A million tiny choices

When people in my new career hear my weight loss story, the first question is almost always “How did you do it?” Depending on the audience, I tend to tailor my response to what they are expecting to hear or maybe what they need to hear.  Lately, I’ve been playing a lot with the idea of choices.  The truth is, it was a million tiny little choices that brought me to my life now.

My hubby first started sparked the idea in me.  Recently he’s been ordering new things at restaurants we go to all the time.  The other day he waited patiently for someone to turn instead of cutting someone off and then the whole lane opened up.  He waits patiently for a older lady to cross the street and the parking space we need opens up. He says “Change your choice. Change the outcome. Let’s see what happens.”  Lately, both of us have been rewarded for small choices that change our course.

When it came to losing weight, it didn’t wake up one morning and decide “Today is THE day!” I didn’t start officially on any single day.  It was 100 choices over three weeks and then I noticed my pants are a little too big.  Then I decided to keep making those choices and add more to see how I could change my outcome.  And 1-2 MILLION choices later, here I am.

It’s making the same choices day in and day out to focus on your health.  It’s choosing health over whatever else may come. Example: My friend recently joked about me being the energizer bunny.  Trust me people, I’m just as tired as the next person. I also want to sleep in late and skip the gym.  I also want to eat stacks of pancakes instead of hard boiled eggs. I just make it a priority and hold myself accountable.  I don’t let myself get away with excuses.  Excuses lead to me being 300 pounds.


It’s making new choices, risky choices that might be uncomfortable. For example: I’m about to run the Tough Mudder for the third year in a row.  The first time I went, I ran it with strangers and didn’t even really know what I was getting myself in to.  Instead of backing out, I chose to be uncomfortable and I’ve been running that race ever since.  It’s the best race I run all year.  Another example, recently chose to share my story with someone at the gym and now they are turning into a weekly client, which could blossom into years of revenue.


But it’s also about forgiveness. You’re not going to make the right or best choice all the time.  And you have to learn to forgive yourself.  I still eat crap sometimes!  I skip a workouts! (really, I swear!) I scream at the car in front of me instead of waiting patiently.  But I try not to dwell on those choices.  I try my best to forgive myself and move on.  You can’t change the past because it’s in the past.  What’s the point of being sad or mad about it? Let. It. Go.  Make better choices today.  Be awesome TODAY. 

No one chooses how you feel.  No one is going to make the choice for you.  No one will be there when you have to hold yourself accountable.  You could work with a whole team of fitness experts (I know a great one if you need a card…..) but in the end, you choose what happens. Trust me.  If I could make the choice for everyone, we would all be happy and healthy and running a mountain somewhere.  We would all feel what losing 160 pounds feels like and you wouldn’t be here reading this blog. I can’t make that choice.  But you can.  What choices will you make today?

A Quick Lunch

Every Sunday I prep my meals for the week.  Here’s what I’m eating every day for lunch this week.  The hubby even likes it! He’s having it on bread and I’m having lettuce wraps.  If you aren’t watching carbs you could even do crackers.  VERY tasty.  Also, I switched the rosemary for dill just because I like it better.  I also added red onion and will consider adding celery in the future!




My Fight Weight Fight

So I’m now in training mode and focused on competing in the Golden Gloves.  I’m training 8-10 hours a week and trying to trim to my fight weight of 141 pounds.  141 pounds.  That’s small.  I’ve been at 141 pounds before and maintained it for 6 weeks or so just to make sure I could even be that small, and for the record: I think I’m too skinny at that weight.  Regardless, this is the weight my coaches have determined is the safest weight for me.

It’s actually quite difficult to think about what my true weight is.  After dropping over 50% of my body weight, I pretty much have loose skin…..everywhere.  So…..it’s hard to calculate my real weight, muscle mass or body fat.  So I’ve been obsessed with getting to that number again and I’ve been really struggling.  I have been eating within my calories everyday.  I have been working out more.  I have haven’t have a sweet treat (soda, candy, cupcake, cookie……) all month.  I have totally cut alcohol out.  And the scale………kept going up.  I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.

My elbows hurt all the time.  My knee hurts every day.  My should hurts every day.  Weird aches and pains pop up all throughout the day. Am I going to be able to: 1.  Stay in one piece until March? 2. Make fight weight?12510425_10103151284597509_1504549280907727655_n

So I reached out to my amazing friend, Jessica Kidd, once again.  She is studying for her nutrition degree and often has to make a certain weight or look for events.  I knew she could help.  I know I still have almost two months to get to fight weight, but I’m starting to go to an unhealthy place about it and I want to make sure I do it right.

At first she noticed that I wasn’t eating enough.  My body was pretty much in starvation mode and if I didn’t increase my calories, I would never drop the weight.  I know it seems CRAZY.  But if you aren’t eating enough, you body saves every last calorie because it doesn’t think it’s ever going to get calories again.  But if you feed it when it asks, it learns to take what it needs and throw the rest away.  My body was saving everything because it needed everything. I lost my ‘excess weight’ quickly.  But then it started coming back.

I reached out to Jessica again.

Since I’ve been tracking my food in Myfitnesspal (LOVE!) I could simply send her a photo of what I’d been eating and my nutrients.  She noticed right away that my protein was too low and my fats were too high.  Honestly, I usually don’t pay much attention to anything but my calories and sugar.  I’ve gotten away with this for a looooong time.  But I’m training differently now.  I’m training as an amateur athlete. (What?!) So I have to provide my body with different things.  She told me the new levels she would suggest and I reset my app.  I went shopping the next day and prepped food for the whole week.  And.  It.  Worked.

I’m finally dropping some of my ‘excess weight’ that my body has been holding on to.  I thought I was getting enough of what I needed because my body was still going.  But now I realize how much my body was telling me it needed something different. Now that I’m eating the way I need to, it’s not complaining.  My elbows don’t hurt.  My knee is only sore after running.  My shoulder doesn’t hurt.  I feel so much more put together and stronger.  And the scale has agreed.  I’m not to fight weight consistently yet, but I’m getting there!

Step Three: Green Smoothies

I am, without a doubt, a creature of habit.  I could eat the same meals day in and day out forever if I love them enough.  I have the exact same routine when I’m working. I usually eat the same breakfast and lunch every day.  I even shop at the same store on the same day each week.  I just do.  But lately I’ve switched up my routine and have changed my breakfast back to something I used to really enjoy in the beginning of my weigh loss: Green Smoothies. I blogged about it almost exactly a year ago but wasn’t eating them at the time.


I HAD been eating a bagel with cream cheese every morning for….maybe a year? Sometimes I’d switch it up with peanut butter but usually not.  I even skip breakfasts provided for the staff at school and eat my breakfast anyway because I don’t want anything else.  I like not thinking about it and still really enjoying it.  I know this doesn’t work for everyone but it works for me.

I’ve been trying to up my protein  since my workouts have increased.  One easy way to do that is in the morning.  So about two weeks ago I switched back to Green Monsters and I’m still having them every morning.  I still love them every morning! You can read the full recipe and health benefits HERE already written out from last year. This year I’ve switched it up just a bit.


Usual Recipe:

1 frozen banana, sliced

4 cups spinach

1 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt

1 T. Peanut Butter

1/2 C. Milk of Choice (We drink soy milk)


My Recipe this year:

1 frozen banana, sliced

4 cups spinach

1 cup Light Greek Yogurt (Banana flavored, vanilla when their out)

1 T. Peanut Butter

1/2 C. Water

4 T. Protein Powder (Old stuff I wanted to finish off, it’s gone now and I’m not replacing it)

1 T.  Trader Joes Super Seeds


I love this recipe because it’s easy and when I’m out of an ingredient I just make it up.  You can switch the banana for any frozen fruit. I also made the switch from milk to water because it’s cheaper and cuts down on calories.  Also, another change from last year is that I invested in a Ninja blender recently and I HIGHLY recommend them!

My number one reason for liking them is that I feel much cleaner when I have them.  I can feel the spinach energizing my system and the yogurt and everything else are so yummy and keep you full until the next meal/snack.  If you prioritize the ingredients of each of the ingredients in your smoothie it will be wonderful.  Check the labels of your yogurt and peanut butter for sure.  Make sure your buying ones with no additives and junk and it will make a difference, I swear.  And I love the super seeds.  I don’t know that I can really tell a difference but even if it’s placebo effect, I’ll take it.


Step Two: No Alcohol

Oh boy.  This might be a tough one.


I have never been much of a drinker.  Alcoholism runs pretty deep in my family and I’ve always avoided consuming too much.  I’ll go out for Girl’s Night Out or have a few when friends and I go to watch fights but it’s not routine.  I don’t keep wine or beer in the house.  I can go out and have no drinks or too many drinks.  (which I always regret)

But lately, there’s been so many events that I find myself excusing a drink here and there and then everywhere.  Everyone wants to meet for a drink or is serving drinks at their get-together.


For some people, giving up alcohol would be the end of the world.  For me, it’s just going to be inconvenient and not very fun 🙁  I have signed up with USA Boxing to be an amateur boxer this year.  (more on that later…..) They require you to sign a code of conduct against performance dampening activities like alcohol and tobacco.  While this is a perfect reason to cut out alcohol, I’m excited to do it for the calories as well.  I know there are a lot of opinions out there on alcohol, wine especially, but I’m just saying no for the next few months at least. I don’t need it and it’s just empty calories. I went my first whole year of weight loss without a drink, I know I can do it again.

So over the next few months, I’m going to figure out how to meet for drinks without having a drink and how to get through social meet ups without ordering a cocktail. Who wants to join? alcoholcomparisons


Step One: No Sweets January

Yesterday I wrote about my feelings of having lost some control over my eating (click here if you missed it).  Everywhere you turn during this time of year someone is offering you a sweet treat or left some out in the office lounge.  90% of the time I’m great at saying ‘no thank you’ or just walking away.  But lately, I’ve been helping myself to half a cookie or a bite of this several times throughout the day.  Those small bites have turned into a lot of bites by the end of the day.  Also, I’m left thinking about the food I just walked away from.  I used to be able to walk away from it and not think twice about it.  Now I walk away day dreaming about what it would have been like and this is NOT GOOD.

I’m ok with allowing myself small treats here and there.  I had a piece of cake on my birthday even.  BUT it’s the craving feelings that scare me.  When my body is clean and healthy, I crave naturally sweet things like green apples and fruit juice.  I ALWAYS have Trader Joes pineapple juice in the fridge.  But now I’m craving candy and sweets all over again.  That is something I’m not comfortable with.  When my body is clean, I don’t really even enjoy sweets.  I can taste how sweet it is and the sugar swimming in my body.  I used to not finish things because they were too sweet.  Now, I just want it all.

So how do I reset my system? How do I make those cravings go away? I’m going to make the food go away. I lay down a “NO CHOCOLATE” mandate in the house about twice a year, for a two week period,  when I feel my control slipping.  But, this year it just felt like one event after another, meet this friend for lunch, celebrate this holiday here…….so I felt like I couldn’t do it in the middle of the holidays.  So I’m going to do……drum roll please…….No Sweets January!


For the whole month I will not be partaking in candy, cookies, muffins, ice cream or anything of the sort.  I’m hoping by doing this that by February, I can enjoy my candy hearts and then through the rest of the box away and that I won’t be consumed by thoughts of chocolate.  As I was talking to a friend about the ‘post Christmas yuck” he agreed to jump on board!

If you are considering making your first small steps or just looking to gain more control of your cravings, consider a No _______ January.  Let those around you know to help keep you honest.  Also, they won’t be offering you the things they know you are avoiding.  Someone might even do it with you!  If there’s a food or group of foods you are trying to cut down on, consider giving them up for a whole month.  You’d be surprised to see how much your body recalibrates your cravings! If you haven’t already done it…..I’d recommend soda! Just look at all these benefits and tell me it isn’t a good idea!

Bye Bye Sugary Drinks: What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Soda



Bacon Milkshakes?!?

If you’re hoping to read today’s post and find out that it’s ok and healthy to drink a bacon milkshake, you’re clearly visiting for the first time.  And clearly delusional. Welcome!

Now that I have met my goal weight, it is very easy to make poor eating decisions.  I find myself ‘excusing’ a lot of bad choices because of my balance of fitness. While I never ‘fall off the wagon’ with my eating, there are definitely days where I could do better.

This weekend I was trying to make better and healthier decisions.  Since it’s summer, my eating schedule is all wonky and I find myself eating fast food way more than usual.  While I still feel like I make the best choice in that restaurant, I’d like to cut back.  But there are SO MANY bad choices out there that it’s really hard.  I know a lot of you are facing the same decisions.

Some decisions are easy for me: full size burger or jr. size, Large fry or small fry.  Other decisions are harder: chili cheese fries? Lemonade???? (I said no to both) but this weekend at two different restaurants, I could not believe what they were serving. This whole bacon thing has gotten WAY out of hand. Do we need bacon on EVERYTHING?


Really Which Which? Now I love Which Which because they have lots of healthy options and you can get tons of different things.  But……REALLY? Not only is this a BACON MILKSHAKE but the advertisement reads: Heaven Sent.  Why? Because after you’re addicted to these you will be sent to heaven. I tried to find the nutritional information for this shake.  I almost got a small strawberry shake there this weekend thinking it would be fine.  I had already boxed for two hours that day.  Now I’m so glad I didn’t!  While I couldn’t find the info for the bacon shake, I did for the oreo shake, which I figured was just as deadly.  A small oreo shake: 930 CALORIES.  In a small. Yikes.


OMG ARBYS – Every once in a while, I love me some roast beef.  So we headed to Arby’s where I usually will get a Jr. Cheddar and a small fry.  It comes out to 480 calories and plenty of fat and gross additives. The sandwich pictured above has 600 calories, 28 grams of fat, and 860 mg of sodium.  That’s with no fries or drink added.  And it’s an entire sandwich of bacon. GROSS.  I beg to differ Arbys, you CAN have too much bacon.

While some choices are still hard when I know my fitness will more than balance my intake, it’s NOT hard for me to say “NO!” to the above advertisements. Shame on you Which Which and Arbys.  Shame!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these restaurants were encouraging us to eat healthier and more natural foods? More on that later…..




Fitness Magazine – I Did It

This week is SPRING BREAK!  So you can expect to see small posts throughout the week since I actually have the time!

Today I sat down and finally wrote my application for Fitness Magazine.  I get this magazine and always love reading the “I Did It” section.  I have to say though, I read it very judgementally!  Usually, I’ve lost a lot more weight than the people they feature.  It’s like my gossip column.

So this week, I’m actually submitting my story.  Who knows? Maybe they will pick me!  I’m constantly looking for more ways to share my story and inspire others.  So please feel free to pass my info to anyone and everyone!

If any morbidly obese person could feel like I do for just one day, they would lose the weight.  Sometimes I wish I could put the weight back on for just one day to be able to feel the change back to back. So until you can read MY story in the magazine (fingers crossed!) drop over to their website to read others’ stories. Fitness Magazine – I Did It

Hungry vs. Hangry vs. Starving

Now that I am changing my fitness routine, I need to change my eating routine.  In order to be a boxer, I need to eat like one.  I’ve been taking boxing for a few weeks now and mixing it with my normal routine.  I was expecting for my body to feel the adjustment and it definitely has.  However, I wasn’t expecting it to effect my eating habits and it did.

So let’s look at the difference.  Is being hungry ok? What is hangry? How will I know if I’m starving myself and not just dieting?



It took me a long time at the beginning of my weight loss to understand hunger.  I don’t think I’d been hungry for YEARS.  I was overeating so often that one meal just ran into the next before I could begin to feel hungry.  Now when I think about, I feel like I was stuffed for years.  I didn’t even remember what feeling hungry really was. One of my first rules when I started dieting, is that I’d always wait to get hungry before the next meal or snack.  This took a while to be routine, but now I just always do it.  I try to listen to my body and let it tell me when it’s time.  Now, I don’t like to eat if I’m not hungry.

If you are at the beginning of your weight loss, I encourage you to really listen to you body.  How does it feel to be hungry? How much food makes you not hungry? What is the balance? If you’re not hungry before the next meal/snack, you’ve eaten too much at the last meal.  Train your body to eat at the right times based on how much you’ve eaten.



There is such a thing as TOO hungry. When you’re hunger is effecting your mental state, you’re too hungry .  Try to eat within a half hour of getting hungry at least.  When I have gone too long without eating, I get HANGRY.  At this point, I’m so hungry, I’m willing to do almost anything to get food.  Included: push old ladies out of the way, punch a puppy, throw myself down and cry, eat the 6 month old circus peanut floating around the bottom of my bag….etc. I usually get hangry when something else is out of control.  Sometimes you have to wait longer than expected at a meeting, get caught socializing with someone…..so on. I try to not get to the ‘hangry stage’ if at all possible.

Not everyone gets Hangry.  I do.  Some people start to get sleepy.  Others start to lose focus.  If you are too hungry, it will start to effect your mental state.  Do not do this to yourself.  Eat as soon as possible.  The people around you will thank you.



Sorry for the above picture.  I want to rip this sign down and punch that girl the the face.  The truth is YOU CAN BE TOO SKINNY.  Also, you can starve yourself without being skinny.  It is NEVER ok to skip a  meal, eat way less or see how long you can go without eating.  Never.  I find the above photo repulsive.

What I really mean here is you could be starving yourself without realizing it.  Make sure you have set your calorie goals with doctors advice or at least lots of research.  You could be starving yourself without even knowing it.

What your stomach says when you’re not eating enough

“Hey.  I need some food down here.  Hey! Ok.  Well if you’re not going to give me what I want, I’m going to hold on to every calorie I possibly can because I don’t know when I’m getting any more.  I hate you. ”

What your stomach says when you’re eating enough

“Yo.  Send me some food.  Hey thanks! I only need this, and this, oh and that!  I don’t need the rest of this and I know I’m getting more in 3 hours so….out you go!”

I’ve heard the phrase “I eat so well and just can’t lose any weight” over and over.  This IS NOT true.  Something is wrong.  Either you’re eating too much or it’s possible you’re eating too little.  A friend of mine got frustrated after not losing much weight after several months.  We have the exact same fitness routine and I was melting away while she stayed the same.  So we talked about her diet.  She is a vegetarian and thought she was eating enough.  I told her to start using My Fitness Pal to see what the app thought she should be eating.   She found that she was eating way less than she should for her level of activity.  After one week, she dropped three pounds.  She was starving herself without knowing it.

Next Post: A Boxer’s Life – Sunday


Nacho Sunday?!?

I was greatly looking forward to a workout at Red Rocks today, but alas the Denver weather is as surprising as usual.  Even though I’ll take it over Chicago any day, the weather is always changing here.  So instead of puking on stairs today, I’m hanging around the house.  This is a rarity for me on the weekends; even more so is the fact that I’m cooking lunch.

I usually cook during the week but not very often on the weekends.  We are usually so busy that we eat out pretty often on the weekends.  So today I thought I’d try my skills at sharing a recipe.  I look up recipes on pinterest all the time but rarely follow them.  I’m constantly adding and subtracting from recipes.  One of my favorite restaurants up the street, The Vine Street Pub, (also known as “the hippie place” to neighborhood folk) makes some killer chicken nachos. **Warning: Should you ever eat there, they only take cash!  I always find myself thinking, “I could make this.” So I did.  I now make this every other week or so.  I love this meal.


As a kid, I would ask my mom to make tacos all the time.  Every Friday in high school they served tacos. I love tacos. Tacos and nachos were a big reason why I weighed what I did. Tacos is a meal that I knew I had to figure out how to make healthier when I changed my lifestyle.  I couldn’t go without tacos/nachos for the rest of my life.  So here’s my recipe.  Give it a try!



Chicken Nachos

  • 1 lb. Ground Chicken
  • 1 can black beans (low sodium, organic)
  • 1 can of corn (low sodium, organic)
  • 1/4 cup Taco Seasoning (I make my own – Recipe)
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Redhot Sauce Original
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Salsa (Love: Trader Joes Chunky)
  • Cheese (Love: Trader Joes Cheddar)
  • Tortilla Chips of Choice
  • Optional: Chiles, Tomatoes, Jalepenos, other veggies


  • Brown Chicken until cooked through.  Drain if necessary.
  • Add rinsed black beans, taco seasoning, Franks, and water.


  • Mix all together and bring to a simmer.  Cook all the water out at med-high heat until the meat is nice and thick. It should look like this:


  • Set oven to 350 degrees.  Build your nachos as you wish.  My  usual order is: Meat, lots of corn, salsa, cheese.  If you have other veggies you love, go for it!  I’m not a big pepper fan and I like the meat spicy.  Feel free to use your imagination!


  • See notes about my chips and portion size and other tips!
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until hot and delicious.  Soooo much healthier than the way I used to make them and just as delicious.



  • Ground Chicken – I buy cage free, hormone fee, junk  free ground chicken.  It could easily be made with turkey or shredded chicken.  I find that ground is usually cheapest and quickest to cook.
  • Corn and Beans – I buy organic, preservative free, low sodium at Trader Joes.  It ends up being less than a 50 cent difference and an easy way to make a better choice.
  • Salsa – Again I buy preservative free at Trader Joes.  I LOVE this salsa.  I think it’s the perfect consistency and you can actually taste the vegetables.  Why? Because all of it’s ingredients ARE vegetables.  And since it’s from TJ’s: always no preservatives. Salsa is also low calorie! (5 calories a serving)
  • Cheese: I hate low-fat cheese.  Hate it.  I buy regular cheese for two reasons: Low fat sucks and I don’t drink cow milk.  Since we drink soy milk, this is my only opportunity for dairy fats.  Also, since I’m at goal weight, this is something I have added back into my diet.
  • Chips: The chips pictured are not my norm. We usually get blue or yellow organic corn tortillas chips.  However, these were less than a dollar a bag on Christmas clearance.  I finally opened the last bag today!  I couldn’t pass up the deal!
  • Taco Seasoning – I REALLY recommend making your own.  There are so many fillers in the store bought kind.  Also, this is an easy way to cut out A LOT of sodium.  You’d really be surprised.
  • Portion Size:  I didn’t end up eating my whole portion but I could have.  This meal is pretty protein packed and I am SORE today.  Both the beans and the chicken are providing your protein.  Since we aren’t using rice, the carbs aren’t too out of control either.  This is a tasty meal that is very filling!