Lydia's Journey BEYOND Hollywood

Follow an actress's journey beyond Hollywood. The life after a successful 10 year career...

Friday, May 12, 2006

LA Mentality

First 2 pics are my "before" pics - at my heaviest weight. (They are publicity shots of a film Winding Up Airplanes. No. I did not get a breast reduction! ) :-)
Last 2 pics are my "after" pics - at my smallest.

I realize I beat myself up a lot regarding image. And I know it has a lot to do with living in LA and being in this entertainment industry. While I was complaining to a friend this week about how I can't seem to get back down to my smallest weight, and how I've been running, eating low carb, taking a multi vitamin, fat burners, you name it....I am still holding onto those extra pounds I gained for that play last year, Real Women Have Curves. It's hard for me to understand why that is. Since I did lose 100 pounds, I figured I knew what I needed to do to lose it. And I tried everything that has worked in the past - and it's not working! And I'm really upset - and obsessed about it, if truth be told. Whenever I "cheat" on my strict diet, I beat myself up about it and feel guilty for the rest of the week. Sometimes my thoughts are so preoccupied with what I'm doing right and wrong for my diet on a daily basis - that I don't feel I actually LIVE life. UGH! I also have the added stress of going to Hawaii June 9th. My friend told me to have a little PERSPECTIVE. I wasn't always the size I am now. I was a lot bigger before, and yet, I'm complaining that I'm not the smallest I've ever weighed. That's true. I keep a pair of my old pants in case I start complaining that my 4's don't fit anymore - I can pull those out and still see how far I've come. But I have to say, even looking at my old photos....It doesn't have the same effect as it used to. It's funny, because even though I remember every detail of how I felt when I was that size, I don't know that girl anymore. I can't even comprehend being that size again.
I initially lost the weight because I didn't want to come out to LA and only be limited to THOSE roles that they would give a person of a larger size. The butt of jokes, usually...or someone older than I really am. (I've even played a grandma in a play before! Yikes!) I wanted an opportunity for more variety in my jobs - and I feel I have gotten it. Somewhat. But I do feel healthier, and younger. And for the first time in my life, I do exercise as a leisure activity (hikes, runs, etc). I'm still considered "overweight" by Hollywood standards (because you have to be underweight to look normal on camera!).
This career does stress me out, because there is an image pressure you have. You get called in due to your image. You get seen for certain roles due to your image. You DON'T get seen for certain roles due to your image. Your image is what you're selling out here - and I guess that's the clincher. I went from ACTOR to SALESPERSON.
I just wish I could do what I love - without the stress of image, or type, or stereotype for that matter. The reason I got into this career in the first place was the love of performing. That rush I got when I was on stage. That feeling of filming a great little movie and pulling out a performance I never thought I had in me.
I came out here because of the dream to make this my profession. To get paid for it and not have to do anything else for money. Well, I am making a living at it, - but at what cost?
Sometimes I feel I have transformed myself so much to fit in this field that I've lost the real reason why I chose this path to begin with.
I have to figure out the path back to ME - without the stress of image and the pressure to "stay thin" in an industry that's obsessed with looks. Just because the industry is obsessed, doesn't mean I have to be! Right??


Blogger Melissa D. Madison said...

GIRL! I SOOOOO have to let you know what an inspiration you are to me!

I will let you know that you HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH OF AN INSPIRATION YOU ARE! Through what you know "is" (regaring this industry) all the way down to YOUR (Lydia's) personal beliefs.

And I mean that!

Rock on Lydia!
~Melissa Madison - A fan for life!

10:42 PM  
Blogger Lydia Blanco said...

Wow Melissa! Thanks so much! I can't tell you how much that makes my day! :-)

11:02 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I wouldn't worry too much about your weight as long as you feel healthy. I know your industry seems to be based on appearances but ultimately it's your acting ability that will win the respect of your peers. And besides, when you flash that million dollar smile that you have no one is going to notice an extra pound here or there.

8:11 PM  
Blogger TanikaBrown said...

First of all. You look fabulous! I have seen you in person, on film, and in photos (damm, that sounds stalker-ish). Seriously, though you look great.

Thanks for this post, though. I have the same thoughts. I lost about 50lbs back in 2002. It is hard to remember being that much bigger. But I don't think I'll ever be a zero. I am determined to stay a four. Besides, we have breast. It is always going to make us look a bit more cushy..then our flatter sisters.

Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments! You've come a long way baby!

5:51 AM  
Blogger Kimster said...

WOw, Lydia, I had no idea. Not only do you look fantastic, but you're such a cool girl. Woo hoo!

7:57 PM  
Blogger Shenita Moore said...

Wow, you look great Lydia! I'm going to have to have a chit chat with you and Tanika about how you guys lost the weight...:)...

After baby number 2, I know I will have quite the challenge before me! Especially since I kept on 30lbs from my first baby!

I'm not trying to get super skinny. I'm almost 5'11" for goodness sake, but I WOULD like to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight.

I'll be in touch...:)...

- Shenita.

5:29 PM  
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9:43 PM  

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