Seeing your body change on a weekly, daily basis is amazing.
Having a goal to work towards is fulfilling.
Getting glamorous for the stage is so much fun.
Being in the best shape of your life . . . priceless.
Competing in physique competitions isn’t all fun and glamour though– it can be really tough mentally, physically, and emotionally.
The actual preparation can be exhausting with tough workouts, low calories, and long to-do lists added to your plate. You may be tired, cranky, and sore. No doubt about it, preparing for a physique competition is a challenge.
It is also a choice, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly as it is life-changing in many ways. It is also up to you to choose to make it an enjoyable experience for yourself and those around you. As Jennifer Lambert Foster and I discussed at the SAF Camp this past weekend, you chose to compete. You can choose to enjoy the preparation too.
I think one of the hardest parts of it is that a stage-ready body isn’t going to be one you can maintain all the time.
In the normal world of getting in shape you typically continuously get better and better. You see constant progress and you are happy with the results.
When you take it that next step and decide to compete, that small personal win shifts. You actually have a moment when you look best (the moment onstage) and then you come off the stage and you get back to a more realistic body. This is the hard part. This is the part you need to be prepared for.
You can still be in amazing shape and look great, but that moment onstage isn’t a realistic everyday body and likely won’t be repeated until you are up there again. It’s important to find a healthy balance, a place where you feel healthy and happy with your physique.
It’s also important to appreciate the hard work you put in before and after the show. Enjoying the change in your body is part of the fun and even if you aren’t in stage-shape one or two weeks before or after, I bet you still look damn good! As competitors, females, and humans in general, we are often our own worst critic. Be cognizant of crazy thoughts seeping in and try to remember the journey of getting in shape is half the fun – staying there is the other half.
Although I had always been in shape before competing, getting ready for shows really increased my fitness and improved my shape. I can say that after competing in seven shows between 2007 and 2009, I was able to maintain that happy place for about two years before it started to slip away from me. I got distracted and got off-track and I know how hard it is to come back from that. My goal now is to find and keep my happy place. (I’m blogging about all that here www.bluntbeauty.ca/blog)
Another tough part about competing is your life after the competition. You’ve prepared for so long for one big day and it’s over so quickly. It’s often a moment when you may feel the blues and a little lost. Having a photoshoot, a beach holiday, or another goal like running a race lined up will help.
Competing can be an amazing experience if you tackle it from the right mind frame. As a challenge for your mind and body it can lead to more confidence and a greater knowledge of what your body can do, and also test and strengthen your willpower. It can really open your eyes to the changes in your health and physique that you can make by eating well and training hard. The day of the show is a lot of fun and the whole experience of competing can bring fabulous like-minded friends into your life.
Because it is such a subjective sport and one that doesn’t often have a clear-cut winner (how can it when everyone is so beautifully unique?), the win is really one you’ve taken when you make it to that stage.
Appears courtesy of Blunt Beauty.