Posts Tagged ‘weight gain’

The period of time from about 3-4 weeks after your competition to when you finally settle in at your “normal” weight can be such a tough time for some (and this definitely includes me).  Think about it:  you’ve just stepped on stage a few short weeks ago at your physical peak, tanned, and all glammed up.  The first week or 2 includes re-living that experience with friends, family, and anyone else who will let you show them your pictures. ;-).

Then, the tan starts to fade (and you look more like you have some awful skin condition since that competition color doesn’t fade nicely!), you start gaining back some weight (because this is absolutely necessary to maintain your health and the health of your metabolism long-term), and you start feeling a bit crappy about how you look.  I don’t care how many times you’ve competed, it’s tough to watch yourself gain weight.  In your head you know its a normal part of the post-competition period, but you just can’t seem to get past that. But guess what? Those are perfectly normal feelings and you’re not alone!

So, whether you’ve competed before or have simply thought about doing a show, just know this and remember it! Maintenance phases and building phases aren’t necessarily “glamorous”.  You don’t notice the changes like during a cut. Don’t get me wrong;  I love to be able to eat more food, feel stronger in the gym, and have more energy from the extra carbs. 

Going through a competition diet can definitely set you up for an unhealthy relationship with food and your body image IF YOU LET IT.  You cannot and certainly should not remain at significantly low levels (and by this I mean competition-day levels) of body fat all the time.  Your body (and your mind) need a break from dieting.  It’s necessary for the hormones that control your hunger and satiety, your reproductive hormones, and a whole host of other body functions.  Besides, in order to add muscle, you need to be in a caloric surplus at times.  So, ignore any negative comments you may get (and some people are dumb enough to make them!) and remember that even at your higher weight/body fat you are still in better shape than most.  Just be sure to pull out those baggy sweaters and hide under them for the winter!  (I’m totally kidding!  ;-))

So, expect to gain SOME weight back but don’t go crazy. Gaining too much weight is just as unhealthy as not gaining enough. This will be different for everyone, but personally, I like to stay in a range where I feel fairly comfortable…usually 8-10 pounds. No matter what phase you’re in, always be proud of your hard work!