When you head off to Thailand for an extended period of time, people just expect that 5 hours a day of training equals fat camp. I am not going to lie – I had envisioned myself a lean mean fighting machine by this stage of my journey, however I quickly discovered how difficult it can be to lose weight here in Thailand. My first two trips to Thailand were very short lived – both just shy of 4 weeks – both times I dropped at least 3kg and trimmed down an entire clothes size. My first month here, my body responded in the exact same way. With a strict “diet” and straight into fight training, I trimmed down a massive 5kg of my Christmas weight in 3 weeks. Unfortunately for me, my weight loss stalled there. I was really struggling with “dieting” and maintaining my energy levels at training and my recovery was terrible. I was sore all the time and practically bathed myself in liniment to survive training. One of the most difficult things about living and eating this way was not getting a chance to socialise. Meals here become your social life – it’s where you get to know the people around you and make friends. If you are constantly training and in your room you spend a lot of time alone. The other difficulty – I don’t have a kitchen! Buying a blender and a rice cooker were two of the smartest things I could have done. Eating out in Thailand is great! It’s cheap and there is a never ending supply of fresh produce… but where there is an Angel, a Devil lurks. First things first. ALL Thai dishes contain sugar. SURPRISE. Most people know – but a lot of people don’t. I was lucky I did some research before I got here. Even when you ask for food with no sugar – not everyone understands you. Sugar is used a lot, especially in spicy dishes, as it balances out the heat. If you eat spicy food you will notice a massive difference in the taste of the dish when you have them take out the sugar! Secondly – Thai’s LOVE their sweets. If you are ever in Phuket and have the opportunity to visit the Nakka Weekend Night Markets, find these guys…. OM NOM NOM NOM NOM! After doing some cooking (mostly in my rice cooker) and some careful food choices, I discovered a newly launched company and over the last 2 months I have been really fortunate to receive sponsorship from Pure Energy. Pure Energy was created from the concept of nutrition on the go. The founder and owner of the company, who is also a fellow Aussie, wanted to create healthy food that is available to go. Personally, especially during fight training, I don’t always feel like going out for meals – sometimes I don’t even want to sit and wait for take away. I just want to go home, eat, sleep and repeat! I’ve been really lucky – having the owner around to chat to. I am ever impressed at the care that is taken with the meals that are prepared. He understands the Muay Thai culture and the needs of fighters and those just here training hard that want to eat well. None of the meals contain any preservatives or sugars and even the fruit that is in their energy bars is dehydrated on site. Meals change constantly but the nutritional value remains similar. Every day there is a choice between a high energy carb, high protein meal and a low energy carb, high protein meal. It’s nice to not have to eat the same thing every day!
My weight loss journey continues with massive assistance from my newest sponsor – Melbourne based company Elite Combat Nutrition. Elite Combat Nutrition uses a science based approach to making the most out of your training and eat and the best thing about it! I don’t feel like I am on a “diet”. Eating 6 meals a day has been challenging as I feel like I am constantly eating but having a nutritionist on Team Gemma who is ever reliable has been beyond anything I could have hoped for. I won’t give away too many secrets but I will say this – if you’re having a struggle like me, or even if you want to have more energy at training – head over to their website (link above ^) and drop them a line 🙂 In ending my little bragging post about my amazing new sponsors, I would just like to say this. I am not grossly over weight. I am not obese – I suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which makes it difficult for me to be as lean as I should be. My weight loss journey stems from my desire to fight at a competitive weight class, which in turn leads to a larger pool of opponents for me in the long term. A massive shout out and thank you to my sponsors – I am so grateful every day for the assistance you provide me. If you are reading this, please check out the websites and give their Facebook page a like 🙂 Happy eating!