Project: Mini Me

Newman tries to get small.

I’ve spent the last 15 years (plus or minus) shaping my body to be what it needed to be for what ever sport I was participating in. And in most cases, that meant getting bigger and stronger.

In high school I was on the competitive dance team and weighed around 140 lbs.

Then when I started judo and discovered weight training, I generally hung out around 150 lbs.

When I got into weightlifting I worked my way up to 165 lbs.

After starting strongman training, I took myself up to 180 lbs.

Then I broke my leg and lost 10 lbs nearly immediately.

It’s been three months since the accident, and I have at least another 1-3 months before being cleared to lift weights again. Tibia fractures, particularly as bad as mine, can take up to 6 months. Staying as big as I was isn’t going to happen as long as I can’t do heavy lifting, so I decided to do a new project: can I get back down to where I was as a judo player?

Two main reasons I’m doing this:

1) I need a big, new goal to focus my current training capabilities on. And I’m curious if I can do it. I have a lot more muscle on me than I did in college as a judo player. I was about 19-20% body fat then at 150 lbs. I was at 22.5% body fat as a strongman at 180 lbs. Over the past 10 years I went from 120 lbs lean mass to 140 lbs lean mass. I will have to lose some muscle to get down close to 150 lbs, because there is just no way my body can support 7% body fat. That’s not really sustainable for women in general.

2) I have yet to have a anyone come to me looking to put on weight. At best, they’ve come to me looking to stay the same weight and get stronger and more conditioned. But seriously, the vast majority of people join a gym to lose some weight. I hoping this experiment will give me a better perspective and more empathy to the challenge that losing weight is for people. As much as I want people to love themselves where they are, that doesn’t preclude anyone from wanting to effect positive changes in their physique, and for many, that means losing some body fat.

Now, I honestly don’t know if I can do this. I may fall flat on my face or get stuck partway through. But it will be a interesting experiment.

Next post will be how I plan on proceeding.