As a competitive athlete in jiu jitsu, nutrition is important.You have to fuel your body with all it needs to keep up with long classes, fast runs, and intense workouts. Since my jiu jitsu journey started almost a year ago I’ve cleaned up my eating habits in many ways. I started off by cutting out sweets, things like cookies, cake, and ice cream. From there I cut out junk foods, things like chips and sugar cereal.I wanted to put things into my body that had a purpose and that weren’t just a filler. For most athlete’s those restrictions wouldn’t be a huge deal, but as a junior in high school, food is a very social thing.
Friends want to go out for ice cream runs, grab pizza at lunch, and go to half off’s at ten pm on Saturday. It also seems they want to do all these things right before a tournament and it gets really hard to say no.You want to hang out with friends, but you don’t want to eat that stuff. Before my last tournament I cut out pizza and pasta from my diet. I started eating lots of tuna and protein shakes, not together of course, because that’s what felt good when I put it in my body. So of course right when I started that, all of my friends wanted to have a pizza night. Luckily for me, the pizza place also had salad.
Living in a small town, restaurants are a popular place to hang out. Sadly, you are supposed to actually buy food for them to let you stay there. A lot of weekends after sporting events or while we are all hanging out, my friends and I will go get appetizers at Applebees. It always gets awkward when everyone is eating and I’m downing my fifth glass of water. Not only is it awkward to sit and watch people eat, but its hard! I like food just as much as anyone else so its not easy to say no, even when its saying no to foods that aren’t good for me. It’s also tough when you go with friends to get ice cream and have to pass when its your turn to order. None of that is easy, but its all worth it. The feeling of knowing that you are only putting things into your body that are going to fuel it, is a good feeling. You know that you are taking baby steps to reach your goals. You have to make some sacrifices in order to be successful.