Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To cut or not to cut?

Right now I weigh 143.

Light weight in gi is only 141, but in my gear I need to be 136 to make weight.

The next weight class up is 152 in gi, which is where I am now.

Its only 7 pounds, but 7 pounds is really hard for me to lose... Not to mention the fact that my doctor lectures me when I get below 148.

I know getting to 136 isn't going to kill me if I do it temporarily... I am just remembering how very hard it was for me to get to light weight last time.

I have plenty of time to make the cut and maintain for a week or so before the Miami open.. I just don't know if it is worth it.

So, it is basically... Do I suffer and punish by body for the next few months to be a 5'9 light weight... Or just eat and behave normally, and fight middle weight.

I vowed to never again cut to light weight again, and Ben always said to fight where you are.... but here I am considering it again.

Decisions, decisions.

Any input you might have would be greatly appreciated.


  1. I think you could do great at the weight you are now. I'm not convinced it's worth it.

    But it is also okay to have a long-term weight goal as long as it is healthy, physically and mentally. Which I'm sure you already know! :)

    Physically, you should eat extra smart but don't deprive yourself since recovery is really important. Mentally, it is really not worth the stress, that is, if you are letting it become stressful. And not eating enough can impact your mood too, which is never fun.

    There was one time I wanted to lose weight over the long-term. (Note that I actually have a fair bit of body fat. If I cared at all, I could probably lose 20 lbs.) Anyway, I worked really hard. I ate really well (maybe not enough sometimes). Did a ton of weight and interval training. And trained hard on the mats. I felt fantastic, but in the days before the tournament, I was still a smidgen over weight. I was soo worried. I decided it wasn't worth the stress and changed weight classes. I ended up weighing in 0.8 lbs over the max of the weight class below. I didn't much care and it didn't much matter because I felt ready to kick some butt!

    SO, overall I think it's one thing to train to be as healthy, strong, and as awesome feeling as you can be. I think it's another thing to be obsessed with reaching X weight just for the sake of being in X weight class. The former certainly means more than the latter.

  2. Let's see...your doctor, Ben (who I gather is someone whose opinion you respect), and your rational self have all said to not cut weight again.

    Sounds like it's probably best for you to compete at your normal weight. You'll have more energy leading up to and during the tournament, and can eliminate one major source of stress leading up to the competition (e.g. "will I make weight?" and "can I afford to eat this?").

  3. Oh conundrum. You are 5'9"? I vote for the medio weight class. If you decide to cut however, try eating several small meals throughout the day, and cut out small things like dressings, extra fats.

    I prefer to limit my caloric intake before a tournament, then eat a normal, healthy dinner the night before and a good breakfast the day of my match.

  4. My body has a sweet spot weight, and whenever I try to go below that, for whatever reason, it sucks. i'm always hungry, I feel like crap, and i never succeed. It's like I'm fighting my body. If you are eating well and training hard and your body does not want to give up those few pounds, it sounds like it needs them. In the end, you could be compromising your body to go against it. In my opinion, you should stay where you are at and fight healthy and strong instead of starved and deprived. (Also note: i am a huge fan of food and chocolate and cookies and dieting is like hell to me, so maybe you are different from me.)

  5. I agree with the above. I say train hard, fuel your body instead of depriving it and focus on staying healthy and strong!! :)

  6. Yes, it is tempting.
    How did you feel at the lower weight? My guess (since you're considering it again) is that you felt like a beast. When I used to cut to 122 (from 135), I used to feel strong and fast. I liked the mental and physical challenge of cutting the weight - the determination to "be good" made me feel disciplined, which in turn added confidence. When I was competing on a somewhat regular basis, I felt like I NEEDED to cut in order to perform my best.

    I'm not saying it was a good idea, and I'm not saying I will ever do it again (will I ever compete again?), but I am saying that you're NOT crazy or irrational for considering it.

    I don't know what long-term negative consequences will come of loosing that much body weight in such a short amount of time. I can tell you about some of the short-term (i.e. 3 months) side effects I faced after the fact if you send me an email.

  7. I've been there (albeit 7 inches shorter and the same weight!)

    Couple thoughts from a shortie in lightweight.. damn I wish all you tall gals would stay in medio! (oops... sorry, was that out loud?)

    No but really. I know how awesome it feels to go to a tournament and be utterly unconcerned about weight. I also know the stress of wondering if you'll make weight. Every time I go to the Pan I'm RIGHT ON WEIGHT and so I eat cabbage shreds the night before.

    However, I definitely come in on the Elyse bandwagon here-- despite my stupid cabbage-eating ways, I have always come into tournaments that I was worried about weight feeling like a BEAST. Well, like I was fit, lean and mean. I can't say it as well as Elyse can, so I'll just say-- see above!

    If you decide to cut, let me know. This judo guy started a company with rehydration drink specifically designed for weight cutting hydration as opposed to staying-hydrated hydration (like Gatorade or Pedialyte.) I'll send you a packet if you wanna try it.

  8. 5'9" and lightweight! I'm the same height and I cannot make medio. I tried, it sucked. Ashley can confirm that I did not make it and it really screwed up my training. I felt so bad I didn't even bother registering and trying to fight and I got within 4 pounds.

    I understand the desire to be lighter and stronger than your competitors. Just make sure that by getting lighter you don't make yourself weaker.

  9. Thank you guys for all of your advice and input! I still don't know what I am going to do!

    My brain is literally doing this... "Everyone is right... just fight where you are... cutting is horrible... but but beast mode cheat!!"

    So, clearly, I am making no progress with my decision.

    I am in the meantime watching my caloric intake but nothing to hardcore... yet.

  10. I say cut. I feel like a lean mean beast when I do. If you do as well, go for it.

  11. In Georgette's case I understand wanting to cut. . .tall girls with lots of leverage suck to fight!! Been there done that and all I can say is boo! I'd like to throw in another idea. . .if you have sufficient time why not throw on a couple of pounds of muscle by increaseing (or starting?) some weight training? That way you will be stronger AND you can eat! =) In college I had to put on about 10 lbs of muscle before we started fall conditioning (my coach wanted me to have a bit more bulk to help keep me strong and healthy during the season. After conditioning and a decrease in weight training, I settled in with around 4 lbs of extra muscle. Basically I never felt faster or stronger in my life. Good luck with what ever you choose to do!