The moment I held my hands over the keyboard to type this post, my eyes teared up a little bit.
I think most of you know that I moved to NYC to do Musical Theater. All I ever wanted to do was sing and dance on Broadway, I spent so much of my life in the acting/performing world that I was conditioned to see myself through the eyes of casting directors.
Remember my Fat Girl Flashback? Well, being an NYC actress was 1,000 times worse.
I was constantly told that in order to fit in, I needed to change. I felt like what I wanted to be couldn’t happen because of what I looked like. It was so painful to see that the people who were successful at what I wanted to do looked nothing like me… they didn’t have my hair, my skin and they definitely didn’t have my body.
I felt like my body was betraying me and I was uncomfortable in my skin.
So what changed? How did I become comfortable in my own skin?
Looking back there were three changes that made a huge difference for me.
If Something Doesn’t Make You Feel Good… Run!!!
I can remember leaving an audition and feeling absolutely horrible about myself. I knew I had done a good job, but the casting director made it very clear that while he loved my voice and personality my size just “wasn’t what he was looking for”. I started to pray about it and felt a peace when I realized that while chasing my dreams should be challenging, it shouldn’t be consistently painful. That’s when I made the tough decision to walk away. I got an office job and started this blog to keep myself creative. This blog was the space where I could talk about my relationship with my body and ultimately where I learned to love my body. Fast forward a few years and this blog is the reason my email inbox is full of casting directors reaching out to me instead of the other way around. It’s the reason I’ve done fun TV projects like The Wendy Williams Show and The Rachael Ray Show. I may not be on broadway, but I’m connecting with an audience everyday, on my own terms.
I’ve had to step away from jobs, people and relationships that didn’t make me feel good (read more about that here). Again, being constantly challenged is something I’m down for… nothing comes easy and I’m aware of that. But when things are consistently painful, that’s not healthy for me.
Go Where the Love is…
I have an awful habit of trying to win people over. It’s so weird!
If someone thinks I’m just amazing and awesome, I kind of shoo them away. But if someone is luke-warm about me? Oh… it’s on!! I’ll spend time trying to prove to them why they should be on fire about me.
It makes no sense, I know.
So, this year my one of my mantras has been “go where the love is…” If you follow me on instagram you may notice that I’ve been in California a lot this year. Some of you even asked if I had moved lol Well, I haven’t moved, but that’s part of “going where the love is” for me. My life is in NYC right now, but my support system is in California, so if I can get work done and be around my family, why not?
When it comes to careers, I think the same thing is true. I wasn’t getting love in the theater world, but when I started this blog thousands of you embraced me. I stuck with the love and as I mentioned above, professional doors opened up to me with ease.
Is there something in your life that you do really well? Would you want to do it more often… or even make a living doing it? Follow the love… don’t be afraid!
Don’t Make Perfect the Enemy of Good…
Part of me “going where the love is…” in my work is plus size fitness. I love making plus size work out videos for you and for the past few months, you guys have been asking me when new ones are coming out. But I’ve been making perfect the enemy of good.
After losing 55 pounds, I’ve gained some of it back (If you noticed my puffy face, thanks for not saying anything lol).
I’ve worked hard to be comfortable at any size, so gaining some weight isn’t the end of the world for me– you see me in this mini dress, right?
BUT I convinced myself that I wasn’t worthy to inspire you guys with fitness videos if I wasn’t in a perfect place.
I’ve been hiding my gifts because of what I look like… (and here’s why I teared up when I started to write this post) if I’m honest with myself, that makes me no better than the casting directors who I ran away from back in the day!
Because I wasn’t perfect, I kept myself from doing Good work.
We are put on this earth to do good work and to touch peoples lives in our own small ways… When I remember that and move forward, I feel like a rockstar in my own skin.