I’m a week post-competition and I feel like crap. I have eaten like a fat kid for the last week. The amount of junk I have consumed in the past week is astronomical. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I have gained 10 lbs since the show a week ago. Gross.
Rebound after competition is a given and something many competitors struggle with. You diet so strictly and train so intensely for months, you fantasize about all of the things you wish you could eat, and it’s pretty much the first thing you do immediately after the competition is over.
Rebound is a challenge because to some extent, it’s necessary. You need to let your body recover, you need to gain some weight back (staying at your competition weight year round is pretty much impossible AND it’s not healthy), and you need to refeed your muscles and the rest of your body.
Every competitor’s approach is different – one week seems to be the standard most adhere to. My trainer told me just to have a cheat meal or two after the competition, but then to get back into the routine on Monday. I chose to disregard this advice and now I am kicking myself.
I feel like a hypocrite. I trained my ass off and showed so much discipline for 3 months and I feel as though I have thrown all of that out the window. Being able to have all of this junk food since I don’t have a competition in the near future has totally led me back into the bad habits/patterns I struggled with before I started training for the competition. Repeatedly last week, I told myself “today is the last day I cheat – tomorrow I get back on track” only to continue eating junk the next day. And now, a week and 10 lbs later, I am thinking about how much better I would feel if I were only a few pounds off of my competition weight and had been eating clean and hitting the gym last week.
The definition I fought so hard for in my arms is gone. The almost six pack I could see on show day has vanished completely. I wanted to maintain an off season weight around 112 – 115 lbs, but now I am actually going to have lose weight again to get back there. Sometimes those thoughts depress me to the point that I just want to continue eating crap and being a sloth, but then I realize that every day I continue to skip the gym and eat crap is one more day I’ll have to work to get the extra weight off.
Nicole is putting together an off season plan for me, but I am honestly mortified at the thought of sending her photos and my weight only one week after the competition. Since I am planning to compete again in July, I definitely know I want to handle my post competition rebound period differently next time. Chalk it up to a rookie mistake, but I am miserable right now.
Tomorrow is officially the start of the next phase of my training. Back to eating clean and back to hitting the gym. The first few days may be hard, but I know it won’t take long to get back on track once I set my mind to it and do what’s necessary. Beating myself up for the weight gain and the week of binging won’t change anything, so I’m determined to look ahead, set new goals, and start building the body that I will bring to my next show that will earn me a spot in the top 3! And for those who are curious, here’s a collage of the before photos I sent Nicole on July 25, 2011 and my show pictures from November 5th, 2011 – 14 weeks of training hard and eating clean!