Letter to a CHAARG skeptic

Hi everyone + Happy August 1st! Today is the best day ever because CHAARG memberships are officially open!! I stayed up until 11 last night [I’m usually in bed by 9 since I wake up early] to get mine + something I’ve noticed is that some people are hesitant to buy a CHAARG membership // think CHAARG isn’t for them. So, from one ex-CHAARG skeptic to a current, here’s why you should join CHAARG [or at least give it a shot].


Flashback to last August when I got yet another notification from the Ohio University Class of 2020 facebook group from an organization trying to get more people to join. However, this org was different… it was CHAARG. CHAARG is a health + fitness organization that aims to liberate girls from the elliptical + show them that fitness can ++ should be fun by creating opportunities to help them ‘find their fit.’

I like working out, I thought, so I clicked on CHAARG’s website to dive deeper. Reading about Elisabeth [CHAARG’s founder] to Sarah Clem [the director of expansion], + the rest of CHAARG’s story I was sold. A group of like-minded women being fit, hanging out, + enjoying the college experience together is what everyone wants… right?

Well, I somehow ended up scrolling through the OU CHAARG hashtag on Instagram + immediately began feeling anxious. The girls in this hashtag did CrossFit, lifted in the boy’s section of the gym, had run marathons, + more + what had I done?? I did the stair stepper [when the elliptical got boring] + the gym machines with at home workout videos when I was too anxious to actually go to the gym.

What if I didn’t fit in with these girls? What if they hated me? What if I wasn’t ‘fit’ enough? About 100 more what if statements flooded my mind until I was so overwhelmed that I closed my computer. Maybe CHAARG wasn’t for me? I’d think it over, of course, + put it on my to-do list before I left for school “Buy CHAARG membership ?”

After going back to that same hashtag probably a dozen times, I caved about a week after school started + bought my first ever CHAARG membership. Once I received the Welcome Packet on the 1st of September my nerves really started to set in. Those what ifs started to hit me like a train again but I couldn’t back out. I paid $45 so I was going to be a member.

That next week was sample small groups [a small group meets once a week for the whole semester with the same group of people on the same day + time to workout, grab coffee, etc.] + I was terrified to go to one. So, naturally, I went to the last possible small group that I was free for. Friday morning at 8:15 am. The night before I texted that small group leader Rachel to let her know I’d be attending + we designated a spot in the gym to meet.

That next morning, bright + early I walked to the gym, probably shaking so hard people could’ve asked if I was cold in the late summer heat.

However, the second I stepped into the gym + saw Rachel [who was probs wearing avocado patterned leggings] I knew I was going to be okay. Rachel [+ everyone else in CHAARG] is so kind, caring, + so positive it’s hard to not love her. We did an arm workout

Rachel + I at formal this past semester

+ ran on the treadmill for a while as we talked about anything from school, CHAARG questions, family life, etc. until it was 915 + she had to get to class.

I went back to my room, showered, + forced myself to go to a ‘meet the exec’ event at Front Room Cafe an hour or so later to meet Leah + Megan, the then event coordinators. Once again, I was still nervous, much less nervous after I’d met Rachel, but nervous nonetheless. I walked into frontroom, + immediately noticed Leah from the OUCHAARG hashtag + walked over to her + the others at the table. Leah, Megan + I talked about the sameish things I talked about with Rachel: school, CHAARG, home, San Diego, etc. I told Leah that I had just come from Rachel’s sample small group + she said that Rachel had put in their groupme that she met the sweetest girl at her sample SG that morning [ME] + I almost fell on the floor from flattery if I’m being honest.

At this point, I was in CHAARG. That next Tuesday was the CHAARG Welcome Party [which I get to plan this year.. CRAZY] + guess what ?!? I was nervous as shit AGAIN! I walked into whatever building, into whatever room + sat down next to an actual human. I didn’t sit far in a corner + I didn’t make sure to leave TONS of space in between me + another person, but I sat next to a person.

My first CHAARG event + photo

That person happened to be Sydney, my now CHAARG bestie. Sydney + I also made small talk as usual and took the picture you see to your left. Ever since that night, Sydney + I have sat next to each other at every CHAARG event I’m forever grateful I stepped out of my comfort zone because I met her!

Now, as I share all of this + while it seems that all of my nerves were calmed… they weren’t. I went to every small group that semester except 1 [?] + every social that I didn’t have a class conflict for, yet I didn’t go to a single studio spotlight [we contact studios in our area to come + teach class for our members to help in finding their fit]. I was terrified I wasn’t fit enough to do System of Strength + Pound. That I still wouldn’t fit in + so… I never went. I made up the excuse that I had a class conflict or I would get my Eventbrite ticket + cancel it last minute [I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to do that first semester… whoops].

My first semester, I applied to be CHAARG’s Treasurer [+ didn’t get it]. Naturally, I was pretty disheartened by it + I actually thought about not returning to CHAARG spring semester. I was angry that I hadn’t gotten the position + that I hadn’t gotten that life-changing or eye-opening CHAARG experience others had had… was CHAARG really not for me?

However, I knew I needed to try again. Just because CHAARG didn’t work out in my favor first semester didn’t mean I wasn’t going to give it another go. I bought my spring membership on Black Friday + made a promise to myself that I would go to EVERY SINGLE CHAARG event that I could because I was sad + upset that CHAARG wasn’t changing my life the way it changed everyone else’s + that’s just what I did.

Spring semester I realized one very crucial CHAARG fact that no one tells you: CHAARG can’t change your life if you don’t let it. I had to put in the effort with CHAARG in order to receive that life-changing experience in return

My first semester of OU sucked [I actually contemplated transferring again]. I only talked to my roommate, CHAARG girls but strictly at CHAARG events, + some work people. I didn’t eat. I only worked out during small group. I self-harmed time + time again for the first time in ages + I was all around not happy. It wasn’t OU’s fault but more so mine.

Syd + I post pound!

I was unhappy before OU so it’s no surprise I was still unhappy in Athens. I wanted CHAARG to change my life so dearly because I hated it but I wasn’t willing to put in the effort.

CHAARG changed my life 2nd semester because I made it do so. I went to every studio spotlight + found a love for Pound, Yoga + Zumba!! I went to every small group + social ++ I met so many kind + passionate people ++ I used CHAARG to my advantage so it did change my life.

I eat now. I workout now [for fun + not for a punishment]. I can walk in public without music or talking to someone on the phone. I can talk in front of people. But most importantly, I’m happy now.

are any of our eyes open? the world may never know

CHAARG isn’t this scary thing that only people who do CrossFit or participate in bodybuilding comps can be in. CHAARG is a place for anyone + everyone who have a passion for mental, phyiscal + emotional fitness whether you’ve just started this journey today or 15 years ago.

Remember this: CHAARG can change your life, but only if you let it.

❤ an ex CHAARG skeptic.

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Review: The Happiness Project

Hi everyone and Happy Tuesday! As I mentioned in one of my last posts, I recently finished Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, and I decided to share my review with you all!

This book shows Rubin’s journey through her 12 month-long Happiness project. After realizing that she isn’t as happy as she wanted to be, she set intentions, created secrets of adulthood, paradoxes of happiness, and set off on a journey of being happier. She deals with family frustrations, work frustrations, and more but she always remembers her goals and tries her hardest to not be set off her path and be the happiest she can be.

First off, I should say that I loved this book. I found myself, multiple times, thinking “Wow I do that and I want to stop.” or “Wow, I’ve never thought about doing that but I should.” and also “I love doing this so why don’t I do it already?”

There were 2 chapters of the book I didn’t really care for, April “Parenthood” and August “Contemplate the Heavens” were the two. I’m 21 so I don’t plan on having kids anytime soon (if at all) which is why the parenthood chapter I didn’t resonate with. Also, the Heavens chapter I didn’t care for because I’m not religious or care to learn about religion so while I liked reading about the comical life of Saint Therese in the convent, I wasn’t really feeling the rest of the chapter.

However, all 10 of the other chapters I absolutely loved. March, July, September, and October’s chapters about work, money, books, and mindfulness were my absolute favorites in the whole book. I have so many pages folded over in the book of quotes, ideas, and inspiration for my own happiness project (look for a future post about this soon)

My absolute favorite part of this book, however, is the extra material section at the end of the book. Throughout the book, Rubin mentions her secrets of adulthood and paradoxes of happiness and at the end, she adds a list of them all so that the reader doesn’t have to go back and find them one by one. She also adds tips and tricks for life and a little guide on how to start your own Happiness Project which I will definitely be utilizing sometime soon.

All in all, I would highly recommend this book. I now want to read another one of her books, Better Than Before because I’ve heard rave reviews on that one as well. I also highly recommend her podcast “Happier with Gretchen Rubin,” as I am learning a lot from that podcast just as I’d learned from her book.


What book(s) // podcast(s) would you recommend to me?

❤ Alicia ❤

High school ruined me

Hi all and long time no write.

I took a nice weekend trip to Ohio at the start of the month, and that paired with some family issues I’ve been pretty lackluster when it came to writing.

Something I’ve been doing quite a bit more recently is reading. I just finished The Happiness Project last night (more on that to come) and I started wondering why I don’t read more often. I love reading, I love writing, yet I don’t do it nearly as often as I’d like.

When I was part of my high school’s yearbook, I did almost exclusively design. I edited captions and stories, etc. but only because I was an editor and therefore it was my job (despite the thrill I got from turning a paragraph of spelling and grammatical mistakes into a perfect package complete with sparkly bow).

But, you all may be thinking… Alicia… you run a blog, you must like writing. And I do, I adore writing, immensely, it gives me a way to be creative without wanting to rip my hair out over my inability to draw anything better than a stick figure. So, then why did I refuse to write copy for my yearbook unless absolutely pressed to by my writing editor? Well, in my opinion, it’s because I was conditioned to believe I hated it.

School, high school, in particular, forced you to read and write things that you have little to no interest (or at least think you don’t) in and it is downright dreadful. Having to read books that you have no interest in, then having to write a 3-5 page essay in 45 minutes on a book you hated and therefore skimmed is almost worse.

I can remember being in elementary school after visiting the library that week, cozying up in my bed on a Friday night with Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty and staying up until the early hours of the morning to finish it because I WANTED to. No one told me to read the book, no one even recommended the book. I read that book because I wanted to. I read that book so many times and for a while, it was my favorite book… maybe it was because it was one of the only books with large font in my library… I’m a slut for large font. Whether I liked the book or merely the font size, there were many more books after that in which I read and loved doing so, but one day it stopped.

In 4th grade, I won a short story contest (and even got it turned into a claymation movie by my advanced class) with a 2-page short story called “Where’s Coco?” My sweet little white dog (based off of the American Girl Doll mascot Coco might I add) who went missing on Friday the 13th… in October nonetheless. While I can’t remember how it ended, I do remember that the title was written in a yellow polka dot angled Word Art font and that it was riveting to my entire class, which is why it won… obviously.

We were given a prompt to write a mystery story. Nothing more nothing less. I poured my heart and soul into that story because I am such a sucker for mysteries that I got that all done in one day (I do that with essays today but more so due to procrastination rather than passion). If I could muster up the idea of an American Girl Doll dog going missing and also find the dedication AND motivation to finish this story, why did I not write anymore? Why do I struggle to blog, when I adore writing? Why?

The answer to this is that high school ruined me. Plain and simple.

Something I always wanted to do was to be a teacher. I didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher because I hated learning, or at least I thought I hated learning.

Something I love is learning. So, why did I hate learning if I love learning? Pretty contradictory don’t you think? I think something that myself and so many others my age have come to realize is that high school is not about learning anymore, it’s about getting grades satisfactory enough to get accepted into the university of your choice.

I cannot tell you a single thing I learned from my junior year of high school other than the fact that I can read The Awakening in 90 minutes. The 90 minutes before I had to write my final exam on that book I may add. I can’t tell you so many things I ‘learned’ in high school because I did not learn them.

I memorized them hours before I needed to know them, regurgitated them onto a scantron or scratch paper, and then one by one, they were discarded into my brain garbage can (told you I didn’t learn much in high school).

High school was never about learning, yet I didn’t realize that until much later. I thought I hated learning because high school made learning the last thing I wanted to do.

It wasn’t until my year off that I realized that learning was fun. I learned more from the 6 and 8-year-olds I nannied than in my entire AP US history class. I learned more in my time in Peru than I did Honors Physics.

Learning doesn’t always take place in a classroom. But learning should always be fun.

How fortunate are we to learn that the moon’s orbit affects the seas’ tides? How fortunate are we to learn that you really can start a sentence with And or Because?

I wish high school hadn’t ruined me. I wish I knew my passions 4 years ago. I wish I never thought I hated the things that set my soul on fire. But here I am, still undecided on my life choices with the same fire and passion I had for reading, writing, and learning but this time.. I know I have it.

Alicia

June goals

Happy June! In one week from today, I will be on my way to Florida! I’m so excited for June and I hope you all are too : ) I’ve got a lot planned for this month and I can’t wait to get it all done. Here are my goals for June!


  1. Plan for CHAARG- Being the CHAARG Treasurer involves a lot of planning over the summer. I want to set aside a few hours a day [or just one whole day] where I get as much planned for the fall as I can.
  2. Start CHAARG Booty Camp or Insanity // Something I love doing over the summer are workout programs. I have way more time this summer to dedicate to improving myself and I’m going to start one (or both) once I return from Florida!
  3. Eat better // Since being home, I’ve been cooking a lot… but I’ve also been eating a lot. I’m trying to find the right balance for my body and I’m going to give meal planning and prepping a try to see if I can find a good balance for myself.
  4. 1 gallon of water daily // you guys already know.
  5. Figure my whole major thing out // I’ve officially changed my major to International Business [long story] so now I am emailing professors nonstop trying to get into classes as my major isn’t 100% changed yet.
  6. Read // In one my last posts, I shared my summer reading list. In order to get that list finished, I need to start!
  7. Go to bed earlier // This will relate to the next one but whenever I go to bed, I spend at least an hour on my phone and all of a sudden it’s 1 in the morning and my planned 6am wake-up time quickly turns into 10am. I want to shut my phone off by 9pm each night and then read before bed so that I’m ready to sleep and ready for the next day ahead
  8. Less screen time // Since I really don’t have a job this summer, I’ve been spending SO much time watching TV, scrolling through my phone, and being on my computer and I hate it. I want to spend more time outside, with friends, walking my dog, even cleaning my house.

What are your goals for June?

❤ Alicia ❤

Decluttering my life

2018 has taught me a lot so far and one of those things is to only keep things (and people) in your life that bring you joy. Since I’ve been home (and even while still at school) I’ve been trying to remove people and items from my life that no longer give me joy. Whether that be by unfollowing people on Instagram, defriending people on Facebook, or throwing a LOT of things away.

I watched Gabbie Hanna’s video about getting her ‘hoarding room’ organized and a lot of things Gabbie and the professional organizer talked about in the video I really related with, which caused me to really evaluate why I keep certain people and objects in my life.

I’m a total hoarder of so many things. From clothes that I wore on special occasions that don’t fit or I don’t like, to empty boxes, and random bags of electronics and keychains.

Over the past week or so (and I’m still not done) I’ve been going through all of my possessions, discarding old items, boxes, and going through clothes to either donate, throw away, or sell.

As I mentioned before, I not only got rid of items that don’t give me joy but people as well. I went through the people I follow on Instagram and realized that I either don’t talk to a lot of people still, have never talked to them, or I only followed them because they followed me first. Recently, I’ve stopped caring about how many followers, likes, and comments my posts so I decided to go through my followers and only keep following people who give me joy. I unfollowed over 400 people on Instagram, 100 or so people on Twitter, and unfriended 50 or so people on Facebook.

It’s so nice having only people I care about on my social media feeds as it A. makes me spend less time on social media (because there are fewer posts to see) and B. I don’t have to see negative people crowding my feed anymore.

I HIGHLY recommend that everyone does a bit of decluttering in their lives (and often) because it has left me feeling refreshed, less stressed, and I’m learning how to let go of people and items.

❤ Alicia ❤

If we were having coffee

Happy Monday everyone! I haven’t made a nice catch-up post in a while and I figured it was time for one! So, sit back, relax, grab a cup of coffee, tea, or your beverage of choice and let’s chat.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I’m heading to Florida in about 2 weeks. While there, I’ll be visiting Universal Studios in Orlando and my mom’s friend’s parents’ house. Complicated but I’ve known them since I was born and I have yet to visit their house so that will be nice to see them since I haven’t seen them in around a year.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have no job for this summer… which is upsetting because I didn’t have my life together when I should have been applying for internships and the families I babysat for last summer never responded to me so I’m out of luck. I thought about applying to somewhere close to my house but no one wants someone for just the summer so we will see.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have been drinking SO MUCH WATER.  This may seem dumb to tell everyone but it’s such a big deal for me. At school (and literally for the rest of my life) I drank either gallons of water a day or none whatsoever. However, since I’ve been home I’ve been drinking tons of water and there hasn’t been a day that I haven’t had at least half f a gallon of water so I’m very proud of myself.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I’ve been cooking nonstop. Over the weekend I posted about some of my favorite recipes recently. I never cooked before college and I’m learning so much and I feel really independent when I cook which makes me feel like I have my life together to some extent.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about the super cute dress I bought last week. My sister and I went shopping for some clothes for our Florida trip and I saw this dress a while back and HAD to have it. I tried it on and even though I can’t wear a bra with it (big boob probs) it’s the cutest thing EVER and I’ll share a photo of me wearing it in Florida.

And if we were having coffee, I’d ask you about your life lately. Tell me something that’s happened in your life recently!

❤ Alicia ❤

What I LIKE, LOVE, + HATE about social media

Hi everyone! It’s been a minute since I’ve written about my (and most people’s) relationship with social media. If you’ve been a follower for a while, you may remember that 2 summers ago, I went on a social media hiatus for the summer to recreate my social media usage habits. It was refreshing to take a break from social media and I would love to do it again.

However, all of my student organizations require social media, whether it be posting, replying, or simply keeping in contact with other students, so I really can’t take a break from it. I have been trying to limit my time on social media and especially minimizing my time on social media at night. It’s hard, especially when we are so dependent on it, but I’m doing my best to unplug as much as I can.

Something I wanted to do is share some things that I like, love, and hate about social media because I want to share AND I want to know your feelings about these things as well (and others I don’t mention as well). So, here are some things I like, love, and hate about social media.


Things I Like:

  • Social Media is great for making connections. Whether it be LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram, making connections is easy. Whether you add someone to your connections, or DM a company or person you want to work with, the sky is the limit for who you can connect with.
  • There is a different social media platform for every person. Sharing photos, witty jokes, DIYs, etc. there are TONS of social media sites to pick from which is great because everyone is different so your social media sites should be too.

Things I Love:

  • Staying in contact with people is so easy. When I’m at school I can keep up with friends back home and when I’m back home, I can keep up with my school friends. It’s also a great way for me to keep up with everyone from San Diego since I haven’t been back to San Diego since I left.
  • MEMES. I am a meme girl like no other and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my memes if it weren’t for social media. I have thousands of pictures on my phone and almost half of them (and almost all of my happiness) are memes and they wouldn’t be possible were it not for social media.

Things I Hate:

  • How likes and followers determine worth. The more likes and followers one has the more idolized they are on social media. People start obsessing on how many likes and comments they have on each post by buying those and followers and it creates this cycle of trying to get a certain number of likes, not reaching those and trying to get more followers and likes and then failing again.
  • People are measured by their looks. Not only are girls criticized for every single they do/say/wear, we are now required to be flawless on social media. Now Instagram celebrities all over are facetuning and photoshopping themselves in photos which are causing their fans to feel far less than adequate because they don’t look like their idols when in reality their idols don’t even look like their idols.

What do you all like, love, and hate about social media?
❤ Alicia ❤