Post Competition Blues and Bouncing Back!

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This is going to be another one of those “not normal” blog posts from me. Im not going to be explaining about the benefits of a certain food or a new workout. . . but instead its going to be a realization to myself and just an girl putting it out there with no shame since most wont (or don’t like to talk about this subject).

So in my last post (I DID IT! My Journey through my First Fitness Bikini Competition )I mentioned that its been a tough time for me with the fact of my binging after the show and now, getting back on track. Even though its embarrassing to admit I couldn’t stop stuffing my face, even when I felt sick and miserable, I know I’m not alone. Many people (women and men) have this issue and in quite honestly are either in denial, or haven’t admitted it to themselves yet. I have learned that this is also VERY common among people who do competitions or compete too.

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So during my entire prep, I was constantly thinking about food, what I needed to eat, what I couldn’t eat and what I wanted to eat once my prep was over. I made a list of everything wanted to eat and it was always changing. The fact that I really hadn’t had anything relatively unhealthy in a super long time didn’t help my situation either. I had driven my mind into this “I’m going to get to live a little after my show” mindset when it all reality I wasn’t living after my show. Looking at it now, I was only harming myself not only physically as an easy 20 lbs came back on but mentally too.

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Most people don’t realize that competitors cannot keep that level of physique 24/7 all year round, not only is it super hard but its not necessarily healthy either. But on the flip side, people don’t realize how easy it is to gain it all back too. People seem to think, oh your thin, fit, (enter whatever word you want here) you can eat whatever you want. WRONG. When you’ve constantly been dieting, restricting certain foods and most likely entire food groups at times … and then you re-introduce them.. Hello! recipe for some weight gain!

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SO with this all happening, I was beginning to get down on myself… I wasn’t the inspiring, energetic, and love for health and fitness person that I have ideally thought I’d grown into. I was ashamed of what I had done (nutritionally wise) and I quite honestly was embarrassed and felt sort of like a hypocrite. Here all my friends, family and people were reaching out to me, telling me congratulations and telling me how inspiring my pictures from my show were …. meanwhile, I couldn’t stop eating and beating myself up for it. My discipline had almost gone completely out the window, yes I was trying to get back on track, but then I’d get distracted my doughnuts at the grocery … and it would all go downhill. Whether it was something bad happening, stress, boredom or just wanting sugar… the binges happened more than I’d like to admit. Constantly telling yourself “ok tomorrow is my day” and “I can do this” only to turn around and mess it all up with a PB&J is not only exhausting in a mental state but you get to a point to where you feel like your failing . . . over and over. There were literally times I would look down at all the food I’d ate, almost not remembering eating it all. . . and it scared me because I thought I had “fixed” myself with this dark side I never wanted to see again. (thankfully I never starved or purged during this time .. but I did cross my mind and that’s when I knew I  needed to fix this, and fix it fast)…  knowing that I was still struggling to find that peace within myself, along with a balance I started wondering where my “inner fit girl went” and wonder if she’s coming back any time soon. I was embarrassed that my clothes didn’t fit me well, I started wearing baggier clothes to work and the gym because I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin anymore.. even though people told me they couldn’t tell I gained weight, I could tell and that’s what ideally I was focusing on (the negatives).  This is what I’ve learned is called Post Competition Blues.

A friend who has pretty much been there since I started competing mentioned to me that I seem to have a hard time letting the “fat girl” of me go. I still hang on to her. Which in all honesty pissed me off at first, then made me cry because she was absolutely right. I’m slowly learning to live in the now, realize how far I’ve come and learning to not look back, because that’s not the direction I’m going.

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After a few heart to hearts with some amazing people on my team and my coach, I admitted I was waiting for that ah-ha moment to drive me back into doing and living the life I’ve grown to love. It had been about a month since my show and I already know what shows I’m shooting for next season. With my weight not stabilizing (partially because I continued to have smaller binges) and still being heavier than I was when I first started with my coach was a wee bit of an eye opener. I started realizing that I was only focusing on ALL the negatives that not only go with post competition but with prep as well. I felt fat, not in control, and I was looking at another prep as a daunting experience instead of embracing the challenge. Weight loss really isn’t about “weight” its about a mindset (which I ironically have preached before) and had obviously forgotten. Its a challenge of you vs. you and to see how you can push your limits. To show you have none and to prove to yourself that your capable of anything you put your mind to whether its weight, a job or anything else.

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I don’t know if this journey scares me or if I thought it was over since I accomplished this huge goal I had for about 2 years but my coach made it pretty clear that its just started and were only at the surface of my potential .. I just am having a hard time seeing it. He continues to be so supportive, understanding and inspiring in ways I have never really experienced before. I was joking with a friend that if I was him, I would have given up on me by now, but he’s relentless and that’s enough to keep going forward. Mentioning to me some things that resonated pretty well were, what does Amanda look like at 100% .. I gave 90% last show (which he was right in saying. . .I cheated on my diet here and there, I’m only human and ill admit it. I’m not perfect) Along with “why does this have to be the end of the story” .He sees that people look up to me and my story on facebook, here and instagram and there is that fact of sure I was that “fat girl” ( I hate that word btw … fat .. but were using it anyways) but I’m not anymore and whether or not I choose to take on this role of being the “fit girl who once was fat” or not…  is that its already chosen me in a way. Almost every day now, I either get a question about nutrition, or someone asking or help or people just telling me how inspiring I am. I don’t really know where my head was these past few weeks (blocked by all the sugar most likely)  but he’s right, my story isn’t over. Sure this last goal or competition took longer than I “planned” for it to but the key was, I didn’t give up (even when there were MANY times I wanted to haha) …

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So that being said, I refuse to give up on myself because that is not who I am, nor who I’ve become. I will continue to find myself though this journey, slowly building myself up, fixing myself on the way and learn to grow form the inside out. Yes, I will fall, but I’ll get back up. yes I will probably want to quit at times and yes, it will be a tough journey but this is my story and no one else holds the pen except for me.

Follow your dreams. be true to yourself. and remember you’re beautiful no matter what.

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