She tells it this way, she grew up poor in Grangemont. After graduating from Orofino High School in 1994 she ended up in Florida, working her way through nursing school waiting tables and bartending. It was there she discovered her talent for boxing and the money she could earn doing it.
Before her first fight she realized she needed a ring name. Her sister suggested Code Red, a reference to Nickel’s red hair and her interest in nursing.
The name fit what she became. Ring Magazine named her one of the “Top 3 Most Dangerous Females on the Planet” in her 154 pound weight class. MTV hired her for a role as a coach in a reality series called “MADE.” Then she became a celebrity trainer in New York, where she was named the best trainer in the city by Allure Magazine.
Nickel, who turns 42 today and now lives in Boise, retired from the ring in 2010 but she’s still fighting, this time her opponent is the obesity epidemic and the myths that keep people fat. Her book, “The Code Red Revolution: How Thousands of People Are Losing Weight Without Shakes, Pills, Diet Foods, or Exercise,” came out last Thanksgiving. She’s been travelling the country spreading her message which boils down to:
“Weight loss has nothing to do with exercise,” Nickel said in a phone interview this week.
She came to this realization when she was in her 30s, working out in the gym for hours each day but still gaining weight. In fact, she was 20 pounds overweight, despite the fact she was an elite level cyclist pedaling about 300 miles a week.
“I discovered it was 100 percent related to the food I was putting in my mouth,” she said.
Carb loading is one of the myths Nickel tackles in her book, which she’ll be signing Saturday in Lewiston. Low-fat diets and eating several times a day are others.
“My mission is to make sure that people know the truth.”
The first 5,000 copies of the book sold out in less than three months, she said.
Exercise is important,“but it’s not as important as society has guilted us into believing.
It’s all about guilt, guilt from the media, from Instagram, airbrushed bruises, scars and stretchmarks — that’s all part of being normal. It’s frustrating to me that society is making us, women especially, feel shame.”
IF YOU GO
Who: Cristy Nickel, author of “Code Red Revolution”
When: 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 7
Where: Red Lion Hotel, 621 21st St., Lewiston