#fitforfrance

#FitForFrance

You’re probably wondering what the above hashtag is all about.  I chose it because it’s catchy, and it reminds me of my short and long term goals. I want to be more fit, but I am also counting down the days until I get to visit Europe, a lifelong goal.   It hasn’t been easy so far.

The first 3 months in my weightloss journey, and i’m not going to lie — it’s been so difficult. Any diet, exercise, or routine change is difficult in general- but then you add on all of the different roles.  I’m a business owner, a mother, a wife, countless other things– and, besides that, I’m also picking the busiest time of the year for me, which makes it extra challenging.

As a wife, mother, and business owner — finding “me time” is one of the most difficult things.  It’s almost impossible. Like many other wives and mothers, I tend to put everything and everyone ahead of myself — and that’s all well and good until my own health and wellness starts to suffer. Finding time for me is almost impossible.

On top of that, if you aren’t used to having your own time– when you are able to finally just be alone with your own thoughts it brings a lot of painful thoughts to light. It’s making me face a lot of my own demons.  When I exercise I have an extra 30 minutes to an hour to get lost in my own thoughts, and there are so many questions I have to ask myself.

For starters, I’ve been asking myself “How did I get here?”  — You probably have assumed that as a hair and makeup pro I have mirrors everywhere.  This is kind of true — I have a ton of compact mirrors, but for the past eight years I have not owned a full length mirror.  You are shocked, right? I guess was just afraid. I finally bought one so that I can hold myself accountable and have less excuses.

So, how did I get here?  In high school I wasn’t the best or the worst.  I feel like because I rode that middle ground, I was always one of the kids that got forgotten about and slipped through the cracks.  Had I been a star pupil or a really bad kid I would have gotten more attention, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I wish I would have shown more talent so that people had invested into my skills.  I did have (and still do) have what it takes.

My career hasn’t been easy.  I have been told by a lot of teachers, friends, and family members that I could never or would never been successful.  From there it turned into bosses and coworkers telling me not to waste my time.  I still remember my first boss telling me that I would NOT be successful in this industry.   I was not the favorite at my first job, and in fact, I feel pretty comfortable saying that only a few people liked me.  I always got the worst shifts, and I remember the day I realized that I wouldn’t be able to work and dance anymore.

I was looking at the computer and my coworker (that I’m still friends with today) asked “what’s up?” — and I explained to her that I’d have to give up my first passion, of dance, to be able to work.  Dance was my world. Her response laid heavy on me: “well, you have to grow up sometime!”

I know she didn’t mean those words to be mean but I think that’s one of the turning points in my life, when I started giving up the things I really wanted to do, for the needs of others. This moment is engraved in my mind, like many others.  I don’t blame anyone for my weight issues but words hold a lot of value and weight for certain people, and a lot of the times people will never forget what you said or how you said it.  This is the time when I realized that work was going to have to come first, and that I’d have to wait a little longer to get to do what I really wanted.

I had to wait a little longer for some me time, as I then got married young and had my first baby at the age of 21.  This was an exciting and wonderful time in my life but more things were said to me by people who were concerned. More discouraging words.  I was too young.  I would never see the world.  My career was over. I would never get my body back.  I would never do this or never do that.;

To this day, I’m told that because I’m a mother I won’t be able to handle this job or that job. I proved them wrong.  I did all of the jobs. I was an excellent wife and mother and still excelling in my field.  I was putting myself last. With the social media world we live in today I find that a lot of my friends (myself included) are pushing to show how successful we are, but we aren’t checking in with ourselves.  We’re encouraging others to look at us and our lives but we aren’t asking ourselves to do the same. We aren’t checking in. i know that I’m not alone in this rat race, but yet it feels so lonely sometimes. And it scares me for the future of my children.

Back to #fitforfrance.  You can poke fun of me all you want, but it’s reminding me of my end goal.  I was sharing my excitment of wanting to go to Europe with a close friend, and she said “well, are you ready to even walk?? —  that’s when it hit me. Because of me being overweight, people assume that I’m lazy, that I don’t move.

When I look back on events that have happened, things that people have said, jobs that I have been turned down for, outings with friends that I wasn’t included in on — I see that I’ve really been passed over because people assume that I’m lazy or that I can’t do certain things.

But I’m not lazy.  I work between 40-60 hours a week, depending on the time of year.  If I’m at home with my children I’m still hustling contracts, emailing clients, answering questions, and juggling the schedules of 3 kids.   I’m the first person awake in our house and the last to go to bed. I walk an average of 5 miles a day when I’m not trying to exercise, and then I’ve been working out on top of it.   But there’s this stigma that we need to break — overweight does not equal lazy.

Real weight comes in words and not in pounds. Words are heavy, my friends.  Be careful how you use them.  Empower your friends and loved ones.  Do not assume. I myself have to be more thoughtful of this.  I wonder sometimes if we focus more on building each other up how much better the world would be? I challenge you to give everyone you run into one compliment.  I want whoever reads this to know. You are not alone. You are loved.  You are enough. I am your biggest cheerleader.  I want you to be successful.  Not in your career but your self worth, awareness, and happiness.

If you think about me, keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I continue on with this tough journey.  If you can relate, please comment below. Tell me your journey, your failures, and triumphs. Shoot me an email if you just need someone to talk to.  You are not alone. I love you.

Stay beautiful (inside and out),

Amanda

New York: Before the Storm

New York: Before the Storm

 

Wrapping up the Summer

August is a quiet month for me. No one gets married in August, it’s way too hot in New Orleans, Hurricane season is in full swing and I don’t start theatre until the end of September. I usually fill the lull with family time and getting my kids ready for school.  I love having my kids home! I love planning activities with them and taking random day trips. Before August ended we squeezed in a day trip with the kids to Pensacola. We are a beach family and we had to get in one more beach day before fall schedule kicked into full gear.

Back to School

This year I am homeschooling Jonah before kindergarten.  Surprisingly, homeschooling has been very rewarding for me. Jonah calls it his ‘special time with mommy’ and seeing him retain everything I teach him is the best feeling. Next year he will be on the bus going to school just like James, so until then I am loving him being home! James has started 2nd grade and so far it’s been awesome. He really loves school and his friends. We’re super excited that James will be making his 1st communion this year!

Family time in New York

At the end of August I went to New York for a family visit (no work this time!).  I spent most of my time with my cousin Ali. We don’t see each other often, but we text everyday and FaceTime weekly. I love Ali so much and wish more than anything in the world that she lived closer. When my sister Madelynn, Ali, and I are all together we’re 3 peas in a pod!  Ali always keeps me laughing and her daughter Ella is absolutely precious. Ali has been going through some major life changes and I had to go up to visit her.

 

While in NY, the stars aligned (as they sometimes do in New York City) and my good friend Andrew Lee (Andrew Lee Imaging) reached out and wanted to collaborate on a shoot.  I knew Ali would be the perfect model and that it would be just what she needed. I treated Ali to a hair and makeup session and I was her hype girl for the day. Andrew took several gorgeous bathing suit pictures of her, but one stuck out as my favorite.

Ali new york-08This is the Ali I know and love, and it felt good to help her ignite her light again.  Ali-I love you and remember, you got this! You are a gorgeous mom-boss-babe and you’re beautiful inside and out. Don’t let anyone ever steal that smile and light from you. This is only the beginning for you and Ella and I cannot wait to see you take the world by storm!  Thank you for letting James and I drag you around the city!

 

New York through a Child’s Eyes:

I was 8 years old when I first visited New York and it made a huge impact on me. I knew I had to bring James. He loved every second of the trip starting with his first plane ride. The Southwest pilot let him sit in the pilot’s seat and snap a photo, which was so cool!  We did all the touristy things- the Natural History museum, Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Spongebob Squarepants on Broadway, and we took the Long Island train into Penn Station! He also loved being able to meet his cousins for the first time! It was instant friendship and it made me so happy to see them playing together. My favorite day of the trip was at the beach in the Hamptons. Watching James play with Olivia, Carson, and Ella made memories to last a lifetime! New York means so much to me and always re energizes my creative soul.  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Turandot

As many of you know, I do hair and makeup for opera companies all around the United States, but that started here, with the New Orleans Opera.  I was fortunate enough to get to work with them again on Turandot on September 28th and 30th at Mahalia Jackson theatre,  which is one of the most gorgeous venues.  The backstage area is really nice, and I’m blessed to be able to work with so many talented singers and staff. 

If you’re not familiar with the show, Turandot is an opera written by Puccini.  It’s sung in Italian (with subtitles in English) and is based on a poem by a Persian poet. It’s all about Turandot, the daughter of Turan who happens to be a Princess.   She’s extremely cold, but Prince Calaf falls in love with her. She makes him enter a game where suitors have to answer three riddles to win her — any wrong answer results in their death.  Calaf passes, but Turandot still doesn’t wish to marry him. He offers her another deal– if she is able to learn his name before dawn the following day, he’ll let her out of the agreement. 

Here are some pictures of my work from the show. Comment below if you were able to see it!

 

Setting Goals Before Turning 30

This is really hard for me to share but I want to blog about the REAL me.  Facebook and Instagram just show pictures that capture a moment in time, but it’s not always what’s really going on.  Those who are closest to me know I love taking care of people which is why I’m in my industry, but they may not have realized the sacrifices that I’ve made to try to build a career while still managing to put my husband and children first.  I’ve missed out on a lot of the things that I’VE wanted to do for myself, or that I’ve needed to do for my own health and well-being.

 

I know I’m not alone even though I may feel that way.  I fight the same insecurities and anxieties as all my fellow mom-boss-babes out there.  So over the next 9 months I’m going to share my weight loss journey and how I do it in my fast paced lifestyle. It’s going to be tough, but it has to happen!  I’m planning a sister sister trip to France to do a wedding there and I want to look and feel my best. I want to start my 30’s feeling my best. I’m so nervous posting this because I’ve tried so many times and have failed but I’m hoping this holds me more accountable.

 

Feel free to post yPhoto Sep 21, 11 33 43 AMour own list of what you’d like to accomplish in the next nine months and we can reach those goals together!

Until then,

 

Stay beautiful,

 

Amanda

Photo Sep 09, 10 03 44 AM