Weight cutting is an emotional roller coaster. Hopefully I can give you a few tips for getting through it.
Weight cutting is by far the hardest mental aspect of Judo. The emotional attachment we human beings have to food and water is overwhelming. Here’s an example of a weight cut for me.
Monday morning weight is 70 kg - cruise through work, bit of dinner and a speed session at Judo. Felt a bit off my game but got in some good work so Big M has me smiling all the way home.
Tuesday morning weight is 69.1 kg - get through work okay but pretty easily distracted. All good because some chicken and rice for dinner before banging out a short, sharp session at Judo has me happy, probably didn’t need that ice cream on the way home.
Not a great night’s sleep. Wednesday morning weight is 68.5 kg. Today work was a drag, had boss in my ear all day, got a headache and now I have to go and have a sweat session at Judo. Crap! That session sucked, every second of it but the sugary goodness of Gatorade makes it all ok, for all of 15 minutes.
Thursday morning weight is 68 kg and that was a crap night’s sleep! Work is pretty bad today. Everythings seems to be going wrong. Time for a horrible 30 minutes of running. That was fun, NOT! The whole world is driving me nuts I just want to go to bed with my snickers bar and cordial and be left alone. Why are there so many ads about food on TV?
Friday morning weight is 67.7 and the Big M before work must’ve made a difference. Work wasn’t too bad, although I don’t think I got much done. At the gym, thank god I got off that treadmill when I did my legs and lungs were burning up. Sauna sucks, period. Each stint spent in there has me convinced that time actually goes slower in a sauna. Why do I do this crap? Why don’t I fight 73’s from now on? Yes I do realize that dehydration is not the best thing for my health, obese guy in sauna, neither is DIABETES! Head is hurting but got my zombie like stubbornness keeping me heading back every time. Why do I play a weight division sport? Michael Jordan has never been through THIS pain! Neither has Ian Thorpe.
BINGO! Made it. Now I have to find whatever I can that weighs no more then 600 g (meal total) that tastes the best.
Got about 90 minutes sleep because I had cotton mouth and my tongue was glued to the side of mouth all night. Feel like death warmed up, I seriously don’t think I should ever do this again. Saturday morning weight is 65.8 and I am at trial weigh in. I have some cheeky sips of my Gastrolyte drink but keep checking my weight to ensure I haven’t put myself over 66. I found a place where time moves slower then the sauna, the weigh in room as about 250 hungry, thirsty men stand their ground in the fight to the scales. Made weight officially and after eating and drinking as much as possible the world is a wonderful place again and the weight cut is forgotten.
This is not how every weight cut goes for me, but many of the same things come up regularly. I do a few little things that make the whole process a bit more bearable.
I try and keep myself busy and distracted, a busy day at work can see you come home 600 grams lighter without you even noticing. Also, boredom leads to eating. I set myself mini-targets like I want to be 67.8kg after work and I’ll usually run around and do everything in a rush to make sure I do.
I also try and reward myself with a particular drink or food I like. This acts as an incentive to work the weight off and a reward for achieving mini-targets.
Whatever I eat or drink in that week is stuff I like, If I am going to eat small then I am going to eat something I really like.
Finally I try not to eat anything heavy within 5 hours of sleep, a meal during a weight cut is similar to what I imagine the effects of ecstasy are, even if I’m wrong I will struggle to sleep with food in my belly.