It’s Good to be an Emilie

If you don’t believe me, let me share a few reasons why the FFF have been rather kind lately and why my mantra “Everyone gets exactly what they need exactly when they need it” has proven again and again to be appropriate.

1–My University is putting on Grease the Musical.

I was cast as Rizzo!

I am extremely excited; two songs, fun lines, and described in the script as “skinny and unconventionally beautiful”. The show will be the weekends of November 11-21, if you haven’t yet seen one of my shows this would be a wonderful opportunity to attend.

2–My cape was successfully sewn, and I love it. Most other people love it too. I need to put up a picture of it soon.

3–I am looking hot. This whole workout thing=genius.

Time for another one of Emilie’s excellent lectures:

If you are serious about performing, you need to know that diet and exercise (being healthy and fit) are just as important as vocal and acting exercise. If you want the character roles, you can be only 50 pounds overweight (no more and no less) but you still have to be physically fit. (The last coming from several industry professionals giving a panel I had the opportunity to sit in on.) If you want to play any other role, you cannot be overweight. More than this–you have to be physically fit. Having a healthy body improves singing, and it is important to make these positive life changes now. This lovely woman in Salt Lake summed it up quite nicely, “If you cannot lose weight and become healthy in college, you [probably] never will”.   *I added the “probably”.

For the longest time I hid behind excuses on why I didn’t work out, and I was the only one who could motivate myself to change. I was in denial for years, and horrified when I finally recognized how much weight I had allowed myself to gain. I began to realize that I would never have much opportunity to be cast if I continued to stay in the atrocious state I had reached, and it has only been with serious hard work that I have reached the new, healthier, stage of my life. I am still about 40 pounds from my goal weight, but I know that with continued diligence I will be able to reach the optimum health for my body, without taking dangerous shortcuts or causing new problems.

Lately I have run into many many people who compliment me enthusiastically on the way I now look, groan about their current state, and then ask what magical secret I have. They all seem to be rather disappointed when I let them know that there is no secret…just hard work. One and all they walk away depressed, resigning themselves to remain at their current weight because they do not want to put in the work.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: From all of the research I have done, I know that permanent weight loss is slow. It can be frustrating. It can be painful. But it can also be successful. Fad diets and exercise binging are just that–fads. They work for a while and then either burn you out or stop working and you are back where you started.

For all of you who are curious as to what I have been doing (and will continue to be doing) I have put up a new page called “A Healthy Me Campaign“. I am in the process of finishing it, but when it is complete it will hold many different things.

A: A meter measuring my weight loss. Is it a little scary letting the whole world know where I am at? Yes. But I am also proud of my progress and I want to celebrate it. I also believe that this is a way to keep myself accountable.

B: Pictures. Ugh. These pictures will chronicle my weight loss journey, and I will hold nothing back.No matter how much they make me shudder.

C: The IE & Y Exercise Plan. (formerly titled “Jakercise”) If you are looking to start a workout routine but do not know what to do, here is a great plan. It’s been effective for me, and caters to all different levels of physical fitness.

D: Other. I will include updates, words of encouragement, breakthroughs, healthy recipes, tips, and anecdotes.

Back to reasons why I love being me:

4–In Music History we were studying Gregorian Chant the other day. We had three actual monks (who chant every day) come into class and demonstrate, and then invite us to participate. Where else would this sort of thing be possible? And what could be a more lovely way to study?

5–I am back in piano lessons. Even though I have to sacrifice my beautiful nails to the Spirit of the Keys on a weekly basis, I consider it a fair trade for the abilities that are slowly coming back to me. Quitting piano lessons has been one of my biggest regrets (although at the time it was undoubtedly what I needed.)

6–One of my bosses in Admissions recently moved on to a new position and before she left she assured me that I could email her at any time for a reference. I feel so thankful that I am largely respected by the various adults in my life.

7–I am learning how to say “No”. Or perhaps I’m past that point? I’m excited, I’m reveling, I’m rejoicing in the ability to say “No”. You want to know what is better than saying “No?” Saying “I Quit!” I’m on quite the roll…It all started when I quit Residence Life, then I quit being “in charge” of Theatre Workshop, and then most recently I quit Student Liturgy choir. All of these things were wonderful when they were in my life, but I have reached a point where I needed to move past them. As a part of becoming “healthy” I am trying to learn balance in all aspects. My entire life I have been a “doer” and a “fixer” who signs up for everything because I thought it was my duty.

After a kind of disastrous year last year I had the realization (although those wonderful voices around me had seen this long before me, and I thank them for their patience in waiting for me to come to the same conclusion) that many of the things I had been doing were based on Ego and were taking a serious toll on my success. So I am trying not to sign up for anything new this year (although I am in the advanced choir, so that is new but I traded Student Lit for it), and to really reevaluate everything I am doing. I know now that it is very important that I set aside ME time every week, schedule in both practice and exercise times just as seriously as work and classes, and to realize that I don’t owe my friends anything. I like to spend time with friends but I have to pick and choose very carefully which social things will be uplifting and rejuvenating, and which will be draining or not as important as other things.

Every time I let out a “no” I get this little surge of excitement, which eventually leads to me joyously shouting while hopped up on endorphins from exercising, “NO NO NO NO! I said NO!” (as my workout partner, Emily, will tell you.)

So if I tell you “no” don’t take it personally, it is just another segment of my journey.

I hope that you are loving being yourself, because I definitely am! (Most of the time.)

Have a lovely, healthy, balanced, and cheerful evening!



4 thoughts on “It’s Good to be an Emilie

  1. I feel like the title should be “It is good to be an Emil(y)ie”. I love how well things are going for both of us as of late!

    And, I am so so so proud of you and your quitting things and saying no.

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