So you’ve just finished your body building shows, how’s that reverse or rebound going? It could be your first season or your 5th, it doesn’t matter this part of competing and coming out of dieting is definitely the hardest.
One of the more common things popping up now is people setting their goals to compete in a body building show as the final accumulation of 1-2+ years of hard work fixing/improving their body/nutrition habits to complete the ultimate challenge and get that desired body.
As an interesting thought, how many people that head into shows doing this actually go on to compete again? This could be for of course, a multitude of reasons but of the most common and biggest is that they experienced a tumultuous time post comp and their relationship with food has really suffered.
So how do you move through this and not end up feeling so lost?
The first thing that a lot of competitors will try and do is apply the same kind of control post comp to what they did before. This can manifest in a lot of ways, such as maintaining being on a diet, try to resist going back to a healthy body composition, avoiding eating out, avoiding foods that you didn’t eat during prep, continuing to weigh/measure body composition etc.
You must remember that the methods and behaviours you must incorporate to reach that successful physique are not normal nor are they healthy, (but in saying this there is nothing wrong with prepping meals for the week and following a loose meal plan for ease of budget and organisation, key word here being loosely). So, trying to continue to control things as much as possible can have a backwards affect.
So what do you do then? You can’t possibly just eat everything and be ok with it because you will go off the rails and eat everything in the house right! Maybe. But have a think to yourself- if this happened once or twice, IS IT REALLY A BIG DEAL? Seriously, ask yourself that question now while you are in a good state of mind. What is the absolute worst thing that could happen if you did that? Will you die? Unlikely. Will you lose your friends, house, car, job etc? No probably not. But, what you will experience is some anxiety and self imposed stress, depression and discomfort why? Because you’re trying to stay on the bandwagon and control things.
- It is highly unlikely you will get fat, what will most likely happen is you will return to a healthy body composition which is completely normal. The voice in your head telling you are fat IS lying here and it is super important that you recognise that. It is also pretty likely that you are not as “big” as you think you are.
The other important things here that I absolutely can not stress enough are:
- find a coach who is experienced in this area, whether it be mindfulness, eating disorders, body image issues etc. Coupled with this, a counsellor who incorporates mindfulness and/or spiritual psychology.
- Incorporate some meditation, preferably guided as this is easier and less stressful. Meditation teaches you how to simply watch your thoughts, like watching cars on the side of a road, instead of running out into the traffic.
- Journal! This is a really good skill to learn as it helps your mind to process its anxiety and stress and helps you to reflect.
- Be kind to yourself! Nothing more needs to be said.
Hopefully this helps, and as I said if not please make sure you reach out to someone for assistance, don’t try and battle it on your own if you are struggling.