Don’t Cry Over Black Coffee

Diets…..not the best plan.

Shock your body into losing weight and then once you’re off you gain it all back. That being said, I try A LOT of diets. None of them really work. People say it is all about a “lifestyle” change.

But….I like Hot Funyuns and candy! People also say to eat everything in “moderation”. I’m not good at that…basically I am a vacuum.

So, I am trying a diet that has worked for me in the past and am going to try to make it a lifestyle change. Whole 30.

Basically you eat clean. No grains, no dairy, no sugar. It is hard for a person who doesn’t cook, like me. So hopefully it’ll force me to cook more and use spices besides salt and pepper. I lost 15 pounds the last time I was on it. I hope to lose 15 pounds again, by hoping night of A Year With Frog and Toad. I figured out that if I lose 4 pounds a months, two pounds a week, I can lose 192 pounds by next year. And Yes, I have that much to use cause I weigh……

Drum Roll Please…….

275 pounds

You read that right. Close to 300 pounds. I’ve ballooned for a few reasons, and most of it happened in 2015. 2015 was my year of depression. Two suicide attempts. I got placed on a bunch of different meds (did you know mood altering meds usually make you gain weight? Not helpful at all). I also tend to eat my feelings or eat when I’m bored or eat when I’m watching tv…. Basically I live to eat.

This ISN’T a weight loss blog. Each post will not be about this. But this is what I am working through right now.

THE PLAN: I am going to do Whole 30. Not to get in shape for shows or for a guy, but just for me.

I’m going to try and work out 3 times a week. This may not seem like a lot, but for someone who is sedentary at work (desk job) and goes to school (sitting in a desk) that is good. I’m in a musical where I am forced to dance, so that helps too.

Guys. I’m hoping this really works. I used to be this busy and still have time to work out, I’d wake up at five and hit the gym before school and work, and I got to my skinniest which was around 170.I wasn’t skinny but I was in better shape. But I was also 21. I had more energy then. Now I turn 28 in December and I am just tired ALL THE TIME. I don’t know how mothers can wrangle children and still workout. I hardly do anything and I need a nap.

Good news, I don’t have high blood pressure and I am not diabetic. But as I age this could change. SO, I am losing weight for my health and to look in the mirror and love myself. It is gonna be such a challenge, but I have moral support and I have confidence; what more do you need?

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The Struggle is Real

I am a creative individual.

At least, I think of myself that way. I don’t make works of art, per se. I preform and I write. But, guys, it is so hard to find a balance between all the things I have to do!

I work full time, 40 hours a week. I love my job, it is basically training people how to use my company’s software. I meet interesting people, I work with other nerds like myself, and they are flexible around my schedule. It really is perfect.

I go to school part time. This semester I am taking 9 credits and next semester will be 7. Not cause I’m lazy but because I want to work full time while I am in school. Cause I’m an adult and I have bills to pay and habits to finance. But outside of school time, Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 6:45, I have to find time to do homework too.

I perform. I LOVE musicals. I love being on stage and singing songs and making people smile or think in ways they hadn’t before. I just made it into A Year With Frog and Toad, a musical I did at the same theater 8 years ago and I am SO excited to make people laugh and love this show. But rehearsals are usually Monday- Friday from 7-10 and Saturday afternoons.

I write. My goal is to finish the book I’m working on by the end of the year so I can edit it for the conference I am planning on attending in May. The means that I write on the computer, I write on my phone, I write on paper I happen to have with me. The sad thing is that when inspiration strikes I might be too busy to listen to it.

So, my life is busy. I’m basically up and running from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm. It is hard to find time for all the things I want to do. But I love my life, even when I’m tired. I know there are busier people. I know there are people who work two full time jobs to support families. I know that I should be grateful I have a job and I go to school and I can do pretty much what I want.

But sometimes you just have to lay your life out to see what you’ve got. And what I’ve got, I love.

The Problem of Race

Okay. This is a sensitive topic for me.

I’m African American.

Now, I was raised by white people so I don’t always identify with my race. When I was being adopted I had an African American social worker who wanted me to go to a black family, so she gave my parents a fight. She wanted me to grow up with my own kind and in my own community. But I think the fact that my black older brother and my Hispanic younger brother were raised by white people and behave according to their racial stereotypes shows that we are born who we are. Sure, it is partly nature and nurture, but I like to think I’d have turned out the same, no matter what.

Now, stereotypes. They are the main reason I don’t truly identify with my race. I believe, and I am writing a research paper regarding this topic for class, that at some point communities of a certain race begin to embody their stereotype. They accept it and encourage it. That is why people say I don’t “act black.” What you see as “acting black” is the way black people appear in movies and TV shows and in music videos. I don’t dress revealing or like a diva. I don’t rap. I enunciate when I speak.

One time I was on the phone, telemarketing, and I called a family in the south. When I asked for the home owner and the person who answered the phone went to find him, she said I was some white lady. Because I didn’t “sound black”.

This is a bit of a problem, especially when you see that I am a singer and an actress. I don’t see myself as a certain race, I used to say I was white on the inside, but because of my looks I am pigeon holed. You expect me to sing a certain way, riff till the cows come home, but I got my base in opera and musical theater. You expect me to be able to dance, well I’m a little bigger and I quit every dance program I was in. You expect me to feel for my people and convey that on stage. Well, I do feel for my ancestors, but my whole life isn’t about them.

One of the things that started me on my downward spiral of depression in 2015, and led to a few suicide attempts, was the musical Ghost. I was cast in the show as one of the Whoopi Goldberg character’s sisters, but I wasn’t given a solo. I freaked because I assumed that I was only cast to be a token black person. Show up on stage and then get the heck off without doing much of anything. I quit the show, had a break down, and a horrible year where I was hospitalized twice. (I’ll have another post about my wonderful trail with mental health. But I have come to terms with my role in theater.)

Here’s the thing, and I am sure that a lot of actresses of color feel this way. We are sick of playing a race. We are sick of playing slaves or oppressed people. I mean, it is depressing. My acting resume includes Hairspray, Big River, Aida, and Civil War. While I like these shows and learned a lot from them and would do them again, I’d like some variety in there. If someone looks at my resume and sees those shows then they think I’m only good for those shows. (Not saying I won’t play these shows in the future, my year outline for 2017 auditions includes these type of shows.)

To get to the point, yes I am African American. There have been times I’ve hated that. But I am more than my race. I am a nerd, a writer, an actress, a singer, a sister, and aunt, and a daughter. I am a friend to anyone who needs me. I am a student. I am a person. I am more than my skin color.

 

Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown

So, I am a college student….still.

I am 27, going on 28 at the end of the year and I am still in school. Technically I don’t even have my associates yet because I’ve been putting off math. I HATE math. But I have a sort of good excuse for still being in school. Drum roll please………..!

I’M POOR!

Image result for empty pockets

I know I know, people use that excuse but there are scholarships and grants and loans. Well, my first year of college I tried to pay for it by myself, my parents couldn’t help me, and I ended up in major debt with the school. Like a few thousand bucks. So I took time off to pay off the debt. Then I got in debt again…took more time off.

Finally I was able to get grants and start attending regularly. Then the government thought I’d earned too much money one year, musical theater sometimes pays you, and they took my grant away. So I took another year off. Then I decided I’d just start getting loans so I can just be DONE.

Between all of this were breaks because of my work schedule, my mission, focusing on performing, and also because I didn’t know what I wanted to go to school for. Why spend time and money when you don’t know what you want?

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I finally have settled; though I have said that before. I am just gonna graduate with a degree in English with a concentration on creative writing. If I can’t get a job after school, then I’ll stay with the company I’m at currently. I kinda LOVE my job, so I don’t have any issues with that. As of yesterday, when I registered for Spring Semester, I am 83 % done with my degree! Only 6 classes left to go! If I take school in the summer and load up my schedule in the Fall and work part time I can FINALLY graduate.

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I’ll keep you somewhat updated on my schooling status, it isn’t that interested so I don’t want to write about it too much. But I’m excited to learn more, finish my book, and hopefully get published in the near future!

*Also I have an audition on Thursday So I’ll keep you up to date on how that goes. Fingers crossed!