Monthly Archives: March 2016

Scared Speechless (or A Book Giveaway!)

I’m doing another giveaway! I know I still have my “Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera” giveaway going on, but this is another amazing giveaway that I think you will all love! So I had no choice but to run 2 giveaways at the same time! You can enter both of them and I really hope that you do!

I met Steve Rohr when I was at the Entertainment New Media Network Conference last year. He was so amazing when he spoke to the group that I had to talk to him immediately after he spoke and pitched him to be on the Inside Acting Podcast. I’m glad he said yes because I absolutely loved his episodes! The stories and knowledge that he shared is amazing and I know how lucky we are that he was willing to speak with us. And I’ve been fortunate that Steve has stayed in touch with me because he’s a seriously awesome person (beside everything else he does, he’s the publicist for the Oscars!).

Steve recently shared with me that he and his friend Dr. Shirley Impellizzeri wrote a book called “Scared Speechless”. It’s all about taking the fear away from public speaking and how to become the best public speaker you can be. He offered to send me a copy and of course I said yes! While I don’t do much public speaking, I figure that any help I can get to be less nervous when I speak would be good plus I love reading self-help books!

I was so excited when it arrived at my doorstep and loved that Steve and Shirley signed it for me!

Scared Speechless Signed Copy

I immediately started to read it. I read it so quickly that I was done within 2 days and would have put this post up sooner except that I wanted to read it again before blogging about it! I felt like I read it so quickly that a second reading was needed to I could digest everything I was learning and make sure that I didn’t miss any lessons.

This is such a wonderful book! Obviously, it’s great for people who have to do public speaking or presentations at work or school. But so much of this book is perfect for actors who are nervous about auditions. It discusses some of the science behind fear and how to overcome them. It shares ideas for speeches and how to write different types of speeches like presentations, toasts, eulogies, and commencement speeches. And it has a great list of speeches you can watch or read to be inspired and to help you with whatever you may need to come up with.

What I love so much about this book is how it is broken up. Each chapter could be viewed as a standalone article. You could read just what you need to or read the entire book and still get a lot of information out of it. Each chapter starts with a chapter focus (listed on the first page of the chapter) so you know what you will be reading about. Then toward the end of the chapter there is homework or ideas to try to help work on the lessons that the chapter discussed. And finally at the end of each chapter there are key notes from what you just read in the chapter. It’s almost like someone already wrote notes on the book so you can make sure you didn’t miss anything and you know exactly what you should have gotten out of that chapter.

I read a lot of non-fiction books and I have to say that this one is one of the easiest books that I’ve read in a long time. It is very clearly written and the chapters are split up nicely so it doesn’t feel confusing or like it is repeating itself (which is a common issue I see in non-fiction books). I think that this really is relatable and anyone could find something in the book that connects to them and their public speaking (or auditioning) issues. This may be the first non-fiction book that I honestly think everyone no matter what should read.

You can go online and buy the book in paperback or on your Kindle now, but I have a signed copy to giveaway! There are a ton of ways you can enter. You can follow people on twitter, visit different fan pages on Facebook, comment on this post, or tweet out a message (and you can tweet out a message every day for extra entries!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can’t wait for you all to read this book. It really is incredible and I have a feeling that this will be a book that I come back to from time to time to help me with my auditions and any public speaking moments I might have in my life.

Good luck and I can’t wait to announce the winner!

A Lunchtime Meeting (or Feeling Very LA)

I’ve talked about a couple of projects in the works that I’m a part of. Each of them are taking steps forward and hopefully they will be happening at some point this year. The project I’m farthest along with is the short film that my friend Christopher wrote for the two of us to star in.

He’s written 2 drafts of the film so far. The second draft happened after he and I met to read through the script, discuss ideas, and make changes. I’m really happy where the script is now and I think it’s a super cute and funny short film. I think the way it is right now is a finished draft and we are ready to get this project filmed!

Of course, in order to film we need to find a crew and get some money together. The money thing isn’t going to be easy, but we are hoping that the crew part won’t be as tough. We first focused on finding a director and I reached out to my friend Bryan who directed the documentary I produced. I sent Bryan the script and fortunately he really liked it and we set up a lunch meeting to discuss things.

There are times where I have to laugh at how stereotypically LA I am sometimes. And going to a lunch meeting with a writer and director with a script in my hand was really funny to me.

Lunch meeting

We met up at Public School 818 (where I’ve met my Tone It Up friends before) and it was a pretty awesome meeting. I hadn’t seen Bryan since he helped me with my demo reel a while back, so it was great to see him again! We caught up on life (he and his wife had a baby since the last time I saw him) and Bryan and Christopher got to meet for the first time and chat.

Meetings with potential directors kind of feel like first dates. You are feeling each other out and seeing if you can get along. I already knew that Bryan would be an amazing director for this and Bryan was really impressed with Christopher’s past work. So I felt pretty good that the meeting was going to go well.

Honestly, most of our lunch meeting was just chat about almost everything besides the script. Christopher and Bryan are both dads, so they talked a lot about that (and I just listened). We talked about random LA stuff and eventually we got to talking about the film. Bryan has a couple of minor adjustments that he thinks would make things better, and both Christopher and I were totally fine with his suggestions. And we discussed how much of a crew we would need to shoot it. Christopher wrote the script with a minimal crew in mind, so we wouldn’t need a ton of people. But we do still need a crew.

Where we left our meeting was that Bryan seemed pretty enthusiastic about the script. He has a producer friend in mind who might be able to help out and help us find crew members who want experience (and wouldn’t cost a ton of money). And Christopher and I need to try to find some post-production people since Bryan doesn’t really have as many connections there.

Overall, I felt like the meeting went really well. Progress is being made in the project and we have a timeline in mind for when it is best for us all to shoot. Hopefully if things go the way we want them to, by my birthday the film will be done and I’ll have another credit to my name before the fall tv season starts this year. This will also help me refresh my demo reel since I don’t exactly look the same way I did when I shot the scenes I’m using now (my hair is different and I’ve lost weight).

The best thing about this meeting is just how everything came together. This is why it’s so important to meet creative types that aren’t doing the same thing that you do. I met Christopher years ago when a friend of mine was in one of his films and he and I have stayed in touch since then. And Bryan was brought to the documentary by a friend and I’ve stayed in touch with him since we filmed it. Hopefully I’ll have enough connections to help us find our crew. But even if I don’t, I have a feeling that we will be able to figure it out somehow. Things always seem to work out somehow if they are meant to be.

Knowing My Limitations (or Going Easy On Myself)

I’ve struggled a lot with my limitations and how much I can do. This isn’t just workout related (although that is a big part of things), it’s also about scheduling myself and not getting overwhelmed. It’s so easy for me to think that I can do 100 things in a day and then get upset when I only get 10 of them done. There’s so much I feel like I should get done every day and there are days where it’s suddenly 8pm and I feel like I’ve done nothing at all.

I’m like that with my day jobs. I work really hard at getting both of my main day jobs done each day. Many days I can to both at the same time (working one in between the customer calls/chats at the other), but sometimes there’s just no way to make that happen. That’s fine and I know most people can’t work more than one job at a time, but it’s still frustrating when that’s how I imagine my schedule to go that day. I’m working harder and harder at creating backup plans for myself, but I sometimes get upset when I realize that there’s no way to complete both jobs at the time I expected. It’s really childish that is upsetting me, but I guess I’m just so used to having a set schedule and things ending exactly at the time I expected them to. That’s the benefit of having a job with a set schedule instead of one that is on my own time. But the jobs on my own time are the ones with the flexibility I need so those are better for me.

It’s the same thing with clothes and shoes. I really want to be able to wear cute things, but sometimes that can’t happen. Some of it is due to the clothes I want to wear not coming in my size (which is so annoying!) and some of it is how it fits on me. I know that everyone probably has this problem, but I hate when I see something in a catalog or online on someone my size but it doesn’t look right on me. It’s the main reason that I really don’t do online shopping (except for my workout clothes). Or there are tons of cute shoes that I’d love to wear but I can’t because of my hip issues. I’m trying to find cute shoes that are more “comfort” style shoes, and fortunately many companies make super cute comfort shoes. I’ve been struggling with what I will wear to Rayshell’s wedding. I didn’t want to wear the same dress I’ve worn to several weddings and I actually found something online at Target and it fit me perfectly. But now I’m stressed out about what shoes to wear. Sometimes I feel like I just want to collapse and cry when I can’t figure out how to do what I want.

This has been an issue for me for a long time, but lately it’s been getting worse. I’m not exactly sure what brought it on. But I am taking on more projects (day job and acting related) that take up time. And I have more events where I need cute outfits. And I feel like I should be making progress with my fitness because I work so hard and then I have a setback or don’t make progress at all. I’m sure I’m just in a slump right now, but it’s not fun at all.

I’m really trying to figure out better ways to set myself up for success. I’m doing  a lot more planning in my life right now. Planning out my day more specifically than I have in the past allows me to find where I have extra time to get things done that I haven’t been able to complete when I thought I would. And I’m working on closet planning to be able to put together more outfits and see what I have and not focus on what I want to get for a specific event. I think that having more organization in that sense will help me find some peace in what is stressing me out lately. And if it doesn’t bring me peace, hopefully it will allow me to pinpoint exactly what is bringing on the stress and frustration so I can work on that specific issue and not the issue in whole.

Switching Things Up (or Challenging Workouts)

I had another 4 workout week this past week. It wasn’t easy doing 2 weeks in a row of 4 workouts (especially since I feel like I’m doing fewer 4 workout weeks lately), but I’m glad I did it. I’m hoping that eventually 4 workout weeks will be the norm and the 3 workout weeks will be less frequent. But I’ve got a lot of progress to go before I get to that point. For now I’m just happy with my occasional 4 workout weeks.

Monday was a tough start to the week for me. Usually, if you warm up on the treadmill you will start with cardio and if you warm up on the rower you will start on the floor. But on Monday, our coach Brendon switched things up so those of us warming up on the treadmill started on the floor. I wasn’t too happy about that, but fortunately it wasn’t as bad as it’s been in the past. Before, my hips would lock up on the treadmill if I started there second. But on Monday I was in a bit of pain (which is expected) but no hip lock.

On the floor, I was able to do my arm work, but I had to use the 15 pound weights instead of the 20 pound ones. And we had a bunch of TRX strap work which is one of my favorite things to do. I feel really powerful on the straps and it’s much easier to make micro adjustments versus using weights. On the treadmill, we had a bunch of longer pushes (2 1/2 minutes) followed by all-outs. We really didn’t have any base pace work, but the pushes did get shorter so that was nice. I definitely felt exhausted after the Monday workout.

Wednesday was a day that was filled with lots of tough treadmill blocks. We started with a 3 minute push followed by a 30 second all-out. There were 5 blocks and each block was 30 seconds less on the push pace. Even thought the blocks were getting shorter, it felt just as tough as the long one. But I was still able to maintain my 3.5 miles an hour at 6% incline for my pushes. I tried seeing if I could do 3.6 miles an hour (like I do for my all-outs) for the pushes but I tried that toward the end of the treadmill time so I was a bit too tired. Even though I was tired after all that treadmill work, I was still able to do my arm work on the floor with 20 pound weights (which made me really happy). And we had some rowing to do as well on the floor but I was struggling a bit with those because of my hips.

Friday was probably the most challenging day of the week for me. First of all, I wasn’t able to get the treadmill that I use pretty much every day. That probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you use the same treadmill all the time you get used to the quirks of that machine. And the treadmill I ended up using had just been worked on and was still a bit slick, so I felt like I wasn’t walking as steady as I’m used to. And that ended being something that really got to me because the treadmill block on Friday was a solid 22.5 minutes straight.

It was a distance challenge, and we could either follow along with the push and base pace plan that we were going to be told or do our own thing. In the past, I pretty much did my own thing for those distance challenges. But on Friday I followed along with when we were supposed to be in a push pace versus a base pace. I kept my pushes at my usual 3.5 miles an hour and 6% incline for almost all of it. I had to bring it down to 4% incline toward the end, and I bumped up my speed for the last minute. I had a goal in my head that I wanted to get to 1.3 miles in 22.5 minutes (I’m not sure why, but that number was the first thing I thought of when I heard it was a distance challenge). I knew I was going to be close, but I’m so glad that I bumped up the speed for that last minute because I know that is what got me to be just a bit better than my goal distance.

22.5 Minute Challenge

After that was done, I felt like I had just completed an entire class! But I still had my floor work to do. We had some rowing (mainly sprints so I was able to do some quick rows) and also some hip bridges (which I can do really well now) but I had to take things a bit easy because I was so tired after the treadmill. I know when I’m tired my form can get sloppy and that can make my hips hurt more (or cause an injury) so I have to be extra careful. I know I could have done better, but I’m glad I went easy because it was worth it to not hurt.

Saturday ended up being a nice bookend to my week when compared to the rest of the workouts. I was planning on using the bike for my cardio (as I’ve planned), but I forgot to put a cone on a treadmill so there would be enough spaces for me to be with the treadmill group. Since every treadmill was taken when I was on my bike, I had to start on the floor again (just like Monday). The workout was broken up so we had 2 blocks on the floor and 2 blocks on the treadmill (although technically each of those blocks was 2 blocks each). So we did get to switch back and forth.

The floor seemed to be a lot of ab work using the Bosu. I had to modify a couple of them since the instability can be tough on my hips, but I was happy that most of them I could do just fine. We also used the Bosu for some triceps pullovers and I was able to do those with a 25 pound weight. For the rest of my arm work, I switched between 12 and 15 pound weights depending if they were lateral work (12 pound weights) or anything else (15 pound weights). We also had sprint rows but I think I sprinted a bit too hard because I had to take time catching my breath between the rower and the rest of the floor.

The bike was fine, but I always feel like I don’t get in as good of a workout as I do on the treadmill. I was getting my heart rate up into the proper zones and I was sweating like crazy, but it still feels easier than the treadmill. I’m starting to think that maybe I think less pain means easier and that’s why. I don’t see any other proof that the bike isn’t as good as the treadmill but it’s just something that I keep thinking.

I know that this week I’ll be doing 3 workouts and the week after will be Peak Performance week (which may need to be 3 workouts due to my 5K race). I think that I’ve been pushing myself nicely lately and I’m hoping that those results will show at my next race. But I also know that race days can be weird and I’m not expecting a PR. All I want is a good race.

A Goodbye Dinner (or My Friend Is Becoming A Georgia Peach)

While I love celebrating all of my friends‘ accomplishments, sometimes those accomplishments are a bit sad too. My friend Brandi announced recently that she and her family are moving to Atlanta and she had her goodbye dinner the other day. I’m happy for the new adventure that she’s going on, but I’m sad that a friend is moving away.

Brandi and I have been friends for a while. I actually can’t remember exactly how we met. I think it might have been through The Actors’ Network but we’ve known each other so long that I can’t be sure. Ever since we met, she’s been an amazing friend to me. She’s the one who started our Girls Night Out group and because of that I met so many of my other friends. She’s helped out with the Inside Acting 200th episode celebration by making custom cookies for us, and then she inspired so many of us with her amazing story when she was interviewed on the podcast. She has accomplished so many things in her career and I only hope that I can have similar successes to her some day.

With Brandi

Brandi’s move is going to be a really good thing for her. She’s got family near there and there are so many opportunities for actors there. I’ve already told her that I’m expecting that it’s just a matter of time now before she is cast on “The Walking Dead”. While I wish that she was staying in LA, I know that her move to Atlanta is the best thing for her and her family. Plus, I know she’ll be making trips to LA every so often (and this gives me an excuse to go to Atlanta for the first time)!

Brandi’s dinner was technically also a Girls Night Out gathering, but since Brandi wanted to invite some of her guy friends too we made it co-ed. It was the same night as the rock opera screening, so I was a bit late arriving to the dinner but that was ok. As soon as the screening was done, I got into my car and drove over. I was only about an hour late, but because there was horrible traffic everyone was late too.

The dinner was held at Kitchen 24. Originally I was totally going to stay there for dinner and hang out with Brandi and everyone else as much as possible. But because I got there late and was exhausted that evening, I was only able to be there for about an hour an a half. All the food there looked amazing, but it was a bit late for me to eat and I knew that I needed to be out of there by a certain time. I wish I could have ordered something because when everyone else started to get food, it smelled so yummy. So I guess I’ll have to go out there another time to try it out.

Since I wasn’t eating while I was there, I spent my time chatting with my friends. Some of them I haven’t seen in a long time, but since we are friends on Facebook it always seems like I know what they’ve been up to. It actually shocked some of us when we realized it had been over a year since we had seen each other! So even though we were virtually caught up, it was nice to catch up for real. And we all started planning our next Girls Night Out since it has been almost 2 years since our last real one. So we are working on scheduling the next one (and making sure that we FaceTime Brandi in so she can be a part of it) and hopefully we get a good turnout for it.

Before I knew it, I had to head back home. I’ll see Brandi one more time for sure before she moves because I am giving her some of my old suitcases to use for moving. So it wasn’t a big goodbye when I said goodbye, but it was still sad. I know with Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and other technologies that it won’t be that hard to stay in touch when she moves; but it won’t be the same. And I think having to say goodbye was also a lesson to the rest of us that we have been slacking on seeing each other in person and we need to remedy that now.

But for now, it’s bon voyage to Brandi and the amazing adventure she’s going on. I have no doubts that this move is going to benefit her career so much and before we know it she’ll be back in LA again accepting an amazing award or something!

Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera (or An Awesome Giveaway!)

Today’s post includes an awesome giveaway and I’m so excited to share this with you all! It’s seriously a super awesome prize and I think a lot of you will be entering this!

The other day, I was invited to check out my friend Erin’s movie “Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera”. They are getting ready to launch a screening tour and they started in LA this week. Erin has been working on this rock opera for a bit and I couldn’t wait to check it out (you can check out the trailer for it here).

OUAT: The Rock Opera actually started as a parody video of the ABC show “Once Upon A Time” that Erin made called “Once Upon A Anonymous”. That then turned into an award-winning web series. After doing the web series, Erin decided to take things up a notch and create a rock opera that has 7 original songs in it!

I’ve seen an episode or two of “Once Upon A Time”, but I’m not super familiar with the show. So I was a bit worried going into the screening that I wouldn’t get it too much. I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn’t the case!

OUAT Rock Opera

All you really need to know about the story is that the characters are all fairy tale characters (Snow White, Hook, Tinkerbell, Cruella DeVil, Ariel, Ursula, and others) and they are in the mythical town of Storybrooke, Maine. The story of the rock opera was pretty self-contained so I didn’t need to know the plot points from the TV show to get it. I’m sure I missed some jokes because they were about the show, but I still was laughing a lot during the movie. The songs were super awesome and covered a bunch of musical genres. And while I’ve seen a lot of films my friends have made, I think this was the most professional looking film I’ve seen by a friend! It looked just like something a studio would have created and it had some really fun special effects.

And of course, the actors were all amazing!

With Erin and Ace

Erin plays Emma Swan, the lead in the movie, and she looks just like the actress who plays the character in the TV show. And her husband, Ace (you might recognize him from playing Aladdin at Disneyland), plays Hook. I didn’t know most of the other actors in the movie, but I really enjoyed watching them all. They all played the characters exactly how I would want them to and they all had awesome singing voices! You can buy the soundtrack for the movie if you’d like so you can check it out!

They’ve already done other screenings that typically sell out plus they’ve had a big live performance at San Diego Comic-Con! The fanbase for this rock opera is big and I think that people who are fans of the ABC show have to see this and non-fans need to see this just because it’s awesome!

With their new screening tour starting up soon (tickets are on sale for some locations now!), Erin and the entire team behind OUAT: The Rock Opera wanted to give away an amazing prize to all of my readers! They are letting me give away 2 VIP tickets to any of their screenings on the current screening tour (but you would be responsible for any travel costs to get to the screening if you need to travel to it) plus a digital download of the full movie! This is such an awesome giveaway and I’m so grateful that Erin and the team are letting me give this away to one of you! All you have to do is enter via Rafflecopter below and a random winner will be selected after the contest ends at midnight on April 15th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are a lot of opportunities to enter and you can enter every day with the tweet about the giveaway option! The giveaway will run through midnight on the 15th and I will email the winner that they won (you’ll have 48 hours to respond to my email before a new winner is chosen). You will have a chance to say which location you want screening tickets for (don’t worry, what you put as a comment doesn’t have to be where you really want them) and Erin and the OUAT: The Rock Opera team will coordinate with you to get you your tickets and digital download.

If you don’t win, you will still be able to buy tickets for their screenings,  buy the soundtrack for the movie, and starting on April 1st you can buy the digital download of the movie.

Good luck with entering and I can’t wait for you all to get to experience the Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera yourselves!

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (or A Movie With A Fun Friend)

The other day, I got an email from Women In Film inviting members to attend an advance screening of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”. Women in Film does really great screenings (like the one I went to for “Miss You Already”), so I signed up for tickets right away. Since there were limited tickets for members I wasn’t sure I would get tickets, but a day later I got the email that I got my seats!

I put it out on Facebook to see who else wanted to see the movie with me, and my friend Elisa said she wanted to go. I met Elisa through Tone It Up, she also works out at Orangetheory (but a different location than I go to), and she’s now going to be a part of my Pantages season tickets group next season. But she and I haven’t really hung out a ton by ourselves so I was excited to go to the movie with her.

I was super excited to see this movie. I remember when the first movie came out and loving it! And the story of how it was a one-woman show turned into a movie was really inspiring too. As soon as I saw that there was going to be a sequel, I knew I’d go to see it. And I’m so grateful that I got an opportunity to see a screening for it because there are so many movies lately that I want to see and I can’t afford to see them all!

We got to The Grove (where the screening was held) a little more than an hour before the movie was supposed to start. We were told that even though we had tickets it wouldn’t guarantee us seats, so we wanted to make sure we lined up early to get in. We were toward the front of the line and got our tickets pretty quickly. But then we noticed that they were not assigned seats (I thought they would be). So we didn’t want to wait too long before going into the theater. Even though The Grove has a bunch of restaurants, we both ended up getting movie theater food for dinner. Not the best choice, but I got a hot dog and water so it wasn’t too horrible.

We got some pretty great seats once we went inside (it didn’t get crowded until a few minutes before the movie started) and sat down to enjoy our dinner. We did get to catch up on life and everything since we had an hour before the movie started. Elisa has some cool things coming up in her life and job so she was filling me in on that. And we had a good time talking about all things Orangetheory. And before we knew it, the representative from the studio was talking to the audience explaining that since it was a pre-release screening they had antipiracy officers in the audience looking for cell phones and the movie was starting.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

The movie was really good! I was shocked afterward to see that there were negative reviews online when I enjoyed it as much as I did. I had seen in interviews that the original cast was returning for this movie. And there were a ton of people from the first movie! Every scene it seems like I was realizing that the actor on screen played a cousin or something in the original. It’s nice to see that so many cast members loved doing the original movie and they wanted to come back!

The story was really cute and even though some moments were a bit absurd, there was always something real and heartfelt to bring it back to reality. Elisa and I both were laughing throughout the entire movie and it seemed like everyone in the audience enjoyed it as much as us. The only thing that bugged me were the women sitting next to me. They talked pretty loudly and decided to do some dancing in their seats (and elbowed me a couple of times). I’m also used to going to screenings where you cannot eat inside the theater so the noise of people eating threw me off a bit (but that’s a personal issue and not an issue with the movie).

I’m so glad that the movie was just as good as I hoped it would be! It’s tough to do a sequel over a decade after the original, and this one did not disappoint at all. And I think Elisa would have the same review as me.

With Elisa

I wasn’t able to hang out at The Grove after the movie because I didn’t want pay too much for parking and I wanted to get home at a decent hour. But it was nice to get out there since I missed doing my post-New Year’s cheesecake outing with my friend Joanna this year (hopefully we’ll do that eventually this year).

With it being after the awards season now, there aren’t as many movie screenings as there were earlier this year. But I’m glad that there are still some so I can go to the movies and not worry too much about having to splurge with my spending. There are a couple of movies that are screening this weekend that I’m going to, and if they are as awesome as “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” was, I’ll be writing about those for sure!

A Year On Vyvanse (or Help Is Expensive)

I’ve been taking Vyvanse for just about a year now. It’s crazy to think that a year ago I started my journey with this medication and my therapist. And while I’m still struggling, I’ve made some significant progress over the past year.

When I started Vyvanse, I had so many hopes that this would make all my binge feelings go away and I would be “normal”. And for the first few days that was exactly what it felt like. But then my body adjusted to the medication and while it does help quite a bit, it’s not the miracle drug that I secretly hoped it would be. Over the past year, we’ve adjusted my medication a few times. I started at 20mg a day and right now I’m at 50mg a day (30mg in the morning and 20mg at lunchtime). There is a chance that things will be adjusted again when I see my doctor in a couple of months, but for now I’m happy where I am.

While I’m so grateful that I was approved to be on this medication, I know how lucky I am. Not everyone does get approved even if they have a history of binge eating disorder. I think you need to prove to the doctor that you are working on things yourself and not expecting the medicine to do all the work for you (similar to getting approved for weight loss surgery). I think the fact that I was doing a regular workout routine helped show my doctor that I am working toward a healthy lifestyle and one of the things holding me back from achieving what I want is my eating disorder.

I’m also grateful that my parents have been willing to help me with the expenses related to the medication. I do have health insurance (which got so much cheaper after the Affordable Care Act since I have so many pre-existing conditions), but I still have to pay for prescriptions. My medication co-pay is $50 a month. And I have to pay that for 2 different strengths of Vyvanse, so each month costs $100. And on top of that, I have a deductible for my prescriptions. Thankfully, I maxed when I refilled 1 strength of Vyvanse the other day. But it still made it extremely expensive ($250 for the deductible and another $150 for the prescription). It will be just the co-pay for the rest of the year, but $100 a month for a medication that isn’t required for my health is something to really think about.

I’m thinking about talking to my doctor when I see him in a few months about either going back down to 2 20mg pills a day or up to 2 30mg pills a day. That way, I only have 1 prescription per day and it will be half the price I have now. Money isn’t the best reason to ask for a prescription to be changed, but I at least want to bring up the concern to my doctor.

Outside of the help that I’ve gotten from the medication, there have been so many positive steps I’ve made in the past year toward my recovery. Before, my recovery was a passive effort. I tried, but I wasn’t trying that hard. Now, I have changed how I track my food. Not having to see the calories has allowed me to have 100% accurate food tracking with no stress. I’ve been listening to podcasts about recovery and reading books to help me. These are things that I should have done years ago but haven’t. While the books I’ve got aren’t free, I wait until they are on sale to buy them. And of course, the podcasts are free to that saves some money.

It’s sad that for me to get help it costs as much as it does. But I’m spending a lot less than many people do. For people who don’t have prescription coverage (or as good of coverage as I do), Vyvanse can cost significantly more than what I’m spending. I’m lucky that my appointments with my doctor only require my co-pay and nothing extra. And I’m not in an in-patient facility (which can be thousands of dollars a day). It’s not making my money issues worse because my parents are helping, but that’s also a lucky break I have. I wish that more things were available and free (or cheap) to help with recovery from a binge eating disorder. I feel in the next few years that maybe there will be more offerings as more people are diagnosed or aware of this eating disorder.

For now, I’m happy where I am a year into this new plan and hopefully the next year will bring even more progress toward recovery and hopefully an idea of how to maintain the progress I have made so far.

Lots Of Different Workouts (or Struggles and Successes)

I did a 4 workout week for the first time in a while, and it was a pretty awesome week. I did have some not-so-fun moments, but overall the workouts were pretty great. I think what helped the most is that each day was significantly different from the others. The workouts at Orangetheory are never the same, but I think this week had more variety than ever.

Monday was a bit of a tough day for me. It was a strength day, so that meant extra hills on the treadmill. I’m not sure why my body was struggling so much, but it became extremely difficult for me to do the hills. I really wanted to push myself more, but my body was just not having it. So I kept my inclines low (lower than I normally would) and just focused on getting through the treadmill time without too much pain. It’s so frustrating to have a morning like that, but I don’t really know what caused it so I really couldn’t do anything to prevent it. Since the treadmill time was a bit of a disappointment, I worked extra hard on the floor. I was using 20 pound weights for my arms (it’s starting to feel more normal to do that) and even though my arms felt like jello after each set, it was exactly what I should have done. We also had to do some hip bridges during the floor work. I usually avoid hip bridges because they cause me so much pain. These were supposed to be done on the TRX straps, but I know that there was no way I could do those. So I tried doing them on the floor and to my surprise not only could I do them, they weren’t painful for me at all! I think some of the stretching work I’ve been trying to do at home is finally helping my hips loosen up and maybe breaking up some of the scar tissue I’ve got.

Wednesday was actually pretty awesome. We had a partner workout that day and it feels like we haven’t had one of those in a long time! Fortunately, my friend Dani was in Wednesday’s class so she was able to be my partner for the workout.

Wednesday Workout

Normally during the partner workouts, the person on the floor controls the pace. The person on the treadmill will do the treadmill portion and then normally row until the floor person is done with their round. Then the floor person taps out the cardio person and they switch. But this time, the treadmill person controlled the pace. It was a run/row (most partner workouts are that way) and some of the cardio segments were really long! I felt guilty that Dani was stuck on the floor while I was finishing them (Dani felt the same way so it ended up being ok). The row parts were all 100 meters, so I was able to sprint through those. The treadmill parts got a bit long, but I did every part at 3.5 miles an hour and at 6% incline. With the partner workouts, we had the entire class without any breaks so it was non-stop work and I was exhausted by the time it was done.

With Wednesday being so much fun, I had high hopes for Friday. But Thursday night/Friday morning, I got really sick. I’m guessing it was food poisoning and by Friday mid-day I was feeling almost normal again. So I figured I could go to my workout (if nothing else, maybe sweating would help me get better). It was a switch day so that helped to make the treadmill time a bit easier for me. And even though there were only 2 groups in the class, we had a mini-tornado format (where you rotate between treadmill, floor, and rower). I tried my best with the treadmill, but I was feeling pretty nauseous during class (my friend David who works at Orangetheory commented that I looked like I had no color left in my face after class). Even with feeling sick, the floor work wasn’t too tough on me. The only thing that was making me feel sick was going from laying down on the weight bench to sitting up or standing. So I took my time but while I was working tried to use really heavy weights.

Since I made the deal with myself that 4th workouts of the week wouldn’t be on the treadmill, I did my Saturday workout on the bike. It was not a switch day, so I’m glad I stuck with the bike. It was an interesting format to the workout. There were 6 blocks, but really only 2 types of blocks. We would do a long push pace to an all out pace and then we would do an all out pace, walking recovery, and an all out pace to follow. The first round of the push to all out was a little more than 4 minutes and got shorter for the other 2. And the all out, walking, all out were 1 minute each, then 45 seconds each, and finishing with 30 seconds each. On the floor, we followed a similar pattern. We had something specific to do for the longer blocks and then the shorter ones we did rounds of squats. My legs were shaking by the time we were done, but it felt great to get through the workout and feel so much better than I did the day before.

I’ve got another 4 workout week planned for this week. Rumor has it that the first week of April we will have another Peak Performance week, and right after that will be my next 5K. That means that I might not be able to do as much during Peak Performance week as I would like do (depending if the week is the same week as my race), but hopefully that will put me in a good spot with how I’ll do with my 5K. As much as I would like to PR at my race, I don’t know how realistic that will be for me. But for these next few weeks of workouts, my goal is to push myself as much as I can to give myself the best chance to have an awesome race!

Reflection (or I’m Totally Living My Dream)

The other night, I went out to dinner with my friend Erin. Erin is pretty amazing (she’s created a spoof series/rock opera) and she and I have been hanging out lately. First, we started hanging out because of our mutual love of “X-Files” (and me having a DVR when she doesn’t have cable), but we also are now working on putting together a project together. After we had an official meeting, we went to dinner to kill time during rush hour before she went home.

It’s seriously so inspirational to have friends who are really living their dream and doing exactly what they want to do with life. Sometimes I feel like I’m the farthest away from doing that, but nobody makes me feel less than or puts down the fact that I’m working multiple day jobs.

During our dinner, we did talk about what our ultimate dreams are (for me, it’s a series regular role on a sitcom-style tv show). And I really started to think about where I am in my life and how far I’ve come.

Yes, I’m still working multiple day jobs and I don’t make a living by being an actor. But honestly, I’m living everything that I dreamed of from when I decided to be an actor.

I moved to LA when I was 18 (to attend college) and have never moved away. In a couple of years, I will have lived in LA longer than I lived in the Bay Area. I have a really cool house that I rent and I’m able to afford my rent and bills. I have a working car and it gets me everywhere I need to go. I can go to the beach, see the Hollywood sign, and go to famous landmarks whenever I have the time if I want.

I am pursing acting. I have amazing agents who I love, casting directors who believe in me, and a community of fellow actors who are super supportive. I don’t audition as often as others may, but the auditions I get are usually for higher level parts than I would expect (series regulars versus auditioning for a 1 line part). I have acting coaches who I can work with when I need to prepare for a big audition. I’ve taking acting classes with amazing teachers and have more classes that I want to take. I have headshots that represent me and get me into auditions that are right for me and my type.

I have amazing friends in LA and in other parts of the country. There was a time when I wondered if I was going to be friendless for a long time (and it did feel like a really long time before I really built up my friends circle), but fortunately that changed. My friends are actors and non-actors, but everyone is equally supportive. I have friends who support me at my workouts, friends who support me at my auditions, friends who are helping me creating acting work, and friends who support me when times are tough. I know that if I needed something or someone that I could find a friend who would come to help me anytime day or night (and I would do the same for any of my friends).

I get to go on a bunch of fun adventures. A lot of adventures are local, but all of them are amazing. I can go to Disneyland whenever I have free time, I’ve been to secret clubs in LA, and I get invited to screenings year-round. When I do get to go out-of-town, there’s always something really awesome planned. While I’m hoping to be able to travel internationally again in the near future, there’s enough great stuff in California alone to keep me happy.

While I’m still battling my eating disorder, I’m now viewing it as a battle and not something completely out of my control. I know that one day this will be in my past and those demons will be gone from my life. But thinking of it as a battle has helped me make more progress this past year than I have in my entire life. And the fact that I have a regular workout routine is helping me in my battle and the workouts are making me so happy. I feel like I’m taking control of my health and that is awesome.

When I was hanging out with Erin, we talked about some of these things. Sometimes, I do have to remind myself that this is my life. There are times that I meet celebrities that I was obsessed with as a teenager at an event and get to chat with them for a bit. If the 14-year-old me knew that this was in my future, I’m sure that I would have been much less stressed about school. Honestly, things have happened in my life that I never would have believed would happen to me. It’s awesome that this has been my life so far, and I know that it’s only going to get better.

I already know that this year is going to be better than last year. I have some really amazing things coming up and in the works and I know that they will lead to bigger and better things. And with this year only being about a quarter of the way done, I’ve got plenty of time to make this year even more awesome!