June 16, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 2.07.57 PMBeing 5’9″ doesn’t have classically feminine advantages. Finding shorts that cover more than a “working girl” length of leg is difficult and wearing high heels usually means towering over my date. In the world of athletics my giant stature is decidedly more appealing. Over the years my height made me a unanimous recruit among coaches, before even skill or experience could earn me a spot on the team. Still body acceptance remained a struggle. I obsessed about defying gravity and becoming smaller, while my body obeyed the laws of physics and grew taller. I constantly fought reality knowing her win percentage. Knowing I’d lose. It took a decade of defeat before I tapped out and wised up. Ten years before I realized that my real opponent was body dysmorphia; an eating disorder that crept in softly enough to avoid detection.

The good news is I got help, I got healthy and I got my life back. The bad news is that addiction is a beast that can never fully be vanquished. It feeds on human fallibility, so until we die or become robots it lies in wait. Even with the best treatment under my belt, I still carry the voice in my head that tells me I’m too tall, too big, that my clothes don’t fit, that I should be smaller… I just get better at shutting him up. I remind him how high I can jump, how far I can run, how I rock high heels despite his misgivings and he gets quieter.

But words aren’t enough. Action is required too. Movement can silence negativity and create change, no matter how small. Which is why I’ve changed things up a bit on the blog. I’ve dedicated each day to a single action, one verb. Everyday I’m charged with making it happen, trying it out, possibly failing, and then sharing the story. The idea being that everyday I have a reason to be grateful for something my body can do, even if shrinking to 5’1″ isn’t on the list. Today’s verb is leap and in an annoyingly cliche way I’ve taken a leap forward. But I prefer the story about me leaping through a city park on a Tuesday afternoon for no reason at all. Other than it’s fun and I can.

leap2ROMPER: F21 // SHOES: Converse // WATCH: Diesel // SUNGLASSES: H&M

When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.Cynthia Heimel



Begin (Again)

June 15, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.13.08 AMThere’s something truly enviable about the fearlessness we have as kids. Mine resulted from restlessness, a wild imagination and a complete disregard for personal safety. Optimism wasn’t a sporadic visitor back then – it was an exclusive, permanent resident. I want to climb that tree, and so I shall. I want to make a new friend and so I will. Opportunities were not picked apart by rational thought or pessimism. Change was not daunting because there was no apprehension of getting hurt.

As an adult however, change is terrifying. Losing my job in March was one of the scariest experiences of my life. Work gave me purpose, success gave me value. The disappearance of it all at once pulled the rug out from under me with enough force to leave me paralyzed. Paralysis led to depression, which I felt acutely for months. My mind still burst with ambition and ideas but I could not make myself move. Not without self-confidence or bravery. I felt comatose and yet entirely awake.

It took a frank conversation with my five-year old self before I showed signs of animation again. I want to move and so I will. She just laughed when I told her my story, reminding me that no job, no person, no external thing could determine my worth. You used to know that. Did grown-up life suddenly make you forget? She then cheekily pointed to my fearlessness, laying dormant in a corner of my heart. She told me it’s still there if I remember how to use it. I might be out of practice but, I do.

For months stillness and stagnation are all I’ve known. Depression makes movement the enemy. So before she skipped off, I promised my younger self a future full of action and mobility. Everyday is a new verb. In honor of her I got out the sidewalk chalk, drew a starting line in the backyard, and took a metaphoric jump. I want to begin and so I will.

beginDenim Jumpsuit: H&M // Tennies: Converse // Watch: Diesel // Layered Necklace: Rocksbox

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”  George Bernard Shaw



A Nerd Explains West Coast Offense

April 9, 2015

Your favorite sweater-wearing nerd since Carlton Banks is back with another episode of A Nerd Explains. The podcast that demystifies the world of sports using terms ONLY a nerd can understand. This week I explain football’s West Coast Offense using Halo Team Doubles Strategy. Duh… what else? I also demonstrate my ability to create both laser and rocket launcher sound effects. In other words, I demonstrate my very low production budget. Pow pow boom pow! Don’t be scared, that wasn’t a real explosion. Just pure talent.

As if my burgeoning career in Hollywood effects wasn’t exciting enough, there’s more news. I’m now a proud business owner (are there ashamed ones?) and I can’t wait to share the fruits of my hard work/sleepless nights with you. Toss turn toss turn. There I go again… dominating the sound effect game.

Can’t wait to share more of my insanely big dreams with you. My doctor keeps telling me that my ambitions have an unhealthy BMI.

Pew pew pew and lots of laser love,


A Nerd Explains the NFL Draft (Part Three)

April 1, 2015

Thank you friends for bearing with me on my first adventure in podcasting. Someone with my level of OCD should not attempt to produce three new podcasts in three days – a lesson I’ve now learned. For once I’d just like to learn one the easy way. Lob me a softball once in awhile, life.

Listening back and reflecting on my first effort, I instantly picked it apart with a multitude of critiques. I was sitting in my own audience ready to throw tomatoes with a pretty decent arm. I managed to stop myself with a reminder that I’m barely through the opening act. I can’t expect to take a bow before a sold out theater, move to Broadway and become best friends with Neil Patrick Harris. Yet.

Forgiving oneself for imperfection is difficult, even when navigating uncharted territory. My promise to you wonderful people is that I will never stop trying to improve my performance. And watching me forget a line in the second act or nervous dry heave at some point in the third will still be entertaining, right? I give you full permission to laugh and point.

Today I close out my three part series on the NFL Draft. I explain why the NFL deserves 100 House Points for settling on 7 Rounds and just what the NFL Management Council and Gringotts staff have in common. I also outline the three-day event that moves 256 athletes one step closer to bringing home the coveted House Cup (SB Ring).

I’m currently backstage breathing into a paper bag. Btw.




A Nerd Explains the NFL Draft (Part Two)

March 31, 2015

Yesterday we looked through the magical eyes of The Boy That Lived to break down the basic requirements for participating in the NFL Draft, including how to score an NFL Combine invite. I expressed my concerns over the 235% increase in Hogwarts class size, and the challenges NFL hopefuls face essentially sitting for their N.E.W.T. exams before their heads touch the Sorting Hat.

Today I pick up the Sorcerer’s Stone just where left it by addressing basic logistics of the 2015 NFL Draft. Including when, where, and the best means of transportation to get there. You have a choice between Boeing 737 or a Class 4-6-0 Steam Locomotive, Model #GWR 5900 leaving from Platform 9 and 3/4.

I also have to apologize in advance for going off on a Foundation-series related, science fiction side tangent. The topic of fate/destiny came up and I couldn’t help myself. I’m sure Jameis Winston will be overjoyed to hear I name dropped him in my rant about the use of psychohistory in predicting the NFL Draft outcome. Just be glad I didn’t go off for an hour on the dangers of TIME-TURNER possession, and the the threat it poses to magical and non-magical existences alike. That would be a doozy.

Warning: Explicit Content (Intro Only)


Stay tuned for the conclusion of A Nerd Explains™ the NFL Draft tomorrow. In the final episode I tackle the rules, outlines and procedures of the magical three-day event itself.

Stay nerdy,