As I alluded to in my last post, I gain some weight a few years ago and to be perfectly honest, all of it was not because I was progressing in my training. A good portion of it was not controlling what I ate and how much of it. At the highest training point I had, I was in the dojo about four to five times a week and regularly walked home and sometimes both ways. The dojo was 2 miles away and I was carrying a pretty heavy bag (my dogi, hakama, stuff for work). I was doing pretty good and my weight was good. But after nidan, I pulled back. I was injured just before the exam, and it took a few months to heal and even after that, I practiced three times a week. Going out after practice was a common event, and I wasn’t picky about what I ate, and at 35, time was starting to catch up.
Eating right doesn’t sound like fun, but it can be. Truth is, I never fully cut anything out of my diet. I still eat some sweets. I still like pub foods. The trick has been eating them less often. The trick has been developing different habits that helped me control my eating. I do eat six times a day. I have a general calorie limit that shifts depending on what I think I need at the moment (maintain weight or lose weight). My protein portion is higher than the normal recommendation, but this wasn’t anything from a fad diet. I learned that the extra protein helped me not get injured as often during practice.
I try to eat more fruits and veggies. I like whole grains. But I also like beer and cookies (although not at the same time). My diet does try to incorporate Julia Child’s wisdom in not cutting out these tasty-but-not-so-great-for-you-things, but rather just eat less of them. I’m not paid to be a professional athlete or other person who needs to monitor every substance that goes into my body, and neither do I have enough hours in a day to try to cook for 42 meals in a week. Finding a balance to allow me maintain good weight, good strength, good thinking, and good recovery is the goal. Besides, I’m married to a doctor’s daughter who’s not afraid to call BS when I stray too far.