Rhoades to Fitness
It's YOU vs. YOU

post show blues…be prepared.

i can usually spit one of these blogs out in about 2 minutes, but this one is taking me all week. this blog is geared toward the figure/bikini/bodybuilding competitor. especially someone going into their first show. it’s something that has affected me personally and a few of my friends as well. it’s what we call post-competition depression or post show blues. i think there are two different forms of this. but the one i’m gonna talk about is the way we view ourselves after the competition is over. for months we workout for hours a day, stick to a strict diet, and most put their personal lives on hold, to reach that goal of stepping on stage with a rock hard body. that day finally arrives and its filled with excitement, and we look in that mirror and see that image that we worked so hard for. for a lot of us, its the experience of a lifetime. but what happens when the show is over? what happens when we no longer have a goal date to work towards? you mean i don’t have to do early morning cardio anymore? i can eat more than 1200-1500 calories a day? after about 2 days after my first competition the thought crossed my mind, “i’m gonna get fat.” so on monday, i went right back to eating very low calories once again. i did stay out of the gym that first week, bc i made myself. but that following monday i was right back to HIIT cardio. other than the water depletion weight i kept every pound off for a month. my trainer told me i needed to gain body fat back, that i don’t need to stay that low. i listened a LITTLE bit and gained back a few more pounds. i would look at myself in the mirror and think “erin, you are fat”. diet, and exercise was constantly on my mind. i went from extreme diet and exercise starting october 2008 for my april 11 2009 show. i took one week off, and started right back with diet and exercise. planning to do shows in the fall i told myself i was gonna give myself a week or two break from the gym before i started my contest prep for my october and november shows. did i stop? nope. i started contest prep again 16 weeks out from my fall shows. come october i was exhausted, that last month i started getting leg cramps and sleeping MAYBE 3-4 hours a night. i was miserable. its called over training. it took a night of misery the night after my last show, walking around the hotel room all night bc if i layed down i got unbearable cramps. i didn’t sleep at all. i knew i never wanted to feel like that again. i had to slow down. i was planning on doing a show the following spring but i talked myself out of it. training wise, i did what i said i would do. i worked out hard, but i took rest days as well. i ate more food, good foods, just more of it. my strength sky rocketed. i was maxing out bench press with 155lbs. my body had been craving food. but one thing i couldn’t battle was the way i viewed myself at 15 lbs heavier than stage day. i still saw fat…did anyone else that looked at me see fat? nope. it was all in my head.  i recently watched two friends go through their first shows (a girl and boy) and i’m seeing in them the very same symptoms. one friend told me the other day, she felt gross and was so scared of gaining her weight back. i looked at her and said “you are crazy, you are absolutely gorgeous. your body ROCKS. you may be 10 lbs heavier than 2 months ago, but every woman is looking at you, wishing they had the body you  have right now”. it hit me! i thought, ohmygoodness, i’m exactly the same way. take your own advice, erin, you’re not fat, you’re normal. it took me a year to figure all this out. its unrealistic to think you are gonna look like you do on show day, all year around. i needed to learn to accept myself. it’s hard, but it’s all finally coming together. yes, i’m on diet again. but i’m enjoying my food. i’m loving my rest days, and my body is loving me for them. the point of doing more than one show is to look different at your next one. to make improvements on your physique. to make improvements your body has to grow. to grow, your body needs rest and it also needs food. food is good.

if you are going into your first show, do it realistically. know you need to gain back weight after the competition. plan on taking at least a week off to rest. plan on eating healthy but taking in more food (ITS YUMMY). take 1-2 cheat meals a week, and do it with friends and family that don’t compete. they’ve been asking you out for mexican or chinese for months and you said no. and if you think you are fat after gaining back 10 lbs (number one that’s crazy, i know) but don’t say it out loud. no one wants to hear “i feel fat” when you aren’t fat, and your non competing friends don’t want to talk about diet and exercise at every conversation. take that week after your competition (you will have time since you aren’t in the gym.) and make a plan. find a balance between competing and leading a healthy happy life. don’t let it consume you. this is a sport and sports are meant to be fun.


8 Responses to “post show blues…be prepared.”

  1. Spot on miss rhoades, spot on! I wish you would of told me this two months ago : p

    • sorry mr hein, but it was you and my other friend that made me realize that it was a serious issue. it causes anxiety and there isn’t a need for it. i can name about 20 ppl right now that have all experienced it.

  2. I’ve been there!! Dieting for my 1st show I got down to a size 0 and weighed 115lbs, my off season weight is 130lbs and size 4, I hated myself and it took months for me to be able to accept it! Great advice! If the girl is who I think it is I hope she realizes how beautiful she is in the off season and when she is competing!

  3. I love reading your blog. You’ve always been a great encourager..and looks like you are doing that for other people. And no you are not fat, girl you look awesome!! I could never eat the foods you eat either..your my hero for eating some weird stuff haha

  4. alicia. i think you do know who i’m talking about and she’ll read this and see it. and you look fantastic too alicia dear. i thought that 4 years ago when i met you.

    amanda, i don’t eat weird things, i’m having CHICKEN right now. you’re fave. but there is cinnamon on top hmmmm? love you!

  5. Well said! I think it’s just part of the competitors OCD mindset that makes us want to maintain “perfection” forever. I’ve realized this off season that my muscles look a lot bigger when I’ve got some fat! LOL

  6. fonz you are absolutely correct. when i drop this body fat i might realize i put on no mass at all hahaha.

  7. I sosososo totally love love love what you have going here! You are so right! I remember walking around the Northern this year feeling HUGE!!! I finally had the courage to stand on the scale, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined it to be. I knew we were crazy but we both said how ‘fat’ we felt compared to the girls…i’m feeling awesome again now that i’m pre contest, and I have some shoulders! YAY for off-season training! You are so beautiful for putting the word out, and for having it out there to remind us when we get done again this year! LOVE YOU!!! MUAH

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