The Hot Dog That Changed My Life

I carried an extra 50 pounds on my body for four years of college and three years after. When I get asked now what the catalyst was, I usually say it was Mary Beth’s wedding in Aruba.


Not that this isn’t true, but it’s the easy answer, and having a deadline turned it from a dream into a goal. August 1, 2009. Go.

Yesterday, I was scrolling through Twitter and saw Matt post this image:


And I realized I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about the final catalyst that got me to where I am.

For my 26th birthday, I went to Mexican Radio with some friends and followed it up with a late, late, late night at Pravda.


I kept celebrating my birthday all weekend long. Monday, we had off from work, and my friend Amy and I went to Old Town Bar for beer and hot dogs.

At the beginning of that year, I’d said I wanted to get my shit together and lose weight, and I had started working out a bit more, but it was all fairly half-hearted untill then.

That night that Amy and I went to Old Town, I decided enough was enough. I felt gross, and I just didn’t want to feel like that any more. So I ordered my hot dog…and a salad…and I never looked back.

So, yeah. A hot dog changed my life.

What was the catalyst for you to make a big change? Or…tell me about your favorite hot dog?

17 comments on “The Hot Dog That Changed My Life

  1. Carla

    Sometimes it only takes what others might think is a small thing. But it’s not usually small for the person who had that one final push for change.

    I don’t like hot dogs. But I love the chili that gets put on them. πŸ™‚

  2. Cobb

    My catalyst for getting fit is fear. It may sound funny weird but when I thought it’s gonna be tough when I had to run for my life, I started preparing my workout plan. Have to say I stick to only 80% of it. Hope to do better in the coming days:)

  3. Kristin

    When I turned 39, I said I wanted to lose weight and get in shape by the time I was 40. But I did nothing for several months. Then, one of my juvenile clients went off to in-patient treatment for 35 days. Aha moment…if he could commit 35 days to learning habits that would change his life, I could too. I vowed to spend the next 35 days eating clean…and it stuck. (Exercise came in a little later.) I wasn’t “done” by the time I was 40, but I was well on my way. It’s been more than 9 years since I took that step. My favorite hot dog–Puka Dog, at Poipu Shopping Center in Kauai. So. Awesome.

  4. Amy

    My catalyst was… my sister. She pushed me one summer to go work out with her, all summer long, nearly every day she would make me join her at the gym. I didn’t dislike working out, but her schedule was not great for me and often I felt so angry at her for making me go with her. Regardless, I did develop a good habit of going to the gym, and once she went back to school I found my own work out schedule that fit me better. I guess she was my catalyst. Tough love. Also I love hotdogs, all kinds! Good ones, bad ones! YUM!

  5. katie

    Very cool! I need that catalyst. I make small changes, but they haven’t equaled a huge loss. I’m slowly on my way towards making that change. I’ve got a trip to mexico this spring, so I’m trying to clean up my eating now.

  6. Ashley

    I actually had a roommate that could tell I was struggling and sat me down one night and had a brutally candid, honest, and heartfelt talk with me. While I certainly had bumps in the road after that, I know THAT was the catalyst that finally changed my thinking!

  7. Lily

    I lived in Georgia for eight years, and between all the delicious, crazy unhealthy Southern food the actual seasons (I told myself it was too hot to exercise outside in summer, too cold in the winter), and the drinking, I gained a lot of weight without really realizing it. I started dating my now-husband, and we “grew together,” both gaining a significant amount of weight. As soon as I moved back to Southern California, near the ocean, I knew I had no excuse, and I immediately started eating better and exercising. Even though I was so out of shape, I kept up with running and eventually lost about 40 pounds and have run two half marathons and have a couple more lined up. My husband lost 50 pounds!

  8. Charice

    My catalyst was pretty sudden too, a “just like that” moment. I decided that I wanted to take control of my life and the first thing to do is get in the best shape possible. I just told myself that it was time to make REAL changes in my life.

    Speaking of hot dogs, I’m going to add it into my “cheat day” for this week. Add some relish and grilled onions on it…yummy.

  9. Caitlin

    My catalyst came the day I decided to seek recovery for an ED after I ate a kid size scoop of Ben & Jerry’s while on vacation with my family, and cried afterward. I knew then that I didn’t want to be a prisoner anymore and wanted to be free! The best hot dog I’ve ever had was this past May at Taste of the Nation. Just incredible.

  10. Sian

    An ice cream sundae. I was at a pub with my best friend talking about how fed up I was with my body, that I felt like it had gotten out of hand and how much I wanted to change. All while stuffing myself with ice cream! We laughed about it at the time, but 40 lbs have gone so it really was the catalyst! Please visit my blog if you have the time =)

  11. Charice

    Sooner or later, you’ll just look yourself in the mirror and realize you only have one body to live in. Why not get in the best shape? Things really change once you have control of your health and body.

  12. Cheri

    Holy crap, I love this post. I carried about 25-30 extra lbs and I hated my body, especially my stomach, after college. Looking back, it was because I ate horribly, and I worked out MAYBE once a month.

    My moment came when I went on Spring Break with some friends, and the pictures from the club were hideous. I looked like a whale in the pics, completely different from myself. That summer, I worked as a fitness instructor at camp, and went from someone who totally hated everything about her body – to someone who LOVES her body because I take care of it – and I’m so thrilled with the way you look after a few years of working out.

    I TOTALLY related to this post.


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