We Need To Make A Change (or I Just Don’t Have The Words)

I’ve started and deleted this post dozens of times. This week there was another school shooting. I’ve written about gun violence on here before, and since that most recent post over 2 years ago we’ve had dozens of school shootings and nothing has changed. Honestly, I don’t know what I could write that hasn’t been said every single time there is a shooting.

It’s nice that politicians want to offer thoughts and prayers, but since they believe in supporting the NRA more than supporting what citizens want as far as gun control I really don’t care about their thoughts and prayers. A majority of Americans believe in universal background checks, not allowing those on the Do Not Fly list to have weapons, banning assault rifles, not allowing people with a history of domestic violence or mental illness to have guns, and to stop the sales of high quantity ammunition. But even though a majority of Americans want those things to happen, certain politicians feel like it would be wrong to prevent anyone (no matter their violent or mental health history) from owning how ever many guns they want.

Since the rights and ideas of the NRA are more important than the rights and ideas of citizens right now, I doubt anything will change. If having children shot in an elementary school couldn’t convince politicians that change needs to happen, I don’t know what will. And I understand that having some gun control regulations won’t stop all mass shootings, but they will stop many of them. The shooter this week had a history of mental illness and even posted on YouTube that he was going to become a school shooter. Yet he was still allowed to get a gun and the FBI did nothing about the warning they got from someone alerting them to the comment.

There are also some politicians who say that we need to respect the victims and survivors and not politicize this tragedy and at a later date mental health and gun violence can be discussed. But the students who survived this shooting are telling people to politicize this because they know change needs to happen. They know that if it doesn’t happen now, it will be forgotten and nothing will be accomplished. That’s what happened after Sandy Hook and Las Vegas. We were called rude and heartless for saying something needs to be changed after those tragedies. The Las Vegas shooting wasn’t even 5 months ago and people have forgotten about it because so many other horrible things have happened.

This is not ok. All shootings are horrible, but school shootings are just heart wrenching. I remember after Columbine (which happened when I was in high school) how scary it was and that was the only school shooting I was aware of. I was scared, but I also believed that it couldn’t happen to me because it was so rare. But now it seems like there are school shootings every week. There are some inflated numbers by how many shootings there have been in 2018, but the low number that even conservative news is using is that this is the 5th school shooting in 2018. There have only been 5 or 6 weeks of school in 2018 so far so that is about 1 school shooting a week. Why do some politicians think this is ok?

So many of my friends with kids have had to bring them to school after a shooting when their kid was terrified that they would be shot at school. I can’t imagine how horrible that would be. I remember after Sandy Hook being at a friend’s house and watching the news while her kids were playing. Watching them play while knowing that kids the same age were killed while at school that day broke my heart. I don’t know how you could have the strength to explain to a kid that they should be safe at school when you have no clue what will happen. Or how terrified you would be if you heard that there was a shooting in your city and you weren’t sure if your kid was ok. I wish no parent had to have that feeling anymore, but sadly I know that won’t be true.

I really don’t know what else I can say about this situation. And while I feel helpless, there are ways to help. The group Everytown has shared ideas of what to do to make sure we have politicians that will honor what the majority of the country wants in terms of gun control.

No matter what your political viewpoint is, hopefully you agree that gun violence is out of control. There are steps that can help reduce it that are not being implemented because the NRA doesn’t want them to happen. We cannot let the NRA determine what is best for everyone when a majority disagrees. And we cannot allow politicians to get away with claiming how gun control is getting rid of all guns. I know responsible gun owners and they agree that gun control is needed. It shouldn’t be easier to get a gun than it is to drive a car. If you are deemed a violent risk to be on an airplane, you shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun to use on the ground. If you have a history of hitting your spouse or partner, you shouldn’t have a gun so the next time you get violent you can kill them.

I agree with Everytown when they said we don’t have to live like this and we don’t have to die like this. We have the power to make a change if we are willing to take it.

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More Union Education (or Making Sure Ads Go Union)

You may have noticed that I am posting more and more about union events. I’ve been saying for a while that I wanted to become more involved in the union and I’m finally taking advantage of that! My schedule is fairly regular so I can make plans to attend different meetings and events and I love how this makes me feel continuously involved in union happenings and not that I’m on the outskirts. And this week was another week where I was at union headquarters for another meeting!

So many of the meetings and events I’ve been going to lately have been about commercials. This is a pretty current issue for a few reasons. First, the union will be negotiating the new commercial contract next year so we are getting prepared for that. But also, commercials have always been both union and non-union, but we are starting to see more non-union than before. Many jobs are still union, but we want to make sure they stay that way and that we get even more union commercials.

SAG-AFTRA has an entire committee dedicated to keeping commercials union and that was what this meeting was about. Members of the committee as well as union staff were there to explain more about the plan to get more commercials to be union work and what things have been happening so far.

While I’ve been at several events regarding union commercials, I learned new things at this meeting. These meetings are a response to the growing problem of non-union work and because of what members say in them the union can know what our specific issues are and how to remedy that.

I’ve been pretty lucky. While I don’t audition for commercials a lot, my agents have never asked me to violate union rules and audition for non-union work. In fact, when a commercial lied about being union and when I found out, my agents told me to leave because they didn’t want me to run into any issues. Not all actors are that lucky and they were discussing how their agents are encouraging them to work non-union even though they are union members.

But even though I’ve been lucky since becoming a union member, I know the issues of non-union commercials from before I joined SAG-AFTRA. When I was non-union, I did a commercial that paid pretty decently. It was super easy work and with what I made I paid my rent and bills for a month! I was so excited! But I didn’t realize that because my contract allowed the ad agency to use the commercial in perpetuity (which is common in non-union work), I had no idea then that I would have something that has been on tv for 11 years! It’s a haircare commercial/informercial and I see it on tv all the time. If this was union, I would be making residuals and still be getting paid. But because it was non-union and I didn’t have the protection of SAG-AFTRA and the contracts we have, I only got that 1 payment that doesn’t seem that much when you think about it being split over 11 years.

Because of my experience with non-union work, I’m passionate about making sure that other actors don’t have the same issue. If they aren’t in SAG-AFTRA and chose to do a non-union work, I want them to know what things to look for in a contract so they are making an educated decision. But I am even more passionate about helping commercials be union so that actors will have the protections that we have in our contracts. And that’s why I love getting to know more about the Ads Go Union campaign in meetings and being able to share what I learn with you all. This time, we got more information on recent things that the campaign has done and promoted to other members.

Even if I don’t book another commercial in my entire career, this issue is going to be an important one for me. I know first-hand how easily actors who don’t know better can get into a contract that they may regret later. And I want to see more union work so that my union brothers and sisters have more opportunities to do what they love. For me, my union dedication is all about education and seeing others succeed. And hopefully I will succeed as well.

I am looking to branch out a bit more and find union events about other issues so I can learn more about other union things I may want to get involved in. But for now, I’m just so happy that I’ve been able to get involved in the commercial recapturing initiative and that I will be able to find ways to help out other actors. I do plan on attending more and more events and I will keep finding ways to be involved and to make sure that all actors are educated on the issues.

Enjoying Valentine’s Day (or Celebrating The Love I Do Have In My Life)

I know that plenty of people hate Valentine’s Day. Either they feel like it’s a made up holiday or they feel like there is no point to it or they hate that they don’t have someone to celebrate with. And in the past I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day. I’ve always been single on it and have never had a significant other to celebrate with.

And I’m still single and don’t have someone special to celebrate today with. I do feel like I’m making the best effort I have ever in the dating world with all my online dating adventures. I don’t think I’ve ever had as many dates as I’ve had in the past year. And there are a lot of idiots that I’m encountering, but fortunately there have been nice guys that I’ve met too. So the nice ones are balancing out the idiots and I’m still optimistic and hopeful that I will meet someone special. And even though I’ve been having fun with these dates, it would be nice to have met someone who can take me off of the online dating and I could build a relationship with.

But even though I don’t have romantic love, I do have so much love in my life. And to me, Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be about celebrating romantic love. If that’s the case, I think it’s just too limiting and it does exclude others who want to celebrate the people they love.

I know that I am loved by my family. I am so lucky to have the family that I do have. My parents support me so much (including financially when I need it) and I am so grateful for that. I don’t know what I would be doing without their support. And my extended family is supportive as well and they are there if I need them. I know if something happened I could call different family members and they would be there for me and would help me out in whatever ways they could.

But to me the biggest love in my life is the love I have with my friends. I’ve always felt lucky to have the friends that I have, but I think that lately those friendships have just gotten so much stronger and that makes things even better. Part of this could be that I have been open to being a bit more dependent on my friends than I have in the past. I love being independent and not feeling like I need anyone, but I’ve learned to appreciate having people there and what benefits that brings to my life. While I never want to feel totally dependent on another person, having a little bit of dependency means that you are open and vulnerable with them. And that only brings a stronger relationship between friends.

Most of my friends are married or in relationships so they will be out tonight with their significant others. But that is bothering me much less than it has in the past. I don’t feel left out or that something is necessarily missing. In some way, my dating adventures has helped me realize everything that I do have without a relationship and I appreciate it even more. And when I do get into a relationship that person will be adding to my life and not filling a missing piece of it. That’s probably a much healthier way to have a relationship start and I have my friendships and their love to thank for that.

Obviously even though I have so much love with my friends and family, I do still want romantic love. It is something that I have been seeking even if it’s not something that necessarily feels like it is missing from my life. But having as much love as I do in my life gives me hope that when I find the right guy I will be able to get the love that I deserve from that relationship. I’ve got the best examples of loving relationships in my life and I know that one day I will have the same. Maybe I’m just crazy to be as optimistic and hopeful about things as I am, but I feel like there has been a shift in my life lately that has allowed me to be more open to romantic love but not feeling like I’m desperate for it. It’s a nice place to be in while I’m still looking for the right guy.

So whether the big love in your life is a romantic one, a friend, a family member, or even just yourself; I hope that however you are celebrating love today that you are having a wonderful time doing it!

Celebrating Villaintine’s Day (or Getting Something Checked Off My Disney Bucket List)

This past Sunday at Disneyland was Villain’s Day. It was an unofficial Disney event but it was being shared online as a fun day to dress up as a villain and go around Disneyland. Even though I normally only go on Monday’s I couldn’t turn down a chance to have a fun themed day at the parks!

I really wanted to dress in a cute new villain themed shirt I got, but it wasn’t fitting correctly and I didn’t want to be super uncomfortable all day. I ended up wearing a Gaston’s Tavern shirt (which is a bit villain themed) with some Belle themed ears and figured that being comfortable was more important than being themed correctly for the day. I went with my friend Michelle and we were meeting some of her friends in the park that day. She was dressed in lots of cute Maleficent stuff so I figured she could represent for the theme for us both.

When we go to the parks and met up with the others, we noticed that there really weren’t that many people dressed for the theme. There are so many themed days like Dapper Day or Tiki Day, so it’s probably tough to get a new themed day started. We did see some cute outfits, but they were few and far between. But again, all of us decided to just have a fun day in the parks and enjoy the costumes we did see.

Our first stop was over at the Lunar New Year area of California Adventure. We hadn’t gone to the Annual Passholder section before so we stopped by there to first make a wish for the new year.

And we stopped by the photo spot to get a cute photo of us all in our villain attire.

We then went over to our one ride we did in California Adventure: Guardians Of The Galaxy. It’s seriously amazing every time I ride it. I was hoping that we’d have a new song on the ride because I want to hear them all, but we got one that we had heard already. But that doesn’t ruin the ride or anything. It was still as great as it always is!

Since all of us in the group are passholders, we were being a bit lazy with our day. After that ride, we decided to head over to the Disneyland side. As soon as we got over there we noticed Tiana right by the gates and there wasn’t any line to take photos. It’s pretty rare to see a character out without a photo line, so we took advantage of that.

After our quick photo we headed over to our first ride on the Disneyland side: Space Mountain. This is another favorite ride and something I pretty much go on every time I’m there. We got on the ride and everything seemed pretty normal at first. We headed up the hill and just as soon as we started the drop I noticed a weird voice coming from the center of the ride. Every time we got close to the middle of the ride we noticed a voice talking. It was so odd and we couldn’t figure out what was happening.

Then all of a sudden we came to a stop on the tracks before the end of the ride! If you are a Disney geek like me, you know that you love when a ride breaks down. Sometimes you get to be evacuated and get to see the behind the scenes area of the park. And it seems like one of the most coveted ride breakdowns is to get stuck on Space Mountain and have the lights come on. I had never experienced it and it was for sure something on my Disney bucket list.

We were stuck for a few minutes in the dark (but everyone was getting out their phones to use the flashlights to see everything around and then the lights came on!

As soon as the lights came on we all started cheering. Fortunately everyone in our ride car was just so excited to get to see the ride with the lights on and wanted to photograph everything around us.

Of course we wished that we had gotten stuck much higher up in the ride so we could have seen everything. But beggars can’t be choosers and we were just so excited to get this little bit of behind the scenes of the magic. And we could see a couple of fun things like the other cars higher up on the ride that were also stuck.

I’m not sure exactly how long we were stuck because honestly we were having a great time just checking out everything around us. And when it was time for the ride to start again the brakes were released on our car and the cast members had to push our car to start going again. So we finished the ride pretty slowly because we were only going down with gravity from that last section. Michelle was smart and took a video of this since it was such a special thing to get to do.

You don’t see it in the video, but when we got back to the station everyone waiting in line was cheering for us! It was pretty funny. We were given the chance to ride again since our ride was disrupted and of course we did that. And when we were done with the ride we went to look at our ride photo.

But we also learned that when we were slowly getting back to the ride station the photos were working and we got some funny ones from that ride too!

I’m sure I sound really silly, but I feel so lucky that I got stuck on Space Mountain and got to ride with the lights on. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and it’s not something you can control when you could do it.

After the excitement on Space Mountain, we did a quick ride on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and then Star Tours before heading back to the car. It was getting a bit more crowded in the parks in the evening and we were all feeling a bit tired. But we still had been in the parks for about 5 1/2 hours which is a pretty decent time.

I just renewed my Disneyland pass (fortunately before the price increase!), so I’ve got another year of Disney fun ahead for me! And hopefully I’ll have some more fun random adventures and maybe I’ll be lucky and I’ll be able to accomplish a few more things from my Disney bucket list! Most of the things left are things that won’t be easy (like getting to walk off certain rides or getting to dine at Club 33), but you never know what is possible!

Learning More Patience (or Figuring Out Where I Can Succeed)

This past week of workouts were up and down for me. I really thought I’d be doing better with my medication but I also ended up allowing myself to feel ok with doing what I can do. I feel a bit lackluster in some of what I was doing because I keep comparing myself to what I was doing recently. But I think if I wasn’t comparing myself against that version of myself and maybe focused on comparing to where I was in the beginning to where I am now I could be happier. But the struggle is real and I am really working on accepting it.

Monday’s workout was a strength based workout. I wanted to use the treadmill (even with having to do inclines), but I was dealing with some random and unexpected nausea that morning. I debated about using a treadmill, but I knew that walking would probably make me feel worse so I ended up on the bike. But because I’ve used the bike a lot lately, I decided to try to do things a bit harder than normal. There were two blocks on each section and for the cardio it was a pretty similar pattern with a push pace, a base pace at an incline, and a push and all out pace at an incline. With the bike, you use heavier gears to replace incline so I tried to make my gears higher than I normally do with the regular push and all out paces on the bike. I did end up at a gear that made it really tough to keep going, but I was able to keep my wattage up on the bike which is what my coach emphasized I should be focusing on for my workout.

Next I was on the rower and finally my nausea was starting to go away. The first block on the rower was rounds of 500 meter rows with some rest between each round. I don’t know if my rower was acting weird or I was just having a bad rowing day but all of my 500 meter rows were taking longer than they normally do. I was trying to go at it a bit harder, but I wasn’t able to get my time to what I’m used to. But with the second block, we had 250 meter rows with bicep curls using the rower handles between each row. And with that block, I was able to get my rowing to be just a bit longer than normal. But that it to be expected when I’m getting tired so I was feeling much better about the rowing. And I ended class on the floor. The first block was chest presses, lunges, and plank work. I was using some pretty heavy weight with my chest presses which made up for not using weights in my lunges in my head. And the last block was using the workout bands for hip bridges and plank side leg lifts. I put the bands lower on my legs this time (which made things much harder) and I did much better with the bands. They were still twisting a bit, but not nearly as bad as the first time I used them. And I’m sure that in time I will get more and more used to using them and will get better at it.

Wednesday’s workout was an endurance, strength, and power day. This was after I talked with my therapist about my medication and I felt much better about taking things easy. I still didn’t like doing it, but it seems like it’s not just an issue I’m having. And while it is frustrating having this issue last longer than I expected, it does help to know that my doctor thinks I’m doing the right thing and it’s ok to ease back into normal workout endurance. And as much as I wanted to try to run during the power block, I held back. And I knew I needed to because even walking at my normal speed was spiking my heart rate. During the strength block, I didn’t go too high with my inclines but I did work with them. I wish I had more interesting things to say about my treadmill work, but it seems like this might be the trend for a little bit longer.

On the floor we had one long block and I really enjoyed it. We had 1 rep of 5 different moves that were supposed to be done as a single movement. We had a deadlift, a low row, an upright row, a squat, and a shoulder press. I could have gone heavier with my weight for the deadlift, but because we were supposed to use the same weight for the entire circuit I used my normal deadlift weight (which was heavier than normal for the rest of the moves). After doing 6 rounds of that, we had 6 burpees and then ab work before we went to the rower. Then it was back to the floor to do it all over again. It was a challenge to do those 5 moves as a single movement, but it was a good challenge to have and I was really focused on my posture and form during the entire thing.

Friday’s workout was a special partner day for the Olympics. On cardio we were supposed to have teams of 4, but with my group there were 10 people so they did 2 groups of 4 and 1 group of 2. My friend Grace and I volunteered to be the group of 2. We thought it would be good because we were both stressed about letting a team down and knew we would be fine not worrying about that with each other. But it turns out having our group of 2 actually made things harder for us! It was a run/row format with 1 person on the rower setting the pace and the rest of the team on treadmills. When the first partner was done with the row, they tagged the next person and they rowed (and the first partner went to a treadmill). They went through all the partners this way. But because Grace and I were on our own, we were just tagging each other. So we had much less rest time between rowing than the other groups. In the end I was just taking my 30 seconds on the treadmill to catch my breath and drinking water, but I tried to do a bit of walking each time I was on there.

Once the partner workout was done, we were on the floor for the second half of class and it was much more of a standard format without the partner work. The first block was speed skater lunges, shoulder work with weights, and running men. The second block was skier squats with weights, regular squats, and sit ups. And the last block was Y raises on the straps, pop jacks, running men, and sit ups. The floor work was so tough after the cardio, but I tried to limit my breaks. But I was definitely feeling done mid-way through the floor work and I know that I wasn’t doing my best in class.

Saturday’s workout is where I feel like I turned things around. I could have used the treadmill, but I decided to use the bike. I was thinking about how when I started doing 4 workouts a week that I set the 4th workout to be on the bike. And I worked hard on the bike each time. But lately I have looked at the bike as a second choice, and while I have been working on it I knew I wasn’t working as hard as I could. It was an endurance based workout with 3 groups so I was on the bike for the first 15 minutes of class. We had longer push paces with base paces after each and I really focused on pushing myself on the bike. I wasn’t using as high of resistance on it so I could focus on pedaling faster. And it seemed to work because it felt like the hardest bike workout I’ve ever done! I’m thinking I should probably use the bike once a week or so while I’m getting over this medication issue and I bet it’s going to benefit me when I’m back to running.

Next I was on the floor where we had 2 blocks. We had upright rows with weights, bicep curls, and high rows on the straps in the first block. And in the second block we had squat low rows with weights, side plank pendulums, and lateral lunges. And I ended on the rower where we had decreasing rows with lunges between. We started with an 800 meter row and I managed to get within 5 seconds of my PR! Not bad for the end of a workout! I didn’t do quite as well with the 600 meter row but I did PR by 2 seconds on my 400 meter row which was the last thing I did in class! It’s pretty tough to do that well when I had been working so hard during the rest of class, so I was pretty impressed with myself.

The beginning of the week was a bit of a frustration, but I did come to the realization that I could focus on things I can do and try to not think about what I’m struggling with. And by the end of the week I was able to create new goals and accomplishments for myself which was awesome! I do still want to get back to running and that is going to be a focus of mine, but I’m continuing to practice patience and I think it’s finally starting to kick in.

Working On My Friendships (or Things Are Better In My 30’s)

I’ve had a couple of friends turn 30 in the past few months. For so many people, 30 is a milestone and makes them freak out a bit. Maybe they aren’t where they want to be in life or they wonder what happened. I did have some ideas in my head of where I wanted to be when I turned 30, but my life was so different from what I was expecting that it didn’t really bug me that I wasn’t there. For me, turning 30 was pretty fun. I wasn’t too worried about the age and I’m still not that worried. I think age really is just a number and it doesn’t have to mean more than that. And whenever a friend is turning 30 and they are worried, I always tell them that so far my 30’s have been so much better than my 20’s.

My 30’s could be better for so many reasons. When I turned 20 I was still in college and not totally happy with things. I didn’t love college and I ended up graduating early so I could be done faster. I enjoyed learning, but I always felt like a bit of an outsider there. And even after college ended, I still had that outsider feeling. And part of this could be related to feeling uneasy with the friends that I had. They never made me feel like an outsider, but I always felt like I had to work harder at the friendship than they did and that they didn’t view me as close of a friend as I viewed them.

Those friendships ended very abruptly and it was a bit traumatic at the time, but reflecting back at it I know it was for the best. I was holding myself back with those friends and when I had to go out and find new friends I was just myself and didn’t worry too much about it. I don’t have a tough time making new friends, but it’s tough to make new friends who are more friends than acquaintances. And it took me time to learn that the new friends I was making easily weren’t necessarily long-term friends.

But lately, I’ve been able to strengthen a lot of my friendships. I think it was just due to random timing, but it’s nice to know that my friendships with people who I really care about are stronger now and I feel more confidence with having them as my friends. Even though I haven’t been hiding or diminishing myself with my friends, when my friendships are stronger I feel so much more free and that helps me discover who I am in a way. It’s so weird to need to have strong friendships to figure out myself, but I think because of some of the negative things that have been said to me in the past I need to see how others see me to see myself in a more truthful light.

I also think that there was a bit of just letting go and not caring when I turned 30. While I do still want to be liked by others, I also understand now that I can’t necessarily control what others think of me. If I am being my real self, they might love me or hate me. But I shouldn’t have to change myself to make others like me. For so long I really did just want everyone to like me. And when someone was mean to me I tried to see what I did wrong so I could fix it. That’s what happened when my best friend from college ended our friendship. I reflected back on what could have happened and tried to ask around to find out how I could make things better again. But in the end, I have no clue what I did and there was no way for me to fix it. It took me a while to get over it, but now I understand that whatever did happen was something that she felt and nothing I could have done would have changed it.

Today happens to be my half birthday. In 6 months I’ll be 35. That age doesn’t scare me (even though one person who recently turned 30 told me that she doesn’t feel old because you aren’t old until you are 35). What I’ve been able to accomplish and create in the first 4 1/2 years of my 30’s easily surpass what I did in the 10 years of my 20’s. And I’ve still got half of my 30’s to go, so I can’t even start to imagine what I’ll be able to get done by the time I’m 40.

An Easy Therapist Check-In (or Virtual Appointments Make Things Easier)

Yesterday I had a check-in with my new therapist. This check-in was mainly to see how I was doing with the new medication dosage. I explained how I had been taking the increases slowly and that I am still adjusting to the new dosage, and she seemed to be pretty happy with the plan. It’s hard to tell what the correct dosage will be, so it will be a lot of trial and error. This is a different process than what I was doing with my old therapist, but I do like this new plan. I feel like it is more collaborative and that we are more of a team than a doctor telling me what to do.

This appointment was so much easier than what I’m used to because it was a phone call appointment. Yesterday morning, we had a time that my therapist was going to call me and we were going to talk over how things went. Of course, if I felt like I needed to meet in person I could have done that. But my therapist suggested a phone appointment for a check-in because it is easier to schedule and wouldn’t take up as much of my time. It was nice not having to drive to and from the appointments and being able to get it done early in the morning before I started work. I felt much more relaxed while talking because it didn’t feel as formal.

I don’t know why my old therapist never suggested phone appointments. I know that with him, he was much more into seeing if there was any more talk therapy that I wanted to do. Even though we came to the conclusion that I don’t really have issues to work through, I just have some sucky circumstances that I need to not rule my life. But those circumstances aren’t things I need to figure out, we know what they are and what they are doing to my mind. But he still liked to talk things through much more than this new therapist. This new therapist understands that in a way I only go in for appointments because I’m on a medication that requires it. She understands that talk therapy might be something I want in the future, but right now it’s not the priority in getting me into recovery. It’s a very different mindset, but I’m glad I had my old therapist in the beginning and this new therapist now.

In my phone call, I did discuss my issues with my workouts. It is frustrating to not be able to do cardio the way I want to, but I also need to give myself a decent amount of time to adjust to things. We did discuss brining my medication back down to a lower dosage (either what I started on or the middle dosage I was doing), but we both agreed that I haven’t had enough time yet on this new dosage to see if it will allow my workouts to get back to normal. I do like how I am feeling on this new dose and I feel like the medication is working much better, so I want to give it as much of a chance as possible. And I do have options if I need them and those won’t be going away so I can take my time.

My next medication refill will be in about 2 months. I will need to call or email my therapist to request the refill due to the restrictions on the medication. And at that point I think I will know what dosage I want to be on. And my therapist seems to agree that the timeline sounds good to her too. Of course, if in 2 weeks I feel like I need to step down to a lower dose, I can call in and she can write me a new prescription. But my plan is to try to take the next 2 months to see how I feel in all aspects of my life. If my eating disorder is significantly better but I can’t run, that might be a sacrifice I want to make. While my workouts are important, my recovery is more important and the priority in my life.

For my first phone appointment, I think it went really well and it reinforced the idea in my head that this is the therapist that I need now. She is much more scientific about things and that is really what works for me right now. My next appointment with my therapist (not counting in 2 months when I get my medication refill) will be in 6 months. I’m on the same appointment timeline as I was in the past, which is nice since I wasn’t sure it would be that way with a new doctor. But the next appointment is going to be unique because it’s going to be my first time ever doing a video chat appointment with a doctor! I’m actually pretty excited to have that option too because again it will save me the time of driving back and forth!

I know that not everyone likes technology, but I love that I have options to do virtual appointments with my therapist! It really helps to make appointments fit into my schedule better and I think that it will give me more options for when I can make appointments in the future. All of these things are good things and make me really hopeful that I’m on the right path toward recovery!

First Union Working Meeting Of 2018 (or Union Strong For All)

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve had a meeting with the Union Working group, but I think that’s because things have been so busy for me lately! But at the same time, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long because I’ve seen so many of the other group members at other events (both social and union related). I feel so connected to this group and I love that.

But since the group hadn’t had an official meeting in a few months, I was so glad that we had a meeting this week. There have been so many things that I have learned about the union that I wanted to connect to my knowledge that I get in the group and I was so antsy to see what I was going to learn this time. And because I love the group so much, I am always trying to get more people involved. I wish that there was a group like this when I joined the union because I was scared to be involved when I first joined. But a group like this is a great way to ease into getting involved in union issues.

I invited so many actor friends to go to the meeting and a bunch of them were hoping to make it. I totally understand how tough it can be to schedule around day jobs to attend events, so I also tried to let people know that we try to live stream as much of the meeting as we could in the Facebook group. But I was so excited when my friend Sarah said she could make it! Sarah and I were in the UCB class together and I don’t think we had seen each other in person since class! And she’s going to be joining the union soon so I thought it would be perfect for her to attend the meeting and hopefully get more involved in the group.

Before going to the meeting, my friend (who is one of the core members of the group) asked me if I could help out a bit more at the meeting. I’m always happy to help and he needed me to run the live stream on Facebook for the group. I figured it was a great opportunity to use my newish tripod and iPad stand and I could live stream from my iPad. It would be easier than doing it on my phone (and would keep my phone free for me to take notes). So I spent a lot of the meeting making sure that the live stream was working (we had some WiFi hotspot issues), but it still allowed me to pay attention to what was happening.

This meeting was really interesting for me. With the special guests we had, a lot of the discussion was about influencers and how that affects union work. This was almost the other side of the event I was at last week where it was mainly influencers learning about the union. This time, the union members were learning about influencers.

We also had a guest who discussed how to maximize using Instagram. I’m not the best at Instagram and I’ll admit that I don’t always have the prettiest photos up there. It’s a wide variety of photos and that’s fine if I want it to be that way. But there is a better way to represent my life on social media that could benefit me as an actor (and probably as a blogger too) and I’m going to be more aware of that from now on. I’m not going to make my social media only show the best things of my life because I do believe in staying honest. But I do want to make it look more like the professional that I feel I am in my career. The guest really gave me a lot to think about and I love walking away from our meetings with a little bit of homework so I stay involved and active.

Besides all the amazing guests we had at the meeting, the leaders of Union Working shared this incredible video that they created. While Union Working has been about SAG-AFTRA a lot, we want to be pro-union for all unions. The group is supportive of all unions and we want to make sure that unions are protected. In this political climate, many politicians are anti-union and trying to encourage workers not to unionize. But we know that as a group we are stronger. Unions protect workers and allow us to have collective bargaining to make sure that everyone benefits from contracts. I’m so excited that Union Working is expanding their reach and I can’t wait to see what unions we are able to partner up with.

I know I’ve said this before, but if you are an actor in Los Angeles I highly encourage you all to check the Union Working website, social media, and hopefully attend a meeting. You can also check out the YouTube channel for more videos. If you are an actor somewhere else in the country, still check out the group and maybe you can start a chapter of Union Working where you are. And if you are a member of a union and want to connect with Union Working, reach out on their website and social media. We are all working together to better unions for everyone in all industries.

Fitness and Nutrition (or Reminding Myself Of The Basics)

About 2 months ago, I shared how I was invited to be a part of the Runner’s Fit and Fueled course. I was so excited to be starting my year off the right way and to learn more about proper nutrition when it comes to fitness. I have studied nutrition a lot (many people with eating disorders know a ton about nutrition and food) but I was worried about how I would do when my fitness level was likely lower than what the others in the group were at.

But now that the official course time is over, I can say that I had nothing to worry about! The others in our private Facebook group were very supportive and most of the focus was on nutrition and not fitness. That was a big relief because I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t do what was being taught because of my fitness level.

And I had every intention of doing this 4 week course exactly as it was set out and reading each of the lessons and watching the videos as soon as they came out. But of course, best intentions don’t always happen that way. Life took over and I wasn’t able to do the 4 week course when it was all released. I was feeling a bit frustrated because I wanted to do this as my first month of the year, but if I had done that I wouldn’t have been able to give it my full attention and I knew that I needed to do that.

Fortunately, this course wasn’t restricted to just the 4 weeks that it was happening. The Facebook group is still there and I can view any of the videos whenever I want. And I know that I will be wanting to go back to the videos a few times because I know that things will connect with me at different times. And I have all the handouts downloaded on my computer as well. And I have a feeling those handouts are going to be something I use for a while.

What I loved about the way this was taught was something I wasn’t expecting. Because this is a course for runners, there are days that are your hard run days and days that are your easy run days. And of course you also have rest days. And the nutrition was broken down into what to eat for each of those days to maximize what you are doing. For example, what to eat before and after a long run to help your body work at its most efficient. Or what to eat on a rest day to not mess up all the hard work that you put into things on the other days.

While I don’t necessarily have hard or easy run days, I do have days where I have a workout and days when I don’t. And I can look at workout days as hard days and days off as easy or rest days. Each of those types of days has sample meal plans to use with different options. And as someone who struggles with meal planning, this is an amazing resource for me! Some of the things in the meal plan are things I already eat, some are things I have eaten in the past and kind of forgotten about, and others are things I wouldn’t think of as a meal option. So I’ve been going through the meal plans and seeing the best way to implement them in my life.

While the plan has some elements of carb cycling, it’s not necessarily that. It’s more about eating what will make your body work the most efficient way possible and making sure that all your nutrition needs are met. There are so many diet ideas out right now and I’ve been checking out a few of them. But it’s been overwhelming. The Runner’s Fit and Fueled course seems to be more about the idea of getting back to good and wholesome foods and not fitting into a certain diet plan or hitting certain macros each day.

I know that I’m going to keep referring back to everything in this course for a while. While it may seem like basic nutritional information, for me it was almost a reminder that sometimes a meal plan doesn’t need to be something crazy or elaborate. It can just be filled with good options that will help you work out and keep you full. I don’t need to stress about getting into a certain mindset or tracking things like crazy. I just need to get back to basics and make sure that I pay attention to what my body is saying.

If you are interested in doing this course (and I recommend it for anyone who has a regular fitness routine), there will be another round starting on March 5th. I feel like this course really did help me get into a better mindset about what I want to do with food and how I feel about fueling myself. And I hope that if any of you are looking to learn more about nutrition and how it affects how you work out that you will sign up! And you can use the promo code BOMBSHELL to get $5 off!

Still Managing My Expectations (or Still Able To Surprise Myself)

It was another workout week of needing to take things a bit easier. It is frustrating because I will feel so ready to be pushing myself when I walk into the workout and then as soon as I start it I feel like I can’t do it. This is something I do need to talk to my doctor about when we have our phone call because I don’t know if maybe I do need to go back to a slightly lower dose. I don’t want to have to struggle with my workouts like this for a long time because I can feel my progress slipping, especially with my running. But even with those issues, I did still manage to kick some butt this past week.

Monday was an endurance based workout. I had to start on the rower and I knew it would be a tough workout because it was my first morning workout on the new dosage. The rower I was on was acting up (for example it said I did under 200 meters in 3 minutes when it should have been more like 600 meters), but that might have been the best for me. I knew I was struggling on the rower and not knowing how much I was really struggling was helping me not feel as horrible about it. We had timed and distance rows, but for the distance rows I just rowed for the time it should take me to complete them. For example, the 200 meter row would have been probably about 3.5 minutes according to the glitchy rower, but normally that takes me about a minute. So I rowed for a minute.

Next I was on the floor. The first block was a pretty standard block. We had deadlifts, pull overs, and single arm rows using the weights. But the second block was when things got interesting. Orangetheory just started using strength bands in the workouts and Monday’s workout was the introduction of them.

I’ve used workout bands in the past, but not anytime recently and my experience with them was limited. For this workout, we had weighted squats, squat walks, and ab twists using the bands. I struggled with the bands, especially getting them on me without them twisting and feeling uncomfortable. I figured out that I could use them lower on my legs (which would make it a big harder, but that could be good) and I wouldn’t have struggled as much. But I tried my best and I’m looking forward to using the bands again.

And I was on cardio last and I was feeling pretty exhausted by then. I also knew I’d be going to Disneyland after the workout so I stuck with being on the bike. I’m glad I went with the bike because we had 5 minute distance challenges. If I was on the treadmill, I probably would have tried to run and possibly hurt myself. But since I don’t really have an idea of what I can do in 5 minutes on the bike, the pressure was off a bit. For the first distance challenge I did 2 miles on the bike and for the second one I did 2.1 miles so I was happy with the small improvement between the two attempts.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day. It was a bit frustrating to still not be able to run especially because when I got to class I was so sure I’d be working on running. But even walking was getting my heart rate up pretty high so I had to stick with walking. All the blocks were 4.5 minutes long and they were all pretty much the same pattern with a push pace, base pace, and push to all out pace. I was doing my normal walking speed and inclines and I tried not to focus on my desire to run. By the way, the fact that I have a desire to run is still a bit of a novelty for me and I think it’s pretty funny.

Things were more back to normal when I was on the floor. Again, all the blocks were 4.5 minutes long so things moved pretty quickly. The first block was full thrusters using weights and plank low rows using weights. The second block was snatches with weights and plank Spiderman. The third block was the toughest for me because it had full burpees but the other move was squat reverse fly with weights which was a nice break from burpees. And the last block was rounds of 100 meter rows with skier swings. With the rowing, I was able to get my wattage up pretty high, but I still couldn’t PR which was a bit frustrating. You’d think by having the best wattage on the rower I would get a better time, but it wasn’t happening that day.

Friday’s workout was a struggle for so many reasons that I’m just glad I survived. First, I was still dealing with adjusting to the new medication dosage. Also, I was dealing with horrible craps and nausea. And finally I ate too much at lunch that day (my friend Dani brought sandwiches over and we were hanging out before the workout). All of those things combined just made the day so difficult. It was an endurance day and I really didn’t think much about it. I just tried to get through it. There were 3 blocks on the treadmill and they all had longer push paces with going back to base paces. I was able to do my normal speed and inclines, but I did have to take a ton of breaks in the middle of each block.

On the floor the first block was a longer one. We started with an 800 meter row (I was done in just under 4 minutes) and then we had a bunch of exercises. Those included chest presses on the straps, lateral lunges, side plank leg raises, and sit-ups. Then it was a 400 meter row and the same exercises again. I was just getting through the exercises again before time on that block was done. Then we had a quick block with static lunges, bicep curls on the straps, and bicycle curls. The floor work was a bit better for me than the treadmill, but it was still a bit of a struggle.

Saturday’s workout was an endurance, strength, and power workout and it was a 3 group workout as well. I was still feeling off when I got to the class, so I used the bike instead of the treadmill. Each block started with a longer push pace and then had decreasing push paces with base paces in-between. With the bike, I’m not as familiar with my abilities (although I should be) so I don’t know if I was doing more than I normally could. I was getting my heart rate up and I was sweating, so I figured that was pretty good.

Next I was on the rower. We started with a longer row and then we had sprint rows with medicine ball squats in-between. We were doing 100 meter sprints and I decided to see if I could PR. I hadn’t checked my records before class, but I was pretty sure I knew what my best was. I had my coach stand on my rower (sometimes when you go really hard the rower can jump a bit) and I rowed what felt like the hardest I had ever rowed. I was really disappointed when I was done because I was sure it wasn’t a PR. But I knew it was my best average wattage for a 100 meter row so I took a photo of it for my records.

To my surprise, when I got home and checked my records, I actually did PR! I took 4/10ths of a second off of my 100 meter row! I wish I had known that in class because I think I would have been happier with things instead of feeling annoyed that I couldn’t PR even with trying the hardest I could. I’m glad the hard work did pay off though!¬†And I finished up on the floor where the first block was clean to press with weights, triceps with weights, and half squat swings. And the last block was a core blast with sit-ups and superman extensions.

I know I’ve said this the past month or so, but I don’t know how much longer I will need in this adjustment period. I know that my workouts are suffering a bit because of this but it will be worth it in the end. I’m working on my patience with myself and it does seem like it’s paying off in my strength and rowing work. And hopefully soon enough it will be paying off in my cardio and I’ll be back to running.