Hildy’s Health Adventure: Psychotherapy with The Good Nature Company. Let’s get physical!!!!

What a few weeks I have had! I don’t know about anyone else, but to me it always seems like you need copious amounts of time to be healthy. That is probably just me making excuses for myself but being busy always seems to impede my progress to being a healthy human being. The fact that I have terrible organisational skills when it comes to my personal life probably doesn’t help.

In my last post “Hildy’s Health Adventure: Psychotherapy with The Good Nature Company, what I’ve learnt so far.” I wrote about rewarding myself with food and how I had been advised by Julie my psychotherapist from The Good Nature Company to create another way to reward myself. She mentioned how prominent my inner child seems, as if that was a surprise to anyone, so suggested that a good way of keeping on top of rewarding myself without food would be to make a sticker chart! So that is exactly what I did. Now everyone who has seen this chart doesn’t really get it, basically because the chart doesn’t reward anything good in particular,  I use it to stick a sticker on when I feel like I have done something that deserves one. So for example if I get a good chunk of my to do list done for the day I would usually treat myself later that day to some crisps or something I would consider to be a treat, now I have my chart I have tried to exchange that for a sticker on my chart. I also have a section for being upset or sad, so if I’m having a bit of a bad day instead of drowning my sorrows in cake I will put a sticker in that section ( this section needs enlarged!).

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If I feel like the reward needs to be bigger than a sticker I have written some other bigger rewards on the back of my chart which I can dish out to myself where/when I feel I need to! I have definitely treated myself with quite a few small treats already and one or two medium treats too! I hadn’t realised it until writing this piece but this also shows you all how un-rock ‘n’ roll  my life is. Yes Gardening is a treat! One of the fall backs of this chart is that in no way does putting a sticker on a chart feel as good as eating cake, I think getting used to that change will be very hard, which is why I have been dishing out the small treats from the back of my chart like there is no tomorrow.

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One of the issues I have really struggled with in this reward swap is time. I don’t know about anyone else, but eating a packet of crisps for me takes no time whereas most of the non-food treats I have thought of and put into practice tend to take up a lot more time. I already struggle with not having enough time in the day as it is, so with these little things on top of that has taken it’s toll on my work load and I really can’t say they are as convenient as cake. This is something I suppose I just need to make time for and accept but over the past couple of weeks been so busy that I have still used food as a reward.

I know that this is not going to be an overnight change, the temptation is high and the rewards at the moment don’t quite fill the gaps of the old ones (food). I have rewarded myself with food since creating the chart, I know that this habit is so ingrained inm e it will take a long time and lot’s of effort to make the shift.

But I’m working on it and have tried to at least do half and half over the past couple of very busy weeks. Let’s see if I can keep it up!

Anyone reading this in the same position as me I would really suggest giving this a go it certainly gives you a better idea of when/where and why you reward yourself with food.

If you would prefer to get some more in-depth bespoke advice get in touch with Julie by visiting THE GOOD NATURE COMPANY website HERE.29244351_193565954753070_5659912579888185344_n

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Hildy’s Health Adventure: Psychotherapy with The Good Nature Company, what I’ve learnt so far.

Well the past few weeks have been an interesting few! I have been seeing Julie a psychotherapist from The Good Nature Company. (If you want to catch up then visit my previous blog HERE). Our first session was great we discussed lot’s, mostly about me, and got to know each other a little bit better. I was expecting these sessions to be quite emotionally charged with me being such an emotional person, but somehow I was calm and collected. Speaking to someone like Julie was kind of like seeing myself from an outside perspective which was quite refreshing. I often get bogged down in the should have, would have, could have scenario and I think addressing my issues from the root cause is what is going to help me accept myself further. From all of the soul searching i have done over the past year or too I know that eating healthily and exercising just isn’t  enough! I don’t just have a fat body, I have a fat brain! If I can’t accept my fat self how am I ever going to A/get to a healthy weight and B/ accept myself when I get there. Won’t I just want more and more and the acceptance will never be there? 

In this first session we set some, I’m going to call them “Goals of Discovery”, meaning certain things I wanted to find out and understand about me/yself. As I have discussed in previous blogs, I am an emotional eater and it’s not just when I’m sad or upset, but when I’m happy, when I have achieved something etc. I use food as a reward. If I have had a really good day I feel I deserve something “delicious” and if I have a terrible day or something bad happens or I’m just generally feeling a bit sad or out of sorts I think something “delicious” will cheer me up. Which is why I am on a mission to break this cycle and finally start moving forward with a healthier way of thinking about food. 

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Baby Hildy age 4

 

Julie and I discussed a lot about my family, who else had weight problems and where/when these emotional eating habits started to kick in. We worked through from being a very small child to my teenage years. We discussed life events and why these habits may have come into my way of coping. We also decided that I have a very strong inner child which came as no surprise to me. We got talking about how my inner child is basically my emotions and my adult self is my practical mind. My emotions need acknowledged they can not be ignored and when they are not satisfied they throw a tantrum and end up being all controlling.  What I need to do is satisfy both and find a balance between them in order to take complete control responsibility for myself or “Own It” as the kids say. 

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Baby Hildy age 3

So I was given a bit of homework to start weaning myself off rewarding with food and satisfying the creative child within (and out) by making an amazing sticker chart with small and large rewards for achievements and emotions I would usually cope with or reward with food.  

I can’t wait to get started!

Happy 2018!

Image by Michael Ash

A belated happy new year to you all!

So another year has begun and boy what a year we leave behind! A year that a lot of people are glad to see the back of where politics and international and national happenings are concerned. Not a great year for a lot of reasons.

However as you may have noticed I am ever the optimist and for me 2017 has had it’s ups and downs but I can’t help leaving it feeling proud, positive and hopeful for the year ahead. 2017 was my first year as a fully self-employed artist and I feel proud that I made it this far and have actually lived to tell the tale.

I’ve done so many fun jobs around the country and each one has taught me something new, built up my confidence and given me the inspiration to plough on through.

As I haven’t blogged for a while so I have lots to share with you all. I will begin with this little experiment. I used my mobile phone to make a very short film about a day in the life of a dancer, it’s a bit of a slice from my inner thoughts and feelings too as I don’t really have a single day that is the same.

Here it is enjoy!

Hildy Harland as Marie Lloyd: My Music Hall Debut

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At the end of September I took on a bit of a new challenge and added a new era to my repertoire. I was commissioned by ARC Stockton to create a 10 minute Music Hall Act. Being a Huge fan of Marie Lloyd (one of the most famous Music hall singers in Britain) I just had to pay my tribute to her.

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The performance was very different to what I’m used to, I chose to perform completely authentically without voice amplification which was scary at first but very freeing physically allowing me to venture into my audience, which I loved! So I thought I would share the video with you all because I am seriously thinking about adding this era as one of my regular acts. Enjoy!

Diversity, where are you?

Recently I have had a bit of a rocky thought process, things business-wise have been going well and have really started to pick up, however, I think as soon as that happens and I can no longer find fault within myself, I start to find fault with the world, and jeez, we have a lot to find fault with in the world we are currently living in. But lot’s to celebrate too.

This week I have been thinking a lot about  the absolute lack of diversity in performing. If you aren’t a certain size, identify as a certain skin colour/race, are not conventionally pretty, or do not have any of the other perfect attributes you apparently need to play a leading human on stage or screen, then life is made very difficult.

I constantly receive casting calls which will not accept applicants (for very well-known period crime dramas in particular) over a womens uk size 12, because of ‘period costume’. Well I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy that! I should know, I buy a lot of what they call ‘Period costume’ and there is stuff out there! You can also buy amazingly authentic reproduction stuff too. I still however receive these emails every week or so, which has in part, lead to this blog post, turned rant.

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And this casting call in particular is only for extras work and small parts. There are tonnes of casting calls which define both men and women, just by what they look like before they even get to an audition! Is this me? Or is this completely wrong? Any other industry would be very hugely reprimanded for such goings on. I do understand that certain characters need certain attributes, and directors/writers have certain visions of what their characters should embody physically. However I am getting sick of seeing the fat girl as the best friend and many other cliché’s, which I’m sure you can think of!

I want to see the fat girl get the boy/girl and not even have her weight mentioned (not the girl getting the boy despite her being fat). I want to see a line of dancers, with all different skin tones, body shapes and heights. I want to see a more diverse world on my screen and in the theatre in general.

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The key to this is not making the person in a wheel chair the main character because they are in a wheel chair, but putting them in there because they have a talent and deserve to play the lead.  I am using the ‘person in a wheel chair’ and ‘the fat girl’ as examples but there are so many other people who are not represented enough on the screen and stage, because of their disability, skin colour, race, hair colour, dress size, height, sexual orientation, lack of ‘conventional prettiness’, accent, gender and probably so much more.

Now some people may argue, that there are simply not as many (let’s use again, women over a size uk 14 as an example), going to auditions, therefore they are less likely to be cast.  I do know first hand that before you can get to audition stage, even when sending a self-taped audition, a casting director will look at your headshot and judge you on your look, size, eye-colour, hair colour etc, which you have to include on every casting site and on your CV. Often in a casting call, all you have to do is read it to find out that if you are not blond-haired, or a UK size 8-12 and white, as a women, you are not ‘in demand’. I do believe that men get away with more as there are generally more main roles for men within theatre and TV which is simply a fact. However I am sure there are a lot of men who face the same judgement.

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I could go on forever and have so much to say on this subject, but I feel if I carry on any further I may never stop. So here is some food for thought to casting directors, agencies, choreographers, directors and anyone who has a hand in putting performers on stage or screen. We live in such a dynamic and diverse world, you may think your audience will expect your leading lady or gent, to look a certain way. You may imagine them in this way, and feel they ‘need’ to have a certain look in order for them to take on a certain character or persona. However that is not the case, this is probably in fact leading a lot of your audience to feel mis-represented or completely un-represented, alienating  them from your work. I do not look to irradiate the ‘conventional’, I merely hope to equalize and diversify casts and judge performers on their talent rather on the way they look.

Performance, be it on stage or screen is a social art, we need to make sure as creators that we are socializing with society as a whole, with an inclusive platform for our performers. This and only this will ensure that we can engage to our full potential with our audience and will strengthen and grow our art as never before.

Please feel free to leave your comments, this is such a huge subject to me and I believe really has a huge effect on a lot of things.

Hildy x

My cabaret debut!

I have been performing my whole life and performed many different genres of dance on a lot of formal stages since I was 4 years old, however because of my weight and probably, just being a big ol’ scaredy-cat, I had never tried my hand at dancing in a cabaret format. Something about being alone on a small stage and the audience being within sniffing distance made me very nervous! But all my life I have idolised cabaret performers and the sort of art they make, cheeky, quirky, funny; Cabaret can be anything you want it to be, and that’s why lot’s of people love it!

So when I was asked if I would to do a commissioned choreography and performance at a bar called Can Can, how could I resist?

So here it is, my debut at Can Can bar enjoy!!

P.s Please subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already!

 

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