There Is Always Something To Celebrate, Y’all

Aloha to all of you and thank you for the incredible response to Roar 2: The Celebration. In just under a week, we are looking at stats like this:

Wordpress Stats for Roar 2: The Celebration

WordPress Stats for Roar 2: The Celebration

 

 

YouTube Stats for Roar 2: The Celebration

YouTube Stats for Roar 2: The Celebration

With about 9,000 views in 5 days, this means that we are reaching people. We are spreading a powerful message that compassion, self-love, and celebration is essential. This video might not reach a million views like Roar 1 did, but it’s not about that. It’s about shedding light on the simple fact that it’s perfectly acceptable, wonderful, and inspiring to recognize how awesome we are. And for that, I’m so thankful to all of you who participated, contributed, shared, sang along, and celebrated with us!

So, let’s keep the celebration going shall we?

I want to shed light on some of the positive things that are happening in this world right now. I mean seriously, we are constantly being bombarded with bad news, bad guys, bad foods, bad this, bad that. I mean, shit. Where’s the optimism in that?

It’s just as important to be bombarded with good news, and wonderful movements, and powerful women, and hope! So I wanted to make sure I highlight those things this week.

1) The Body Love Conference

Everyone knows about Jes Baker and her big middle finger to Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO last year, yes? In case you missed it, Jes (more commonly known on social media as The Militant Baker) wrote a letter to Mike Jeffries (A&F CEO) that included pictures of her wearing the very clothes that Mr. Jeffries told the world people like Jes shouldn’t wear.

22384325_SA

A revolutionary in style, humor, and ballsiness, Jes has now taken her body love a step further to include the rest of us who are struggling, picketing, or looking for it. She’s founded an amazing event called The Body Love Conference. Jes can obviously explain what this beautiful event in detail better than I can. And this is what she says:

“The Body Love Conference is the first event of its kind; a comprehensive and inclusive event that focuses on assisting all shapes, sizes and shades to embrace and love the skin they’re in right now.

Our bodies are installation art that we curate publicly. Our bodies are the first message those around us receive. Our bodies are our personal bookmarks in the world. Our bodies are magnificent houses for everything else that we are.  Our bodies are a part of us, just like our kindness, talents, and passion. Yes, we are so much more than our outer shell, but our outer shell is an integral part of our being too.

This is why it is SO important that we learn to accept, embrace, and even fall head-over-heels in love with them!  The way we view our bodies impacts the way we participate in the world, and it is my life mission to share the message that we can love ourselves as we are; right now. We don’t need to change our bodies, only our world.

Join us in our mission! Let’s change the world together!”

-Jes Baker, Founder, The Body Love Conference // The Militant Baker Blog

The event is taking place this Saturday, April 5th in Tucson, Arizona. I know. You’re groaning just as loud as I am that you didn’t know about it sooner and you don’t have time to book a flight and get your hot booty there. BUT there’s still hope. Check out the website so that you know what amazingness is taking place and then, consider donating to the campaign so that next year, you, me, your sister, my mama, and all of our friends can meet up in Tucson and have a hell-raising, body-loving, rip-“roaring” (get it?) good time. I’ll be speaking at the event next year, and the Roar videos will be played this year at the conference. It’s all happening. And if we come together and help it happen, we can ensure that this world will continually change for the better.

The Body Love Conference Website

Donate to The Body Love Conference to make it annual! (This page includes details on how the smallest amount helps continue the conference’s momentum, and a message from Jes herself!)

Jes’s Website: The Militant Baker

The guest blog I wrote for the conference about teaching self-love to the next generation: It Starts With Us

2) Week of Self-Care: Finally Say YES to Making Your SELF a Priority

This is a free event. I repeat, this is a FREE event. Yep. I’m saying FREE and like, meaning it. One of the participants in Roar 2: The Celebration is offering this event up to all of my blog readers for FREE. The world is a good place, we just have to take time for ourselves so that we can see past all of our to-do lists and our stressors and see the hope and the beauty around us!

For the week of April 14 – 18, at 12.30pm Eastern Time, Roar 2 participant, Charlotte Blake, is teaching a very special (100% complimentary!) tele-class called Week of Self-Care: Finally Say YES to Making Your SELF a Priority.

In this week long virtual event, Charlotte will be gathering a community who is sick and tired of being sick and tired. Her intention is that even just 15-minutes of connecting into your body, mind, and self will help fulfill you from the inside-out.

  • Do you find yourself feeling depleted even if you’ve slept enough, eaten healthy, or exercised?
  • Are you always “working for the weekend” with little to no enjoyment of your weekdays?
  • Do you feel like you keep waiting for a family member, partner, or friend to give you permission to take a break but find that you never just give it to yourself?

Charlotte Blake knows how you feel. Charlotte teaches Pilates, but knows there is more to health than just working out.

Charlotte Blake, recent participant in Roar 2: The Celebration

Charlotte Blake, recent participant in Roar 2: The Celebration

With a very compassionate and down-to-earth manner, Charlotte combines a truly holistic approach with her Pilates expertise. She works with students and clients who not only want to learn new movement, but know it is time to shift their entire lives toward a more fulfilling and healthy way of being. This may sound HUGE but she understands that everyone starts out taking baby steps which is one reason why I am so excited about her one of a kind teleclass event. 

Using her down-to-earth approach, Charlotte will share her personal story as well as offer:

  • Daily lunchtime calls you can even join from your desk where you will be led through breathing exercises, stretches, take-home rituals and meditations.
  • A 30-minute Pilates video exclusively for the members of this week.
  • A daily guest blogger everyday with an article on what self-care means to them.

Another reason you don’t want to miss this event is because I have been personally asked by Charlotte to be a guest blogger for this event!

Sign up for this FREE event right here: Week Of Self Care

Along with Charlotte’s tips and guidance, you will receive the guest blog that I personally wrote.  I will be sharing what I think about self-care and how to incorporate it into our daily lives.

You don’t want to miss this! Her tips are simple yet profoundly effective.

3) Women’s Body Wisdom Retreat

If you’re looking for an actual retreat away from your home, then I want you to know about Julia Speer’s upcoming retreat in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. Coming from three and a half months of volunteering at a wellness retreat center myself, I know the power of taking time off, indulging in nature and good company, and living simply for a few days. The retreat center where Julia’s event will be held offers walking trails, a labyrinth, and beautiful views, as well as a range of accommodations designed for comfortable sleep. All meals are provided with main meals being catered locally, and if you’ve ever been to Asheville, you know that the food is incredible! Most of it organic and locally grown.

 

Women’s Body Wisdom Retreat

July 18-21, 2014 in Asheville, NC

 

As women, we are born with a deep instinctual knowing, a deep, insightful wisdom housed in our wondrous physical selves. However, we are bombarded by messages in society that shape us early on, teaching us to focus our care and attention outward to others — and ultimately, even to reject our own bodies.

2f7dc2_ea1df21675654c6796a71bc0f07305d4.jpg_srz_518_440_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

This soulful retreat is a returning to the wisdom of our bodies through the practice of self-compassion, creative expression, and powerful ritual. Creating an emotionally safe and sacred space, we begin to repair the disconnect with our physical forms, accessing the wisdom that lies within, and exploring the imbalances we have accepted around giving and receiving. There is nothing more profoundly healing than sitting in circle with women and knowing that all of you is welcome here.

 

For more information and for registration, please click here: Women’s Body Wisdom Retreat

 

Julia has also set up a scholarship fund for those women who need help to get to the retreat, which is why I was so drawn to her work in the first place. The reason I found myself volunteering at Kalani this past year was because I could not afford Geneen Roth’s retreat in California. Accessible retreats are hard to come by these days, and the fact that Julia has set up such an amazing fundraising campaign to help women get to Asheville gives me hope.

 

To check out the fundraising campaign for this retreat, click here: Body Wisdom Retreat Fundraising Campaign

With those three things happening in this world, plus countless other workshops, movements, retreats, videos, books, blogs, and events taking place month after month, we have the opportunity to take our lives back into our own hands. I hope you take the opportunity to check out the three events I listed for you today and be reassured that there is hope. There is possibility. There is room for growth and expansion and change. And you’re a part of it. I’m a part of it. We are making the change, just by passing on the word that these amazing things are taking place.

Thank you again, for all of your support and sharing of Roar 2: The Celebration. If you’re having a shitty day and need a pick-me-up, please watch some people being brave and have a dance party in your office by clicking here. Now go out there and GET TO CELEBRATING!

Next Week’s Posting:

The Biggest Announcement I’ve Ever Made, Ever

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

This Is For Everyone. This Is Roar 2: The Celebration

Robyn Lawley, a plus-size model, recently interviewed on The Ellen Degeneres Show, and got a roaring round of applause when she told Ellen that she “loves her body.” My dream is to live in a world where we don’t feel a round of applause is necessary when someone says they love their body, because we’re all too busy nodding in agreement.

So I took a baby step toward making that dream a reality.

This is for anyone who’s ever bit their tongue and held their breath. For anyone who avoids full length mirrors. For anyone who has a daughter growing into a young woman. For anyone who’s been through it. For anyone who loves ice cream cake. For anyone who knows they’re sexy but is too embarrassed to let it shine. For anyone who needs one last reminder that it’s okay to be in love with who you are.

There are more people in this video that I have never met than there are personal friends. There are more brave people out there than we realize. There is more love in this video than you can possibly imagine. There is more power behind these masking taped words than we give them credit for.

Keep the celebration going. Share this with someone you love. Be the aloha you wish to see in the world. I recommend you watch this on a big screen, more than once, and sing along as loud as you wish. And keep…on…ROARING!

 


Humbled and Hopeful: I Need You

I have to admit that humility is a virtue as much as patience is. And so it is with great humility, that I write you a quick post this weekend.

Where I thought I’d receive hundreds of picture submissions in my inbox and have to sort through them painstakingly to choose which ones to use in the next Roar video, I stand corrected.

I’ve received one.

Seriously. One.

So.

With only five days left before the deadline for picture submissions – for the next Roar video – I wanted to post a short list of guidelines for the weekenders.

In a humble attempt to spread body love and positivity, I’ll re-cap the next video’s theme for you.

A dedicated group of people have been working hard on music, preparing to edit, and market the next video – all by volunteering their time generously. We work for free – but love is free – so we’re just trying to spread what’s meant to be shared, and that’s love.

I would so much appreciate you considering a contribution to the next Roar video, so that we can continue to spread the message that where we are on our journeys right this second is okay and WONDERFUL. I would so much love to have your participation in this next powerful piece that embraces the natural beauty of everyone, and shows no support for the war of “fat vs. skinny” or “real vs. fake”, whatever that even means. The next vid, is about beauty in all forms – and what the power of positive words really holds. No more wars on bodies. Let’s just love what we got and show the world how to start doing that.

The Guidelines, my friends:

  • We are seeking pictures, of people, with masking tape on their skin, showing a positive word (i.e. beautiful, amazing, strong) written in Sharpie (a la the first Roar video.) The first video removed negative words in this manner, so the next video is set to do the exact opposite. Positive words on the body will be used in the video.
  • Body part suggestions: you can put the tape on your chest (but please cover your boobies if you are a lady), your upper or lower back, your belly, your side (ribs), legs, arms, shoulders, calves, quads, glutes, etc. You pick.
  • It must be on your skin – not on clothing. We are showing all of your bravery in bearing skin. We are working to promote self-love, and the tape on the skin promotes self-love and bravery at the same time. If you feel pale, go ahead and write “Pale and Proud”. Embrace what you may think is not “magazine-worthy” by using that exact thing for this picture. The more vulnerability, the better this project will turn out.
  • Please use two pieces of masking tape, slightly overlapping, so that there is ample room to write your positive word as large as possible. The masking tape is mandatory – there’s a theme here, so writing Sharpie directly on the skin is not part of the theme. Kapeesh?
  • Use a THICK, black, dark blue, or dark purple Sharpie to write your word, or make extremely thick letters with a normal Sharpie. A normal Sharpie is not thick enough to be seen on camera, so you must thicken all of the letters.
  • Please send me as much of a body shot as you can. We need as much of a full body shot as possible while still being able to read the masking tape. Not everyone will want to show their face in the shot. Quite alright. Please know that full body pictures including faces are what my editor, and my creative team long for. Pine for. Would absolutely prefer. Again, with the vulnerability.
  • The masking tape and the word can be either horizontal or vertical on your body. Creativity is key.
  • Please do not send pictures of your actual ass if you choose to highlight your ass. You can have arrows pointing to your ass with a word like “sexy” or “gorgeous”, but nudity does not help us. Use your discretion. I trust your judgement.
  • Same with boobies.
  • Note that while I can’t accept nudity, I greatly welcome your full body shots in bikinis, sports bras and shorts, board shorts, or basically any clothing that shows as much skin as possible. The whole point is masking tape on skin, showing a lot of skin, but not an inappropriate amount. It’s a fine line. Enjoy this vague request.
  • Positive words only – examples are beautiful, gorgeous, pretty, amazing, strong, fabulous, fit, tough, amazing, handsome, sexy, incredible, hot, etc. Feel free to be creative and use something I didn’t even list here.
  • I don’t know how I feel about using swear words, because I want teens to be able to see this and appreciate the beauty as well. Not that I have this crazy notion that teens don’t swear, but what I’m saying is, the less nudity and swearing we use, the less likely it is that YouTube will put an age-appropriate ban on the video. Use your judgement, or perhaps write something like “Effing Awesome”. Everyone will still get the point.
  • Five second video clips of your dog holding a sign in his mouth that says “My mama is beautiful”, or of you kicking your face with the word “strong” on your thighs will also be considered. Or ideas like this. Again, creativity highly welcomed. I love it. I love it.
  • Group shots, couples shots, friend shots, mom and daughter shots, dad and son shots, any combo of these is welcome. Creativity is awesome. Have fun – the goal is to have fun. I want you to have fun.
  • Email me your picture or (five second) video, your full name (unless you absolutely do not want to), and a tiny paragraph (no more than 100 words) about what The Roar Movement means to you and/or why you’d like to be included to roarmovement@gmail.com. I request the paragraph only so I can get to know a bit about you before I use your picture. I love finding out people’s stories – it inspires me, and it will help inspire the video. If you really don’t feel like writing it though, no worries, I’ll accept the picture anyway.
  • I MUST HAVE THIS EMAIL FROM YOU NO LATER THAN FEBRUARY 8TH. THAT’S NEXT SATURDAY. Originally the deadline was the 5th, but I’m extending it. Again, roarmovement@gmail.com.
  • I originally asked you to keep this hush hush. But if you feel like sharing it, so that we can receive more pictures via your Facebook friends or Twitter followers, go for it. I only want the video to show off the beautiful body-love movement that’s taking place all over the world, and so the more, the merrier. I would like to wait to make the statement until the finished product is ready, but right now, we need your help to get those pictures into my inbox!!!

I, Amanda Trusty, hereby swear that I will not spam you once I have your email address other than to send you a Thank You with a link to the finished project in March. I will not exploit, sell, or share your email address, picture, or name with anyone. I swear that I am pretty technologically challenged and do not know how to do any of these things anyway. I swear that your picture is being used for a project to promote body-love, self-love, and positivity just as the first video, and this blog does. This blog stands for such things, and I appreciate your help in this next movement so very, very much.

I swear from the bottom of my masking tape covered heart, that my team and I are working hard on a project that means so much to us, and we are determined to make a difference. Your participation in that would be incredible, and it would be an honor to feature each and every one of you who are reading this in the project.

It’s okay to accept where we are in our journeys, and celebrate where we stand at the moment, even if it’s not exactly what we feel we should look like or feel like. We are all perfect in our own ways, and it’s time to throw ourselves a party. Or at least a pep rally where we root for each other.

Mahalo, mahalo, mahalo for sharing this and participating and supporting the project. (Original post about this project here.)

(Regular weekly posting to be posted Sunday/Monday as always! Aloha!)


And You’re Gonna Hear “Us” Roar

Awwwww shucks.

It’s literally all happening, you guys.

The Roar Movement continues with a second video that involves all of your fine asses.

Yes.

Yes.

My dearest badasses and beauties – alohaaaaaaa, and here we go.

I often speak about continuing “The Roar Movement” as though it’s actually a thing. I feel as though Regina George would tell me to stop making it a thing – that just like “fetch”, it’s never gonna happen.

It’s happening though.

The true mission statement for The Roar Movement is as follows:

It takes courage for every woman, and every man, to remove the negative labels we’ve allowed society to stick to us. Once we are free of the labels, we find that love is way more powerful than hate – in regards to the way we treat others and the way we treat ourselves.

The Roar Movement exists to encourage empathy. To encourage self-love. To encourage change. To encourage embracing what we have. To encourage dancing. To encourage finding happiness on our personal journey – no matter where on that journey we may be. And to encourage a positive way of looking at our body.

Above all, it is important to know that the body image positivity party is happening whether we like it or not. So we might as well jump on the dance floor and do what we can to spread the message that love will always conquer hate – and it starts with us, every morning that we look in the mirror.

Or, something like that.

So this is what’s happening.

You’re going to be the next Roar video.

Yes. You.

Listen up, gorgeous.

This is your homework assignment, you sexy thang.

  1. Go find some masking tape.
  2. Find the thickest Sharpie in your office, or ask to borrow it from your kids’ craft drawer. Nicely.
  3. Take off your clothes.
  4. Stop looking at me like that. I’m serious.
  5. Place two sensible pieces of masking tape on your favorite body part (get your head outta the gutter, bro), just barely overlapping.
  6. Have a friend, a husband, a cousin, a dance teacher, a booty call, a neighbor, a teenage daughter, a wife, whoever is around really, write a POSITIVE word on that masking tape on your body.
  7. Take a clear picture of this.
  8. Email it to me.
  9. Watch yourself be featured in the next Roar video in March.
  10. Share, spread, and splatter that Roar video all over the net to make The Roar Movement a thing, and help make a difference in thousands of people’s lives this year.

Questions? I know you got ’em. Let me take care of that for you.

We (and by “we” I mean you, me, your Facebook and Twitter followers, my Facebook and Twitter followers, an amazing video editor, my musician friends, and my boyfriend) are making a new video that is going to do the complete opposite of the first Roar video.

Instead of removing the negative words, we are adding the positive words.

People are catching on to this whole new resolution fad of adding things to our regimens this year instead of taking things away. We’re always being told what not to eat and what not to do. But we have to supplement all that shit with something that we can do. Which is, to shed light on the positive.

I mean, truly, if all of us added one positive word to our morning regimen every day, things would drastically change.

Whether it’s a pink Post-it on the bathroom mirror exclaiming, “You are beautiful!”, or it’s an iPhone wallpaper screen that says, “You’re seriously fabulous. Go strut your stuff today, gorgeous!”, starting the day with positive talk can change everything. Think about it. Starting with a positive word would start our day off in a completely different way than what half of us normally do – which is try to poop before we get on the scale in the morning and then stand in the mirror and examine our cellulite.

Everything would change. Our entire day would be better. The positive words are just downright healthier for everyone.

And that’s what this next Roar video is all about.

All of your beautiful bodies will be featured in a video and they will all have one thing in common – every single body will have a positive word, Sharpied on masking tape, pictured clearly. I obviously have some tricks up my sleeve that will make the video more than a slideshow of words on skin, but you’ll just have to wait and see what that is. Oh, and have your tissues ready.

Let’s show the world how much love a couple hundred people can spread with just some masking tape and some faith in humanity.

One final thing before you go ahead and read the actual guidelines.

Enough with this “real women” and “real men” crap. I could go into this for days but I am choosing to keep my thoughts to myself at this time and simply ask everyone to contribute to this project.

Tall, short, black, white, female, male (seriously, we want males too), obese, bone-thin, gay, straight, young, old, curvy, sporty, pregnant (I’m talking to you Mallory and Talia), recently un-pregnant (ahem, Rachel), flat-chested, and everything in between. I want you all in on this.

This is not about a war on fat vs. thin, or average woman vs. supermodel, or musclemen vs. not-so-muscled-men. Everyone has their shit – and instead of focusing on how each person, no matter what they weigh, has things they dislike that we may never know about – we are focusing on how every person can focus on what they LOVE about themselves. Yes, LOVE. If you’ve never given yourself the time of day to think about what you love about your body, then this is the perfect opportunity. Everyone, no matter what size, can find something that they love. Everyone. Take all the time that you need. You deserve it. And then really, truly love it.

This video is about beauty in ALL forms and about ALL the real people. In a wheelchair, in high heels, in pajamas, in a hospital gown, everyone is a REAL woman or a REAL man. Poke any person on this planet and they will say “ow”. They are all real. All of them. End of story. No matter what they wear and no matter what they weigh.

So whoever you are, you belong here and your picture submission matters.

Here are The Actual Rules (seriously):

***By the way, if you have no idea what I’m talking about thus far, watching the original Roar video HERE will definitely help you get the jist. If you’re already on board, continue reading the following guidelines.

Okay here goes:

  • You must have clothes covering your precious bits in the picture that you send me.
  • Please use two pieces of masking tape, slightly overlapping, so that there is ample room to write your positive word as large as possible. The masking tape is mandatory – there’s a theme here, so writing Sharpie directly on the skin is not part of the theme. Kapeesh?
  • Use a THICK, black, dark blue, or dark purple Sharpie to write your word, or make extremely thick letters with a normal Sharpie. A normal Sharpie is not thick enough to be seen on camera, so you must thicken all of the letters.
  • Send me as much of a body shot as you can. Closeups of the masking tape only, are not helpful. We need as much of a full body shot as possible while still being able to read the masking tape. Not everyone will want to show their face in the shot. Quite alright. Please know that full body pictures including faces will definitely be given first priority though. (More on that in a bit).
  • The masking tape and the word can be either horizontal or vertical on your body. Creativity is key.
  • Please do not send pictures of your actual ass if you choose to highlight your ass. You can have arrows pointing to your ass with a word like “sexy” or “gorgeous”, but nudity does not help us. Use your discretion. I trust your judgement.
  • Same with boobies.
  • Note that while I can’t accept nudity, I greatly welcome your full body shots in bikinis, sports bras and shorts, board shorts, or basically any clothing that shows as much skin as possible. The whole point is masking tape on skin, showing a lot of skin, but not an inappropriate amount. It’s a fine line. Enjoy this vague request.
  • Positive words only – examples are beautiful, gorgeous, pretty, amazing, strong, fabulous, fit, tough, amazing, handsome, sexy, incredible, hot, etc. Feel free to be creative and use something I didn’t even list here.
  • I don’t know how I feel about using swear words, because I want teens to be able to see this and appreciate the beauty as well. Not that I have this crazy notion that teens don’t swear, but what I’m saying is, the less nudity and swearing we use, the less likely it is that YouTube will put an age-appropriate ban on the video. Use your judgement, or perhaps write something like “Effing Awesome”. Everyone will still get the point.
  • Five second video clips of your dog holding a sign in his mouth that says “My mama is beautiful”, or of you kicking your face with the word “strong” on your thighs will also be considered. Or ideas like this. Again, creativity highly welcomed. I love it. I love it.
  • Email me your picture or (five second) video, your full name, and a tiny paragraph (no more than 100 words) about what The Roar Movement means to you and/or why you’d like to be included to roarmovement@gmail.com.
  • I MUST HAVE THIS EMAIL FROM YOU NO LATER THAN FEBRUARY 5TH. THAT’S A WEDNESDAY PEOPLE. IT’S A WEDNESDAY. Put it in your calendar as February 3rd so you don’t forget. Again, roarmovement@gmail.com.
  • Do not forget to attach the picture or the video in your email because with all of the submissions we will receive, it will be impossible to email hundreds of you to ask you to re-attach your photo. Please double check everything before you send it to us.
  • Keeping this a little hush hush would be appreciated until the video is actually posted. Telling your best friend you’re participating? Sweet. Broadcasting it across Twitter and Facebook before the video is actually posted on here in March? Less than sweet. Let’s wait to make the statement until the finished product is ready, and until then, just work on putting all the pieces together.

Other information for you:

This blog receives about a thousand hits a week. We have 1300 Facebook followers, plus my personal Facebook friends and family. What does this mean exactly?

I will be unable to use 2600 pictures in the second Roar video as it will be only four minutes long. SO. Clear pictures, full body shots including your face (this will touch people, and make much more of a statement, than a headless body shot, for realz), people who take the time to write their paragraph about what this means to them, and meeting the deadline are CRUCIAL if you’d like to be included. I want to include as many of you as possible.

SO.

Ideas to ensure you are included? Get five friends together and do a picture altogether, so that all five of you can be included in one shot. Ta da! It’s all happening, really it is. Couple shots, mom and kid shots, group shots, all welcome as long as the words are readable.

Creative entries will naturally be given high consideration.

And finally, know this. You are all amazing and have truly changed my life in the past nine months, since the birth of this bloggie blog blog. Before Roar ever became a thing, I had about 400 loyal readers every single week whose commentary and feedback gave me more insight than any self-help book or therapist ever could. Your undying love, support, and suggestions have revolutionized the way I look at humanity, this world, and myself. As this whole project continues to evolve and grow, I hope you can feel my gratitude all over the world from my humble abode in Hawaii.

Every morning, I draw three angel cards that my friend Karen made for me before I boarded my plane to Hawaii. Every morning, those three angel cards inspire my day with three positive words. To start the day off with words like “abundance”, “joy”, “transformation”, “play”, or “trust”, is something that has made for interesting mornings and inspiring weeks.

This Roar video will be a combination of my belief in those positive angel cards and my belief in the self-love movement that’s taking place around us, and it’s a gift that we all can give to the world, without doing much at all.

I look forward to reading your emails, enjoying your creative photos and FIVE SECOND count ’em FIVE SECOND videos, and sharing this next Roar installment with you all.

Roar, people, roar. And mahalo, in advance, from the bottom of my heart.

do-the-crazy-thing

Next week’s posting:

The Guest Blogging Begins and Coconut Water Replaces Orange Juice, Thanks


The Response to Roar: Let’s Keep it Going

So the thing about Roar, is that it was a celebration of where I am at right now on my journey.

My journey started long before the four minute video that you see today.

And Roar, is a symbolic event to celebrate how far I have come.

My journey has taken me from the depths of hell – when I didn’t want to get out of bed for days, when I could down an ice cream cake before my roommate got out of the shower, when I would commisserate over beers from 11am to 11pm at night with other friends experiencing depression as well – to fucking Hawaii, where I am roaring and drinking coconut water and getting my ass kicked in Kundalini yoga and sleeping for what feels like the first time in ten years.

My journey has included ups and downs and hospital visits and black out binges and financial crisis and unlimited mimosa brunches and a lot of self-help books. Not to mention multiple packs of Marlboro Menthol Lights, shameful (and I mean SHAMEFUL) booty calls, and at one point, an absurd amount of Splenda.

My journey is only my own to know the details of. Many friends know bits and pieces, but only I know the extent of the ugliness.

And so, my journey is in the paragraphs that make up this blog, but also in the spaces between.

Because sometimes there are no words to express the pain and sorrow and guilt and anger that life can bring while you just sit there and attempt to fight back with weak, Nutella-covered fists.

And that’s when you have to dance.

In musical theatre, we were always taught that when you become too overcome to speak, the only thing left to do is start singing.

And then, when you’re too overcome to keep singing, the only thing left to do is to dance.

So Roar was my body being too overcome with emotion to sing, speak, write, or express.

All there was left to do, was fucking dance.

Dance, and celebrate everything that has happened up until this point. Because even the darkest moments can be celebrated when you finally accept that they have brought you to a point where you can party in tap shoes and a tutu like that.

So, in response to the comments that Roar is me promoting obesity, I say this:

I understand that obesity is a disease in this country.

What people need to understand, is that it’s something none of us has chosen.

Binge-eating is a disorder for over eight million Americans, and a habit for millions more. Just like the alcohol, narcotic, or sex additions people may have, food is our drug.

So while we overcome our addiction to using Oreos and Domino’s Deep Dish to fill the void and mask our feelings, we have to be okay with where we are at right here in this moment.

And although we’ve grown up being told otherwise, I’ve learned that it’s okay to find happiness in our journey along the way, instead of waiting until we are perfect to finally be happy.

You see, “happy” is part of the definition of healthy, in my book. Probably in your book too.

And so Roar was a celebration of how happy I am to be alive. To be strong. To be able to drop down in a cooter slam, even if my thighs have cellulite. And to celebrate how healthy I finally am.

My weight has fluctuated thirty pounds up and down an obscene amount of times since the age of 18. There is no possible way that that fluctuation is more healthy for me than the extra weight that I have been holding on to since May when I became aware of my serious binge-eating.

I understand that I have extra stomach fat from my poor choices when it comes to nutrition over the years.

I understand that Nutella has no nutritional value.

But I also understand, that the first step of recovering from anything, is awareness.

I am now aware of my habits. And so during my process, I’ve had to learn to look in the mirror and love what I have right now.

Even if its an extra twenty-five pounds.

Looking in the mirror and looking straight at the parts of you that you’ve avoided accepting for your entire life, is something that takes time, patience, and quite frankly, big balls.

But it will literally benefit the planet, when we all start to do it. For the sake of everyone around us, the sooner we start to accept what’s happening in our stomach region or our ass region, the sooner we can stop beating ourselves up and aquaint ourselves with this crazy concept called “self-love”.

And as soon as we find the “self-love” that we’ve been forgetting about this whole time, the sooner we can offer more love and compassion to the people that we surround ourselves every day, instead of letting our own insecurities get in the way of our relationships.

In response to the comments that I am not fat, and I made people bigger than me feel fat:

I just want to reiterate that this was a piece about how I am often too “fat” for the entertainment business.

I’ve been told that I am too heavy for roles, too big for roles, too curvy for roles, and too thick for roles.

“Fat” is just the umbrella that all those words fall under.

And so I wrote that word on my body in order to peel it off, and prove to my industry, that I will never ask their permission to perform in a role again – no matter what adjective might describe me right now. I will forever dance, and sing, and laugh, on my own terms. I don’t know what those terms look like yet, but from where I’m standing in my newly painted rainbow tap shoes, they look pretty fucking joyful and creative.

I peeled the words “fat” and “big” off my body to prove that no adjective will ever define my state of being again.

Because for the first time in my life, my state of being, is healthy.

This was a loud and clear message to my inner self, my soul, that I am still here. I am still alive. This bitch is still kickin’.

Literally. Like, fan kicking my face.

And finally, to the hundreds of comments from people who felt inspired by this piece and who took the time out of their busy days to write me and let me know that they benefited from this story, I say this:

Thank you, from the bottom of my masking-tape covered heart, thank you.

I am so thankful to be a part of your journey, because you are now a part of mine. Just when I thought that I was just another statistic – the woman who has a problem with eating and writes about it – you all took my journey and blasted it across the web to let people know that good things are happening.

You showed your 12-year old daughter and your 9-year old son – so that they could understand that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and we can’t tease people who don’t look just like us, even if we are skinny and they are not.

You sent me emails to let me know you got out your tap shoes for the first time in thirteen years because you realized it doesn’t matter what flounces and bounces as you shuffle ball change – it only matters that you are doing something your body finds joyful and inspiring.

You sent me messages on Facebook to let me know that you stood in front of the mirror in your underwear and looked at your stretch marks on your stomach for the first time since your baby was born, and you learned to love them because the little person who caused them is coloring you a picture right now at the kitchen table.

And yes, you sent me messages to let me know that you, beautiful YOU, are not going to give up on your performing career just because you are not tiny. And you are not going to leave New York City, or the theatre world, until you figure out how to make your career yours, instead of molding yourself into the career.

To you, my performing family, I must quote a very wise YouTube commenter from about a week and a half ago:

“You are beautiful and by the way, good job for taking your own career in your hands. You tell people who you are, not the other way around.”

Thank you to the hundreds of thousands of you who have shared this journey with your friends and your family. We have reached a million people in just over two weeks, and I feel that this positive body image celebration has the potential to change everyone’s mind, eventually. Let the self-love and the body confidence spread like the plague. We will continually change ourselves, and the next generation, for the better.

If you are new to this blog, let me remind you of my mantra:

Baby steps.

None of us have to go from zero to hero today. None of us have to give up Nutella cold-turkey today. Awareness is the first step to everything. And so let it be celebrated, that a million of us are aware, today.

Whether you come to the conclusion that you will start looking at your legs each morning, accepting them despite their imperfections, and thanking them for what they actually do – carry you through your day every single day – or you decide that you are going to listen to your feelings just once this week instead of drowning them in a bag of Reese’s Pieces, you are aware of your personal journey and that’s all that matters today.

So I just want to say thank you to all of you, and encourage you to remember the mantra baby steps. It’s the least overwhelming mantra that there is, and I’ve also found that it’s a fabulous key to happiness along the way.

As the whole of us take these baby steps together, since my dearies, we are literally all in this together, let us open our mouths and hearts and continually make a loud and raucous sound of celebration from here on out.

I don’t know what the sound is that is louder than a “roar”, but I know it’s the sound that we are all about to make together.

And to that I say, mahalo, mahalo, mahalo, for your time.


Roar

I’ve written two blog posts in the past month about forgiving my career, and New York City, for the bruising I’ve allowed both to cause me. This 20th blog post, is the wrap up for those two posts.

About three weeks ago, I performed a burlesque piece in a fundraiser for Hawaii Gay Pride.

TeaseShow107

While I literally peeled the words “cellulite” and “suck it in” off my body, as a part of the piece I created in order to share my journey, I thought to myself, “This is Broadway to me.”

I think this video speaks a million words for my journey, and no more explanation is needed, other than explaining that burlesque is an art form where clothing is removed. So you will see skin. You will see all of my passion. And you will hear screams from over 200 people who have shared part of my journey with me, and have probably been on some version of it themselves.

If you can relate, or you think that this message is as important as I do, please share this. Tweet it to @Upworthy. Submit it to Gawker. Tweet it to Katy Perry. Share it on Facebook.

#Roar, and, mahalo for your time.

TeaseShow119