How to Find Balance After A Competition
Okay, so I’m about to give advice on a topic that I have come nowhere close to mastering myself. However, I wish that someone had been there to give me this advice after my competition came to an end last August.
This topic is finding balance or going back to a more realistic and healthy lifestyle.
(An example of my over-eating next to a friend’s frozen yogurt):
After my show, I was so over thinking about what I eat and decided that I wanted a couple months of not caring whatsoever. Instead of going back to the way that I used to eat before competition prep, I found myself over indulging and feeling guilty. Not only did competition prep slow my metabolism and shock my body, it changed the way I think of food entirely. The reintroduction of sugar at such excess so quickly caused me to gain weight rapidly. The first week after my show I was 7 pounds up from my stage weight.
While this had other girls I knew that competed back in the gym quickly and watching what they ate again, I knew it was normal and still didn’t want to fret. The morning after my show I was up three pounds from water alone. I knew that I was a little too skinny the day of my show and I was not worried.
I continued to eat processed foods and sugar. I felt very differently about food than I ever had before in my life. It was as if I was always worried that I wasn’t going to have the chance to eat something again. I was ordering food constantly even when I was full to the point of sickness.
My second week after my show I was up an additional 9 pounds. My weight before competition prep was 115 lbs. My stage weight was 104 lbs. Two weeks after my show I weighed in at 120 lbs. I got myself back into the gym but couldn’t change the way I thought about food.
I felt myself being extreme. Healthy to me was Grilled chicken plain with a cup of asparagus six times a day. I felt like if I wasn’t eating that than I might as well be eating a double cheeseburger, box of donuts, and carton of ice cream.
I still struggle on a daily basis to find a balance between competition prep dieting and a normal lifestyle. Here are a few tips I can give to anyone transitioning from competition life to off-season:
- Continue to drink 10-15 water bottles a day. (You’re already in the habit of drinking water. The benefits of drinking water are endless & It will keep your metabolism fast and you feeling full.)
- REVERSE DIET OUT! For those of you who don’t understand what this means, I will be creating an entire blog post dedicated to this in the near future.
- Portion Control. Allowing yourself to satisfy cravings after your show is part of the fun in competing, but don’t overeat. Allow yourself to taste a little bit of everything!
- Continue to Workout Everyday. Staying in the gym will encourage you to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.
- Eat Vegetables. With every meal incorporate a green vegetable. This will help your meals to have some sort of nutritional balance.
- Limit yourself to three cheat meals a week. It may seem like a lot to those who diet, however three meals a week will allow you to feel like you can eat everything you want but still provide you with guidelines.
- Eat Socially. Save your cravings and cheats for eating with friends and family. Do not buy food and eat alone or in your car or on your way to class. You will find yourself feeling guilty and hiding what you eat. When you eat in groups you tend to eat less.
- Continue to take supplements. Stopping your supplements mentally prepares you to end your fit lifestyle. The less you eliminate from your habits the easier it will be to maintain a somewhat healthy routine.
- Monitor your weight. Don’t ignore the weight you’re gaining. Do not stress about it to the point of depression but be aware.
- Have a Game Plan to Get Back On Track. Set new goals and remember the type of lifestyle you want to be living.