this moment, I don’t feel broken.

And I started to cry, because it was true.
I never thought it would be true again.

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