I’ma ’bout to throw my scales out a window. Tantrum styles. Who’s with me?
How about directly at a wall instead? No? Just me?
I’ve always struggled with weight cuts, most people do I guess. ‘Shit is HARD.
Weight loss hasn’t been the worst journey for me because I focused on making it enjoyable and prioritised learning skills that require big energy expenditure: Krav Maga, yoga, jiu jitsu, stunt work, fire poi…) but cutting a few kilos from what my body likes to sit at (64kg) is hard. I find it a lot more difficult than weight loss.
And I want to whine about it!
The differentiation between weight loss and weight cutting is important here and I think is worthy of discussing as I continue to hear and see the two mixed up on social media all the time now. I also see images of so many people on Instagram that look amazing but they are sharing images of themselves at a lower body fat percentage that is beyond even what most body sculptors would aim for when appearing shiny and brown on stage.
I’m going to guess that this is possible for some people (?), for some shorter periods of time? I’m not qualified to make comment or advise direction to anyone on the matter but what I know for sure, it aint possible for me. Even at my leanest I wasn’t as lean (body fat % wise) as the #inspo #fitfam that are on Insta are daily & claiming to be ‘weight loss’.
I would give a solid LOL to the ceiling if I found out people are doing water cuts or whatever pre Insta-pic taking but I also would not be surprised.
For me, in hierarchy of difficulty it has been:
3. Weight loss
2. Weight loss maintenance
1. Weight cut
Maybe I’m off track on this one but for the purposes of this article I’m seeing weight loss as a sustainable and lasting change to your/my size and body composition. A change of lifestyle that holds key goals – health (mental and physical), wellness, longevity, that is then ideally backed up with: maintenance.
Weight cutting is for sure a totally different aim (though I see people try do a weight cut & think they’ll be keeping the results long term…oh my, the disappointment coming your way young innocent…). Weight cuts are very often very unhealthy, for a short term purpose and not at all maintainable. They are not a lifestyle. To live long term in this this unbalanced and entirely obsessive state would be for sure the exact opposite of health (mental and physical).
I have lost weight.
I have lost weight (It was a long time ago so I have also MAINTAINED a weight loss).
A weight loss goal written on my Weight Watchers card back in 2005 once read:
Current weight: 86kg
Goal weight: 60kg
I remember the in-joke in my household at the time was that we would need to remove a leg for me to get to 60kg. We were would lol about which leg…
I never did get to 60kg. Well I did..once…but that was for about 2mins and for a weigh in and I was nude…and the scale was…kind.
I think I could be 60kg but only if you strip me of all the muscle I currently cruise about with. I’m good thanks, I’ll keep it. Even if it does drive me nuts come weight division selection time.
I haven’t cut weight.
I haven’t cut weight.
Nope, not this camp and not yet, despite my hard work & crazy focused discipline so far.
What does this mean? This means that though I’ve been working my ass off, eating right, training right, sleeping right, supps right, resting right….I’m still 4kg off my weigh in weight. I’ve also only lost 1.2kg over a 6 week period.
This happens to me most pre-comp camps. My weight doesn’t budge up until the last scary minute and I do not love the adrenaline rush of it.
I’ve never missed weight but I also never get there comfortably. Even if its 1.5kg
So whats going on there?
I have for sure changed my body composition over the past few weeks. I’m leaner, faster and stronger, like plenty stronger. I look a lot more muscular and from every angle.
My clothes are hanging off me in different places and tight in others. My Gis are too big. My bras are now useless and the cups sit away from my chest like a balcony missing its patrons.
So I’ve taken this information to my support team (Dr. Hannah on Nutrition, JT on S&C, Martin on technique) and we’re all on the same page.
No more heavy lifting, now instead, heavy sweating.
GROSS but I’m up for it. I’m up for and open to anything that works. Even if I hate it.
So now, moving forward, we add in heaps of HIIT as well as long slow cardio (thats walking to us normal folk). The HIIT scares crap out of me. I would love to grind out heavy slow deadlifts forever but the thought of the prowler for rounds makes me want to curl up into a ball and rock while weeping.
I can’t hide from it though and, like all things in jiu jitsu and life, the things we find the most challenging are very often the best thing for us.
Sometimes, juuuust sometimes, less is more
So, what did the week look like?
Monday I did my last solo HIIT circuit session. We were still in Queensland so I went with the plan JT had sent me away with. I did a circuit with no breaks covering swings, push ups, thrusters and other fun shit that makes you want to puke and or die, which ever one comes mercifully first.
Tuesday night I was back in Melbourne with my team and did a two hour session of rounds. Half gi, half no gi. I find no gi sharpens your connection (especially when passing) for gi so I don’t avoid it when preparing for gi only competitions. You can ALWAYS be working for a gi style event, even when in no gi…better angles, better pressure, better timing. Any rolling is beneficial as long as it is done with conscious purpose.
After the session I was feeling guilty that I hadn’t lifted heavy in a while. I made the choice (without checking with anyone first) to squat super heavy. Plus a few extra lifts added in as a set. Pretty much this was my ego and anxiety leading the way over logic or science.
Want to get bigger and heavier while limiting calories? Hypertrophy is for you!
In so many ways I am still a slave to ‘not training hard enough’ guilt often. I am trying to learn. Injury due to overuse has taught me a lot about this…now its time for non shifting weight to show me to stop being an idiot. Sometimes, juuuust sometimes, less is more. And it is definitely more if you need to do less of what doesn’t help you toward your goals and more of what does.
Wednesday saw me, not surprisingly, fatigued and heavy. I went to visit Liv at her new gym in St Kilda. She has just recently opened/moved her gym from South Yarra to St Kilda and the place is a palace. It is also lined with Australian Jiu Jitsu royalty. It is an honour to have access to them and to her in the lead up to Abu Dhabi.
Loads of her team are headed to Abu Dhabi to represent themselves (Absolute MMA) as well as Australia. As we’re both heading over to face the brown/black division it is an important time for us to support each other and bond. We’re in this together and our experience will be very similar. We totally have each others backs, which is worth more than both our weight combined in confidence and certainty.
We’re always tight but prior to competition is extra important. We have prepped together for many years and many comps successfully in the past, regardless of teams we’re representing. Though Liv has competed at much higher level than me (and more often) she is always open to us cross training. And boy do we smash each other. Its the best fun ever. Visiting on Wednesday was no exception. It was great to also get some rolls in with Jo before she headed up to Sydney for the Sydney Open.
We roll serious but never really take ourselves that way. Fun is a massive stress reliever during these times. Essential. Aaaaaand probably unavoidable in their company.
Thursday I hit fatigue phase: whinge.
JT and I smashed out HIIT and I truly felt every part an old lady that had regrettably thrown a heavy lifting session into the beginning of the week. Rolling that night at Vanguard BJJ (my gym in Richmond) was like I was made of pool noodles. Pool noodles with sticks inside them. Rotten sticks. That hurt. And like to whinge. Did I mention the whinging?
Friday was comp rounds in the evening. They were hard, stupidly hard. I held back tears a lot. Mainly out of frustration. I had fatigued myself to the point of not having any gas left, specifically in my arms. They just wouldn’t do anything. I asked.
At about an hour in, my amazing team mate Kieran grabbed me by the shoulders while I was stammering about being gassed and panicking. He said directly into my face ‘You need to shut up and let it go. Get on with it. Focus and forget that shit.’
After an hour of guard entries, throws, reactions to guard pulls, specific sub scenarios (top and bottom) I finally snapped and focused. I stopped hearing our sound system and went to war. Pure instinct. Absolute hell. And PURE happiness when the rest of the session was over.
I drank 2 litres of water during that 90 minute session and still lost 2.5kg. It was HARD.
Saturday was another session with JT. The very last of our slow and heavy sessions. Thats it for me for my favourite style of training this comp prep. I LOVE lifting heavy but we’ve gotten to strong enough for this competition, we peaked. Now we have to go to work on getting my weight down and my explosively up.
We’ve been adding in long walks (an hour a day) to lean me out, burn a few extra calories and add in an exercise that won’t injur or tax me in any way. Walking is perfect.
So I hit Sunday and my active rest walk at 9am with great happiness. Nothing quite like earning the shit out of a Sunday.
So my weight is still the same as 5 weeks ago but I look very different, I FEEL entirely different and though I’m nervous about making weight, I absolutely have faith in the process.
Pic L: Week 1, 64kg
Pic R: Week 2, 64kg