It’s that time of the year again for me, my season has come to an end. I'm slowly coming down from the high of being on stage and settling into an offseason. Although no stranger to this, it's still always a bit of a system shock. With offseason comes two major struggles for me: motivation to stay disciplined in a reverse diet and accepting weight from the reverse.
I’ll start with explaining the first of my struggles: a good reverse. Why is it important? After 23 weeks of dieting, my metabolism is far from as powerful as when I started dieting. The body is smart, it learns to adjust to a caloric deficit by downregulating the metabolism-the body learns to use less to do more. In order to revive my metabolism, without unnecessary weight gain, I have to slowly add calories back in. This gives your body the chance to adjust to the extra food without shocking it. You'd think more food, wheres the problem? The problem is I am as hungry as ever and without the next show in mind, it's harder to talk myself out of eating enough to feed a family of 5. I'm gonna share the few thing I’ve learned over my 3 seasons as a bikini competitor when it comes to post-show diet.
1) Keep long-term goals in mind. I have every intention of being Ms. Bikini Olympia one day, and although this is not my next immediate goal, it helps to keep it in the back of my mind for some extra motivation.
2) Food will always be there. You don’t need to it RIGHT NOW. It's kind of a mind game actually. I tell myself if I still really want it tomorrow, then I can have it. I tell myself this every day until before I know it, it's been a week of sticking to the plan. And now the latter of my struggles, probably one of the most common issues competitors face post-show: weight gain. First thing is first STAGE LEAN IS NOT HEALTHY OR ATTAINABLE YEAR ROUND. Our bodies are not meant to be in such a fragile state for extremely long periods of time. Even knowing this, its hard to see the lines and veins fade and the number on the scale go up. How do I deal with this? I remind myself of why it's a good thing. You cannot add significant muscle tissue in a caloric deficit. Putting on weight allows you the opportunity to make improvements for your next season. You're also setting your metabolism up to diet in the future! And the extra freedom will allow you to mentally recharge before dieting again. My other strategy is simply reminding myself IT IS OKAY. I remind myself how much I love filling out my jeans, how good it feels to see my strength in the gym go up, the enjoyment I get out of eating food with my friends and family!
I know none of this is as easy as it sounds, but as competitors, we all love a challenge, so face post-show head on. This is just another milestone in your journey.
Set yourself up for future success by learning how to deal with post-show struggles.
Big thank you to Jaz for sharing this blog with our readers!
Keep up with Jaz on her Instagram: @Jazfitness_