Let’s talk about female fitness competitors and what happens after the show is done. Competing is so much about the glamour, sparkles, being lean and shredded and less about what no one ever wants to talk about ; post competition. The good, the bad and the ugly of it. Having competed 4 times now, I have experienced every spectrum of post show that most females (and I dare say, some males) can go through.
Let's start with the ugly. My first competition was great, afterwards.....not so much. Not knowing what to expect and not listening to my coach, I thought " I got this". I was very wrong!!!! I went crazy. I ate everything in sight and gained back all the weight and more I had lost and was incredibly unhappy with how I felt and looked. It's a terrible feeling, especially after having experienced looking probably the best you've ever looked, at least in your eyes.
The second part of that ugly is when/if you decide to compete again you now have to lose everything you just gained back. Which is a lot harder. And so the cycle of weight loss vs weight gain begins.
The bad. This sport, if done incorrectly, can really mess with not only your body chemistry, ie: your hormones, etc. But also mentally. When you're in prep, you're focussed. So dieting and exercising are hard but you know that it needs to be done. When you don't have a goal date, things tend to slack. No big deal.....I don't NEED to go to the gym today, I can eat that extra piece of pizza or 6. Because there is no end of the tunnel, one cheat meal can turn into a day, can turn into a week and before you know it, your inner fat kid has returned. And then you start to feel awful all over again.
Now the good. My third and last competition, I have learned how important reverse dieting post show is. Why reverse diet? After prepping for so long, your body becomes like a sponge, it will readily absorb whatever you feed it. When done right, a reverse diet will gradually let your body gain back its healthy weight while allowing you to keep the muscle you have built prior to the show. It eases the body from a state of deprivation to a state of healthy living.
It's less of a mind f*^* and more of a f*^* yeah!!!
When looking for a competition coach, make sure they discuss your post-competition plan of action and what that looks like before you hire them. A good coach will give you a reverse diet meal and training plan specific to this time, and will check in and monitor your rebound to make sure you're on track very closely. You need support in this phase more than ever.
Reach out to people who understand, especially if you're struggling. Fellow competitors are a great source as they have or are going through the same thing.
This is a sport after all, where you want to become the best version of yourself, why would you not want to continue that after the spotlight of the stage?!?!
Authored by: Nicole Lozinski | Nicole is a Nationally qualified figure competitor, NLP team mate, and figure posing coach
Want to try out one of Nicole's posing clinics, in Kelowna, BC? Check for details here.