My Husband Loved Me into Skinniness

Okay, listen. I need to know. Why did you click on this article?

Was it because you were already subscribed to this blog and a notification popped up and you knew that, despite the title, the content would probably be something unrelated? Was it because you saw the satirical title, knew me, and figured it was probably some sort of a joke and needed to know what on earth I was talking about?

Or was it because you wanted to genuinely know how my husband “loved me into skinniness” like it was some sort of diet fad or strange controlling relationship where I don’t even realize I’m being manipulated into becoming his perfect woman while losing myself in the process?

What was it? Was it the click-baity title? Because that title is a joke. And I’m worried about you if you clicked on this thinking it wasn’t.

Well, sure, it’s somewhat inspired by true events. But as inspired by true events as like the movie Titanic. The Titanic really sank (I’ve genuinely lost weight) and people were on board (my husband does love me). Otherwise, most of the in between is make believe.

Fine. Let’s get into it. Why even write a title like that?

I found a video of myself on my old archives (when I was actually looking up stuff for my old show Femoir which is now the name of my ongoing podcast – check it out!). The video was an early performance of my touring show and one of the first times I ever visited Los Angeles. I was living in Chicago at the time but came out for a festival being performed at a now defunct comedy theater right on Hollywood Boulevard. I was so excited to be out amongst the showbiz hubbub. At the time, I figured I’d probably move to LA but I didn’t know when and wasn’t in a hurry. I enjoyed the show, had decent audiences, and got to tell people I performed in the heart of Hollywood. And I saw some celebs come in and out of the theater, so all in all a very exciting event.

All this was long before husband. It was when I was either dating someone forgettable (they all were) or when I was single and being rather forgettable (I often was boringly focused on my work).

I saw this video and started laughing because, boy, I had a few extra pounds on me if I do say so myself.

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I wasn’t laughing because there’s anything wrong with carrying some extra weight. Nor was I laughing at myself because I looked weird or was shaming former me. I was laughing because, until that moment, I had honestly never seen it on myself.

See, I always had the gift (curse?) of plenty of confidence. I loved athletics and my body is and has always been pretty strong. Though I’ve gone through phases of being more toned than others, putting on some extra weight never really bugged me. I guess you could say I knew how to work it. And I still felt plenty beautiful. (And still snagged hot dudes because I was (and am) funny AF.) Or maybe, at least, I was so focused on being funny I really didn’t care too much what I looked like.

Seeing that video made me realize for the first time why people were, as of a couple years ago, starting to say “You look great” or somehow imply I had lost weight. I didn’t really get it. I knew that I had begun running more and (and this is the big one) become absolutely obsessed with yoga. Eventually, I did notice that my clothes fit different. I had a bit more confidence about how I looked in some slinkier outfits. But honestly? Overall? I felt about the same despite getting markedly more in shape (thank you again, hot yoga).

So what does my husband have to do with any of this? Welp, he started dating me when I had slightly more weight in inconvenient Santa Claus style places (as you can see in the picture). Maybe not as much as what this picture shows (this was Chicago weight – the result of 9 month winters and a genuine love of beer). But I wasn’t good at taking care of myself generally. I’d workout enough – I have always really loved/needed physical activity. But I never pushed myself to hard out of my comfort zone. And, more than anything, I ate garbage.

Nutrition always had to come at the expense of my genuine love for acting and comedy. I felt like I had to choose. I could eat rice and beans and butter to feel satiated in order to have enough money to pay for classes and shows and all the stuff that goes along with it. OR I could eat somewhat healthy. But even healthy eating meant time I didn’t want to spend meal prepping when I could be writing or creating. I was obsessed and simply using coffee, sugar, and chocolate to push through the plateaus of adrenal exhaustion.

Enter: Hubs. He’s provided a lot of wonderful things in my life. But, for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the fact that he’s a great cook and an extremely healthy eater. From the time I started dating him, I started getting much healthier food in my life more regularly. He makes this salad – a SALAD of all things – that’s incredibly filling and delicious (and healthy).

Before dating him, I honestly thought of anything green as a pointless filler. They were the useless stuff on hamburgers that restaurants were obligated to put there so it looked prettier. You needed to take them off so you could just enjoy the burger and the buns. Now, thanks to what I’ve seen in terms of my physical health and energy levels, I try and figure out ways to insert something green in every meal like a freaking weirdo health monster.

When he transitioned from boyfriend to husband, the benefits have only skyrocketed. We now take time to meal prep. We both are committed to eating healthy and sticking to a budget when doing so (so I can’t go splurging on my sweet tooth anytime it tickles my fancy because we’ve got goals bigger than that chocolate bar now). And, because he’s a good cook, he gets on my case if all I’ve eaten is rice and beans. He’s shown me ways of eating economically but still balanced and way better overall for my body.

Over the past several years, my body hasn’t slimmed down crazily, but it has toned up significantly. And a huge part of that is largely because I live with a healthy, happy guy who has helped me become as healthy and happy. He treats food like fuel not like something you shove in your mouth so your body stops yelling at you so you can move on. I’ve found balance and actually enjoy spending time cooking with him (not to mention enjoy having healthy foods readily available because it makes my body so happy).

He didn’t force me into being skinny so he could love me more. He just loved himself enough to take care of his body and understand what it needs. I saw that and took it on. And he supported me because that’s what good partners do. And, I gotta tell you, it feels great. I highly encourage all of you to find love in a hungry place.

I feel good and I look good. And that’s largely thanks to my husband. And, of course, my beloved hot yoga.

 

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Hollywood Pretty

It’s no big secret that I belong to LA Fitness. I typically go to one main gym nearest to me. But I like having the convenience and ability to go different locations in the city depending on my day’s schedule.

Last Tuesday, I had some time to sneak into the LA Fitness right in the heart of Hollywood. It’s literally located on Hollywood Boulevard feet away from The Chinese Theater and tons of other Hollywood landmarks.

And it is filled to the brim with actors and pretty people.

Everyone around me was beautiful. They’re in excellent shape, perfectly proportioned people with amazing skin, hair and teeth who love to watch themselves workout in the mirror. So they were clearly actors.

When I went to the cardio section, half the treadmills were filled with magazines and the other half were filled with highlighted scripts for people memorizing lines.

I even recognized some people I’d seen on TV and other’s I’d worked with around the city. So. Many. Actors.

But these are my people. I’m an actor at heart too (despite the thousand other things I also love doing). So I workout because I’m trying to look good. Sure, it feels nice to be in shape and it’s important to me that I stay healthy… but I really want and need to look good to help catapult my career. And having tons of beautiful, in-shape people kicking their butts around you is excellent motivation.

Plus! The Juice Bar even comes equipped with the ability to give you your own eating disorder! I got a post-workout shake that gave me food poisoning later that night! I totally puked up everything I ate the whole day, which inched me a little closer to my goal weight! Thanks, LA Fitness Hollywood Juice Bar! Now I know how easy it would be to be bulimic (just in case eating right and exercising regularly aren’t good enough)!

Love Your Body

Yeah, yeah, yeah that title is totally hippy dippy, I know. But it’s very true.

Last weekend, I was in Las Vegas and was lucky enough to spend a major chunk of my afternoon lounging at a ladies spa located in my hotel.

It was awesome. For a very cheap price, I spent the whole afternoon (post-workout, of course) rotating between a crystal steam room, sauna, whirlpool, herbal room, rain temperature station, wave room, igloo, and even a salt grotto. It was so freaking cool.

Part of the spa was “clothing optional.” My friend and I decided we’d take them up on that. Rather than wearing our swimsuits, we were going to just let ourselves be free. We figured, “This is Vegas. Anything goes.”

When we finally got to our time in the spa, we dropped down to our birthday suits, wrapped ourselves up in the provided towels and went to experience the amenities.

It was so interesting because rather than most of the women being like us… *ahem* FREE… most of the women were wearing bathing suits in all the spa things.

Now I understand you could make an argument for hygiene. Sure. Whatever.

But let’s be real for a second. A spa like that is going to maintain its cleanliness really well. And, most of the time you could sit on your towel or be standing while enjoying the environment.

Besides, I don’t think most people were in their bathing suits because of hygiene. I think they were in it out of embarrassment.

Which is where this hippy dippy title comes from. When I looked around and realized I’d be the only naked person in the whirlpool, I got self conscious at first. Then my friend I was with (who was also naked) was like “Screw it. Clothing is optional. I don’t wanna wear my suit. I don’t know why everyone is being so weird about it. It’s just bodies.”

And I agreed. And we were the naked people amongst the suited. And after a while, I decided I was going to make the people in suits feel like the weird ones. I don’t care about your body. I assume you don’t care about mine. So let’s leave it at that.

I wasn’t looking at them. I don’t care. Not only do I prefer to gaze at muscly, manly men, but spas aren’t meant for judgment. They’re meant for relaxation and personal enjoyment. It’s quiet time with you and your body just to take care of it and say “Thank you” for everything it does for you. I don’t care about anyone else’s body. For once, I’m concentrating on mine. Yours means nothing to me. Get over it.

Plus, I think there’s this idea that permeates especially American society that we need to always be modest. It’s embarrassing to put yourself out there too much. People might judge you.

Whatever. I’m officially done with caring what people think of me in any capacity. You don’t like my creative work? Cool. I don’t care. You don’t like my opinion on a certain subject? Cool. I don’t care. You notice my body isn’t perfect because I’m nakedly walking around in a spa taking in all the wonderful amenities sans a swimsuit? Cool. I. Don’t. Care.

I love my body. I work it hard. I try to take good care of it, but to be honest, it is much more forgiving of me than I deserve. I feed it pretty well, but sometimes Guinness is dinner. I workout regularly, but sometimes I feel like watching Portlandia on Netflix instead of going to the gym. I put on sunscreen daily, but sometimes I just don’t want to feel like I’m a snake with second skin and I risk 10 minutes of direct sunlight to feel how the other side lives.

I bruise myself regularly for no reason and it heals quickly. I get anxious and can pick at my face and it heals the scars. I don’t sleep regularly and it stays healthy and energetic. I sometimes feed it poison in the form of a Coke Zero and it forgives me by not dying. I eat too much sugar- especially for someone who has a higher than normal risk for diabetes- and it metabolizes it normally.

My body is good to me. And I love it.

And you should love yours, too.

Sometimes, that means letting it be free when clothing is optional.

But only when clothing is optional. I’m not saying we should all be nudists…

…yet.

Be kind to your body

I can demand a lot from myself. I often don’t get enough sleep. I push really hard. And I have high expectations for what I can physically achieve.

So the other day when I tried this food that had something wrong with it and basically made me shaky and sick for 24 hours, I made a solemn promise to myself. I will take much better care of my body from here on out.

Maybe this seems like a silly request from a woman who blog about fitness- theoretically an act that already helps your body out- but, like I said, I think I can push it too much. After this food made my body feel like absolute shit, I’m going to take a breather from all things that can make your body feel like shit. No excess sugar, no alcohol, no empty calories, no shady leftovers…nothing that could make it feel that way again for at least the rest of the year. I’m writing it out and putting it on the interwebs so you can hold me accountable. I really pissed my body off and I want to make up for it by being very kind to it this second half of the year.

I’m going to make it a point to get enough rest every night so I can be more productive and healthy throughout the day. I’m going to drink too much water and listen to my body when it says it wants more of something or less of something else. And I’m going to see how that makes me feel.

Part of me is glad I feel this shitty. It’s quite a wake-up jolt to stop pushing and thinking I’m invincible. Clearly, my body will push back. And based on how I feel right now, my body always win.

I have an inkling the end of the year I’ll feel a whole lot better than I do right now since I’m about to become Puritan. And I don’t think I’ll be Puritan forever, but we’ll see how it goes. Maybe it suits me.