Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend, are refreshed, and ready to start the week. I wanted to share a few photos from a recent trip to Santa Monica Beach. While we only live 30 minutes from the beach, it seems rare for us to make a trip to the beach, to sit by the water and put our toes in the sand. This life guard tower has been something I wanted to sit at for awhile. I know this sounds silly, but I drive past it almost every week and it is always closed. This tower is located right off PCH and is a rare secluded part of Santa Monica Beach. You can find parking easily and walk to the water within a few steps. Hubs loves the beach and is forever wanting me to go with him. As much as I joke about not wanting to be in the sun as an excuse, I don’t think he realizes how hard it is to carve out time to just do nothing these days. Between both of our busy schedules, we rarely have time to catch up on our DVR. This photo was taken because we were actually shooting for something else in the area and I told him we had to stop by my lifeguard tower, so we did, and these were the photos from our all too brief visit to Santa Monica Beach.
I wanted to also update you about my journey to get healthy and fit. Many of you already know about my body image issues, if not, you can catch up by watching my Body Image Video here. All my life I have been incredibly active. I never thought about exercise or diet. Because, I started dance at age six, I was always strong and fit. I had boobs and thighs, but I had endurance and muscles. After my dance days, I maintained my active lifestyle because of acting. Part of it was my job, the other part was to keep myself sane. Between auditions, classes, and part-time jobs, I worked out 5-6 times a week, sometimes twice a day. I tend to have an addictive personality and I like to eat, so I would work out a lot to channel the energy and be able to eat what I wanted. In my late 20’s I became obsessed with nutrition and only ate whole, organic foods for 2 years, this was around the time of our wedding and I became the thinest I ever was.
Then came a career change. I was burned out as an actor, the constant struggles did not help with my depression or anxiety. Many of you know I struggle with depression, but this was the worst it had ever been. As much as I love acting, I rarely was able to do it. Most of an average actors career is auditioning, nothing like actually being on set. During this time I discovered YouTube and became obsessed with the beauty community. I had started a blog during our engagement as an outlet, but YouTube was something new and I was immediately taken by it. The community was what drew me to YouTube. Out of sheer need to take action, I uploaded a video with no idea what I was doing. I used my laptop and a lamp. Let’s say the quality was pretty awful and I was rambling on for 20 minutes over nothing. I also did not know how to edit or use a camera. My obsessive tendencies became focused on YouTube. Watching, learning, creating. I was surprised that people were watching my videos and commenting. I had a whole 24 subscribers that watched every video I uploaded. It felt like I had people to talk to, even if it was just about makeup, it helped me feel alive again. One thing led to another and I started to focus more time and energy on building my channel. As my YouTube took off, I had less interest in chasing acting jobs. Auditions became an annoyance taking me away from creating videos.
Finally, in 2015 I quit acting officially. Well sort of, I booked a job without auditioning through a casting office that I knew. So with the exception of one job, I had quit. I felt a weight was lifted off my shoulders, but was horrified to realize I had gained 30 lbs. in the past 2 years. My last doctors visit was a wake up call. It wasn’t just that my clothes didn’t fit anymore, it was that I was out of breath walking up hill and tiered all the time. A lot of my weight gain is due to spending my days focused on filming, editing, and not eating enough. I have an obsessive personality. My obsession was YouTube and creating content. With acting, I could only obsess over the aspect I could control, like my physic and training. While I was the happiest I’d been in a long time, my metabolism had shut down and I completely stopped working out. I felt gross and unhealthy. So, for about a year now I have tried to make small step on getting my health back on track. There has been a lot of false starts. I fell off the wagon a lot. Time is an issue, but I want to live a long life where I can keep up with my kids, go on hikes, and enjoy life with my family. It’s been an on again off again struggle, but I think I’m starting to find my stride. A huge catalyst to the recent consistency has been from this community. A few weeks ago I posted a before and half way progress photo on my Instagram. Not sure what made me do it, I have never been so afraid to post a photo before, but I did it anyway. The positive response was unexpected and overwhelming. When I posted the photos, I couldn’t see the difference, I felt bad about the little progress I made, but this community made me see the positives and the changes. It has pushed me to keep going. It’s all about balance. I don’t diet, I eat what I want, sometimes too much, but life is short and I say “have the chocolate cake!” My body is not perfect, but I’ve put it through the wringer and I am trying to love who I am now as I continue to become the best and healthiest version of myself.
Do you struggle with body image? What has been your biggest challenge?
What I’m Wearing
Sweater- Roxy $54.50
Bikini Top- Mink Pink $49 (similar linked)
Jeans- Joes $198
Shoes- Kenneth Cole $140
Sunglasses- Perverse Sunglasses $40
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