How DO I Look?

I grew up in a small town, was a good student and swam competitively from the age of 6 on. I never focused on my body weight, body shape or foods that I ate. I was CONTENT with myself!

Then, I was discovered and swept up into the New York scene right when I graduated high school. All of my friends were at beer parties and eating pizza in their new college campuses and I was in New York City in an apartment wondering how many carrot sticks I could have for dinner. One night my roommate Kelly Emberg came home and caught me eating a whole head of iceberg lettuce. She laughed at me and I started to cry because that was all I was eating that day. “It’s only 50 calories”, I sobbed.

I had to learn quickly at 18 years old how to maintain my weight and still have enough energy to “look good”. It took years of trying new diets to figure this out. I even wrote an eBook on Amazon called DIETING LESSONS.

One day working with VOGUE and Irving Penn, a famous photographer, I decided that I was too fat and boycotted breakfast and actually stood up through lunch, waiting to go on set to shoot the clothes. I stood as I didn’t want to wrinkle the clothes and Mr Penn had called a quick lunch when I was already dressed in the outfit. It was easier to stay dressed than change in and out of the clothes. When it came time to go on set, Mr Penn took one look through his famous lens and declared that I had no life in my eyes. I was banned from the set and never worked with him again. So much for not eating, huh?

I thought being thinner would mean I was more desirable as a model and to be honest, I still struggle with that. I still worry that I am not good enough.

Many of us struggle with body image. I look back on growing up and realize that it was a good thing to be so ignorant about how I looked. A part of me envies that innocence in certain people. They just have no idea or don’t care how they look walking around. I was content living that way as I didn’t know any better. Now, I see myself through others eyes from years of being trained. I know how I look to others from each angle and how to present myself to the camera. I learned from feedback how to stand or sit and how to relax my face to look my best from each angle. Sometimes it is kicking a leg out casually or putting my hand on my hip. It may look natural but it is from years of other people telling me what looks good and what I should never do again.

So, is it right to just accept ourselves without trying to present our best selves to the world or should we work on it daily? How much is too much, worrying about how we look to others?

Struggle

I was in South Florida the other week at my hotel getting ready to film at the kitchen set for my new tv show, Food Quest. I had time before I had to be on set so I decided to head out for a run. As I pushed open the hotel front door, I realized how windy it was. I decided, like any good runner, to head into the wind on the first part of my journey and be able to take it easy on the way back.

 

As I ran, struggling into the wind, I felt like I was enduring it. The wind was strong with heavy gusts between the buildings along the way. It was work and not once did I forget that it was windy out.

 

A I turned around, my whole perception changed! All of a sudden it was quiet and almost peaceful. Very quickly I forgot about the wind and started to enjoy my surroundings.

 

I noticed that as I turned around, I was a grateful for a reprieve from so much wind but then I quickly forgot about it. Instead I almost had a hint of pride as my stride got longer and I felt faster with a smooth, strong gait. I had to remind myself that the wind that hindered me on the first half of the run was now my friend pushing me from behind. I became grateful for that same wind as it guided me back to the hotel.

 

I think we are like this in life. When we struggle, all of our attention is on the struggle. We can’t wait for the struggle to be over. Once it is over, we quickly forget and can sometimes let pride sneak in thinking we are succeeding on our own. We aren’t. We were self absorbed in our own struggles and maybe could have forgotten about them for a bit by reaching out and helping someone else in need. 

 

Sometimes life is calm. Calm enough to enjoy your surroundings and feel like you have things under control. Life seems easy. You have hit your stride. Remember to feel grateful during these times. It is not by your own steam. Sometimes that wind that you had to push through is the very same wind that will turn you around and get you back to your finish line.

 

DETOX

Detox!!!

 

Detoxing is all I can focus on right now. Out with the “OLD” and “IN” with the new!!!

I have done numerous detoxes over the years.I have done them one organ at a time like a liver cleanse, a kidney cleanse and of course colon cleanses…I have never done them for a whole month with easy to follow recipes, until now.

I found this company called Green Smoothie Girl and she developed a 26 day cleansing of all organs. I watched the videos on how detoxing can be good for health and decided to do one with my new husband. I am actually kind of making him do it with me, as it is easier to do with a buddy. 

For those of you who have not done any cleansing, I would recommend getting up out of your comfort zone and learning about them. Some are harsh and you are just down right miserable the whole time counting seconds until you can go back to eating the same. I have done enough over the years along with high colonics to know what a wonderful feeling it is to be cleaned out from the inside. I have left the colonic place vowing to never let junk food into my cleaned up body again. What happens? Time and slowly forgetting that clean, light feeling.

Well, I am back! I am reading up on how great cleansing and detoxing is and I am ready to take on the new challenge. I am on a trip and so excited that I decided to take out some of the bad foods that won't be allowed anyways on the cleanse like coffee, dairy, sugar, salt and animal flesh. I have been drinking teas to help get things moving like Smooth Move and found that I got a "jump" on the cleanse. Water weight is coming off and I feel better already!

I will keep you up to date when I start, which I hope is New Years Eve and how I feel so you can learn and possibly get excited to change your health also.

 

Stand Your Ground

Stand Your Ground

When I first moved to NYC at eighteen, I had come from a small town and a quiet family that didn't argue much. Coming from a small town, I didn't know the meaning of fighting for space. Growing up with no conflict in my home, I didn't learn to stand up for myself the way other people had to, coming from either a bigger family in a smaller house or a family that loves to argue. Yes, there are families that love and thrive on arguing!

 

I was timid to say the least moving from my little hometown to the big city. I was also timid jumping into a new business that I didn't understand. My only photos taken of me growing up were simple ones where I didn't even know that I should be doing certain things to make the photo look better. I had also not really worn make up and I had long, straight hair that I left alone. 

 

When I started working as a model in New York City I found that I stayed quiet a lot and just watched and learned from the experts in my business. I slowly learned what to do in front of the camera and how to put on my make up and do my hair and I became more confident. When I would hit the streets to either go on a casting or a new job, I found that I was always letting other people go by on the sidewalk and stepping aside anywhere else there were people fighting for space.

 

Years have gone by since then and I find myself back in New York City. I am back to stepping aside for others thinking I am being polite. No one seems to care. I find that I have to tell myself that I have a right to my space on the sidewalk and that I don't have to step aside or dip my shoulder in order not to hit someone. I have found that when I stand my ground, at the last minute people make way for me. It is a struggle though as my tendency is to not fight but to give way. I am finding it empowering to keep my course on the sidewalk and to not make the effort to give others more space.

 

You may come from being raised differently than me. Maybe you don't get the stepping aside thing. I find that some people don't even know or care that I let them go first. They expect it!

So, as a Christian woman, what is the right thing to do? My struggle is feeling that I am good enough. I always seems to come down to that. I have to tell myself that I don’t have to step aside for others but that if I chose to, then I am doing it for me, so that I feel better as a person. Who knows, maybe being polite will pay off!