So in my last post I talked about mainly stuff that only a teen would understand. Now its time for the stuff we can all relate to, like weight loss. In Jiu-Jitsu, I believe that technique can carry you far more than any physical attributes. But for a lot of the techniques in Jiu-Jitsu , it helps to be fit and somewhat flexible. I learned this pretty quickly as I decided to get more and more serious about Jiu-Jitsu.
It all started in Buffalo Wild Wings on the night of UFC 114. This is where my Dave Trader Jiu-Jitsu teammates and I always used to go to watch the UFC events. The place is usually packed, so some teammates and I had decided to get there early to reserve some seats for ourselves and the rest of our team. At some point in the conversation, my 6′ 7″ 400+ lb former powerlifting/strongman champion teammate Big Josh asked me how I thought I was going to do in the adult ultra-heavy weight division with him at the next Copa Nova. At that time I was at about 258 pounds (I had lost about 7 pounds since starting Jiu-Jitsu, but had a long way to go) it never occurred to me who I would be going against when I started competing in the adult divisions. That is the exact moment that I decided to get serious about losing weight. With Big Josh being a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, and Bill Nagle being a super technical blue belt and having lost over 50 lbs since starting Jiu-Jitsu, I asked them where to start. They gave me all types of basic diet advice – eating 5 meals a day to keep hunger at bay & blood sugar constant, protein shakes or meal replacement shakes instead of high calories meals or snacks, more salads, fruits, vegetables and leans meats instead of empty carbs, and the main one STOP EATING OUT ALL THE TIME and if you do eat out, eat something reasonable like a caesar salad. The words of Bill will always stick with me, ” Losing weight shouldn’t be easy, it sucks. There is no magic diet that can do it for you, you’re gonna have to work for it.” With all of this new encouragement I told them I would start my diet on Monday. They both shook their heads, next time the waitress came by Josh told the waitress, he will be having the chicken caesar. And so my diet began.
In the end I realized that losing weight isn’t so hard if you truly put your mind to it. The number one thing I learned was that if you want to lose weight, make it a priority. I have been trying to lose weight for most of my life and the only reason I lost it during Jiu Jitsu is by making sure I never cheated and that I made it my priority to eat on time and eat the right things. Not to mention the riding of my teammates everytime I wanted to eat something unhealthy.
Last but not least, if you are not the “gung-ho” mma fighter or BJJ competitor, how far up is BJJ on your totem pole of extrcurricular activities? If you have the choice between going out on that hot date on friday night or to go train for 2 1/2 hours, what would you do? How about going out drinking with your old buddy that never left high school? How dedicated are you to training? Personally I’m more of the “gung-ho” type, and I’m seeing more and more of my teammates become the same way. I feel like training is probably more productive than what I would probably be doing on a friday night anyway. So think about it, when you are not training, is what you are doing more productive than what you would be doing on the mats?