“anthology of anonymoUS” (What Is It That Bullies You?)

Memories of my childhood  make me smile, laugh, cry, cringe, regret, regress, and reflect.   There was someone in Jr. High who bullied me, and during that time I was a tornado of negative emotions with no real understanding of why it was happening.  A classmate of mine, Michael Anthony (who you have read about before For Billy: The Movie) made it his goal to show people who have had a bullying experience that we are not alone.

“The anonymoUS initiative  is a non-profit anti-bullying movement dedicated to helping all people — all ages, all races, all demographics and all orientations — come out, come together and overcome the things that bully them. What began as a simple letter writing campaign has since exploded into an artistic movement, inspiring a feature-length documentary, a book, a musical soundtrack and a live stage show; all focused on exploring the most painful bully of all.”

anthology of anonymoUS (The Book): A powerful collection of 99 responses to the question: “What is it that bullies you?”   This book is a unique look into raw, uncensored truths, experiences, and emotions that will amaze you.  Each story, poem, email, confession is different, yet we can all relate.  Michael Anthony inspired these anonymoUS authors to band together and show us all “Even in our darkest moments, we are never alone.”  Order your copy of this book today! For each copy of the “anthology of anonymoUS” that is purchased through this site (www.iamanonymous.org), $1 will be donated to an anti-bullying program that operates within the delivery zip code.  It is extremely important to consider that by referring this book to your friends, parents, grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, teachers you could be helping someone going through a difficult time.

anonymUSe (The Music): “An 18-track musical collection that explores our inner bullies through an eclectic mix of folk, jazz, new age, R& B, spoken word and dance music.”  Anthony asked a group of talented musicians to respond in song to a variety of the anonymoUS written pieces. Beautiful music has been created to release and re-illustrate the pain someone has once gone through (if this isn’t Karma for the bullying, I don’t what is!) The pain someone has felt, has now been turned into a candid,amazing song.   This is also one of the first non-profits EVER to release a soundtrack along with its book. Show your support to these artists by ordering your soundtrack today and be sure to get a listen preview at the anonymoUSe site.

Let’s face it, we know Michael Anthony is not stopping with a book and a CD.  The anonymoUS initiative isn’t even CLOSE to being done yet.  Plans for a play and workshops are also in the mix, so keep visiting http://www.iamanonymous.org for more information, updates and news.    I also recommend you follow Michael Anthony on Facebook, or YouTube.

Since I could not word it better myself (to describe the incredible achievements and drive this man has), I will end this blog with more information on Michael Anthony and why he is making my generation PROUD!

Michael Anthony Nalepa is a Wheeling, Illinois native who now works as a professional writer and producer in Los Angeles. His work has been featured in Glamour, The Advocate, Reader’s Digest, TV Guide and TMZ, as well as on NBC, Country Music Television, Sirius Radio and TV Guide Network.
 
For four years, he served as Creative Director of Alternative Programming for the Celebration Theatre and now hosts and his own award-winning theatrical variety hour at Lilly Tomlin’s LAGLC theatre in Hollywood.
 
His work as an equal rights activist launched the “anonymoUS initiative”, an international letter writing campaign dedicated to helping people of all ages, races and orientations overcome what bullies them through art and activism. An anti-bullying documentary based on Michael’s childhood in Wheeling, IL is slated for national release in 2013.

 

 

My Life in the Fat Lane

I have been on a diet since I was 13 years old.  A kid actually called me fat when I was a size 2 in Jr. High and ever since that moment I have been striving for a more perfect body. I have tried the following to lose weight over the last 17 years: Dexatrim, cabbage soup diet, slim fast, Metabolife, Xenadrine, Hollywood Diet, Weight Watchers, HCG, Atkins, Cayenne Pepper Cleanse, & the Isogenix Cleanse. I even  tried my “hand” at throwing up after I ate (due to a rapid weight gain in highschool). That lasted about a day. (Good thing I never committed to that method) Most of the diets I tried-worked, but I could only adhere to the them for 30 days at the most and then I’d go back to overeating. Since I graduated highschool I have ALWAYS worked out and to be honest, I love working out. I was a great, healthy weight throughout my 20’s, the sad thing was-I didn’t appreciate it and still thought I could spare to lose a few lbs.  I would give the nuts I don’t have to be at the weight I was in my 20’s.  I ranged from 128-138 throughout my early 20’s and 138-154 in my late 20’s.   My clothes always fit and when they started getting tight, I would endulge in 2 day Hollywood Diet to lose 6-10lbs. Maybe this is how I ffffed up my metabolism so horribly.

I am 2nd from the left, (Red Skirt & Striped Shirt) at 128lbs at 23 years old

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Jennifer Hudson….Weight Watching

WOW. 80lbs lighter, Ms. Jennifer Hudson looks unbelievable. After revelaing her weight loss on an Oprah appearance, I was inspired. I gained 60lbs when I was pregnant with my daughter and so far I have only lost 20lbs of that.  My daughter is now 10 months old so I will think of Jennifer’s journey while I continue working on myself.  Personally I thought Jennifer was gorgeous before she lost the weight, but the clothes she has been rocking are PERFECT for her new body and she looks ecstatic to model them.  I love this story so much because it reminds me of my own weight loss struggles & accomplishments.  Jennifer Hudson puts such a “Smile” on the face of weight loss. She was able to shine beautifully when she was heavier and she still has the same warm, can-do attitude as a size 6.   Continue reading

Red Hot at The Oscars

It made my Sunday night to see RED on the Red Carpet of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. My top three picks at the 2011 Oscars all donned this hue and looked stunning.

  1. Jennifer Lawrence: Nominated for best actress in a leading role for Winter’s Bone.  I have to admit I had no idea who Jennifer Lawrence was until I watched the Oscars. Simply put; she is gorgeous.  This dress was my favorite. I am such a fan of the simple elegance this dress exudes. Continue reading

For Billy: The Movie

A 2009 study by the Indicators of School Crime and Safety showed that 1/3 of teens reported being bullied at school. An even more alarming statistic showed that school bullying can be related to violent actions, including suicides outside of school.  It is truly outrageous and heartbreaking to think of a young child or teen who thinks there is “no way out”  that they actually contemplate taking and in some cases do take their own lives.   A fellow WHS alum of mine, Michael Anthony is standing up and making an effort for change. It all started with this hilarious You Tube video.

Michael’s video sparked a reaction in many people and the documentary, For Billy: The Movie, was created.  After posting the You Tube video, “It Gets Better:” “Michael received over 100 responses from friends and strangers alike; however, one letter in particular changed the course of Michael’s life. Simply signed “Billy”, this semi-anonymous note was written by a boy from Michael’s hometown, one who currently attended his very same high school. In the letter, Billy shared his personal struggle with his sexuality and the sadness it has created in his life – a story Michael found all too familiar.” I urge you to go to the For Billy: the movie website and read Billy’s letter, find out how you can help, donate and mark your calendars for the event:  BE: The Exhibit on March 18th in Arlington Heights, IL.  I asked Michael if I could write this blog because it is such an important message to send to kid and adults. He was kind enough to let me share this story and his objective of this documentary: “What do I hope to accomplish from this? My goal is this…You can’t change the world, but you CAN change conflicted hearts, the people that are on the border of accepting everyone. Maybe I can change 10 people in Wheeling. Maybe my media coverage can change 100 people in Illinois. Maybe this documentary can change 100 people in each state. That’s 5,000 people who, before, weren’t accepting or aware of our culture of bullying, homophobia and ignorance. 5,000 people can change the world, I think. That’s what I hope to accomplish.” Michael’s open heart and kindness gives me hope and I feel so proud to support his vision with this movement.  If you have been following my blog, I hope you gather that I am a strong believer in accepting others for who they are.  This is the quintessential time to act on that belief ! See you on the 18th and special thanks to Michael Anthony for the message, movie and motivation to stand up for our youth!!

Hey! Hey! Hey! Zumba!

8 months after having my 1st child, I am actually at the same weight I was when I was 8 months pregnant. I wish the lbs. would’ve melted off right after having my baby girl, but I actually ended up gaining more weight after Reese Marie was born.  It has been a constant struggle to eat right and work out.  I am sick of the same old 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the treadmill and it wasn’t doing anything!! My friend a co-blogger on this site: Fabiola introduced me to Zumba at our gym: XSport Fitness in Arlington Heights.  Zumba is a high impact, intense cardio 1 hour workout that burns calories like crazy.  It is the best cardio workout I have done in a long time and the weight I gained during pregnancy is finally starting to shed.  While Zumba is high impact it is the most fun exercise I have tried in a long time. The word Zumba actually translate in Spanish to: “to move fast and have fun” I strongly urge you to visit your local gym/fitness center to see if they offer this class. You can also check out the official Zumba webpage for more information.  I love, love, love this class and I can’t wait to post my results on my weight loss goal of 50lbs!!

Transform Your Locks With Moroccanoil

Hey everyone, sorry we have been MIA for the passed month! With Summer, comes busy schedules and in this heat & humidity, comes frizzy hair! That’s why I’m here to tell you about my new favorite product! Moroccanoil!

moroccan-oil-store-products

Moroccanoil is featured in magazine like People, InStyle, and stars like Salma Hayek use it. Continue reading