Four Life Hacks I’ve Been Toting Around Lately.

Got to love them.

Seriously, life hacks/pro-tips are probably one of my guiltiest pleasures on traversing the internet. Whether they’re from Life Hacker itself, Reddit, or 4chan–although, do NOT make crystals using house hold bleach. Also, treat any peanut butter cookie recipe with suspicion–these little priceless gems have been making my existence easier.

Here’s a handful that have been making my life lately run much more smoothly:

1) Tying your shoes… the right way. 

This tip comes from the fact that I didn’t learn to tie my shoes until about the second grade… So when I finally did learn, I didn’t learn how to tie them well. I’ve had a running commentary of “you need to tie your shoe unless you want to trip over it and break your face” most of my life.

Therefore when I stumbled across this little gem on lifehacker, I had to start doing it the right way. Not only do my shoes stay on better by using a reef knot instead of the typical granny knot, the bow looks so much nicer.

2)  Clean your blender easier with a soap smoothie.

H told me about this one. Use your blender to blend lots of smoothies or protein shakes? And don’t you  hate it when you find that you weren’t quite as thorough as you thought you were on that cleaning job and now your lovely blender smells like feet? Me too. Especially since I use dairy in my blender.

So the way to clean it is the most obvious method, considering the blender’s function is blending things. You put water and soap in the blender and blend the mixture. Not only does it dislodge a lot of the food gunk, it typically removes the smell. Of course, it is encouraged to do more than one round of this process, especially with hot water, and a rinse cycle. And, of course, your blender should still receive a weekly go through the dishwasher.

3) Rid your face of acne through doing lots of laundry.

I’ve been lucky that I’ve never had severe acne. Just annoying acne. Because I don’t shower at night, sometimes the nightly facial wash doesn’t do the trick in regard to keeping my face relatively blemish free for the next day. I read somewhere once across the internet that one way to prevent acne is to put a towel on your pillowcase and wash it, or get a clean one every day. I don’t have that many towels, but I do have lots and lots of pillowcases.

So what I did was take it to the next level and just began changing my pillowcase every time I slept on it. This also includes naps. I also sleep with a light cloth headband on to keep my bangs out of my face. What a difference this has made! H asked me once why my acne was disappearing because apparently it was noticeable. I’ve noticed that my zit getting frequency has also gone down. It also helps showering after lifting if I lift in the mornings. Whenever we lifted at night, I would usually fall into bed right after due to being so tired and my face would be rather…well, you can only guess. Therefore changing these habits have prevented me from trying Proactive, which I’ve honestly considered for years.

4) Know when to wake up according to REM sleep.

My work at my new job now has me participating in delightful things such as 5 AM shifts, so this nifty website has made my life again. sleepyti.me is a simple tool where you figure out when to sleep or when to wake up in regard to your sleep cycle. If you wake up during the middle of REM sleep, you can be quite exhausting, so it is vital to go through as many full cycles of 90 minutes as you can. While waking at 4:30 for work isn’t the most fun thing in the world, it can be tolerable if you do it right.

I’m definitely going to be using that tomorrow to get up at 5:00 to lift before class. Tough, but most things worth it in the long run are.

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Health at a Happy Size

I finally told my counselor that I lift weights.

I don’t know why it took me so long. Or, in reality, I do. I’ve been slightly ashamed of this part of me for a reason I can’t iterate. Is it the fact that I feel like a poseur for saying I’m a weightlifter? I know I’m out of the “casual zone” in regard to lifting. I’ve already invested so much time and money into making my body what it needs to be.

I think some of it is that I think he would think it strange or weird (“this girl goes from having an eating disorder to lifting weights–madness!”) but now that I write it out, that looks silly. I mean, what is a better success story than someone gaining thirty pounds and learning how to properly utilize their body?

It felt refreshing telling him that. I feel much more comfortable after telling him. Especially since I can safely say weight lifting has saved my life.

After my appointment, I decided to give blood in our local drive. I had great iron (46 ct) and I filled up my bag in less than five minutes. Honestly, the needle didn’t even hurt going in.

I’m having to adjust to a lot of body changes after lifting weights. For instance, I’ve grown an inch and a half. I began to notice whenever I had to adjust the car driver’s seat from the notch that I’ve had it on since I got the vehicle to one back. I can also reach the pull chain on the ceiling fan in my house with relative ease.

Also certain, ahem, womanly aspects have grown as well.

I think I may be going under a second puberty. I feel healthy, better than I have in ages. Things are turning around and I’m finally liking what I see and feel.

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Right Here, Right Now

I’ve found that a certain calmness has crept into my spirit as of late. The act of actively doing nothing is a powerful force to be reckoned with. Assimilating your expectations to a fixed point. That fixed point is the target of that activity that receives all of your attention. Then, once complete, move on to the next task.

I’ve obviously had quite a meditative Wednesday.

Besides having good lifts the past couple of days (deload was the week prior, so we’re finally making upward progress again), I’m starting to reach a more consistent contentment with myself. It is a feeling of quietness amidst noise that I’ve never experienced before.

H and I aren’t doing the same program for the first time in our co-lifting history. I’m enjoying the sensation as well as what it symbolizes: that I am growing into my own as a female lifter. I am beginning to feel comfortable enough to mention to people in real life that I lift weights and it is an empowering feeling.

Can it be that the dust is finally settling? Starting from the beginning of college, it seems like I got hit with by the garbage truck called “change.” From moving out to my parent’s divorce, as well as my own eating disorder, things have been tumoiltous. But now, it isn’t like that. States of flux happen but they have patterns of order.

I read somewhere that randomness is merely a human concept. There is a pattern to everything if you just look…

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Changes

It has gotten a little mad around here, I’ve gotten a busy, and now remembered that I had this great blog outlet for my writing.

I got a new job recently, one that I enjoy immensely. I work at the Target deli where mostly, what I do is slice meat and cheese. In addition to slicing deli fare, I also make items in the cold case such as sandwiches, wraps, salads, and other miscellaneous pre-made food. Then, there is also the deep friers to contend with.

Customer interaction is rather minimized with this job. Don’t get me wrong, deli can get lines. In fact, at one point, we had about four people in line today to get something sliced. However, that’s about the extent of a line in the deli. Compared to Chick-fil-A, where a line could stretch through the lobby if not out the front door.

Due to my deli position, I’ve gotten creative with food again. I’ve really missed engineering tasty new things for me to eat. I’m being inspired to recreate the recipes from my job at my home with good results. Although, the other day I did make a Chick-fil-A inspired sandwich–Spicy deluxe with pepperjack cheese–and thought it was probably a vast improvement on the original.

Another change that has happened recently is more in regard to my mental health. I have included more spiritual mindfulness stemming from meditiation and healthy introspection. I got ideas for these things from reading the Deepak Chopra book Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul: How to Create a New You. While some things in this book seem kind of absurd (you mean we can think all of our illness away?! 2012: I seriously hope you all don’t do this), I think there is some legitimacy about how much control our minds have over our body. This falls perfectly in sync with weightlifting, regardless of what H says about Chopra. Yes, I know he gets a bit “oogity boogity” about the mind and spirituality, but I think we don’t give this kind of thinking enough credit.

I’m pleased I’m going down this meditative road. Things seem to be falling into place more without anxiety. I’ve discerned through talking to my counselor and close companions that my anxiety is merely just a symptom of me trying to punish myself for some malady that I have “done” in my head. Whether this is a mess-up at work or just not scoring high enough in school, my anxiety the way I sadistically keep myself in check.

But through a new found calmness, my contentment can be self generated and not dependent upon external circumstances. Slowly but surely, it is becoming progressively more okay just to be myself.

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The Change of the Past; Reliance of the Future

via Pinterest

For too long there has been a thorn in my foot,

a label on my forehead,

a stagnancy in my life.

The cobwebs clear now.

I am terrified.

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And the whey tastes like sand…

Okay, okay, my personal whey doesn’t taste completely like sand…just mildly banana flavored sand. H’s, however, does taste like what would happen if you put milk and topsoil in a blender bottle and called it “chocolate flavor.”

We decided to be adventurous this time around, ordering from a really good site that does custom protein blends. The blend we picked out was only ~$25 for five pounds, which is pretty much unheard of. It’s this blend called “Invigorate” that was only fiveish dollars per pound. It is a mix of pea protein, casein, and egg whites.

H’s mom tries to get us to buy Shaklee, which is nearly impossible on a college student budget due to the price. However, we’ve make this unconscious competition with her that we can get a company with just as good ethics as Shaklee does but not the aforementioned company. It would be neat if True Nutrtition could help us win that bet.

Shaklee’s big selling point is that it is “all natural.”  H says the Invigorate must be good for us otherwise it wouldn’t taste so awful, to which I can agree. It would be neat if we could get some free Shaklee out of this deal…

We will see what it does to our gains. I’ll keep you posted.

(Link here if interested in the Invigorate)

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Let’s see if you can squat your way out of this one (part 2): Sunday

The reason why this series of posts are entitled “Let’s see if you can squat your way out of this one” is because on Sunday the greatest thing happened.

I got my mom to let me show her how to lift.

We went to her local community center and into the weight room, which was well stocked for how shabby it looked on the outside. I got some recommendations from H on what to show her and, of course, he responded with the typical ex-/fit”Do ss faggot”, which is a prominent meme on the ‘chan.

However, more true advice was never said. Keep in mind, I’m not a personal trainer by any means. I’ve really only started lifting again, this time seriously, since January and off-and-on for about a year. H was right though whenever he said helping someone else with their lifts helps your own form.

My mom has great form and understands the principles of breathing already (which was and is half the battle with me). Some things I would say to her she would respond to with “Oh, well, I figured that out.” She really is a natural with this.

My mom keeps on wanting to lose that stubborn extra five pounds that she’s gained since dating C and I don’t think she understands that just being a cardiobunny is going to make her drop that weight.

Maybe if she just lifted heavy once a week? Once a week, with weights going up. My thing is, as I was saying to H last night, lifting seriously doesn’t seem like something you can be too casual with. Or maybe you can, but I just haven’t discovered how yet.

But, just for form purposes, this is what I had mom do (all with bar weight):

3×5 squats

3×5 ohp

1×5 dead lift

3×5 bench

1×5 row

Anyone have any suggestions for motivating her to trying it more consistently? H said mentioning weight would and should be motivation enough but it really never is. I know my own mother. She’s a hard worker but it takes her getting her to want it first.

So besides doing demo lifts on this day, I still needed to catch up on my vanity day (abs…always abs) which consisted of 5×20 crunch and leg extensions. Mum and I then went to play basketball for awhile. After that, we traveled to Whole Foods and got brunch, went to Barnes and Noble, then she took me back to my town.

We also “Sherlock”ed that night, which was wonderful. H really liked it and I cannot wait for next week’s episode.

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