So as of this week, I am officially a Muay Thai fighter. Well, I will be after June 16th. My coaches encouraged to sign up to fight, so I will be doing an exhibition match on June 16th. Only about 6 weeks away. Ahhhh!
I will be fighting provided a suitable opponent is found. There is a good chance that another woman my size will not be found. Either way, I will train as though I am fighting. As long as I train as hard as possible, I don't really care if I win or lose. Although it would be cool to win.
Today my coach Eric walked up to the board, marker in hand, and asked what my weight is. I asked him to please not write it on the board and practically whispered, "About 250, I'll probably be about 240 by the fight." I know that none of my martial arts buddies cares about my weight, but still, I'm not THAT comfortable with my weight that I want it written on a board for everyone to see. I hope he doesn't think I'm ridiculous for asking him not write it down.
In any case, neither of my Muay Thai trainers treat me like a 250 pound woman. Their focus has only been on my athletic abilities. As surprised as I still feel to be viewed as a real athlete and martial artist, I guess I am pretty athletic. This past week was brutal in my Muay Thai classes. Nate and Eric pushed me harder than the other people in class. This is partially because I am training for a fight and partially because they believe I can do more. Nate made me do 5 rounds of conditioning (punches, knees, push-ups, kicks) instead of 3 like everyone else got to do. Eric made me use 5-pound weights for punching drills because he knew I have more strength and endurance than the other guys. (Want to shape up your arms? Do punches holding dumbbells--yeeeow!). We did a lot of sparring and I feel a bit more confident about the idea of doing a fight after getting the feel for sparring again. I'm sure I'll be a bit bruised up over the next few weeks.
Along those lines, I do plan on dropping some pounds before the fight. I have lowered my calories each day to about 1,600 (from about 2,000) and I feel great. I was very nervous about cutting my calories to 1,300-1,600 but figured I would give it a week or two to see how I felt. I thought I would be starving, but I am really not any hungrier than I was before. I have been within all of my nutrition ranges and I realized that the "extra" calories were carbs that put me over my daily limit. In no way was I trying to eat low-carb in the first place, but my carbs were always at the upper end of my allowance or over. This was the case even after cutting out wheat. And I know I don't need the extra carbs.
I also thought I would be more obsessed with food from cutting back my calories, but I don't react to hunger like I used to. I don't associate hunger with being put of control anymore. If I'm truly hungry, I eat something--period. If I am feeling emotional, I don't tend to feel the desire to eat to help deal with it any more, so I am not battling myself on when or what to eat. It has been about a year and a half since I started to break my emotional connection to food. While it has been a long and hard break-up, it has been worth it. Food is no longer on the forefront of my mind all of the time. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy food, but I am no longer addicted to binge eating.
I felt fitter this week than I have in years. There's just something about imagining someone punching you in the face that makes you pretty focused--funny how that works.
My workouts were:
Monday: 1 hour Jiu Jitsu and 1 hour Muay Thai
Tuesday: Run 30 seconds/Walk 90 seconds for 30 minutes followed by Run 2 minute/Walk 1 minute intervals x 3
Wednesday: 1 hour Jiu Jitsu and 1 hour Muay Thai
Thursday: Day off
Friday: Powerlifting and 1 hour Muay Thai
Saturday: Run 1 minute/Walk 2 minutes for 30 minutes and 1 hour Muay Thai
Tomorrow will be a kettlebell workout and maybe a run. The next 4-5 weeks are going to be pure delicious fight training torture, so I don't know why I'm grinning right now. I'll be doing about 8 hours of martial arts training each week, in addition to running 3 days, 2 strength training sessions, kettlebells, and lots of sleep. I've also been enjoying ballet-style barre workouts and Pilates; both work the smaller stabilizer muscles in the hips, core, and back, all which help with kicking. I am emphasizing getting a lot of rest, but I have been pretty comfortable with this training schedule. My training will just be a bit more vamped.
I may be a heavyweight fighter right now, but I hope to be a bit lighter before the fight. If nothing else, I now have an important event to keep in mind whenever I make a choice about eating or exercise. I feel very focused and need to be just a touch more disciplined, and I should be good to go for the fight.
“Blood is just red sweat.”