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A Discipline-Paved Awakening, Day 88

May 26, 2010

Who has a healthy way to lose six pounds in eight days?  Hopefully, eight days from now I’ll have the ability to prove that I do.  Medically necessary?  No, not at all.  On the other hand, I will shortly continue opening up my career even further into the realm of, “Oh crap, if I really want to be competitive here, I’d better lose some weight.”  Despite my best intentions to increase the number and scope of my auditions, I have only attended a small handful of them since receiving my first Actor’s Equity union card almost six months ago.  When I opened my mailbox this week to find my renewed card, I realized how much I really do need to speed up the process and take some serious leaps.

Deciding to begin the jump by flying out to my photographer to get new headshots, I booked a trip for next Thursday, realizing only in retrospect that I hadn’t reached the weight loss goals I’d set for myself for theater and potentially film or television work.  I could have postponed until August.  Instead, I picked up some protein powder last night, hit the gym incredibly hard in a way I haven’t in years, and started a very strict diet that had me seriously appreciating tonight’s dinner when I finally sat down to a moderately full meal.

Surprisingly, the intensity I reached over the last two days has already energized me and made me more optimistic about life and people in the city in general.  Perhaps the increased exercise-induced dopamine has helped.  As much as I love living here, I do feel overwhelmed often and occasionally judgmental when some unaware stranger walks into me in the street or sits practically on top of me on the subway.  My crowded gym provides no exception, and I usually try to exercise in the morning or early afternoon so as to avoid the crowds.  Because of my still pathetically late sleeping schedule, I forced myself to Planet Fitness far later than usual both nights and happily discovered at least a temporary preference for the crowd.  Instead of waiting alone for my next set on the weight machines, I took turns with willing strangers happy to alternate sets with me.  I even discovered the free fitness trainer on the floor and introduced myself to Juan, who seemed willing and able to give me and anyone else appropriate advice about certain exercises or machines.  I never noticed him before, under the din of my focused exercise and ipod listening.

Thanks to an inspired friend, I also turned off the din of my television in lieu of a great Skype call.  Usually preferring to chat or text to “save my voice,” I perhaps have distanced some of my friendships more than I would like.  Television provides a false sense of connection to the world, so I tend to seek less real communication as a result.  I know I need to reprioritize, but it rarely lasts.  On this occasion, I have made a deal with this friend that if he cuts down on the number of cigarettes he smokes in a day, I will shorten my TV-watching time and talk on the phone or on Skype more often.  That to me seems a worthy goal I will not likely neglect.

Since partying with and then mourning Lost (has it really ended?), I really did pick up the torch of discipline in a very fervent way.  Please don’t worry or think I’ve leaped into the twilight zone or off the deep end.  Tomorrow, I have every intention of jumping in the other direction, but with friends and a crazy party in addition to my serious fitness and food regiment with less television.  Which party?  For that we wait.

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