Right, so, the weight thing then. A few weeks ago my weight start creeping up and 2 weeks ago it hit 91 – 92 kg. Not the way it’s supposed to be going so I decided to arrest it. Certainly not for want of training. Since I started training at Leeds Cage at the end of October I’ve been down the gym almost every night, and 19 times altogether in the last 4 weeks. I’ve made a couple of small changes to what I eat: no extra cheese and no cakes at lunchtime (apart from one small one once a week). In 2 weeks I’ve lost 3 kg or half a stone, and I’m down to 87 – 88 kg which is the same as it was when I had my fight at the end of May. Probably shows how finely balanced my diet is these days that I can do it that easily.
Now I’m on something of a roll I’ve decided to go for the last bit of weight loss. Once I get down to 84 – 86 kg that will be it. When the gym scales say 84 kg I’ll have lost 49 kg: a massive amount and equivalent to 7 st 10 lbs or 36% of my starting weight. 86 kg is the top end of Thai cruiserweight and 84 kg is the top end of MMA middleweight. Fights are usually matched so both fighters are about the same weight and I don’t need to lose any more but I want to. I’ll be having words about fighting next year, hopefully both Thai boxing and MMA. Even at amateur or interclub level it’s still a fair achievement to get into the ring or the cage. My original final target was 80 kg but I hadn’t counted on just how much I’d muscle up. I can easily fit into size 34″ trousers now but they have to be quite loose fitting because all the cycling and grappling I do means I have powerful legs (including 26″ thighs). At one point I was down to tops with a 40″ chest but now I’m having to get 42″ ones.
The last 5 years have been a long and hard journey but it’s one that’s now nearly at an end. It’s been a massive lifestyle change going from eating enough to feed a family of 4 on a daily basis and not getting any exercise at all to having the diet and training schedule of a semipro fighter. The support of family and friends has meant a lot and unfortunately some of them are no longer with us. As long as things go to plan I should finally get to my final target by early December. Next challenge then will be to make sure I stay there.
A quick note about motivational techniques. I’m not religious (although lack of any belief in a deity certainly doesn’t mean I don’t have a personal moral code, and I’m interested in finding out about religion as long it doesn’t proselytise) and I’m not particularly keen on proprietary techniques such as NLP. If they work for other people then that’s fine: they’re just not for me. There’s no right or wrong answers when it comes to personal ideas or beliefs. There are a few things that obviously do for me. The most important is drive and self discipline. I live alone and work from home so it’s up to me to make sure I’m up in time for work. What I think happened in the past is that I didn’t apply the sense of drive to my personal life. Since I started all this in Jan 2007 I tried increasing it just a bit at a time. When I was stuck in hospital last year with a smashed up shoulder that was obviously a pretty major test but I resolved to do whatever was needed to be back where I was. my shoulder was screwed up but the rest of me was OK.
Another source of motivation has been music. I first discovered the Hatebreed album Perseverance in 2002 and along with some of their other albums it’s difficult not to be motivated by them. Finding out that they’re into MMA and having them personally wish me good luck on Twitter for the fight in October that didn’t eventually go ahead was certainly a bonus. I’ve found other hardcore metal bands such as Terror and Chimaira to be good as well, but Hatebreed was the start of it. Almost any of the songs on Perseverance are pretty good but I think the chorus of the title track sums up the last few years quite well:
Against all opposition
Crushing all limitations
Pure strength through solitude
Discipline and determination