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must reads #2: calories & cat games

Hey everyone! I feel like I wrote my July must reads not that long ago…but that’s probably because I did them in the middle of the month instead of at the start (#oops). Such is the life of a blogger / figuring out a new series. Guess there’s a quicker turn around this time.

Either way, there’s been plenty of new articles these past few weeks! August is off to a great, thunderstorm-y start in my city, so I’m more than happy to snuggle up inside and get some reading done. If you’re also looking for a few good articles to dig in to, here’s this month’s must reads!

1. Forget Calories. Exercise For Awe. by Julia Baird

“We are wrong to think of exercise only as something to build muscle and ease anxiety. If we can, we should force ourselves out of gyms and off machines into the natural world, knowing, or hoping, that we may stumble upon awe.”

As my RL friends can attest to, I’ve been on a bit of a body acceptance / health feminism bend lately. I’ve already learned so much from some amazing writers (who I might do a blog post on sometime) and honesty there’s nothing better than feeling your mind growing while trying to better yourself.

For the record: body acceptance goes beyond “body positivity” and the kind of cheesy marketing that often goes with it (like this cringy ad). Instead, it’s about analyzing society’s beauty standards, seeing how diet culture is dangerously flawed, and realizing that body shape does not equal “health.” Skinny people can be unhealthy. Larger people can be perfectly fit. Our very standards of ~health~ are extremely biased. Etc, etc, etc.

ANYWAY. What I liked most about Baird’s piece was the focus on the emotional side of exercise. I totally get if swimming and running aren’t your thing, but I know my favorite parts of track ~back in the day~ were those moments when you felt your body being powerful, when you felt like you could do anything. It’s also so, so, so important not to get caught up in the calorie counting side of things. Been there, done that, and it can turn into a vicious cycle if you’re not careful. Exercise can be so much more than hitting your FitBit goals. Instead, just focus on giving your body good nutrients and finding a kind of movement that makes your heart happy.

2. Finding Your Voice On and Offline by The Sunday Mode

“At first when I started blogging I felt pretty intimidated and even if I had a bunch of strong opinions, I wouldn’t say them. Now after blogging for a while I’ve finally started to find my voice, both on and offline and here’s how…”

As a new blogger, I’ve been popping around other blogs for inspiration. One of the main things I first struggled with was figuring out what I wanted to write about… Which sounds really stupid at first — why make a blog if you don’t know what to write?

For me, I had plenty of topics I loved. But not all of them were the safe / mainstream options. Sure, I love lifestyle posts about holiday candles as much as next basic blonde. But would anyone really want to read me rambling about video game theory? Or my awkward feminist rants? (Although the first article in this post kinda gives the answer away, haha…)

After reading Julia’s post, I was inspired to not be afraid. Sure, maybe debating diversity in gaming isn’t exactly what most lifestyle blogs talk about, but this is my space in the end. Each of us are complex people with tons of opinions on all sorts of topics. We shouldn’t limit ourselves just to what’s “trendy,” and instead make sure we speak up for what we believe in.

3. The Best (And Most Adorable) Cat Games by GameInformer

“Depending on your group, it can be wise to have a few options in your back pocket for game themes that virtually anyone can enjoy – like cats!”

Hahaha… Ok. If you all wanna make fun of me for this last one, go ahead, because honestly I just had to share it since it made me laugh.

The title pretty much explains it, but GameInformer put together a bunch of random and weirdly cute cat-related tabletop games. I’m not really much of a tabletop gamer, but I had to click on it since, well…cats. Surprise surprise, nearly every single one is a stupid cat pun that I totally loved anyway. Maybe you’re into a bit of mystery and could check out Purrlock Holmes: Furriarty’s Trail? Or maybe you need to entertain the drunk college boys in your friend group and Exploding Kittens will be more up their alley? Oh, decisions, decisions…

Well, that’s the round up for August! Hopefully something in here catches your eye or made you smile. Each of these is a little all over the place, topic wise, but that’s what I kind of like about these lists! See you next month for more.

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  • The Sunday Mode

    Yay I’m so happy you liked my post and thank you for including me in this! I’m going to check out Julia Baird’s piece as well because it sounds like something I would love and really need to hear at the moment!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    • Sinéad Schouten

      Awww, no problem! I loved your article so the least I could do was give a shout out. (: And I hope you enjoyed Julia Baird’s piece too! Staying healthy is so much easier when we remember to focus on our happiness first.