The Birth of Athena

lift the weight. fight the power. eat the candy.

A Month of Experiments

As I said in my previous post, I am taking a break from powerlifting. I believe that this break is a good thing for my mental well-being and a good thing for my body. Additionally, taking a break allows me the time and opportunity to try new things. Generally, while training, I avoid making too many lifestyle changes as I don’t want to mess with my progress. I believe that my hiatus from the gym serves as a perfect time for me to experiment with my body. Over the course of the next month, I will be trying a new exercise program, a new mobility program, and a new diet.

Experiment #1: In Which Miss Deejers Attempts to ZWOW

I am sure the many of you have heard of Zuzana, the internet fitness guru (previously of and now of Zuzka Light). For a long time, I have been interested in trying her workouts, but have never done so for a few reasons: 1. I hate sweating. 2. I hate breathing hard. 3. I used to not have enough space in my living quarters. However, now, I live in a much larger place with enough room to exercise inside where my computer is and for the other two reasons…well, they obviously aren’t legitimate reasons. I just used to find ways to exercise, while avoiding doing those two things.

For this experiment, I have chosen 20 of Zuzka’s workouts to do. I chose these workouts because I already owned the equipment they required (mat and kettlebell or nothing at all).. I have also given myself a deadline – that way, I cannot spread this “experiment” into eternity. I will complete all 20 workouts in 30 days. Realistically, this shouldn’t be too hard. Most of Zuzana’s workouts are under 20 minutes. I should be able to do any of them after work, no problem.

Just in case you want to follow along (or try the workouts out and challenge me to a certain number of reps or time), these are the workouts I have chosen: 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 33, and 37. I decided to start from the beginning because it appears that Zuzana’s workouts increase in difficulty as she goes along. I watched her most recent one and I am 100% certain that I cannot actually do it.

I plan to write about my experiences with Zuzana as I go. Hopefully, I won’t fail (or injure myself out of stupidity) because I plan on sharing every detail with you all.

Experiment #2: In which Miss Deejers Attempts to Become A Supple Kitten

Inspired by Dicy Ann and established by Mike, I have joined the Supple Kitten Club (play on the book title, Supple Leopard). Dicy inspired a large portion of the tumblr community to improve their hip mobility.

In June, Dicy Ann gave herself a goal to work toward doing the splits. She checked in at the beginning, the halfway mark, and then in July to update us on her progress. And she made quite a bit of progress. Inspired by Dicy Ann’s progress, Mike decided to start a challenge (and I joined this challenge) for us to take a month to increase our hip mobility. Every day, I will stretch my hips with the end goal of being able to do the splits.

Now, I completely do not think that I will be able to do the splits in 30 days. My hips (and adductors) are embarrassingly inflexible. When I attempt to do the splits, I am approximately two feet from the ground. I can only get better, yeah? I plan on doing periodic updates on my flexibility. You should stay tuned, because, at the very least, you will see ridiculous videos of me, writhing in pain.

Experiment #3: In Which Miss Deejers Attempts to Eat Fiber

As many of you know (I think the large link at the top is a dead giveaway), I was diagnosed with gastroparesis over 4 years ago. For most of the past four years, I have stuck to a very low-fiber diet (usually, I average less than 10 grams of fiber per day). Well, in the past few months, most of my symptoms have dissipated and I have been slowly testing the waters. I have been eating a few veggies here are there. I have been eating a few whole grains. And for the most part, I have not had any issues. I don’t get unreasonably full, unreasonably quickly. My heartburn has been at a minimum. I actually feel hungry (generally, my body switches between always feeling full to feeling neither full nor hungry), and am usually quite ravenous, most of the time.

This experiment is to test my limits. Now, I am not going to suddenly eat 45 grams of fiber a day, but I am going to try to eat something with a moderate amount of fiber in eat meal. For example, oatmeal for breakfast, a few pieces of fruit and/or veggies at lunch, and then some more veggies at dinner. This experiment will start on the 11 of July, as my planned grocery shopping falls on the 10th. If I start to feel unwell again, I will go back to my regular, boring eating habits. Hopefully, by the end of this test, I will see if I need to conduct an even more in-depth analysis (how much fiber is my upper limit, if I still have one?).

What You Can Expect from Me

I plan on regularly updating you on my ZWOW progress, my mobility progress, and my diet progress. Hopefully, in 30 days (ending on August 7th), I will be able to report to you that I have increased my cardiovascular endurance, I can (almost) do the splits, and that I can once again eat all of the veggies. If you have any particular questions about what I am doing or any suggestions for awesome recipes (it has seriously been a crazy long time since I have cooked vegetables that were not potatoes or onions), please comment below or drop me a line at

Wish me luck!

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