I don’t remember if I reported this, but since losing weight, there is one physical thing I can do that was previously impossible.
When I started doing jiu jitsu 2 years ago, I had 28 inch thighs and 19.25 inch calves. My teacher taught me how to do a triangle choke. The problem was – I literally couldn’t hook their neck in the crook of my knee then bend my leg so my calf was parallel to their shoulders and hook my foot into the crook of my other knee. I could get my foot to about my calf and make a sort of diamond shape. On one level this was a bit humiliating because I had these super skinny instructors who kept saying that if I got the right angle I could do it.
Honestly, I physically couldn’t. I remember one time asking for help after class. I had a tiny guy I was attempting to do this move on, and I had another person trying to help position my body. I think the most frustrating thing about this was everyone’s lack of understanding – to them it’s so clear – get in the right position and it works. But it wasn’t working for me, and it kept getting more frustrating because NO ONE believed me that I physically was unable to do this move. However, I kept plugging away at it, doing the drills, and just did it to the best of my ability – it wasn’t a triangle, but it was triangle-ish.
2 years later I have 24 inch thighs and 16.75 inch calves. I was in class and sparring this month and I saw a triangle present itself, I took it, and by god I was able to easily finish it! My legs are now thin enough to close a triangle!
My advice for people starting out who are too heavy or too weak or have very little flexibility – don’t give up. Learn something even if you can’t physically do it now. Attempt it – do as much as you can. Don’t be too frustrated by it. If you stay in this sport long enough, it’s VERY POSSIBLE you will gain some flexibility or dexterity or even lose some weight. You may find that a few years later, you’re able to use that tool that’s been lying around that you were taught to use.
In other weight news: I’m making a push. I have a new short term goal that I want to share with you. My goal is to lose 20 lbs in the next 20 weeks. That ends up being 5 lbs per month for the next 4 months – totally doable. Not easy, but doable. My target goal is 140. The cool thing is that I teach a 20 week TESOL program and it starts tomorrow, so I am literally trying to lose this by the time it finishes. I’d love your support!