Sunday, September 18, 2011

On misery, microbes, and mojo...

A few posts ago, I blogged that I only had 5 lbs to lose before the Pan Ams and a month to do it. I cleaned up my diet some but didn't do anything drastic. Without trying much, I fell right on track to lose about a pound a week. No big deal, right?

Well, it turns out I was tricked...bad. A few days later, right after I registered for the tournament, I casually browsed back to the weight classes, just to be absolutely sure everything was hunky-dory. Turns out, it was not...chunky dory, perhaps.

See, the weights that they had posted were for gi jiu jitsu, and they gave 5 extra pounds to account for the weight of our heavy gis. So at that point, for this  no gi tournament, I had 10 pounds to lose and only 3 and a half weeks to do it. Otherwise, once again, I would have to compete in a weight class with no limit. (It's not really fair...big guys have medium heavy, heavy, super heavy, and ultra heavy. For girls, everyone over medium heavy is combined into one weight class).

So, I planned my meals and began my diet and started losing weight...very, very slowly. I tried to figure out what I was doing wrong and I figured it out - while I was basically sticking to my meal plan, I was sneaking in lots of little bites here and there and not counting them at all. A spoonful of ice cream, a bite of Jason's sandwich, the candy jar at my school library, the samples at Harris Teeter (there are certain isles that I walk through twice!) I avoided carbs at our weekly Beaverdam post-swim picnic, but helped myself to Mike's cheese and crackers. "Crackers don't have carbs?" someone asked me. Not that many, I told myself. And the cheese counteracts it. Uh huh.

It's not that I was consciously cheating, it's just that I'm really not used to restricting myself. I love to workout and I love to eat, and luckily those things roughly cancel each other out for me.

So this week I started really cracking down, and I am now finally on track. I kept planning my meals but ate ONLY what was on that list. I gave up all liquid calories except protein and fruit smoothies. And I started going to spin class, to do an exercise that was new and different to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Needless to say, I've been miserable. Yes, giving up the foods I like really sucks. But beyond that, I never realized how much of my social life involves eating and drinking with friends. The only day that I go to swim practice anymore is Fri night, the night that we all go out for dinner. Now I'm avoiding Friday night practice until October. Tonight, I was supposed to go to a pampered chef party at a friend's house. The menu read "cheesy artichoke cups, mango confetti salsa, penne al fresco, vegetable clubhouse soups and last but not least...chocolate on chocolate molten lava cake...oh, and lotsa wine!" What were the odds of me getting out under a few hundred calories? What are the odds of me choking out Kyra Gracie? I reluctantly sent my regrets and enjoyed a turkey burger (no bun), some veggies, and lotsa water at home. Sigh.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that this diet has left me less charming than usual. According to Women's Health magazine, "Cutting calories causes your level of serotonin (a feel-good brain chemical) to nosedive, leaving you cranky and unpleasant to be around." True story. I won't comment further, but I'm not the only one suffering from this diet.

So, right now I am two weeks out and have 6 pounds to go...doable, as long as I stay on my current track of misery and deprivation.  I'm feeling optimistic. Come two weeks, everything is going to turn out ok.

Then, while I was rolling yesterday, I got scissor swept, posted on my arm, and things went very wrong...

To be continued.... ::fade to scary music::

On an unrelated note:

The topic of whether or not to wash your belt has spurred some debate, not only on my blog but on others as well:

This lady blogger consulted with a microbiologist to depict all the icky bugs we roll with regularly on the mats. Let's just say, our teammates aren't our only training partners. I won't get into most of it, but you can read the whole post if you want to learn more (or if you want to remain blissfully ignorant, that's ok too. What you don't know can't hurt you.)

On the issue to whether or not to wash your belt, this is what the science geeks have to say:

"Is not washing a cotton belt a bad idea? Lots of guys just…don’t…ever.
So…this is really gross. Like…really gross. Bacteria are really good at clinging to things, especial ly S. aureus. It’s a freaking champ. Its particularly good at clinging to natural fibers (like cotton). 

Your skin has an amazing abundance of bacteria that call it home including Staphylococcus epidermidis and Propionibacterium acnes and our sweat is at the top of their menu. I would imagine a sweaty cotton belt would be a perfect place for bacteria to set up shop. So if the goal is to encourage the growth of bacteria (cos remember S. epidermidis’s cousin S. aureus likes sweat too), not washing a cotton belt is a great idea."

There you have it. The choice is yours - microbes or mojo??

1 comment:

  1. Ah, I see you already saw that link. I have no mojo, so nothing to lose either way. :)