As an actor and so on, I spend a great bit of my time on camera. Whether I am in a film or TV role, hosting an event, on a red carpet, singing on a stage, or even just auditioning…my visual is a KEY part of landing my role. However, for as much as I push about creatives leading healthy emotional lives and being gentle with themselves, I strongly believe in being healthy from a physical stand point as well.
It’s very easy to think that being healthy equates to being a size two (no shade to the slimmies out there getting it cracking), or eating kale with a side of air. That’s not at all what I mean! I am talking about taking a vested interest in the fact that you are your own product as an actor or artist/personality, and that you need to be on top of your game all around.
When I first started to do on-camera work as a host, I can recall seeing myself on the screen and going “well who the hell is THAT?!” I knew that I didn’t see that when I looked at myself in the mirror, but oh boy. I took one look at how much of the frame I took up, how wide I seemed, and how round my face looked and said “nope!” And I can also recall covering a story and having to rush to get to the interview due to the MTA and their lackluster service that day. Well I was more than winded by the time I caught myself running to the location, and thought I was going to die. Not to mention the insecurity I would feel about my body and my size at auditions. I don’t know what it means to be an adult woman whose thighs don’t touch! Basically my fitness AND my esteem were on empty.
Fortunately I have awesome friends who listen when I talk, even if they don’t fully agree. I felt fat and ugly and out of sorts. However, it seems no one saw that but ME. What they did see was that I needed a boost of confidence and maybe I could afford to get tossed a sit-up or two. They saw that maybe I could use a bit of help with eating better and having a healthier relationship with my vices like late-night snacking and alcohol. So a friend of mine helped me audition, and I got into a fitness focus group program (i.e. Shaun T's Hip Hop Abs)...and ya know what? I lost 25 pounds by the end of that year, learned a whole lot I never knew about eating and nutrition and my dysfunctional relationship with food, myself and my esteem. This was in 2011. I was so hot then. LOL But even though since I’ve fluctuated in size, I still have an awesome network around me that encourages me to stay fit physically, and to be aware of my views regarding my emotions, eating, working out and what true health and wellness really is.
One of those friends is my sorority sister (Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.) and one of my best friends, Marissa Still; who I affectionately call Madi. She is a wife, a mother, an educator and an entrepreneur. A woman with her own battles of past health concerns, body image issues and the like; Madi is now an extremely successful Health and Wellness Coach and a Network Marketing Professional. Her company is called Still Prep’n 247® and its mission is “to positively restore and empower others to see the vision for their health and life through both personal development and health education.”
See the dope thing about Madi is that she has been there. She and her husband started their health journey through Herbalife® two years ago as a unit, and in a matter of months they lost over 75 pounds collectively. But they also became champions for one another, and soon their friends and family. Madi and her husband Derick lead their son D.J. in living a life of healthy eating and activities at just five years old!
As they began to build their business, Madi, being a visionary like many of us, knew that success in being healthy and well on the outside was in large part directly linked to being healthy INSIDE. A very fun, lively and personable woman, she was quite active on social media and realized that it was part of her purpose to not just share her story, but to inspire and engage with people to help them be awesome as a whole too!
As artists, it’s hard. We have hectic lives and are always on the go. CRAFTY is always tempting us with sweets and such, so that mid-day crash makes you walk RIGHT past those raw cashews to the chocolate covered almonds and the M&M’s. LOL. We work fifteen to twenty hours a pop on a project and sleep quite minimally. We often don’t have time or energy to work out as much as we could or should. We swig an energy drink or caffeine to sustain us as opposed to water, black tea or something organic and good for us.
It’s a cycle.
But this cycle can definitely be broken. Look at Shonda Rhimes. She said she was so big she could not fit into the seat belts in first class! She is now more than a hundred pounds down, and I’m sure much more productive, as well as happy. Jennifer Hudson went from being a prime candidate for Ms. Sophia, to playing Shug Avery in “The Color Purple” because she got her eating and workouts together (with help of course). Amy Schumer was at one time a bit chunky – albeit funny and talented - so she was relegated often to the funny friend or supporting role, just like Melissa McCarthy at one point. Now Amy is currently a curvy and fit comedic actress banking about 30 million a flick, and Melissa is sporting a current 45 pound weight loss that will no doubt improve her stamina during her highly physical comedic scenes!
Does your success lay in your jean size?… NO. But as an actor or any other artist or creative, your execution of your work can often tie directly into how you feel. And when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, productivity is always up! No matter your gender, age or what facet of this business you work in. It's much easier to be the busy and consistent PA on set if you are fit and healthy, as well as the great singer, the secure scantily clad actor in a love scene or the makeup artist doing a wedding party of 16 all before 1pm!
So I wanted to encourage you all to check out this amazing spitfire and her company. I don’t promote folks that often. I’m not here for that. But I do know when good people do awesome things and I love to share that with my Shining Stars! Her check-ins, customized meal plans, extensive knowledge of supplements and just her giving a damn has helped encourage me for real. I have a new shoot to do on Saturday and guess who's down inches and pounds and ready to put on this sheer body suit!!!! *this girl right here*
So please check out Madi’s company FB page Still Prep’n 24/7, and follow her on IG and Twitter - @stillprepn247, so you can be inspired, encouraged and so you can be up on the full site launch that will drop this month!
This woman is equal parts diva, business mogul, homegirl and foodie all in one incredibly beautiful and toned to life package. But she is also sympathetic and empathetic to a busy lifestyle of dream and passion chasing and can affordably help you to get your “situation” all the way together! She’s been amazing to and for me…so get on board dammit! You know it's almost time for your bs resolutions anyway. lol May as well get in line with someone that will help you achieve and sustain a few *wink*
Xoxo in great health and a fit size SIX
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