Weight Classes Ruined Me

I’m 5 ft. 4 150 some lbs..when I started jiu jitsu I lingered around 145 lbs and when I gained a couple lbs, of mostly muscle I’d like to think, I didn’t think twice about the extra poundage.  If anything I was glad I had the extra pounds and thought it might help my top game (how naive).

I’ve always been brought up to love my curves.  I used to get upset when I lost weight because then that meant that either my butt or boobs were withering away and I couldn’t have that happen. I loved my curvy body and the soft parts of me.  Once I was introduced to the fascinating world of jiu jitsu and had expressed interest in competing I was also introduced to the concept of weight classes.  The only sports I had participated in school were track, needless to say I was never put in a position where I would have to pour over each lb.

There weren’t enough girls to make a weight class in the first few tournaments I competed in.  However the gleaming cloud still lingered over my head.  Now that I’ve agreed to fight amateur MMA I’ve realized a quick change in mindsets.  The girl who loved her curves and could care less about the number on the scale has disappeared and now daily, even if I don’t have a tournament or fight coming up I’ve become obsessed with what I put in my body (que the “That’s what she said” joke).

I know that Americans especially should be more conscious of their health but for me I’m not obsessed with health I’ve now developed a complex about my weight, jiu jitsu and I can only admit that participating in sports that have weight classes ruined me.  Don’t get me wrong I love jiu jitsu, and enjoy preparing for fights, but if I could reverse my newfound preoccupation with weight, I would.  And with this preoccupation comes increased sensitivity and at some times insecurity. But why, I still look exactly the same, except for significantly larger muscles.  This preoccupation has developed into a strange obsession.

Currently I’m “cutting weight” for my upcoming fight at 145lbs on November 19.  One thing I’m greatly looking forward to is relaxing after the fight, getting comfortable with myself again, and simply enjoying food, training, and my body.  As a fair warning to women that have just started jiu jitsu or inquiring minds, Weight Classes are NOT the end of the world, compete/fight where you’re comfortable.  Don’t put yourself in the position where you’re obsessing to the point where it’s not fun anymore.

4 Responses to “Weight Classes Ruined Me”
  1. Georgette says:

    I feel you. Before jiu jitsu I was never happy with my body. I had lost about 20-25 lbs by eating much less and walking every night after work. I was happy with the number on the scale, but I wasn’t “fit.” Then jiu jitsu came into my life, and I had the same experience– numbers on the scale go up, fitness goes up, and yet at tournament time, I’m cutting weight (because I happen to be on the cusp between weightclasses AND happen to be short for my weight.) If I don’t, I enter a weightclass where most gals are 10 lbs more than me and at least 5-6″ taller than me. If I cut weight, I’m only 2-3″ shorter and at the top of the weight range.

    The only silver lining for me is greater focus on maximizing the nutritional value of the fuel I put into the machine.

  2. Ashley says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I have thought the exact same thing before.

    Before I started competing, I was at a comfortable place with my body. Didn’t really think twice about it. The one time I was really determined to go down a weight class, it got really hard to lose the weight near the end and I decided it wasn’t worth it. Then I ate mini-wheats and it was the best thing ever. I also still felt great come tournament day. So I would totally agree that it is best to fight where you’re comfortable and not to fret over it too much. Certainly sound advice.

  3. Jas says:

    I’m loving this blog, glad I found it!
    When I first started training I lost weight, then the scale stopped moving, then I gained 5lbs at the same time I lost inches in my waist and hips. It was crazy. Then, when I was training for a smoker, I was shocked at how obsessive I became with how/what I ate and the scale. My opponent backed out 2 days before the weigh in, but I was happy that I could finally rid myself of overanalyzing everything to compete in my class. I love my walking weight a lot better than my fighting weight.

    • shakiaharris says:

      as always thanks for reading!! That’s the one thing I absolutely hate. I love my curves, and it makes me sad to lose them but after my opponent backed out of my last fight and I cut 11 pounds I’m not in any race to go through that again.

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