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Power-loving

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.

“BE A MAN!”

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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Ten Steps that Got Me to Now (or Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, Part One)

Since major elements of my life have changed from last I blogged, I feel the need to mention things about my current school, career, and life trajectory.

1. In spring 2012, I took a class that gave my life a 180– Leadership and Ethics. Devoid of any buzzwords and business jargon like the typical Leadership minor fare, this was my first class with Dr. K. He is a public administration professor. I loved this class. We did policy analysis and I didn’t even know it. Brilliant.

2. I then took a public administration  statistics course in fall of 2012 as an elective with Dr. K. I felt like it offered me real world applicability that my English program’s experience lacked (after deciding being an English professor and/or textbook editor was not for me.) I was solving problems with math, language, and logic! Can’t beat that.

Side note, I am almost certain if Technical Writing had been offered as a major at the time, I would have instantly switched. But alas…

4. In spring of 2013, the home stretch of my English degree, I got a part time job at the Journal Record Legislative Report. This allowed me to quit my job at Target (sorry that you didn’t get many stories of my days at the deli). At this job, I reported on goings on at the State capitol. My beat was covering bill filing and committee meetings, like the rest of the army of warm bodies interns they hired.

5. At one of the meetings, I covered a committee meeting for an entity going through sunset legislation review. Sunset is a mechanism built into many bills–basically it’s a built in expiration date unless the two chambers and the governor approve it for another length of time. This was a policy think tank for early childhood education advocacy.

6. Despite “graduating” in May 2013, I had two more courses to take in the summer. I quit JRLR and got a job at SSO, the policy think tank. I also got it counted for internship credit.

7. At the end of the internship, I applied for an open part time position at SSO as the Communications Coordinator. One of my work colleagues, to whom I will be forever grateful, introduced me to the department chairs at OU’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program since policy and politics started stoking my fire.

8. What gave me the final push on applying to this MPA program was attending the Summer Policy Institute (SPI) at OK Policy. These tireless group of people are probably one of the few reason this state has not moved backward (at least more quickly than it has under Fallin’s leadership, but I digress). I met so many wonderful MPA students and reconnected with a high school friend.

9. I procrastinated so hard on my application, but I got it in in November 2013 to start in January 2014. I took one class only because the commute and the 100 percent out-of-pocket expense. My first class was Bureaucracy and Politics. Despite it being a three hour class in the evening with a long-ass commute back home, I loved it. I took a summer online course about grants where we wrote a grant application for a real non l-profit. I almost have a full year of grad school under my belt as of this coming spring.

10. My Bureaucracy and Politics professor messaged me out of the blue about a new job opportunity as a grad assistant (with tuition waiver!!!) with a women’s leadership program. I had taken a program with them before after I heard about it from my SPI cohort. I applied for the job and got it! Now I work for the Women’s Leadership Initiative.

You know the crazy thing? If any of those steps were changed, I would not be doing anything close to what I’m doing now. I have no idea what I would be doing, at all. 

Thank you Dr. K, Kristen, Debra, Megan, and Dr. F for helping me set my path. I’m truly blessed for having met you.

Next entry, we are going to get to the fun stuff. The fun, pop culture, video gaming, podcasting, and weight lifting stuff. Stick around!

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It’s been a few years…

I didn’t mean to take a hiatus. I’m not sure what happened between that last post and this one to make it an accidental adios.

Maybe it was starting a lifting blog? I don’t know why I felt the need to create an additional one. Maybe I thought this outlet was too saturated with eating disorder recovery and anxiety ruminations. I’m not sure.

But I am back. And boy, things have changed in ways that I wouldn’t anticipate in 2012.

Stay tuned.

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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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Tested

I made these cookies at my friend’s house on Friday. I must say, impatience lead them to be slightly lackluster (also a lack of all the correct ingredients). Instead of maple syrup or maple sugar, we had white sugar and agave nectar. Instead of chocolate chip pieces, we had Cadbury Mini-Eggs (discounted Easter leftovers).
We still made them into the most fattie ice-cream sundaes ever (birthday cake flavored ice cream from Target, cookies crumbled on top, with Reese’s flavored magic shell) and probably was the best dessert I’ve ever had.

I still can’t believe it used an entire jar of almond butter though. Oh the humanity.

{love+cupcakes} Blog

Peanut butter cookies have always been a favorite of mine, something about them will always remind me of my childhood as they’re one of the first treats I can remember making with my mom as a young girl. This cookie uses almond butter as its base, but has the same nutty, chewy, not too sweet characteristics of my old favorite and best of all, it’s gluten-free. Dark chocolate chips give it a decadent and sophisticated flavor that begs to be paired with tea or coffee (or my favorite, a glass of ice-cold milk). Recipe after the jump. xoxo!

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Fit Dessert

I’ve got class in a few minutes, but I had to take time to share with you possibly the greatest (if not deadliest) fitness recipe ever.

Whey cake.

That’s right: cake made from whey protein powder. It gets better because it only requires one ingredient (an egg white), a microwave, and a glass.

If you have the time, do this. Do this right now. I made it with H and we first thought we were scammed because it kept on not turning out–because we were overcomplicating it.

Whey Cake

 

Ingredients

 

  • Scoop of whey protein powder
  • An egg white

Directions

 

  1. Add a scoop of whey into a tall microwavable glass.
  2. Put an eggwhite in the glass.
  3. Stir till well combined
  4. Microwave for one minute

 

We tried ours with our 10 lbs of protein powder. The stuff tastes amazing anyway, but eating it like this made it feel like a chocolate brownie.

Now its more like a brownie

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