Ohhhh… Check out the blog makeover! I really just brightened the place up a bit, but I’m proud of myself considering I’m about as tech savvy as Fred Flinstone.
Today, I want to talk about bodies. I want to talk about my body and your body and how we feel about them.
I’ve been on a cleanse for the last ten days. No, not a juice cleanse (please, that’s so 2012), a “flat tummy cleanse”. Basically, it’s a 14-day meal plan full of food that will add alkaline into your diet and take acid out of it. The book says that when our bodies become too acidic, that’s when we start getting sick and tired and bloated and, well, those things sound awful so I was all, “bring on the alkaline!”. I’ve stuck to the meal plan (even when it forced me to eat scallops at 6am last Thursday), but I’ve also snuck in some snacks here and there (like I literally just ate a bag of dried mango, and that is not flat tummy approved). I don’t feel or look much different on this diet, probably because I’m shoveling dried fruits and cubes of cheese into my mouth as I binge watch Game of Thrones every night. My point is, I’m trying to feel better in this sack o’ skin, and though my self-control is lacking, I’m figuring it out.
One bonus to giving up alcohol is all the good stuff it does for your body. I LOVED my sober body last year and I’m excited to get back to it. Why did I love it so much? Well, my skin was super clear and bright, I could run five miles a day (and enjoy it), I had a ton of energy, and I was skinny.
I know that sounds a bit shallow, but when you’re a twenty-something actress in LA and LA has decided that you fit in the “Bikini Girl #1” box, the pressure to stay skinny can be intense. To sum it up, I’ve been told about 100 times that if I want to work, I need to keep the weight off. (Terrible, yes. Shocking, no.)
Feeling that pressure was a big, if not THE biggest reason why I smoked for as long as I did. Though, alcohol makes you fat, cigarettes make you skinny. Cigarettes speed up your metabolism, and slow down your food cravings, so you don’t eat much, but when you do, it comes out pretty fast.
You can probably imagine what it’s like to quit smoking then. I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say the reason I bought this “14-day Flat Tummy Cleanse” book in the first place is because someone hash-tagged it on Instagram, “#foodthatmakesyoupoop”. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures, folks.
And I have been SO desperate to get back to the way I looked and felt this time last year. I’ve been anxious about going out in public and going to auditions because I’m legitimately concerned a casting director is going to ask me how far along I am.
How many times have you rolled your eyes reading this so far? Let me just say, I started this blog post a few days ago, and since then, I’ve learned a thing or two.
It all started on Monday night. Monday was a particularly warm day in the valley, and I don’t have air conditioning, just a ceiling fan, which, in this heat, makes my bedroom feel like the inside of a blow dryer. Monday nights are my favorite because by 8pm, the sweats are on, the licorice is out, and The Bachelorette is streaming. Due to the heat that day/night, I had to forgo the usual sweatpants and dig way down into the deep, dark corners of my PJ drawer for something a little lighter. The only thing I could find was a pair of ex-boyfriend boxer briefs (which ex they belonged to is anybody’s guess, really) and a very old, very loose, very see-through white tank top. I looked homeless, but being able to expose 80% of my body to that glorious ceiling fan felt better than watching Jojo and Wells kiss for the first time. By the time the show was over and my Bachelorette fantasy league score was tallied, Dub-G (my dog, Warner) was giving me the, “Yo, Ma, like you gonna walk me or nah?” look. I glanced down at my rolled-up man shorts and my raggedy old tank top and I considered putting a bra on but then I figured, “eh, it’s late enough, no one will spot me”.
Obviously, that was a foolish thought to have.
I walked outside and was greeted by a family of twelve (I’m not exaggerating, I counted). I quickly threw my arms over my chest and tugged my shorts down as they walked by. I was almost in the clear when I heard “Excuse me, ma’am?”.
“Shit.”, was my first thought and “Who you callin ‘maam’?!”, was my second thought. I turned around (arm still over chest area, dog leash in the other hand), and I smiled politely. “Would you mind taking a picture of us? We haven’t seen each other in a long time!”, the age-blind stranger asked me. There was a small army standing behind him so, I mean, what was I going to say? No?
All twelve of them pulled out their cellphones and started walking toward me as I began praying for a third arm, but the wise old lady in the group (there’s always one, isn’t there) had an “ah-ha” moment and suggested they just give me one phone and that person would be responsible for tagging everyone on Facebook. Good plan, Granny.
So, I take one phone in my left hand, while Warner’s leash rests on my right wrist and my right hand is clutching as much chest as possible (which, I thought would be a lot more considering I have man-hands, but alas, it was not). The group gathers on a nice looking set of stairs, Granny is in the middle, and it’s go time, which meant I needed both man-hands to hold the phone and take the picture. I bring my right hand up to the phone, unleashing any decency it may have been holding onto, and I take the freaking photo. The group thanked me, I gave back the camera, and I ran away, yes, literally (in fact someone in the group yelled out, “Wait! What if we need to re-take it!” as I was running and I pretended I didn’t hear them).
When I was finally back in the safe humidity of my own bedroom I started laughing and posting a condensed version of the incident to my Facebook status. Now that the whole ordeal was over I could enjoy the irony of the situation and chuckle at my own stupid, self-conscious brain that has been programmed to feel shame for my God-given curves. I realize I’m starting to sound like your super liberal aunt from Vermont, but bear with me, I have a point.
My point is this: NO ONE, not a SINGLE person in that gaggle cared that my nipples felt the need to say hello. There were twelve people, of all ages, and none of them said a thing or gave me a look or made me feel judged, not even for a second. I mean, they may have wondered if I was mentally stable, and they may have felt a small urge to offer me a real pair of pants, but if they did, they certainly hid those thoughts and feelings well.
That whole ordeal was in my head. I was the one making myself feel embarrassed and ashamed and inappropriate. I was the one wishing I had a baggy shirt on to hide my gut. I was the one worried about a nip-slip and wondering if the ten-year-old boy in the group was about to be scarred by a premature “birds and bees” lecture based on his interaction with the skanky dog-walker. I was the one tugging down those damn boxer-briefs, trying to hide my butt checks and the cellulite around them. WHY?!
Because I’ve seen and heard enough negative reactions regarding my appearance to force my auto-pilot function into assuming that anyone I interact with either thinks I’m fat or slutty.
AND THAT IS CRAZY!
After this self-realization, I ran to my bathroom mirror and stared at myself till I was almost in tears. I needed a quick, harsh reminder that my body is not a negative thing and I do not deserve to be told otherwise by anyone, including myself.
So, I left the house without a bra on! Ladies, TRY IT! It feels AMAZING! (Unless you’re running, then it hurts). So, my shorts were “too short”, who even gets decide what qualifies as “too short”? Probably a group of white men that have never rocked a pair of Daisy Dukes and felt great about it. So, I cheat on all my diets, a lot! I feel good about my progress and where I’m going, and at the end of the day isn’t that what all the Oprahs and Dr. Ozs tell us is most important, to FEEL GOOD!?
Phewwww…. Ok. End rant.
I guess, in conclusion, I learned two very important life lessons this week: Scallops should never be eaten for breakfast and bras are always optional.