When training for combat sport means losing pounds, Thanksgiving may be toughest battle

Pie: no.

Cutting weight is never easy, especially when faced with temptations. Of which nothing is more teasingly tantalizing that a slice of home-cooked pumpkin pie. It takes all the willpower in the world to say no to all the best bits of Thanksgiving. Turkey: yes; veggies: absolutely; stuffing: well, maybe just a really small amount; pie: no; whipping cream: absolutely not. See how much that sucks? Especially when you look around the table and see everyone else’s plates are piled high with everything you wish was on yours.

When faced with this, there’s only one thing to do. Daydream.

So it’s around this time (just under two weeks until I compete in the Muay Thai competition.) that I start planning what I can eat after the competition. In no particular order my list includes cupcakes, cheese (Cambozola or warm, creamy Brie just out of the oven), Ben and Jerry’s (I’m talking caramel, marshmallows, fudge pieces, the lot; none of that fat-free cover-up), and anything (absolutely anything!) containing chocolate.

On the day before the tournament, while resting and visualizing, I’m simultaneously carrying out my supremely sinful shopping spree, filling up my basket with all previously banned items and anything else that takes my fancy. And always, always completing it with a super-quick self-checkout to dodge inevitable looks from other shoppers, shocked at my complete binge.

But that’s the downfall of cutting weight: piling it back on. Not in good, measured, athletic means but in a complete gorge-fest of anything that was previously ‘against the rules’. And for about a week I just don’t care. But then reality bites. My sensible side reminds me that I’m training for a reason. That I’ve worked hard to get to this point and can’t turn up to class looking like a heifer. So I suck in my waist (and my willpower) and kick the habits all over again.

It’s a torturous see-saw really. And then there’s the fight. Remind me why I do this again?

How’re the scales tipping today? Today I weighed 123.2lbs. The goal is 119lbs with 12 days to go. Not too bad.

Editor's note:  This is the first in a series about training for the Muay Thai.

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