LIVE AT THE BUSHWICK MANSION: "Same Drugs" Chance The Rapper Cover

One of the cooks at my job turned me on to Chance the Rapper a few years back and when I started listening to "Coloring Book" I felt so inspired. I would listen to the record beginning to end and over again. Chance's story is like many of ours, but he is able to become so vulnerable and honest with his lyrics that you really connect to everything the music is saying. You can begin to see yourself in him. For me, hearing Kirk Franklin on the record brought me back to middle school and pretending I was one of the background singers on "The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin". The homage that Chance gives to his community and upbringing, with the ability to harness his power and preach such a positive message is incredible. I smile when I hear his music, because I know he's smiling when he's making it. 

LIVE AT BUSHWICK MANSION: LOVE BEING LOVED

I know you have waited too long for new music, live music...any music!! I'm so excited to start sharing this multi-part series from a house show I played about a month ago. With a little help from a lot of people I was able to perform in the apartment I have lived in for the past 2 years. I am so grateful for that space of creativity and support, that I felt like once I finally was moving on to a different home I had to give it the correct goodbye. Thank you to everyone who lent and ounce of talent and help...you are precious beings to me and I am forever indebted to you. 

Here is part one of LIVE AT THE BUSHWICK MANSION: Love Being Loved

Party in my Plants Podcast

Talia Pollock is a real girl sharing her way to navigate the real world. Her message is "taking the HELL out of HEALTHY EATING" She always emphasizes the power of veggies and plant based foods. I love her approach to heathly eating because it allows you to live and enjoy good foods without feeling deprived! She has an incredible website with tools to promote a healthy lifestyle. Please if you have the time to discover her message, go check her out HERE!

Luckily for me, Talia has the same admiration for me and my message. She invited me to sit down with her for an episode of her podcast! We broke down my entire experience on the Biggest Loser as well as how I apply the lessons I've learned to my daily life over a year later.

 

 

Women's March on Washington

Lets get down to it: This is a really hard post for me to write. 

Politics have never really been "my thing". I never understood a lot of the language and I felt stupid trying to to talk about it. As a young person, I never heard or really saw how policies effected me. I believed in the power of the people. Having the power to treat others the way we want to be treated; to include instead of divide. But over the past year it has become more and more apparent to me that maybe the world (and especially the country I call home) isn’t as loving as I thought it was.

Yes, I grew up in a comfortable middle class family. Yes, I grew up (unbeknownst to me at the time) with white privilege. Yes, I grew up in a very diverse area, which clouded my judgement of what I thought the rest of America looked like. 

If anyone saw the SNL skit “Election Night”…all the white people were me

The president has been elected. Some say it is not their president. Some think he is the right man for the job (61 million to be exact)

I'm going to drop a bomb: I didn’t vote.

(At this point you can think that the rest of this post is just pointless. And part of me agrees with you. I also can use my skills of argument and say, “If I had voted, the state I am registered to vote in would have still turned blue, and Hillary would have still won by the popular vote”)

I have learned that this is my civic duty to not just use my voice when I see injustice, but when it is a responsibility.

During this first week of a new president I have learned one thing, though there is a man in office that doesn’t align with my stances on policies and even morals; I STILL HAVE A VOICE. WE STILL HAVE A VOICE. BUT THEY NEED TO BE HEARD.

“In order to align your life choices with your values, you will need to inquire about the effects of your actions (and inactions) on yourself and others. Although we are always stumbling upon new knowledge that shifts our choices and life direction, bringing conscious inquiry to life means that we continually ask questions that lead us to the information we need to make thoughtful decisions. Asking questions is liberating because we develop great understanding and discover more choices with our new knowledge.”
-Zoe Weil

This is the road that will take more energy. More curiosity. This is where we can learn to listen to others and see where they are coming from. This is an opportunity to not just fight for our own rights but the rights of people that are not heard or seen or respected. 

The Women’s March on Washington was a transformative experience for me. It was the beginning of being involved and educating myself to understand how this affects the world around me. 

There is a lack of listening seated in the White House right now. I think there is lack of empathy in our world. I can fall into this category as well. I want to shut out anyone who has helped this administration become what it is. I want to beat myself because I didn’t vote and I “can’t complain.” But I also want to listen. I want to hear why. We should be having conversations. Maybe this could be one of the reasons why the election results happened the way they did. We easy dismiss what we don’t know and what we don’t understand…as easily as I dismissed politics because I didn’t understand. Learning is the greatest tool we have and learning about each other will give a broader idea of how our choices effect each other. 

I went to the March to finally start using my voice because I’m realizing it IS important. But I also went to the march to listen and hear what people were fighting for: Women’s Rights, Healthcare, Black Lives Matter, Abortion Rights, Clean Water, Immigrants Rights (the list goes on and on): but these are all fights of inclusion and understanding. We need to hear people. We need to use our voices but also try to hear all the voices around us.

 

When we truly listen, we can begin to empathize. When we empathize, we can learn to think beyond ourselves when we make choices.

Its Been One Year (...and a month)

So as I have shared before, I am definitely good at procrastinating. I had the idea to post this right around the one year mark of my first day on The Biggest Loser Ranch, and reflect on the past year…but I'm about a month late…so bare with me.

I still wanted to share this post mostly to articulate how much I am continuing to grow and learn throughout this journey of weight-loss and self discovery. This past year has been difficult yet fulfilling and though its been tough, the work I have put into myself and sharing my story has been the most empowering thing I have ever done.

Its been hard to stay focused sometimes, and I have beat myself up about many things…but I also am learning to do that a little less and take care of myself mentally and emotionally just as much as I have learned to take care of my body physically.

This has not just been about “being skinny” this has been an awakening of pushing myself to be better, hold myself accountable, and live life more fearlessly than I ever have before.

A Conversation with Different Hunger: Part 2

In May I had a (very long) conversation with my friend Matt Kohn, creator of Different Hunger, about my weight-loss journey on and after The Biggest Loser. We spoke about many topics which will become a series I will be posting to my blog.

During Part 2 we discuss the power of Mindset to create successful change in one's life.

This topic is very significant to me lately because I have needed to remind myself how powerful my mindset is to my success.  I have returned back to somewhat of a comfort zone, within my weight loss as well as my career. Re-watching this conversation, it shows me that to create more fulfillment in my life, reaching beyond my comfort zone can continue to create massive changes within me and propel me into a place that I never thought I could be. We are in charge of standing still as well as the ones who choose to move forward, and I want to see what's just beyond my reach, don't you?

Erin Willett was on The Biggest Loser and lost an incredible 87 pounds. Since her radical transformation, countless people have approached her asking her what her 'secret' is, or 'how she did it'...

Check out Matt's Blog DIFFERENT HUNGER where you can find endless tools and information on how to become a successful 20-something.

My Hair?

I wanted to finally make a post of how I do my hair. You ask and you shall receive...

I have had a long struggle with a lot of things about my physical appearance growing up, one of them being my hair. I naturally have very thick, curly hair. It frustrated me when I was younger because I didn't understand how to tame it, or style it, or what exactly to do. Over my college years I began to finally embrace my curly locks and even epitomized them on my t-shirt (SOLD HERE) After much time rocking that style I wanted to experiment and try new things: welcome to the world of lots of heat and chemicals!! Lets say I was not so nice to my hair and very impatient (and cheap) when it came to dying and frying. I cut my own hair, I colored my own hair...even risking it falling out, but through it all I have found how fun it is to experiment.

So coming from the girl who used to cry to her mom about her curly hair that she didn't understand, when I started to get messages about my hair and beauty routine, lets just say I was a bit excited!! Though this is a very simple look that I have been doing for a while, its my go-to. This style adds a little wave and texture which makes it great because IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT! ;)  See, life lessons can also happen when we are talking about hair.

Treat your hair kind and invest well! Experiment and try new things!

erin.

A Conversation with Different Hunger

Fueled by his own doubts about how to become a successful 20-something, my friend Matt Kohn, began looking into the habits and actions taken by top performers. Unfulfilled by his own 9-5 job he decided to implement some of these to his life by packing up his apartment and moving to Medellin, Colombia. There he began following his passion to discover the differences between the dreamers and the "do-ers"

I was honored when he asked me to have a conversation about how I became so successful with my weight loss on The Biggest Loser and how that has changed my mindset for other aspects of my life as well. Below is the beginning of many videos exploring my journey and what I have learned.

Check out Matt's Blog DIFFERENT HUNGER where you can find endless tools and information on how to become a successful 20-something.

Prep Talk

Just wanted to take a moment to talk about food.

I never really understood how import it was to fuel my body correctly, to listen to what it had to say, and to give it good healthy food to maintain where I am. In this day and age with "Sugar Free" this and "Low Fat" that, we sometimes forget that the simplest things are the best for us. I have learned to base most of my meals around vegetables, filling my plate and not feeling like I'm missing out.  I used to ALWAYS get french fries as a side to EVERYTHING, it added about 500-700 calories to my plate without even thinking. I now love getting a salad or trying new veggies as a side. Yes, sometime I miss my french fries..and I'll have some here an there, but the fun of tasting amazing vegetables that I don't have to feel guilty about (be aware of how they are prepared when you are out though) makes me feel great about my choices. Now, let me tell you, I indulge sometimes and I indulge hard but to create balance I take out the guest work of most of my meals. I eat the same things a lot to create this mindful mindlessness. I find "go to's" that are healthy and easy and I use them when I would rather be mindless and grab a burger and fries. My life is crazy, and I'm sure yours is too, but you have to be prepared for the crazy. For me, that's Go Lean Crunch every morning to wake me up and start my day with something a little sweet, or bringing a protein bar in my bag if I need some fuel in the middle of the day.

Being aware and prepared is key.

 

 

 

Checking It Off My List

I'm on a bus right now, going home for the weekend and I've been going through pictures and video of the last few months. I can't help but be proud of all that I have accomplished. 

I have changed so much in the past 6 months. I have learned to keep moving forward; to do something everyday for myself, and to put me as the priority. 

The other day I had to fill out a questionnaire and it asked me, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" ...a question like that would usually initiate a full fledged panic attack, but this time it didn't. My perspective has changed and I answered in the most honest way I knew how.

My response?

I don't know where I'll be in 5 years. All I hope is that I am somewhere different than I am now. I am focused on today and what I need to do for this day to make it a success. 

Thinking about the future and the pressure of everything I don't know how to do is overwhelming. I let it overwhelm me in the past a lot. It impeded on making my "today's" successful. I am not worried (as much) about the future anymore because I am here in the present taking one task at a time and checking it off my list. And I can only hope that all those items checked will lead me to bigger tasks to check.

I am strong enough to not be pressured into an answer I don't know. I am strong enough to know what I do know is enough and what I will know is a discovery I will make when I am ready for it.

Here is a little video I just came across of my first performance of "Out of the Darkness" live at The Hotel Cafe the night after The Biggest Loser Finale. (My incredible brother James filmed it.. shout out to James!)  It epitomizes the strength and joy that I have discovered in myself. (sorry that it cuts off before our team building exercise, but I guess we will just leave that as a special part of the night for those that stood in the room)

Thank you for being apart of my journey and watching me bloom. Remember to be patient enough to know you will make the discoveries when you are ready for them, and I am grateful to have had a moment like that. 

I leave you with a moment of inspiration from this video:

"This is life right now! This is what we are doing! WE ARE ALIVE! We've got eyes, we've got brains, we've got hearts, WE'VE GOT BLOOD PUMPING!"