I always on the heavier side, even when I was in grade school. Things just got worse after I graduated high school in 2007 and started working at a tanning salon. It was a slow-paced job, and during the offseason, I might sit in the same spot for hours, and I ate when I was bored on the job. Pizza, burgers, chips, sweets—you name it. Friends would visit me and bring more food, and even if I was full, I would eat. And I wasn't working out at all.
Then, in late 2007, my brother was training for his first MMA fight, and I came to watch. I noticed that two men were essentially his eyes during the match, calling out suggestions to him to help him fight. I realized that I wanted to be in his corner, helping him just like them. But first, I needed to understand the world of martial arts. So I joined a boxing gym.
1. I started boxing four times a week
We’d jump rope as a warm up, then go into freestyle shadow boxing. We also did mitt work with partners. Being the mitt holder actually took just as much skill as punching it—if you don't hold up the mitts the right way, you mess up your partner.
In addition to my boxing classes, I also took two strength and conditioning classes per week. These consisted of mostly bodyweight training and conditioning, with a lot of running. By the end of the first month, I had lost around 3 kilos.
2. For the first two years, I didn't change my diet
Still, the weight was falling off—I went from 98kg to 75kg.
When I hit a weight-loss plateau in April of 2014, I realized I needed to do something about my bad eating habits. I cut out a lot of the fatty foods that had been my staples and started fasting intermittently; I would eat for eight hours out of the day and fast for 16.
I decided to eat between noon and about 8 p.m. most days. In the mornings, I didn’t have breakfast—only a cup of coffee before work and working out. A typical lunch would be a chicken salad with kale and quinoa or a poke bowl with brown rice. For dinner, I started eating proteins like chicken and salmon.
After one month of eating this way, I was down another 3 kilos.
3. In late 2016, my go-to gym closed down
I bounced around from gym to gym, trying to find a new home. At the time, I was working as a manager at a large store and decided I no longer wanted to be in retail. My friend who worked out with me told me that the UFC GYM in Mission Valley was hiring, so I decided to apply there. In February 2017, I was hired on as a membership specialist—and I used my breaks to work out.
People and coaches noticed I had a talent when it came to boxing and would ask me to help them. One month later, I was asked if I wanted to become a boxing coach there. Working at UFC and changing my diet helped me lose the last 7 kilos. After six months of working there, I finally reached my goal weight.
4. I did finally get to be in my brother's corner during his fight
It was so exciting! I was there through all the emotions with him, and I ended up helping him win. Understanding the art of his fighting was the hardest part, but I felt like I won with him—we won together.
My number-one tip for women trying to lose weight is to be consistent. That will help you improve at anything you want to do in life, from boxing to business.
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This article originally appeared on Women's Health US