Santa Monica Beach & Body Image

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.

serein wu santa monica beach

serein wu santa monica beach

serein wu santa monica beach pier

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?

xoxo

Serein

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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31 Comments

  1. Jackie
    April 11, 2016 / 6:33 pm

    Serein you look amazing! All that time going to the gym has really paid off! I watch your YouTube videos lol. Your body looks incredible!!! Seriously. It gives me motivation to start going as well. I always say I’ll go tomorrow morning, but in the morning the last thing I wanna do is get up and work out lol. I just wanna say that I really enjoy your YouTube channel. The content you put up is really great and I can tell you put so much thought into your reviews. I also just started my own blog. It is still a work in progress, but I am really excited for the journey of blogging. These photos look so nice and such good quality.

    If you want to check out my blog its
    http://www.endlesslyblossoming.com

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      April 12, 2016 / 1:12 am

      Hi Jackie-
      Thank you so much for watching my videos and coming here on my blog. I defiantly have to kick myself to workout most days, but it’s all about scheduling and rewarding myself too. I know if I reach my goal of 3 days a week I won’t feel as bad when I eat that bag of chips :-p Of course I’ll check out your blog. Thank you for sharing.
      xoxo

  2. Carrie
    April 7, 2016 / 12:32 pm

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  3. April 7, 2016 / 11:09 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. I think it is so empowering to be honest and open, you never know how many people you can help. I am glad you are making steps that make you happy and a career that will make you happy. It makes a world of a difference. Loving this look. Thanks for sharing. Xo, Ellese

    Rock.Paper.Glam.

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      April 7, 2016 / 3:42 pm

      Thank you so much Ellese for reading and commenting. I think it’s important to be real, blogging and social media can really make us feel bad about ourselves sometimes, but we all have struggles and insecurities.

  4. April 6, 2016 / 3:21 pm

    First off I adore these photos! You look so stunning. I loved hearing your story and your attitude about it. I have always been a non-dieter. I just try to eat healthy and as balanced as possible, which means I get chocolate cake every once in awhile. Keep on going sweet girl! You look amazing. xo

    Kelsey | http://www.abalancingpeach.com

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      April 6, 2016 / 4:10 pm

      Thank you so much Kelsey for taking the time to read! Yes, have the chocolate cake! I mean life is not worth living if we take everything too seriously. Thank you!

  5. April 6, 2016 / 8:05 am

    Thanks for sharing this post on body image. It is very important to we love and accept ourselves and sounds like you’re on the right track. No one is perfect but being healthy makes all the difference.!
    On another note, Love the photos and you look great! Can I have those jeans, they look fantastic on you.

    http://facetocurls.com/

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      April 6, 2016 / 4:11 pm

      Thank you so much Nat!

  6. April 6, 2016 / 4:41 am

    Love the lifestyle photography!

    Great post :))

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      April 6, 2016 / 4:12 pm

      Thank you, I have a pretty amazing photographer and editor.

  7. April 6, 2016 / 3:13 am

    You honestly look so amazing in the photos hun! I have BDD and have a awful look of myself, I’m always picking holes in everything. It’s worse now becoming a blogger, seeing everyone looking amazing on Instagram and how they always work out and eat so well makes me feel like crap. I just try and stay away from it as much as I can. I hope you start feeling better soon because you do look amazing!
    Fix Me In Forty Five – A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
    Blog Lovin’ // Instagram
    xx

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      April 6, 2016 / 4:13 pm

      Hi Stacey-
      I am so sorry to hear about your BDD. Blogging can defiantly make you feel less than, but please remember they are only choosing what you see. I only post the best photos out of 100s taken on my blog. I also have a professional photographer. Remember to do what makes you happy and that everything is just a perception on social media. I am sending you lots of love!

  8. April 6, 2016 / 1:43 am

    Serein you look HOT !! Rocking that bikini top girl 🙂 and love the ripped jeans.

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      April 6, 2016 / 4:14 pm

      aw thank you so much Kat!

  9. April 6, 2016 / 1:07 am

    I like your blog, its really dope.
    Do you want to follow each other?
    If you want, than follow me, and let me know in comments, so I can follow you back with pleasure.

    We can follow each other on Instagram @andjela.dujovic, let me know in the comments so I can follow you back.

    http://www.bekleveer.com
    xoxo

  10. April 5, 2016 / 4:01 pm

    Love that ripped jean! Xo, Sophia

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      April 5, 2016 / 6:00 pm

      Thank you! My current go to 🙂

  11. April 5, 2016 / 8:32 am

    First of all, these photos are stunning!! Second, your story is so similar to mine! I am a little different because I was always overweight as a child/teen, but in my 20s I was trying to pursue acting and I because obsessed with working out and dieting. Since I was so frustrated with acting (mostly with the auditioning part) I started doing stand-up comedy. It was a way to control my career because you can find a stage any night of the week. The problem is that in comedy everyone is depressed (ironic, I know) and most lead very unhealthy lifestyles. My depression and anxiety got worse, and since I found myself getting more respect (as much as a female comedian can get) at a heavier weight, I just let my health suffer. I finally decided I needed to take control of my life again. I semi-retired from being a struggling comedian, and I discovered blogging and YouTube. I am trying to live in a more positive space and I’m trying to get healthy for my wedding this year and for my future. Thank you so much for sharing your story! <3
    Kisses,
    Sarah
    EverydayStarlet

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      April 5, 2016 / 6:02 pm

      Sarah! I completely feel where you are coming from. It’s horrible what entertainment can do to a person’s mindset! The frustration thing is that we all wanted to get into it because we love performing or the aspect of creating. Health is so important and I know you will reach your goals. Getting married really helped balance me in many ways. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your story.

  12. April 5, 2016 / 5:16 am

    First of all, you look incredible Serein! I can totally relate to your body image issues. As a teen, my eating was really disordered, I could go days without eating and refused to eat in front of people. I also suffered from depression and honestly I never thought that I’d live to see the day when I’m as happy and content as I am today. What made biggest difference for me, is when I focused on being strong and fit, rather than being slim. It’s definitely all about keeping a balance and finding passion in life. Thank you so much for sharing this post, loved reading it!

    Paula
    Thirteen Thoughts

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      April 5, 2016 / 6:04 pm

      Thank you so much Paula for sharing and for commenting! It’s a struggle to not compare myself to my former self, but I want to be healthy and strong, so that is my current goal. I agree with you balance is everything. Thank you!

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