Monday, October 22, 2012

Just Who Do You Think You Are?

"Oh, the audacity! Just who do you think you are? What makes you think you can do what no one else is doing?" I am standing in front of my mirror with my hands on my hips and hearing this voice inside my head. I raise my right index finger and answer with something the poet Theodore Roethke said, "What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible." 

"You're almost 39 years old. You spent over 15 years of your adult life goofing off occasionally expressing yourself in the arts lost in phases of depression putzing around trying to find yourself. What makes you think you can be a contender as a professional fighter among elite level athletes? What makes you think you can do it without performance enhancing drugs or dietary supplements or sessions devoted to strength and conditioning? What makes you think you can do it at the 115lbs weight class?"

Hush now you Doubter. Speak no more. Albert Einstein said, "The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone, is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been."

Let us not argue with Einstein. Let us instead adapt with Darwin.

There will be no adapting though regarding steroids and HGH and the such. As Rosi Sexton recently said, "Here’s my bottom line... I’m not interested in taking steroids..." Well me neither, Rosi. Me neither.

It has been mentioned to me that my Integrity will get in the way of where I am trying to go. This is probably true however I see no point in going to these places without my Integrity. Beyond victory and greater than number one is a goal so many lose sight of in their hunt for glory: I am trying to be someone I would be proud to know.

At InvictaFC3 I weighed in at 113.4lbs without dehydration or hard dieting or extra miles of endurance cardio. Afterward my food choices up until the fight were no different except for a couple of cookies after Friday's dinner. It is safe to assume I was not more than 115lbs at fight time. This was no surprise. I am moving outside the norm by fighting my natural weight.

I have been encouraged many times before to "make weight" and fight at 105lbs so that I will be up against girls my own size. There are a few that prefer I stay at 115 and "be the Frankie Edgar" of that weight class. They tell me I am unusually strong and will be fine against the heavier girls.

This is a hard decision for me because in this world where everyone is trying to be the huge body beating up the little body there is a part of my ego that enjoys giving the big girls a battle! But even as I hesitate I already know the answer. 105. The last time I was that light was probably over 28 years ago. In the world of clothing that would take me from a large sized American Girl to a medium. However I believe it may still qualify me as a large Khmer woman though no longer an XL.

I am thinking about how to do this without developing an eating disorder or body dysmorphia. Since I moved to Los Angeles fat, weight, diet and exercise are the main topics of conversation women seem to have. Since I began fight training I have found that men too are also consumed by these obsessions. I prefer to talk about other things.

I do not want to count calories. I do not want to daydream about my next meal. I do not want to suck on ice cubes to curb cravings. I do not want to need "cheat days". I do not want to plan ahead what I will be having after weigh-ins and after fighting. I do not want to yearn for fast food and cupcakes and cookies and milkshakes. I do not want to be a mental prisoner to the foods I cannot have.

The only way for me to do this is to change my perspective on food completely. By that I mean I have to find a way to believe that food is food for its most simple purpose. Food is Fuel for the Body and the Mind.

I am the girl whose mother tried many times to trick into eating vegetables. I am the girl whose grandma would peel, cube and toothpick fruits in the hopes that making them fun would encourage me. I am the girl who enjoys an old fashioned doughnut for breakfast. I am the girl that finds a late second dinner of greasy fatiness to be the most delicious. I am the girl that would choose to pass on a meal rather than have a salad.


This is going to be an interesting challenge indeed. Good thing they now make organic beer. Now if I can just find an organic doughnut shop...


  1. Brilliant observations!! I went through this when I had to drop to 145 (they got rid of the womens 155 on many shows and rankings a few years back)and after Invicta 3 I am moving down to 135. Am more than happy to share any recipes, tips, etc.
    Danielle West

    1. Thanks Danielle! I'll hit you up for recipes if I get bored with my approach! Stay healthy getting to 135. All the best to you!

  2. Hey Kayana
    you can contact me if you're interested in getting help with it. /Pauline Nordin/Fighter Diet

    1. Thank you Pauline! I'll ask Cassiano for your # and send you a text.

  3. Kaiyana, somewhere out there...there is an organic donut... It just might not be what you envision it to be... :) As for 105 lbs... that maybe your best road to go. Even Frankie has finally made the choice 155 to 145 and may go to 135 to get his next championship. There is no right or wrong to this but only what you desire! Kaiyana, good luck on your choice of weight to compete at and the foods that will nourish your body and soul.