I welcome you to join me as I share my story of my own fight for beauty! I’ll be posting once a week a new chapter of my journey, from beginning to end. I’m going to share the good, the bad, the ugly, and the embarrassing. My hope is to remove the veil and misconceptions that people have about eating disorders while offering hope to those struggling that there really is a way out.
With that said, here is Chapter 5 of my story. To read chapter 1, click here.
When I arrived back home to Arizona, my head was spinning with possibilities of my dreams coming into fruition. I was about to record my first demo at Paramount Studios and my promotional photo shoot was scheduled to be done at the same time. My manager and I went back and forth as far as what my “look” should be. Every big artist had a look and image that they had to stick to market themselves. Starting out, I stood firm that, unlike other artists, I wanted to actually wear clothes when I performed. However, he convinced me that sex sells and before I knew it I was 100% willing to use my sexuality as a way to promote my career.
However, I still needed to lose 10 pounds off my 130 pound 5’7 frame.
My mom had read that juice diets were all the craze in Hollywood and were becoming more and more well-known for helping celebrities drop weight quickly. I was game.
We started our three-day juice cleanse and I remember the first sip of juice I had. I wanted to immediately vomit. There was no way I was going to be able to force myself to drink this for three days. I instead lived off decaf coffee and fat-free creamer. The first two days were a complete blur. I was starving, tired, and achy. I forced myself to walk on my treadmill for at least an hour each day. I put up photos on my mirror of Britney Spears in case I was tempted to break my fast and eat.
I woke up on day three and before I could even make it out of my room, I blacked out. I woke up to my mom standing over me. I had passed out from lack of calories.
I still refused to eat and insisted on completing day three. In my mind, passing out was a win. A sign of victory. In a sick way, it motivated me even more to complete my fast because it said to me that it was working. Also, I was over ten pounds down in just three days. I was on cloud 9.
I soon arrived back in LA, proud to show off my new figure to my manager. He was impressed that I was able to drop weight so quickly but mentioned how I needed to focus on toning up. I was shattered. All I wanted was affirmation from him.
I remember driving up to Paramount Studios with my mom. I felt like a celebrity when I had to give my name to the security team and they saw me listed on the schedule for a recording session. The next few days consisted of writing and laying down tracks for my demo. I arrived for my photo shoot and it was just like the ones I had watched on MTV and VH1. My favorite music playing in the background while I changed outfits and had a hair and makeup team fixing my hair and appearance.
Eventually, things between my manager and I began to become strange. Tensions began to arise as he was obviously not fulfilling his part of our agreement. He seemed upset that I would never travel or go to his offices alone. I was always with my mom or my best friend, Kainos. I later found out that a few years after I stopped working with him, he was convicted to jail time for raping his female clients.
Through a series of networking events, he introduced me to a man named Jeff. He had obvious connections in the music industry and had agreed to meet with me. We met at a mall in LA along with my best friend, Kainos. He asked me what my goals were and said that he was impressed with my demos that he had heard. He said that he wanted to arrange to have me record with Manual Seal, a Grammy award-winning producer out of Atlanta who was the most well-known for producing hits for Mariah Carey. It came with one condition, of course.
“Listen, you have the talent but you don’t have the body. Where you come from, guys might think you are cute if you’re wearing something skanky and you’re in a dark club and he has a few drinks in him. But in Hollywood, you’re nothing. You’re competing with the Britney’s and the Christina’s now. If you’re not working out at least three hours a day for the next month, don’t even bother contacting me again.”
Kainos’ mouth dropped open (thank God she was there to witness it because otherwise people would assume I was exaggerating what he said to me). Looking back, I can see how broken I was because I never even questioned what he said. He spoke truth to me. He was right.
I would do whatever it took for my dreams to come true. If it took dying to get there, so be it.
Stay tuned for the next chapter!
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