Portion Control 101, by Mackenzie Arrington For Jiu-Jitsu Magazine

This article about portions – Portion Control 101 – came my way recently via Jiu-Jitsu Magazine.  

Jiujitsu Magazine

Jiu-jitsu Magazine

If you google “portion control” you will be bombarded with enough articles and charts to sink a ship – but amidst the plethora, they generally share similar advice. Phew.

(As a note, you might also be bombarded with innumerable photos of Professor Snape – The seemingly insignificant “r” in portions makes potions so close in the eyes of Google that you may as well be in the Harry Potter fan club.  Nutrition, magic.  Eating, dragons… I dunno…)
Learningzone Express

Learningzone Express

Portions are a tricky thing for me – I can definitely eat a lot more than I do, and have to make a concerted effort NOT to go overboard.  As a kid, my level of activity was so high that I needed to eat more than I did.  Nowadays maintenance requires mindfulness, and a good deal less where volume is concerned.  When I falter, I see the difference fast.

Everyone is different so each person will have his or her own needs and requirements when it comes to how much they need to take in on a daily basis. No need – EVER – to compare.

One of my personal problems is being bored or – just-because-for-no-good-reason – feeling like I need to chomp on something (even when my stomach is fine!) I can’t say chewing gum is the best habit either but…better that (in my case) than eating more calories than I need.  

Anyway. . .the article talks about using one’s own hand as a guide – it’s a useful tool, and one you never leave home without. Jiu-Jitsu practitioners are notorious for monitoring their diets – the Gracie family, for one is HUGE on nutrition.  In fact, they have their own diet and they unapologetically recommend their students abide by it.  

At the end of the day what works best for you to reach your goals may well be different than someone else, or that new and special “diet” (fad, doctor-recommended, whatever!)  That’s OKAY! 

What can help all of us is portions – minding the amount of food we take can be a massive help in obtaining results, regardless of what macronutrients our body needs, or in what quantity.  

I know I need to allow myself to feel full sometimes, for example.  Taking a drink of water and waiting a few minutes helps deter me when I feel extra ravenous.  If I’m still starving in a half hour, maybe I do need a little more protein – but better than having far too much in a sitting without really needing it. 

 

Battle Bruises

The other day my training partner and I started laughing in the middle of a mount technique – She is awesome about “staying heavy” and totally crushed me from her mount. My chest was beyond sore from class the day before and there was something ridiculously comical about the fact that I could scarcely move (not to mention remember what the heck we were doing!)  I couldn’t quite laugh without groaning from the discomfort but I think most of us in there air on the side of finding humor in the ass-kicking we give ourselves – self-imposed after all!

We kept at it – myself, I have to say, firing on less than all pistons.  I don’t like to half-ass anything but my body was just too exhausted and sore to be as optimal as I’d have liked.  Off we go into another technique and… *PiNcH!* A trap and roll gi grab produced a lovely, almost-instantaneous heart-shaped bruise on my inner arm.  Ahhh… LOVE!

IMG_3830

A few minutes later I managed to totally slam my elbow to the mat.  I’m not sure if it was the impact, or the additional rolling over it by another body but within seconds I knew I’d have another battle wound (really racking them up that day!)

I love being a Martial Arts practitioner and though some days are rough-and-tumble (literally!  “Throw week” is one I look forward to less than, let’s say, small joint manipulation or weapons)…it is very much par for the course.  

A training partner at Ninjutsu the other day was totally out of it – I was admittedly frustrated by the spaciness and unwillingness to at least try.  Some days your body has less power, but you can still make the (mindful!) effort.  At one point he said “don’t really do it” about the block-and-striking technique we were working on at that moment.  Now, with two damaged knees I am the FIRST person to say “go easy,” or “let’s walk through this as we learn, without going to hard.”  But the reality is…you are in a Martial Arts class!  

You aren’t going to leave completely unscathed.  That doesn’t  mean you can’t train smart – you absolutely can (frankly, that’s ALWAYS my goal.)  Still…bumps and bruises happen.  You are going to need to accept that there will be some injuries (hopefully nothing major, however, which I’ve also endured.)  Martial Arts aren’t for the faint of heart by any stretch so it is important to know what you are getting into.  For me…I love to wear my heart on my sleeve…or my biceps! 😉  

My goal is to train as intelligently as I can so my partner and I get through with just a bunch of sore muscles at most.  But…when those bumps and bruises happen, I wear them like jewelry because I’m pretty darn sure I was working hard when I got them!  (I hope tomorrow when I go to try on bridal gowns, the wedding ladies don’t cringe too much! *lol*)

😀

For more of my Marital Arts and Dance jazz…