It all started with the fact that my mental health was shit and I didn't know who I was outside of acting.
Everything I did, said, sought after, etc., was through the lens of how I was going to make it to Broadway. However, I quickly learned about 4 years of conservatory training and a whole lot of neglected mental health conditions that I had to make a change, and for the first time ever think about myself as a person and come to know and love all the ways that I can contribute to the world.
I always struggled with body image issues growing up, and when they said that comparison is the thief of joy, they weren't lying. I was such a perfectionist, and the fact that my body image was the one thing that I could never get to live up to my expectations was such a point of tension. From trying every fad diet to get me to lose weight quickly, to spending hours on the treadmill chasing a calorie expenditure that I read somewhere was going to change my body "for good this time," I've never been able to see any long-lasting success with my body image or composition, leading to so much disappointment. So I knew that this was the place that I had to start with if I was going to figure out who the hell I was.
I started by taking a photo of my body exactly where it was. Not that taking photos was ever enjoyable for me, this time it was particularly difficult because it was the cold hard facts of just how much I'd neglected my health during college. Instead of letting it depress me as I would have in times past, I chose to let it fuel the fire and make it my priority to never let that happen to me again. I took baby steps. I lightened my course load to relieve some stress. I started dancing more again, which was always a love of mine. I incorporated more exercise by training for a 5k. I drank more water. And then a month passed by, and I took a photo of myself and my jaw was on the floor. I couldn't believe how much my body had shifted in just 30 days. I would have never noticed the difference if not for the photos, because I used to always find the bad in everything. So I kept at it, and month after month, I was able to see changes and reflect on the output that I had or hadn't done. Being so mindful about it all was enormously encouraging so I didn't fall into the habit of trying for a week and being discouraged that I didn't look like a Victoria's Secret model.
Once I graduated, and had changed up my plans, I found myself living on an island working at a yacht club. While there, I decided to start sharing about my journey on social media. I felt there was a lack of honest conversation surrounding how integral exercise and proper nutrition was to the status of one's mental health. At the time, I was doing a lot of yoga, which helped with