The Abundia Retreat 2015: Call for Speakers

Deadline Friday, March 20, 2015 About Abundia

Abundia is a yearly weekend retreat for (and community of) fat women who reject body-hate, food-restriction, and diet-culture. Instead, we embrace Health At Every Size, size-acceptance, and advocacy for fat people., Facebook

2015 Abundia Retreat Logistics

Date: November 6-8, 2015

Location: Illinois State Beach Resort in Zion, IL, approximately half-way between Chicago and Milwaukee.

Call for Speakers

The Abundia Board of Directors is seeking speakers and workshop presenters for this year’s retreat. Past workshop topics include:

  • “Body Image/Body Love,” Golda Poretsky
  • “Finding Joy in Your Body,” Ragen Chastain
  • “Lose Hate, Not Weight,” Virgie Tovar
  • Water aerobics
  • Belly dancing
  • Curvy yoga
  • Fat life hacks
  • Medical advocacy
  • Health At Every Sizeâ
  • Drumming circle
  • Photo booth
  • Vision boards

We seek presenters and speakers who equip our attendees with the tools to thrive in a culture that criticizes fat women—and inspire us to live fully and boldly. We also like to have fun!

We are open to workshops of any type—provided they focus on positive fat-acceptance, Health At Every Size, or self-esteem for fat women. Following is a list of future presentations we seek:

  • Intuitive eating
  • Tai Chi for fat women
  • Body-positive meditation
  • Art and crafting
  • Writing workshop
  • Fashion, hair, and makeup
  • Fat-positive poetry, songs, prose
  • Massage therapist


Abundia is a non-profit organization. We offer negotiable compensation for speakers; but we cannot cover traveling expenses separately.

To Submit Your Workshop Proposal

We would love to consider you. Please send a one-page document in PDF format and include the following information to

  • Workshop title
  • Workshop description
  • Workshop goal
  • Workshop length
  • Any special space or equipment requirements
  • Relevant experience
  • Your location and contact information
  • Your compensation requirements

Exciting News!

The dates for this year's Abundia Retreat have been set!

October 24-26, 2014!

It's a little earlier in the year than we've generally held it, due to conflicts at our retreat site. But so many of you have strongly indicated that you want to return to Illinois Beach Resort, so we've worked with them to find a weekend in the same general part of the year. We hope you'll be able to join us!

Stay tuned for more awesome news about our featured speaker and programming, coming up soon!

Getting to Abundia

We've had some requests for information on how to get to our retreat from the local airports and/or via public transportation. Here's what you need to know:

Abundia is held at the Illinois Beach Resort & Conference Center inside of the Illinois State Beach Park in Zion, Illinois. The easiest way to reach the resort from most locations is to drive. You can consult the hotel’s website at for specific directions. Please note: Some GPS and online map systems will mistakenly route you to a power station nearby instead of the hotel. Make sure you are entering on Wadsworth Rd. east of Sheridan Rd, and NOT on Shiloh Blvd.

If you prefer to take public transportation in the great Chicago area, the hotel is roughly a 10-minute taxi ride from the Metra station in Waukegan, IL. This station is staffed later and the train stops here more often than the Zion station, so please consider using the Waukegan station. You may want to call a taxi while you are on the train to schedule one for when you arrive. Taxis are not always available without pre-arrangement. Here’s a link to the Metra schedule: The Waukegan stop is on the Union Pacific North Line.

If you are flying in, and we LOVE all of our super far away Abundia friends! - you can hire a taxi at either Chicago aiport, O'Hare or Midway (they all do a flat rate to Zion). The hotel recommends American Taxi if you’d like to prearrange a ride; we also can recommend 303 Taxi. We are researching other options as well.

Anyone interested in setting up a ride share and splitting the cost, can email Jeani at If at all possible, she will help arrange ride sharing.

Abundia Welcomes Ragen Chastain!

We are so excited to welcome the amazing Ragen Chastain as our featured speaker at this year's retreat! Ragen is a gorgeous dancer and a powerful speaker on fat positive issues. I always enjoy her blog posts at her site, Dances With Fat, and I know she will bring such energy and spirit to the retreat. Our theme this year is Finding Joy in Your Body and Ragen definitely personifies this notion! As her blog's tagline says: "LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS ARE NOT SIZE DEPENDENT!" Her full workshop lineup looks spectacular:

Finding Joy in Your Body

Ragen’s opening workshop features her background and philosophy. She is a dancer, choreographer, athlete, (soon-to-be-marathon-runner), writer, and size-acceptance activist. Ragen kicks off the weekend with her signature passion for life, body diversity, and Health At Every Size.

Medical Advocacy and HAES

Get specific suggestions and strategies to combat bad science and get the medical care we all deserve. Ragen addresses the AMA’s recent declaration of obesity as a disease, including medical advocacy cards you can take along to your next medical appointment.

Dance for Every Body

Where else can you get dance lessons from a professional dancer and size-acceptance activist? Ragen offers options for seated or standing movement, plus her presentation on “How to Dance on the Dance Floor!”

Your Sensual Body

Ragen presents “movement for the self” to help you find pleasure through the senses in the body you have right now. This workshop is about you, empowering you to find joy in your body and improve your well-being.

Don't miss out! Register Today!


Abundia's Empowerment Fund

Because many of us have experienced the life-changing power of the Abundia weekend, we want to expand our community to include as many women as possible. As all Abundia alumni will tell you, it takes a great deal of courage to commit to the weekend and overcome fear and shame about what you might find there. For some, limited financial funds are an additional obstacle that we want to overcome. Therefore, we would like to announce the creation of the Abundia Empowerment Fund. Is the cost of the weekend preventing you from attending Abundia?

Do you know a woman who would attend Abundia if she had financial help?

Would you like to help another woman experience Abundia?

If the answer to any of those questions is YES, visit our page on the Abundia Empowerment Fund.

Good News about the 2013 Retreat

You may have noticed that our program fee has increased from 2012. The increase is in response to your feedback about things we could improve upon for the weekend. First, we will share an additional group meal at the hotel Saturday night. No more field trips for bad service! Second, and most exciting, we are moving from the Great Lakes room to the much larger Grand Ballroom, increasing our space from 954 sq. ft. to 3500 sq. ft. (This link shows the floor plan of the hotel meeting rooms: We are so excited to be back in this comfortable space.

Once again, in order to keep registration affordable and accessible to as many women as possible, we offer a sliding scale for the Abundia program fee, which includes 4 workshops with Ragen Chastain, two group dinners at the hotel Friday evening and Saturday evening, and all other activities and workshops.

-The Standard Fee is $180, which covers all budgeted costs per person for the weekend. -The Minimum Fee is $150, which covers most budgeted costs per person for the weekend. -The Maximum Fee is $210, which covers more than budgeted costs per person for the weekend.

The following options are also available to reduce individual expenses for the weekend:

-Share a hotel room with another Abundia attendee. Email for more information. -Reserve a room refrigerator from the hotel to keep some food on hand. -Request support from the Abundia Empowerment Fund to assist with expenses. Email for more information.

We hope you'll share our excitement over these positive changes to the Abundia Retreat for 2013 and can't wait to see you there! Register today!