Lets Be Honest; Celebrity Body-Image / by PJ Monson

Emily Perkins-Margolin is an entrepreneur and downtown theater kid in New York City.  She is a voiceover artist, actor and has her own home cooking show and blog entitled At Home with Emmy Lou.  She is also the COO of Samovar Film Productions, LLC, a boutique agency that creates promotional material for actors, artists and theater companies.  Emily joined the CentralSweat team after working out with PJ for $5 in Central Park for many months.  The two discovered that not only were they dear friends, but that they could become great business partners as well. She can't wait to continue her journey with CentralSweat.  www.emilylouiseperkins.com.www.athomewithemmylou.com. www.samovarfilmproductions.com.http://www.theassemblytheater.com

I still battle with my deeply boring diet of, essentially, yogurt and breakfast cereal and granola bars. I hate dieting. I hate having to do it to be the 'right' size. I'm hungry all the time. I think I'm a slender person, but the industry apparently doesn't. All actresses are hungry all the time, I think. ~Julianne Moore

I am an actor.  I am never hungry, and you can probably tell.

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Growing up I was naturally thin, and never had to worry about what I ate or how often I exercised.  But let me tell you, I had a rude awakening when I went on my first tour! Being on tour isn't as glamorous as you might think!  We drove from town to town, eating at one Subway after another.  Meatball subs.  Chipotle sauce.  Sometimes we'd frequent Applebees. I discovered how very much I loved black tea with heavy cream and 3 scoops of sugar.  (I am not overstating it.  I really like 3 scoops of sugar.)   I'd get a Slurpee at 7-11.  I love Slurpees.  Needless to say, I got chubby.  For the first time. I was so confused!  Me?!  But I've never had to worry about this! 

I no longer looked good in my clothes!  My shorts looked terrible on me!  My Taylor Swift dresses made me look a bit pregnant, and not in the good way.  I had to buy new bra's for my new D cup breasts.  My friends on tour rallied.  One took me clothes shopping to pick up things that 'emphasized my small waist.' (translation: de-emphasized other areas.) My other friend started leading morning workouts for me.  Of course, I hated it. (Click here for my other blog about that.) Circuit training in the parking lot outside the theater?  Denying myself dessert?  It was all too much.  I stopped. I ignored it, really.  Deleted un-flattering photo's of myself.  Imagined that nothing had changed.  I'd never been self aware about my looks, why start now? Now that it was depressing?

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I wish I could write that I then took hold of my life, started running or something, and lost all the weight due to my new and improved healthy lifestyle, but that wouldn't be true.  I got home to find that my boyfriend had fallen in love with an 18 year old hostess.  I was chubby, no longer gainfully employed as an artist, and the man I thought I'd marry was calling another girl to find out if she got home okay. I cut my bangs to try to look like her.  sorry...thats a different story all together...

We broke up and I lost my appetite.  I was depressed for about 6 months.  I went through a sort-of mourning period and lost all of the weight.  I would look in the mirror and laugh!  "I am so skinny!  I look so good!  And I am so miserable! HAHA!"

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Years have passed.  Now my weight fluctuates.  I'll get thin while working on a show.  I'll gain weight when home for the holidays.  I have good days and bad days.  But what is really important, I think, is what my incredible friends taught me on tour.  Buy clothes that flatter.  Workout.  Change my bad habits.  Make a game plan with friends and stick to it.  These are things that really work, and are concrete ways to change.   I didn't change my life all at once.  I don't have it all figured out. And it is incredibly encouraging to hear that other women, women whom I look up to, don't really either.

I just read (click)  this article from Shape Magazine Online.  I was so encouraged by it.  These women really work to keep themselves in shape.  They work for hours.  They struggle.  They hate it, too.  It's not magic and its not "natural." It's their job.

Ultimately, we need to strike a balance between loving ourselves no matter what, and working with ourselves to create a healthy heart, healthy bones and healthy self-image.

Should I be thinner by industry standards?  Sure.  Will I tell myself that all the time? Yes, probably. Do I look good in this dress? Yes, probably!  I don't have to tell myself lies.  I can make a list of things to do and check them off.  I can call a girlfriend.  I can get lost in a role and not lost in the size of my thighs.  I can enjoy my life.

Much love,

Emily