Live. Love. Run. It's what I do.

On wrestling, weight-loss, and worry

Before you ask, no, I am not in wrestling. I think girls who wrestle are crazy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not in an offensive way! It’s crazy to wrestle just like it’s crazy to run, I think we’re equal. Anyways. My boyfriend is in wrestling, and it’s his first year out (btw I think he’s a bit crazy too in a good way of course 😉 ). I know I’m not supposed to worry about his eating habits during the wrestling season, but I kind of can’t help myself. I have this friend who goes to another school who has been in wrestling for the past three years and I heard from his sister about how he would eat nothing but a little salad and drink nothing but water during the season. And then these eating habits would continue even after the season because he said he wasn’t hungry. I know that my boyfriend doesn’t starve himself totally like this, and he assures me that it’s perfectly healthy and that he’ll be fine, but I’m finding myself to still be skeptical. I know that making weight is just part of the sport and it’s inevitable, but really, isn’t it a little extreme or at least a bit concerning? These guys who are out for wrestling aren’t fat! They are a healthy weight already and don’t really need to lose anything. What if they made girls starve themselves too for their sports? Wouldn’t a lot more people become concerned? When you’re working out, you need those calories to refuel your body and replenish its supplies. Maybe it’s just the runner mentality in me, I don’t know. Maybe I’m crazier than I thought.

When these guys are starving themselves so they can be within a certain weight range, I see it as a huge potential open door for an eating disorder. I’ve seen eating disorders up-close. I’ve been that girl who was unhappy with her weight and over-obsessed about it and tried to change it. And maybe I’m overreacting to the whole weight-loss-for-wrestling thing, but I know how hard it is to break bad habits and to change the way you think. I think that the current system for wrestling is just inviting those bad habits and dangerous mentalities into all these young wrestlers’ lives. Eating disorders are serious and scary. They can have life-long effects, both physically and mentally. Even when someone thinks that they’re over it, the mentality can still come back and lure them back into an unhealthy eating pattern. Girls aren’t the only ones subject to eating disorders, they can affect guys too.

I googled wrestling and weight loss, and I know that there are rules and  guidelines in place to keep wrestlers healthy and safe, but a little voice in the back of my head tells me to continue being concerned. I will have to apologize to my boyfriend. I just don’t understand it.


Julie Yip-Williams

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