The Wide World of Supplements

Ok. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or even overly educated in the medical sciences of the body, yet.  So anything you read in this post is based on how my body FEELS and only that.  Just saying.

url

I’m training as an amateur athlete now.  In 5 weeks, I will compete in the Colorado Golden Gloves State Tournament.  Holy Crap.  So this last 2 months, my training has really been more intense.  I’m taking class 5-6 times a week, sparring at least once a week, sometimes having private time, and working on the regular bag and speed bag.  I’m also running a little (<10 miles a week, I wish it could be more) but the weather and my body are making it hard.

I have gotten through my entire weigh loss journey with three containers of protein powder.  Up until recently, I only took it when I was sore or I had put in way more work than usual at the gym.  Maybe a couple shakes a month.  Dan takes them too but also rarely.  Up until now I have only taken my usual multi-vitamin and the occasional B-12 or something.  This week: I had to invest in a new pill box because I have started taking so many supplements.

Last week, I suffered an minor-ish injury in the ring.  I’d rather not literally publicize my weaknesses but I HATE being injured.  I have a hard time being slow and making myself rest.  I had JUST hit my fight weight so I, ONCE AGAIN, reached out to my amazing friend Jessica Kidd.  She recommended adding Glutamine to my smoothies in the morning.  I am already have a protein shake a day and I’m trying to get my nutrients from food as much as possible.  But maybe it’s possible I’m expecting my body to do things it just can’t without some extra help.  I’ve been feeling MORE than just sore for a long time now.  Adding a crap ton of protein to my diet helped but only took the edge off.  So after a trip to the store and talking to other people, I’m on three things:

  1.  Glutamine: Is a building block of protein, and sometimes your body just can’t make enough of it to repair your muscles. It comes in powder and pill but I take powder.  I put it in my smoothies in the morning.  I noticed a difference the first day.  I wish I could take 10X the dosage and feel 10 times better, but it doesn’t really work that way.   I paid $30 for enough for 2-3 months.  I’ll probably keep this in my regimen until I’m done boxing.
  2. Turmeric After Sport:  To be perfectly honest, I only bought this because the lady suggested it.  As I’m standing there, I could have counted about 15 things that hurt so I would have bought nearly anything.  When I told her why I was buying the Glutamine, she suggested this.  She also reminded me of their return policy and if I didn’t think it was doing anything, I could bring it back.  So far, it seems ok? I’m not really sure if it’s doing anything yet.
  3. Fish Oil –  I’m taking this because we had it in the house.  A few people I talked to were surprised that I wasn’t already on them.  They are supposed to help with joints and overall health right? But I also read recently that most Fish Oil pills are really nothing……so I’ll probably take these till their gone and then see if I see a difference.

My point is, when I was losing weight, it was important to me to do it without supplements and by getting what I needed from my food.  But now I’m not losing weight.  I’m training and I’m training hard.  Maybe my body just can’t produce everything that it needs.  I’m still trying to get as much as I can from my overall diet, but if I need a little help keeping my body in one piece to make it to the tournament, I guess I have to do that.

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!

Everybody Needs Somebody

So the struggle continues……..

It’s been one week of no sweets or alcohol.  I can feel my cravings resetting and I’m proud of walking past the trays of cookie leftovers at work without taking one.  I can feel how clean my system is.  BUT……I haven’t dropped any of the excess water weight that I thought I was putting on.

On the scale yesterday morning, I had a moment.  A bad one.   I woke up and got on the scale to see I had gained 3 pounds OVERNIGHT.  This is a huge red flag for me for several reasons.

  1.  I NEVER bloat or gain three pounds over night.  Never.
  2. I’ve been on no sweets
  3. I thought I’d eaten perfectly for three days straight

I stood on the scale and cried out of frustration.  Normally, a few pounds here and there is no big deal but now I’m trying to trim down to my fighting weight and seeing the scale jump was devastating. If you have never cried on the scale, I congratulate you.  I can’t believe that my emotions are still so tied to the number I see but it’s important right now.  Now I HAVE to be a certain weight or I can’t fight.  So it’s a very weird feeling.

Anyway, I reached out to a friend that I have to see what she thought.  This friend is not just the average person or someone that I have even known that long but she’s awesome.  I first met Jessica in my very first class, MY VERY FIRST CLASS, at Touch of Sleep Boxing Gym. I case you don’t remember that post, or you’re new to this blog it was titled Boxing with DaVarryl and it was the first timed I had ever cried in a workout.  I felt so stupid because I didn’t know what he was asking me to do.  Jessica was sympathetic and tried to help even under the strict “no talking rule” in the ring.  My trainer was unable to be there that night, which is how I ended up in class.  Later I said to him, “And there was this girl there”.  He immediately cut me off and scolded me for focusing on others instead of myself.  But I saw her and I’ve been drafting off her inspiration and motivation ever since. She was also the first girl I had ever sparred with and it was terrifying. Again, read here. Then when I ran my first half marathon, she waited to see me finish! (that one’s here)

11245499_10102683851142899_7594340060365167657_n

Wow that picture seems really old now……..

 

She currently is a personal trainer, studying nutritionist, WBFF pro, Ms. Cherry Creek, (Soon to be Ms Colorado!) a World’s Toughest Mudder and has fought under our gym in previous Golden Gloves fights and soooo many other amazing things.   Oh and she just got married and rocked a KILLER red dress.  Anyway, I sent her a message freaking out.  I knew she would understand the feeling I had and know how to help or at least listen.  She asked me what I had been eating and I sent her my list of typical foods.  Which, if you’ve been reading, you know I pretty much eat the exact same foods everyday except I switch up dinner and the weekends get messy.  So I feel like it should be kind of a no brainer for me by now.  If I make these choices, the numbers do this and everything is fine.  I have control of my choices, so I can control the numbers……right?  Not always.

I’m investigating what is going on but I want to see what works before I give out the secret because it sounds quite ludicrous. So if you’re intrigued……stay tuned!

So THANKS Jess!  Sometimes people look at me and see that I’ve lost the weight and assume I’ve figured it all out right? I have lots of somebody’s for different things but here’s a shout out to Jess for being my somebody the other day!

In The Last Year……

Last year for New Year’s, I posted a comparison of what I could do when I started at my local gym and where I was currently. (View Here) Two months later I left said gym and started focused boxing training and running.  So…….I obviously won’t be posting the same comparison because I do so many different things now.  Instead, this year I complied a list of what were my best memories and accomplishments this year:

***Click the links to see the original posts about these events and photos from each.***

Personal 

A New Car – While this one isn’t directly weight loss related, I sort of feel like it is a little bit.  Without the change in my self confidence in the last two years, I wouldn’t have gone after the job I currently have.  I might not have been able to physically keep up with my current position.  However, because of the weight loss and transversely a better job, I could get a new car!

Tenure – I received tenure in my current school district this past spring.  Again, related to the above, without my new confidence and self investments I might not have received such a status.

A Trip to New York – Without my weight loss, I would have never taken this trip.  My friend might not have even invited me, knowing I couldn’t keep up. But while we were there and seeing EVERYTHING, we walked/ran over 100 miles.  I made memories I’ll have forever.

 

Fitness Events

My first Half Marathon – I ran the Colfax Half Marathon in May after training by myself with inspiration from my friend Thomas.  This was a goal I never thought I’d even have and then surpassed.  This race meant the world to me and marked when I think I officially became an athlete and a runner.  I’ll never forget this day!

300+ miles run – Through my training and completion of now two half marathons, I logged 250 miles on my Nike running app as well as completed many many more at the gym.  I can’t believe in one year how many times I ran when I didn’t want to, finished when I didn’t think I could and surprised myself along the way.  Running is awesome and the best promise you can keep to yourself.

Other Races – I also completed The Graffiti Run (5K), The Runnin’ of the Green (7K) and the Rock and Roll Half Marathon.

Tough Mudder – When I signed up for this race/obstacle course, I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into.  Only shortly before the race did I find out it was 12 miles and 20+ obstacles.  This race was so fun and something I couldn’t have done a year ago.  I can’t wait to do it again next year!  I’m already putting my team together!

Ninja Training/OCR – I went out on a total limb this year and took a few Ninja Warrior Training Classes and Obstacle Course Training Classes.  They were so fun.  It’s something I’d love to do regularly but I tend to hurt myself a lot so I can only do it during certain times of the year.  I can’t wait to get back to it!

Mount Bierstadt – Dan, some friends and I hiked Mount Bierstadt this year which goes up above 14,000 feet. I feel so thankful to even live in a place where you can hike that high.  The view from that high is incredible and like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  I wish I had more time to hike and I’m looking forward to the temperatures coming back up so we can.

Rock Climbing – In the winter last year, I went insane.  So this winter I wanted to make sure we had something we could do active indoors.   Rock climbing is a great sport/exercise for so many things and it’s very popular in Colorado.  I’ve been interested in learning for about a year and this year we did.  We now go a couple times a month and I wish I could go more often, yet again.

A Boxer – One of the most important things to me this last year has been my boxing training.  I box 4-6 times a week and I can never get enough.  This December, I registered with USA boxing to compete at the amateur level in 2016.  I have so much more to say on this in future posts but this one is already carrying on long enough. I can’t wait to show off my skills in the ring this year!

Milestones

I hit two major milestones in my life and weight loss journey this year.  I never set these goals but because of my love of health and fitness, they just happened.

Half My Size – Sometime over this summer, I hit half of my original weight of 290 pounds.  My original goal weight was 165 and then I just kept losing very slowly.  Later I discussed competition fighting with my trainer and he set my fight weight at 141.  Since then, this is where I try to stay.

My First Size 0 – While this should have been a post all in itself perhaps, I tried on my first size 0 and it actually fit.  I was at Express and wanted to try on a dress I had seen the previous weekend.  Of course it was gone in my expected size of 4 or 6.  There was only a 0.  I was trying on other items so I grabbed it just in case.  It kind of looked big enough.  When I tried it on, it zipped with ease.  I couldn’t believe it.  I didn’t purchase the dress because I didn’t like it better than one I already had but I still wanted to just because it was a 0.

Here’s what I think it probably the best photo of my from 2015.  My hubby took it at dinner on no particular night and there’s no particular reason I love this photo.  I didn’t even do my hair or put on hardly any makeup. This dress is a size 8 and not a 0. It doesn’t show my new slammin body.  I’m not standing with a popped hip and perfect angle.  No duck lips or ‘smizing’. It’s just me.  And this is the very first year that I feel like I’m finally that, just me.

11951794_10207722226684247_373209780760954615_n

Man.  2015 was freaking awesome.  I’m so excited for 2016! Happy New Year Everyone!

 

 

 

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.

Wake-Up-And-Smell-The-Routine

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.

Enjoy!

Step Two: No Alcohol

Oh boy.  This might be a tough one.

url

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.

tumblr_n3h5l6hUY51txrfroo1_1280

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!

IMG_11321

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

daa9b07292efab87cf98daf2dab7c439

 

Out of Control

The holidays are so hard.  I’ve been feeling out of control with my eating for a little while now and the holidays totally derailed me.

When you exercise as much as a I do, it’s really easy to ‘forgive’ little treats throughout the day.  After hitting my goal weight, (and then my fight weight) I did really well for a long time.  I stayed balanced with my fitness and calorie intake.  I still stayed away from high sugar foods and kept my system pretty clean.  However, when October hit, I started to struggle.  In mid-October I ran the Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  Leading up to the race, I had been running and boxing so much that I could almost eat whatever I wanted.  So I started to.  I still avoided multiple high calorie/high sodium meals in the same day.  I still would have one or two pieces of pizza and not seven.  I still followed all my ‘rules’ but didn’t at the same time. I found myself excusing little snacks throughout the day.  Sure I can have a few pieces of candy from the dish.  Sure I’d like to try that snack you’re offering.  Sure I want that birthday cupcake.  I deserve it right?

Recently, I haven’t been running at all, except at the gym.  There are no races coming up and I can’t risk the injury of running in bad weather.  I’m totally focused on boxing right now. But when I stopped running, my weight started to creep up little by little.  I’ve never eaten my exercise calories back.  I don’t consider exercise as ‘negative’ to my calorie bank.  But, I would excuse a treat because I exercised that day.  A treat would be one cookie, a small scoop of ice cream, or fruit juice.  But then it turned into candy.  And then a brownie.  And then several little bites all day.  As the holidays go closer, I didn’t do any better.  While my weight stayed consistent-ish, I could feel my system getting mucky.  I like this feeling because it reminds me how clean my body likes to eat.  But then the feeling goes away because it’s your new norm.

Now here it is two months later and I’m 4 pounds heavier.  I know to a lot of people 4 pounds is a drop in the bucket.  I too would have laughed at that sentence a year or two ago.  However, I’m trying to keep my weight as consistent as possible for boxing.  I need to get back on track.  I need to hold myself more accountable and not give a list of reasons why it’s ok.  Here’s my list of excuses over the last two months:

  1. It’s Halloween
  2. It’s Thanksgiving
  3. It’s Christmas
  4. It’s My Birthday
  5. It’s New Years
  6. I exercised today

But seriously, I’m just being lazy.  I haven’t held myself to the same standards as I have been and I can feel a huge difference.  My insides feel gross.  My energy has been lower and I crave food all the time.  My focus isn’t as strong and my weight has gone up.

Check back throughout the week to see what I’m going to do about it!

gain-control-72soul-123RF-Stock-Photos

I’m in a video ?!

Wow I really need to update that picture! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Recently my trainer and gym have been expanding their marketing and were shooting a short ‘promo’ video.

So this is basically totally bizarre for me in a way that might be hard to understand.  When I look at this video, I can see that it’s me and I recognize myself, but it’s hard for me to believe that’s actually me.  Who would put me in this cool video? Why aren’t I cut out?

When you spend the majority of your life in the shadows of society, it’s really weird when you aren’t anymore.  When I was overweight, I wasn’t a wallflower by any means.  What I mean by “shadow of society” is that no one really notices you.  Men don’t look at you twice.  Women dismiss you immediately.  Even though everyone can see you, it’s like they never notice you.  Now people see me all the time. I get the “Skinny Bitch” face all the time. ( you know what I’m talking about) Men look at me.  Sometimes it’s the man with a woman ON HIS ARM that’s looking at me. (which I really freaking hate by the way).

I’ve been struggling with my identity in society for a while now (Read Here) but regardless of what ‘box’ I’m in now, it’s still weird to ME, which I think it most important.  I can agree that the girl in this video looks good and fit.  I agree that she doesn’t look like she has loose skin or literally lost half of her body. I can even ALMOST agree that that girl looks hot.  But it still just doesn’t quite feel like me. I’m beginning to wonder if it ever will.

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 8.10.16 PM

I’m the girl that gets cut out.  I’m the girl that doesn’t have hardly any photos of her whole body for almost a decade.  I’m the girl that stands in the back to hide her body from the camera.  I’m the girl that would NEVER be filmed in a video.  Right? Well.  Apparently not.  Do I have to spend equal amount of years in this body that I did in that body before it will fell like mine? That means I’ll feel normal in this body when……I’m…..50?! Let’s hope that’s not true.

 

My First Real Sparring

Last year I wrote tips about how to keep thin on Thanksgiving each day of the week.  Don’t forget to go back and check them out!

Last week, I finally had my first real experience “fighting” in the ring. First let’s be clear.  A fight is when your in the ring to win a sanctioned match.  When you’re training it’s called sparring. Just a note 😉

Most of you know that I’ve been taking boxing training for almost a year.   I box almost everyday and I never get tired of it!  I’ve been toying with the idea of actually competing in the amateur tournament, Colorado Golden Gloves for most of that time.  A few things were holding me back: I hadn’t had enough experience in the ring to know if I had what it takes and……the hubby wasn’t hot about the idea.

After nearly 6 months of training I felt like I had good enough skills and wanted to open up the idea of fighting.  After Dan came to the gym a few times and watched me, he agreed that I could try fighting if I wanted to.  My trainer, Jameson Bostic, agreed that I should start sparring (unsanctioned fights at the gym) more so I could get more experience.  After a few successful spars at the gym, one of the other trainers approached me about sparring with his client.  We set the spar for the next day.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 7.54.22 PM

Right away my trainer had no worries.  He knew that if I could just do what I know, I would be successful.  But that is a BIG if.  Up until now, I had never fought 100% against another person.  It’s rare to spar with someone of your ability and weight.  To make it safe and fair, we usually have rules when we spar.  Sometimes you can only use your left had, sometimes I’m told not to go 100%, sometimes you’re only on defense or offense, sometimes I don’t get hit at all.  While I had several sparring sessions under my belt, I had never gone 100% against another girl with both hands.

I was nervous ALL DAY.  It had been a long time since I had taken hits in the ring to the face or head.  My partner, Brandi, had experience and about 20 pounds (?) on me.  I knew she would hit and she would hit hard.  Would I freeze? Would I cry? What would happen? Jameson knew I was nervous and sent me messages throughout the day.  When I arrived at the gym, I was more excited than nervous.  Today was the day.  Today was the day I’d know if I wanted to get in the ring and compete.  And it was…………FREAKING AWESOME.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 7.17.44 PM

Some people think boxing is just violence with rules. I used to not be able to watch boxing or MMA on TV because I thought it was violent and gross.  My first time sparring another girl the whole time I thought, “Why is she trying to hurt me?” But now I can see the sport that is in boxing.  When I’m in my corner, I’m not thinking about hurting the other person.  I’m thinking about beating them at their own game. I’m thinking about when they throw that punch I’m going to be right there throwing back. I’m thinking about their rhythm and dominant side and how I’m going to throw them off.  I’m not thinking about how much it’s going to hurt because it doesn’t.

During the round, my adrenaline is so high, I barely feel getting hit.  I’m more focused on the timing and her errors.  We fought three rounds.  My coach and I were hoping to go longer but her coach called it. Meaning…….I kicked her ass.  See below for a breakdown of the rounds.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 8.10.25 PM

It felt INCREDIBLE.  To be clear, it’s not punching the other girl, making her bleed, or even injuring her that felt incredible.  Beating her at her own game felt incredible.  Being the faster, smarter and stronger fighter felt incredible.  Knowing that all the work I’d put in, all the sweat and tears felt incredible.  Seeing the look on my trainer’s face and knowing he was proud was incredible.  Over coming my own insecurities of not being good enough was like flying to the moon. I lived off the high of winning my first real spar for a few days.  There’s no feeling quite like proving yourself wrong or realizing you can do whatever you want to do.  You’d think that I’d gotten used to breaking the odds or overcoming new goals, but thankfully it just gets better and better.

Click here to view the whole fight via Google Drive

Round One: I spent WAY too much time trying to feel her out.  I was trying to find her rhythm and I was on the defense.  My trainer expected her to fight much differently so I spent some time trying to figure out their plan instead of destroying their plan.

Round Two: During round two I fought much better.  I spent less time worrying about what she was going to do and put my plan in motion.  There was even a moment in round 2 that she gave up and dropped her hands.  I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do so I stopped too!  But I knew in round 2 I was going to ‘win’.  Her punches weren’t strong enough and I was able to anticipate her throws quite a few times. After two right hands from me her mouth started to bleed.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 7.14.46 PM

Round Three: Brandi stopped about a minute into round three.  She had hurt her shoulder and her coach didn’t want to continue.

Overall I’m really happy with how I fought.  Watching back the video, I can see all sorts of things that I did wrong.  I missed opportunities and always go to the left.  But instead of beating myself up about the errors, I’m still holding my head high for getting in!