Raising Emotional Eating Awareness: It’s About Damn Time

emotional eating awareness

I’ve contacted Geneen Roth and Kris Carr recently to help me raise awareness on emotional eating. Neither one was on board.

It seems to me we’re living in this world where other people’s problems are the money makers. If the problems are eliminated, there’s no more projects needed to fix them. And that’s when things go out of business.

Since I don’t make any money off other people’s problems, and I am an emotional eater myself, I decided to step up and say something.

Am I qualified to say anything about emotional eating? After all, I’m not a doctor. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not a psychologist. But I did live it. And I think in this case, first hand experience is all the education I need to speak up about it.

Emotional eating and food addiction are often directly intertwined. An addiction is something most people use to fill a void. Where they feel lost, overwhelmed, depressed, angry, or confused, alcohol, drugs, and sex can temporarily erase those feelings. An addiction can numb us for a brief time, but the pain always comes back, and this is how addiction becomes a painstaking cycle of abuse.

Food addiction is much the same, only it’s the fuel for our bodies, and creates a gray area that no one is talking about. No one can give up food cold turkey, and this is where the problem lies when seeking therapy.

Emotional eating falls into that food addiction gray area for the same reasons. For me, emotional eating came through at any time I didn’t know what to do. If I was waiting for the next audition, or I had a day off, or I got cut from work early – I would eat. You know how they say in all the fitness magazines that most people eat out of boredom instead of hunger? Well for once, they’re right. But for me the boredom was an overwhelming feeling of not knowing what to do next. Eating was the catalyst that would get me from one event to another. I ate to fill the void of confusion inside.

Emotional eating is perpetuated by the media all the time. I remember watching Knocked Up and longing to break up with my boyfriend just so I had an excuse to sit in bed with my bestie and slurp up melted Ben & Jerry’s. We see it in movies, we see it on Friends. We see it in magazines. A recent ad for Lindor Truffles (in a fitness magazine, mind you) said: “Feel the day melt away. When you need to escape from a busy day, take a moment to relax and indulge in a delightfully delicious Lindor Truffle.”

Right there is the trigger. “Escape”. That’s what emotional eating is. It’s a temporary escape from the emotions wreaking havoc on our lives. It’s an escape from reality, from the issues we don’t want to touch today, from society’s pressures to be perfect.

Because in a way, emotional eating is a protective bubble. Both women and men have told me that they are terrified to address the emotional eating or their food addiction because they’d lose all their self-depricating humor. They’ve also expressed to me that something happened in their younger years that makes them want to protect themselves with “a layer of fat” or “an unhealthy look” so that no one feels the need to abuse or harrass them ever again. All of those things are natural for a traumatized person to feel. And using to food to comfort or protect is something that no one seems to want to diagnose. Obesity, unhealthy habits, and “lazy” are all diagnoses that seem to come a lot easier to doctors, nutritionists, and the average judgemental human being.

Because of those very popular diagnosies, seeking help for an eating disorder has an extra negative glow around it. For me, addressing my problem with professional help meant so many things. It was a bittersweet event where I could no longer hide behind my crazy little secret. It was sick and sad how much I wished I could go back to eating a jar of Nutella without being aware of why I was eating it. It was terrifying to enter into a recovery where I could no longer joke about my bingeing, my yo-yo dieting, my obsession with chocolate.

There are still days where I almost wish I could go back to that world of unawareness. Where food was comfort and it was always waiting at every bodega in New York City. My emotional eating habit gave me an excuse to leave parties, an excuse to skip auditions, an excuse to feel sorry for myself. Now that I’m in recovery, there are days that are so hard – so hard to accept my body the way it is because I’m not starving it every other day – that I just want to go back to bed cuddling my half gallon of mint chocolate chip.

But then there are the good days, where I can write about it. Raise awareness about it. Bring women out of the dark so that they know there’s nothing wrong with them. They didn’t mess up. They aren’t failures. They have an issue that no one has taken the time to talk to them about, because no one is talking about it.

So let’s talk about it. Let’s. Talk. About. It. Let’s talk about the money spent. Let’s talk about the possessed binges. Let’s talk about the depression. Let’s shed some bright ass light on emotional eating and speak up for those who don’t have any idea there is an answer.

JUNE_ice_cream_money-190x291As an emotional eater, I spent $40,000 on food in the past three years. I wouldn’t bring ice cream into the house because I was always on Weight Watchers or some heavily restrictive diet, so I would spend $9 on Pinkberry while I was out and about. I would eat two dinners, or three breakfasts, or order dessert twice. And of course as you and I both know, Nutella is very expensive.

On top of that, I spent over $10,000 on personal trainers, fitness programs, gym memberships, Weight Watcher memberships, and fitness magazines just in the span of 2011 and 2012.

I was the diet and fitness industry’s wet dream. I had no idea what drove me to do all those things other than the fact that I was sure I was a failure, destined to yo-yo and struggle for the rest of my life, and I thought my life’s purpose was to master those things. My to-do lists read “get back to goal weight” and “just count your points Amanda, just do it”.

Weight Watchers, Women’s Health, Equinox Fitness personal trainers – not a single one ever talks about the possibility of eating disorders or body dysmorphia in all the hype they’re putting out. So how was I to know?

A friend finally called me out. Yep. A friend. My personal trainer never said a word, nor did the nutritionist I was working with. But my friend noticed right away after living with me for a month. She handed me When Food Is Love and said, “I think you need to read this when you have a chance and also I love you and you are worth more than you’re weight and your resume.”

Self-help books and therapy became my lifesaving devices for the next year, and still are to this day. My therapist works with me on overcoming the bittersweetness of recovery and the fact that I’m 180 pounds but healthy and sane and how to be thankful for that.

Let’s be honest. Seeking help for binge-eating and food addiction is scary and overwhelming. But you need to know a few things. You are not alone. You have done nothing wrong. You deserve a second chance at a life that isn’t run by guilt, calories, or compulsive eating. And although being patient sucks, it will pay off in the end.

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If you feel lost and food makes you feel found, or if you know a friend who seeks comfort in food, help is out there. There are books (I recommend Mindful Recovery: A Spiritual Path to Healing From Addiction and When Food Is Love to start) and there are eating disorder hotlines (National Eating Disorder Association: 1-800-931-2237) and there are therapists and experts specifically for eating disorders and emotional eating. They are few, but they are mighty.

If you are in recovery, you can find some tips on dealing with friends, significant others, and your new healthy body in the mirror here.

Emotional eating has been sitting in a dark corner waiting to be introduced for far too long. I see the money making strategies, and I raise them awareness and power to the people who want their lives back. It’s time to talk about it. It’s time.

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I Stopped Waiting For Someone To Take me to Hawai’i, and this is what happened

stopped waiting hawaii

Aloha dear reader,

This morning I went to pick a ripe papaya off the tree that stands outside my front door. See, yesterday as I left for work, I noticed the beautiful orange hue of the fruit standing out against all the other unripened green buds on the tree and vowed to pick it this morning to have over my yogurt. Turns out, I waited too long and someone else had my breakfast first. The birds are munching on the pink flesh right outside my kitchen window as I type this to you, and I’m stuck with my plain yogurt sans the strawberry papaya I was so excited about when I woke up.

I’ve had this happen before, you know, only it wasn’t just a beautiful papaya. It was my life.

I’ve been letting life pass me by since I was nineteen years old. Some mornings, I would sleep in so long that I had breakfast at 6pm. Some days, I watched NCIS marathons for so many hours that I never put clothes on or left the house. Some days I was out the door by 6am, but bingeing on a pizza and a roll of peanut butter cookie dough by 2pm, after being cut from an audition. I was living a life based on events – if I didn’t have an event or a date that day, the day was wasted as I waited for the next big event to come along.

I never planned vacations. What if I missed something in my world of show business and networking?

I missed four weddings in the span of two years out of fear of missing out. What if I had a callback for a summer theatre production that would pay me $300 a week?

I left OkCupid dates hanging until the last minute to see if I had a dance class to attend with an important choreographer. I bailed on friends if an important workshop with an agent came up. I skipped birthday parties and goodbye parties just in case I had an event the next morning and needed beauty sleep.

But in the meantime? In the middle of the possible events that would arise? I would do nothing. Well, not nothing. I would alternate between sleeping, bingeing, and hating myself. So I mean, I was actually pretty busy.

Point being, I was never the girl that would pick up for the weekend and say, fuck this noise, I need a break in the Hamptons for a few days, much less would I ever book a flight to somewhere beautiful or tropical or relaxing. I was too afraid to miss a fart in New York City – land of the theatre district where life needed to be.

I would see Facebook posts about my friends going away to Europe for two weeks, or Hawaii for a week in primetime audition season and think, they must be crazy going off and living their life like that! They’re missing so many auditions! They won’t book anything for the summer and all they’ll have is their tan and their happiness and their photos with piña coladas and that’s no life!

Oh my God you guys, I was so deranged.

I didn’t know what living was until I fell hard, flat on my face, in this land called Rock Bottom. Most everyone’s been there, or feels like they’re on their way there at some point in their life. And what I wish for you, is to see that place someday. I wish it for everyone, I do. I don’t want you to stay or get comfortable there, but to see it, is a great privilege. To know that it’s there, is a blessing.

Why?! Because rock bottom can be, and has been, the foundation for which I built my life. And I know that it’s been a foundation for many others in this world as well. Knowing that it’s always there waiting to welcome me back with a bed of rock and a sky of gray, is sometimes all the jolt I need to get moving or take care of myself even when it feels like the hardest task.

Whatever I was doing prior to landing face first in the stank that is Rock Bottom, was not living. It was surviving. It was passing. It was skimming.

I didn’t know that my career, or men, or my weight, was not what my life’s purpose is, until I lost all of those things and didn’t have a one to distract me.

My days of living event to event were no longer – because there were no more events. There was just me, sitting on my couch, calling an eating disorder clinic, and reading self-help books, grasping at straws wondering where the hell I was supposed to go next.

And that’s when Kalani Oceanside Retreat showed up in my Google search.

You know how it goes. One minute you’re watching a kitten fall off a kitchen counter and the next minute you’re clicking on a Nikki Minaj video and the next minute you’re reading an article about UFO’s over New Zealand. Click after click after click of distracting internet braincell killers and the next thing you know you come across some yoga retreat in the middle of the jungle in Hawaii.

Holy shit it was beautiful. There were palm trees. There were smiling people in sarongs and sun hats. There was pineapple. The picture on the homepage was a fucking rainbow.

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I felt drawn to keep clicking within the Kalani site. Workshops and hula classes and day trips and wait, what’s that….is that a…..volunteer link?

Say what?

I’m not really the volunteer type. Like, I’ma need you to pay me for all that cat-sitting, sister.

Wait, you work on the campus and get all your housing, meals, pool, yoga, spa and geckos for free? I’m so overwhelmed.

I click on “apply”. Someone up above officially has control over my fingertips as I scroll through the application and start entering my information.

“Are you mentally stable?”, the application asks. “How would you benefit from three months at Kalani? Are you willing to contribute to your fellow ohana and spread the aloha spirit?”

Mmmmm so many questions that I don’t know if I can answer honestly right nowwwwwwww.

Plus, why do I deserve to go to Hawaii? I’ve always said I’ll wait for my honeymoon to go to Hawaii. It will be so romantic. And since I have a ring on my finger and I’m getting married in 67 days at Galapagos Space in Brooklyn to the love of my life, I’ll be in Hawaii sooner than I know it.

Oh wait. Oh, wait, right, I’m not even dating anyone right now because the last guy I dated ripped out my heart and tap danced on it on the corner of Thompson and West 3rd.

Well shit.

I guess it wouldn’t kill me to go to Hawaii a little sooner than planned. I mean, maybe I’ll meet a yoga daddy with big muscles at Kalani and we’ll get matching tattoos of sea turtles or something and I won’t even need a honeymoon.

Click Send.

Receive phone interview request.

Click Reply.

Confirm phone interview.

Answer phone.

Proceed with hour phone interview with an actor named Sam from London who is the volunteer coordinator who gets me so hard it’s like we were born of the same brain.

Congratulations, you’ve been accepted to the Kalani Volunteer program.

We will see you on August 1st. Bring bug spray.

That was 2013 y’all.

It’s now August 2014 and my life has taken these crazy, leopard print, masking taped, roaring turns that has landed me here – talking to you.

Inviting you to join me.

Just like the birds got the papaya before me because I didn’t take two minutes to pick it yesterday before speeding off to work, I don’t want a man, or a job, or an event, to get in the way of your Hawaii trip before it’s too late.

What if there never is a reason to come to Hawaii? What if there never is a honeymoon, or your spouse wants to go to Alaska instead? What if you never have the money for the flight? What if what if what if what if what if what if what if?

There will always be a what if. There will always be a reason not to say yes. There will always be a voice telling you that you do not deserve a trip to a beautiful place.

Until you shut it up.

I want to help you shut it up. I want to convince you that you deserve all the riches and all the papayas and all the body love and all the beauty in the world. I want to bring you to a safe and healing place where you can cultivate self-love, intuition, and your inner roar.

And I want that place to be Hawaii. Because it’s where I found my Roar, and it’s where you will find yours.

I have no doubt in my mind that you belong here with me picking papayas before the pesky birds step on your breakfast. All I need you to do, is believe that you belong here too.

Believe that it’s meant to be, and the flight will come. The money will come. The time off work will come. The trip can happen.

Everything you need for this dream to become a reality is inside you. You manifest what you need when you are fully committed to needing and wanting it, and not taking no for an answer.

I promise you, we will be shaking and sweating and sharing in the jungle together at some point in your life.
Whether it’s at the upcoming retreat in January 2015 or it’s in August 2018 – five years after I found my inner roar at Kalani – we will toast with a coconut water and thank ourselves for giving ourselves the gift of peace, nature, and dancing in the jungle – possibly naked and even more possibly in the cleanest rain on earth.

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I invite you to open your heart and check out some itinerary, some pictures, and some answers at www.restoreyourroar.com where Olivia and I are waiting for your loud and proud “YES I WANT SOME OF THIS” whenever you are ready.

And go ahead and tell me below in the comments, what have YOU been waiting to do all your life that (hopefully) you now realize you can totally do by yourself, right now, without a honeymoon or a reason to do it? I want to hear about YOUR dreams so that I can keep them in my prayers and remind you in six weeks to get a flight-checkin’ and a bag-packin’.

Aloha from Hawaii, and see you soon,

Amanda Trusty


Why Giving Jes “The Militant” Baker $2 Is So Worth Your Time

If you are reading this right now, you are probably aware of my stance on body love, on emotional eating awareness, on stripping away negative labels – you know, all the THINGS.

And if you know how strongly I feel about these things, I want you to take that strength and multiply it by 5,000.

If you enter that all into the calculator, it’s going to end up equaling “The Militant Baker“.

Jes Baker, blogger, body love advocate, hilarious human being, beautiful woman, and powerful speaker, has been taking time out of her 40 hour work week for the past umpteen years writing letters to Abercrombie’s CEO Mike Jeffries, photographing stunning women of (literally) every shape and size, and also organizing the world’s first body love conference featuring fellow advocates Sonya Renee Taylor, Jade Beall (yes, the photographer, like yes, HER), Louise Green, and more.

And Jes did this WHILE WORKING A FULL TIME JOB. Like HOW though? HOW? I can barely keep my head on straight with my 30 hours teaching plus writing – and she was a mental health professional while all this was going on?

Can we say superwoman?

Well yes, yes we can. And now the time has come for Jes to step into her true calling and spread the body love full time. As in, leave the security of her full time job and take the brave step of working for the world to spread happiness, acceptance, and empowerment. She’s going to be working for us (quite literally, she’ll be working for you and me) and she’s asking us to support her while she does it.

So I gave her ten bucks.

And she is wondering if you can give her two.

Just two.

Every month.

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Now, let me ask you something – have you ever heard of tithing?

Giving ten percent of any gifted money, income money, or money you find just laying on the street to something that spiritually feeds you?

Not charity. Not necessarily church. Tithing is giving money to that which spiritually feeds you.

Sometimes it’s a theatre that did a show that moved you. Sometimes it’s to your daughter because she taught you a lesson.

And sometimes it’s to the one woman who dares to do the unthinkable, who writes the unwritable, who is courageous enough to say “what everyone is thinking, but no one will say.”

Tithing is giving a small percent of your income to that.

Jes has spiritually fed me since the day I found that damn letter to Mike Jeffries, and if you believe in body love and awareness, then she has absolutely spiritually fed you whether you realize it or not. She has paved the way for people like me to be able to write about what I write and spread what I want to spread. If you have read my stuff, or heard about Taryn Brumfitt’s documentary, or watched Ragen Chastain dance, it’s because Jes is always so busy making the world know that we are here, we are mighty, and we are not joking around.

She shared Roar. She believes in you. She believes in me (she’s said it, she really does). And she believes that if we change our world, not our bodies, everyone will just be fucking happier and healthier and this whole world will be a better place.

And so I’m giving her ten bucks a month to send her into this mission with some artillery.

If you want to make this world a more body lovin’ peaceful place, I encourage you to do the same. No amount is too small – literally $2 makes a gigantic difference – and you will be making it possible for more people like me, and Jes, to raise awareness, pave the way for the next generation, and continue to help men and women fall in love with the skin they’re in.

Oh and hey, did I mention that tithing always comes back and rewards you tenfold?

Yes. Oh yes.

It always comes back in ways we least expect.

Quite literally today, as I clicked “confirm” for Jes’s campaign support, two separate women who do not know each other, responded to my joking Facebook post about needing a massage and SENT ME $50 A PIECE TO GO TAKE CARE OF MYSELF. I have not seen these women since 2006 and 2010 and they sent me money because they love this blog. THAT’S how tithing comes back y’all. Never in a way you expect it, but it always does.

Again let me restate that “no one has ever become poor from giving”. If anything, it’s quite the opposite.

And if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, maybe that means that after you go over and join Jes’s party, I’ll see you in Hawai’i for mine.

Join me in supporting Jes Baker so that I can continue to write. So that we can continue to fucking ROAR. So that your children can enter into a more accepting world. So that the beach is full of body loving people who literally could not give a shit what you are wearing.

Join Jes so that you can wake up and know that loving what you see in that mirror is not wrong, or weird, or taboo. Because I can personally you promise that Jes will never, ever let you forget that.

Let her mission be a constant reminder that it is okay to love the skin you’re in right now. And may we all take part in that mission by watching her amazing video below and supporting her in any way we can. Mahalo for your time.

Click here to immediately join Jes’s cause!


21 Prompts to get you Feeling Fabulous Fast…and not a single one is what not to eat

By Olivia Petzy-Binning (Restore Your Roar Co-facilitator and unbelievable human being)

Dear Roar family,

Hi! I’m Olivia and I am so pumped to chat with you today. I can still barely believe that Amanda and I re-connected (you can read about our history here) and that Restore Your Roar is happening in 136 days. Four months and 14 days. 525,600 minutes.

Ok so not really the last one because that’s a full year away but you get it.

There are a few things you should know about me: I love swimming in the cold Atlantic Ocean, I have been a vegetarian for 3+ years but I still eat Haribo gummy bears, and I believe we should all just do it now, whatever “it” is.

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Just a typical day being Olivia.

“Do it now” is truly what’s behind Restore Your Roar. Amanda and I want you to love your body now. We want you to enjoy moving your body now. We want to talk about fears and worries around eating and appearance now. We want to sit on our private patio in the jungle and look at the Pacific Ocean and connect with other women now. 

Now is the only time we’ve got. Sometimes the days can feel endless, especially if we’re stuck at a shitty job, or in a crappy relationship, or just plain feeling worn out by the daily grind, but life itself is short. It’s fleeting.

Today is a perfect day to feel amazing. Today is an ideal day to do something big. Today is a great day to walk away. Today is a wonderful day to say “I love you.” Today is the day.

I want to throw a lei around your neck in Hawaii on January 15th because if not now, when? If not you, who?

I want to share a toolkit I put together for you. In the spirit of doing things and feeling good NOW, it’s 21 prompts to get you feeling fab FAST. Each one has a suggested time limit because I know you’re busy and have things to do, but please, I beg of you, don’t let your things get in the way of your life. Dive in and pick one (my personal faves are 1, 10 and 21).

Say yes. Feel good today. Don’t wait. Don’t die hesitating.

See you in Hawaii!

Love,

Olivia xo


21 Prompts to Feel Fabulous Fast

1 MINUTE – IN & OUT

Close your eyes. (Do it! we’ve only got one minute!) Take 5 really deep breaths. Silently say “All is well” on every inhalation, and “it is done” on every exhalation. THAT’S IT. The power of the breath, y’all.

2 MINUTES – WIDE EYED

How many beautiful things can you notice in your immediate surroundings in two minutes? On your mark, get set, GO!

3 MINUTES – DANCE BREAK

Get up. Yes, now! Put a great tune on (may I suggest THIS or THIS) and dance it out. If you’re feeling down, this is gonna lift you up and if you’re already feeling groovy, this is only gonna take you higher. Endorphins, here you come!

4 MINUTES – TAKE A VACATION

Did you know you can search “virtual vacation” on Youtube and watch videos of beach scenes with relaxing music? Check out of reality for a few minutes and take a beach break while you take deep breaths (and dream of a poolside smoothie!). May I suggest this tour of Kalani, home to Restore Your Roar?!

5 MINUTES – WHO LOVES YA?

I know you know that you are always being supported by a benevolent and loving Universe. but who else could we add to your list of cheerleaders? Write out a list of every single person who is rooting for you. You’re never alone. Life itself is on your side.

6 MINUTES – EXPERT WITNESS

Write a list of all the things at which you are a straight up expert. NOTHING IS TOO SMALL! If you are the only person who can get your nephew to stop crying when he’s tired, then you are an expert! If you know an absurd amount about cheese from a stint as a server in a Swiss restaurant (ahem), you are an expert! If you can throw a football in a sweet spiral, then you are an expert spiral thrower! Don’t be shy!

7 MINUTES – LUCKY DUCK

Buy a few scratch off lottery tickets (say, five of the $1 ones). Hand them out with a penny to the people behind you in line. You can spread so much excitement and happiness for 5 bucks and 5 cents!

8  MINUTES – MAGIC 8 BALL

What do you want your life to look like in one year? Write it out and here’s the kicker: write it out with CERTAINTY. Write it as if you are POSITIVE IT WILL HAPPEN. You can do this for any amount of time in the future. Visualize, intend, and get ready to magnetize.

9 MINUTES – BLISS LIST

Write down 10  things you are grateful for, ten things you are excited for, and five BRAGS. Yes, that’s right: brag about your bad self.

10 MINUTES – FILE A COMPLIMENT

Wanna feel like a Queen? Lavish praise on someone! Receive fabulous service in a store? Grab a manager on the way out and compliment the employee. Are your garbage collectors unfailingly polite and smiling, even while they do their dirty job? Call your town and praise them. Fill out that survey listed on your receipt and leave positive feedback. Write a glowing Yelp review. Please trust me when I say this feels amazing and you will be hooked!

11 MINUTES – IDEAL DAY

What does your PERFECT DAY look like? How does it start? Where do you wake up? Who’s there? What do you do? Where do you go? How does the day wind down? Write out your perfect day and spare NO details — the more specific, the better. We’re visualizing here, people!

12 MINUTES – DREAM DOZEN

What is your dream way of spending your time? What do you never, ever, ever get tired of talking about? Listening to? Thinking about? Reading about? Learning about?

DO IT for twelve minutes.

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Dreaming of a sunset like this? No need to dream. Come see it for yourself at Kalani in January for Restore Your Roar.

13 MINUTES – MAIL CALL

I still get excited when I see something that isn’t junk in my mailbox, and that feeling keeps getting rarer thanks to email. Send someone a beautiful note card to let them know you’re thinking of them.

14 MINUTES – HISTORY LESSON

Where were you ten years ago? Five years ago? One year ago? How have you grown? How have you changed? Does your life look different than you thought it would? What miracles have you experienced? What lessons have you learned?

15 MINUTES – INSTRUCTION MANUAL

Often, the silver lining to mistakes we make is the lesson we learn. In the spirit of generosity (and to remind yourself what a smart genius you are), fill in the blanks:

So you screwed up and did _________. Here’s how to fix it: __________________.

16 MINUTES – TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY

You know how we all love hearing the backstories behind the successes of our favorite stars? Like how Jon Hamm was a teacher and Kristen Wiig sold peaches before hitting it big? Write out YOUR True Hollywood Story, and frame everything you’ve thought of a setback or challenge as a PLOT TWIST leading up to your overwhelming success.

17 MINUTES – SECRET ADMIRER

Write a note/email to someone you really respect and admire. Perhaps it’s your mom, maybe it’s Ryan Gosling, or your boss at your day job. Let him/her know that their skills and gifts are recognized and admired. Be specific and prepare for a contact high.

18 MINUTES – ADVICE COLUMN

If you need advice on something that’s holding you back or causing confusion, write it out like you’re writing to Dear Abby. Then, write the answer back to yourself! YOU are the expert on YOU.

19 MINUTES – PICK UP THE PHONE

Remember when we used to use our phones to TALK to people instead of scrolling through your various feeds? Call someone that you know doesn’t use social media etc to stay connected. Savor the thrill of filling him/her in your delicious life, and enjoy the feeling of hearing how your friend is doing/feeling straight from his/her mouth instead of a status update.

20 MINUTES – FLIP IT (this is Amanda’s absolute favorite)

One of my specialties is doing a story flip: when I feel like things are falling apart/crappy, I flip that shit around and write a new story. Here’s an example of one of mine from a particularly disastrous morning:

My old story is that I booked a perfect plane ticket to visit Rich today…except for the fact that I had to leave at 6:30 am for Newark, and I got home from work at midnight. Well, I got up so early that I was ready to go and decided to set my alarm for an extra ten minute snooze. Obviously, that was a terrible idea. The next flight to Savannah is majorly inconvenient for so many reasons, but that’s the flight I’m on, so here is my new story:

I am an amazing independent woman who figured out the best way to deal with a mess at 7:30 am on a Saturday. I made the best decision I could. I am going to fly into Savannah like the hot New York woman I am, wearing a hot outfit for the show and cast party I am attending tonight. My hair and makeup is perfect, I am a brilliant packer so I have one tiny suitcase, and my dress is hot. I will arrive in Savannah, pick up the car I rented at 7:30 this morning, and drive myself to Hilton Head Island because I am smart, savvy and independent, and I am fearless. I will arrive at the theater with ample time, and take my seat in the front row. The first time I see my husband will be when he opens the show wearing a tux and we will share a look of love and apology and humor. The show will be amazing, i will have a cocktail at intermission, and we will reunite in the lobby when it’s over. Then we have two and a half days to enjoy each other’s company. This is actually a romantic and sexy story and I am lucky to be alive and in it.

What current story of yours do you need to FLIP? Any old beliefs you need to turn on their heads? This is a fun one, and it’s addictive! Write out the junk and then get your flip on!

21 MINUTES – LEAP OF FAITH

Write a letter to the Universe. You can state your intention(s), write what you want to release, questions you have, anything goes. Put it in an envelope. Decorate the envelope so it is super gorgeous. Address the envelope to “The Universe.” Put it in the mail.

See what happens.


Want to meet Olivia in person? We can’t wait to lei you when you step off your plane in Hilo, Hawai’i this January. To reserve your spot, contact Catherine May at Kalani before September 15th to use our extended Roar Rate of $985 (after that, the rate goes up $100). Just email cat@kalani.com and put down a $200 deposit to hold your spot – we don’t need anything else til the day you check in girlfriend! Feel free to check out our itinerary and FAQ’s, but act fast – there are only six spots left! Roar!