Thursday, March 31, 2011

Making weight... Questions at the end.

First... just crazy. I get a weekly email from the Home/Garden section of the Washington Post, and I read one of the articles about kitchen organization. It actually said this nonsense:

"Fridge aesthetics. Have you considered artfully arranging the contents of your refrigerator and freezer shelves? When you open the door, it will be a calming experience."

Some people need to get lives!

Second.  This was on DSTRYR-SG and it made me think-- as I have so often in the last few days-- "I should have done that at the Pan!"  But I'm not obsessing.  Much.

OK, on to more important matters.. Weight. I have given up the dream of ever being a featherweight. Why? Because I'd be unhealthy! How do I know this? (aside from the fact that, to attain such a weight, I'd have to completely give up every foodstuff which brings me pleasure, like donuts, pasta, or pizza, which is unhealthy by definition..)

Because the day I left for the Pan, I had my body fat percentage tested at my gym, Castle Hill Fitness, using the Bod Pod, and here's what the computer spits out. (It's as reliable a measurement as the old-fashioned dunk tank water displacement method, fyi..)

I have 18.1% bodyfat. That, apparently, is considered "ultra lean," "fat levels sometimes found in elite athletes."

Obviously, they haven't seen me in a bikini, but I'm taking them at their word.

For me to go from "squeaking into leve/light" (138 lbs) to "squeaking into pena/feather" (125 lbs) and still keep all my lean mass (113 lbs of muscle, bone, and internal organs) I'd have to go down to 8.5% body fat, well below the "essential fat" range for women of 12-15%.

I was damn happy with all this news.  At 38 years old, to be anywhere near "elite athlete" (even if it's just on a piece of paper) feels pretty good. I also felt relieved that I could stop beating myself up for failing to get down to 125.  I weighed 125 earlier in my jiu jitsu career (weighed 119 before that!) and kept wondering why the HELL it was so hard to get back there... well, it's because I have more muscle! 

Of course, when I was done with the whole weigh in and fight and such at the Pan, I proceeded to indulge my carb cravings.  Tacos, check.  Donuts, check.  Pizza, check.  Here's the FABULOUS pizza at Domenico's in Long Beach, with my friend's boyfriend Todd about to dig in...  trust me when I tell you, after you've made weight at Mundials you want to eat (pieces of) two pizzas.  One, the sausage/pepperoni one (below) at Domenico's, and two, the sausage/pepper one at Boston Gourmet Pizza (also in Long Beach, right next to the Aquarium of the Pacific.)

In fact, I even taste-tested donuts in Orange, CA where my girlfriend lives... I can now tell you that after Mundials make-weight, I will head back to YumYum Donuts on Tustin and have another crumbcake donut.  It. Was. Splendid.  (should have taken a picture.)

Anyway-- can you tell I'm back on Paleo now, and fantasizing?

Spent plenty of time talking to refs, staff, and other competitors at the Pan about the whole make-weight thing and the funny stuff we all do when we're in that place.  The night before I competed, I ate shreds of cabbage and one cup of light, nonfat yogurt.  I ate NOTHING and drank maybe an ounce of water before I weighed in at 1:45ish.  Then on my way to the mat, I drank mango nectar and it was sweet heaven.

Now after all that blather... how many of you people have some disordered behavior when it comes to weight and eating?  What do you do to make weight, or do you care? any special routines or diets or anything else you do?  What have you tried and discarded?  I have one friend who swears a colonic gets rid of 6-8 lbs, and another who said it did nothing for losing weight.  (But if you try it, the advice she shared was "make sure it's a closed system, not the open system kind"-- whatever that means!)

Discuss, and please include your gender, walking around weight, and competition weight.  Thanks!


Jonna said...

8.5% body fat is too low!

I have been struggling with my weight recently. I'm 5'2" and I used to weigh 110 lbs. but when I stopped doing BJJ, I ballooned to about 120-125 lbs! I haven't weighed myself lately, but I know I'm bigger because I don't fit in my clothes anymore.

I started taking Bragg's apple cider vinegar last month. Not exactly to lose weight, but to cleanse my colon of all the fatty and oily things I have been eating especially when I wasn't training. Although I'm not sure if it had an effect on my weight (some people say it does), what I noticed is the increase in my energy. I feel better throughout the day, and I don't feel like a rug at night even after an intense training. Maybe that's why it helps you lose weight, because it gives you the energy to train harder?

SavageKitsune said...

It's very important to me to not abuse my body before asking it to perform in a tournament. I want to be able to eat a decent breakfast and drink as much as I want on the morning of the comp, without having to stress that I might not make weight. Thus I always end up weighing in a pound or two below the cutoff for the NEXT LOWER weight class. I knew I could have squeaked into that lower one, but I wanted to feel okay about breakfast and decent hydration.

The most recent comp I did, my opponent was slightly overweight- so these factors combined to give her a ten-pound advantage, and I was definitely feeling that while we were fighting.

I have been eating a lot of chicken breasts and eggs... and when a comp is coming up, These foods make up a greater and greater percentage of my diet.

I stay within about 3lb of my tournament weight. I don't "cut". I give myself several weeks to make sure I ease down those three pounds or so.

I'd like to be about 5lb lighter than my tournament weight (which would put me comfortably into the low end of that next-lower bracket), and I know I could get there if I worked at it hard enough, but thus far I haven't wanted it quite badly enough to make the culinary sacrifices. I love candy, baked goods and pasta, and I have a terrible Dr Pepper monkey on my back.

Georgette said...

I'm already 4-6" short for my weight class, so there's no way I'm going to compete a weight class up! I envy you Kitsune :)

SavageKitsune said...

Discuss, and please include your gender, walking around weight, and competition weight. Thanks!
Sorry, forgot to include.


Walking around- I try to stay under 130, but I sometimes creep up to about 133-ish.

Comp- our local comps have a 129.1 to 141 bracket for gi (this is WITH the gi on) and I usually weigh in at 127-129 with the gi on just before competing.

No-gi: My bracket is 124.6-135.5 (this is in your no-gi outfit). Again, I usually weigh just under the lower limit.

SavageKitsune said...

How tall are you? I'm only 5.0. My opponents are usually taller. I'm thick (not fat, but muscular).

Georgette said...

I'm 5'2", walk around somewheres between 137-143... but ibjjf leve weight class upper limit (in gi) is 141.0. So I need to be about 137 to squeak in. Most leve girls seem 5'4"-5'7". Pena, 118.2-129.0 I think, would need me to be 125. And pluma 118.0 and under? Fugeddaboutit! I'm the right height for pluma-pena but.... yeah :)

Since we weigh in right before the match I don't abuse myself or "cut" weight, though if I ate whatever I wanted the night before i'd easily fail to make weight. And medio girls are usually 5'5"-5'8" and solid. No thanks!

Emily Lemos said...

Hmm, now I'm really curious about my body fat composition! I'm 5'0" and currently 126 lbs. My weight has climbed and dropped for my entire jiu-jitsu career as I only started training BJJ a month or two before getting pregnant. I am still losing weight - no longer baby fat, as that was all gone 4 lbs ago.
I didn't realize just how much of an advantage those pounds gave me until they were gone. I don't know if it's because I've been walking around in calorie deficit mode for so long, or because I no longer have that extra heft, but I don't have the strength I used to.
I've only competed once, and I fell nicely into the middle of a weight class. I think if I had really tried to cut weight, I would have been at a serious disadvantage. But, then again, I'd have been competing against smaller women...

Anyway, my only thing for making the scale say what I want it to say is taking metamucil at the same time every day - it stops weight fluctuations. And, as an added bonus, it mostly fills me up for a long time, so it makes it easier to follow a healthy eating plan. It's really hard to enjoy a bowl of ice cream when your stomach is completely full of 15 calories of fiber!

If my refrigerator magically made itself aesthetically arranged, I bet that would be calming. However, if I had to do the arranging, it would be so very not calming...

JCC-CSV said...

The Bod Pod can have some pretty interesting error rates, I hear. The people that I know that have used BP have all come away questioning the results. Not an expert, but I've heard it enough that I even remembered what it was.

Shark Girl said...

That's great news. The number on the scale does not tell the whole story.

Afrorican said...

8.5 % was the first thing to jump out at me. I know it's already been said but that is too low.
I'm 6 foot almost 6'1" walk around at 195 but I prefer to drop to 170-179 class when it is available otherwise it's 185 for me.
I'm planning on doing the BodPod too after my current training cycle in May. I think having that information will help me make an informed decision about where I need to be for comps.

Stephanie said...

I'm a 5'9 female. My walking around weight is 140-145. Which is where would need to be to fight middle weight, where I compete most of the time. I did cut down to light weight once, which was 134. But, for my height 135 is considered slightly underweight.

It just really irks me that my walking around weight is so close to the lower weight class. It is generally just a 5-10 pound drop, but that drop puts me below 10% body fat... so it gets REALLY difficult for me to lose... to the point I think it is unhealthy. So I have vowed to never cut that low again.

To get to light weight (134), the only time I really had to cut, in six weeks I had to eat about 800-1200 calories a day.. I ate the same things I normally eat, just smaller portions... and of course nixing things like cheese and mayo. I trained for 2-4 hours a day 6 days a week, and ran 5-14 miles every night. (I would just run until my legs couldn't go any further, I averaged about 8).. I hit a hard wall around 139, which is where I started to get below 10% body fat, at that point I had to start cutting out carbs. Like I said, generally very not healthy. But, oh to be a 5'9 light weight! ... As fun as it may be... I will never do it again. It was way way too hard to do, and I think very bad for me physically. I wouldn't want to put my body through that again.

It probably wouldn't have been so bad if I had a longer period to lose the weight, but the competition was mid February, and I wasn't about to diet over Thanksgiving and Christmas... and I doubt I would have had as much to lose if again, it wasn't right after the holidays. =)

And btw, I checked my body fat percentage at our local gym... so I don't know how accurate it really was... However it seemed to at least be consistent. So while the actual percent of fat it was giving me may have been wrong, I think it was accurately telling me what percentage I was losing.... and then gaining back. lol

Hel said...

I am wondering as women how you deal with additional weight at varying times of the month? I am concerned that at a certain point of the month I am lighter and at a certain point I am heavier and that may just put me over for a weight class. Does anyone experience this?? Thanks

Zen Mojo said...

Closet aesthetics. Have you considered ironing and artfully arranging all of your gis in your closet? When you open the door, it will be a calming experience.

Once you have experienced this sensation, we're sure you will want to take the same care with your gym bag. Some simple bags filled with fresh potpourri can add a little spice to an evening roll. Folding and tying your rashguards with some ribbon not only pleases the eye but makes them much easier to find in the dark recesses of a big bag.

:-) sorry I couldn't resist.

SavageKitsune said...

Hel said...
I am wondering as women how you deal with additional weight at varying times of the month? I am concerned that at a certain point of the month I am lighter and at a certain point I am heavier and that may just put me over for a weight class. Does anyone experience this?? Thanks
That is one of the reasons I carefully plot to be a few pounds safely under the limit. There are certain times of the month when I can wake up one morning and be two pounds heavier. I would be so ticked off if that happened on tournament morning and put me over weight.