Ten months of preparation. Eight months of building. Ten weeks of competition prep. One day of stage time. And now it’s all over…
After show day, my Twitter was filled with girls complaining about post show blues, feeling fat from a few days of indulgence and sad that it was all over. Everything we’d worked so hard for, sacrificed for, shed many a tear for, planned our whole lives around, was over. Almost immediately there were plans for next years shows, what to improve and what went wrong. I, on the other hand, was loving life. I had free reign in the gym, a lot more flexibility in my diet and my beloved nut butters back in my life. I was so excited to get strong (and warm) again. So excited to kill my workouts and get back to lifting like a real girl again.
Then everything changed. I’m now experiencing what I’ve been told is the standard post show lull. A few great heavy workouts were followed by a few not-so-great, frustrating sessions. Like most people in this, I like to come out of the gym feeling like I cant do anymore, like my body has totally exhausted itself and I need food and rest. That’s my favourite feeling in the world. Addicted to fatigue maybe, but I don’t see the harm. But for some reason I can’t get to this level. Maybe my post prep body won’t allow it. Maybe I’m not pushing hard enough. Or maybe I just can’t expect to feel the same as I did after a prep session, where I’d had no carbs and was completing set upon set of squats and thrusts and extensions. Either way, this post show blues sucks and may be an even bigger mind game than prep itself. I mean, even I know it’s ridiculous to walk out the gym crying because you haven’t worked to exhaustion. To spend the day mad at yourself because maybe you could have lifted more on that last set. So be warned girls who are competing, the mental game doesn’t stop just because you’ve had that pizza, that Nutella and finally had a decent nights sleep. The games begin all over again.
So now what? What do you aim for when you’ve spent almost a year aiming for this one day? I’m lucky because I have a lot of work goals and life goals to keep me motivated, but they won’t give me training focus or keep me on my reverse diet until I’m back at maintenance. That’s another thing people, sometimes the reversing is harder than the prep, I mean, why shouldn’t you eat that extra quest bar? It’s off season! The UKBFF show dates have now been released and everyone is scrambling to choose their show, plan for next year and their next prep, already wishing away their off season. That’s great, and I respect everyone so determined and excited to get back on that stage. But for me, as I’ve said all along, health and a happy mindset comes first. So for now, the plan is to refocus, regroup and get some advice on where to go next. I have my ideas… But for now, give me my family, my friends, my food and my stretchy leggings back! Because that is life.