Collaborations with The College of William & Mary's ROCKET Magazine

Today is a bit of a fun one aka a messy amalgamation of things.

If you’ve been following my blog here through acac, my Instagram, or my Facebook pretty regularly over the past year (or even years) or so, you’ve probably noticed some patterns.

While I was in grad school from August 2016 to May 2018 (at James Madison University for a Masters of Science in Nutrition & Physical Activity), I posted in depth content sporadically, basically whenever I actually had a second to breathe between school work and working with clients or whenever I had something to say that just felt too important to wait until a later date to write out.

Starting sometime towards the end of this past summer, I went through a period of a few months writing about a post a week for my blog as well as some more content heavy posts on Instagram in between. This time period signified my beginning to feel a little recovered –after taking the start of the summer almost completely off from work to rest from what I had just put my body and mind through– from 4 years of undergrad followed immediately after by 2 years of grad school.

Then more recently, I’ve nearly disappeared all over again for the last couple months, with only a post in November about my Self Love and Self Care for the Holidays Facebook group that I ran for one month with fellow trainer and coach Shannon Johnson and then a post in December to introduce my new Live Your BeYOUtiful health coaching small group with Pam Finney at acac Albemarle Square.

This lack of posting is largely because of the time and effort that I wanted to put into each of these larger collaborative projects and partially because I am a BIG believer in balance.

Warning: BIG tangent here –continue reading after the next dashed line if you would like to skip this detour into my personality– I’m a do-er, and I come from a family of do-ers, so it can be hard for me to sit still and take the time I need for self care when there is so much to be DONE in the world. For those of you who know anything about astrology or who give it the time of day, my mom is a Capricorn; my dad is a Virgo, and I am a Libra, so I come from a household of people who not only refuse to sit idle while life passes them by, but when they do something, they do it RIGHT; they plan it out meticulously to make sure that it gets done nearly perfectly. BUT, being a Libra, I really believe that my mission in life is to find balance between work and play for myself and to help others achieve that balance for themselves as well. You can see this struggle to find balance in my refusal to take a gap year or two to work between college and grad school, despite that being my original plan, and then giving in to taking a couple recovery months immediately after graduation. I likely held out longer than I should have before giving myself some much needed rest, but I did eventually give myself that break, and when I took it, I spent most of my time sleeping in, by the pool in my neighborhood, going on long walks, or traveling. Ideally someday I will learn to do things more moderately (aka taking small breaks along the way instead of going from 100 mph to 0 mph immediately after graduating) and to not be so hard on myself by expecting my recovery to be quick and efficient when I do finally take time to rest, but I made it through school, got good grades, and though I wouldn’t consider myself completely recovered from how hard I pushed myself in school, I certainly am back to having plenty of motivation to keep me going.

But, another reason I took this break from posting frequently on this blog and sometimes on Instagram during the last couple months is because I’ve also been working alongside Hannah Lowe from The College of William & Mary’s ROCKET Magazine on both a shorter article in their Fall/Winter 2018 issue and a longer article on their website blog, both featuring excepts from Hannah’s interview with me on body positivity and gentle nutrition.

During my time from August 2012 to May 2016 at The College of William & Mary (where I earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Kinesiology & Health Sciences and Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies), the one extracurricular activity that I stuck with all 4 years was being a member (and then editor) of the beauty (think hair and makeup etc. for models at photoshoots) team for W&M’s ROCKET Magazine, the only fashion and arts magazine of its kind at the college run completely by students. Up until I became a personal trainer between my junior and senior year at the college, this was, BY FAR the most rewarding thing I did outside of classes and time with friends at W&M. It’s a creative outlet I wish I still had access to, making something beautiful completely from scratch with likeminded individuals, everyone with their own creative vision and unique perspective on how to shape the end product. I have to say that while there were times when it seemed like a complete mess: a bunch of teenagers and 20-somethings in a parking garage, freezing our butts off, dressed in wacky outfits, with lots of expensive camera equipment, pouring our own money into this strange side project, and realizing that we didn’t have the right supplies last minute, most times I was completely blown away by and in awe of what we were able to create when we put our minds and resources together. There wasn’t a single time where I didn’t feel that it was my own beloved child we were launching out into the world when we released our new issue at the end of each semester. So, needless to say, I was so excited and jumped at the opportunity when Hannah (a current member of the ROCKET staff) asked if she could interview me for her piece, as I have continued to be completely impressed by what the current staff have done to continue growing ROCKET since I graduated.

You can read the print article here, starting on page 56,

the website blog article here

and I will also be posting the full interview transcript on this blog in the next couple of weeks because I simply love the questions Hannah chose to ask me and think it could be a valuable read for you all.

In addition, concerning the topics I have touched on in this lengthy post, I have plans to write a post in the near future about how we as a society don’t talk enough about the importance of rest and recovery as a necessary part of life and more specifically, about my experiences recovering from grad school, which I think we often also overlook as a culture that’s obsessed with productivity and achievement.

And just for fun, here is one of the first pieces I ever wrote and published concerning body positivity and self love for ROCKET’s website blog back in the day.

If you’ve stuck with me and read this whole thing, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, and I hope you enjoyed.


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About Ellen

Every body is a good body, and my goal is to help you feel your best!