What we focus on becomes our reality. So what are you focusing on? When a competitor is in show prep, their show is their reality. Daily prep, training, eating right, coaching check in, sleep and everything is our reality. Its a daily process and all reflects on anything and everything to do with our show.
Sometimes the end of a show prep and show causes many athletes to experience a down feeling. A crash almost of emotions and thoughts. Everyone realizes a week or two after competition, that we are not as lean and hard as we were in the photos from our contest.
Adding more carbohydrates back into one’s diet will fill the muscles back out (refilling glycogen storage) and will cause subcutaneous water retention from sodium in extra food. Therefor your body will present more of a soft look. Competitors deplete water while in the last bit of prep for a show. So when a competitor starts in taking fluids again, the body will hold onto this for a while because of the deprivation they put their bodies through.
Not only the water but also when the competition tan wears off it can play a mind game on lots of people. The whiter we go back to sometimes the less definition we believe we can see and sometimes get upset over the appearance of “less” conditioning. All these things can cause our minds to think all is lost.
Some things that help with post competition blues is increasing water intake to help flush out the extra sodium our bodies take in.
Focus on your next goals. Having a next goal right away helps you stay focused and not feel so down after the huge transformation you made.
Don’t over indulge. One dessert or drive through experience is good. Don’t spend three solid weeks of eating garbage.
Focus of the things you neglected while in the last few weeks of show prep: Family, jobs, hobbies, school, work, house etc.
Getting a tan can also help. Spray tans or lotions are better and don’t cause cancer. I try to stay away from the beds as much as possible. I want to be healthier.
I will admit I experienced lows after both my shows. The second one being much worse than my first. And I took first at that show. Hormone levels and expectations played huge rolls in this. It is hard not to look in the mirror and not see shredded abs everyday. Balancing what’s healthy and what’s reality are so hard for our brain to remember and balance when we spend so many months prepping for one goal.
I’m still figuring out what the best post show formula is. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the thought of another post show blues doesn’t scare me a little about doing another show. But I love what I do and want to be constantly improving. I will be on stage again. I will not let the thought of not being perfect stop me. But I will be more prepared, more aware of how to do a post show recovery.
I love who I am and I am not defined by how I look for one or two weeks before a show, or how I look for a few hours on stage. I am more than my body and I love ME. As long as I am progressing forward, I am succeeding.