08 December, 2015

Weight and other issues

There's a bit of stuff going on here at the moment! Grab a coffee and have a read.

With the first meet of the season tomorrow night this remains high on our awareness list and frequently occupies our conversations.

Particularly because many of our conversations happen over the dinner table and the dinner table, in fact the kitchen, has become a point of friction. Our eldest son is trying to lose just a little bit of weight. 
The wrestling uniform, called a "singlet".

A weighty issue
This is not because he's overweight but because the school can only enter one competitor per weight-class. Weight classes are determined by the league and start at a width of about 3kg and move up to much broader categories in the higher weights (for example, a 82kg wrestler could take on an  96kg wrestler, but a 45kg wrestler can't take on a 49kg wrestler). Ideally, of course, the wrestlers want to be at the top of the weight class (provided that weight isn't blown out by fat). 

Our son and another member of the team started the training season at almost the same weight. They are two of the best and most experienced members of the team (actually our son has more experience than anyone else in the team).

Under the rules only one of them could wrestle for the school if they remained in the same weight class. Additionally there is no one in the weight class below them. So if another school has someone in that weight class and we don't, we automatically forfeit that weight class and lose significant points.

Believe it or not taking weight off is easier than gaining it in this sport (gaining weight, you want to be gaining muscle not fat). And it seemed that our son was the best candidate, even though he was already fairly lean.

This isn't easy to understand, I know, I tried to explain it to someone else from Downunder yesterday and didn't get a tremendous amount of sympathy. I've avoided writing about it till now because I know that it can also be a bit controversial. This "weight cutting" as it's called, can be very dramatic and badly done. It is one of the not-nice things of sports like wrestling, where rules are in place try to even the playing field using weight. However we've tried to do this over a month in a gradual, safe manner. He really only had to lose about three kilos.

It would have been easier if we'd normally had a very unhealthy diet: cut out all the soda, fast food, and junk food. But the truth is we eat little of that. And cutting out what "very bad stuff" he does eat hasn't made a big difference.

I'll spare you the details, except to say that making these changes has been hard for him and for me. I've struggled with knowing where my boundaries are in all this (how much do I change what we do as a family, how much do I nag him) and he's struggled with not being able to eat whenever he felt hungry, not feeling full at the end of a meal. Take food away from a hungry, physically active teenager and you're asking for trouble, even a nice, even tempered teenager like we've got. And even though it was his decision and he has a strong desire to achieve the goal, it's been hard. But it's been a good lesson in doing hard things in order to achieve a goal, though, I think.

By the way, we're still not sure if he'll "make weight" tomorrow evening. He's close, though. All wrestlers have to make weight (meaning coming in under the upper limit of their weight class) before the start of every wrestling meet. Bizarrely enough they can then eat and drink freely. So I predict tonight and tomorrow will be a bit grizzly as he eats relatively little. 

Another wrestler in the family
The other wrestling news is that we've now got our youngest wrestling again. He's not old enough to join the team (wrestling is only for middle and high schoolers in this competition, he'll be won't be in middle school until next year). However the school only has one middle school wrestler and he's been struggling without a training partner. Our son is a bit heavier, but shorter, and has a year of wrestling experience, though not much match experience. He's keen too. So yesterday our son was formally invited to be a training partner for three hours a week to help out. Phew!

Over the weekend the magazine team and I did final adjustments to the Autumn issue of the magazine and it was sent to the printer in the early hours of Monday morning. We met our deadline, but the jury is still out on whether it will be in people's hands before the end of 2015. This is something we have little control over, though. But regardless, I'm still impressed: with the speed that we've been able to get this done (having three designers makes a big difference) and that the quality has continued to go up despite the speed.

Meanwhile I'm back to editing articles for the Winter issue, which we are planning to have actually come out in Autumn! Something that hasn't happened for a while.

I'm looking forward to some holidays. We had a quiet weekend, but Monday came too soon and it was back to work. Next Friday (18th) we'll take off to the mountains for six night, get back Christmas Eve and have another week and a half of holidaying at home. Can't wait!

Other stuff
There's other stuff going on that's making life interesting, challenging, or just sad at times. I wish I could tell you about it all, but it wouldn't be fair to you or to others involved, so I'll keep those things to myself (just in case you think I really do share everything with you). I'm sure you have things like that too.

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