Category Archives: Writing

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:

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Girl’s locker room at the university gym!

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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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Filed under ED Recovery, Health, Journaling, Mental Health, Project Enrichment, Writing

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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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)

image

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

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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Filed under Movies, Project Enrichment, Purchases, School, Writing, Yoga

Pick a Vein, Any Vein

She runs out of the store
weapon of choice in hand.

She was no longer being chased
by the fear of the stress of the night.

Now that she had her heart’s desire
everything was going to be okay.

She is now urgently consuming it
until her brain was bleached of its humanity
as it hurts to think of the alternative.

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1/3

by Klaus Pichler

I talk about food a lot. However, there’s an underbelly, a darkside to what we consume daily that ought to consume our minds and consciences until it is solved. There is an ongoing problem occurring in the United States and throughout the world. The figure 1/3 may seem like a harmless fraction, but consider the implications of this statement.

According to a 2011 United Nations report, the world wastes 1/3 of the food it produces.

1/3, a harmless little fraction now represents a very large number, which in turn represents a very large problem.

Narrowing the problem slightly, a turn to look at the United States produces more staggering statistics. Each year, Americans waste nearly 1/4 to 1/2 to food it produces. Using the conservative figure, this can be in the range of 160 billion pounds of food wasted per year. Food waste is defined broadly by Anthony Gallow in “Consumer Food Waste in the U.S.” as “all food purchased (or produced at home) that is not actually ingested by humans” (13). In comparison to this staggering statistic, a figure cited by the non-profit organization “Food not Bombs” says the total amount to feed the hungry of the United States is that of only 4 billion pounds.

In the fast-paced, fast-food society of the United States of America, the consumer drives the production of a variety of resources. Capitalism, at its core, caters to this highly demanding mode of existence. Webster’s Standard Dictionary defines the noun resource as something “that is available for use”.  Under that definition, what happens when the multitude of resources are not available for use anymore?

Petroleum, natural gas, and water all fall under this concept of a resource that in the future may not be  readily available for use. Unfortunately, a very important commodity not contemplated using this concept is that of food. Food, despite its availability on the shelves of gas stations and in aluminum cans in food pantries, should be treated with the respect that these other difficult-to-renew resources receive even though this is typically not the case.

My proposed best solution to this problem is that of consumer education efforts.

The largest problem with educational programming is accountability—how will businesses and consumers be held responsible for the information they gather? They may be sent to mandatory food waste prevention trainings trainings, but how many will actually do anything with the information? The phrase “You can lead a horse to water…” definitely comes to mind in this instance. However, consumer education and prevention efforts will yield positive results across the board.

Eventual savings (somewhere to the tune of $150-160 billion dollars) will outweigh immediate costs of starting the program making efficiency high. It is highly feasible that this could be incorporated into public education and mandatory food-service trainings. The best part of educational programming is that teaching the consumer and the business the implications of food waste will hopefully encourage them to waste less on the most part thus making effectiveness high.

So what now?

Continue to talk about it. Tell everyone you know. Share the number 1/3. See what happens. People are already coming up with creative and innovative ways of conveying this information. Photographer Klaus Pichler’s new exhibit, entitled One Third displays food destined for disposal in various stages of decay, along with a tagline about where the food is from, energy needed to produce it, and the ingredients. This display, besides turning stomachs, is turning gears in the mind of its audience members. Pichler is looking for wide distribution to non-profits around the world in order to raise continuous awareness to the problem.

The goal in writing this blog entry is to raise awareness to motivate audience members to waste less food. The effort to raise mindfulness through the presentation of this may only get one person to consider not trashing their leftovers they bring home from a big meal, or consider eating the food they already possess instead of getting pizza delivered.

That’s okay though.

However, if that one person continues to make life choices that support the concept of decreasing food waste, that will be enough to consider my work and research on this issue a success.

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Tales from a Dead Planet: 2

via Pinterest

Anna’s growing up. Instead of squishing the spider, or yelling at me to kill it for her, she scoops him up in her hand and takes him outside.

She brushes off her hands whenever she comes back in and says “I hadn’t seen anything alive but you in a long time.” She looks down at her arm and picks at a scab.

It was only a matter of time.

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Tales from a Dead Planet: 1

by Kubeen on DeviantArt

by Kubeen on DeviantArt

Her trembling hands gave her away. As she ties my arm with the tourniquet, I saw her eyes were sufficiently damp, assumedly regarding my future (or lack thereof). My hand reaches out to her out of instinct, but out of instinct, she takes a step back. The thin second skin of her blue latex gloves allowed her some comfort to touch my flesh, but, just like the AIDS scare you read about in all those history books, we weren’t sure how people got infected.

Some people refer to potential as a hope for future, some hope for a guidance counselor berating a heavily-eyelinered teen about wasting it. The Potential was not something you get yelled at for not having.

She steps forward again and takes her capped syringe from her pocket. A quick smile and soggy glance into her eyes told me that she was about to stick the needle in. I look away as I hear the small pop of the cap.

A painful pinching sensation runs up and down my right arm. It feels like a short eternity before the pain stops.

“Done,” she says in a voice that sounds like she has a bad head cold. “It’ll take four hours to react to the air, but that’s just a small price to pay for knowing for sure.”

The truly convenient thing about The Potential–oxidizes and turns a different color. All the old diseases required you to spin the blood in a centrifuge and add fancy chemicals, maybe take a DNA sample. I wish, though, there was something we could do for four hours as we watch, almost as if its a timelapse movie, for it to turn mold colored.

“And now, we wait.” She doesn’t meet my eyes as I can tell she already expects the worst.

“And now…we wait,” I repeat.

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Separated

Coffee

via Ben Cumming

 Richard had forgotten why as he packed the last vestiges of his books and papers into the trunk of the car. He continued to forget why as he slept in Angela’s embrace, the closest thing to a free man he had ever been. He had tasted the bold taste of the new and fresh, like the cup of coffee he poured himself as he signed the final paper. He tried not to be reminded of Joann as Angela rummaged around in the refrigerator for the orange juice.

The coffee was hot and bitter.

A/N: This is a continuance of the short story “Separating” by John Updike.

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Filed under American Literature, English, Fiction, Writing

Condensation

Via Pinterest

you make me feel

like the dew

on a window

that you trace away

to see the morning sun

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