The trouble for me with cutting weight is that I'm happy with what I weigh and how I look. I'm stuck between 136-138 lbs, and I've been here for going on three weeks. This just seems to be where my body is happiest.
I started at 145 lbs, and that was heavy for me. I was losing self control. I wasn't exercising regularly. And I was not at a high performance level in my training sessions. My clothes weren't fitting well, and my confidence was way down. So I definitely needed to get some of that weight off.
And, here we are now ~5-8 lbs lighter and feeling much better:
But, unfortunately, for competition purposes, it's not enough to flux between 136-138. I have another 4-6 lbs to lose, and it's starting to seem impossible. :/
At this point you may be wondering, "if you're happy in your skin, you feel good, and you don't care about your weight, then WHYYYY are you trying to get into a specific weight class?" Well. That's the game of powerlifting! I want to be as competitive as possible at my meet, and I am much more competitive (like, MUCH more) in the 132 weight class. At a local level meet in the 132 class I'm one of the heaviest lifters. But, for that same meet in the next weight class up -- 148 lbs -- I'm either just average or on the lower end of things.
So I want to be able to take my current numbers and continue to grow them while slowly losing weight until I'm regularly performing around 132-134 lbs in preparation for stepping onto the platform this meet. BUT, as mentioned, my body just seems to be happiest right here where I am at 136-138. Now, what do I mean by happiest??
- I perform well.
- Fatigue and exhaustion is minimal post-workout.
- Energy levels are high.
- I fit well in my clothes.
- I'm happy with physical appearance.
- I don't feel restricted and miserable when it comes to eating.
So, I'm curious to see if I can use the age-old weight cutting tactics to drop those remaining few lbs right before the meet: water & food depletion. (There are tons of tactics used for weight cuts in sports like powerlifting, wrestling, etc. For example: water depletion, sodium depletion, glycogen [carb] depletion, liquid diets, sweating it out, etc. etc. But as Izzy from PowerliftingToWin says in this article, the fewer of these tactics you use the better.)
So, my plan is to continue chugging along with the same mindset I've had since the start of the year -- eat reasonably, minimize eating out, minimize drinking, try to have balanced home-cooked meals. This, plus getting back to a regular training schedule, is what allowed me to drop from 145 to ~137. I'm hoping I can shave another pound or two this way, but even if I can, that still puts me sitting at 134-136 lbs. I'll need to take some type of weight-cut approach in the days leading up to the meet.
In the past I've always done the stop eating/drinking 12-24 hrs before weigh-ins. It's miserable, but it's quick, and it's very easy to re-eat and re-hydrate immediately after weighing.
This time I think I'm prepared to try water depletion. The process for this is described in detail in the article I linked above, but basically you drink a TON of water ~4 days before weigh ins, and then for the 2 days before you taper it off until you're drinking nothing for the 12 hours before. This seems like the easiest and most harmless weight cut strategy, and I feel confident that it can take ~2-4 pounds off of the scale for me. The only trouble is that I already drink WAY more water than the average person. Like WAYYY more. So in order to water load I'll basically be drinking an ocean lol but I'm willing to try it!
But, as for right now, I won't lie. It is a little frustrating that this weight range of 136-138 seems to be a common stopping point for my body. I don't know if another month of time is enough to break through that, but I hope it is!
As for lifts: squats are feeling BOMB! Bench is feeling frustrating and slow-moving, but not necessarily bad. And deadlifts are still my weakest lift. They feel bad and very unpredictable from week to week. :/
I think it's been so long since I competed that I'm overthinking everything and overly psyching myself up! I'm looking forward to a fun meet day to put it all on the platform. :)