Since mid-December, I have been on a mission: Lose roughly 17kg+, stay strong and accept that there are some things in life that we have no control over. No doubt everyone has heard about the situation I have found myself in – a situation that sees me qualifying for the next Commonwealth Games in a lighter category (Under 90kg).
I’m not going to lie, the thought of losing that much weight was very intimidating. I told myself I could do it, but I’m not sure I really believed it. Not 100%. Not until the day I actually weighed in and competed at 89.6kg. Now that I’ve done it, I’m so happy! Even though I don’t feel like I’m strong enough at this new weight, I’m happy that I’ve taken the step to securing a spot for my third Commonwealth Games, which will be held in the Gold Coast next April.
In my build-up to competing in Melbourne, I got a lot of media attention. A lot of it I think could have been avoided by a press conference, but that was out of my control. Instead, I just went with the flow and tried to answer questions honestly.
For a quick recap: I don’t think having a transgender (male to female) who has a strong history in the sport participate amongst the females is fair. Many of the international competitors felt the same way – in fact, most people I have spoken to or have heard from have agreed.
Anyway, the day before my comp, I was on target to making weight at 90.1kg. I wasn’t grumpy and was allowed to eat, so, apart from the media situation, life was great! I love popcorn, so the fact that many of my dinners consisted of popcorn was an exciting thought – even though I was definitely craving a little bit of meat.
On the day of the competition, I weighed myself to see how much leeway I had in order to eat and drink beforehand, and nearly had a heart attack! Somehow, according to the scales that I had used all week, I had put on 6kgs overnight! Now at ‘96kgs’, I had 5 hours to get under 90kg and I was not happy! To see whether the scales were accurate, I checked my weight on the boy’s scales where I suddenly weighed 85kg. My poor little heart! To double-check the scales’ accuracy, I checked another set which had me at just over 91kg. As I was super nervous and wanted to confirm my weight for my own peace of mind, I ended up going down to the competition venue to officially check my weight on the scale used for the competition weigh in. Thankfully, I was under at 89.6kg! Confirming this definitely calmed my nerves.
After cheering on some of the team, I headed back to the hotel for a snack and a 2-hour ‘nap’. It was probably one of my best naps that I have ever had, if I’m being honest.
Finally, it was competition time. I felt nervous, excited and happy! Firstly, I had made weight – quite easily. Secondly, I was feeling strong and ready to go. Thirdly, this was my first competition without my coach, Adam, and I hadn’t had mental or emotional breakdown.
Adam and I had a goal of reaching a 201kg total weight – which would qualify me for the next few international competitions towards the end of the year.
During the competition, the snatches went well; although, I missed my last lift due to a rookie error and probably a little too much excitement. This error also occurred on my second clean and jerk – another rookie mistake. I knew then that, in order to beat the Australian, I needed to get my third and final clean and jerk. It honestly felt like a repeat of Glasgow, coming down to the last lift and successfully beating Australia – except this time I got second place and not third!
I’m so happy with the way that the competition went and with making weight. All the support from the members and my team mates was just amazing. It meant so much to me, especially in my weakest dieting moments!
Now the goal is to maintain the lighter weight and get stronger – that way I’ll be fighting for the Gold and not the Silver or Bronze in September!