If you're a veteran competitor, or a veteran reader of competitor's articles and muscle magazines, then you've heard the term "Post-Competition Blues." I've heard it before, I've used it before, and I'm being honest when I say I'm currently coming out of LIVING IT.
The truth is, in my real-life scenario, "blues" is an understatement. I prefer to refer to it as a "wild and crazy, awful, desolate, Black Hole vortex of crap and self-loathing"; but if I called it that, none of you reading this blog would ever compete, and you'd wonder if I need therapy. Allow me to explain. My journey was a long and rough one. I started dieting 28 weeks out from the OCB New York State Natural. I had 2 shows lined up, the OCB one on Nov 3 and the Natural Muscle NY state on Oct 13. The Natural Muscle was going to be my warm up show, and the OCB was the real deal. Oct 13 came (after 25 weeks of dieting). I had lost 30lbs in 25 weeks, looked the best I have in my entire life, posed as if my life depended on it (rocked the judge's socks off with my routine), and had a suit that complimented by body like nothing I'd seen before. Fast forward to 8:30pm the night of the show, when I'm handed my 4th (last) place trophy, and my heart decided to submerge itself into the floor. I kid you not, I felt like I'd been sucker-punched, back-stabbed, front-stabbed (?) and had my heart ripped out of my chest. All that hard work, all that cardio, all that dieting, those nights of not going out, or going out and having nothing but a diet Coke... all for a last place? Hardly seemed worth it.
Now there are those who will say, "But look how far you've come! And look where you are now! And look what you have to look forward to in the future!", and to them I say "Thank you... but it doesn't work that way with me." With me, the ends justify the means. Last place indicates I didn't work as hard, didn't diet as hard, didn't sacrifice as much, and didn't have the genetics of my 3 predecessors. My body isn't my prize; my body is my body. That first place trophy is a prize. I assure you that I'm not just being hard on myself. Ask any competitor, and I assure you that very few of them compete for "fun." Yes, bodybuilding IS fun, and I enjoy dieting and sacrificing, and anyone who isn't having fun shouldn't be doing this, but COME ON!! Are you going to argue with me that losing is fun? Nuh-uh. Back to my story, I was so discouraged by my last place, that I gave up. Literally, on the spot. I said, "If they think I'm getting on stage again in 3 weeks, then they have another thing coming to them." I backed out of the Nov 3 "real deal" show the day before I was supposed to get on stage. I started eating on Oct 13, and literally just stopped. Literally. Today. Nov 10. Today is the first day I haven't opened up my fridge, inhaled the entire thing, then felt sorry for myself until the next day, when I did it all again. Now, some of you are about to hate me, but I haven't gained weight. I am up about 3-4lbs form my Oct 13 show. This sounds like a blessing, but it's a curse. Because every time I'd binge, I' d get on the scale the next morning and see that it was either down, or up 0.2-0.5lbs, so I'd give myself permission to binge again. This is not normal.
Today is the first day I pulled my head out of my bum. Today is the first day I said, "This eating isn't getting me anywhere. In fact, it's actually taking me backwards! if I lost because I wasn't lean enough, then why would I go and put all this weight back on, just to struggle to lose it again. Why not keep my momentum from the last show, keep my weight at a certain point, then not have to diet as long next season?" So I put the Ben & Jerry's back. I put the Nutter Butters away, and I went to train with one of my coaches. I trained with someone who inspires me and pushes me to do better, and probably the only person (save for my best friend and boyfriend) who is more excited for the 2013 season than I am. But let me tell you, it's VERY easy to get lost in that Black Hole competition blues vortex if you don't have your head on straight. Lesson learn. Catastrophy diverted.