Sweater Weather Blues

Sweater weather is in full swing in Saint Louis. The crisp, cool air of late Autumn has taken hold, and the once vibrant leaves are turning deeper shades of orange and red as they slowly part, one by one, from their trees. I’ve stumbled through the last few weeks with the reintroduction of free time in my schedule after closing my last play with West End Players. Usually the queen of routine, I’ve found it difficult to return to the pattern of life my body was once wholly adapted to. I had expected to snap back into my routine after my show closed, but for some reason I’ve struggled to abide by my bed time, chore chart, and diet plan.  It’s easier to stay up late since I’m used to it now. What’s another rice crispy treat when you can just throw a sweater over it? Nearly every pair of tights I own has a snag, usually a product of my own carelessness since I’m oblivious most of the time. But, by some miracle—or disregard for hygienic laundry practices—I’ve made it through the last couple months on one snag-free pair. Don’t act like you haven’t been there.

I admit to have taken full advantage of the temptations that accompany the holidays thus far—sweets and booze and sleeping in. The temperatures have dropped, and so has my motivation. If the first step is admitting you have a problem, at least I’m on the right track. When I was younger, my dad told me that I couldn’t get temporary tattoos because my body was a temple for God. Whatever my evolution of faith has been, the temple imagery stuck with me, and has become even more relevant as I get older. If I don’t live intently—fueling my body properly, releasing endorphins in the gym, going to bed on time—it catches up with my temple in a big way. Not only am I physically ill, my mood is generally crummy and unpleasant. So, of course, something has to change. I’ve recommitted to my winter health goals this week, and I’m determined to once again hit my stride. Maybe you are wondering whether I’ll also recommit to my chore chart…the jury is still out on that one.

Modeling and photography in general has somewhat taken over my world. I’ll go into the who, what, and where later but I’m constantly either planning shoots to model myself or calling gorgeous friends for an hour of their time to build my own portfolio. It’s safe to say I would’ve never guessed at sixteen that I’d take up modeling in any capacity. My best friend, Brittany, and I used to stop by a burger joint every day after school. I fantasized about taking a pair of scissors to my stomach--DIY plastic surgery. I theorized that if I did it myself, they'd have no choice but to sew me up. After all, they couldn't just let me die on the table, right? I was convinced that I was the ugly friend, the one that was invited out of obligation. These are the thoughts I had as an insecure, and yes overweight, high school student.

I've struggled my entire life with food and body image. There's a laundry list of reasons why, all of which I'm sure any human can identify with. Food reminds me of summers with my family, drunken meals with friends, exciting first dates, and winter nights with a bowl of warm soup and a hunk of bread. Contentment. Excitement. Soothing, instant gratification. The firing of taste buds is like pure nirvana for my well being. And for years I wondered what was wrong with me. Why can't I control what I put in my mouth? Why don't I look like her? Why am I ugly? This entry isn't about fitness or emotional eating, but nevertheless it's where I came from, and a small part of me will always be that girl as I enter into this new hobby that focuses squarely on my appearance.

Hope that’s enough honesty for one entry, folks. I'm at peace with my body, and my small setback on my winter fitness goals will be just that, a small setback. I’m still adjusting to my growing online audience, but it’s an exciting time in my life. Personally, I’m on very on the edge of the unknown. A time of transition and growth—which sounds entirely too bohemian, but I digress. The wonderful community of Instagram has crashed the party, and brings with it something better than a casserole. They’ve welcomed me with open arms, and new and exciting opportunities seem to be finding their way into my DM inbox on a weekly basis. Just last week I was invited to sing the national anthem at a St. Louis Ambush soccer game against Chicago. 

Speaking of new and exciting opportunities, I’m looking for my next partnership! Does your small business need increased exposure in the Saint Louis and surrounding area? Do you sell product(s) that would benefit from a larger audience? Ask me about opportunities for your brand today!

Emily Johnson1 Comment