I just want a standing desk.

I had a meeting with one of my professors yesterday on what I thought was about my Directed Readings course in the fall, but is actually about being recruited for his public policy center for a Ph.D.

This is the second time I’ve been approached to do a Ph.D. program by a different professor. Every time it happens, it really rocks the entire structure of my life. Going into the meeting, I could only think about building a gym with my boyfriend. Lifting, teaching people about their bodies, and learning about mine are three things that I care the most about on this planet.

But–am I doing myself a disservice? Is that really sustainable?

Working with this professor for an academic career would be an honor. The fact that he noticed me is even more of one. His policy fields are useful and do not reek of academic bullshit. He applies everything he does.

I veered from pursing an academic career because it would trap me in the fields of doing research for research’s sake. There’s no end goal in that for me.

This is the first time in the past five or so years that a Ph.D. actually sounds attractive.

If I go for it, which I’d say I’m still 60/40 on just going for my gym, I need a standing desk.

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My Body Image Homework

Again, Happy NEDA Awareness week everyone! I realized I missed blogging about athletes day yesterday (easily one of the most relatable of the themed days for me), but I still participated by hanging more posters:


Girl’s locker room at the university gym!


Boy’s locker room at the university gym… I had to have a male identifying person hang it up for me, I think the urinals are super close to the door, so I felt odd about going in…

In light of continuing eating disorder awareness, I wanted to share today’s entry from the 31 Day Journaling Challenge from the Art of Manliness. And, to be fair, I’m kind of cheating. Today’s prompt, day 18, wasn’t something I felt I could fully relate to. I mean, like building things, and I still love Legos, but I wasn’t feeling planning a project like I’m going to take over The New Yankee Workshop next week.

Sorry, Norm.

I decided to then take inspiration from a new podcast I stumbled across this morning, Fearless Rebelle Radio. This podcast is all about improving body image, disassociating image from self worth, and neat feminist rants. I’ve only heard two episodes so far, plus a guest episode Summer did on Progress not Perfection (another good podcast to check out), but I’m so glad I stumbled across it.

Summer talked about to write down five things that would be different if you were cool with your body. My five came really fast.

  1. Going to the gym without wearing a baggy university sweat shirt over your tank top.
    Pretty simple. I’m kind of getting over this a bit already. Sometimes its a legitimate “I’m cold because the Weight Room is a drafty old 80s gym” but a lot of the time I’m feeling insecure about how I look.
  2. Wearing a bikini in public with confidence.
    I’ve worn one a couple times but just felt like hiding the whole day.
  3. Having pictures taken of you in a bikini. 
    See #2.
  4. Wearing a crop top in public.
    Crop tops are SO SO SO cute, especially with high waisted shorts! I’m always quite jealous of the girls who wear them because they have the confidence to do so.
  5. Wearing a slimming gym outfit to the gym.
    Guh, I have this weird rule in my head about wearing a baggy shirt, with tight shorts OR a tight shirt, with leggings or pants. So “slimming” in this context means a tight shirt AND shorts.

The second part of this exercise was do three of the above things! Since swim suit season is a while away with projected snow this weekend, I’m going to go for #1, 4, and 5. The crop top thing could be iffy too, but when spring gets warmer I’ll do that. I’m getting pretty excited!

I will blog about these when they occur, and detail my thoughts. Make sure you check out the podcasts, and I’d love to hear your 5 body image things!

Hair on point. :)

Hair on point. :)

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Happy NEDA Awareness Week!

This week, February 22 through 28, is NEDA awareness week! I’m happy to say I’m trying to participate to the best of my ability by hanging up some great posters in visible places on campus. The theme, “I had no idea” is extremely powerful on the subject of eating disorders. Not a lot of people fully understand them, so the theme fits well.

Here’s a view of some of the posters I hung up:


My favorite, in my office.


In our building in the hall


In the Women's Service Center, which also is the LGBT advocates/allies HQ.

I’ll post some more about NEDA Awareness, as I haven’t finished hanging up my posters. On a final note, this week is needed more than ever. Someone I knew was frustrated that someone he loves is experiencing an ED. I think he just doesn’t know how to deal with this individual. I wish I knew how to help the situation.

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All the sweating and straining, all the anxiety and fears, everything brought me to this past weekend. I had a fantastic meet this past Saturday and Heath had an equally fantastic meet on Sunday. I am quite proud of our performance.

The night before, on Friday, Heath gave me his Valentine’s Day gifts. A dozen roses, a Steam giftcard, a box of peanut butter chocolate poptarts and (name brand) Pedialyte. Now I know the last two seem strange for Valentine’s Day gifts, but basically they were two gifts with my meet in mind. I weighed in, making my weight class. I then needed to carb up a bit, hence the poptarts, and replenish my electrolytes, hence the Pedialyte.

We arrive at the meet on Valentine’s Day after rules are done, and during the curls. After some anxieties about a missing singlet and forgetting the rest of my Pedialyte, I get on the platform and do my opener for squat. I went three-for-three attempts on squat, and my final squat was 264.55 pounds. Heath said it looked beautiful, and that I didn’t seem to have any major form breakdown, which is very impressive considering its a PR for me! My strategy of practicing squat with a pause at the beginning and end has worked wonders, as I have a terrible habit of missing commands.

Next was bench, and after the flights of bench I get my opener with ease, and my second attempt of 137.79. I go for a third at 143, and miss it. It was right where my triceps fail every single time. Marcin, on my team, told me how to “break the bar” with my grip so I can power through that sticking point. I am still very satisfied with a 137.79 bench because it is a meet PR, versus a gym PR.

Lastly, was deadlift. There’s always a ridiculously long break between bench and deadlift because mostly everyone wants to bench. I chugged a lot of preworkout for the deadlift flight. I opened at 10 pounds heavier than my October meet’s deadlift which was 230 something, and my opener was in the bag. I got 270 for a second, which was a PR for my meet performance.

Upon urging (one lady lifter told me “go and put some weight on that bar–that was too light!), everyone told me to lift 314.16and I got it. This is a 64 lb improvement from last year! Deadlift performance anxiety has killed my past meets, and I just obliterated my deadlift in this past meet. I’ve never gone near the end of a deadlift flight before. I just channeled every strong bad-ass fictional woman character I could think of (Mulan, Legion Commander and Phantom Assassin from DOTA, Alanna from the Lionness Quartet, and my own Dungeons and Dragons characters) and PULLED THAT WEIGHT.


Overall, I added 100 pounds to my total since last year yielding me an 8/9 performance and 716.50 raw total. I outsquatted myself from October by 10 pounds, and I was using knee wraps at the time. I missed no commands this time, and only missed my bench because it was heavy.

In my mind, there was not a single thing that could improve my overall performance, besides the bench miss. I’m not even bitter about the bench because I still got that deadlift.

I got a small trophy, and was able to act as Heath’s coach on Saturday. He went 9/9 and got a trophy too! Our school’s team also won first place for mixed powerlifting teams.

There’s going to be a meet in my town in April that I’m probably going to skip lifting at. I’d like to get trained as a referee by that point so that I could help and participate out since it’ll be only a mile from my house. I’m looking at a lifting at a Texas meet in June or July that’s the Women’s Nationals for my federation. Heath said that he’s probably going to do a different event for our October meet–I think he said power press (power clean and bench press). I might do powersports sometime (strict curl, bench, and deadlift), or maybe join him on power press.

Regardless of records, trophies, events, and logistics, I killed it. I’ve not been this proud of myself in a long time. Here’s to getting stronger!

Thanks for reading.

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12 Inspirational Quotes to Share–Part Two

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!! I hope you’re celebrating the overly-commercial day of love with someone special in your life.

A tiny little Valentine’s Day post before I get into the main post. Here’s what I did for Heath! For the longest time, we had always discussed how we’ve never gotten to go to a dance together. That changed yesterday. I won a ticket to our university’s Pink and Black Ball sponsored by the Women’s Outreach Center. I mailed his ticket to him in a card, for the utter surprise. I also made him this:



They’re Valentine’s themed protein truffles! I also made him protein bars too, both using this delightful recipe from ProteinPow. Lastly, on a total impulse whim, I bought him a DragonBallZ figurine from a local anime/manga store (it’s Goku gone supersayan if you were wondering).

And because I love you, dear reader, here is the rest of my quotes! I split this into two entries because I got a bit verbose on the last entry, and I just kept finding good quotes. As you’ll be reading this, I’ll be at my meet. I’ll let you know what happens as soon as possible! Let’s jump right in, shall we?

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12 Inspirational Quotes to Share–Part One

It’s Friday! Do you know what Friday is? If you answered, “my day off,” you’re right! (And creeping me out because you know too much about me… just kidding!)

I’ve taken this entire week off lifting for the most part. I did some super light lifting on Tuesday, mentally giving myself commands for each lift. I also have done yoga EVERY DAY this week (except for yesterday because I volunteered from 2-9, drove home, and promptly forgot). Despite missing yesterday, I am so proud of myself. Just a week of practice and my sitting wide angle forward bend is already way easier. Before, I could only get my legs in, no joke, the angle your fingers make when you do a peace sign with your first and third fingers. Now I can almost get it to where it needs to be when you do one! Of course, I can’t lay entirely flat (or even close to flat like Rodney Yee) but I’m sure I’ll get it eventually.

Yesterday, I helped run the Junior USA Weightlifting Nationals, which is Olympic weightlifting not powerlifting. For a lot of the day, I helped one of the meet co-sponsors, then did weigh-ins, and ran the table with lifter cards and laptop for an entire high school meet.  Weigh-ins are simple enough, but man was keeping track of weights a bit tricky, because they do sequential loading, not flights.

my face the entire meet.

But as I am writing this in between playing games of DOTA2, I want to leave you with the first part of twelve quotes to inspire you. These are hopefully what I keep in mind for my meet tomorrow, and for the rest of my non-lifting adventures. Stick around for part two tomorrow!

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An Excerpt from the 31 Day Journal Challenge – Day Six

Happy Wednesday folks! I’ve been planning on writing an entry on some cool things happening lately (HabitBull is quite effective), but for now I’m going to repost what I wrote in my pen and paper journal for the Art of Manliness Day Six Journal Challenge. I learned about these daily journal prompts it through the Crazy Kettlebell Girl’s month of doing the challenge. I thought it was a great idea. While I’m writing these mostly in my personal journal, I plan to post entries that I find that I feel are the creme of the crop, like my entry below for day six.

Day 6: Pick a quote from our 80-ish quotes on manhood and reflect on why it stands out to you. Does it reflect a man that you aren’t yet, but hope to be? Does one of them remind you of a great man in your life who you’ve tried to model? If you can’t seem to reflect on a single quote, just take the time to write out a few of them that you like. Doing so will keep them top-of-mind and perhaps lead to some thoughts later down the road.

“Strength, courage, mastery, and honor are the alpha values of men all over the world. They are fundamental virtues of men because without them no higher virtues can be entertained. You need to be alive to philosophize. You can add to these virtues and you can create rules and moral codes to govern them, but if you remove them from the equation althogether, you you aren’t just leaving behind the virutes that are specific to men, you are abandoning the virtues that make civilization possible.” – Jack Donovan

Why does this quote speak to me?

What honestly captured my attention was the “alpha” part. I want to be a bad bitch, an alpha female, and the best possible person I can be.

Strength + Courage + Mastery + Honor = a virtuous life

After leaving organized religion, it is difficult finding a personal code of ethics by which to govern one’s self. I know I can be a better person. I am on my way to being that better person. I wonder why Jack Donovan penned/said this quote. It really speaks to me, not necessarily in the context of manlihood (like the prompt was asking about) but in terms of mankind. If everyone applied this principle, myself included, we’d be much better off as people.


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A Year Ago…

Doesn’t everyone?

Trying not to beat myself too hard on this one, but I learned first hand recently what sticking to a habit does to you. An old coworker/friend of mine had her yogi-anniversary this past week. She posted on Instagram some really inspiring photos about her mobility. She started as a complete beginner, in fact I was the one who helped encourage her to take up this habit, and I’m quite proud of her progress!

But of course, in terms of the “you can’t have nice things” point-of-view, I am beating myself up for not sticking with a practice so consistently. I am aware this is not a positive mindset. But I can’t let this wake-up-call go to waste. I just need to figure out how to positively apply this energy into not self-loathing, but self-loving behavior.

I started this 31 day journal challenge from the Art of Manliness and yesterday was the third day. Day three reads:

Decide on one positive habit you’d like to implement in your life. Whether seemingly mundane (like flossing) or perhaps life-altering (exercising every day), think of something you’d like to add to your life that will be beneficial. Then, think about the steps you’ll take to get there, and how you’ll keep yourself accountable.

Well, this seems like a no-brainer.

This coming week is my meet-prep week. I’m going to be lifting light, doing a lot of walking, and mobility work. I can’t think of a better time to try a daily yoga practice since I won’t be tired from lifting. I just downloaded the HabitBull app to keep me on track. I am aware that it takes 66 days to form a new habit. But maybe a week of daily practice will show me the benefits of doing some every day, thus encouraging me to do more. I just did a great standing poses routine for 25 minutes. I’ll report back on what else happens!

I want to be able to do this.

In other news, I finally joined the three-plate club. Deadlifted 315 this past week. Wow. WOW. I can’t believe it still. There was a slight hiccup when I staggered forward–wouldn’t have cleared the judges, but I still got it on raw strength. I tested bench earlier in the week and I got an unpaused 145. That’s pretty much what I expected there. Squat today–aiming for an unwrapped 275. Let’s see how that goes!

(Also, it goes without saying, I’m watching a LOT of Sailor Moon.)

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Freezer Breakfast Burritos

I used to be good about posting recipes, but I hadn’t really felt the creative urge lately. I know that’s going to change next week while in preparation for my meet–antelope cheeseburger soup anyone?–but here is a recipe that has changed my life. I’m not being hyperbolic at all. It has made my mornings a breeze, and has made my love affair with Aldi stronger.

Six reasons I shop at Aldi now:

  1. I only buy stuff I prioritize because of their small, thorough selection.
  2. There are no carts in hanging out in the parking lot threatening your car to dings because of the cart deposit.
  3. You bag your own groceries, which I prefer anyway.
  4. You have to buy bags (paper, plastic, or alternative) if you forget them. Or
  5. You can use one of their boxes (I used a Bugel’s box my first time).
  6. Most everything is offbrand/storebrand, but cheaper than anyone else’s store brand.

Here are their reasons, which are even more thorough than mine. 

For my freezer breakfast burritos, I bought breakfast sausage links, eggs, and tortillas for less than $6.00 at Aldi. You realize that’s probably the same as buying two of Amy’s freezer burritos, right? I know, I know, Aldi stuff isn’t organic. But my budget constraints demand that organic-ness of a product be a treat for me, rather than a constant lifestyle.

The recipe I got, from Iowa Girl Eats, is the basis for what I made. Some revisions to her process, though:

  1.  I decided to go sausage rather than bacon. This is a personal preference, as well as a cost one. They had a special on precooked chicken breakfast sausage links, with good macros, for only a couple dollars at Aldi. Considering you use almost an entire ration of bacon, this didn’t seem cost effective to me.
  2. I used Cholula hot sauce, versus Louisiana. I have both, but I figured I’d go for this flavor instead.
  3. A flavor difference is that I used no cheese, but substituted a half a pack of those guacamole snack packs from Walmart on the base of the tortilla. I already had those and I was trying to use them up before they expired.
  4. Also, I figured out too late that I was being overly generous with the egg–I only got seven burritos out of the recipe, as opposed to eight. Those extra large flour tortilla only come in packs of eight, but the breakfast sausage was a pack of seven. I figured one less burrito would be okay.
  5. I wrapped each burrito in a paper towel, versus saran wrap, and double bagged them because I have no freezer bags. When I microwave them, I leave them in the paper towel on the plate and let them cook for 2:30-3 minutes.

These burritos taste like a restaurant breakfast burrito. I can’t believe it, honestly. They don’t leak, they have great flavor, and are a great breakfast on the go.

I realized today I’m almost out of these bad boys. I’ll probably be cooking a batch today, and I’ll let you know if I make any neat changes to the recipe! Maybe I’ll add a picture or two.


Filed under Cooking, Food, Purchases, Recipe

Unexpected Gift

via the Soulful Spoon

Weekend was extremely busy–some of this was my fault. I did choose to stay up to 4:00 AM on Friday night (technically Saturday morning). I also chose to stay up till 2:30 AM Saturday night (Sunday morning) to watch an NXT two-hour special. Side note: I’m now getting into professional wrestling. More on that in a different entry.

Therefore, despite all the coffee I drank Monday, and the Soda Stream “Red Bull”  I had at dinner last night, about half way through my three hour Organizations Theory class I was going to pass out.  I called Heath so that I didn’t fall asleep at the wheel going home, which I have done before–both the sleeping and the calling. My roommate just blamed it on the class, which certainly didn’t help, but I had feeling like taking a nap since lunch.

My original plan was to do like last week: wake up 6:30AM to do yoga, shower, breakfast, work 8-5PM, class 6:30 to 9:20PM, and then cardio for a little bit.

This week, 6:30 has been transformed into 6:50AM, I grabbed a shower and one of my home-made freezer breakfast burritos. I went through the rest of my day like the schedule above, because that’s the inflexible part. But, as I left the class, I realized I would be hurting myself if I went to do cardio.

Let me be clear, this cardio desire I had wasn’t a compulsion. It wasn’t punishment. It wasn’t to blast fat, to quote Denise Austin. I wanted to do cardio because I had been sitting for almost 12 hours with only a few breaks. I knew cardio would feel good for my body, which had almost been sedentary all day. So that’s why I was really proud of myself to put the breaks on and say “hold it–you might actually get hurt if you do this.” And, for once, ED didn’t scream in protest. I think he was tired too.

Heath made the suggestion on the way home that I do a video workout of some sort. I kind of poo-pooed the idea. But when I hung up and went inside the house, I realized that was precisely what my body needed. When I sit all day, my stupid tight hips get tighter. By the time I got home last night, they were aching. I took a moment, looked at my two Rodney Yee tapes and saw that there was a hip openers sequence.

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

So, last night when extremely sleepy, I did a gentle hip-openers sequence and the bonus restorative sequence (which honestly was just a lot of laying down, but I give no fucks). Thirty five total minutes on Monday! I’m thinking I should memorize the flow of that hip opener session so I can do it without Rodney. Some day, the seated wide-angle forward bend will be mine!

(Also, for your information, I learned if you look for “yoga gifs,” its mostly girls in yoga pants being sultry…sigh…great.)

Another gift I gave myself is a new way to journal. I am a daily email subscriber to Tiny Buddha. If you don’t already read their work, you should! I’t is daily bite-size enlightenment that always improves my mornings when I see it in my inbox.

I’ve been doing a daily gratitude journal for awhile now in the mornings that is separate from my regular evening journaling time. I am grateful for even the silliest stuff sometimes, like how I didn’t stress at all about being late to class last night. One thing I’m going to add to my gratitude journaling is this technique from this entry “3 Steps to Instantly Boost Your Self-Esteem.” While I’m doing pretty good on the self-esteem front lately, I loved the tips from their #2 suggestion:

Step 2: Create an activity diary for achievements, fun, and relaxation.

This step had the biggest impact upon my self-esteem by far. I was given instructions to list daily entries with an A (for Achievement), an F (for Fun), or an R (for Relaxation) besides each task or activity. I was also told to list small things for A’s to build up my confidence before listing bigger tasks.

These simple instructions transformed how I saw my time and, most importantly, how I viewed self-care. No longer did I think of fun and relaxation as frivolous or insignificant. I now saw them as equally valid to tasks and an important use of my time.

That’s such a wonderful idea! Yesterday I was pretty wound up about thinking how I had no time for doing anything for me. I proved myself wrong when, after I performed my Achievement (I read my chapter of my Orgs textbook that I had no desire to read during my lunch break…a seemingly small feat) and STILL had time to knock out a chapter of “The Golden Compass” by Phillip Pullman before I had to go back to work! I also allowed myself to light a soothing candle and read another chapter before I drifted to sleep as well. Scheduling self care like a boss.

smug face included.

I have a bad habit about playing hard (all nighters, days like last Monday) and having to rest hard because of burn out (NXT till 2:30 AM). Maybe this will help me give myself a priceless gift: balance.

How have you incorporated balance into your day lately?

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