“Dear Fat People” Response

2010 to 2015, Cindy Chu

 

I’ve been wanting to write something re: the whole “Dear Fat People” hateful rant video and here I am…

So I used to be a little heavier. The pic on the left is from 2010. I was still happy then, too. The only big difference was I wasn’t making time for myself to keep health a priority. I was always tired and a flight of stairs made me winded. I always ate what I craved, and also mindlessly snacked at work on production jobs where I had to sit for 12-15 hours a day.

“a flight of stairs made me winded”


It wasn’t until 2012 when I saw a good friend change his habits and drop 40 pounds I didn’t know he had to lose that I even thought it was possible for me to get to a healthier place, too.

It’s not easy to keep myself on a workout routine or to choose healthier meals when I’m out, because life is short and sometimes we want to be lazy or eat delicious, rich food.

But I decided in 2012 that it was possible to lose weight, and then in 2013 I decided it was possible to get in better physical shape so that I can run up and down stairs without feeling like I couldn’t breathe, and to feel healthier and stronger and in control of my body.

I did have to make a lot of changes in my habits to get to where I’m at today and I’m still not done. I have goals like “do a pull-up from a dead hang” or “do a one-armed push-up”, etc, and build a better core. But the key here is I’m doing it for me. I’m doing this because it’s what I want. It makes me feel stronger and healthier.

But at the end of the day, humans come in all shapes and sizes! And that is OK! There are people bigger than me or with a higher BMI who are stronger and fitter than me. I know friends who some may say are fuller-figured who can run marathons around me and I wouldn’t be able to keep up at all. And you’re all beautiful.

If you aren’t feeling your healthiest, you can make changes. If you feel awesome and are happy where you’re at, don’t change or crumble because some terrible person judged you who doesn’t even know you. Be the best you for yourself and others, and don’t worry about the rest.

Being skinny isn’t some amazing feat to brag about, and nor is making people who are different than you feel less than.

****************************************************************

This above post was taken word for word from a Facebook post I made recently. I have decided to start blogging about health and beauty and will be posting updates about what exactly I do to stay in shape now. You can get a sneak peek from my first Periscope post:

Cindy Chu Periscope Post re: “Dear Fat People”

You never know people’s stories, so don’t make assumptions about their laziness or think they don’t have feelings about their bodies. We all have body hangups, and negativity doesn’t help. Be encouraging, be helpful, be positive. It’ll go a lot farther than a mean video, and I’m not talking about views.

 

Let’s all love our bodies!

Summertime Sadness

Just kidding, there’s no time to be sad! This year, 2014, has been off to a decent start with a booking as a rock climber for a health brochure that I mentioned a few blog posts ago, and then my first commercial booking in LA where I got to hold this adorable Asian baby! I got a lot of compliments on how naturally maternal I looked, and I’ve got to thank all the influences I had growing up and babysitting/nannying for so many amazing children. You never know what jobs you’ve had, or skills you’ve picked up will be useful in your auditions. My last job incorporated rock climbing which I do as a hobby sport, I never would have guessed I’d get a job out of it!

Cindy Chu baby

Cindy Chu holding a cute Asian baby at a commercial shoot

While I heard a warning that summertime is really slow for auditions, it seems the last few weeks have been quite full of auditions for a lot of commercials and indie projects.  I’m part of the slew of actors who really dresses for the part, because why wouldn’t you? I want to deliver myself as the full package, ready to work, and fit the image they may have of the character. This means I sometimes buy clothing just for auditions, and keep other pieces around that maybe aren’t my IRL style but may be useful for certain audition looks.  This one was for a hip girl, stylish, thrift shop, etc. I wore my glasses just to make myself stand out a little more because they’re a very flattering pair, and my last booking, I had worn them in the callback even though they had me remove them for the tape, they still remembered me for them.  If anyone is interested in where I got them, they were from SEE Eyewear.  They probably still have a similar style for sale, although I think mine were from 2012. Outfit Details:

  • Top: Forever 21 (used to be a L/S but I ripped it while trying to do a handstand so I chopped the sleeves off.
  • Dress: Love 21 (offshoot of Forever 21)
  • Belt: Urban Outfitters
  • Boots: Jeffrey Campbell for Free People (I love these boots! Very versatile look.)
  • Thigh high socks: Free People
Cindy Chu

Cindy Chu in a grunge/lady/nerdy look for an audition

Here we have a steampunk inspired outfit for an audition.

Cindy Chu Audition

Cindy Chu in a Steampunk Outfit for Audition

It’s hard to tell from this angle, but I had a pretty nifty undo where most of my hair was in a high ponytail and I curled half of it and teased it, then braided the other half, with a baby french braid from the nape up and around the ponytail base with curls framing the face. I used a 3/4″ curling iron, like this one here.   My favorite hairspray right now is by Bumble & Bumble, the blue can.

B&B Hairspray

Cindy Chu’s current favorite hairspray

Outfit Details:

  • Dress: Love 21
  • Tights: Target (? old pair I had, don’t remember)
  • Boots: Same as above
Cindy Chu

Cindy Chu thinking steampunk thoughts

Cindy Chu makeup

Steampunk makeup look

Makeup Look:

Along with hair, makeup, and wardrobe choices, I’ve also got to stay on top of my physical game. I follow this fit chick Nicole Mejia on Instagram. The reason I follow her is because she has an atypical body type compared to most models you see in catalogs and on runways. She’s petite, and has a natural pear shape with thick thighs. Following fitness girls who have body types that seem more real for me to achieve helps me stay inspired and positive. I also follow some supermodels because they post fun photos, but I know no matter how much I workout, I will never be a lanky 5’10” model type. She has been doing a “Fit & Thick” North American tour, teaching workout classes in different cities across the US, and this photo below was from her early session at the David Barton gym in LA. (It was a super nice gym, btw…) It didn’t seem that hard of a workout during, but man oh man, today and yesterday I got really stiff and sore, and it hurt to walk and to move, period. It was the DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness, which meant I ripped a bunch of fibers and they are rebuilding. We did a lot of plyo type moves, jump squats, sumo squats, deadlifts, etc. I did get pretty sweaty!

Cindy Chu Nicole Mejia

Cindy Chu and Nicole Mejia at a Fit & Thick tour event

A year ago today, I started my membership at the Bar Method-Marina Del Rey. I signed up with the first month special and then continued on the monthly. While it’s more expensive than a gym membership to Gold’s or Equinox would be, I liked the class aspect, almost like having a personal trainer, and having that made it easier for me to make myself go workout. I didn’t have to think about or plan out what I would need to work on, I just go in and listen to the great instructors. Here I am, a year into Bar Method, feeling pretty fit but hungry for more improvement!

Cindy Chu Bar Method Bikini Body

Cindy Chu celebrating a year of Bar Method under her belt!

Here’s a 4 year progression comparison photo.

Cindy Chu health diet bar method before and after

Cindy Chu’s health transformation over the past 4 years.

And the photo below here, shows a row of pics from before I started Bar Method (top) to now, one year later, comparing front, side and back. Not a huge weight differential here, but you can see I toned up and slimmed a bit around the torso and thighs especially. I didn’t even really realize how much everything had lifted and toned compared to before, so I’m really glad that I took progress photos to document it not only for myself, but to help put more info out there for others who are looking for ways to shape up and get healthier.

Cindy Chu  Bar Method Results Before and After

Cindy Chu’s transformation from starting Bar Method a year ago to today.

After I had my audition today, I stopped for a quick lunch at one of my new favorites, Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica. They use a lot of locally sourced ingredients and make their own fresh almond milk, so they have the best almond milk lattes I’ve found so far in LA. I paired it with a long-line caught tuna salad. Portion control is something I’ve worked on for health reasons in the last couple years, and this salad was pretty big. If I eat until I feel full, then I’ve usually overeaten and then feel bloated. Now I try to stop after I’m satisfied, and then just eat again when I feel hungry. This salad here was in a pretty big bowl, so I ate half and took the rest home.

Cindy Chu diet huckleberry cafe

Cindy Chu enjoyed this healthy meal from Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica, CA. Line caught tuna salad and a fresh almond milk latte.

Oh, today I finally saw my old co-star Kate Boyer while at my audition, she was at the same place for a different audition. She was just as gorgeous and nice as always. She’s got a film coming out soon, Hollidaysburg, which I actually auditioned for one of the parts in. Look her up! She’s so lovely, inside and out. She told me her mom reads my blog, so shoutout to Kate’s mom!  You did a wonderful job raising an amazing gal. Here’s Kate’s Instagram feed.

Kate Boyer

The Lovely Kate Boyer, Actress and Stunt Woman Extraordinaire

Well, my summertime goal is to find a theatrical agent or a manager so that I can actually start auditioning for all the jobs that I don’t have access to for TV/Features. I’ve had postcards made for mailings, and some cute mini business cards from Moo (click the link to get 10% off, if you need some biz cards or postcards!). What do you think? Hopefully I’ll have a good update for you soon regarding representation!

Cindy Chu

Cindy Chu’s Moo Postcard

Thanks for reading, and hope you all have a wonderful 4th!!!

xo,

Cindy

Entering the Year of the Horse

A happy belated 2014 to all of you, my dear readers!  I hope you have all been having an exciting year so far, although I know much of the US is suffering through one of the most terrible winters in decades, and definitely in my lifetime.  I am thankful every day that I moved to LA before this winter, as I really hate being cold.

ACTING STUFF

Anyway, I’m still on the hunt for a theatrical agent or manager in Los Angeles, which is proving difficult.  I’d prefer not sending out thousands of postcards, and am reaching out to people I know who may be able to put me in touch with their connections.  I know I can do the work, but it’s a matter of finding people who believe in me.

Recently I did a great agent showcase with Actor’s Advantage, run and organized by Shane Russeck.  It was an interesting experience.  All the actors checked in and got their time slots, and then the five agents were in the room, and when it was your turn, you went in, performed, and walked out and you were done.  I haven’t heard anything but I know that sometimes these lead to work for some actors.  Here’s the website if you want to check out an event.  If you go, tell them I sent you!
Actor’s Advantage Showcase

In other acting news, there’s a great new trailer out for Those Who Kill, in which I played Nancy Yuan for the premiere episode.  You can click through to the really scary trailer here.  My friends Kate Boyer and Jordan Trovillion, both actresses I’ve written about before, can be seen in the creepy trailer.  Kate is the one running away from the serial killer and tied up in a chair, and Jordan is dead in a dumpster in a quick flash.  The show will premiere on A&E on March 3!

My shoulder was featured (body doubling) for a split second on the premiere episode of Rake, starring Greg Kinnear.  When I went in for doubling, they had me working some lines with the actors and Sam Raimi, who directed that episode, very kindly upgraded me to cast for my work.  I wish I could have auditioned for the actual role, but my turn will come.  Anyway, I am incredibly thankful to Mr. Raimi for his kindness.  That is the second time I’ve worked in a “background” role and been upgraded, which is very lucky indeed!  When I worked on Red Dawn, I agreed to go in as background with a very high likelihood of being upgraded, and it went through so I became that police station screamer.  (BTW, you can view Red Dawn on Netflix!)  🙂

I’m still very much enjoying my classes at the Ruskin School of Acting in Santa Monica, and we are moving from emotional prep to scenes with emotional prep, which we will be performing as our one year graduation showcase.

HEALTH & BEAUTY

I was recently googling myself as I am wont to do now and then, (purely for career reasons!!!) and saw a photo of mine that was posted on the Bar Method blog by none other than Burr Leonard, the creator of The Bar Method!  That was pretty neat and also made me feel more inspired to go to my Bar classes to get even more results.

Burr Leonard, bar method

Burr Leonard demonstrating moves at the bar

Cindy Chu Actress/Blogger

Since the holidays have come and gone, I had also gotten really into rock climbing to the detriment of my Bar routine, but it was still exercise!

Cindy Chu, climbing

Cleaning up leads and anchor, then rappelling in Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas, NV

But then, I used the holidays as an excuse to eat a lot more than I normally do, and after the new year, I wanted to rededicate myself to my health and fitness, and so not only did I restart my habit of going to Bar a few times a week at minimum, along with walking and cycling, and other activities like paddle ball or hiking, but I also signed up for a 30 Day Challenge through DailyHiit! They have a lot of great routines you can do at home with just a few simple exercise tools, and the workouts are High Intensity Interval Training (hence the HIIT) so are more efficient than spending an hour at the gym doing random exercises, meaning the workout videos they’ve been sending have been just 12 minutes!  Here’s a photo of my halfway point progress:

day15, cindy chu

Day 15 progress photo of 30 Day Challenge from Daily Hiit

As you can see, the differences are very subtle.  What I notice the most is a more defined linea alba  which is that center line down the stomach, a tendinous stretch on the abdomen splitting the two sides of muscles.  I hope there will be even more change come Day 30!

I know I posted about my hair care awhile back, too, and the Shiseido Tsubaki shampoo/conditioner is still working wonders and my hair is so much softer than before, which is helped also by the Aquasana carbon shower head filter I installed.  Since I often do need to style my hair for auditions, I’ve got some great recommendations on styling tools, too.  I received an amazing blow dryer for Christmas and it dries my hair so quickly, and keeps it very smooth, and I can adjust it to no-heat, as well.  It’s the Elchim Ionic and is a pro level tool.

Elchim ionic hair dryer

Elchim Ionic

I also am extremely satisfied with the Hot Tools curling iron I bought last year.  The 1″ size is perfect for creating beachy and classic waves, although, the 1″1/2 might be nice for softer waves.  I got the 1″.  I usually spray some of the Bumble and Bumble Does It All styling spray in for heat protection.

BB does it all styling spray

Hot Tools Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron

Cindy Chu

Styled using the Hot Tools 1″ Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron

I had a lot of fun last night self-taping myself for some roles, and did a quick change in between, and I’ll leave you with this funny image of me.  Signing off until next time!  And please make sure to watch Those Who Kill when it comes out March 3!!!!

Cindy Chu

Double duty

xox,

Cindy

My Body, My Craft

So in my last blog post, I said I would make one about my weight loss!  Here is a side-by-side photo comparison of me in 2008, when I wanted to lose weight and took some before photos, and last night, after going for a run.  This was when I attempted P90X or something like that… The difference here is about 30 pounds.  I feel that it’s quite obvious, but what you think may differ.  All I know is that at that weight, I wasn’t comfortable with my body.  I’m much happier today with where I’m at physically.  This is the lead up to the title of the post, “My Body, My Craft.”  Take a look below:

 

Obviously, I could use some more exercise in my life.  What I want to emphasize here is that the majority of my weight loss has been through DIET ALONE!  Yes, I get some physical activity in my side job working at a restaurant and walking around town, but I don’t do a lot of cardio.  I HAVE been doing pushups, pullups, pressups, squats, lunges, crunches and such.  But not even that often.  I know.  It’s a work in progress!  But the reason why I titled this post the way I did is because as an actress, it’s important that I look my best for my type of casting.  I don’t want to be the chubby, funny Asian friend.  I have always played the ingenue, and that’s the casting I want to develop further.  In order to do that, I’ve got to work for it, and get myself in the best physical shape I can.  I’m beginning an exercise program and if I can get some results, I’ll post photo updates.  But anyway, what I CAN tell you about today is the diet portion of my fitness journey.

The key to my 30 pound weight loss has been a SLOW CARB DIET (SCD).  I decided to follow this diet format after my friend Justin drastically changed his body in the time I took to travel around the world.  (I was gone for 4.5 months!)  In that time, he dropped from about 180 to around 145lbs, and went from wearing a size 36 to a 30 in pants.  He’s about 5’8″.  Those are some pretty significant losses.  Even though I saw how much he had changed and how great he looked (even though I didn’t think of him as fat before!!!), I really didn’t want to hear about how he did it.  It seemed like his diet was no fun when we went out to eat.  But as we were housemates, I saw firsthand how he was eating, and slowly, he introduced me to the basics, and eventually, I became receptive to the idea of trying it.  It was then that he created the Three Week Challenge with me.  He guaranteed that if I followed the SCD for THREE WHOLE WEEKS…I would see some results.  I kind of harumphed at the idea, mentally noting that I had been about the same size for several years now and that my body just wanted to be this size, basically mentally defeating myself.  And so I began, simultaneously doing the 10-day Zumba challenge, and recording all my measurements each morning.  I’ll go into more details shortly.  Anyhow, at the onset, I tried on a bunch of pants and dresses I had in my closet but hadn’t worn for years because they were too tight, and yep, they were still too tight.  Some of the pants could not be buttoned up, as in there were a couple inches of gap between the button hole and button because I was too wide for them.  My bulges.  At the end of the 3 weeks, I literally couldn’t believe it, but the pants that had been too tight were now…a little bit loose?  Could this be?  In three weeks, I lost about 10 pounds, and 1 inch off my waist.  In the time since, I’ve lost a little bit more, and am now sitting around 128lbs, give or take a couple, and my measurements went from 40/29/40 to 36/25/36. Alright, so I got a boost from doing the Zumba challenge at the same time but, you can expect similar results if you’re already working out regularly but have that last 10 plateau to get past.  Diet is so key here.

Cindy Chu before and after weight loss

Another before & after, September 2011, compared to July 2012…

Okay, so let’s get into the nitty gritty details of the diet.  Of course if you have any sort of health issues, you should speak with your physician before attempting this.  I’m not a doctor or trained dietician, this is simply what worked for me.  And if you want, you can do your own Three Week Challenge.  My best friend has dropped also from around 180 to 145, and she’s about 5’5.5″.  She couldn’t be happier that she asked me about the diet and stuck to it once she decided to join me in my fitness journey.  As a breakdancer, breaking has gotten easier for her with less mass to move around.  She doesn’t need to worry so much about spraining her hand anymore, which was an issue when she was heavier.  And she’s so hot now!  Not that she wasn’t before, but she got hotter!  😀  Oh yeah, the measurements…I weighed myself at the same time every day and measured around the thickest parts of my upper arms and thighs, both sides, then bust, waist and hips.  I kept a chart on my dry erase board, and also entered measurements into this great little iPhone app, called WeightTrack.  It charts your progress for you and is nice for referencing to see how quickly the weight is coming off.

Alright, so here are the basics to the SCD.  Our commandments, so to speak.

For SIX days a week, one must NOT consume, meaning NO-NOs:

  • DAIRY (MILK, CHEESE, YOGURT, BUTTER, CREAM, ETC.  A SERVING OF COTTAGE CHEESE IS APPARENTLY OKAY, JUST DON’T OVERDO IT)
  • SUGAR (THIS INCLUDES FRUIT JUICES, FRUIT, DRIED FRUIT, CANDY, SWEETENERS, YES–PUT DOWN THAT DIET!!!)
  • CARBS (BREAD, PASTA, OATMEAL, GRANOLA, RICE, ETC.)

But what you CAN consume in those six days, and for each meal, YES YES’S:

  • PROTEIN (SERVING OF MEAT, TOFU, EGGS, NUTS, ETC)
  • VEGETABLES
  • LEGUMES (BEANS BEANS BEANS!  DON’T HAVE TOO MUCH HUMMUS, THOUGH…)
  • RED WINE (WHILE IT’S RECOMMENDED TO ABSTAIN FROM ALCOHOL ON THIS DIET, A GLASS OR TWO OF RED WINE A NIGHT IS OKAY, BUT YOU SHOULD STEER CLEAR OF WHITE (SUGAR) AND BEER (CARBS, SUGAR)

And then the best part of this…there’s that ONE day of the week left…where you don’t have to follow the diet one bit!  You can pig out and have anything you’ve been craving all week.  So go have that cookie, and a pint, and a pizza, or an ice cream cone!  It’s your CHEAT DAY.

I personally found it helps to cook some meals in advance, like a veggie tagine, with some beans, and eggs for protein, or throw some meat in the tagine sauce.  Soups are great.  Eggs in the morning with veggies and black beans…Chipotle’s a good place for lunch, just get the burrito bowl without any cheese or sour cream!

I will testify THIS diet WORKS!  Results.  I achieved them.  And so can you.

Feel free to post questions you might have and I’ll try and answer them!  🙂  Altogether, the friends I’ve gotten to follow this way of eating have lost more than 100 pounds, when their losses are tallied.  Anyone up for the challenge?  Come back and post your results every week or in three weeks!  You may fit into that pair of jeans in the back of your closet again!  I just put on my old prom dress from high school when I was home for Thanksgiving!

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