Sharpen Your Shape

Letter from the Editor

Everything I do has a purpose, so when I bought a Leica  in December of 2019, to the chagrin of my studio community, I knew I’d be on the streets of Soho squeezing every drop out of this new tool. Little did I know how much I’d be using it a year and a half later. If you’re following me on social media, I’m all over the place. On the street, in a studio, on a boat, in a darkroom etc., try this, taste that, “Oops, well that’s a bust.” “Oh, I like that” … and from my critics I get the, … Sit Still Damn It,  that you got when you were a child from your Mother. That’s how I like it, all over the place. Try and keep up & watch your step. 

However it wasn’t till Covid reared its ugly head did I double down on street portraiture and pseudo editorial fashion feels. (I’m not one to overly categorize what kind of photographer I am, outside of one who aims to capture the ineffable. I shoot the way I shoot, and if you like it great, and if you don’t you’re probably not reading this.) No one plans for a life altering event, they just happen. It shakes you to your core and forces you to deal with yourself and the world around you. A year and some later I’d never thought I’d be outside of the studio as much as I have been, but it’s not surprising when you’re in the business of people.

I don’t care where I am, as long as I’ve got someone with a story to capture, what difference does it make? I want that story, everyone has one. The day to day excitement and banality make for a great photograph if you can see it. And it you can’t see it, that’s ok, that’s why you have me. 

Sharpen Your Shape with Fitness Guru Tim Liu

A One-on-one interview with the Holistic Health Healer, & Style Maven Tavia Sharp.

Excited to interview LA based online fitness and nutrition coach, Tim Liu for this issue of Karjaka Magazine. Tim helps busy men and women, lose fat, build muscle, and get in shape without having to live in the gym. 

I know this to be true because Tim has been my personal fitness coach for the past 6 months. Tim, I’m so excited to interview you because you’ve not only helped me drop the “Covid 15” but also helped to create a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that works for me.

And I know other people reading this want to know how they can do the same so let’s dive in!

TAVIA: Tell me a bit about how you got started and what made you want to become a fitness coach? 

TIM:Growing up in LA, I was inspired to become involved in the health and fitness industry when I was pretty young. My mom had stomach cancer when I was 9 and I grew up an overweight kid. I knew there was a link between what we ate and our health. 

So, as I was graduating high school and trying to figure out what I wanted to do, at the same time, I was exercising trying to lose weight and clean up my diet. I thought why don’t I become a dietician to help other people become fit and healthy.

As I was going through the curriculum and started shadowing dietitians, I realized pretty quickly I didn’t want to work in a hospital as you don’t have much power to create change for the patients and you’re at the mercy of the doctors and nurses.

So when a fitness internship opened up, I applied and finished the whole course and got certified as a coach. Once I graduated, I thought I’m going to give this personal training thing a try. And with my nutrition background, I knew I could help people get fit and be healthy so they don’t end up at that hospital I was working at.

TS:How long have you been transforming lives?

TL: I’ve been at this for 10 years now. Wow, it doesn’t feel like that long!

TS:Can you tell us a bit more about your process? Walk us through step-by-step working with a new client. What is the first thing you do?

TL: First thing, we start with is an onboarding process, where we’ll take you through a fitness assessment. We go over where your fitness levels are at, what you can and can’t do, and discuss any injuries you may have.

We do a video call and I take you through a few exercises, based on where you’re at and what equipment you have available, we’ll write a custom training program just for you. 

I’ll get you set up in my training app where everything is mapped out for you including videos, sets/reps, etc. where you can input your weekly workouts so we can see how you’re progressing. 

After that, we’ll do a diet call where you’ll write down everything you eat and drink, normally before working with me to give me a better idea of what your habits are and then we’ll map out how to eat properly and things to focus on and things you’re struggling with to pick the lowest hanging fruit. 

The goal is to create change and make it sustainable as well. I don’t want you to lose the weight and regain it all back. No, we want to lose it and keep it off. That’s the goal, I don’t want you to yo-yo the same 10-15 lbs year round because that just doesn’t work.

TS: So true, that’s been my journey! Everytime, I lose weight, I go fast and hard and always end up gaining it back.

So working with you has been a good realization for me because this is how you become more sustainable and maintain the weight loss vs. the fast way where you get fast results but you gain it right back and have to do it all over again.I don’t want to gain it back! I’m done gaining back that 10-15 lbs!

TS: What’s the most common reason people reach out to work with you?

TL: They’ve tried the fad diets, they feel like they’ve done everything and not getting results from it. Or they got results from something and they just go back to old habits and balloon back up.

Another reason people work with me is because I document a realistic journey, in terms of getting in shape. I love seeing before and after transformational photos, I think they are awesome but I also want to see what happens after those 12 weeks. So I try to set realistic goals and targets for my clients to reach.

TS: What’s the most common mistakes or pitfalls people make doing this on their own?

TL: There’s a lot of misinformation out there. A lot of people when starting their weight loss journey think they need to drop a ton of weight and they think they need to just need to cut everything out of their diet, be super strict, cut all the carbs and go cold turkey on everything.

Some personalities can handle it but a lot can’t handle all those changes especially when they have a hectic lifestyle and too much going on in their lives. They put fitness on the back burner for years and they expect to go 100% all in on it.

You have to get your mindset right as well. Jumping on fad diets, thinking they have to cut everything and staying consistent.

TS: What’s a day in the life of Tim like?

TL: Haha, okay, well I get up at 6:30am, make breakfast, a couple of eggs and a english muffin, some smoked salmon or chicken sausage and 2 cups of coffee.

I have a couple client coaching calls and afterwards, I hit the gym for my workout.

I have more client calls or teach a few group fitness classes. Then I do some writing and content creation. I may record an exercise video, create a post for social or an email for my subscribers. 

After dinner, I make sure to get outside and leave my apt, get in my daily steps in half hour or 45 min walk. 

TS: How many meals do you eat in a day?

TL: I get in 3 square meals per day and I have a protein shake after my workout. If I don’t get in enough protein, I may add another meal in as well. 

TS: Give me an example of a favorite client transformation. An inspirational client story?

TL: When I first started my business one of my first ever clients, Jeff, reached out to me.

I was trying to figure out my business at that time and Jeff wanted to lose weight. He was over 210 lbs so we got him on a proper workout program, taught him how to eat right and after only a couple of months, the lbs started dropping off. He dropped around 30ish lbs, he then met his now wife and he’s still staying in shape.

Him and his wife are living a healthy, active lifestyle. He is still my client to this day and he inspired me to keep going because during the first year as a business owner, I did question whether it’s going to work out or not. I didn’t know whether I was going to be successful doing it so working with him kept me on track and made me want to keep going so I could help others like Jeff.

TS: Okay, so you help people get their best body and I help them get a style to match, so why do you think having a good sense of style is important?

TL:It’s important because it’s an extension of the image you want to portray out in the world. By having a good sense of style, it communicates that you take care of yourself and have a high sense of worth. 

Guys, are you ready to step up your workout and your wardrobe? If you’re ready to step out looking sharp post Covid, I’ve got a new program called the Sharp Upgrade to help you do just that. I’ve teamed up with Tim and Aleks to help you rebuild your body, refresh your wardrobe, and reboot your image! In this program, you not only get full access to Tim for 3 months to help you get in shape but you also get access to a private group keeping you accountable and on track. You get a VIP shopping and styling day with me in NYC to help you upgrade your image and style and a killer photoshoot with Karjaka to help you show off your new look.

Set up a Complimentary Image Accelerator Call to see if this program is the right fit for you!

Apocalypse Now: Broadway Edition

The Great White Way is a hot a$$ mess proclaims Nate Patten 

Things on Broadway are bad right now. How bad are they? They’re really bad. Like “Britney Spears in 2007 meets Mel Gibson in 2010” bad. And here’s the worst news: they’re not getting better this week. Of course, COVID-19 is to blame for the decimation of live theatre, but it is time for us to admit that our prolonged closure can be blamed on none other than the utter incompetence of the theatre industry as a whole.

It’s been over 13 months since Broadway has closed its doors, and there still appears to be no plan as to how to get us back. Broadway is going to have to want to come back. When an alcoholic goes to rehab the first step is admitting there’s a problem. Notwithstanding, the problem is no longer COVID-19, it’s our own inability to move on. We’re also now all alcoholics. We are now the problem. One of the most insidious effects of the pandemic is one of the mind in which we have mistaken surviving this ordeal for adapting to it. I’ve heard friends gleefully proclaim, “I’m not going to go out even after I’m vaccinated! I’m doing my part!” Your part in what? Shutting down human civilization?

 Different regions in the United States have taken vastly opposing approaches to the pandemic, but New York is currently one of the most cautious, with businesses still not at full capacity and people wearing two masks while sitting alone in Central Park. It certainly doesn’t help calm the fears of the people that when the media does a story on the perils of Covid now they show pictures of the beach, despite the fact that the beach is probably the safest place for you to be right now: outdoors, in the open air, and in sunlight. But with regard to Broadway, the industry is not going to open unless people insist that it reopen. Human beings are resilient by nature, and we must not allow the lethargy and complacency brought on by the coronavirus to obliterate the hustle and drive needed to jump start the arts scene. 

There is a great irony in the current state of Broadway. The entire industry remains closed, but it still appears to be one of the most tumultuous scenes on earth. How can these two ideas exist at the same time? Actors Equity, the national labor union of all professional actors and stage managers, has been increasingly under fire for providing unrealistic and unattainable reopening protocols. The members of the union demanded a virtual town hall with the leaders of the organization during which pressing questions were asked: when will Broadway reopen? What steps are you taking to ensure the safety of BIPOC and trans actors in the rehearsal rooms? Why won’t you let me work?! If you did not attend the meeting, spoiler alert: none of these questions were answered in a satisfying way, if at all. With regard to the question regarding BIPOC and trans actors, the union claims they are “working with organizations” to ensure that this happens. When asked what the organizations were, the members were greeted with radio silence. A Broadway veteran friend of mine was set to star in an outdoor Equity production in Georgia this summer. For months, the theatre corresponded back and forth with Equity ad nauseam urging them to approve their production which, by all accounts, took nearly outlandish measures to keep everyone safe. The production is outdoors for crying out loud, and Florida, the neighboring state, has theatres, bars, and nightclubs open at full capacity indoors. But the production was not approved by Equity. Needing to stay open, the theatre decided to do the production non-union. This is what scholars have termed a cluserf*ck. 

The other news racing around the entertainment world like a bull in a china shop is that Scott Rudin, famed Broadway and Hollywood producer, known widely in the community for decades of verbal, emotional, and physical abuse against his assistants, has announced he is “stepping aside.” While that certainly is good news, it raises the question: what is he stepping aside to? And what is he stepping away from? What the f*ck is “stepping aside” anyway?! Is he releasing himself from profits from these productions? While these answers remain unclear, what is certain is that a lead producer on Broadway for the past 20 years has crumbled. King Lear (not the one starring Glenda Jackson) has been dethroned. The news of this great falling has appeared only to exacerbate tensions within the community. Part of the reason this was publicized in the first place is that Tony Award winning actress Karen Olivo decided to leave her position at “Moulin Rouge” on Broadway in order to draw attention to an industry that has “no integrity.” It worked, and it was only when she made a public statement that the New York Times even reported Scott Rudin’s abuse allegations. But why does a member of the union have to take it into their own hands in order for something to happen? Actors Equity is still asking its members to pay their monthly dues, but the only way that anyone is being protected is by an actor sacrificing themselves to the cause. Where is the protection from the union? What is the point of even having a union then, if not to protect its members? How about we start a “we want our money back” campaign? Oh right, that would require action. 

So, people, how do we come back? We simply GO BACK. We’re theatre kids. Do you remember when you were at theatre camp and you only had six days to rehearse Annie AND The Miracle Worker? What did you do? You made it work by being flexible and driven to do so. You helped sew Helen Keller’s corset, learned your choreography as Pepper, took an online course in Braille, and fashioned a Sandy costume out of raccoon pelt you found in the boys’ cabin. You figured it out, because your mom and grandma were going to be there in four days and you knew this was going to blow their f*cking minds. When did we get lazy? When did it become okay for the show to NOT go on? This is our scene. This our job. So why aren’t we doing it? The only way to go back, is to GO BACK. – NP