Post Competition Rebound (Plus Before & After Pics!)

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!

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Gina Navarro says:

    Love your blog…you look amazing! Your transformation really only took from Jul – Nov. ? That is so awesome! Great Job! Im sure your so inspired with your results. Doesn’t that feel amazing?

  2. Melissa says:

    Hi Kayla,

    I came across your website because I just finished my first competition 2 weeks ago and the day after, I went to NYC for 5 days as my husband wanted to celebrate all my hard work. I knew I wasn’t going to look the same and it wasn’t going to be healthy to maintain…. but with that being said, I thought I would only gain 7 lbs the most. We ate everything in sight and I was bloated and swollen for the entire trip (even after I returned home). I felt like crap once I got back, my clothes didn’t fit anymore and finally went on the scale and saw that I’m actually heavier than my bulk phase for when I had to gain 10+ lbs for my competition. I gained 15 lbs and every time I looked at myself, I ask myself why I did what I did and went straight to the junk food. I would stuff myself again over and over and see that I was upset and have no motivation to workout or do anything. I decided to compete again in 8 weeks and after the first day of doing 3 hrs of working out and cardio, I threw in the towel and made excuses because I hated how much weight I gained. I followed my new diet for the morning but by the evening I would go to the sweets before bed. It’s been 2 weeks of eating junk and want to start fresh AGAIN but this time I want to move forward. I’m just worried that it’s too late, I am now 7 weeks out from the next competition. I am now disappointed in myself because it might not be enough time to lose that weight and stage ready with all the damaged I’ve done. Please share your thoughts and experiences with me once you started working out again for your next competition. Is it do able? I’m just tired of people telling me its only water weight but I’m back to where I started…. And its not coming off….

    Feeling like I’ve really lost all my hard work and there is no turning back!

    1. kaykayla85 says:

      Hi Melissa,

      I’m really sorry to hear that you are struggling, but if it is any consolation, I know that what you are going through is a relatively common experience, especially for newer competitors.

      I am not an expert in competing, and I am not a coach. BUT – if you want my honest opinion, I don’t think doing another competition so soon is the best way to address the problems you are experiencing. In fact, I think it may actually end up making them worse. I was in a similar position to what you are in after my bikini competition…I was supposed to do another about 6 weeks later. I went through the same post-show issues and tried to get back on track for a couple of weeks, but ended up making the decision not to do the second show. My head was such a mess and I was in such a bad place, so I asked myself what I would get from doing another show so soon, and I couldn’t come up with a worthwhile payoff. I took time off to get my head right, to get back to being consistent with my nutrition, but eating more calories than I had been for the show, and getting back into a regular gym routine again, although with less cardio than I had been doing. It took me a few months to find the right balance again. But I have no regrets about backing out of the second competition – it was the right decision for me. So, my suggestion is that you really think hard about why you are putting so much pressure on yourself to do another show so soon when it seems to be making you miserable. And just know that it’s okay if you decide it’s not the best thing for you to do another show right now – it does not make you a quitter or a failure. You need to do what’s best for you. There is always another show.

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