Mystique Hair Design: In A League Of Their Own

Before I get into how amazing of a salon Mystique Hair Design in White rock is, let me first tell you about how finding them came to be; and why Steph hands down is a rare gem with a heart of gold!

Last year I had a major hair crisis when my hair went every shade of “I didn’t want that”, from orange to green to wtf is that colour. I was devastated and fortunate enough for a friend to find me a salon to correct it. But in that time Steph reached out on social media to say that she was happy I found someone but if ever I was in need of anything in the future that they were here to help. WHAT! This is someone that doesn’t even know me and has nothing to gain but it showed just why Mystique Hair Design is in a league of their own. To me that was an act of pure kindness.

Even though I had my hair corrected, I still wasn’t in love with it as much as I wanted to be. I wanted someone that specialized in blondes as it has continued to be my obsession (recovering-former brunette). I also wanted to find someone that really invested in their clients and gave you that “I fucking love my hair” feeling every time I left the salon. So I decided to reach out to Steph and see if there was a stylist available, expressing that I was nervous to try someone new and wanted someone really good. Steph rest assured me that the whole team was amazing and she was setting me up with Lindsay. She told me that I would be in exceptional hands and I would be more than happy.

Here’s the thing… I went in feeling pretty good and relaxed that it would be a great experience, but what I got was way more than I could have ever imagined or hoped for. First off, if you haven’t been to White Rock you are missing out. Parking and walking down to the salon I was taken back by the beautiful view of the water, there is something magical when you can sense the ocean. Upon walking into the salon I was acknowledged by each staff member (even if it was just a look up from their client and a smile) and instantly greeted by Lindsay. It wasn’t an awkward first meeting, Lindsay welcomed me as if she had known me prior. We sat down and consulted on my hairs history so she could really grasp the life of my hair (well at least what I’ve put it through over the last few years). I told her that I wanted to go pretty blonde but not so much that I look washed out. Lindsay talked me through everything and before long we were underway on making me a blonde bombshell. Steph came over after she was done with her client and made me feel even more at ease that I was in great hands. Steph had this awesome energy about her and I could see why I had such a good feeling sitting at the salon. I hadn’t been sitting for long when the girls were bringing me over a little gift they give each client (a hot hand towel, under-eye beauty treatment patches, tea and yes….a yummy macaroon). I was feeling so relaxed and taken care of and I had only been there for a short amount of time. When everything was all done, Lindsay left me blushing at the image I saw looking back in the mirror. I knew right then and there that Lindsay was my girl! So with a refreshed attitude I left and continued loving my hair.

I ended up going back to Lindsay for another round of blonde and expressed to her that I was going through some changes and needed something adventurous, bold and different. I told Lindsay I tried a pink hue before and didn’t like the tone with my skin. And Lindsay said “oh you are a purple girl, why don’t you go purple”. “Purple? I don’t think I could do that”, I felt nervous and scared. But Lindsay being Lindsay with her huge heart took the time to go over the process saying lets just go light purple to test it out. She told me it wasn’t permanent and if I didn’t like it I could wash it frequently and it would fade out. But Lindsay had a feeling she wasn’t sharing: that I would fall in love with it.

Actually “fall in love with it” is a bit of an understatement. What transformed after going purple was something I could have never dreamed. It’s as if I finally felt more like myself than ever before. There was this whole new level of confidence. I owe a lot to Lindsay, the way she built trust with a new client was really something special. Here is a girl (Me) who was fearful to do something risky (I know most people might not think going purple is risky), but with Lindsay by my side I gave up control and decided to jump. What most people don’t know is I spent years in a relationship that would never allow me to do something like this. So from someone that felt boxed in, controlled and insecure, going purple was actually a really BIG THING for me. Actually when I was little I was obsessed with a purple lipstick and Cyndi Lauper so going purple was also a magical process believe it or not. This is just another reason that Mystique and Lindsay are in a league of their own. They had the confidence knowing how the purple would turn out and held my hand the whole way through. It’s not about $$$ – it truly is about the whole experience from the moment their clients walk in the door to the moment they send them out into the world to rock their new look. Whether I stay purple, go back blonde eventually or try something crazy and new; I have my complete trust in Mystique and Lindsay’s vibrant, expressive, creative mind. They say to “Love what you do” and it shows on every single client at Mystique Hair Design.

There are so many wonderful reasons to become a client at Mystique Hair Design, but before I finish off this heartfelt feature, here is a little Q&A on some hair love. Enjoy!

  1. Top trends going into winter: Darker colours; lots of reds!
  2. What’s the key to colour correction: There are many. many, many steps. First is to be realistic; understanding the process that got the hair in that condition in the first place. Going back and taking an inventory (history of the hair) of what’s been on it for the last 2 years.
  3. What is the benefit of using paper foils instead of metal foils: For a full head of foils they are better as they don’t conduct heat the same way metal foils do. And since bleach is heat-activated it allows us to control the process and lift slowly.
  4. Two ways to cancel unwanted brassiness: Highlights and Lowlights to add dimension. Also for blondes; using a purple shampoo for helping with yellow and blue shampoo (salon recommended) for orange.
  5. You have used two different colour lines on me; tell me what you love the most about both lines: La Biosthetique (Blonde) ~ This line is super conditioning (Vitamin E and Avocado oil); hair feels better after being coloured. The whole line is versatile and each colour can be mixed in many different ways. They are big on education with providing our team the opportunity to perfect our skills and craft (4-5 classes and 2 trade shows per year). And can we talk about their reds…they fade beautifully and last a long time (just ask Lindsay who is rocking some gorgeous colour)        Pulp Riot ~ This line lasts such a long time and doesn’t fade fast, and it’s easy to remove when you want to change it. It makes the hair feel amazing and the colour smells so good you could eat it….. But don’t ha ha! Lindsay expressed to me that she especially loved helping me go purple as she got to express herself through the colour and be creative. Also loved the trust I put in her to customize it.
  6. Favourite treatment for hair right now: La Biosthetique PCC treatment (in salon only). It’s a 2 step process; first step is a vial liquid that adds protein to strengthen the hair and the second step is a conditioning mask to lock everything in.
  7. What’s your favourite product at this current moment: “High Dive” by R+Co. It’s for deep hydration and reflective shine; you add it to towel-dried hair before blow drying. It really helps with flyaways and is good for all hair types, especially for straightening or curly hair.
  8. Mystique Hair Design specializes in many amazing services, has there been any hair that you haven’t been able to work with: Henna Colour! If you put bleach or perm on it there is a chemical reaction that destroys the hair!!!!!!!!
  9. Top tips for hair: Always use a heat protector before heating-tools (styling) and sun exposure. Also don’t wash everyday; natural oils are great for hair and over washing it can strip the hair.
  10. How would you sum up the Team at Mystique: Supportive, hardworking, passionate. You basically summed us up by asking; WE ARE A TEAM! We work together and help each other out. We are also HUGE into EDUCATION. It’s very important to stay current, updated and challenge ourselves. Keeping things fresh and trendy is a top priority for our family (clients).

If I haven’t fully expressed how much I adore the girls at Mystique Hair Design, let me wrap it up in these final words. The shop is stunning and cozy, they carry awesome hair care brands, they give you treats during your treatment, the staff has a wicked energy, they give back to the community, they care about the environment, they are AMAZING Hair Gods (stylists) and the care about each client like they were family. Oh and the shampoo head massages are to die for!

I highly recommend contacting Mystique for a consultation and you can stalk them by check them out on their Website, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter

I am super excited for my next visit where Lindsay will be taking my purple to a whole other level; think Katy Perry!

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

 

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10 Acne Causing Culprits

FullSizeRender-3While acne is caused by dead skin clogging your pores, sometimes there is a bit more going on behind the scenes. Standard treatments and face washing will not help with if there are subtle contributors happening in your daily life. Your diet, lifestyle and habits could all be working against you, preventing you from having the healthy and clear face you want.

If you have already diagnosed all of the obvious things that could be causing acne, here are some contributing factors that are not talked about as frequently:

1. Biotin
Biotin, sometimes referred to as vitamin B7, helps your hair and skin grow. It’s great in low doses, but if you take too much it can contribute to breakouts. Vitamin B7 goes in the same “slot” as vitamin B5, which is absolutely essential in keeping your outer layer of skin clear and beautiful. If you have too much biotin / B7 in your diet, you will crowd out the vitamin B5 and prevent your skin from getting the regulation it needs.

  1. Green Smoothies
    While many of the ingredients in your smoothies might be safe, raw kale is often a trigger for breakouts. Kale is full of goitrogen, which are chemicals that disrupt normal thyroid function. Also found in broccoli, asparagus and brussels sprouts, goitrogens prevent iodine from getting to your thyroid. Eating all of these foods in small quantities is fine, especially if they are cooked, but if you go on a green smoothie rampage and drink several cups of raw kale every day, you will quickly run into thyroid issues. You might notice acne, eczema, fatigue, issues controlling your weight, or depression.
  2. Lip Balm
    Many of the chemicals found in lip balm (and often lipstick too!) are not great for your skin. Things like lanolin, isopropyl palmitate and isopropyl myristate can all clog your pores and lead to breakouts and redness. Look for the term “non-comedogenic” in anything you put on your face – this means that it will not cause your pores to clog.
  3. Hand Lotion
    Just because you are not applying something directly to your face does not mean it will not get there eventually. Most of us touch our faces frequently throughout the day. This means, anything you put on your hands will get transferred to your facial skin over the course of the day. Many common ingredients in hand lotion and cream can cause breakouts. Be especially careful with the hand cream you use before going to sleep. You might sleep on your hands without realizing it!
  4. Tissues
    The fragrances and other chemicals found in some tissues can be transferred to your skin, causing irritation and acne. Even worse, if you blow your nose a lot the texture of the tissues themselves can irritate your skin. If you are breaking out a lot around your nose, consider trying a different brand of tissues to see if a softer, or less chemical-heavy Kleenex might do the trick.
  5. Sweating
    While sweat on its own will not cause acne, failing to wash your face after sweating will. Sweat can carry makeup, dirt and other irritants into your pores and it is also linked to an acne-like infection called pityrosporum folliculitis. A gentle cleanse, or shower after you exercise will help reduce the risk of normal breakouts. If you get stubborn and difficult to treat breakouts after exercising, see a dermatologist for recommendations about how to treat folliculitis.
  6. Makeup
    As long as you are careful to stick to non-comedogenic makeup, you should be fine throughout the day. No matter how safe your makeup is, you will run into trouble if you forget to remove it at night. Your skin needs time to recover at night. Leaving your makeup on can stifle this recovery process and cause you to wake up with an unfortunate mess of acne.
  7. Laundry Detergent
    Just like with hand lotion, any chemicals found in your laundry detergent will quickly find their way onto your face. Fragrances, powdered detergents and any biological ingredients can all lead to breakouts. For best results, stick to a liquid detergent and use as little as you can. Even try choosing a longer rinse cycle if you can. You will minimize the amount of enzymes and other chemicals that wind up in your clothes and linens.
  8. Shampoo / Conditioner
    Things that are good for your scalp and hair might not be good for your face. If you find yourself breaking out on your neck and upper back, it might be because you are letting your shampoo or conditioner wash down your body in the shower. Try shampooing with your head tilted to minimize this drip, or switch to a different shampoo. Be especially watchful for sodium lauryl sulfate and other similarly named chemicals. While these compounds may help your shampoo foam up, they are another big culprit that may be causing your breakouts.
  9. Sunblock

The sun’s rays can cause your skin to age prematurely and develop unsightly blotches and spots. Using the wrong sunblock can lead to breakouts and zits. You can usually avoid this by opting for a physical sunblock rather than a chemical one. Sunblock that uses titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide as the active ingredient tends to be safer for acne-prone skin. If you prefer to use a chemical sunblock, be sure to do your research and find one that will not make your acne flare up.

More Tools At Your Disposal

If you are still suffering from acne despite everything you have tried, examine the things above and see if they might be contributing to your pimples. Acne is a complicated problem that is caused by a multitude of factors. If you can eliminate one or two of them by reducing your stress levels, or cutting down on biotin, it can do a lot to help keep your face clear and beautiful. Try everything for a week or two and pay attention to the results! You will figure out how things affect your face, giving you the information you need in your fight against acne.

At Essence of L Medi Spa & Laser Clinic, we understand that acne isn’t a small problem. While each pimple might be small, the damage caused by these unsightly bumps can be long lasting and difficult to heal. We think that each and every person should be able to have clear, beautiful skin. In order to achieve this goal, we are proud to announce a new Clear Skin acne program.

This one-of-a-kind option offers personalized treatments that are tailored to your unique skin. We take advantage of all of the latest developments in skincare in order to offer a clearance rate of up to 95% after four months.

The Clear Skin program combines revolutionary treatments with a bouquet of high-quality skincare products that have been hand picked and developed by our staff. Not only do we match products to your skin type, we also exhaustively research every ingredient in these products to make sure they are safe and non-irritating. We would not want you to make your acne worse because you are using a cleanser that is full of chemicals that clog your pores, irritate your skin, or disrupt your body’s hormonal balance.

In addition to the products and treatments you receive, our staff can help review your daily practices and identify potential habits that might be causing you to break out. The number of normal activities that can contribute to acne breakouts is surprising to most people. By making small changes in your daily routine, your diet, or even how you prepare for your recreational activities, you can put a major dent in your acne. When you combine this with your treatment sessions and skincare products, you will reduce breakouts even further and get the clear, glowing skin you deserve.

Most people don’t need prescriptions for their acne. Instead, they need a supportive environment, modern treatments, and a skincare routine that utilizes safe and effective ingredients. Essence of L’s Clear Skin program provides all three. By combining expert coaching from skin care experts (who also have also struggled with acne-prone skin), effective treatments, and some of the best skincare products on the market, we will help keep your skin clear and happy!

Don’t struggle against your acne alone! Get in touch with Essence of L Medi Spa & Laser Clinic and find out more about our Clear Skin and Visia Analysis program today. Together, we can start getting rid of your acne for good.

Sun’s Still Out

 

I am one lucky girl to have found my Skin Therapist from Essence Of L Medi Spa. I swear I’m turning into Benjamin Button from seeing Leah! When I look in the mirror, I feel my skin looks better than when I was in my early 20’s. On a daily basis I get asked how I get such great skin and I am constantly writing down Leah’s contact.

Not only is Leah amazing at what she does, she is one of the most knowledgable people I know when it comes to skin health. So I thought what better way to share then by picking her brain and bringing you some Q&A’s on the essentials needed throughout the year. Even though we are rolling into fall, the sun is still out and these are some important tips you need to know. So Sit back, grab some rosè and enjoy our top 11 skin must do’s.

BB411~ What is the top treatment during sunny weather?

EOL~ Rejuvenating HydraFacial

BB411~ What is the biggest misconception people have about their skin health?

EOL~ Right now I hear (a lot) the question “If I wash my face before I go to bed, why do I have to wash it in the morning?” There are two reasons why it’s important: #1. If you wear active ingredients before you go to bed, you need to wash them off in the morning because they can make you photosensitive and cause irritation and #2. Can we say sweat, dirt and skin mites!

BB411~ SKIN MITES???????

EOL~ Yes!

BB411~ What is the biggest NO NO that clients do when it comes to skin health?

EOL~ Going to bed with makeup on!

BB411~ The next question really helped me out while I was competing in my fitness competitions. This is actually an acne tip (whether you workout or not). What are the top two things to do while working out to help with acne and breakouts?

EOL~ #1. Ice your face. If you can incorporate putting an ice cube on your face for 1-2 minutes it will reduce your inflammation. #2. Wash your face within five minutes of your workout.

BB411~ Leah says to cleanse your skin at the gym or after your workout but I don’t always find that easy. So is there a option that makes it more convenient?

EOL~ The best option we have found is to carry baby wipes with you.

BB411~ Do any baby wipes work? Even cheap baby wipes from say…….. the dollar store?

EOL~ NOOOOOOOOOO! The best ones we have found through continued research are the Costco Kirkland unscented baby wipes. There’s no pore-cloggers in them which is great. (Check out EOL’s list of Pore Clogging Ingredients)

BB411~ To laser or not laser in the Summer, that is the question???

EOL~ In the summer or sun exposure months I’d definitely say pass on laser treatments (Photo Facial or IPL). If you’re looking for treating anti-aging and sun spots, the sun will actually trigger more melanin so you want to avoid that with sun exposure.

BB411~ Spray tan or natural tan?

EOL~ If you are looking for a golden glow, we highly recommend a self-tanner like St Tropez.

BB411~ In June Leah launched her new acne skin care line and I have been testing it out since January on my face and body. It’s incredible. What are the new products in the line?

EOL~ We have two new cleansers – One is an exfoliator and one is for the face and body.

BB411~ Physical or chemical sunblock?

EOL~ We recommend using a physical sunblock during the summer. They are a little bit more hearty, they lay on the surface of the skin like a protective layer and they are usually water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

BB411~ In-between my awesome treatments, I upkeep by skin health by adding some at home maintenance. The “Lumibright” pineapple enzyme mask is great for exfoliating and decongesting.

BB411~ What would your top product pick be to use?

EOL~ It would definitely be Retinol, it is the gold standard in the industry. It’s great for anti-aging, for sun damage, melasma and it’s a big contender for acne.

Stay tuned for Leah’s Fall favourites coming soon!

Call and Book your appointment today:

(604) 619-4959
Much Love, BB411

Clear Skin With Leah!

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Unedited & Makeup Free in Natural Sunlight

I have been very fortunate with my skin over the years to not suffer from acne. Though on two different occasions I went through a really tough time with my skin. 1. When I was in high school I went to an aesthetician and they applied too strong of a treatment for my skin and I broke out bad (leading me to have to go to a dermatologist to get acne treatment) and 2. When I got my IUD in 2013 I went through a horrific 3-4 month period where my skin had lots of acne. Other than these two scenarios I have been lucky to have overall good skin.

I know and have talked to people that have or are suffering from acne. It can be debilitating, I remember the feeling of trying to cover up with makeup and being self-conscious that people were staring at me. It really weighs on your confidence. Recently I spoke with a friend that has acne so bad and she is so embarrassed about it that she has quit her job! My heart absolutely breaks for her.

This post is extra special for me…… I have been going to Essence Of L Medi Spa for over a year now and I have never had so many compliments on my skin. When people guess my age the guess 10-15 years younger! Honestly, between the many treatments I have tried one of my absolute favourites is Leah’s Acne Peel. While doing numerous fitness competitions and indulging on vices like rosè, my skin can get congested and this peel works wonders. I swear I look younger since starting my treatments. Also you don’t have to have acne to get this peel, it’s amazing for brightening too. And for those suffering from acne scars, Dermapen Skin Needling Treatments are AMAZING!

What I love most about Leah, other than the fact that she is the most knowledgable skin therapist I have ever seen, is that she suffered from 15 painful years of cystic acne herself so she knows the emotional investment all too well. Her compassion and love for her clients is hands down truly remarkable. I can’t tell you the number of compliments I get on a daily basis and my instant response is “You NEED to go see Leah, she’s the Best!”

I wanted to share an article that Leah wrote to hopefully help anyone out there suffering from acne better understand and offer a solution.

Why Adults Get Acne

Acne is a specific type of skin disorder that persists into adulthood in roughly half of all cases. Acne sufferers typically have oily skin that sheds multiple layers of skin cells per day, resulting in clogged pores that often erupt into different types of pimples. For most of us, we get to blame our family as it is an inherited tendency. While acne is treatable, it is important to understand the disorder in order to properly treat it.

Teenage acne is very different from the kind of acne that affects adults. As you grow older, your hormone levels stabilize and your skin cells age and mature. This tends to happen from the top down. One interesting side effect of this process is that acne moves down your face as you age.

Hormonal fluctuations increase oil secretions, which are produced inside the pore. Normally, this isn’t a problem however acne-prone skin sheds up to 5 times as many skin cells as normal skin. An increase in oil, which is a nutrient for bacteria to proliferate, it creates the perfect storm. A number of other factors can also contribute to a breakout including: birth control, pregnancy, medications, makeup, smoking, and stress.

When your pores are clogged by oil and dead skin, the plug will form a protected place for bacteria to grow. Many times, not much will happen inside your pores. This results in small whiteheads and blackheads without too much swelling.

As the pore begins to stretch, more oil and dead skin cells get caught under the plug, while bacteria inside the pore are allowed to multiply. If the pore gets too full and bursts, bacteria will spread to the surrounding cells. The result is a red bump of infected skin cells, called an inflammatory papule.

Your body tries its best to fight back when it notices an infection, and it will flood the area with white blood cells, creating pus. These pus-filled pimples are called pustules.

If a zit gets quite inflamed it can have other names. Nodules are zits that go very deep, while cysts are pimples that are more than 5mm across. Both of these outbreaks can be painful and tend to scar.

While acne is one of the more common types of skin concerns, there are a number of similar conditions that adults are also vulnerable to getting. Pyoderma facale is particularly common among women in their thirties and this breakout causes redness and pimples. Several fungal and bacterial infections manifest with acne-like symptoms, including folliculitis and staph. If your acne doesn’t get better with a normal treatment (or if it gets worse), consult a skin therapist to make sure you actually have acne and not a lookalike.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having a regular skin care routine can work wonders on all adult skin conditions. Moisturizing, exfoliating, using sunscreen, and keeping your stress levels low will reduce the chances of most kinds of outbreaks. When you do get breakouts, consider a visit to your favorite skin care provider. You will get professional help to assist in determining the exact cause of your pimples and you will get a chance to learn about all of the latest treatments, products and techniques.

Understanding the root cause of acne (dead skin and oil clogging pores) is vital to combat this skin disorder. Exfoliating helps prevent dead skin cells from accumulating, while antibacterial treatments can prevent clogged pores from becoming infected. By recognizing acne symptoms and taking appropriate action, you will be able to minimize outbreaks and keep your skin clear and healthy.

Call and Book your appointment today:

(604) 619-4959
Much Love, BB411

 

Taking Back My Power

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Be Your Own Superhero

I learned so much these past 3 months competing in Body Building Com, Optimum Nutrition #250kchallenge!

I am down 25 pounds and lost some major inches on my overall body. I learned what proper nutrition was/is and how to use it to fuel my body for the best workouts and incredible recovery. I learned even though I’m not a morning person I can crush a cardio session at the wee hours. I learned how to lift heavy weights and superset with a powerful force. I learned to control my breath and the importance of sleep. I learned my body is a temple capable of incredible strengths.

They say you can do better when you know better. So I’m taking my knowledge, researching and upping my game. I’ve got some big GOALS and am so excited to take BBcom’s next challenge #stillinit with Dymatize.

I’m starting to feel like Wonder Woman

My FOCUS for the next 9 weeks……

Build a Bigger Booty • Defined Arms • Abs/Abs/Abs • Carrie Underwood Legs 🙌🏻

Who’s in it with me?

 

With a grateful heart & much love,

Crystal

Finding Light In The Darkest Time

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Seeing Light Through The Darkness

This photo holds such significance for me, same bikini yet two completely different people. In the top photo I stand in front of the door looking completely broken and sad. It is that exact door that I had to close and lock after the assault. Every day when I would lock that door or realize I forgot to lock it I would have a terror come over me wondering if he was on the other side. Every noise I heard created so much fear living in what was suppose to be my home sweet home. To have someone come into your home and rip your security away from you and make up feel fearful for your life is heart wrenching.

When I look at that girl in those first photos I wish I could reach out to her, hug her and tell her that things were going to get better. To know I almost wasn’t here 6 months ago is still a process and hard to think about, but I’m working through the process and learning to let go.

I look at the girl in the bottom photos, standing in front of a bright see-through wall with light shining in and see someone that is determined, beautiful and confident. I feel I took my power back, that I now stand strong enough to let my voice be heard. When I eventually went to the police to report the assault, the officer said some women take 20 years to come forward – That broke my heart to know that a woman would carry this pain around with her for all those years.

Since posting my before and after photos, I have had an enormous outpour of love. I have had woman come forward and message me saying that my story has inspired them. That it has given them the courage to finally speak up or take action to change something in their lives. I have sat as women shared stories of being pushed around, badly beaten, hurt, violated, terrified and even fearing for their life. It is unimaginable to know what some women have gone through, some that live to tell their story and some that don’t.

No one should ever be made to feel unsafe and if by me sharing my story helps someone leave or through a bad situation, then everything I went through mattered. I hope if ever you feel in an unsafe situation that you reach out for help. And if you feel you have no one to talk to I am here as your support system always. I wish I had spoken up sooner but believe now I can be a voice for others to hopefully give them the courage they need. If you are or know someone that is in an abusive situation please call 911 or the National DV Hotline.

No one should ever make you feel anything less than beautiful.

So to the girl in the before photos from the girl in the after ones, I say hang in there. Know that this will not be an easy road but that you will come out stronger than you could have ever dreamed. That you will wake up with a new found love for life and that a community will be built because of everything you went through. People will have your back in ways you never imagined. That by being completely vulnerable and raw you will allow others to express that in themselves.

“Rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life”. – J.K. Rowling

Thank you  Body Building ComOptimum NutritionSam ShorkeyTheresa Jenn Lopetrone and Tobias Young for being bright lights at the end of the tunnel!

With a grateful heart and much love,

Crystal

 

 

How I Regained My Life Back!

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Transformation

You name the diet and trend and I’ve dabbled in it. I have been going to the gym for years off and on. Up until this past year I was pretty steady with keeping my weight under control. I have always been an emotional eater though so my weight has fluctuated here and there over the years.

But then 2016 happened where one single event forever changed my life. On February 29th, 2016 I was assaulted in my home and everything around me suddenly became unsafe. I spent the rest of 2016 in a downward spiral and making poor decisions because I did not know how to cope with what had happened. I did everything possible to just numb myself so I did not have to deal with the terror I was feeling inside. I had no idea what PTSD was and the effects that it would have on my life. In less than a year I gained 30 pounds (and I’m only 5ft.3) and started living a very unhealthy lifestyle. To the outside world I may have seemed fine (Instagram post were colourful), but I was spiralling out of control and headed down a dangerous road. I did not know how to ask for help. I hated myself and felt very ugly inside. There was a lot of shame, guilt, disgust and uncertainty.

Dealing with PTSD almost destroyed me, last September I tried to take my life and by the Grace of God I was saved. It was at that very moment that I knew I was given a second chance and had to make some big changes. For 2 months I prayed a lot for something to come into my life to help me get back on track. At the final deadline I saw @bodybuildingcom @optimumnutrition #250KChallenge and took it as a sign that this was going to be the pivot I needed to regain my life back.

In order to make this huge transformation, I needed to find something that challenged me to the extreme – that completely purified my life to really make a new start. That’s when I decided to do my 12 week transformation Vegan. I decided to hire my coach @samshorkey and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only was her plan amazing, but her style of training really took me to a whole new fitness level. I was doing cardio sessions like a beast, fuelling my body through nutrition and the recovery…… well all I can say is it was phenomenal.

For years I had people tell me that I could not build muscle on a plant based lifestyle, well I sure did prove them wrong…….. I have never in my life had more strength, power and muscle then I do today. Being Vegan does a body good! I am so proud of the transformation I accomplished on the outside, but what blows me away is the internal transformation on my mind and spirit.

Starting this competition I was completely broken, lost and not in a good place. Most of the people in my life didn’t really know the magnitude of my sadness and emptiness. What I learned in these last 12 weeks and the self love that I now have, well that is the biggest prize of it all. If you had told me 12 weeks ago how I would be feeling today, I don’t think I would have believed you.

The support from the community has been absolutely beautiful. I have had people (especially women) open up and share their struggles and thank me for being so vulnerable and honest. To know that I have made even the slightest impact in someones life for doing this challenge and sharing what I have gone through, that is something that I am forever grateful for. I am so thankful for this amazing community that I have become a part of through Body Building com. I plan to continue to share my story in hopes of helping others overcome their own personal struggles.

Sometimes you need others to help life you up and show you some light till you can stand strong on your own and believe you are so worth it. I plan to pay it forward and make it my life’s mission to help others at “Being Their Best Self”.

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Follow those that Inspired me each day at: Body Building Com, Optimum Nutrition, Sam Shorkey, Theresa Jenn Lopetrone and Tobias Young!

With a grateful heart and much love,

Crystal