Let me be honest with you, I'm getting over post-competition depression. Yes, it's a thing and I was an easy target considering my background. I didn't go into my first competition not knowing about it. In fact, that was one of the first things my trainer told me about because of my history and my struggles with symptoms that similar to those who have body dysmorphic disorder. Regardless, here I am...
I dropped from almost 140 lbs to 114 lbs for my figure competition and I, personally, felt great after the show.. like the first couple of weeks anyway. I could eat again! As I've stated before, I am an emotional eater. I eat when I am happy and when I sad. It's my unhealthy comfort. Even my husband knows that if I'm upset just get me a Chick-fil-a vanilla milkshake (no whip cream & extra cherries) and all will be well in the household. It's a little sad now that I read that back to myself (lol), but it's the sad truth. Yet, when you go months without your "comfort" and then go dumb crazy when you can have said comfort, you lose sight of what you're doing to yourself at times. One day, I randomly looked in the mirror and there I was... not as lean as I once was. I cried.
I felt all that hard work was thrown out the window and guess what I did - went to Chick-fil-a. I knew i would feel better and that's all I wanted in that moment. I spoke previously about losing motivation and trying to get yourself back on track because this is where I am (not was). I'm still trying to get myself back on track without falling into the deep darkness of depression. It's hard.
The reality of the situation is that you can't stay at "competition weight." It's just not healthy. You go from almost no carbs to adding more carbs back into your diet and drinking a lot of water again. The fluid retention alone is going to make you gain weight. Then, you add all the post-competition sugars, fats, and salty goodness - what do you expect to happen. That's the harsh reality. So, why do I and possibly others struggle to accept that?!?
I, personally, think it's because we see how lean we can get and we don't want to let it go. I know I didn't. Like every person on this planet, I want to be able to eat what I want and keep that 114 lb physique and just add muscle - oh to dream. That's no possible though. So, moving forward, how do we cope? Plan for it.
Plan out what you are going to do after your show. If you need to, take a week off from your diet and from your high intensity workouts. Consider it a mental health break to spend time with family and friends, to mentally prepare for losing your competition physique, and to create new fitness goals even if it's just maintaining a healthy weight. During that week, enjoy the foods you missed and get it out of your system. Yet, regain your focus after that week and enjoy food in moderation. This is something I didn't do. Don't be like me. Be better than me.
So, where am I now both mentally and physically? Well, mentally I am doing better. I finally shifted my focus back to the body fat percentage on the scale instead of my weight. I have gained 15 lbs since my show which was September 7, 2019. It's crazy how hard it is to lose weight versus how easy it is to gain it. This week, I start my mini-cut diet to drop my weight and body fat percentage before transitioning to a maintenance diet. I will be on a mini-cut diet for 4-5 weeks with 1-2 cheat meals a week. God willing, I will be competing again in May 2020 so we plan to start my competition prep in January.
If you are experiencing post competition blues, know that you are not alone. It's common especially among beginners like myself. I mean, think about it. You spent 12-16 weeks doing nothing, but preparing for a competition. You probably lived at the gym and couldn't enjoy all the food that you wanted because of your strict diet. Then, the day comes and it's all over. You went to seeing yourself look better and better to now, in your mind, slowly getting worse. It happens. Just don't stay there. The moment you accept that competition looks cannot be held long-term, you have taken the first step. You can beat the funk. Don't let it beat you.