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Let's make it clear. We're not calling this "The Actors Diet" to tell you how to eat so you end up looking like a certain celebrity. We know that like all people, actors come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and their diets vary accordingly. But unlike most people, actors have unique circumstances that center around their bodies. Sometimes we need to get strong for an action movie, lose weight to look sick, tone up for a bathing suit scene, figure out how to fit into the same costume for reshoots.
How to deal with all this in the healthiest way possible? Especially when confronted with the crafts service table on set?
"The Actors Diet" will show you how we attempt to navigate these unique challenges.
Food has always been an important part of my world. My parents were always insistent that we eat healthy - lots of vegetables, limit the sweets - you know the drill. My grandfather had a huge garden while I was growing up and we spent countless hours helping him tend to his plants and ate mostly the food that he grew.
When I moved to NYC and began working as an actor, I developed a different relationship to food. Because an actor's body is their instrument and they often need to change it to fit a role, eating disorders are rampant. Every actor you meet is on a different diet of some sort. In an effort to preempt an eating disorder for myself, I went to school and studied nutrition.
During that time, I really got to know my body and how it wanted to be fed. I started to see food as a tool (a yummy tool!) that could help me do the things I wanted to do and see the results I wanted to see. From there, it became easy to understand how to change my body healthfully and stay creative and energized. Now, in addition to working as an actor, I counsel other people around their health and nutrition! (Take a look at my new website - How to Chow)
My hope is that this blog will dispel the crazy diets you hear about in celebrity magazines and tabloids. That we can talk openly about what we eat and what works for us and our bodies. And that it will encourage you to try some new things and see what works for you.
Ugh. I kinda hate talking about my history with food because it’s been such a roller coaster. I’ve been a binge eater my entire life and have spent the last six years balancing it out with anorexia.
In 2003 I had literally worked my butt off to play a ballet dancer. When I stopped the dieting, I naturally gained the weight back. But my managers weren’t happy. My fans called me chubby. My relatives commented. And since I wasn’t booking, I figured it must be because of the weight. I looked for examples of women who were about my size but I wasn’t even sure what I saw anymore; the bingeing and anorexia were taking over every aspect of my life.
In an attempt to get my life under control in a healthful way, I tried to do what I thought other actors did. I went on the zone, did cleanses, ate macrobiotic, got hypnosis, hired a personal trainer, had private pilates sessions, ate specially delivered/overpriced meals, went vegetarian, all while seeing an eating disorders specialist. I would scour magazine interviews with actors, stopping when they described anything having to do with food. “She ate a hamburger and fries,” I would read, and think, “And then what? How much of it did she eat? Did she have anything else the rest of the day? What about the next day?” I couldn’t figure out how other actors did it, why it was so difficult for me to stay as small as everyone else around me without counting every calorie.
I took a year off from show business to come to terms with my disordered eating. I’ve been doing well,and now I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been, both mentally and physically.
Now that I’ve reentered the acting world, I want to hold myself accountable. The same pressures are going to be there and I don’t want to fall back into abusive behaviors. I’m hoping this food blog will present an honest look into this actor’s diet, burgers and fries and all.