From her Degrassi days as Drake’s girlfriend (well his character that is), to starring along side Hilary Duff in Cadet Kelly, to writing and producing her own show “Black Actress”, Andrea Lewis is a Hollywood veteran who knows what she wants and creates her own success. While her job is to be the star gracing our TV screens, Andrea stresses the importance of being the star of your life; she insists that many of us are spending too much time feeling unworthy and unaccomplished because we are watching others live their lives when that energy would be better spent building up our own life. This is just one of the countless lessons you can learn from Andrea if you follow her “self-love Saturday” vlogs where our leading lady shares tips on creating your own best story line.
I recently requested to interview Andrea Lewis, halfway expecting she’d turn me down. I’m not going to ask her why she said yes, but let me tell you I was overjoyed when she agreed. I knew she had great advice we could all apply to our lives. Here are 10 reasons why Andrea Lewis, HAS to be your Woman Crush Wednesday.
1 She Credits Self-Love As One of the Primary Reasons For Her Success
The starlet has done a lot of work to take her life into her hands and manifesting her own successful career, which she credits to the moment she decided self-loathing or lack of self-confidence would no longer be part of her life. “Around December of 2012, I just started to feel very frustrated with constantly feeling unsure and inadequate, and so I went into 2013 with the thought process that I was going to change my life and it started with how I felt about myself. From there I began the work of self-transformation, and let me tell you the journey is worth it.
“Self Love has been EVERYTHING for me in all areas of my life but especially when it came to taking my career into my own hands and having the confidence to do everything that I wanted. It was a long process to getting to where I am today but I truly believe that if I didn’t work on self love first, there wouldn’t be a “Black Actress” or “Jungle Wild Productions””.
2 She is a Big Advocate of the Detox Method.
Well, detoxifying your environment that is. In the beginning her journey to self-love Andrea knew right away that it was important to do a big cleanse in her life and let go of the things that contributed to her old habits or might hold her back in her quest. ” I did it all” She said, “I let go of people, I changed the media that I consumed, I did everything to continue to point me in a positive direction. [don’t worry too much about whether you are doing enough to clean up your life], because after a while when you’ve been working on yourself, the negative things that were in your life either fall away naturally or you’re just not attracted to them anymore so cutting them away is very easy”.
3 She Believes That Yoga Cultivates Gratitude For Your Body
As part of her 2016 resolutions, she is doing a 30-day hot yoga challenge, which she credits for helping her feel better in her body. She writes, “Besides the flexibility benefits, yoga is very grounding and peaceful. When I’m in my yoga class I always feel very thankful, so honestly it makes me thankful that I have a body to practice yoga with at all, regardless of my weight and shape. There’s no one pose that I want to master I just overall like yoga and want to make it a regular part of my routine.” In addition to her yoga challenge, Andrea is also doing an online fitness program through her personal trainer. She was kind enough to share a sample of her training and meal plan, which you can see on her website, if you click here.
4 She wants You to Make Your Own Rule About Your Definition of Your Best Body
In your quest to self-love, one very important rule is to let go of other people’s definition of what your body should be. In fact, that is often the reason why we develop habits of self-loathing isn’t it? So what better way to get started on your journey to become friends with yourself, by deciding for yourself what a good body looks and feels like. This is what Andrea believes as well! She writes, “My best body simply means how I feel in my clothes and when I look in the mirror. We all have our own ideal body type, so no one can really tell you how you’re supposed to look, but your heart knows what feels good. I can think of times when I was my ideal weight and shape and how confident I felt walking around and I can also remember how uncomfortable I felt when I was completely out of shape. I told myself that in 2016 I was going to stop the constant fluctuating and finally make the healthy habits and choices that will keep me in the place that I know I should be.”
5 She Loves Writing Love Letters to Herself!
Here at the dear body project, we believe that love letters to yourself or to your body are an essential part of your journey, whether as a tool to help you get there or as a goal itself. Maybe a long letter can feel intimidating because you don’t feel like you have anything nice to say about your body, much less an entire love letter! But not worry, Andrea encourages you to start where you are with what you can. That means writing even just a sentence if you need to, and make that a habit. Her love letters are usually very simple. Something like, “Dear Andrea, you are 20% more attractive in the eyes of others, so please remember that means you are really beautiful!” Her love letters are anything from long to short, sometimes funny, or to the point; as long as she writes something positive to herself every day, it’s a love letter!”
6 She Thinks You Should Say Yes More Often
If like me you are a people pleaser, you find yourself saying yes to other people so often that you are constantly feeling overwhelmed. This is not the yes the “Black Actress” producer is referring to. She wants you to say YES TO YOU! That’s right, Andrea says,”In 2016 I want and I have been saying yes to adventure, saying yes to things that are out of my comfort zone, saying yes to learning more about the things that I don’t know anything about. Just overall saying yes for ME instead of yes to everyone else and a big no to myself”. Try to do some evaluation of your own habits and see areas where you are prioritizing others much more than yourself. Part of being good to you is giving yourself permission to go after your dreams and knowing that you are absolutely worth the effort. Could 2016 be your year of yes like Ms. Lewis?
7 She Wants You to Be Empowered
When you learn to become more aware of your environment, of your habits, of your beliefs, of your body, it is so easy to feel hopeless in trying to change it all. You can be so overwhelmed because a lot of your goals feel like an insurmountable obstacle. I remember watching a video from Andrea’s “Self-Love Saturday” series, titled “How to Start Your Self-Love Journey”. One point she mentioned was to take two sheets; on one, write out as many insecurities as you have and on the second sheet, start to write solutions to the problems you see. If you feel bad that you are not a good runner, how do you map out a plan to increase your running distances? If you feel your legs don’t look athletic enough, are there workouts you can do to increase muscle mass in your legs? If you are shy but would like to be more confident around others, would you try an improv class maybe? When you are solution focused, you move from feeling powerless, to feeling empowered. For her own insecurities, Andrea shares that “The moment I wrote them down and then ripped it up, I no longer focused on the negative feelings and only put my energy into the positive solution. It’s usually all in your mind anyway. You could have an insecurity about your legs and the moment you give yourself a mantra of “I love my legs for _____ reason(s)” and say it everyday, by the end of the week you’ll forget why you hated your legs to begin with”.
8 She is a Big Fan of Learning Patience
We don’t talk about this enough do we? In this society of express solutions, it is so easy to get caught up in the idea that loving yourself will happen over night. We don’t stop to realize that it took years of conditioning for us to build an abusive relationship with ourselves, and it will likely take as many to unlearn everything. Don’t let that discourage however. Take it from the Hollywood veteran who says, “being an entertainer my whole life, I’ve learned to have a great deal of patience. Yes I have bumps every now and then, but nothing that truly makes me feel awful, and that’s because I have a really positive attitude and enough self awareness to understand that even the “set back” is for a reason or lesson that I needed to understand. I give myself a couple of hours max to feel “bad” and even within that time I’m usually thinking of solutions and positive moves instead of getting down on myself”. As inspirational Speaker Willy Jolley said, “A setback is a setup for a comeback”. Give space and honor your struggle, but do your best not to dwell in the relapses where you feel like you’re right back to the beginning. Trust yourself to have enough strength to bounce back, but above all, practice patience.
So there you have it folks, 8 reasons to add Andrea Lewis to your list of inspiring women. Doesn’t she deserve to be your woman crush Everyday? And if you can’t get enough of this remarkable human being, head on over to her YouTube channel (Andrea Lewis) and binge watch all 2 seasons of her hit show “Black Actress”. I’m not saying I watched everything in 2 days, I’m just telling you it’s totally possible. Here is Episode one to get your hooked!
To Stay inspired, follow her on social media
Isabelle Masado writes about body compassion on her blog "The Dear Body Project". She knows all too well that the personal is the political, is the community. As such, there is no discussing body compassion without talking about the assault on black bodies, trans women, and people with disabilities. Her mantra is, "How can I live in a way that makes room for you too"? She writes to examine, to heal, to redeem.