Tag Archive | weight loss

Why I Won’t Be Losing Weight For My Wedding

I could go on and on and on and on and on about female body issues. I could probably go on about male body issues as well. I haven’t really tried; but I’m sure I could. Today I’ll try not to go on too much, but ever since I got engaged there’s something I’ve been meaning to say. I won’t be losing my weight for my wedding. For several reasons.

There’s this strange expectation when you get engaged that you’ll want to get fit, lose weight, tone up, look perfect. I’m not going to bash the idea. I understand it. It’s a significant day. One in which dozens of people will all be looking at you, sizing you up whether they mean to or not; and one in which you’ve spent dollars, lots of dollars (probably thousands) to have your picture taken. You likely want to look your best. It doesn’t surprise me that getting fit and looking great become a priority to engaged ladies. What saddens me is that it often seems to become priority #1, and that our culture is obsessed with it.

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To each his own. I’m not here to judge anyone. If getting married is a catalyst for someone to get healthy, who am I to condemn that? My instinct is to criticize that we seem to equate thinness with worth in our society, and no where is that more apparent than the pressure put on a bride. But perhaps I’m projecting. Let me remove myself from the position of casting judgement and turn the focus inward. I’m only here to talk about my own experience, and if anyone out there can relate perhaps we’ll start to open our minds a bit about what it means to be a beautiful bride.

My entire life I’ve been in a perpetual state of trying to lose weight. Truly, for as long as I can remember. I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting when I was 12. I was a chubby kid. I got teased. It sucked. Make no mistake about the power of bullies on a sensitive young heart. I wish I had the magic elixir to protect my future children from the nonsense of bullies, but knowing that I don’t have it just as my own mother didn’t have it no matter how much she tried, keeps me up at night. Children can be cruel, and I let myself be a victim. I grew up throughout my teenage years always wanting to lose weight. Always. All. Ways. I begged my mom to let me do three-day crash diets that consisted of canned beets and plain hot dogs, cabbage soup diets, grapefruit juice fasts, the master cleanse, Atkins. All of it, I did it. And I lost weight a lot of the time. I fluctuated between being in a state of weight loss which made me feel FANTASTIC, and being in a state of weight gain which made me feel utterly worthless as a human being. I was addicted to dieting. A weight loss junkie. The highs were so high, the lows so low. But man, those highs. It’s a dangerous state. That being the pattern I allowed myself to grow up in, I began to equate happiness with weight loss.

I had these flights of fancy about what would force me to “finally lose the weight” in a once and for all kind of way, as if it wasn’t me in control, but an external force that could finally put the nail in the chubby coffin. I had some dream of a weight loss fairy Godmother in the form of these motivating life benchmarks. I thought going away to college would do it (apparently I’d never heard of the freshmen 15). Then I thought going off to London would do it (all those cute Brits. I had to be ready). Then I thought graduating from college would do the trick, or moving to L.A. After all, I couldn’t in any way participate in Los Angeles looking like “this.”

With all of those benchmarks come and gone, some hit, some missed, I thought there was one down the road that would be a surefire win. One moment in time that would surely be the catalyst for my final victory over the fat. That moment would be when I got engaged.

That would do the trick right? There’s no way I would allow myself to walk down the aisle looking chubs. And besides, it’s what women do, right? Then a funny thing happened.

I got engaged.

And I felt no desire to lose weight. It didn’t even cross my mind. In other significant moments throughout my life such as getting into college, getting asked to prom, getting cast in a TV show, the absolute first thing that entered my mind when these things happened was “I have to lose weight.” So believe me when I say that I was the most shocked of all when Brad put the ring on my finger and the first thing we did was go eat a lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and salad covered in delicious ranch dressing, capped off with chocolate gelato.

So let me take a step back, because the truth is the weight monsters began to drift away a lot earlier. Namely, the moment I fell in love with Brad. That’s not meant to sound sappy because I’m actually a bit critical of myself for it. I’m disappointed in myself that it took the opinion of a male in my life to finally shift my thinking. But that’s the way it went down. Brad fell in love with me, all of me, especially me, with no condition that I lose weight. He didn’t say “oh yeah, I totally love you, but we’ll only really be together once you lose 20 pounds.” See, that’s what I told myself. “I’ll only get a boyfriend when I lose 20 pounds.” So if I recited that to myself then of course I believed it was the steadfast condition upon which I would find a mate. Then along comes Brad and the condition evaporates. It’s not because he loves me that I learned to love myself. It’s more like his love was a wake up call. I finally opened my damn eyes and got over the idea of only loving myself -20 pounds.

And then of course there’s running. Magical, beautiful, blissful running. I attribute a huge portion of my current happiness to my running habit. My feet make me grateful for my calves, and my calves for my knees, and my knees for my spine, and my butt, and my arms, and my lungs, and my eyes. I love running, and I need all of those things to run, therefore I love all of those things. The best thing I could have ever done for my body and self-esteem was to take the first step onto the running track.

So fast forward again to the engagement. Our relationship is built upon the foundation that we love each other as is. Warts and all. Or weight and all, in my case. If Brad’s nose fell off, or he grew a third arm, or his skin turned green, I would still love him. Those things would be weird, but I would love him. So now that we’re planning our wedding the condition, the code that I’ve always lived by which dictates that I must lose weight before accomplishing anything, that code is gone. It feels false, not to mention regressive, to reinstate it just because that’s what brides seem to do.

I’m happy, truly happy, with exactly the way I look right now. And it’s not the same as the volatile roller-coaster of happiness I was on before when my weight would go up and down and up. That happiness was dependent upon something external. This happiness comes from within. Yes I could stand to lose a few pounds to make my doctor happy, but that will come in time. After all I’m about to begin training for a marathon. Something is going to be lost. It might be my weight, it might be my dignity. Time will tell. For now I’m stable. For the first time in my entire life, my self-esteem is stable. I don’t get nervous to look in the mirror, not knowing if I will respond with adoration or disgust. I love every inch of my body and not because it’s thin, but because it keeps me healthy. It’s an absolute miracle, the only one of it’s kind.

Would I like to look the absolute ideal version of myself on my wedding day? Sure. Of course. But I’m not sweatin’ it. I know how my brain works. If I lost weight for my wedding day I would obsess over it. It would consume every thought from here until July 21st. It would make our day about how I look. I don’t want my wedding day to be about how I look. I want it to be about how I feel. And how Brad feels. And right now, I’m in love. Brad loves me just as I am. More importantly, I love me just as I am. I’m a bride. A bride takes a leap of faith in the name of goodness. A bride places the importance of another person’s life right alongside hers. A bride makes a declaration that love conquers, fear falters, and fidelity reigns. A bride (and groom) in love truly is the most ideal version of herself, and that ideal has nothing to do with size.

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Plus! There’s sound equipment that needs renting, and paper flowers that need making, and rehearsal dinner that needs planning, and ceremony readings that need picking, and hair that needs highlighting, and a mini-moon that needs booking, and gifts that need buying, and, And, AND! Yeah. I’ve got enough on my plate to not have to worry about what I’m eating off my plate.

Until next time.

Love,

Becky

 

 

 

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the return of supergirl

This year, for the first time in a long time I’m doing things for myself as opposed to things I feel obligated to do. I prioritize based on what will fuel my hopes and dreams, not what will help other people’s hopes and dreams. That may all sound very selfish. It is. I happen to think there is great virtue in selfishness and no, I do not worship Ayn Rand. I did, however, read The Fountainhead about 8 years ago and it forever changed my outlook on life and all its aspirations.

 

I won’t completely summarize the novel here. Just go out and read it. I will say what I took from it. That in realizing our own potential we give more to society than if we spend our days wasting our best talents in the name of altruism. Of course it’s important to help people. Of course it’s important to be kind, compassionate, and giving. Of course. But if we spend ALL of our time in life giving to others and save no time to focus on ourselves, then we have wasted our God-given talents and that does a much greater disservice to the world, I believe. Think of your heroes. Be they athletes, scientists, artists,  politicians, poets. They are your heroes because they have mastered something. Something that lived within them as potential but they spent their entire lives honing and perfecting. In doing so they have inspired you to hopefully do the same for yourself. That chain of inspiration continues the more we focus on what we love.  

Last night Brad and I were watching The Dark Knight to prep for our upcoming venture to see The Dark Knight Rises this weekend. During the credits I noticed the copyright date said 2008. I was stunned. I said to Brad “That’s impossible! This movie did not come out in 2008. That was 4 years ago!” And he replied “You saw the credits. It came out 4 years ago.”

“Oh my God. What happened to the last 4 years of my life. I feel like someone transplanted me from 2008 to now and I have no memory of the last 4 years. Like someone stole them from me. What happened?”

“Well, two of those years were on the AMC. That’s what happened.”

He was right. Let me preface by saying that I do not regret those two years I decided to give to my theatre company. I regret how frustrated I was. I regret how little I was able to change while on the AMC. I regret that I did not do a better job. I have these regrets because running a theatre company is not actually my God-given talent. It’s not my passion. I spent two years doing it because I love my theatre company and I felt like I should take my turn. I personally believe we should get someone to run Theatre of NOTE who actually IS passionate about all of the nuts and bolts of running a theatre company and only then will NOTE realize its own potential, which is enormous. But that’s a whole different discussion. My outcome on the AMC was lackluster compared to my standards for what that incredible company of artists deserves. I don’t regret doing it. I regret not doing it well. This is what happens when we spend our lives doing things we don’t really want to do. We are filled with regret. Life is too short to let regret get in the way of our passion. We must follow our bliss.

This year that changed. My tenure on the AMC came to a close. I have taken a leave of absence from my theatre company to focus on myself. The results are coming in, and they are positive. Brad and I have made up some huge mileage on the road to Tahiti. (We got so behind last year). I had perhaps the most rewarding creative experience ever working on The Crucible with my good friend Bill Voorhees. I fell in love with acting all over again the moment I met Mary Warren. I’m training harder and faster for the Disneyland Half Marathon and am on my way to a new PR. I joined SAG-AFTRA and can count myself a proud union member. I opened my own Etsy shop and have a new creative outlet for when I don’t get to act. The shop is soaring. I’m so honored to receive so many messages from strangers all around the world who are so excited to wear my hair Whimsy Dos in their weddings, holidays, or vacations. My creations have touched people from Brazil to Jordan to Australia to Canada. I’m honored. I believe the things I am doing are sending positive vibrations out into the universe. I’m more optimistic than ever. I’m kinder. More confident. More proud of my fellow artists. More supportive. And just plain happier. All this because I decided to focus on me for a change.

There is one last piece to this puzzle. Physical fitness. I’m on my way to becoming the best version of myself artistically, emotionally, and creatively. I’m still far from it physically. I had a meeting with a genetic counselor a few weeks ago because breast cancer runs heavily in my family. One of the leading risk factors in developing the disease is being overweight. I won’t have that. I want to live as long as possible. I want to suck the marrow out of this life and I need to give myself the best shot possible. That means being in the best physical condition possible. I want to put myself at low risk for disease. I want to run fast. I want to look good in a bikini! I want to fit in my clothes. I want to go to the doctor and have her tell me “yep, you’re pretty much fit as a fiddle” instead of “you’re really healthy, except you could stand to lose a little weight.” I want to be the healthiest version of myself and inspire healthy eating to as many people as possible. So today, in keeping with the superhero theme, today is called “The Return of Supergirl.”

Last year I embarked upon a healthy eating initiative about a week before the half marathon. For those 8 days I had so much energy, and I lost a couple of pounds. The race came and went, as did the healthy eating initiative. Today is the sequel, and it’s here to stay. Read here to learn about the genesis of the supergirl diet. It’s nothing revolutionary. Just healthy, clean, common-sense eating. Little to no sugar, zero alcohol until race day, no processed foods, lots of fruit and veggies. Today I’m making a promise to do this for myself. Everything else that I’ve started to do for myself this year has been rather successful. This will be too. I’m not doing this for an agent, or Hollywood, or my family, or my doctor, or my readers. I’m not proving anything to anyone except me. Alright Supergirl, take flight.

if you want to go faster, you have to speed up

Sounds obvious doesn’t it? Somehow it isn’t. Somehow I carry on with these lofty ideas that I’ll cut my time by 15 minutes this year, judging by my progress, by sheer will alone. The truth is if I want to excel I have to fracking speed up! This translates into all areas of my life. I tell myself I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to get my reel done, I’m going to get representation, I’m going to have a career. What I repeatedly overlook is that you have to actually do the work it takes to get those things. Willing them will not make them so. Maybe it’s enough for some people but I can tell that I’m just not that lucky. I have to do the work. I’m going to use the opportunity to run faster at this year’s Disneyland Half Marathon as an opportunity to kick my butt into high gear, and put my money where my mouth is, in ALL areas of my life. First, time to speed up.

I owe this minor revelation partly to myself, and partly to my friend Chris who I ran with this morning. We ran 4 miles and he is naturally quite a bit faster than me so it was a great challenge. Forced me to pick up the pace. When we were done I was telling him my plans to cut down my half marathon time by 15 minutes this year. He quickly replied “and how many weeks do you have?”

“9 weeks,” I told him.

“You better start speeding up.”

“I have time,” I reassured myself him. Then it dawned on me, he’s totally right. I BETTER start speeding up. I always tell myself that I have time but then I fall into my comfort zone and enjoy my leisurely 11 minute mile. True progress involves being in a constant state of slight discomfort. I’m far too comfortable. I’m going to wake up tomorrow and it’s going to be September 1st and time will have run out. I can’t just wish for progress to happen, I have to run faster. Again, sounds obvious, but this was an aha moment.

He then proceeded to break it down for me in mathematical terms. Essentially I’m going to focus one short run a week on cutting my time by at least 5 – 10 minutes. If I can do that then slowly but surely as my runs get longer it should even out and I will cut significant time off my total half marathon. I have to do this.

The other factor that’s really going to start speeding things up is the loss of the weight. I had an aha moment regarding this yesterday as well. Brad was showing me his brand new scuba diving weights he’d just bought. They are two pounds each. He threw one my way and as I caught it, my whole arm fell to the floor with the weight of the catch. I was amazed at how heavy two measly little pounds felt. The lightbulb went off. Holy crap. If I ran with this thing in my pocket, I would definitely notice it. I would definitely slow down. The truth is, I AM running with those weights only they’re not in my pocket. They’re on my ass, and my arms, and my thighs. I realized in that moment that if I lost just two pounds off my frame it would make a significant difference. Imagine how 10 pounds would change my speeed! 15! This must happen. This is a key component to speeding up. I can’t run with excess scuba weights in my pockets.

gross! don’t you love the pink flower they’ve added to improve the image?

The thing is… I have a need… a need for speed 🙂 I want to be fast like lightning. I want to feel the wind whip through my hair. I want the world around me to feel like a blur. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but I want to finish fast. More than anything though, I want to get out of this horrible habit of wishing for things and not making them come true. It’s not enough to wish. It’s enough to wish AND act. Time to take action.

Plus, you never know when you’re going to be chased by enemy flying saucers through the jungle. When that happens, I want to run like this kid. Talk about running inspiration.

why yoga doesn’t suck

Two weeks into P90X and I’m really feeling fantastic. I’ve only lost 1 lb. but that’s ok. I feel stronger and I feel more confident. I haven’t been as strict as I should be with the dietary changes but I’ve tried to at least shift my thinking toward eating to live and not living to eat. It’s difficult. I love food. I love yummy fattening food. But the interesting thing is that in working out this much my body has quickly stopped craving crap. Doing something good for my health is starting to spill over into my cravings as well. Gives credence to the phrase, you are what you eat. If you sit on the couch and watch TV all day, your body will follow suit and desire potato chips and ice cream. If you get off your tush and do 6 days of P90X a week, your body will desire/need/crave healthy fuel to keep it going. It’s remarkable. I have been jonesing for lots of protein, whole grains, fruit, and LOTS of veggies. I can feel my body asking for those things. My brain however is always late to the game and is still a little bit stuck in junk food habit world. I can feel my body yearning for fresh vegetables, but still my hand reaches for Ben & Jerry’s. I have found myself eating junk food, looking at it and thinking “I don’t even want this! Why am I eating it?” I don’t think I have the answer to that questions except to say that food like that has been more about an emotional habit rather than nourishment. Bad habits die hard. Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight, here’s what I have to say to you, it’s so f*#$^*ing hard!! SO hard. I feel your pain and I’m right there with you. The journey continues. But I didn’t come here today to write about food. I came to write about…

Yoga. You’ve heard me say it before. I don’t like it. I guess I should say, I didn’t like it. I never thought I would ever like yoga. For whatever reason I found that it made me more anxious rather than less. Not the desired affect. Yoga is part of the P90X regimen and I made a decision before I even began the program that I would not like that workout day. Yesterday I learned a very important lesson about the dangers of making preconceived judgments. The lesson is, don’t.

Yoga X is hard, really hard. Maybe not to a yoga afficianado, but I really have nothing to base it on since I haven’t gone to a yoga class in years. Perhaps to all my yoga teacher friends out there it would be a walk in the park. To me, it’s incredibly challenging. The first week of P90X is challenging in its entirety. Yoga rolls around by day 4. By then, I had already pulled a muscle in my stomach. Try doing a chaturanga with a strained abdominal muscle. I hated it. On top of the pain and discomfort, Yoga X was 90 minutes long. To me it was 90 minutes of torture and I made the decision that I would always dread this workout.

Fast forward to yesterday. Day 4 of week 2. Yoga day. I went through my entire day at work dreading going home to do Yoga. I just kept thinking: 90 minutes of torture. 90 minutes of pain and me feeling disgruntled. 90 minutes is forever. I got home and figured I would just get it over with as soon as possible. I quickly put on my workout clothes and got out my mat. 90 minutes. Ugh. Then I stopped. I paused for a moment and realized that I wasn’t doing myself any favors by building up this 90 minute workout as an eternity in my head. It was all relative. 90 minutes at Disneyland goes by like 30 seconds. Why did this have to feel like forever? I let myself be still for a moment and allowed yoga as a meditative and spiritual practice have an affect on me. After all, what is 90 minutes? In the scope of my day, 90 minutes is a small slice. In the scope of my life, it’s a tiny blib. In the scope of the universe, it’s practically non-existent. On a cosmic level this 90 minutes was both meaningless and precious. Meaningless in that it was a practically immeasurable amount of time in the span of the universe. Precious in that within such a tiny time frame I had the opportunity to breathe and meditate and learn something that may change my life forever. Every moment is like that isn’t it? Within every moment we have the power to change the world, and yet those moments are so tiny. Incalculable power within immeasurable blips of time. Isn’t that what makes humans incredible? We are smaller than the dust on the back of an ant, and yet we have within us the ability to comprehend the wonder of the universe. It’s a miracle. In my jump to decide that I would forever hate 90 minutes a week of yoga, I hadn’t realized that I was flushing away 90 minutes of precious time. Time that I could never ever get back. Time to strengthen. Time to breathe. Time to center. I had this revelation in a fleeting instant and it immediately opened my eyes. Before I pressed play I decided that I wouldn’t all of a sudden decide that I was going to love yoga, but I wouldn’t let my negative experiences of it in the past shape my present. I began with an open and inquisitive mind.

I loved every minute of it. I found a part of myself that I had not previously been acquainted with. I felt strong. I felt calm. I felt peace. I won’t say that 90 minutes flew by, but neither did it drag on. It had no meaning. It did not mean an eternity. It did not mean a quick flash of time. It was a series of moments that I savored. I learned a very important lesson about presence in that time.

It was still hard. Incredibly hard. I was grateful for the physical challenge as it forced me to focus and not get caught up in what just happened or what would come next. I have often said that I didn’t like yoga because it didn’t get my blood pumping. I love to run. I love kickboxing. I love these things because they are high impact and incredibly aerobic. I like to feel the sweat come out of my pores and the blood pump through my veins. These things keep me from getting distracted. They keep me from thinking about anything else other than breathing and form and one foot in front of the other. In this sense running has always been very therapeutic and meditative for me. Perhaps the yoga classes I’d previously encountered were not challenging enough. Perhaps I didn’t challenge myself enough. Perhaps I made too many snap judgments. I’m not sure. I do know that yesterday all that changed. I discovered the physical challenges and benefits of a strong yoga routine, and more importantly I think, I discovered the power of savoring each moment as a precious gift. Every moment that passes is a death. A death of time that you will never get back. What you choose to do with your moments of time is a series of life or death decisions. A series of gifts.

I’m definitely looking forward to yoga next week. It does, after all, not suck. 

P90X – let the torture begin

Well hello there! It’s been awhile hasn’t it? Hope you didn’t miss me tooooo much. I’ve had a lot going on in the past couple of months and I have many exciting new things that I’d like to share with you. First things first though. To get back on track, let’s talk fitness. 

We’ve been doing “okay” with our running schedule. I say that in quotes because we’ve actually been doing terribly with our running schedule, BUT, not completely in vain. As I mentioned in a previous post, I want to shave some serious time off of my Disneyland Half Marathon pace this year. The past two years have been great; but we’re gearing up for year 3 and it’s time to kick it up a notch! I need to progress to the next level of runner-dom. I’d like to run as close to, if not under a 10-minute mile for the majority of the race. I believe I can do it, and I know what stands in my way. All I have to do is create a plan of action to remove the obstacles from my path.

#1, Weight. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (except this time I’ll try and listen to myself), excess weight is really the number one factor that will slow you down. Muscle is one thing. Yes it weighs more so what I’m saying may sound counter intuitive, but muscle does something for you. Muscle helps move your blood around, gets oxygen to your lungs and propels you forward. Muscle is important and necessary, but it won’t matter a lick if you’re covering it up with dead weight in the form of fat. Fat is a dreaded enemy. It’s just like running with sandbags around your waist. Or with two small children holding onto your ankles.  Or carrying bricks in your pockets. Whatever visual works for you. It’s no good for a runner. So, in creating a plan to get to a 10-minute mile for the Half Marathon in September, I must include weight loss at the top of the priority list.

#2, muscle. A lean body is important for speed, but as I mentioned above, so is muscle. Running uses pretty much ALL of the muscles in your body in one way or another but it doesn’t necessarily build those muscles for you. Sure, it does to a point, but not to an optimal point. For example, a strong core is so crucial to strong running. It keeps your form tight, keeps you balanced, regulates your breath, alleviates pressure on your back. I could go on. However, running itself is not going to give you the strongest core possible. I’ve been running for years and I have a somewhat smallish waist, but I do NOT have a strong core. I used to. When I was doing Pilates religiously. I’ve never built a super strong core JUST from running. That’s just one example. The same could be said for your arms, legs and back muscles. For the past three years, running has pretty much been the sum total of my workout regimen. That’s all well and good, and I have excellent aerobic capacity because of it, but my body has plateaued. I’m not building up any new muscle by running, and it’s muscle I’m going to need if I want to speed up. So there we have #2 on the action plan. Build muscle.

Those are the two priorities right now. If I can drop some pounds and build some lean muscle, I know that I can get down to 10 minutes and under on race day. Now how do I do it? Lose weight, build muscle. Well, what can I say. There is one major zeitgeist in the fitness world right now that is pretty sure to do the trick. I’m finally jumping on the bandwagon, and taking on P90X.

I’m always late to these sorts of things. I hear about the latest fitness fad and I figure it’s just that, a fad. Everyone gets excited about it and in a couple of years something new comes along. Blah blah blah. That may be the case, and P90X will certainly lose fashion and join the ranks of outdated fitness crazes with Tae Bo and Jazzercise, but for now, I’m in. My friend Ryan did the program and sent me before and after pictures. I was so frickin’ AMAZED at what I saw, that I was sold. I think crazes are probably crazes for a reason. They work.

So that’s what’s happening on the road to Tahiti! I know that’s it’s going to be impossible to continue a 6 day a week running schedule AND stick to the P90X program. I’m not going to set myself up for failure in trying to accomplish that. I’m still going to run though. For. Sure. I can tell there are certain P90X days that are going to be easy enough on my body that I’ll still be able to do 3 mile runs. Shoulders & Arms for example. Totally. It was a tough workout on my arms but I could still run. Plyometrics on the other hand? No chance in hell. That one knocked me on my back for the entire day. Holy guacamole that was hard awesome!

I started the program last week while I was up visiting my Mom and I just have to share a funny story. I certainly got off to a hilarious start. Not sure if that’s what Tony Horton had in mind, but what can I say, my mom and I always end up laughing together. So here’s what happened. I can’t do pull ups… yet. They tell you to never say never in P90X but for now, ain’t no way. So instead I’m supposed to anchor my resistance band in a door jam; but my mom’s living room is this big open space and there were no door jams nearby. So instead, I had my mom hold on to one end of my resistance band while I did my workout. Let’s just say, I think she got a workout too. It was hilarious! Maybe you had to be there, but just look at the expression on my mom’s face!

hey, it worked

There was almost as much laughing in the first workout as there was me cursing and screaming in agony. Good pain though, good pain. I’ll tell you who’s having the last laugh…

curse you Tony Horton and your bazillion death push-ups!

So, in a nutshell, if you are looking ahead towards the Disneyland Half Marathon (or any upcoming race) and want to shave some time off your pace, consider jumping on the P90X bandwagon. It’s going to be hard work. That became very clear within 15 minutes. (I won’t even go into my arch enemy, Ab Ripper X, in this post).  But I know the payoff will be so sweet!

thoughts on the weight game

Since I was 13 years old my New Year’s resolution has been to lose weight. Sad, I know. Such is the plight of the insecure female. Granted, I have lost weight and gained weight and lost again over the years but never because of my New Year’s resolution. It kind of discredits the whole resolution concept doesn’t it? Yeah, for me too. For the past couple of years I just stopped making one. On midnight of December 31st of every year I would kind of mutter to myself in a wishy-washy way “yeah, I’ll lose weight this year, yeah I’ll eat healthy, yeah I’ll stick with it.” Wow, sounds so convincing, right? One of my all-time favorite quotes is a super famous one by Goethe. Brad introduced me to this quote when we first started dating and it’s one of the reasons I knew he was a keeper. Actually what happened is it the quote was framed, hanging on his bathroom wall. Kind of a strange thing to read as you’re going to the bathroom, but inspiring nonetheless:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

“Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” I mean, come on, who writes this stuff? It’s amazing. I have never been fully committed to weight loss and that is the reason I have never achieved it to a satisfying degree. However, I have a pretty good reason for never committing. It’s not an excuse, but it’s a reason.

I hate that women are plagued by the pressure to lose weight. It’s as simple as that. I hate it. Here’s the part where you say “Oh dear, here we go, another journal entry about the unjustness of being a woman. Woe is me. Oh the humanity. Real women have curves.” Blah blah blah. I know you’ve heard it all before, but not necessarily from me. I think that this is an issue we need to consider. I believe that we lose an ounce of power with each ounce of weight that we agree to lose. Whoa! Rebecca is getting all super-feminist on us now, AND she’s talking in the third person. Be afraid. Get out your barbecues out cuz I’m ready to burn some bras! In all seriousness, please read on, dear reader. This is important to me.

Yes, health is important, I get it; but come on ladies, it’s not health we’re obsessing over, is it? Health is the acceptable excuse when what we’re really all thinking is, I want to look thin. For some people, health is the reason. I totally get that. Some people have obesity, diabetes, certain types of cancer that run in their families and even a little bit of extra weight can exacerbate those risks. To those people I say yes, it’s fantastic that you are taking precautions to avoid disease. Good on ya! But let’s get serious. Almost every woman I know would like to lose weight and most of said ladies are pretty gosh darn healthy. I know it sounds cliche but why are we ladies so uncomfortable with our bodies? The funny thing is, there’s this huge gap on the spectrum of confident women. It’s never girls like me, who are maybe a little bit overweight, pretty curvy, and also pretty average, who are happy with their bodies and singing its praises from the rafters. It’s usually either the stick thin Malibu Barbies who are flaunting as much skin and silicone as humanly possible, or it’s the Monique’s of the world who just want to jiggle their junk with pride until the cows come home. What’s wrong with we average ladies? Why aren’t we proud feeling average? Average is what women through the centuries have looked like. Average is beautiful. Have you ever seen a Botticelli! Can you imagine Kate Moss making that impression in the Renaissance?

check out that FUPA!

Most of the world’s population of women wear between a size 8 and a size 14. Come on ladies, we’re the majority, let’s own it!  I really see this as an epidemic. The masses of women in the western world have been programmed to want to lose weight for really no other reason than conditioning and peer pressure. Am I wrong?

Disclaimer: this post is obviously from the point of view of a girl who has been curvy all of her life, BUT, I know there are plenty of ladies out there who CAN’T gain weight no matter how hard they try; and that provides its own set of insecurities. You ladies are gorgeous too. In a nutshell, I think women are frickin’ gorgeous and awesome in any shape or size and I want us to embrace the fact that we’ve got one body to live in. Let’s enjoy it. End disclaimer

Now let’s venture into the lion’s den, Hollywood. Most successful ladies, especially in the entertainment industry, are much thinner than average. I get it. I feel the pressure, believe you me. It keeps me up at night. But you know what, the only way that Hollywood will ever begin to reflect what an average woman looks like is if we average ladies are truly satisfied and happy with our bodies. Then we wouldn’t pay to see stick-thin bobble-heads on the big screen because we would snap out of the Splenda-induced coma we all seem to be in and realize that those girls look TOO skinny. We have all drunk the Diet Kool Aid and Hollywood will continue to exploit that until we realize what strength in numbers means. I again must reference the Bug’s Life metaphor I used in a previous blog entry. We outnumber those stick-thin Hollywood starlets about a million to one, and the day we realize that and demand some representation, that could change the Hollywood game in a major way. We’d see a lot more Christina Hendricks’s, Jennifer Hudson’s (before she sold her soul to Weight Watchers), Toni Collette’s and Kate Winslet’s all over the place and a lot less Keira Knightley’s.

I’ve been wishy-washy about my New Year’s resolution because secretly I resent it. Or I guess not so secretly now. I not-so-secretly resent that almost every woman I know is trying to lose weight. You look beautiful gals, you do. And if you’re worried about romance, don’t. The guys think you look great too. I won’t speak for all guys, but I do believe that most guys care MUCH less about a few extra pounds than we do. MUCH LESS! When I drop or gain 5 pounds and point it out to my boyfriend, he has no idea what I’m talking about. Men will never scrutinize us women as much as we scrutinize ourselves.  Forgive the hetero-centric nature of this comment. I say this merely from a personal reference point. Most of my life, I thought in order for a guy to like me I had to be skinny. I actually thought that. I can’t believe how many years of my life I wasted thinking that. Ironically, I met the love of my life at my most opposite of skinny. Go figure.

So why am I talking about this? It is related to running, I promise. As I’ve struggled over the years to lose weight for my acting career, various people have suggested I look at it like an athlete. I could go on and on about how offensive that is to me. A swimmer can’t perform at the same level as Michael Phelps without accomplishing a low BMI as part of his training, it’s true. That makes sense. But to compare that to acting? I’m sorry, I thought acting was about telling human stories, and not about looking a certain way, fitting into a certain size, or being a certain shape. It makes my blood boil. Basically it’s like saying that a prerequisite for being an actor is you have to be thin and you can’t even get in the game until you are. I understand why it would be impossible to win a Gold Medal for speed skating if you had an extra 20 pounds on you; but I don’t see what my hip size has anything to do with whether I can play my objectives. So please don’t tell me to compare losing weight for my career to being an Olympic athlete. If you do one of those SAT analogy tests it looks like this, a low BMI is to Professional Sports as Losing Weight is to Being an Actor. That’s annoying. See paragraph 8.

Things have shifted for me this year. I have always been resistant to losing weight for my acting career for all of the reasons I stated above. Now that I’m a runner, however, I understand the need to lose weight for the athletic output. So there, I said it. After that diatribe about empowering the ladies to embrace their booties, I’m saying that I need to lose weight. I just wanted to make it exhaustively clear that it’s not because of Hollywood, pop culture pressures, or my “health” (I haven’t been sick in over two years, my blood pressure is insanely good, and I can run a Half Marathon, so I think my health is pretty stellar). I need to lose weight because I am obsessively frustrated with my running time and I know what’s holding me back is weight. I can’t cut an 11 minute mile. When I was in college and weighed 10 pounds less, I was breaking under a 10 minute mile. The reason is clear. My aerobic health is great. I don’t feel painfully tired after a long run, my legs feel strong, my breathing is strong, that’s all great. I cannot get my body to move as fast as I want without weighing less. It’s simple, painful, annoying, physics.

So that’s my story folks. I’m going to lose 20 pounds this year because I want to beat last year’s time at the Disneyland Half Marathon. I want to perform at the most optimal version of my athletic self. If you want to send me encouraging words about losing weight as a recreational athlete, I’m all for it. Just don’t say anything about acting 😉