Tag Archives: thoughts

Reflection from the Big Girl on the mat

The gym is usually my happy place. A place where I am not judged for my size and weight but only my skill. I am used to in tournaments people not rolling with me due to my size and weight but not in the gym. I don’t understand why people do this in tournaments either. I don’t try to destroy my toys, even if I don’t like the person personally I won’t try to hurt them. I am very considerate when I am rolling with people smaller than me because I don’t want to hurt them to the point it disadvantages me at times.  So when someone dodges me and then says they only want to roll with with people their size it is a bit frustrating again.

I am 5 feet and about 250 pounds, there is no one at my gym that is my size. I don’t pick and choose who I roll with. There may be a person I avoid due to a past experience for them being too spastic, but after some time has passed I will try to roll with them again because people do change and get less spastic. But to flat out say I’m not going to roll with someone because of their size I find a bit disrespectful. Just because you are an average size and weight doesn’t mean you get to write off someone bigger than you. You can learn something from everyone,  just because your are getting smashed right now doesn’t mean that will be forever.

I will roll with whoever, I don’t care, I can learn something from everyone at the gym. From the newest white belt through black belt. I always learn something from whoever I roll with, it doesn’t matter if they are bigger and taller than me. It helps me get better.

Last night, the gym was not my happy place.  When people dodge me due to my size, for a moment it makes me want to quit. Why do I come back day after day to be the biggest female at the gym. To be avoided due to my size. But then i realize, im the one that will continue to get better and be willing to take any smashing given. I can stand tall  and say that I don’t avoid anyone on the mats.

The gym will continue to be my happy place. It one of the reason I still survive. And for those who wish not to roll with me, thats fine, there will always be a smaller person to smash you as well. 🙂



Shout out to all of the people who have haven’t been afraid to roll with me.


This week in meal prepping

So back to meal prepping land this week going to be cooking up some good stuff. After competing on Saturday just makes me keep wanting to make my goal of hitting the Heavy Division by next year. So the menu for this week is:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with my nature-box Granola with Sausage

Also Almond milk with Greens powder

Snack: Jerky stick and almonds

Lunch: My favorite sesame honey chicken burrito bowl with brown rice and guacamole salsa

Snack: Might Muffins or tuna with triscuits

Dinner: Taco Ground turkey and vegetables

Snack: Sorbet if i have the calories

Getting back to the grind of food prep to that my body can be prepped for battle 🙂

Looking back on this year

So as we come to the end of the year, it is time to reflect back over what has been done. This year, I tried new things by completing a half marathon as well as leveled up in Jiu-Jitsu back in September.

All year I have been working to lose weight and it really didn’t go that well. I tried Paleo through about May and I did see about a 6 pound drop during all of that time.  It was really difficult to not see any weight loss on that diet after all of the research saying that I should see some more than that. I have been working hard to see weight differences, but I am not seeing drastic  change on the scale. What I have seen though is a differences is in inches and body composition. Around September I stared going to the Transformat10n Lab here in Nashville. By going to the Lab, I realized that I was not eating enough calories in the day so my body was retaining the fat vs burning it to make me lose weight. Now I have an accurate account of how many calories that I need to intake to lose weight. So now this going to be a game changer for me next year with my diet and eating habits. I have really started meal prepping, now a day so I know how many calories I am eating at any time. That has been a great help to me, so I can know how many calories I am eating to make sure that I get enough.

Long Distance Running I have learned is not for me. I can appreciate the people who enjoy it, but I think i rather do some other type of activity. Going into the new year I will probably try to do some 5k, but not much more than that. It takes away too much training time from what I really enjoy most and that is being on the mats.

This year, I have learned so much about myself through doing jiu-jitsu. I really do get antsy if I go too many days without being being on the mats. There is really something peaceful about it for me and I am so happy that i took that leap over 2 years ago to get started. I feel like there is nothing that make a person feel more alive then getting their ass handed to them on a regular basis. I can’t wait to see what next year will have in store for me. I know that I am going to keep moving forward and keep the monument that I gained this year. 2015 was truly a great year but I know going into 2016 it will be even better. There is going to a leprechaun domination. I plan on doing more next year and getting better.  In the new year I will also be posting my meal prep menus as I have had a lot of comments of what I am eating though my pictures.

Leprechaun out

What took almost 2 years, a lot of work, dragging my butt to gym when I didn’t want to..

is me getting my Blue Belt. Yeah, that’s right, on September 1, 2015, I obtained my blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I had no clue, that was going to be the day that I got my blue belt and quite a lot has changed for me since I got it. I am in the best shape that I have ever been in my life and still getting better every day. When I first started, I was a month out from having finishing my masters so I wanted to find something to do with my newly found free time.  I had remembered Nashville MMA from when I was younger and they used to be in 100 Oaks mall. I didn’t have the time or money then, but always said one day I will go do it. I started on September 10, 2013 with the intro to MMA class, because I didn’t have a gi at the time and I felt like death after that first class was over.

Now after 10 competitions and almost 2 full years of training, I have obtained the rank of blue belt, which is a huge step, most people who start never get here, but I have stayed with it for 2 years and it something that I plan on continuing to do as long as I can. The end goal for me is always black belt.  I have learned so much about myself over these last 2 years. I am able to do so many things that I thought I wouldn’t be able to do. I have learned that my weight and height can be advantage where in a lot of other places they are not.  I have learned how to be more social and have made a lot of friends that I trust to release when I tap. I have learned so much about they call the gentle art.

I survived my belt test with probably close to 30 people including 7 black belts on the mat the night I got my blue belt. This isn’t something that I plan on stopping anytime soon. I may take a week of to let my body recover so I can come back stronger, but I am fully committed to continuing to do jiu-jitsu.

I do want to say thank you to my professors and teammates, who have all taught me something a long the way. That you understand that I can’t see without my glasses on so you come grab when we are rolling. It has been a great two years and this is something I will continue doing. I have learned to fight to the death and to never give up.


This is a picture of me after my belt test with all of the black belts. I survived and they are holding me up after the aftermath with my shinny new blue belt.


Leprechaun Out,

white to blue


Frustration at Local Competitions

So I am a bit frustrated I realize that I am not a small girl, I have never really been one. I also understand that I am not tall and at times can be quite intimidating. Something that I have noticed at these smaller competitions is that I only seem to get one match and that is all.  Usually this match is in the gi as well. Girls in the lighter divisions may be able to get multiple matches because they are closer in size. It appears that once you are in the big girl division, it seems like you only get one match as there is not willingness to match up big girls with others as there are not as many at tournaments. I have been to tournaments where I have only received one division for the same price I have seen other do three because they need someone a fight.

So my frustration is at where a division is let’s say 150 and up, but then they give the girls the option to fight someone if they may outweigh them by 50 to 100 pounds.  You knew coming into this competition that that many be a possibility you could fight a 250 pound girl. I have been to competitions where they have split the division at 200 so I am left with one while the 150 to 200 has like four girls competing in it.

There has been this movement to equalize women’s pay compared to the men which is true in jiu jitsu. But we also need to talk about the issue of women only wanting to fight women who are there size. Now maybe this more of a local thing around here, but at the last competition I was, I was not able to do my no-gi division because the girl that I was supposed to fight had her coach decide not to fight me but fight someone else. The only way I was able to get a gi match was having a blue belt fight me as the other two white belts were scared and/or the organizers decided to cut the divisions due to my weight.

Now I realize my weight is my issue and its something that I struggle with everyday. Trust me, if I could weigh less I would, but it just isn’t something that is going to happen overnight.  But it also doesn’t make sense why people are allowed to turn down fights because they don’t want to fight with someone who weighs more than them. What are they going to do when they compete in an absolute, say I can’t fight that person cause they outweigh me by X amount.  That is just like me saying, I don’t want to fight someone just because they are taller than me, which is basically everyone who I come across in competition. I train and pay my money  to compete just like everyone else, so I don’t see why they are allowed to choose who they fight and I get stuck getting a refund because they don’t want to fight.  I want to fight, I train to fight and for these girls to just get a pass is just frustrating and annoying.  I will fight whoever they put in front of me, I don’t look at size or height, just the challenge that lays ahead.

I don’t just bulldoze through people either, in 9 competitions I have only won one match and that was just a few weeks ago. I guess I am intimidating for my size. I realize everyday that I am 5 ft and about 240 pounds and built more like a line backer than figure skater. I can’t grow any taller and my goal weight one day won’t even been that low, like these girls are at now. One day I would like to fight MMA, but if I can’t even get a no-gi match right now at these competitions, I will probably be hard pressed to find a mma fight at over 200. I’m just going to continue to do me, and if girls are going to be scared, then be scared, your missing an opportunity to better yourself by not competing with me.

Leprechaun out


Team Training and The Ice is melting

So the ice is finally melting in most places so I am free to roam about the streets again. I think this has to be the coldest birthday weekend of record for me. I finally have gotten out and driven around town.  I didn’t get much running this week done, but I did snowboard down my street and backyard.

On Saturday, I went to Shawn Hammond’s Annual Team Training which was awesome. Over 130 people braved the ice, snow and rain to make it to gym. I bet if it hadn’t been such a bad weather week we would have anymore. But it was a good training day. First things first, I saw quite a few of my friend and teammates promoted to higher ranks. These guys have been working at it for years and we were all happy to see them promoted. By the time all of the promotions were done we had went from 13 to 20 Black Belts on the mat.

After promotions, we had 3 – 20 minutes drilling sessions from 3 different black belts. Thanks Ray, Jordan and Dave.   Some of the things we trained, I can definitely see putting into my game plan, but other not so much just do to I am   leprechaun height and they work with  people of regular stature. After the hour of drilling, we had 2 hours to roll, but with 130 people on the mats it could be a challenge. So different belts would switch each round at first then by then end it was who every wanted to roll left on the mats. I got to roll with my friend Kassidy so that was awesome. By the end of team training I was worn out but I still felt good.

I am ready to get back to the pace of every day life this week with the ice gone.  I am ready to start running again this week, I realized that I was missing running, but I was still keeping active with all my stunts in the snow and ice.  I will just keep moving forward and keep progression. I am getting better everyday so that is all I can hope for.

This leprechaun is going to keep moving, shaking and getting stronger. So world watch out.


Bonus Points if you can find me in the picture.

Ice Week in the South

So I’m been at home for the last 48 hours due to the ice storm that has covered most of the south. I haven’t left my house since Sunday where I actually spent most of the day in the bed because I was tired and worn out from not sleeping well over the last few weeks. So I took the day to catch up on my sleep.

Things that happened: I complete the Hot Chocolate 5K on Saturday morning in 50:31. It was freezing cold and I thought my toes were solid rocks when I started but I made a good pace. I still am working on picking up the speed, but I still have 10 weeks before my half marathon.

My training is going well, last week I ran my first 3 miles under 50 minutes. My goal is to get my mile under 15 minutes because that will put me on pace to finish the half marathon under the pace limits. That is my current goal.

In other news: my birthday is Thursday and I will be 25. There was a time in my life that I never thought I would make it to the age of 18 so to be here at 25 and enjoying life is awesome. I went thought a lot of pain and anger when I was younger so I am very happy to make to the age of 25 with all of the great fiends I have these days.

So my birthday wish this year is to have people donate to St. Jude as I am running the County Music Half Marathon as a St. Jude Hero. I want to thank Lynn M. T as she was my first donation to my  fundraiser. And I want to challenge everyone reading and wishing me Happy Birthday this week to donate on this ice storm week in Nashville.  You can donate here:   http://heroes.stjude.org/rachelleh

I have been sledging this week…and I also have an ice burn.

Until next time…


Paleo: Week 5 and others things

This week was very different as I tried to make more meals instead of just having meat and veggies. Some of the things that I cooked were good and some were not that great. The things that were good were great like my spaghetti squash pie. But the things that were bad  were probably bad because I messed something up. But I realized that I get thrown off track easily when the food doesn’t turn the way I want it. So this week I am refocusing and I am sticking with recipes and things that I know will be good or having back up plan like having some sliced turkey ready to be able to replace my meat option. My breakfast was all thrown off last week so it was hard to change mid-stride last week but this week I am getting more back to basics so that should help.

I also competed in the Atlanta Open on the 31st of January. I went down with Kenny and Javier and sat around all day and watched friends compete. I lost my first match by a Kimura, but I wasn’t disheartened by it.  My cardio felt good and I felt good, but my size and strength are still at a disadvantage.  I need to work on my upper body strength especially in my shoulder. Hopefully that will help stabilize the weakness in my shoulders.   Also need to working on seeing while rolling.

Here is video is you want to watch my match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWsTQ_wy5fU

I also started my half marathon training  this week. I am slowly inching my way pace down, but I am going to get this done. I am actually doing the hot chocolate run this up coming Saturday as well.

My birthday is coming up as well and what I am asking for my birthday this year is for donations to St. Jude as I am a  St. Jude’s Hero for the County Music 1/2 Marathon. You can donate here:   http://heroes.stjude.org/rachelleh

So pretty much things are going good here, should get my blood work back from the doctor this week as well. Now just to deal with the hot glue gun burn on my hand. 🙂

Until next time…



Paleo: Week 4

Yay. I have made it to week 4 with being on Paleo and man does it feel good. I feel like I have learned a lot by myself and how to cook over the last 4 weeks. I wouldn’t really call it a diet, but more a lifestyle change . I got through the the first 4 weeks with some basic cooking skills, but this next month I am going to try and make more complex recipes than what I have done this past month.  The pros of doing this have out weighed the cons for sure. This is something that when you break it down really means I am losing grains because I already am lactose-intolerant. And doing this 80/20 means I can still eat those things that I want to eat, but I am going to make sure it is worth it when I do eat it.

This has been eyeopening and just seeing how much money I have saved by eating most of my meals at home has been crazy.  This is something when I first started I was like oh it will help me lose weight and I definitely have seen that start to happen. When I started on this 4 weeks ago,I was like I am not going to weigh myself for a month so that way I could see if it was truly a weight loss change or a body composition change. So today is that day and I got on the scale .

As of this morning, in a month I have lost about 4 pounds, which equals out to 1 pound each week. That is just really crappy , when I have more than reduced my calories and even starting working out more. My goal was always do this for a month and then see where I was at. So for how far i reduced my calories I should have had more weight loss than that. I can say that my body composition has definitely changed and my clothes are becoming a lot looser. So that is a positive, just sucks to not have seen as much difference on the scale. So I had myself my pity party this morning, but I am going to keep on going. Because I am not going to let this define me.

I know a lot of this could be due to my PCOS because it is the devil and hates me. But I have a doctors appointment on Friday, and so then we are going to have a come to Jesus meeting to figure out what is going on.

I am not going to let this win, I am going to keep going. I can’t and won’t let this stop me. This year is going to be the year of change for me and I’m going to keep going because all I can do is keep moving.

I just want to say a quick thanks to anyone who has asked about my journey or have told me that they have seen a difference. You really don’t know how much that means to me and how it keeps me motivated, especially on a day like today where I am struggling but I know I have people behind that will stand with me through this all. So Thanks.

Leprechaun out 🙂


Yes I am wearing my hair differently now….

Weightloss: the beginning

As most people who know me, know that I have been overweight since I was 10 years only. By the time I reached high school I was already 220 lbs. Currently, I am about at 240 after loosing about 25 pounds since I started doing jiu-jitsu in the fall. But that is still far off from where for my height, I should be. Now, I won’t be getting super skinny to 129 where the doctors would like to see me in a health weight range, but I am working my weight down. After competing at pans, at 240 and 5ft, I am largely outsized in my division that has no upper weight limit.  So currently, I am in the process of just working my weight down to my goal somewhere of a walk around weight between 175 to 185. In my head, I would like to get down to a walk around weight of 175, which would make the cut to Heavy next year for Pans be super easy with the limit with my gi on being 175.5. But I do know what my body will say to that. I haven’t been in the high 100s in weight since I was in middle school which was over 10 years ago at this point for me.  For so long, my weight was a way to cope, because I coped through food when I was younger, but I have gotten passed that.

So that leads me to where I am today, last week I started on I wouldn’t say a diet but more or less watching what I am eating to see how much I am eating of different things. I am trying to stick somewhere between 1,700 and 2,000 calories a day deepening on how much I train on a certain day. So far, it has been working for me. I just have to prepare a lot of my food on Sunday for the week, because when I get home from work and the gym  I am exhausted and don’t want to do much else ,except eat and go to sleep some nights.

I have been needing to do this for a while, even though most people couldn’t guess it at my highest weight I was over 270, so it is time for a change. It going to take a while and I know that. This isn’t even something that I would want to have happen over night. Just like in jiu-jitsu you don’t go from a white belt to black belt without working for it. It was time for me to make a change in life and going to Pans gave me the kick in the butt I needed.

I am looking forward to being in full leprechaun mode, but what I am not looking forward to buying new clothes. I hate clothes shopping, but I guess that will be a good reward once I start losing all the weight.

Over the last few years, I have made a lot of changes and decisions to live a better, healthier life and this is just one more commitment to that.