Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to Get on The Biggest Loser

Sometimes I watch Dr. Phil.
::hold for judgment::
Okay, great...

So, yes.  Sometimes I watch Dr. Phil. And by sometimes I mean I DVR him and watch him every single day. 
::hold for more judgment::
Okay, great.

Earlier this week, Phil had on a guest named Susanne Eman.  Allow me to share with you what Susanne consumed in one days time:
-5 donuts
-7 egg omelette (made with an entire bag of ham, a cup and a half of cheese, one onion and one bell pepper)
-hash browns made from 5 potatoes
-an ENTIRE package of bacon
-large pepperoni pizza
-box of Mac and Cheese
-10 fish tacos
-rice and beans
-package of pepperoni
-6 candy bars
-large box of honey buns
-2 bowls of ice cream
-2 bacon cheeseburgers
-3 bananas
-handful of strawberries (she's healthy!)
-2 ham sandwiches with bacon bits, croutons, mayo, cheese, and ranch dressing
-large bag of potato chips
-guac made from 6 avocados
-large bag of tortilla chips
-large bag of peanut M&M's
-gallon of sweet tea

::hold for shock::

...true story.
I heard this while trying to convince myself to not feel guilty from eating a turkey sandwich and a coke. 

Here's the thing -- homegirl currently weighs 541 pounds.  Her goal weight for her wedding is 800 pounds and her overall goal weight for life is 1,600.  Her reason? She appreciates women with curves.
Oh really?

Here's the thing -- we've all had that thought (and by "all", I mean me) of "maybe if I gained 200 pounds I could get on The Biggest Loser, get my ass kicked and look really hot".  But then what happens if they don't pick you? Then you're just fucked.  And fat.
You know this is what Susanne was thinking.  And it worked.  Because as soon as Philly boy offered her a trip to some fatty rehab, she didn't even think twice about accepting.

Allow me to share with you a line Susanne has on her website about her body:
"The way my body moves on its own, yet with me is poetry in motion."

Frankly, a part of me is disappointed she's going to rehab because that daily list of shocking food intake was the most entertaining thing I've seen in a really long time.

I've also been inspired to take some sexy photos, because if Susanne can, then damnit ladies... so can I.

For those wondering, yes -- this is from a modeling shoot. 

On that note, this girl is gonna have herself some string cheese.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

sleepless nights

Sometimes on nights when I can't sleep, I stay up thinking instead. And tonight I was thinking about New York.
And I realized I miss it.
Also on nights when I'm having trouble sleeping, I'll watch Sex and the City. And when an image of my beloved former city flashed across the screen, I felt a pull of sadness. I'll admit...this is not something I've felt a lot of since I've left.

Now, before we all assume this is my big announcement that I'm moving back to the city... no, no.
I simply miss New York today.
I miss getting coffee, hopping the subway, going to Union Square and wandering. I miss having the world at my fingertips. I miss my old apartment and old friends right down the street. I miss the energy. The parks. The shopping. The culture. Mani/Pedi's.
So why did I leave?

My dream of Broadway began when I was merely ten years old. We had an enormous bonus room in our old house with a stereo system and I would play my favorites: The Sound of Music, Puccini, and Carly Simon. I knew every line of Maria's, I had no idea what was happening in Puccini but I knew it was something serious, and my mother loved Carly Simon; therefore, so did I. I would shut the door and suddenly I was on stage. I particularly liked any "live" recordings we had because the audience would applaud. I would rewind that part over and over and continue to bow. My favorite mornings on the weekends would be when my Mom would blast West Side Story from the stereo when she would clean. To this day I can't describe that feeling... but I couldn't get out of bed fast enough to help her mop and dust.

Then, I saw Phantom of the Opera...and everything changed for me. Now, granted -- my mother may have a different perspective being that I was in a TERRIBLE 10 year old bratty mood the night we saw the show, but that show had a huge impact on me. During those two hours, I knew with every fiber of my being I had to do that.
So, that was that. I was in it to win it. I started singing lessons. And pretty soon I landed myself in some school productions. On top of that, I discovered I was actually a pretty darn good little singer. So good in fact, I decided to go to school for musical theatre, which I did.

I actually really loved college. I had great performance opportunities, I loved my friends and teachers/mentors, my grades were good, my family was supportive...what more could a girl want? I mean, I even dated time to time, which in a musical theatre world is hard to come by. One thing college gave me was confidence... but I was also completely blind regarding what I was about to walk in to.

Right after college, I moved to New York with the intention to make it on Broadway. I didn't have a proper audition book, I was a terrible dancer, I didn't know my way around the city or the subway system, I didn't know how to get to any of the studios where the auditions were held or what time to get there, I didn't understand even how the audition process worked. On top of that, at the Actors Equity Building, I wasn't even allowed to use the bathroom and had to go to the McDonalds around the corner instead. And when I finally got seen after sitting on a wooden bench for 5 hours in a hallway ... they had me sing 8 bars. (aka, 8 seconds)
So far, Broadway, you are not so magical.

It didn't take too many auditions like this for me to realize I hated it. I never admitted it to anyone but myself, but I did. And whenever I got really close to getting something, I became more and more bitter. I did this for four years... all while serving tables filled with people who viewed me as a lower class citizen. Four years, countless auditions, thousands of dollars and a nervous breakdown later, I asked myself something:
What the EFF am I doing???

Do I really need Broadway to be happy and fulfilled? Could I really wait tables for god knows how long to get there? What was I sacrficing here? My life? My sanity? What did I REALLY want?

I realized something that day: giving up a dream will never be easy, no matter how ready you are to do it. But I knew it was the right thing to do. I've accepted the fact I will never be in a Broadway Playbill, and that still hurts. I've accepted the fact that I will never make my Broadway debut, and that still hurts.

What you know what I do have? I have a better quality of life. I see my Mom everyday. I have supportive and loving friends around me. I have a summer acting job in a GORGEOUS community. I've had successful auditions where people actually TALKED to me and were INTERESTED in me.
I'm getting my confidence back.

I'll always have a place in my heart for New York and Broadway and am grateful I did it. Because it makes me appreciate everything I currently have so much more.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

how would i look in a habit?

A few months ago on Oprah, Lisa Ling headed to Detroit to spend a day in a convent with a bunch of nuns. By the end of the program, I couldn’t help but ask myself if maybe Jesus really is the only nice, respectful, available man out there for us.

As I begin to approach thirty, I can’t help but reflect back on my limited dating life. In elementary school I was quite the dating pro, going from boyfriend to boyfriend – even landing myself a kiss on the cheek from my favorite kindergarten guy at my sixth birthday party. As we got to middle school, “going out” was all the rage, all resulting in never actually going anywhere. After tying up the phone for hours each night, my parents finally broke down and I got my own phone line. I even had one of those clear plastic phones that would light up when it would ring. I was officially cool.
High school came and went and I didn’t date much. I would occasionally find myself with a boyfriend (a term I would use loosely here) but it really only involved us meeting by my locker at break and exchanging notes or me doodling “I love SOS” on the top of my folders. Most of my love affairs were from afar. I would focus all my attention on one guy and I would remain loyal to them, regardless if we were dating or not. This has been a very hard habit to break.
My college dating life was… interesting. But I did date. I had a few short and failed relationships and one long term relationship. But looking back, I was so overcome with my own insecurities any relationship actually succeeding really was next to impossible. But then again, aren’t we all insecure in college?

In December of 2006, I moved to New York City and visions of glorious dates and perfect boyfriends danced through my head. I knew this city would open up so many doors for dating I would be overcome with options. I would be beating men off with a bat. I would live on Park Avenue, spend my days in Manolo Blahnik’s with Mr. Big on my arm and a smile on my face. Needless to say, I was lied to.
One evening while at a swanky martini bar, I met a very good looking attorney in a suit who lived on the upper west side. We chatted, we danced, we laughed. I had a nice time. Then, in the middle of our nice, slightly intoxicated conversation he literally screams at me, “I want to fuck you senseless”. I wasn’t quite sure how to respond, so I got up from my seat, gathered my things and left the bar. He proceeded to try and follow me home.
A few months later at a friend’s dinner party, I met a very charming British man. After a bit of hesitation, I gave him my number and we went out a few times. Things seemed to be going well and we made plans for the coming weekend. I never heard from him again. I pretend he died.
I met another lovely gentleman through a friend and a very strong connection developed between us that went from zero to sixty in a two week period. One morning he told me he was going to check the meter on his car and never came back. A part of me wonders if he’s still wandering the streets of Astoria trying to find his way back to my apartment.
Then a big relationship came with the closest thing I ever found to my Mr. Big. He was tall, Italian, loud and extremely cold and emotionally unavailable. I was completely in love. Finally after two years, I decided to tell him this. And he finally decides to tell me he can’t offer me anything. And the only way I could get away from him was to move across the country.

So, as I write this blog from my parents basement, I realize I went from one extreme to another. In New York, I was a bit of a prude. I was considered shy and maybe even slightly moderate in my political views. In New York, people don’t give a shit if you’re bisexual, transgender or a dragqueen. And I like it that way. But here, in the land of conservatives, I’m a raging liberal, over confident and maybe even a bit of a hussy. Everything from my politics to my favorite television shows are thought to be ridiculous. I was even told on my most recent date that “any woman who watches Sex and the City is flippant and retarded”. What?

So, what ARE my options? I suppose I can keep hoping that maybe somewhere down here in the south there's a single liberal looking for love. Or I could give the convent a call. I'm sure they have an extra bed for this single girl.

Monday, March 7, 2011

the impact of a bathroom sink

I was fascinated by my third grade teacher. She was a tall, thin, older woman who wore full body lingerie that would sometimes peak out from under her bright yellow and green suits. I couldn’t help but stare with my jaw to the floor when I noticed the black lace. I thought people only wore things like that in movies I wasn’t allowed to see. She had long, pointy red fingernails – always freshly polished and the perfect shade of red that matched her curly red hair.

I assumed she was someone very special because along the side of her bright red hair, she had a long thick chunk of perfectly silver hair that she referred to as her birthmark. I also had a birthmark. Mommy said God gave it to me because I was so special. But mine wasn’t pretty like hers. Mine was on the right side of my torso and was referred to as a “strawberry birthmark” and looked kind of mushy. But to have a silver birthmark in your hair?! Then she must be extra special. I think she must have known she was special, too. She was always going in the bathroom to “freshen up”, and between lessons would grab a mirror from her purse and reapply red lipstick and powder her face. Yes, she was obviously someone very important. I wanted her to like me and teach me how to be pretty. She would talk to us about her weight struggles, but I couldn’t understand what she was referring to. She was already so thin.

One day after she read us our afternoon story, we sat surrounding her on the floor while she proceeded to tell her group of eight year olds that her sister was in the hospital. Apparently, her sister also thought she was fat. So fat she would throw up everything she would eat. But this time she threw up the lining of her stomach. When hearing this, my face became hot. I was dizzy. I was scared and curious all at the same time.

The next day during a routine bathroom break, it was announced by one of my fellow female classmates we would be holding a contest to see who was the fattest girl in the class. This would be determined by who couldn’t fit between the bathroom sinks. I stood there staring at these sinks with mere inches between them and wondered how anyone would be able to squeeze themselves in. The first girl went. She made it. The second did, too. And so did the third. One after another, these little waifs managed to do it. They all fit. And I was last.

I wanted to run. I wanted my teacher to come in and tell us break was over. I needed an escape. Yet, I found myself approaching the sinks with a racing heart and sweaty palms. Dear god, I thought. Please, please, PLEASE let me fit. Don’t let me be the fattest girl in the class.
I was taller than everyone else, so my hips were the first to try to fit. They couldn’t. I bent my knees, thinking I could squeeze my waist in. I sucked in. I pushed so hard it sent a pain through my entire body. I tried so hard, struggling and giving it everything I had. A little less than half of me made it through and I stood there, awkwardly bent at the knees, humiliated and holding back tears with the realization the contest was over: I was the fattest girl in the class.

All the girls laughed and celebrated their victory and I was left alone in the bathroom with my new title. One I would hold on to for the next twenty years of my life, regardless of my weight.

Even now at age 27, that moment will come flooding back to me from time to time. It's amazing...all the beautiful and incredible things I've been told throughout my life, a bathroom sink can determine a lifetime.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm going to need some new pajamas.

As I sit in my parents living room this Thursday evening eating my half a cup of ice cream, the cat tormenting the dogs, my mother reading her kindle desperately trying to tune everyone out, my father snoring on the couch with my grandma beside him wearing her wig titled too far back showing a bit too much forehead, I stop and ask did I get here?

I live in pajamas. Any excuse I have to actually put make up on is a big day. My days usually involve the same routine: I get up, check email/apply for new job postings (which my cover letters are becoming increasingly more desperate), go upstairs and grab some food, avoid grandma, go back downstairs and transfer from pajamas to gym clothes, go to gym, come back, shower, put pajamas back on, pretend to be a life coach, and continue to avoid grandma. Have I mentioned I'm 27?

I used to think I loved downtime. I loved nothing more than curling up on my sofa and watching Oprah. And sleeping in? Quite possibly the best feeling ever. I'm learning there truly can be too much of a good thing. Who knew I'd reach a point in my life when I'd actually miss getting up before the sun. However, I must not be too desperate because I've never even considered walking into a restaurant for work. What about stripping?

I mentioned before that my astrologer said I'd be living in limbo until October. I find this to be a blessing and a curse to receive this information (not to mention, with the way things are going, completely horrifying). On one hand, I keep telling myself this 'drought' will end. However, any opportunity that starts to show itself I think, "According to Astrologer John, nothing will happen until October. So, whatever.". And could this attitude really be affecting the way my life is going. Eh. I dunno. All that energy and universe talk can sometimes just make me even more frustrated.

I just hope something happens. Let's not ring in 2012 in my parents basement.

By the way, my grandma just farted. Help.

Monday, January 24, 2011

a miracle weight loss product

I discovered the weight loss miracle when I was in third grade. You see, the hatred I feel toward my body began at this age. And one day while rummaging through the kitchen after school, I came across something that promised to make me thin very, very quickly.

I began drinking this miracle of miracles every day after school. I would get off the bus and quickly run in the house and chug, chug, chug ...and then sit and wait. Surely, it would take effect at any moment. But how, I wondered? Maybe the fat would simply melt off. I visualized myself beginning to boil like a pot of water and steaming from every hole in my body. Do I have to poop it out? Or would the fat turn to air in my body and I would have horrible, smelly, embarrassing gas until I was thin? While these seemed rather unpleasant, I was willing to make the sacrifice. So, after a week of chugging the gritty, chocolaty drink and keeping it from my mother, I was surprised to see zero difference in my body. Why wasn’t the fat melting away? Certainly, something will happen. I must be patient with this life changing drink; this SlimFast.

Two weeks later and still no thinner, my Mom was making lunch for herself. “What happened to all my Slim Fast??” she asked. My third grade mind began to panic. Do I confess? I found this incredible drink that holds so much power! But, truth be told, I don’t know much about it. Was she going to get mad? How serious is this SlimFast product? Would I have to go to the hospital because of it? Could I die by drinking SlimFast?

I cried. I broke down. I confessed everything. I told her I had been using this mystery product to slim me down fast. I asked her through sobs if I was going to die.

“What? Are you going to die from Slim Fast?” Mom says smiling.
“YES! Waahhh!”
“Don’t be so dramatic, Jessica. It’s not going to kill you! But why were you drinking it?”
“I wanted to slim down fast! I wanted my fat to melt away.”

After a lecture from my parents, I learned the hard truth of SlimFast: “Drink with a sensible meal”. It was explained that this drink was simply nutrients packed in powder and nothing was promising to slim me down. And especially not fast. I thought that was a pretty awful and misleading name of a product.

I was lied to by the SlimFast people, whoever they are.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

i seem to have misplaced my humor. have you seen it?

About six months before I moved from New York, I visited an astrologer. And I don't mean a lady with a crystal ball. He was actually a professor of astrology and cost a pretty penny and about two hours of my time. Not to mention the whole thing was recorded. I gave him some pretty limited info... my date of birth (month, date, and year), the time I was born and where I was born. To say I was surprised, shocked and slightly disturbed by all he told me from that info is an understatement.

I was very excited before the session started; excited to see how bright and shiny my future was going to be.

First, he tells me I'm too picky. In nearly every area of my life, particularly with dating. (check.)
Then he tells me I would begin the darkest year of my life starting in October of 2010. (check.)

I am twenty-seven years old. Roughly three months ago, I moved out of my adorable, quaint and overpriced one bedroom apartment in New York and relocated to my parents basement in Conyers, Georgia. I am unemployed, single and have gained more weight than I ever thought possible. I have applied for more than fifty jobs, sent out an additional thirty-five resumes and am attending a job fair on Tuesday to work in sales, a career in which I have no interest. This is not where I saw myself at this age.

I lived in New York for four years. When I moved there, I had every intention of living the life of Carrie Bradshaw -- Manolo's, Mr. Big and all. (Sex and the City...for those who don't know. And if you don't, shame on you.) But somehow I ended up spending four years waiting tables, auditioning with six hundred other women packed in one tiny room, and spending three years chasing after a very unavailable man. I can't help but ask myself if I threw away four good years.

Apparently after I go through this "dark" period, I am supposed to reach one of the "brightest" points in my life starting in October of 2011, romance included. I'm also supposed to be very successful with my voice...whether as a singer or in voice overs, he didn't know -- but let's assume it's both. Then again, he also told me not to leave New York yet. Oops.

I suppose in order to appreciate the light, we have to experience the dark first?