Ahhhh…the most popular thing in the fitness industry right now. Fitness Competitions. Everyone seems to be jumping on the wagon and putting themselves through this long intense competition prep without actually know what they are about to embark on. Not that I’m shitting on anyone who randomly chooses to compete, but do you really understand the sport and know what you’re getting yourself into? And is your body ACTUALLY READY to go through a prep?
I have heard so many times “I think I am going to prep for a show, it seems pretty easy you just have to be disciplined!” But what these people do not understand that it is far from JUST being disciplined.
Here are a few things to ask yourself before you decide this is what you want to do:
- Is your body prepared to go through an extensive diet?
- Are you financially stable enough?
- Are you willing to sacrifice family and friend time?
- Are you willing to give up drinking alcohol(if you are of age) and eating junk food?
- Are you MENTALLY prepared to be able to prep for a show?
- Are you ready to make this you ENTIRE life and put absolutely everything else on the back burner for the next 5-6 months?
These are all really important questions to ask yourself because if you answered “no” to any of these questions then you are 100% NOT ready to compete in a fitness competition. And I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer but it’s the truth.
I found it extremely intriguing that ones body can change so much in such a short amount of time. My first show was when I was 19 years old and I was never made aware of what could happen to me mentally and physically “post show.” When you are on a strict diet for so long, you feel so skinny and light. And then post show, you eat a ton of goodies, gain 10-15 pounds (or more…in my case) and one Oreo turns into the whole package, a few bites of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream turns into the whole pint in one sitting, and the cycle of binge eating continues. Your body needs to gain weight because being stage lean is not sustainable or healthy. Are you mentally prepared to see your body go from so thin and lean to fluffier?
I brought up financial stability because that is a huge part of competing. From grocery shopping once sometimes even twice a week($350-$450 per month), stage bikini ($300-$1000+), competition heels ($70-$100), competition jewelry ($50) , spray tan ($150), hair and makeup ($150-$200), registering for your competing card ($150), then paying for each class you want to compete in ($100 each class), amongst many many other expenses. Competing is extremely pricey.
During your competition prep, there are good days and bad days, just like anything. But the bad days seem to overpower absolutely everything. I would compare myself to other competitors and pick apart my body telling myself I wasn’t good enough. I would look in the mirror and hated what I saw. I would get so down on myself it was really detrimental for my mental health. This happens with every competitor and if they tell you it doesn’t, they’re lying to you. You are going to want to go out with your friends but then once you realize you can’t eat or drink with them, you become extremely miserable.
But, the good days made me realize why I love competing so much. I love the challenge competing brings me, I love the science behind the nutrition aspect, and I love pushing myself in and out of the gym.
If you choose to start a competition prep, the one thing I insist of you, is that you are MENTALLY prepared. Your mentality through the whole prep is what will get you through. There will be days you do not feel like going to the gym or want chocolate, and you are so exhausted and starving but you cannot skip the gym at all, you cannot have that piece of chocolate, and you need to keep your head down and continue to push yourself every single day.
If this is something you really really want to do, then I applaud you. It is not easy. But it is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do in your life. Stepping on that competition stage is like nothing else you will ever experience. Being on stage next to some of the best athletes is such a blessing because even though it is a competition, you all did this extensive prep and everyone is so kind and supportive to each other. It really is one of the best things in the world.
Your family and friends may not understand what the point of you doing a show is, and I can guarantee you will lose a few friends along the way, but competing has made me into a person that I am so proud of, despite the hardships it brings.
Have any quesitons? Feel free to ask me!