Eating Disorder Recovery – Tips That Helped Me Take My Life Back

So here’s the thing about eating disorder recovery.

It is so freaking hard to write about.

I’ve started out posts multiple times with some tips or some techniques I’ve learned but then I realize that it’s impossible to describe how I’ve implemented them into my life because some of them have only worked once and some of them work always but I ignore them on purpose because I’m kind of messed up in the head like that and I don’t want to lead anyone astray.

But now I’m just kind of like, fuck it.

As long as you know that the information below is only my personal experience, and I’m certainly no doctah, and what you read could also trigger you into a binge or a relapse, then I’ll write it. Read at your discretion and know that I’m not here with any concrete answers, only the things that have worked for moi.

So here goes.

First of all – let me just fill you in on what I’m actually recovering from. I started secretly bingeing at age fifteen. I hit puberty at age fourteen on a family cruise to Alaska where I was too afraid to try tampons and thus spent the entire week staying out of the hot tub. It was fantastic.

At fifteen, I was no longer wearing cute little size three flares and tube tops from Wal-mart. I ballooned to a size nine within minutes it seemed. My dance teacher was less than thrilled with my “pooch pouch” that was forming below my belly button because it meant that two piece costumes at competition were out of the question. While the older girls in class were still able to wear low-cut jazz pants and sports bras to class, I was stuffing myself into leotards and covering them up with jazz pants and then another shirt on top of that. I guess “thick” would be a good word to describe my fifteen-year-old self. Dancing twenty hours a week in front of mirrors made it impossible for me to deny that that my body was changing rapidly.

I was just so sad that this was all happening. I didn’t know what to do about my expanding hips and my soft back fat and my stretch marked thighs, so I ate to forget. My parents would leave me home alone because I was old enough and I would eat all the Ritz crackers with jelly. All the chocolate peanut butter chips – straight from the bag. All the cheese, all the ice cream, all the pickles. Oh my God and the Better Cheddars. We were ALWAYS out of Better Cheddars. Sorry.

Take this story all over the east coast – from Pennsylvania to Virginia (college) to New York City (auditioning) to New Jersey (boyfriend) to Hilton Head (performing job) to Albany to Fort Lauderdale and all the way back to Washington Heights, NYC where everything came crashing down around me, finally, a decade after I first learned how to eat myself into a coma.

I came to find that I was an emotional eater. A compulsive eater. A secret eater. A food addict. And an extremely disordered eating female with depression and anxiety and no way to get help through my measly health insurance.

So I read. I read and read and read and read and read. Geneen Roth mainly, and addiction books, and Marianne Williamson, and all the things on Renfrew’s site.

And through reading and my own tweaks and my own journaling, this is what I’ve learned.

  1. I have to keep all the food in the house. Fuck this Weight Watchers “keep your environment safe” bullshit. I need to have the Nutella and the ice cream and the cheese and the pesto and the cookies and the pizza and the beer in the house. For ten years I kept it all OUT of the house and spent nearly $40,000  on binges where I’d go and get it anyway, bring it in, eat it all up, and throw the containers in the garbage outside so that in my mind I could say “it was never inside”. For me to feel safe, I need all of it IN my environment. Now when I started doing this, yea, the ice cream disappeared within hours. But a month into it, I kept a carton of cookies ‘n’ cream in the house for an entire two weeks. Six months later, and I kept it in the freezer so long I forgot about it (community housing – it got hidden behind everyone else’s stuff and I totally forgot it was there). A year later, and I can bring multiple flavors into the house and they can be in there anywhere between one day and one month. It depends on my PMS and how hot it is outside, but it no longer scares me to have it in there. I need to know it’s there for my convenience at any time, and all of a sudden, it doesn’t consume my thoughts anymore. Hence why we’ve had two monstrous containers of Nutella from Costco in our pantry for over a month and I’ve only eaten an eighth of one jar. (I was going to show a picture but HELLO triggers – not appropriate today.)
  1. When I’m hungry, I need to eat NOW. I spent ten years ignoring hunger signals and only eating carbs for breakfast but never dinner and always before 7pm and every three hours and not at all and counting points and when I finally hit that rock bottom, I learned to listen to my body. My beautiful intuitive body that I never gave any credit to. My body tells me when I’m hungry and I listen now. It took me a year to figure out exactly what those signals are – the hunger signals and the full signals and the “i need protein” signals – but it was worth all the listening because I’m not one of those people that wakes up every day at the same time and can eat oatmeal for breakfast for the rest of my life. I need change and I need options and I need to eat when my body is ready – not before or after. Diets never taught me any of these things, and it was only after I stopped dieting that I could really spend time with my own body and learn the way it speaks. And it took me A YEAR y’all. As in, TWELVE MONTHS. As in, A WHILE. It did not, I repeat, IT DID NOT happen overnight.
  2. Oh my God the triggers. None of this “Healthy is the new skinny” shit on Facebook and no recipes. Nooooo recipes. No Women’s Health, no Glamour, no Cosmo. Twitter is a constant trigger no matter who I unfollow so I just stay off it altogether unless I post. Facebook has a mind of it’s own so I choose to follow Astrology writers and Ram Dass and “I Fucking Love Science” instead of all this Mind Body Green shit. I can’t see lists of things to eat and things not to eat and not be triggered. Know your triggers. Does seeing a list of things to do with chia seeds trigger you? Unfollow. Do ads for beer or weight loss or life coaching trigger you? Unfollow. Unfriend. Unlike. Immediately. Like it or not, social media is a humungous part of our lives. It’s how I’ve reached all of you. Thank God. I fucking love you and would not trade this for the world. But know your triggers – even if it’s me and my page – and cut them out.
  3. Friendship/Significant Others/Family: Be straight up. Don’t tiptoe. This might not be your style, so perhaps emailing them one of these articles could be helpful as well.*

Table for Three: You, Me and My Eating Disorder (a straight up guide for friends and loved ones)

Tips for Family (from the Renfrew site)

*There are many many many like TOO MANY articles on how to stage an intervention and how to try to get help for a person with an eating disorder but not nearly enough articles on what to do once they are in recovery and are seeking help. Especially for significant others. This is something I am determined to work on and will post as soon as it comes. If you know of one, please post it in the comments below so we can spread it far and wide. Mahalo.

With friends, family, and loved ones, do not be afraid to tell them exactly what you need. My family, well, those who understand anyway (grandparents don’t count – they forget and they don’t understand and they really just want to “fatten” us all up with cookies and how can you get mad at that?), knows to not say a word about my eating choices. When I eat, what I eat, and how I eat it (yes, mom, sometimes I wrap cheese around a pickle like a pregnant woman and put sriracha on it and I don’t even have an answer for why) is off the table for comments. It took them a few years to fully commit to this but this summer with my seven weeks home really helped them understand. Not eating at dinner because I’m not hungry? Sorry mom, that pasta looks delicous, but I might not be ready to eat it til 9pm tonight when you’ve already cleaned up. And I say, that’s okay because of where I’m at on my journey.

When it comes to loved ones, ask and you shall receive, for the most part. My mom was amazing and understanding and never once pushed me this summer when I ate at weird times with weird condiments. My dad is still learning, but he’ll get there and he’s aware and that’s what matters. Talk to your friends and your cousins and your girlfriend and your hubby and be as straight up as possible.

“I need to keep this nine dollar jar of organic pecan butter in the house and I need you to not comment on it’s price, it’s size, or it’s taste. It is my choice right now and it’s part of my recovery and I need you to support me.”

“I need you to pick the place for dinner tonight, and if you say it and I wrinkle up my nose because it doesn’t sound good to me, I need you to not get frustrated. I realize that I am frustrating you but I am not in a place to make decisions because I don’t know what I want and I would really appreciate your patience in this decision making process tonight.”

Okay, whatever it is, there is no harm in asking. And if your friend/boy/mom can’t understand why this is, I ask you to also be patient with them. They may accidentally make a judgemental face that they have no control over when they see you pouring animal crackers on top of a bowl of ice cream and they may accidentally ask you why you need to order pizza AND pasta AND salad AND dessert and the more patient you are with them, the more patient they will get with you. It’s a give give situation here. No one is perfect and this is a touchy subject that needs care and compassion from all sides – including yours.

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5. Know your other “vices”. Cigarettes and TV are mine. When I am emotional and want to binge, I don’t reach for the beer so much as I crave a smoke and an SVU marathon. And you know what, I fully accept that laying on the couch on a beautiful beach day and choosing Olivia and Elliot over the sunshine is absolutely part of my healing process and a choice that I make when I don’t have the energy to go live life in the sand today. It’s a distraction, it’s a simple comfort, but you know what? It’s not a jar of Nutella and as long as I’m aware of it, I carry on with my marathon and do my best to forgive myself. The cigarettes – not so much, because I’m a role model for my students and I had such a hard time quitting that buying a pack would just send me into hardcore reverse. But occasionally I’ll bum one and feel satisfied and I do my best not to feel shitty about that too. I’m in recovery from an addictive habit – and most disordered eating is addictive if you really think about it – so knowing what you are using instead of eating/refraining from eating as your new vice is super crucial to your recovery and a healthy life. Forgive yourself for the replacements and give yourself a little credit for being aware and just do your best today. That’s all you, or anyone else, can ask for.

6. Therapy. Finding a therapist isn’t easy. Depending on where you live, you might be lucky enough to have an eating disorder clinic in your area that offers outpatient therapy. If you’re not so lucky, and you live in Hawaii like me and there is absolutely NOTHING pertaining to eating disorders at all (on the Big Island anyway), ask your health care provider for a list of counselors in your community and buck up and give them a call. I called around today, yes literally today before typing this up, and talked to some “therapists” that didn’t even ask my full name or what I was looking to get out of counseling. NEXT PLEASE. Then, when I was about to give up, I called a woman that has a PhD and asked appropriate questions and has already sent me forms to fill out so I can show up and just have a relaxing appointment. Shopping around is clutch – it’s like finding an agent as an actress – they are working for you, not the other way around. Trying them on for size takes time and is a real pain in the ass, but at the end, the payoff is something healthy for YOU. You get to take away the benefits of therapy and apply it towards a happier healthier life.

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Holy shit, my arm hurts from typing this so fast. But you know, it’s been calling to be written for months now and I can’t keep putting it off until I find the right pictures or the right title or the right statistics to offer you. Please, for the love of all things healthy, pick up a copy of When Food is Love by Geneen Roth and allow yourself to become aware of your patterns. Or start from the very beginning and find solace in others like you in Feeding The Hungry Heart. I don’t love Geneen so much anymore because she charges you for everything and doesn’t really like to communicate with her fans but you know what the bitch can write and she writes it all and she helped me and I can’t deny that for a second.

Body love is a whole nother topic in this whole recovery thing and I’ll be on it very soon. It’s actually a huge gigantic amazing fabulous component that deserves a post all of its own.

I hope this list helps and I hope you find something here that sheds some light. Share it with someone who needs it. Print it out and put it in an inspiring place. YOU CAN DO THIS. I HAVE FAITH IN YOU. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU REALIZE. YOUR LIFE IS YOURS AND YOURS ALONE. I AM YELLING AND I AM SHOUTING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I BELIEVE ALL THESE THINGS TO BE TRUE. YOU ARE FUCKING AMAZING AND YOU DESERVE RECOVERY AND THERAPY AND LIGHT AND BREATH AND SANITY AND FEELINGS OF SAFETY AND CONTENT.

AND, last but not least, you know you can always email me at roarmovement@gmail.com with questions and concerns.

All my love and support and congratulations for being open to help and doing what you can to recover –

Trusty

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i have never been proud to be a woman.

I have never been proud to be a woman.

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A little farmkid.

I grew up in a family of farmers, cowboys, and lawnmower salesmen. My aunt is a star mechanic. My cousin Amy won more rodeo championships than anyone I know. Girls and boys were never separated in the Trusty activities – we all rode horses, forewheelers, and sleds together. My snowsuit was never purple or pink. My riding boots were brown just like my boy cousins’. I know what sparkplugs are. I mean we were just never told any different.

So I don’t know that I ever cared about being a girl.

I’ve never thought about it really – I just continued to participate in activities without realizing being a girl is bad or good or even all that different. I wasn’t aware that it was a big deal.

Years later, I still have moments where I don’t realize I’m a woman until I’m riding behind my man on the moped and my boobs hit his back at a stop sign before the rest of me does, as ignorant as that sounds, it’s true – sometimes it really does take me by surprise. And of course on my yearly gynecological visit, I have a very ridiculous moment where I realize I am part of the only gender that ever goes to such a doctor and experiences the annual duckbill party. But other than that, in my brief lifespan, I haven’t given much thought to the fact that I’m a woman.

I know that this makes me sooooooo not a feminist.

But does it really?

I’ve lived my whole life thinking that I’m an equal human being.

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Little dancer.

I pursued dance, which I suppose is often considered a “girl’s thing”, because my mom put me in dance at age
three. My first leotard was royal blue. I had a good memory and I was well-behaved and I continued to progress each year because I had a sensible attention span. I played soccer during this time, which was more of a “boy’s thing” I guess.  I hated the running, but loved the oranges at half-time and adored being part of a team. At age nine, we moved to a different dance studio and someone saw potential in me and by age twelve I was competing with dance and no longer playing soccer and I don’t know that I ever did not want to dance, but I
don’t know that at age twelve I was obsessed with it either. It was just what I was doing and I did not hate it and so it all just kept happening.

Again, I was not aware that I was a “dancer”. I just identified as a human being who went to school, rode horses, played with cows on the weekends, and also flap ball-changed in mascara and purple sequins sometimes. Grounds for teasing of course, being a “farmgirl” and a “girly dancer”, but I guess I didn’t realize that teasing wasn’t a normal thing at that age – I thought everyone got teased at school.

By age thirteen I was auditioning for the school musical because that’s what other dancers at my dance studio were doing and because why wouldn’t I if I totally sang in church from age four to four and a half, said my mom. In no time, I was being fitted for a Hot Box Girl costume. There were approximately 97 hot box girls on stage in Southern Junior High’s production of Guys & Dolls, Jr.  Talk about a musical that separates the sexes; it’s right there in the title. However I didn’t really notice the separation and just went along with all the things. I was just another face in the crowd and I just happened to already own tap shoes before auditions and so I was tagged as a tap dancer and thus started the journey that lead me to tap dancing in my underwear fifteen years later for millions to see…I guess.

After my big breakout in Guys & Dolls, Jr., years passed. High school happened, viciously and painstakingly slow. Freshman year of college came.

The cast list went up for The Will Rogers Follies, a tap dance show for showgirls. Knowing my experience – tapping since I was three and performing for like ever, I knew my name would be on the list.

Um. It wasn’t there.

I looked again.

Twice.

Three times.

It wasn’t there.

A bunch of non-tapping ladies were certainly typed up, first name and last name in Times New Roman, size 16. But my name just, was not there.

Later I found out that during the feedback session with the director, weight and body type were discussed. Showgirls and tap dancers have certain body types and in musical theatre, we had to learn about this sort of thing so that’s why casting in college would be super specific and “just like the real world.”

Suuuuuuper not aware that I was too big to be cast in the tap dance musical that I had studied, listened to, and prepared for during my first semester. Suuuuuuuper not aware that as a woman, my size mattered – not my talent or my work ethic.

It sort of shaped the next nine years for me. I mean that’s when Weight Watchers became the most significant relationship in my life, and when I started dating really bad, bad, just baaaaad men, but I still wasn’t aware that it was because I was a confused and broken woman with low self-esteem and body issues.

I just thought that I was an outcast with an amazing skill for failing. Which is of course, an oxymoron in itself.

And so I don’t know that I was aware that women could be so strong and speak up and change things. I honestly just wasn’t paying attention.

I was very caught up in my own little world. I was getting by, but I wasn’t proud of who I was. I was fat, a dancer, and a failure. And I don’t even know that I was that embarrassed by these things so much as I just felt that they defined me. Like that’s just who I was now. A fat failed dancer.

When I was younger, I never identified as any of these things. I was just a kid that thought I was a kid who did a lot of different things.

Something changed in my twenties that caused me to believe that I was only what I could describe myself as – a fat failed dancer – nothing more.

And because of my lack of awareness of the world around me, I didn’t know that any of those things could be used to my advantage, or that any of those things were the reason that I was put on this planet.

Until June 17th, 2013.

When I published my first blog post about eating disorders and weight struggles in the showgirl, show business, show-me-what-your-body-looks-like world that I’ve been living in since my freshman year of college, I realized I had unleashed something larger than myself. When my voice went viral via the internet, I realized that the only person who could speak on these issues was a woman who had been there and experienced it.

Specifically, a woman like me.

It took me 26 years to realize that being a woman is a very big deal, and it is only now, in my 27th year on earth, that I realize how proud I am to be different.

Yes. I said proud. Proud to be different. Proud to be a farmgirl and a girly dancer. Proud to be a fucking curvy, sexy, loud, outspoken woman.

Because of this.

There are certain impacts that women can make in this world that would not be as powerful if done by men.

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Roar

For instance, Roar. A man stripping down to his underwear and peeling off masking taped words of “fat” and “cellulite” on areas of the body that women’s magazines label “flawed” and “troubling”, would not have the same affect on the human race as a woman who actually bares those “flawed” and “troubling” areas doing the same thing.

A man teaching young girls how to hold themselves in dance class and embrace what it’s like to dance as a female, is not the same as a female dancer – who can be a female role model for the young girls for a lifetime – teaching those exact same things.

A letter to a (maybe) daughter from a mother’s point of view is an entirely different letter than what her potential daddy might write. Not in a good way or a bad way, just an insanely different way.

And these things are what I choose to see if we must be labeled as different.

I don’t have time to sit here and focus on why men have it easier in show business. Or why I, a female, got banned on Facebook for sharing The Militant Baker’s Expose project but I’ve had men with their balls as their profile picture try to friend me after Roar went viral with no repercussions.

We could sit here and make lists of the differences and inequalities between men and women and grow old and gray as we run out of paper and continue to list them on our fingers.

Or we could stand up proudly, as women, and own what we can do.

Which is influence the young women, and men, of the next generation.

Which is continue to participate in movements that mean something to us even when they aren’t necessarily well-liked or easy to participate in.

Which is to set a great example for our children and students by keeping the smack talk about our bodies at bay and owning our strength, intuition, and compassion.

And to stand up tall and be proud to be a human being who also has the pleasure of being a woman at the same time, and owning whatever that means to us.

I don’t know that I was ever proud to be a woman until I realized what an incredible opportunity it is.

But hey sister, better late than never, I’m coming to find.

I will continue to use my body and my voice to raise awareness on the issues that matter to me. And that includes every venue possible. From the internet to the dance studio to the jungle in Hawaii where I will change the way women think about their bodies to my home in Pennsylvania when I explain to my grandmother what body love is.

As a woman, I have a body and a gift that could be looked at as objective and outspoken, and in my opinion – that’s the best fucking part. I see that oppression and that misogyny my dearest world, and I challenge you to a duel where you cannot begin to be prepared for the things in my toolbox that will cut you down to size.

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Today I proudly say, yea, I’m a woman. And you better watch out if you don’t think that’s a big deal, because when you least suspect it, I will show up for myself, and others, and speak with a voice made up of thousands.

The discovery of my feminine pride has been a huge stepping stone for me, and I wish it for everyone. Everyone.

And I just want to remind all the women out there who have lost their pride, or have struggled with their feminism, or are battling something hard and fierce, that “well-behaved women seldom make history.”

Girlfriend, you are so brave that you might not even know what you are capable of until you try it. But when you’re ready to, I know a hundred women who will be right there with you saying, “let’s do this shit.”

Including me.

*This article is in no way dismissing feminism, dismissing the impact men have on this world, or dismissing the fact that there are women in all parts of the world struggling with issues that are way more dangerous than being a showgirl in a Broadway musical. I also do not dismiss the fact that show business’s version of “fat” is very different than what the rest of the world sees as “fat”, which I realize is controversial in itself. These are my personal struggles and personal discoveries as a woman in show business and also as an advocate for the body love movement. Everything is relative in this life, and I did not write this piece to minimize women’s issues in any way. May women everywhere benefit from one more woman stepping into her power and owning everything that she is – I am proud to be an empowered woman today and every day and I wish it for everyone.

 

 

 


Why It’s Okay To Mourn Robin Williams

I know, that in this day and age, guilt takes over when we let the Kardashians take over our Sunday afternoon instead of spending time donating to breast cancer research or volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. I know that scrolling Perez Hilton instead of reading about Gaza is enough to make me feel like I don’t even deserve another day on this earth. It’s come to the point that anything celebrity related is deemed “pointless” and “trivial” compared to the rest of the world’s problems.

I’m not here to argue that point.

I’m here to say that Robin Williams doesn’t fit into that category.

Robin Williams made art that changed my generation. His humor, his storytelling, and his thousand and one different impressions is what I watched growing up.

He was no celebrity. He was an artist.

He was no Kardashian JWoww Honeybooboo nonsense. The man taught the world lessons.

In Aladdin, we learned to believe in things that seem impossible.

In Jumanji, we learned to finish what we started with dignity, even when it sucks, even if we get dirty, even if it’s been haunting us since childhood.

In Mrs. Doubtfire, we learned that a father’s love is fierce, and humility is of the essence when trying to keep a family together.

The list goes on with Hook, and Patch Adams, and The Birdcage – all movies where we learn that humor heals. All proof that laughter really is the best medicine.

See, Robin Williams was not just a “celebrity”. He was a representation of dozens of different characters in humanity, and more. Besides being a creepy photo developer, and a doctor, and the bicentennial man, he was there to be the lost boy, and the genie, and the scientist that made green Flubber.

FLUBBER YOU GUYS. DID YOU FORGET ABOUT FLUBBER TIL I JUST SAID IT?

See, exactly. Childhood memories, eh? A little chuckle over the flubbski? I bet.

Not just any celebrity can bring about epic feelings of childhood. Robin Williams is one of the few artists in our time that has that gift.

Robin Williams is to be celebrated, as his wife has asked, as his talents demand.

But it’s also okay to mourn our loss.

We, as a people, have lost something really huge. We lost the man who wasn’t afraid of letting us in. We lost the man who brought us along on his journey even though we couldn’t possibly believe someone would be crazy enough to take it in the first place.

And most devastating, we lost another battle with depression.

Robin Williams signifies the real struggles that are taking our friends, our family, our artists away from us. We can no longer ignore the mental health issues that torture even the happiest “seeming” of souls.

So this loss is a wakeup call and perhaps, one final lesson that we can take away from Robin Williams’ brilliant and colorful life.

No matter how inspired or creative one may be, we never know the dark forces that haunt an individual behind closed doors. And it’s not for us to judge – or detect – or prescribe.

There’s only one thing we can learn from this.

We have to love one another.

Compassion is key in the survival of the human race, quite literally. Your difficult boss, your horrible sister, your emotionally unavailable boyfriend – you might not know what’s happening inside their troubled minds. Even on the most horrific day, compassion is key. Compassion is key.

You never know what someone else is going through. So compassion is key.

If we learned anything from the movie Jack, where Robin Williams was treated as an outcast for his aging condition that made him look like an adult even at age 10, we learned that compassion is key. He showed so much love for his fellow classmates that eventually, someone saw past what he looked like, and saw that he was a beautiful loving soul despite his outward appearance.

Compassion is key. Art is essential. Laughter is medicine.

That’s what I learned in my twenty-seven years on this planet with Robin Williams movies. As an actress, I admire his ability to think on his feet, and to step into any character, and to blow my mind with creativity. But as a human – from age five and up – he taught me that compassion is key. Art is essential. And laughter is medicine.

Robin Williams made me laugh so hard that I know he was put on this planet for a reason. He entertained us and moved us and made us feel things we needed to feel. He inspired me, and I’m sure countless others, to want to perform and share myself with the world as he did – authentically and unapologetically.

And so it’s okay to mourn someone who could do all of those things. It’s okay – necessary even – to grieve for the loss of a talented artist who represented so many things you and I might never get to experience. It’s okay. It’s okay to be sad.

And then, as hard as we grieve, we must equally celebrate what Mr. Williams did leave behind. Start the films rolling. Celebrate what we do have on film – those thousand and one impressions he did so fearlessly and consistently.

After all, we can never take films for granted. There is always something new to see. I’m sure we have plenty of new lessons to learn that we’ve forgotten about since Aladdin first graced our living rooms as kids. I think Robin Williams had a lot to say, and I’m willing to bet, that we can spend the rest of our lives trying to figure out all the things he had to share and still not discover everything he had to offer.

And I don’t even know if that’s what he would have wanted, but I do know that artists take great pleasure in having their art outlive them. To have their art influence future generations. To make this world a more beautiful, more compassionate, more alive place. That’s why most of us get caught up in the arts to begin with – because we’ve seen it outlast centuries and we know that it’s timeless.

And you and I both know, that Robin Williams’ art is more than timeless – it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

So I loudly declare, that there’s no need to feel guilty for realizing and mourning our loss.

Because as Mr. Williams said in his unforgettable portrayal of Hunter “Patch” Adams:

You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.

I think that Mr. Williams treated us – as a whole, as a people – and we are all better off because of it.

And I ask you, how can anyone feel guilty for mourning the loss of someone that could do that?

May this world continue to be blessed with fearless artists who are inspired by Robin Williams’ comedy, courage, and creativity. May we pour out compassion. May we be aware of mental health and the sickness that comes with it. May we cherish each day and the moments that make life worth living. And may we always be thankful for the one thing the genie, voiced by the late, great, Robin Williams, cherished most.

Freedom. From freedom comes art. And I’d like to think that Robin Williams is now free from whatever demons have been haunting him these past couple years.

But oh, to be free… Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world.

 Rest In Peace Mr. Robin Williams

and thank you for giving the world the gift of YOU.

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If You Ask Me How I Feel, I Will Not Sugarcoat It

I’ve been writing pretty honestly for the past year, but rarely do I get to actually speak to y’all. I’ve thooooooought about video blogging… but I know that I’m a writer before I’m a speaker. It’s always seemed more important for me to get every thought down in writing so that none of it ever goes unsaid.

Until now.

When Robin Rice and Lisa Meade reached out to me about my participating in the Stop The Beauty Madness campaign, I totally agreed to play, knowing that Roar has such a strong message and I always need to take advantage of opportunities to spread it far and wide.

I had no idea that these two women would also give me a chance to speak up on behalf of performers – which is what my goal has been this entire time.

Long before Roar, I’ve been striving to be a voice for actresses and dancers who have  been told what size they need to be to book a role. Long before my participation in the body love movement, I set out to raise awareness on the body issues and eating disorders so many of us face in show business.

And my deepest gratitude today goes to Robin Rice, for allowing me to open up about ALL THE FREAKING THINGS.

So this post is me speaking to you, about you, for you, because you and I are not that different. Your story and my story have different beginnings and different endings but at some point, I feel as though we have overlapping chapters… or you wouldn’t be here with me in the first place. This post is this very honest and raw interview that I did for me, for you, for the future generation. This post is one to be listened to with you coffee or a glass of red wine or on a walk down a very peaceful road. This post is meant to be heard, not read, because nothing can ever replace voice inflection and emotion. This, is my interview, on behalf of performers and women, for the one million strong #StopTheBeautyMadness movement.

Play: The #StopTheBeautyMadness Interview with Amanda Trusty