This is one of my best friends, Lisa, my blond “sister”. I’ve known her since she was a freshman and I was a sophomore at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, NJ. Our friendship continued throughout college and into adulthood. We’ve giggled, laughed and cried together. When my husband and I lived in Los Angeles, she decided to follow her dream of becoming an actress from NYC to L.A., and for a time lived with us(it was so much fun!), until she got a place of her own and it was right around the corner from our apartment. In Los Angeles is where she met her future husband, Henri. She was one of my bridesmaids, I was one of hers. She helped to plan my baby shower, she helped to plan mine.
Now she’s been living in Texas with her husband, Henri, their daughter and son. I’m back in NJ with our daughter and my husband, working as a commercial photographer, he as an editor for tv in NYC.
With a lot of ups and downs in her life, the worst being that Lisa has lost both of her parents to cancer. First her dad while living in Los Angeles. She would go back to NJ whenever she could and then when it was near his time, and to bury him. And then her mom. Click here to get the start/catch up of what happened in the Summer of 2014. And then a year ago, May 4th, 2015 she passed away.
Lisa has since fought her way back for her herself and her family in between and after. Wrote a book, her blog and website, getting sponsors, she’s just amazing! And recently been on the Fox tv show American Grit with John Cena.
BTW John, if you’re reading this, you might remember being on an internet radio show network called ComedyWorld and you were interviewed by Big Schwag and the guys on Wrestling 101. My husband was in the booth, and our friend called in and you took off your shirt. He has the full version, but here’s a link to an old compilation with the clip in it.
To read up more on how she went from being borderline obese to being a bikini bodybuilder check out her site:
She’s Losing It(main site) ( her journey-start from the very beginning to the first post on the bottom)
Just last week, she came back home to NJ for one day to visit with Jenny, Megan and I. She stayed with her brother so that she could go to NYC to be interviewed by www.bikini.com and then fly back in time to compete in the Texas Shredder.
We all got to chat, have some girl time and I took some awesome photos of her wearing one of her sponsors t-shirts, Egg Whites International. I have been wanting to take photos of her for a long time, it’s something we always did. We have a lot of fun, she’s one of my favorite people to photograph, and I love her so much. I wanted her to have great images instead of cell phone pictures with sponsor swag.
With all that she’s done and all that she’s doing now, I created a hashtag for her to remember even though, yes, she’s making these positive changes to her body, mind and spirit for her family, however deep down she’s truly doing all of this for her herself…#doitforlisa Follow her and use this hashtag to give her love and strength <3 #doitforlisa I love you and I’m proud of what you’re doing!
All images copyright Deirdre Ryan Photography.
Canon 70-200 f2.8 L non IS lens
Canon 600EX‑RT Flash
Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT
Westcott 32″ Rapid Box on a light stand.