Since starting BJJ I have no more secrets. You know, those things that women are absolutely renowned for having, I have no longer. Still not sure what I’m talking about? Age and weight.
I was born in 1976. I’ll let you do the math. I know I look young. This is me taken in 2010:
Why disclose my age? I do it partly because I am proud that even after 30 I have decided to get off my butt and get into a BJJ gym. I do it partly because I want to be able to say “It’s never too late.” I do it partly because I do get treated better when people realize I’m not 25. To be fair, I’ve always been free with the age reveal, and partly because I do teacher trainings and when everyone thinks they’re WAY older than you the class has a very different feel to it.
This one is a first for me. I’ve never been one to talk about my weight. I always get that “OMG” look when I tell people my weight because “you don’t look THAT heavy.” I weight 92 kilos, or right around 203 lbs.
Since starting BJJ I’ve started sharing that weight. Why? Partly because when you start to do tournaments you have weight divisions. Okay, with women I’m just in the “heavy” as the heaviest weight division is often 160+lbs, which I know gives me a huge leeway, but it also does make a difference when you’re partnering up with someone. 20 lbs can make a big difference, let alone 50 or 60, and often there’s even a bigger difference in weight between me and the other girl.
The other reason I’ve started sharing is to be more accountable to myself. If I feel free to talk about it, perhaps people will be encouraging. Perhaps people will ask me how the weight loss is coming. I started my BJJ journey as a way to lose weight/size. By sharing that weight/size it helps me lose a lot of the shame feelings that come when you are hiding something.
You may scratch your head and decide that that’s not something to share, but I’m all about helping out women in BJJ, which means talking about how a certain size gi fits my certain sized body. I’m short and squatty, and by sharing my measurements I can help other women who may be similarly sized find something that fits. Again, some of that is related to taking the shame away from talking about your body in a very practical, realistic way.
FYI: I don’t feel bad about how I look (usually–though when I look at the back of my legs I do feel terrible). I love myself, but I want to be a better me. A healthier me. A me that fits into much smaller pants. 🙂
So there you have it: my “secrets.” I wonder how many other women in BJJ freely share their age/weight with a) their rolling partners b) their BJJ school c) the Interwebz! What secrets do YOU share?