Now, to weightloss and Jiu Jitsu.
2016, was a rough year, wonderful but rough.
I started doing No-Gi in July of 2015, took parts of August off, but came back with vengeance in September and didn’t stop. I started Gi in January of 2016. I got my first stripe in May, and then my second in July. And being promoted was such an awesome experience. The promotion is validation of hard work and dedication. Then I competed for the fist time mid-September. Competing was one of the hardest things I have ever physically done. EVER. And sadly, competing really messed me up mentally. There were some things said directly and indirectly to me that will resonate with me forever.
My confidence took a huge hit. Jiu Jitsu is such a small sport in my state/ region and an even smaller for women. It was hard for them to find competitors in my weight class, even after losing over 70lbs I outweighed the women’s bracket by 76lbs. EVEN after losing over 70lbs….:(
I signed up for the competition, and once the brackets were posted I was mortified. I didn’t have any opponents who were women. I was bumped into a heavyweight bracket in a MEN’S division. Typically in tournaments men and women aren’t paired together, for what I would think are obvious reasons.
It is scientifically proven that men are stronger than women, and a man my size would MURDER me in a tournament. But, I train with primarily males anyway, so I wasn’t too put off with it and I felt it was my job to compete in the bracket anyway and do my best. Even though I felt it was unfair to put me with men in a tournament… especially my first.
I trained as hard as I could with the biggest guys we had. I found out my opponent outweighed me by 60lbs. I ended up getting pretty sick with bronchitis/ sinus infection a week or two before the competition and that made training more difficult than I would of liked, plus trying to mentally prepare myself to compete (in GI) against a guy.
Move towards the competition:
Not that it mattered at the point of weight in, but I did end up weighing in about 10 lbs more than I was typically walking around at… (thank you high metabolism junk food eating boyfriend/ now husband) I also found out when I got there that I ended up getting moved into the women’s bracket in no gi.
I had two matches in no-gi, and they were tough. I tried to keep as technical as possible and get the take-down to submission avoiding using my weight and overly using my strength. I take so much pride in making sure I am technically sound before I use ANY strength or weight, because it is something I am SO self conscious about.
I won my first match with a head and arm choke. We did have to get reset and the ref didn’t put me back into the position, and gave her the advantage but I successfully got the same takedown into the submission.
My second match was brutal. I did not want to compete against her, and I was LOATHING that I was going to get in her bracket when I signed up. This girl had GRIT, but I have more. I ended up losing both my contacts, and my hair was a complete disaster after 10 minutes. During our fight for the take down she ended up slapping me a few times. I brushed it off as an accident the first time, but after that it seemed like it was a bit more on purpose pretending to get a necktie. We fought to the ground and she ended up in mount and that is basically where we stayed for the round, I couldn’t get out and she couldn’t submit. At one point she pulled an armbar as I was trying to escape but I rolled out not once, but twice, escaped and got to side control until the ref moved us again. We went into overtime. She got the advantage and took my back, but I escaped. I had been practicing my spider web for weeks with my now husband and knew I would defeat her in that position. And I did. I did it with technique and power and grit. Did I want to rip her arm off? You bet… But did I ? No. Her reaction to loss and her team’s reaction to loss is something I’ll never forget. Representing my coaches and my school, and myself well are very very important to me. Some of the things that happened that day, and the day after make me so disgusted with people in our sport. Some women get so defensive, competitive and nasty about things. But Jiu Jitsu is for everyone. Though I didn’t directly hear some of the things that were said, it’s the hurt of knowing that the one thing I hate the most about myself and struggle with the most was used against me and it has crushed me and my confidence ever since. Even after losing over 70lbs but they didn’t know that, and how were they supposed to? Yeah, we all want to win, but degrading a fellow competitor because of a loss and lack of technique on your part is unacceptable. But, life isn’t fair and Jiu Jitsu isn’t fair and this is how the game is played sometimes. Technique will overcome strength/ weight every time.
After my two no-gi matches, it was in my best interest to pull myself from the gi match against the guy. My Coaches saw his no-gi matches and thought for my own safety that it would be best to not compete. Which, looking at who I was going against it was a good decision to pull from that bracket.
After that competition, I was on this rollercoaster of desperately trying to loose weight and amp up my Jiu Jitsu fix my flaws so that I would never have to experience a match like that again. I had a mini intervention, between October-November because I was starting to make Jiu Jitsu and losing weight correlate with each other. If I had a rough night at class I used that as a measure with how my weight loss progress was going. Which at this point wasn’t well. I wasn’t eating what I should have been. I was giving in to temptation and eating like crap and it was starting to show.
So, after the intervention I went back to my roots to find my why, why I love Jiu Jitsu. why I do Jiu Jitsu, OTHER than to use it as an outlet for weight loss. Because Jiu Jitsu can’t tie directly with Jiu Jitsu…it doesn’t work that way. It’s an accessory for weight loss, but not the primary tool.
Then, I got ENGAGED, and started to plan a wedding. And my Jiu Jitsu took a slight back burner. Not intentionally, but because it was next to impossible to primarily focus on my game and plan a wedding. I was still attending classes 3-4 times a week, but my focus was maybe around 60-70% or sometimes less because of stress and anxiety.
Due to lack of sleep, and added stress I started getting anxiety / panic attacks during Jiu Jitsu. This affected me pretty badly for 2-3 months. It was to the point where I took prescription medication on two occasions to try and prevent an anxiety attack in the middle of a rough roll. It was the most awful thing ever. Trying to do something I loved, that helped me relieve stress, and it turned into something I panicked about and stressed about! I would try and push through but after a rough roll I would just break down and hyperventilate and cry in the bathroom. A huge part of what was going through my brain was I was SO unhappy with my weight gain. I would think people were staring at me, and thinking how fat I was. My health also took a back burner, I kept making excuses like “ I workout all the time, I can eat this…that and every other” and it added up. Doing the math, I gained steadily, but when it finally hit me it was like it happened over night. My gi’s were starting to get too small for me and then that would make me even more upset because they would cut into me and restrict me from being able to move the way I needed to. Which caused me to panic and freak out. They started to rip because of the weight gain from stress and my poor choices, and I would end up getting even more upset about it, and feel so disgusted with myself.
Well, the wedding is over and was the most amazing perfect day ever. The stress has significantly decreased and my anxiety has depleted significantly. The last 3 weeks I have felt my game amp back up. I am still down and upset about my weight gain, but it happens to everyone who enters a relationship and gets married. It’s normal. And I’m taking every step possible to get rid of the weight, and add weight lifting to compliment my Jiu Jitsu. I did KETO for about 2 weeks and lost around 8lbs. Then the week after the wedding we ate out A LOT I gained it back. Then this week I was able to drop the 8 lbs back down again. I’m currently on a very strict plan written by one of my previous trainers. (Who is coming back in August) and I am so excited to be on my new weight loss journey, but this time… It’s going to be huge. My goal is to cut down, and bulk up strength. Cut down to the IBJJF Women’s weight bracket, and compete again. Come back, and kick some ass, so that when I do my ‘weight’ won’t be the thing that comes out of their mouth as an excuse.
Hang on kids. Beast mode is on. #Iwon’tslapyouilltapyou