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The Last 10 Pounds
September 10, 2015
You're about to find out how heavy I am.
The women's weight restriction has shaken a lot up in the sport of bobsleigh this summer. In my end of the year meeting last March, it was suggested that I put on a couple pounds (10-15) since I'm super tall and can carry a heavier frame compared to my shorter brakeman. Its a lot easier to ask me, who doesn't really have a body issue complex, to put on pounds rather than ask a 5'2" girl to try to hide an extra 15 lbs somewhere. Plus I like to eat. A lot. Of ice cream. So this just sounded like an overall great plan.
All of a sudden everything I put in my mouth could be attributed to "#GAINZ" and wasn't even thought about twice. Come June I was the heaviest I've ever been. 177lbs. But the best part was I was still feeling great, and performing even better. All my lifts had improved and I was running fast! But then we got the press release....the women's weight restriction has been lowered by 15kg for this season, and an additional 15 kg for next season! This would have been GREAT news had I not already reached my new goal weight. The 15kg is split between me, my brakeman, and the sled, so really its only 5kg (12lbs) that has to come out of me....That's not so bad, I only just have to go back to where I was before I hopped on the gain train. Some of the other countries' female sliders are looking at losing 25 lbs so I figured this will be easy. Plus I had from June-October to do it. Boy was I wrong.
I'm just under 5'11" and since gr. 9 my body hasn't changed much. I weighed 155lbs by the time I was in gr. 12 and then through my 5 years of Basketball in Univeristy my playing weight was consitantly around 165 lbs. Most of my bobsleigh career has been around 165lbs (give or take 5 lbs either way) so I just assumed that maybe if I cut some of the ice cream or late night pizza after work out I would naturally just return to that state. I didn't really take my nutrition seriously from June through early July because I was working insane hours with late nights and still trying to train. Nutrition was the last thing I had time to plan for. After stampede, I zero'd in on it before my testing camp and got down to 168 lbs. 6 lbs in 3 weeks from recording everything I ate, tracking my macros, and a little help from some awesome meal prep from FIT KITCHEN. My thought process was: See! I knew it was going to be easy. So, after camp, I treated myself, had a few cheat meals, a couple beverages, and resumed my regular work and training life without tracking my nutrition. 2 weeks later....I WAS BACK TO 177lbs.
This totally caught me off guard and kind of scared me a bit. Is this my new "natural"? Am I going to have to really have to be constantly worried about my nutrition? I still feel great, but how I feel isn't going to make me legal to race. Another 2 weeks go by of me kind of being more discplined but I just can't stand the whole "if you eat it write it down", so I was just guessing. It's just so tedious and annoying. September 1st rolls around and I've been 175 lbs for 2 weeks. .I talk it over with our gym's nutrition expert and he kind of scares me straight. It is just over 5 weeks until I have to get weighed in a sled, but in that time period I also have team trials camp. There is a very fine line in weight loss without sacrificing performance, and this time of year is the absolute most important for top performance. The rule of the thumb is you can safely lose up to a max 2 lbs/week without dipping in to your muscle mass. 2lbs/week for 5 weeks = 10lbs. Just enough time, but we got to do it now, especially if we need to tinker with the macros a bit OR, if worse comes to worst, add a caffine suppliment to stimulate the metabolism.
So basically I am hating my life tracking everything that goes into my mouth but I know it's neccessary. The hardest part of it all is PLANNING EVERYTHING so I can make sure especially that I'm eating a targetted amount of protein per day without going over my carbs and fats. I'm not a very experienced cook so eating is now boring. And there's no room for ice cream...so that sucks. Training is still going great so I guess I could look on the positives. Its been just over a week and I was 173 at the gym today so I'm moving at the right pace. I feel like my accumulated knowledge from studying some nutrition in university and being a high level athlete for so long, I know my body pretty well and I'll be able to get the last 10 lbs off, and keep it off. I'll just need some discipline. I'll keep you updated how this goes.