For five years, I wrote the column Ask A Swole Woman for The Hairpin, SELF, and VICE.
(If you’re curious what it was like, there's a partial archive of columns here.)
But now it’s time, as we say in the lifting community, to diversify our programming. Welcome to the She’s A Beast newsletter.
A lot of health content is focused on blowing smoke up your ass about jade eggs and vitamins and “toxin-dispersing cellulite-curing silver-thread leggings”; this will be the opposite of that.
- to get strong
- that working out doesn’t have to be complicated
- that food is good for you, actually
- that bodies are where you have to live, not just for being hot, so you should make it nice
are some of the best things that ever happened to me, and I want to help other people learn those things for themselves too. And that’s why I started a newsletter about it.
Link Letters are the free Friday newsletters. They have essays and commentary about what it’s like to try and negotiate a (more) pure and functional relationship with our bodies while we are beset on all sides by people yelling at us to lose weight, stop sweating, burn calories, get abs, eat clean, and so forth. They also have good and helpful links that help us get and stay strong metaphorically and physically. I do a little reporting, too (I’ve been a tech and science journalist for over a decade).
Ask A Swole Woman is a biweekly Sunday advice column for paid subscribers, free of the constraints of a traditional advice column. Sometimes that means I give practical tips on how to deal with things like "cutting body fat" vs. weight loss, periods, or eating more. I take a look back at cultural moments in health and fitness history to see what we can learn from them now. What did Tim Ferriss do to the brains of redditors? What did Curves do to (or for) women? Or Adele’s weight lifting journey? Can you do intuitive eating and strength training at the same time? I aim to find out.
Battleaxe is an opt-in supplement with no guarantees as to topic, frequency, or length. The first one was about John Malkovich. If you just want to read more of my (strong) opinions, that's what Battleaxe is for.
Who is A Swole Woman/Casey/ the “Beast” of whom you speak?
Well, the Beast is in all of us. But I’m a writer and editor 14 years in the game who used to have a terrible relationship with my body; I ran too much, ate too little, ruminated about food constantly, and thought that was all just part of the beautiful experience of “being a woman.”
In 2014, I found a Reddit post that credibly revealed that actually, lifting weights did not make women bulky. My desire to be hot piqued, I looked into this lifting thing further: I could work out less, eat more, and look essentially the same? Why was no one talking about this???
As I got into lifting, it began to dissolve the thick connective tissue in my brain between “working out” and “being as attractive and tiny as possible.” I realized that my body was for so much more than “punishing it with salad scraps and ‘intensity intervals’”; it could grow and get strong much more easily and quickly that I ever could have imagined; and that lifting weights could be the most fun and validating form of exercise I’d ever tried, that it was easier to me than cardio (yes, it’s true; I would never tell a lie about the dreaded cardio).
I began yelling nonstop about the incredible experience I was having, how I finally was starting to understand what life and living were about, because I was crushing my squat PRs and perfecting my deadlift form. And now here I am.
Why subscribe with your dollars?
You get a litany of benefits, including:
- Access to the Beasties Discord, a place for people who are ready for growth (physical, emotional) to help each other understand lifting programs, share the latest snacks, and more. This includes a form-check channel for workshopping your progress with lifting form!
- A paid-subscriber-exclusive biweekly Sunday edition of the beloved advice column that started it all, Ask A Swole Woman, with in-depth, evidence-based, yet empathetic guidance on the rewarding process of growing stronger, as a lifter and as a human (see here and here for more of what I mean!)
- 20% off She’s A Beast/Couch to Barbell merch
- Access to the entire archive of paid posts
- The ability to comment on posts, and access to open discussion threads
- Early access to top-secret/semi-secret/badly-kept-secret She’s A Beast ventures, such as LIFTOFF
- And that reminds me: Until the end of April, subscribers get a code for a FREE copy of LIFTOFF: Couch to Barbell
- The satisfaction that comes with supporting the free coverage of the health and fitness landscape that arrives in inboxes weekly on Fridays, and helping keep this space from being taken over by ads and sponsors!
Also: even if you sign up for the free newsletter, you will get a free sample of LIFTOFF. Can’t lose!
As far as the newsletter, you won’t have to worry about missing anything if you sign up. Every new edition goes directly to your inbox.