Wrestler’s Guide to Thanksgiving
Every year I am restricted the amount of food I can have on Thanksgiving day. Unfortunately, my family members around the table really don’t understand how managing weight is so important to the sport of wrestling. My grandma is always trying to stuff me with all these pies she makes and it makes Thanksgiving the most torturing day of my life. My freshman year, I remember sneaking food past my dad/coach and eating it in the garage. The next day of practice I weighed close to 130 pounds and had to get back down to 120 just 4 days later. Learning from my mistakes, I have definitely been more careful about what I eat. Holding myself back during the holidays is worth my achievements towards the end of the season.
Weight cutting is a real pain in the butt, so I avoid it as much as possible. Every season I have to power through my birthday and Thanksgiving dinner. I have a technique of how to handle the notorious dinner and not have to sweat my soul out the next weekend. I eat my last dinner Sunday night, then only eat bagels, fruit, eggs, and multi-vitamins for the rest of the week. I do not eat anything the day of the feast, then I demolish the diet throughout the night. The next morning, it’s my priority to burn all of the calories I consumed therefore I set up an exercise bike in front of the TV and bike for a good hour. I continue the strict diet until the next Wednesday to be sure my body is set to it’s normal state. Very few people have the determination to diet during Thanksgiving week, but I’ll do anything to not cut weight.
Not only do I have the pleasure of having to manage my weight, but I have a coach/dad watching every bite of food that enters my shrunken up stomach making sure I don’t screw it up. Most people think Thanksgiving is our golden ticket to eat as much as we can, but as the famous Star Wars line, “IT’S A TRAP!” I start this holiday off with a Pre-Thanksgiving run before the actual festival of eating begins. I only get one plate full of salty food and a little bit of football. I then have to try to run most of it off, between short and long runs that take me the entire weekend. For all those non-wrestlers out there, be thankful for having the glory of not needing to manage your weight.
My philosophy in wrestling is that I stick to the weight class I’m in at the beginning of the season. I don’t believe in cutting weight but more so managing it responsibly. Most of my teammates are used to cutting weight, and it’s interesting to see everyone’s different methods. Personally, my mom, brother, and I eat rice and beans all week, end it with a run around Ward Lake to get our appetites up and ready for the big feast. This allows my weight to not fluctuate during these times and thankfully, I’ve yet to be forced into cutting back on Thanksgiving.