Deciding what to eat can feel difficult after competing. We are on a high from all the fun and adrenaline of being on stage and looking our best. We can trick ourselves into thinking that we can eat everything in sight and maintain our lean, muscular physique.
So how do we prevent unnecessary weight gain after a competition?
1. Accept That You WILL Gain Some Weight After Competing. Looking stage ready all year round isn't realistic. Many competitors get attached to the image of how they look on stage, and think that if they don't look like that all the time, they might as well give up all together on maintaining their health and fitness. This all-or-nothing thinking can be our worst enemy.
2. Make a Vision Board.
Or, write down your post-competiton macro or food goals, as well as a 4 week workout/exercise routine to help you stay focused and realistic after a show. If we looked stage ready 365 days a year, what would our purpose for competing and prepping really be for? Use this non-prep time to make new goals or fine-tune the ones you already have.
3. Be Honest With Yourself. It's easy to lie to ourselves with the thinking that we've worked so hard for our stage-ready appearance, that we "deserve" to eat all the cookies, donuts, cakes, and ice cream we see and that it won't affect our health. This is just not true! While enjoying treats is great and necessary for a balanced life, make sure you aren't lying to yourself while you eat your 5th donut of the day, saying it won't make a difference or sabotage your goals. You're only hurting yourself in the end.
4. Stock the House With Healthy Foods: Even if you didn't stock the house with healthy food choices prior to show day, it's not too late to do it now. Don't wallow in yesterday's over-indulgences. Instead, write out a food list according to your health/fitness goals and head to the grocery store! (Just don't go there hungry, haha).
5. Love Yourself! This is more important than any physical or tangible action. Are you engaging in this health and fitness journey from a place of self-love, or self-loathing? We are most successful when we can love ourselves as we are now, while working towards goals to further nourish and care for ourselves. Eat, train, and rest because you love your body, not because you hate it. If you feel that you aren't sure why you're doing what you are doing, this is a perfect time to take a step back and figure it out.
I hope all of you feel great no matter what your goals are or where you are in your journey. Writing with love,
-The Wonder Vegan