I wanted to share Amanda’s inspiring progress with you guys after two months of Studio LB. I’m so proud of her! She emailed and said, “I had a wake up call in March when dad snapped a picture of me at work. I’ve never weighed myself on a regular basis and hadn’t been one to be watchful of my diet but when I saw this picture, I knew I needed a lifestyle change! I weighed myself in at 157 and did Whole30 in April. This definitely jumpstarted my journey. I dropped down to 140 but knew that changing my diet was not going to be enough (at least not enough for me to feel proud of my body) so I texted my friend, Nikki to get the name of the women she always raved about!
Here’s me on April 30th before starting The Program and Me this morning (9 pounds lighter and so toned!!!!!!). I love your workouts! How do you always know what to say to me to get me to push harder and never give up?!? You have helped me feel so proud of everything I’ve accomplished the past two months. I love the messages and encouragement (and tough love) you deliver on my iPad each week. I have so much more energy and body positivity. I’m also constantly surprised by how much more I can do each week. Can’t wait to see what else this summer brings. Thank you for being my cheerleader.”
Meet Nikki from the Philly area! Third Activation with me, now girlfriends for life. Nikki strictly practices Studio LB and regularly hits the 200+ minute list weekly, but was in a slump (for her) falling in the 100-200 min. range leading up to Activation. She decided to register for Sayulita a few weeks before we left becuase she was really struggling with motivation. It worked, giving her that push she needed.
Nikki’s strong, dedicated, coordinated, very fit, and loves to be challenged in-studio. Her challenges are tight hips and RUNNING...pretty sure she hates it and also hates ME when I make her do it 😝. Nikki lost 8 inches and I love that her entire body has leaned out and is more defined on day seven. Swipe to see her results just a few weeks post-Activation. Nikki, I love watching you progress every year and I can’t wait for the next one. Love you!
I’m so excited to introduce y’all to my effervescent friend Dana Myers! Dana and I connected when she was living in St. Lucia and practicing Studio LB…I was so intrigued with her island life, positive attitude and her amazing hair. Dana’s a true inspiration who has changed my outlook on sensuality and sexuality as a mom. Feeling sexy and satisfied can definitely take a backseat in my life as a working mother, but Dana’s approach and advice is something women everywhere can incorporate to boost confidence, self-love and body acceptance. She’s the founder of the Booty Parlor, speaker, and author of two books called The Official Booty Parlor Mojo Makeover and The Mommy Mojo Makeover. Read on to learn Dana’s outlook on sex, scheduling, Studio LB, and skincare secrets.
What can you tell us about Booty Parlor and its mission?
Booty Parlor is a sexy beauty & lifestyle brand I founded in 2005 alongside my husband, Charlie. Growing up, throughout my teenage years and into my womanhood, I’d always been naturally very curious and passionate about “all things beauty” and “all things sexy.” And while my career originally started in the music business, those innate passions eventually guided me to create a brand for women who wanted beautiful products that inspired them to feel sexier and more confident.
Back in the mid 00’s, the “sex industry” was still grounded in it’s XXX roots - bad packaging, bad ingredients, uninspiring imagery. And so, I saw the white space opportunity to do something better -- something more stylish & modern that catered to the way I liked to shop. So, we started developing sensual beauty, body and wellness products, as well as accessories and lingerie, and quickly grew the brand into a wholesale, home party and online business. Everything we did (and do!) is based on the core philosophy that every woman wants, needs and deserves to feel sexy, confident and desirable. These days, we no longer run all those distribution channels. We licensed the brand to a phenomenal partner who produces & distributes our line internationally, primarily in the Middle East.
The personal journey I’ve been on with the brand, and in my career, has been incredibly rewarding. I’ve done hundreds of private workshops for women who want to feel more sensually and sexually empowered. I’ve published two books on women, sensuality, and satisfaction. And every day, I get to do what I love while empowering other women and mothers to feel more entitled to their own pleasure and to creating the best relationships possible (with themselves and their partner!).
As an author and a speaker, I share weekly content on my website and hold live workshops on the topics of self-love, sex and relationships after kids. And what’s currently on deck is the launch of my new online course business. My signature course, The Satisfied Mama, is launching in June 2019. It’s a tools-based course with 35+ video lessons and practices designed to empower mothers to reclaim themselves and reignite their relationship after kids. Through video lessons and an online community, I walk mothers through the process of Loving their Body, Getting out of the “Mom Zone,” Awakening their Libido, Removing the Resentment, Reviving the Romance and Reigniting their Sex Life. This program is really the culmination of the last 15 years of my experience as a sex & relationships expert and the last eight as a busy mother.
You have a new book out called The Mommy Mojo Makeover. What is the top piece of advice you can give mothers to reconnect with their bodies?
Great question. There are SO many tools mothers can use to confidently reconnect with their bodies in the months (and years!) after giving birth. First, I think it’s REALLY important to call yourself out on the nasty habit of negative self-talk. You know - all the sh*t we tell ourselves about our thighs/tummy/tush when we’re standing in the mirror. Toning down that inner critic, and replacing the negative self-talk with sexy, self-loving affirmations is always a great place to start. An example of this is if you look at yourself and think “Ickkk, my boobs are so deflated,” you want to catch yourself. Pause, breathe and say something instead like, “My breasts are sweet, petite and still deserving of pleasure after nursing all these babies.” Even if the experience feels phony or awkward at first, with practice you will start to change the way you see and treat your body -- with love, acceptance and pride, instead of disappointment and shame.
Another body confidence-boosting practice is Self-Pleasure. Call it masturbation or a Solo Session, giving yourself pleasure is one of the most normal, healthy, honest and healing acts of self-care you can do for yourself as a woman and mother. When you give yourself pleasure, you boost your sexual energy and your personal power. You release anxiety and stress. You shift out of a negative state into a higher vibration. And you’re practicing SELF-LOVE in its purest form. It’s an amazing way to reconnect with your body, to reintegrate your sensuality into your life as a mom, and give yourself the vitality and stamina you need to rock all your roles and responsibilities!
Between businesses and books, where does fitness fit into your schedule? Do you schedule time during your week for exercise, cooking, meditation or other forms of self care?
I work out two times per week at F45 - it’s functional training, with some days cardio, some days weights, some days both. I go to hot yoga at Sol Yoga in Miami once a week and do my Studio LB workouts at home one to two times per week. When I travel, which is often, I focus on my Studio LB workouts. And every night, I stretch and unwind my body for at least 20 minutes -- either in front of the TV or listening to music. I also walk around the neighborhood A LOT with my kids, who are now 5 & 8. We’ll kick a ball around or ride bikes after dinner at least four times per week. It’s important to us that the kids have the habit of moving after a meal in a pleasurable way.
And yes, I’m super, super strict with my scheduling! Every Sunday night, I look at my week overview and sketch out the big things I want to accomplish, both professionally and personally (and that includes date nights & intimacy, too). Then, every morning, I sit and map out exactly what I’m doing that day, hour by hour, including specific work tasks, self-care/pleasure, meals, a mid-day “reset” nap, time with the kids, time with the husband, time with friends, domestic duties, etc. Obviously, I don’t do all of that every single day, but the practice of planning & scheduling is what keeps me on track, sane, and feeling productive.
We're always on the hunt for excellent new recipes, hair/skincare products, podcasts, etc. Do you have any secrets to share?
My current favorite recipe is from the Keto*tarian book by Dr. Will Cole. It’s called “Coconut Veggie Stir-Fry with Cauliflower Rice.” It’s lightly creamy, just rich enough, and packed with a ton of delicious veggies. In the last year, I lost 15 pounds by doing my own version of a Keto lifestyle -- and this book has given me a lot of great, veggie-heavy options!
For skincare? I’ve fallen in LOVE with the brand Tatcha. It started with their facial cleanser, called The Deep Cleanse. I’m also a huge fan of their Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. I’m prone to break-outs (even at 42 years old, gah!), and their products help calm everything down without being harsh or drying.
For makeup, to me, blush is everything. It’s like the ONE product I can’t live without. Right now, my favorite is Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Pale Pink. When in doubt, put on blush and think of orgasms!
And while I do listen to podcasts, lately I’ve been journaling during the windows of free time I have. It’s something I did throughout my whole life, but then stopped in the last 10 years. I’m so happy I’ve picked it back up because it’s REALLY creative and healing to pour your heart out on the page while listening to great music… and then put it away and return to life!
You can find Dana Myers on instagram @danamyersxoxo and at her website www.danabmyers.com.
Photography by Alejandra Escalante
Your overwhelming response from International Women’s Day has inspired us to look within our community and recognize some insanely talented Studio LB members here on the blog. First up, we wanted to share a recent Q & A with Linny Giffin, a Studio LB member and multidisciplinary artist living and working in Washington, D.C. Seeing her creativity and and ability to balance form and function in her space, we needed to know more about what drives Linny in her work, her home and her health.
Can you tell us about your work as a fiber artist and about The Lemon Collective?
As a fiber artist, I do a lot of work with embroidery, weaving, quilting and soft sculpture. I've translated the medium to large scale installation art, creating bespoke pieces for restaurants and homes in D.C. and beyond. Last year I created a loom on the storefront of my studio and wove flowers through it, I called in the Living Loom.
In 2015, I co-founded The Lemon Collective with two other D.C.-based artists. It originally started as an art studio for us, but quickly morphed into much more. Now, it is more of a brand and creative community that celebrates artists across a range of mediums in a city where creativity isn't always a priority. Our brick and mortar hosts workshops and other events, providing a space for small business owners to exhibit their expertise in anything from jewelry making and flower arranging to embroidery and business development. We're building an online community that connects artists and celebrates the importance of creativity.
You live and work in a 350 square foot space in Washington, D.C. In what ways do you find this space limiting or liberating?
Of course, living and working in a 350 square foot apartment is extremely limiting. However, just by opening up the door to my fire escape, I feel a part of the city. The view is amazing and I live on the best street in D.C., there are cafes, restaurants, shops and an independent movie theater right outside my front door. Plus, the small space allowed me to design the apartment very intentionally so no square foot was left neglected. I think that makes the apartment feel liberating.
Do you practice Studio LB at home or elsewhere?
I practice at home! I just roll out my mat in the middle of my living room floor. One of the many things I love about Studio LB is it doesn't require equipment and I can do it anywhere even my tiny apartment.
Linny is currently working on an outdoor installation series around D.C. and Northern Virginia, and you can find her on instagram at @linnyfriend and online at https://www.linnyinc.com. To sign up for the Lemon Collective’s monthly newsletter for news and goings-on in the art world, visit https://www.wearethelemoncollective.com.
Photography by Laura Metzler