Monthly Archives: January 2015

Five Reasons to Blog Today

I hate feeling like I have to catch up on here. I hate feeling like blogging is work. My brain is running on two cylinders right now due to sleep deprivation.

So, in order to keep this short and sweet, here is my top five interesting things as of late (giving me a reason to blog today):

5) I’m satisfied with my lifts and how training is going. Monday yielded 220×5 squat and a lot of accessories. Wednesday yielded 135×3 bench. I miss my benches at the Weight Room. Lovely to go in when there’s no one there.

4) I get to help plan a social justice conference! Last year, there were topics about misogynist memes, body image, racial diversity, and LBGTQ advocacy. We’re currently deciding on keynote speakers. I can’t wait to help out more.

3) I submit my Proud2BeMe piece today. I also ordered NEDA Week Awareness posters to hang at work and on campus. It’ll be great when they come in.

2)

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I had to evaluate my yoga strat. My current strategy wasn’t working (putting it off till Saturday at 11). This time, I got it in early. I did an hour long yoga video with my roommate. Then, the next day, I did a Rodney Yee iyengar video. So I missed a week last week, being honest, but I think finding a new strategy for carrying out my goals is more important.

1) I visited friends last weekend in Tulsa. I love my friends and I had a blast. When I’m dying less, I’m going to totally write a Tulsa entry. Tulsa is hip. Tulsa turns their old Barnes and Nobles into fancy-ass grocery stores. Tulsa has arcade cabinet bars. Tulsa has Food Network famous pizza. More to come on that.

Bonus: I love Aldi. The whole system (have to put a deposit down to get a grocery cart, you bag your own groceries, bags cost money, super cheap) is favbuklrhhs  fabulous….sleep deprivation and auto correct do not mix, folks.

I’ll be writing again when I am more alive.

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Filed under Adventures, Friends, Goals, Health, Project Enrichment, Workout, Writing, yoga

Here I Am, Plus Yoga

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days on what it means to be me. This long weekend, at the first opportunity to jump back on the me-ness train, I did.

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Goodbye hair!

I got a pixie cut and donated 8 inches of my hair in order to get back to my roots, my more authentic self. The hair was a blending-in mechanism, make me like everyone else so I don’t stand out, don’t make any big waves.

But you know what, fuck that. Fuck stifling my voice, dampening my spirit and not being honest with everyone-including me. I got new nose rings, a shit ton of cheap jewelry at Claire’s and admitted to myself some important things about my own human nature.

I have friends again who aren’t bad for me. I have a lover who supports me 100 percent. I am growing beyond my self imposed prisons.

Deep breath. Release.

Good.

Now to the yoga!

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Second week of the yoga challenge did not go as planned (when does life)? My wellness center had free yoga classes all this week and I missed all of them. I had an appointment with a mobility trainer for 30 min, but I didn’t want to just count that as my yoga. So on Saturday night, I realize that I had not done a lick of yoga.

So I took out a new yoga anatomy book (I love anatomy books, never seen one like this!) and did the sequence they recommended for tight hips. Holy smokes, a full pigeon is practically impossible at this point, but I’m getting there. I didn’t get my full 30 minutes, but I did do as much as I could before midnight rolled around. I know I will get it this week!

In the land of podcasting, the GoodTrash Genre Cast covered 2014’s abysmal, yet fun, “I, Frankenstein.”

No, they don’t just turn into iPods and defeat the demon horde.

 

Speaking of demons and the afterlife, our “Nightbreed” episode has dropped, if you’re interested in crazy monsters and homoerotic subtext. Arthur blows it out of the water with his Queer theory reading, check it out for sure.

This coming Sunday, we’re recording “The Interview” after a fun communal watch after our “I, Frankenstein” show.

Finally, some reading for you that I picked up this Monday.

The New York Times discussed the power of writing to alleviate chronic stress, anxiety, and a host of physical ailments. I feel that’s what’s going on in this blog, so I must continue it!

A MyFitnessPal blogger discusses how to set good exercise goals. #8, Forgive Your Slip Ups, is super helpful for my tiny error on Saturday. I know I’m going to become more consistent in this yoga practice.

Roomie and I have been watching A LOT of Sailor Moon.

Calm determination.

Let me know your thoughts, goals, and dreams!

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Silver Linings

I would be lying to say this week has not been a challenge. Monday was the worst–my roommate’s case of the flu was confirmed (poor thing) and I’ve been  staying at a friend’s house, one of my podcast co-hosts, D1. This was so I could sleep (our townhome’s walls are quite thin) and so I would not be infected.

My anxiety about getting the flu got so dastardly, I went to our health clinic to get a flu test done. I don’t have the flu. Yay! But, in my hasty celebration, I shove my wallet in my pocket. A couple hours later, when I cannot find it, I realize it’s gone–as in lost permanently.

No, this is not as bad as one of my favorite podcaster’s stories where he loses his bag which contains his passport, iPad, laptop, 3DS, and all his possessions in a crowded Tokyo train station at rush hour. No, it’s definitely not as as bad as that. And while that does make me feel better, it’s still problematic. I cancel all my cards, and realize that pretty much everything in there is replaceable, and keep going with my week.

The first silver lining to this whole debacle is that I start talking to D1’s new girl friend, R, on the phone while I was over at his house, and mildy tipsy on Tequila. She’s one of the sweetest, smartest people I’ve met in a long time. D1 is gaga, and who can blame him, honestly? Do you remember the last time you talked on the phone with a gal pal of yours for an hour and felt totally comfortable? I don’t. That may be because that’s never happened to me before, ever. I hope we can meet in person soon.

Another silver lining, unrelated to the flu and wallet thing, is that I pulled a 245 5×5 deadlift, followed by 275 for a triple. 275 is a PR, and considering I got it for three feels almost surreal. I was so focused on getting that weight, that I didn’t notice until I got home that it was my first time getting that, ever. But, I got it for three. Incredible. Couple of my PL guys put some great tweaks in my form and approach, and I think at this point, this lift is going to skyrocket.

Needless to say I’m sore. And I’m tired. Had an interesting talk last night with H. We really discussed some valuable things, and I think our relationship is only going to improve. While that cloud darkened the horizon of my mind for a while, the fact that we are enjoying the sun right now speaks to the potential longevity of our relationship. We’re going to start up our little tiny Book Club again, and I’ve picked the selection. My Risk, Policy, and Law class assigned the first two chapters of Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk, which sounds extremely dry, but I LOVED it.

Probably the best silver lining of all this week was that my faith in humanity was restored. Someone turned my wallet into the police station, and I got EVERYTHING back yesterday. It was in front of a building I never walk in front of. The world will never know on that one.

Last, but not least, here’s some great reading that’s been keeping me going this week:

“Why Don’t I Look Like Her? A Guide to Stop Comparing” I’m pretty bad about this, but I’m beginning to love my body for how I’ve improved and look. This was a pretty helpful read. I might have goals for my physique, but I’m starting to learn to love the process.

“Taking Care of Yourself When You Feel Like Shutting Down” This got me through Monday. Self care is paramount, and no amount of self flagellation will return a wallet to you.

“Get Your Hair Wet Activity” I love this idea! I really want to do it. It’s kind of like a love letter to yourself almost. Here’s from the site:

“A creative way to catalog all the upcoming adventures you’ll have is to keep them safe and tidy in a decorated mason jar. Each time you get out of your comfort zone or try something new, write it down on a strip of paper place it inside your jar. You can even color-code your memories — red for a time you spoke up, blue for a time you faced your fears, purple for learning a new skill — you get the idea! At the end of the year you can empty out the memories and bask it all the ways you got your hair wet and feel proud to be you.

I love that proud to be me part. I am learning how to be, slowly.

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First Full Week of 2015 (1/52 Week Yoga Challenge)

Happy Sunday Funday, dear readers!

I have been meaning to write this entry for awhile. Lot has happened in the short time we have been in 2015!

As you recall, this past week was my full first week back to work. This coming Monday, I’ve got school on top of it. Depending upon my tuition waiver (which may have a full time requirement), I’ll be one or two classes. Tomorrow, regardless of money though, will be my first day of Organization Theory. I’m rather excited for the course, although not so much the 8-5 work schedule followed by a class 6:30-9:20. Scratch that, 7:15 to 5. Why?

This first full week, we have free opportunities to try out the Fit/Rec center classes. Morning yoga will be a wonderful experience, I’m just certain of it. The earliness of 7:15 will not. On the bright side, if I have to sit all day and don’t have the time to lift, this will make my tight-hipped body feel much better.

Speaking of yoga, just in case you thought I forgot–

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!

On week one of fifty-tw0, I went above and beyond my requirements! To ease myself back into doing yoga solo, I did this restorative sequence from the December 2014 issue of Yoga Journal. I lit some soothing  candles, and improvised in my room. I don’t have bolsters, just giant euro-sham pillows. I don’t have a block either, but I use my thrifted Poe anthology.

It's seriously the perfect size.

It’s seriously the perfect size.

I followed the instructions and took an hour to do this. The legs up the wall pose felt insanely good on my hips, which have been more tight than usual because of my 40+ hour work week.

The next day, I suggested to my roomie J that we do one of her Denise Austin videos. She suggested the “Fat Blasting Yoga.” Denise Austin is pretty early 2000s hokey and tries to turn yoga into aerobics , BUT she did a Sun Salutation vinyasa flow sequence throughout, and reminded everyone the importance of alignment constantly. I’d say a good 20 minutes were mostly performing flow sequences with modifications. I felt yoga-worked afterwards, if that makes sense. But, I am aware of the lack of training that she has, so if I need to use a yoga video to fulfill my yoga week requirements, I’ll stick to Rodney Yee tapes.

Overall, I am pleased with my performance. While I don’t have roll-over credit for this yoga scheme I’m doing, the fact I’ve done two more 30 minute chunks of yoga during week one is great!

Three more tidbits relating to this week. I have been in correspondence with Proud2Bme, an initiative of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which focuses on “building a nation where confidence rules”. It’s the place where I discovered Kate and her wonderful blog PB is Better than ED (a must-read for anyone alive on the planet). Kate, when I reached out to her, suggested I write for them as she has done in the past. Long story short, I have been accepted as an author for P2Bm! My first article is due January 30.

Basically, I am going to tell the story that I’ve been telling here for years–learning how to love my body through weightlifting. Telling this story on a public forum that will have my name attached is scary. It is scary, also, considering the fact that many of my friends and family will learn of my struggle. I know it has a happy ending because, hell, I’m living it. But the intimidation factor is huge.

Another tidbit is related to policy making in OK! I learned recently that a state legislator who I’ve known for a long time is coauthoring a bill about texting and driving. This is the “in” I’ve been wanting to have. He requested to read my policy analysis that I wrote on this topic for my first policy class this past fall. I hope it’s thorough enough for his needs. He’ll at least read the most important article, from which a lot of my content derives. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

Lastly, as I was cleaning my room today, I watched the Director’s cut of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed (1990) for GTGC. The beginning for me was challenging to get into (depictions of mental illness in media trigger some of my own anxieties), I enjoyed most of the film. The effects were delightfully gross out, not unlike John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). It didn’t drag like other 120 minuters I’ve seen. Craig Sheffer was very hot in this movie, and Cronenberg played creepy as if he didn’t know how to exist any other way.

It is LITERALLY as crazy as the poster looks.

Today, in my analysis, I’m going to justify why this film counts as a magical realism text. This is more of a formalist reading for me, but I feel like it deserves it. My other cohosts are going to talk about “Othering” and the AIDS epidemic of the 20th century. This episode should drop within the next week.

If you want to go waste an hour and a half, you can watch The Last Stand (with Arnie, love of my life) and listen to last week’s episode. Episode is definitely worth it though, so check them out.

Now I’m curious, how was your first week of 2015?

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To Do

I would have been lying to you if I said that I was looking forward to work this week. I have to make up hours from the Christmas break, which I will be working after my usual hours for awhile.

But that’s okay. I’m the happiest I’ve been with my job, which I didn’t expect at all. Primarily, I’m returning to an old to-do list technique which I find helpful.

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A bad example of a good technique. This mostly has DOTA references on it.

I used to have notebooks full of pages and pages of sheets just like this one.

This technique is derived from a productivity how-to from the internet. To set it up, you have four columns, with the column headers “Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Break”. On the sides, you have today’s date, tomorrow’s date, and the day after tomorrow’s date. I charted these tasks for the day of, and two days in advance.

In terms of task priority, a primary task is the most important task to do, secondary the next two important tasks, tertiary the next three important tasks. Break is just stuff to do that isn’t important, but should be done sometime, perhaps as a break between these other tasks.

My favorite part about this technique is autofilling the next two days. When you complete today’s primary task, secondary task one moves to primary. This happens for all of the tasks in the columns. If you make it through your entire day, the next day replaces the one you’re on.

Yeah, it’s a to-do list on steroids. One that never finishes (unless you stop charting) which is probably why I stopped doing it.

I remember in undergrad thinking, “wow, this list sure gives me a lot of anxiety!” That doesn’t discount it’s effectiveness though. When I was in the midst of having panic attacks in my car at the thought of studying for World Lit II, I don’t think I was in a place to handle this technique.

A couple years later, I think I can handle this much better. Putting boundaries on the list it helps a lot. You could do this by only charting today’s activities, or not being focused on “go go go” every second. But in those stressful periods of forced “go go go”, nothing can beat this technique.

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Hello New Friends, New Lifelines (Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, Part Three)

May trigger–be careful, friends. 

I must say, I was surprised to see so many new people interact with my blog after that last post! I am truly honored you want to read this outlet from me. Welcome, then, to the new faces and welcome back to those who were already following.

…I hope this entry doesn’t scare you off.

I need to talk about my eating disorder recovery. It’s a heavy topic, but I need to address it since half of my blog’s title is inspired by my recovery story. I’m putting the rest of this under a cut because I don’t want anyone to read this who may be hurt by it.

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Unexpected Ramblings on Christmas

I didn’t check my voicemail and now I’m stuck in the Edmond Starbucks until 10:15 waiting on a dermatologist appointment. Why?

We were supposed to have one crazy ice storm–the kind you go clean Wal-Mart out of bread, milk and eggs for–and it didn’t even happen. They still changed my appointment anyway, and I literally missed that memo.

I haven’t had the opportunity to do my yoga and report yet. I am giving myself some grace here since its not the first full week of January and I have been lifting every day of the year so far (what can I say, I really missed it). I still wanted to blog about something while I was waiting, this rainy Saturday morning.

Five of my Favorite Moments this Christmas

This Christmas, like all My Christmases, I visited family. But not all of them take place at the beach…

Fun fact, the water is still cold. There's even winter in Florida, folks.

Fun fact, the water is still cold. There’s even winter in Florida, folks.

My Grandma moved to Florida in the past year, so that was a fun Boxing Day experience to see such white sand!

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I had the best Thai food ever in Mississippi of all places. The restaurant and presentation were wonderful. Everything was served on this beautiful China set!

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On the other side of the family, mom and I played Munchkin. She loves buying board games for my two younger cousins.

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I also made breakfast for everyone. Despite messing up the pancake mix, they still turned out wonderfully.

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Dad and I went to a huge Asian supermarket. The food presentation is fantastic in these places.

Finally, no Christmas is complete without discussing gifting! I received everything I asked for (new loaf pan, two textbooks, and a water flosser) and gave some gifts that the recipients really liked! My friends from my podcast got personalized mugs with our podcast logo on them, with my great chocolate fudge.

My favorite gift I gave was to H. It was a custom ordered mousepad with his favorite DOTA2 character on it. This character has no merch with him on it at all, despite how cool he is. (I’ll write about my favorite videogame, DOTA2, later–maybe when I review the Steam holiday sale).

When I told him that no one else had that mousepad in the entire world, he might have gotten a bit misty. It was a lovely feeling.

While this Christmas wasn’t the smoothest, reflecting on it makes me thankful now. I give thanks for my family who loves me, for the times we shared, and for the years to come for me to spend time with them.

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That’s Some GoodTrash… (Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, Part 2)

First of fun things I need to update you about, second general life update.

I have fulfilled a lifelong, bucket list dream. I may not be on NPR, but I have achieved the next best thing. I am a regular host and contributor to the GoodTrash Genre Cast. What is GTGC? It’s a weekly film analysis podcast that has dabblings of pop culture, reviews, and general tom foolery.

This came about by a friend, and host-in-chief, asking me to be on the program for a special Harry Potter episode. Apparently they liked me quite a bit, because starting with episode 80, they invited me back as a permanent host! I am thankful they did, because even though I’ve only been doing this since July 2014, I can’t imagine my life without these friends of mine.

I’d love for you to check out our work. I’d encourage you to start from the beginning, and you’ll hear me eventually. If you notice, my sidebar has an RSS feed of our most recent episodes. If you want to connect using other social media means, look at our Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. I’m sure I’ll expand some of my more inspired analysis on this blog!

Short entry, but I need to watch this week’s film “The Last Stand,” the most recent Schwarzenegger film, so we can record tonight. This month, we’re attempting to watch films no one on our podcast has seen to analyse. I love Arnie so much (“Total Recall” was my favorite movie I had to watch from 2014 for the podcast), so I am glad to get another dose. He’s such a guilty pleasure.

Also, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2015 is going to be my year.

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