Monday, September 27, 2010

Losing weight. The easy way.

Every time you look at TV, newspapers or any other media today you see ads filled with dietologists talking to you about how to turn yourself from a fatty into some guy with abs you could use as a xylophone or in the case of ladies into someone who has clearly just had all the fat from the lipo dumped into the boobs and lips. All these nutritioneers talk about miracle formulations that turn your fat into cash or exercise secrets that not only burn calories but also brings burning desire into those of the opposite sex.

By drinking deep of their custom branded protein shake which they have somehow configured to make it taste completely awful (I suppose to prevent some people from gorging ourselves on protein shake binges) we are supposed to magically transform ourselves. And all for the low, low cost of only $50 a week to learn these secrets. And then another $50 for the supplies. And another $50 for the supplements. And another $50 for the rest of the food that the menu calls for. But by the time you get to the last one, you've already said "fuck it, and skipped the fruit and veg at the supermarket and picked up the biggest serve of chocolate you can find and are heading to the deli to see if they have a 1kg serve of the pasta salad there to go with your 2L chocolate milk. Really, it's just like a pyramid scheme run by skinny people to have a laugh at the expense of the desperate, gullible and overweight.

This isn't to say that you'll never have success with it, because some people do. But let me clue you in on the big secret to losing weight. It's six words. Two sentences. I can't be bothered counting the syllables.

Don't eat shit. Do some exercise.

Holy shit. Did I just blow your mind then? Now, as a guy who is admittedly a complete fatty nerd, who am I to tell you this? Well, perhaps there needs to be an addendum.

Have some willpower.

This is where I've traditionally fallen down. I get going and then suddenly I get an overwhelming craving to jam something unhealthy down my throat. Repeatedly. If I was a flippant person I could say something like: "But now that I've acknowledged that failing, I have taken away it's power." But that would be the kind of bullshit that you'd usually have to pay some jack-arse with a degree from some online university $200 an hour to hear. And believe me, a burger talks a hell of a lot louder than that guy. It's almost unfair, like having a debate between Dr Buddy Rydell and Mike Brady in your head. You know that one of them is being completely sensible and reasonable, and to top it all off is probably right. But then the other one throws a bag of golf clubs at your head and screams like a crazy man about how he's jonesing for a pizza. Tell me which one you'd placate.

I'm not going to go down the road of saying: "Oh, it's an addiction." Because that just seems like a cop-out. Instead I'll say that it's a case of GODDAMN are burgers and chocolate and pizza and coconut cream based curries tasty. Because I'll admit that I love to eat. It's just finding ways of making food that you're happy with and works for you. I've been working on a meal plan and though it's certainly no Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle or some other specialist plan, it is being sensibly constructed with the intent of balancing nutrition with weightloss while maintaining good variety. And even more important, it's economically viable. On first doing calculations for that Venuto at the start of 2009 I came to the conclusion that I'd be eating about 4kg worth of chicken breast every week. To say nothing of the egg whites and other items. Not exactly a sustainable practice, for my wallet or chicken-kind.

Onto other matters. Customer service first. On entering a footwear retailer and encountering a wait time, you shouldn't be surprised. What should surprise you is when none of the staff even acknowledge you or your wait and then go on to serve someone else who came in after you. Thank you Athlete's Foot Camberwell. You truly are a shining example of bad service.

However, on reconsidering my footwear requirements I decided to go back to my Launceston roots and picked up some KT20s (K-Mart Trainers 20 dollars for those who are wondering). Some wonderful no-name brand for $15. Not even 20 bucks anymore! Bargain. If they hold up well I may have to reconsider my long love affair with ASICS. However, if they fall apart after a fortnight, then I think that I'll be back on the ASICS bandwagon. I think I know which one is more likely here.

Second. What the hell is up with getting wrist-locked three times in one training session? It just seems uncalled for. I guess it means that I've either graduated to the next level where wrist-locking is acceptable, or if it was just one of those days. Either way, I'm bringing some koto-gaeshi to the next session now that I know it's on the table.

Third. Rolling with a black belt. I had a chance to roll with Ben for the first time in a long while today and it was eye opening. On the one hand I think that I did OK on some fronts as I got the compliment of "you're a good person to practice sweeps on as you have to get it right to sweep you." On the other hand I also had some face palm moments, like thinking that I'd passed guard and was about to get side control, only to suddenly realise that Ben was no longer there and was in fact on my back with hooks in. Though I don't think I made any massive mistakes, I also completely changed my game when facing him, being very slow and conservative in my movements as to not give him any more kinetic energy and inertia to work with than was possibly necessary. And still he did a hell of a lot with it. I love jits.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The start line

I had a a great roll during the lunchtime session today - especially with Fletch, a relative newcomer to the school, but who is at least as tall as me and tips the scales at about 120kg. And it was great to roll with someone of comparable size as it gave me an idea of what in my game will work come competition time. After all, usually when someone at the academy gets back mount I can easily turtle up and then roll. With combined 290kg to lift off the mat, suddenly that move becomes quite a bit more challenging. I really look forward to rolling more with Fletch in the future as I feel that we both were able to take a lot away from it.

I also rolled with another guy from San Diego who I cannot recall the name of. He had some grappling experience and it was a good challenging roll. As he has a few weeks before his work visa kicks in and he can commence paid employment he's intending to roll quite a bit and I look forward to more sessions with him as he had some good new tricks that I want to steal.

Add to this two good walks today and a planned shopping trip tomorrow to pick up some new shoes, I should be able to expand my training a bit more. Can't wait.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's been a while.

I decided to come back to this after about 18 months because I've made the decision to go into a fairly intensive training regime to prepare for the upcoming Pan Pacific BJJ Championships being held a the end of November.

First, a quick update on how things have gone.

Not well would be the short answer. I missed all the goals, but for several good reasons.
First is a baby. Hector, who was born on 24 November last year. So many of my plans for the year were thrown out by just how massive a disruption a pregnancy and then a baby are.
Second is the unfortunate fact that I completely axed my knee in training in March last year, tearing my lateral cruciate ligament, hamstring tendon and the cartilage in the knee. I didn't realise that I'd done anything that bad at the time and it wasn't until a few weeks later when I made it even worse that the problems really set in. Turns out that being unable to even walk reliably isn't conducive to maintaining your goals for fitness and weight loss.

Cue depression, anxiety and chronic overeating as a coping mechanism. A wonderfully bad combination. It's only been in the past few months that I've felt that I have regained at least 80% function in the knee and can now reliably weight-bear on it and not instantly collapse when I jog or have other impacts on it.

For all that though, I still have had a few good achievements. I got one stripe in a grading in November last year. I've roughly maintained my weight at about 170 (certainly nothing to be proud of, but given some of the other circumstances I'll take what I can get). And in February I won Gold in my division at the Inter Gracie Oceania Competition hosted by Gracie Oceania in Sydney.

So, with the Pan Pacs coming up, I've decided that I might as well go back to the plan I had last year. I'll be putting up more details in the next few days and will be putting up daily updates as well. Lets just hope that no potential opponents read this.

If you are, then I have a totally awesome open guard and have no interest whatsoever in pursuing an arm triangle or kimura.