Tag Archives: competition

Weight Loss Challenge Time (or Not Worrying About Winning)

This week, a new weight loss challenge started at Orangetheory. I’ve done the challenge a couple of times before and it’s always been a pretty fun time for me. I’ve done well with it in the past and have even placed in the challenge. This time, the winner gets a cash prize and second and third place get free membership months. And even though I could totally use the cash, I’m not doing anything too extreme to try to win.

I am working on losing weight because of my upcoming surgery and hopefully whatever weight I lose from working on that will help me place. But to do anything that cannot be managed after the 6 weeks of the challenge ends isn’t something I’m interested in. I have about 3 months until my surgery and whatever weight loss plan I use for the next 6 weeks should be what I can do for the 3 months.

But having the weight loss challenge is extra motivation for me. I’m competitive and would love to place in any spot for the top 3. I like having a requirement to how many workouts I need to do (it’s only 3 per week so it’s what I’m used to) and having other people in the challenge holding me accountable for my actions. Plus, it’s a fun way to be involved at Orangetheory and that’s something that I love.

There was a kick off party for the challenge this past weekend. It felt so weird to go to the studio in my normal clothes (a lot of people who work there have never seen me with my hair down since I wear it in a top knot for my workouts) and it was nice to see my workout friends when we weren’t busy on the treadmills. They had the scale to do the weigh in so I got that done pretty quickly. But they also had some vendors there that could help us in the challenge. One of them was Tender Greens, which is discounting food for challenge participants for the next 6 weeks (sadly, the location by my house isn’t doing the discount).

They also had a food delivery service with samples there, massage therapists doing chair massages (that was pretty awesome), and SaunaBar which is giving us all discounts on services for the next 6 weeks. I’m thinking I should check out SaunaBar because it seems cool and something that could be nice along with the hard work that I’ll be doing. Plus, it seems like it would be a nice treat to do as a reward that doesn’t involve food or other things that could be bad for me.

I spent a while at the kickoff party (I was procrastinating on getting work done at my house), but it was really nice to get to hang out with people who I don’t often get to see outside of workouts. It was a fun change of pace for me and I’m glad that I went to the party instead of just doing my weigh in after a workout like I normally do. And getting to see my workout coaches outside of workouts is fun too. I do get to socialize with them a bit during class, but it’s pretty limited. So getting to have the time to talk and just have fun was good.

While I’m not planning on doing anything extreme over the next 6 weeks, I do hope that I am able to lose weight at a regular pace and that it helps to get me down to the weight that I am hoping to be at by my surgery. I don’t have a specific diet plan that I’m following (restricting myself seems to lead to more issues down the line), but I’m trying to just live a regular healthy lifestyle and hopefully that will help bring the weight down. I know that there is still a chance that I will have binge episodes, but hopefully the balance between those and the healthy eating will still result in some weight loss.

And who knows? Maybe in 6 weeks whatever I have been able to do will be enough to win! This challenge is based on fat percentage loss and not weight, so even if the scale doesn’t go down I still could do well in the challenge. I almost would prefer it to be based on weight so I could have an idea of how I’m doing (my scale doesn’t do fat percentage), but it might be better for me not to worry about my progress in the challenge but only in my progress toward my personal goals.

Either way, I’m hoping the next 6 weeks go well for me and when the challenge is done that I can be excited with what happens!

Is Helpfulness Out Of Style? (or Shocking People)

Over the past few days, I’ve had several friends say to me how nice it was of me to help them. I’ve helped friends with rides, finding cheap airport parking, reconnecting makeup artists to actors, advice on blogging, and shopping finds. It’s not a big deal to me at all. Someone needs something and I know it. So I help them. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve got a bit of downtime between customers at my day job so I can use that free time to research things for people if they don’t have time themselves.

But the way that some of my friends have thanked me have made it seem like they were shocked that I would go out of my way to do something for someone that I wouldn’t get anything out of. And that shocked reaction has stuck with me because it seemed like a no-brainer to help out.

I’ve always tried to be a helpful person. When I moved to LA, there were so many actors who weren’t willing to share any advice with me and said that I needed to find my own way and learn my own lessons. When I started my blog, I had some bloggers say a similar thing to me. It took me by surprise that people didn’t want to help out someone just starting out.

Now, I need to say that these people are in the minority, but what they said and how they refused to help me have stuck out in my mind. Even more so than all the people who were willing to help. But I think in most things in life, the negativity sticks out in your memory a lot more than any amount of positivity.

So when someone needs help with something that I can help with, I don’t question it for a second. I do what I can and hopefully either I or another person can get them what they need.

Why can’t this be the rule instead of the exception? Why are people not willing to help out like they used to? Why do people need to learn their own lessons instead of learning from other’s mistakes (isn’t that what history classes are pretty much all about)?

I’d love it if being helpful could become more common. I’d love it if the next time I help someone, they can just say “thank you” and not be shocked that I am willing to help.

Why is this so difficult for people? As an actor and blogger I guess I could see that people don’t want to help someone who could be considered competition. I just don’t get that. For acting, if a part is meant for me it’s meant for me. It doesn’t matter if my direct competition is there or not. And as a blogger, I doubt that someone would lose out on an advertiser or sponsored post because of me because every blogger has a slightly different story. So maybe I just don’t view my “competition” as competition. One of them is a good friend of mine.

I don’t know how to make this change in the world except to keep being helpful myself. And hopefully others will pass on the helpfulness to others.

Training For A 5K Without Planning On Doing Them (or I Think I’m Only Doing 3 5Ks This Year)

I’ve been thinking a lot about 5Ks lately. I was on such a streak with them last year. And I’ve talked about why I’ve eliminated 5Ks as part of my goals for the year.

But I’m thinking about them a lot because I keep getting emails to sign up for them. Some of them are races that I did last year, and some of them are just random ones from one of the various mailing lists I’m on now.

The only 5K that I have planned to do the rest of this year is the Hard Rock one. I signed up for that as soon as it was available because it was a good race to do. And I was planning on signing up for the weSPARK race, but I got a phone call a few weeks ago to let me know that that race was cancelled.

But to be honest, I wasn’t sad that it was cancelled. It was almost more of a relief that I don’t have to do it if I don’t want to.

I am signed up for one race already for next year and that’s the Hollywood Half 5K. Again, it’s a fun course (or at least it should be) and it has a nice medal so that’s always a plus in my book.

But I am doing more training, or at least what I consider training, for my 5Ks this year than ever before. Pretty much ever class at Orangetheory I’m spending about 30 minutes on the treadmill. That’s about half the time it takes me to do a 5K. The only times I don’t spend that long on the treadmill are run/row days. But a majority of the time, I’m getting in my 30 minutes.

Since I never trained on a treadmill for the races before, I’m not sure if it’s helping or not. I know it isn’t hurting, but there’s something different when the machine is forcing you to go a certain speed. I know that I have my bursts of speed and my moments of slowing down in a race, but you can’t really do that on a treadmill.

I’ve got some time before the Hard Rock race so I won’t know how the treadmill training will have worked out for a while. But I am curious to see how my body reacts to the next race. And maybe if it’s a really positive response, I’ll sign up for more races for the future.

But for now, I’m just focusing on my regular workouts and not stressing about the 5Ks yet. I know that when the Hard Rock one gets closer I will have the same fear about not being able to finish and getting picked up by the sweeper van. That’s the risk in doing a 5K only race (there’s plenty of time for me to finish when some people are doing 10Ks or 1/2 marathons).

And I am considering finding alternative types of races or competitions to try. I know another blogger who does stair climbing races, but that’s not really a possibility for me with all my hip issues. But if any of you have suggestions for other race types events, let me know!

Table Read (or Spending My Saturday Acting)

First of all, thank you to everyone who texted, emailed, tweeted, FB messaged, and called me after Keri’s death. I’ve passed on all of your messages to the rest of my family. Writing that post ended up being very therapeutic for me, even though it was tough to write.

But now I want to get on to my regular, happier posts. I know that’s exactly what Keri would want me to do.

Last week, a friend of mine put it out on Facebook that he needed to get some actors together to have a table read for a pilot script that he wrote for a CBS competition.

If you aren’t familiar with the idea of table reads, it’s pretty simple. You have all the actors read their parts of a script while you are all sitting around a table. For a show that is on tv, this is when the writers hear if their lines make sense (or are funny) and the other departments such as costumes or props can make lists of what they will need for that week’s episode.

But for this script, we would each read a few parts so my friend could hear everything out loud and see if he liked how it was going.

We all met at his apartment in the valley and read the script to ourselves before we all got assigned our parts.


It was a sitcom style script and it was really really funny! I don’t want to give a lot away because this is still a work in progress, but I can totally see it as a CBS sitcom on the air.

I got to read a couple of different parts which was a lot of fun. And there was one scene where 2 of the characters I was reading had a conversation so I got to have a funny little moment where I talked with myself.

After the table read was over, we all went over little notes we had about the script. There were a few things that needed clarification and some typos that we noticed, but overall it was an amazing pilot episode.

I’m not sure when the CBS script competition is making their cuts, but I would be shocked if I heard that this didn’t make the next round. And my friend promised that if something comes of this script, he will try to find a way for all of us who helped at the table read to be a part of it.

Even if nothing else comes from this, it was a great opportunity for me. I got to spend a couple of hours acting. I got to read an awesome script and make some character choices. And I got to network with a bunch of new people and reconnect with my friend who I hadn’t seen in years.

Overall, this was an amazing Saturday.

Biggest Loser Finale (or I Wish I Didn’t Have To Write About This)

On Tuesday evening, the finale for the most recent season of “The Biggest Loser” aired. This is the season that had the contestants that I saw at my birthday spin class. I’ve already written about how the show is a guilty pleasure of mine and that I have issues with how weight loss is shown on the show. But now I feel like I need to write about the reactions to the finale.

In case you aren’t too familiar with the show, the finale is a live event (or at least live for the east coast). Everyone who was eliminated prior to the finale weighs in for the at-home prize. The contestant with the highest percentage of weight loss wins. Then the finalists come out and the finalist with the highest percentage of weight loss wins $250,000.

When the finalists came out, the two men who were finalists looked a little thin, but that’s to be expected when they try to be at their lowest weight to win. Then the girl finalist, Rachel, came out. And you could hear gasps coming from the audience.


(photo courtesy of US Magazine)

I thought she looked pretty thin. Her legs were muscular, but her arms and face seemed very very skinny. When she weighed in, her weight was 105 pounds (she’s 5’4″). She lost about 60% of her body weight in about 8 months.

Immediately people were posting various sites online that Rachel must be anorexic now. People seemed shocked by her appearance. And two of the trainers on the show looked pretty surprised in the live show and later released a statement that they would not comment on her weight since they weren’t her trainers during the show.

It seems like people are finally seeing some of the problems that I’ve noticed with “The Biggest Loser” years ago. When you reward people for the highest percentage of weight loss, people do drastic things to make sure they win in the finale. Historically, the contestants gain weight back after the finale because they are extremely dehydrated (to make sure there is no water weight causing them to lose the weigh in). Many contestants gain back a lot of the weight they lost because the show is not realistic. And when you lose weight with a finish line in mind, you aren’t looking at it as a lifestyle but a temporary situation.

I know that last one for sure. When I did the RFO diet the first time, it was in preparation for my hip surgery. I knew that the less I weighed, the easier my recovery would be from surgery. And since I was about 90 pounds lighter going into surgery, I did have a very easy recovery. But after surgery, I didn’t have the same motivation any more to lose weight. And I gained a lot of it back. I did the RFO diet again, but again looked at it as a temporary situation (you have to when you aren’t eating any real food). And I gained it back again.

The other thing that makes me pretty mad at “The Biggest Loser” is the fact that many, if not all, of the contestants are at high risk for starting anorexic or bulimic behaviors. It’s a pretty safe guess that most of the contestants are going in to the show with an eating disorder. Probably the same eating disorder that I have, a binge eating disorder. When I was in therapy for my eating disorder, the biggest thing that I remembered is that I will always be at a high risk for another eating disorder because I have a history of having one. I’m also at high risk for another addiction of any type.

When you take away the food from a food addict (which is similar to a binge eater), they have to find their addiction somewhere else. You can see this a lot in people who have had weight loss surgery. When you can’t turn to your comfort item, you find something else that gives you comfort. And if it isn’t comfort that you are seeking, it’s order or control. And anorexia or bulimia gives you a sense of control (even if it’s a false sense).

I’m sorry for the rant, but I’ve been holding this in for a while when watching “The Biggest Loser”. And it seems like many people are now seeing things the same way that I do. I don’t know if they will change “The Biggest Loser” now due to all this backlash, but personally I would love to see them focus on body fat percentage instead of weight. Or maybe on inches lost. But sadly, seeing someone drop 155 pounds still makes good tv.

But at least now, some people will think about it a bit differently.

Audition Friends (or The Kindness Of My Competition)

I had my commercial audition yesterday. It was pretty basic (I said my name and had to walk across the room). With these types of auditions it’s tough to know if you did a good job or not, but I left the audition happy which is the most I could hope for.

Before going to my audition and doing the last-minute shopping for the outfit I needed, I called my friend, Shey. Shey and I have been auditioning against each other for years. We became good friends when she and I both booked a music video. We are a pretty similar type so we jokingly call each other our evil twin. We still go in for a lot of the same parts, but I love having a friend in the waiting room.

I had called Shey first of all to see if she was also going to this audition (she wasn’t). I also wanted to see if she had any of the clothing or accessories this particular audition was asking for. She didn’t, but said that if she did she would have let me borrow any of it.

I love that someone who is technically my competition wants to see me succeed! And it goes both ways. I remember one audition where Shey’s agents had left the room number off of the directions they gave her. She texted me and of course I texted her right back to give her the information.

I figure that if a part is right for me, I’m going to get it even if I help my fellow actors.

So at yesterday’s audition, I was locking up my car when an actress wearing a very similar outfit to mine came up to me and asked me if I was going to the audition. I said yes, and she gave me the scoop on what to expect in the room.

That was so nice of her (and I hate that I forgot her name!)!

And while I was in the waiting room, one of the other actors had forgotten sunglasses (one of the accessories that the audition had asked for). I had a spare pair in my purse so I let her borrow one of mine.

I have to say that all the kindness in the audition really made my day. I don’t always meet such nice and kind people at auditions. I wish I did because I don’t see any reason to be catty or mean.

I sincerely hope that all of the people who were nice to me are the ones that I will see if I get a callback. I know that people say “it’s show business not show friends”, but I still think that kindness matters above all.