*How do you motivate yourself to fit in working out while balancing work and family?
My approach to fitness is to do what I can. Whatever you can do, do that. If you think in terms of “have to,” it takes up a lot of head space. When my children were small, I would try to do group activities to keep them entertained and burn off some energy. We would do yoga as a group, or I would use a kid to lift up and down as a weight. Before nap times, we would all do some stretching moves to relaxing music. I tried to use my children’s activities as a way to interact with them and to move. When the girls were taking ballet, I would have them show me what they learned in class and move along with them like they were the instructors, and I was the student. Now that my children are grown, I have replaced the kids with my 20 lb. pug, Charli. She forces me to walk and go outside for my daily dose of Vitamin D, something that recharges my energy.
I still enjoy yoga and always aim to try different things to stay active. I have become obsessed with my Apple Watch and refer to it as “my precious!” I love that it keeps me mindful of moving and tracking my daily step count and it allows me to schedule appointments with Stretch Lab where I get lifesaving, one-on-one stretch workouts with Haley, Amanda, and Omar, since I’m told stiff muscles are the side effects of aging. Recently, my creative brain forced me to put Charli, my tiny-legged, dark passenger, into a stroller so I could move faster and cover more ground. I have always been fascinated with martial arts as well but, whereas my husband and I are competitive by nature, and since he’s known as “karate’s bad boy” for starring as Mike Barnes in The Karate Kid III movie, and has had lots of previous training, I wanted us to try something where we were on more of an equal footing. We recently enrolled in a Krav Maga course together. It was wonderful to be able to do something active and new together instead of going to eat on a date.
*How do you deal with setbacks or pangs of self-doubt?
Moments of insecurity hit us all and it can be effortless to be drawn to negativity. Unfortunately, I think this can be especially true for women, particularly with body image issues. Growing up, I was a gymnast and a diver. Oddly enough, whenever I reflect on those memories, I don’t think much about what I achieved or loved about either sport. I recall being an insecure, young girl battling an inescapable discomfort over the idea of what my body looked like in a swimsuit or leotard. As an adult, at a time when I was a bit heavier, I remember overhearing a friend say that they thought I would be “really pretty” if I lost some weight. Comments and experiences like that stay with you no matter how strong you think you are. It was particularly hurtful because I elected to undergo a hysterectomy and a double mastectomy as a precaution because I carry the BRCA gene, which, in turn, caused me to gain weight. I felt estranged and almost completely powerless to my own body post-procedure.
I found myself trapped in a shame spiral centering around either feeling inadequate for the ways that my body had changed or felt guilty for thinking about my body at all after being lucky enough to have had this procedure to avoid cancer. I had to find a way to remove the emotion from it and reframe my focus on what made me feel truly well. Picking myself apart for not living up to an unattainable version of myself that I had created was obviously not one of them. I decided that ultimately in life, you need to find a place to live, somewhere that you are quite literally comfortable in your own skin. If that place isn’t in my skin, where else am I really expecting it to be? When faced with self-doubt you have to remind yourself that you are your biggest advocate, fan, protector, love, and best friend that you will ever have. You’re going to spend the rest of your life with yourself, why spend that time worrying about whether or not you’re enough when you’re much more than that. Search out things that foster your own personal joy and wellness and the rest will come together.
*You mention that you’re now married to actor and author, Sean Kanan, and you’ve worked together on several projects now, including STUDiO City and Sean’s recent book, Way of the Cobra. What is it like working so closely together?
When Sean and I were introduced by a mutual friend, there was just an instantaneous connection between us. We both came to realize that this was something special. We were married in 2012 and there is a mutual admiration and respect between us that allows us both to flourish. Getting to work together on STUDiO CiTY and winning an Emmy Award was truly a magical experience. The concept of STUDiO CiTY, a drama about an aging soap star on a fictitious soap opera, “Hearts on Fire,” was Sean’s vision and a sort of “love letter” to soaps and daytime television. Working together and bringing my own skill set and vision to the project was not only personally rewarding, but it felt like a very personal and special gift that I could give to my husband. This was followed up with our working together on Sean’s latest book, Way of the COBRA, a book that shares some incredible guidance and strategies for becoming your best (badass) self! As an editor, I brought some of my branding expertise and organizational skills to the project. The success of both STUDiO CiTY and Way of the COBRA, by both fans and critics, has only reinforced what Sean and I felt from the beginning: That we make an amazing team!
*What is next for you?
I’m in pre-production on a show that is very special and close to my heart. It deals with the paranormal and at this point that is all I can disclose, but it’s spectacular and it’s coming soon. I’m also in the development of my passion project, Pretty Little Gun. I’m incredibly excited for the release of the upcoming episodes of Emmy award-winning STUDiO CiTY, Season 2. The entire cast and crew are all so talented and everyone has put their heart and soul into this project. Sean and I have also been working together to release the e-book and audio for Way of the COBRA and I’m planning a book of my own to complement the motivational aspect from a woman’s perspective. Also, on October 26th, I will be receiving a star on the Walk of Fame in Palm Springs.
You can follow Michele Kanan on Twitter and Instagram at @MicheleKanan
About the author: Charlene Bazarian is a fitness and weight loss success story after losing 96 pounds. She mixes her no-nonsense style of fitness advice with humor on her blog at Fbjfit.com and on Facebook at FBJ Fit.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.