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!

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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!


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.

 

 

 


Restore Your Roar: a re-boot camp is announced!

If you don’t know the story of how I ended up in Hawai’i, let me just fill you in quickly. I needed a retreat. I needed rejuvenation. I needed a second chance at life. But I didn’t have $2500 to dish out to Geneen Roth for five days of therapy. The only opportunity I had for healing was to volunteer at a retreat center. In exchange for my service, my housing, meals, and yoga classes were provided for me. This amazing opportunity allowed me to quite literally, re-boot.

Volunteering at Kalani Oceanside Retreat on the Big Island of Hawai’i changed my life forever. The beautiful people, the aloha spirit, and the freaking apple-bananas have opened my eyes to a life that I will forever claim as my own. Food, depression, and New York winters do not have a hold on me as much as they used to. I have restored my sanity, self-love, and confidence, and I am inviting you to do the same.

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Join me, and a fucking awesome woman named Olivia Petzy, for a life-changing six days of shimmying, sweating, and sharing at Kalani Oceanside Retreat in 2015.

It’s time for you to restore your roar. It’s time to dance your joy, face your fears, and fall in love with the skin you’re in right now.

It’s time. This is re-boot camp. And we are calling all souldiers.

When you arrive on the Big Island of Hawai’i on January 15th, 2015, you’ll be greeted by premiere Shrink Session sweat therapist, Olivia Petzy, and of course, yours truly. You’ll find yourself surrounded by magic. Known for some of the cleanest air in the world and lush, colorful jungle that you have to see to believe, the Big Island is known for it’s healing powers. After all, that’s why I ended up here in the first place, and look how far I’ve come.

What will we be doing for six days in Hawai’i? (Besides picking fresh mangoes and getting a tan?) You can expect daily movement sessions, featuring Shrink Session and other creative, accessible, and empowering forms of movement designed to express your unique sense of self and sensuality. We will spend time in guided writing exercises and journaling as we dig deeper into cultivating self-love, for both what we see in the mirror, and how we feel when we move our perfect-as-they-are bodies. You’ll have plenty of time to release and rejuvenate by relaxing and taking advantage of Kalani’s pools, yoga classes, spa experiences, Hawaiian culture classes, and more.

There’s something I want you to know. Do not let the words “shrink sesson” scare you. By all means, we aren’t trying to shrink anything about you – except maybe fears or insecurities that have held you back. Shrink Session is an alchemical mix of cardio-dance, yoga grooves, kick-boxing and positive phraseology/mantras. You’ve literally never experienced a high like this in your life. This magical combination increases the effectiveness of your workout while you step into a more empowered and confident version of yourself. You’ll tone and tighten every part of your body, while you lift your mind, body and spirit. This experience is not about losing weight or a number on a scale. It’s not about looking like Beyoncé when you dance. It’s about looking in the mirror and loving what you see – today. It’s about feeling the freedom to move with joy – in your unique way.

Who is Olivia?

Olivia Petzy is a premiere Shrink Session sweat therapist, having trained directly with Shrink Session creator Erin Stutland. Olivia specializes in leading group fitness classes that allow and empower every person present liv 1to fully express themselves through movement regardless of their level of dance skill or athleticism. She loves to move her body, in any style or type of class. However, this wasn’t always the case– she used to be hugely insecure in her body and the way it moved. Four years at a conservatory program renowned for its dance program did nothing for her self-confidence, and she felt deep despair over her dance ability. She would literally be in tears before every dance class– and with up to four dance classes a day, that’s a lot of tears. There was no joy, no freedom, only insecurity and shame. After to moving to New York City, she stumbled into a cardio dance class that, no surprise, left her in tears. For the first time, though, they weren’t tears of frustration. They were tears of freedom and excitement. Addicted to the feeling of joy in movement, Olivia knew she had to share this bliss with others. Five years later, the girl who hid in the bathroom to avoid dance class spends her days not only teaching dance through Shrink Session, but loving every perfectly imperfect shimmy and shake. With a degree in musical theater, Olivia is an actor, improviser, writer and group fitness leader certified by AFAA.

Okay, great, now how much is this all gonna cost?

Because of my experience with the starving artist life, and my inability to ever attend Geneen Roth’s workshops due to the high cost, it is of utmost importance to me that this Restore Your Roar workshop is accessible to people like me. Twentysomethings who aren’t the best at saving money. Thirtysomethings who are saving for their kids’ college educations. Fortysomethings who need a break but don’t want to dish out $4000 right now. I want you to experience Hawai’i. I want you to be able to join Olivia’s inspirational classes, and eat fresh pineapple, and try Kona coffee, and hike the side of a real, live, active volcano. And like I said last week, I ain’t tryna get rich off it.

So you, my blog readers and Roar movers and dancers and New Yorkers and Australians and mothers and sisters and women of all sizes and ages (sorry boys, this time around is just the ladies), are receiving the Roar Rate. restoreyourroarpictureThe Roar Rate of $985 covers your six day/five night stay, your three meals a day, your Kona coffee, your fresh fruit grown on Kalani property,  your volcano hike, your classes with Olivia, your discussions with me, and a life-changing week of healing with other women who you will forever remember as your re-boot camp ohana. We are even throwing in a bonus so you can take your experience home with you and continue to cultivate your roar. Every participant will receive membership to the Shrink Session Digital Program, valued at $99.

The only thing not included in the Roar Rate is your flight……..and all the extra Kona coffee that your friends and family will force you to bring home for them.

I encourage you to watch this video, so you can get a taste for the Kalani experience before you even board your plane.

One last thing before you register. This workshop is about you. It’s about what you need. You’ll be surprised at what the spectacular views, the smell of the ocean, and the power of nature can do for your soul. So you can cater your week here to your needs. Attend our classes, ask questions, book a massage, take a nature walk, swim naked, and immerse yourself in aloha. I can guarantee you that you will return home a changed woman. And the reason I can guarantee that, is because I’ve been there. Trust me.IMG_5273

Restore your roar in 2015. I can’t wait to get the party started.

To register, and for more descriptive details, including Olivia’s bio, sample menus at Kalani, spa services, and more, click here. To view the itinerary we have specially planned for YOU, yes YOU my love, click here. And of course, for a very detailed list of Frequently Asked Questions, including travel advice and what to pack, click here!

*Space is limited to 14 participants. As of September 5th, there are only six spots left.

**Note: The Roar Rate is not listed on Kalani’s website. When you register, you must mention the Roar Rate in your email. The Roar Rate has been extended until September 15th, 2014. After September 15th, the Roar Rate goes up to $1085.

***There is also a Roar 2 Rate, because we believe in celebrating friendship. (Get it? Roar 2: The Celebration?) When you register with a friend, each of your Roar Rates drop to $925. After September 15th, each of your Roar Rates will be $1025 (down from $1085.)

****As always, you can email me questions at any time: roarmovement@gmail.com.

Next week’s posting:

How I Cured My Excema Without Cancer-Causing Creams

 

 


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