Monday, August 13, 2012

Post Competition Blues: 5 Things I Learned!

Since the Girls of FFA's competition back in June...

The ladies have continued moving forward with their healthy lifestyles and training! (They've been enjoying the summer season that's for sure!)


After meeting with SuperFit...

A program was made for the girls based on their FUture goals and/or what they wanted to maintain in terms of 'appearance' (so to speak)!

**Your body changes post-competition the moment you reintroduce a steady, more balanced diet for every day maintenance! Even water will make the difference as many competitors are dehydrated the day of their competition! You can't (it's not ideal) to say at a very low body fat percentage! That being said, SuperFit ensures his competitors return to 'normalcy' = balance!**

Before I share some of the thoughts and feelings from a few of the FFA Girls regarding their competition experience (in a post I will be putting up soon)...

I wanted to share with you my own dating back to July 16, 2011. (Like I said I would in this post!)

More specifically...

My experience post-competition.

First off...

Everyone's feelings and dealings after having competed is different, and...

Not one person will go through the same mental and physical processes when finally digesting everything that went into preparing for the big day, competing the day itself and then deciding what they want to do next. (Like if another competition is right around the corner!)

Sometimes, competitors can go through what is referred to as:

Post-Competition Blues.


Some common 'symptoms' of this being (from the research I have done and experienced myself):

1. Feeling down now that the excitement is, POOF, over;
2. Adjusting to the fact you will not maintain your competition day physique;  and...
3. Feeling a little out of sorts once you are no longer expected to follow such a regimented and detailed program to work at, consistently, in terms of your training and dieting.

For me...

I experienced all three things listed above but, I wasn't affected by them all to the same degree.

After the competition was over and our vacation to Vegas came to a close...

Tour of the Grand Canyon.
We loved it ;)

I immediately missed all of the thrill and excitement in preparing for the event:

  • My posing and training dates with my fellow competitors (we did still train together but it wasn't as often!);
  • Meeting with Joan from Daydreams Fitness Wear for my suits;
  • Watching my body transform in ways I never thought imaginable; and
  • The overall sense of accomplishment week after week in working towards a goal I thought unattainable for someone like the 'old me'! (I couldn't believe I was actually doing this and sticking to it!)

Let's just say...

All of that came to a quick halt! (7 months of prep, done and done!)

POW, it was over. (Now what?!)

Having said that...

I definitely had a plan in place (with the help of SuperFit) in terms of what my next goals would be (I'm a goal-oriented person)...

Those being:

  • Finding my overall balance with respect to a maintenance program fit to my body and its needs (now that the strict structure was gone);
  • Putting on more muscle (I love to lift and haven't stopped since starting 2 1/2 years ago!);
  • Starting to run (after saying I would never get into it)
  • Making cycling more of a regularly thing; and most importantly...
  • Continuing to enjoy life!

Day Trips.
Hangouts.
Events.
Family FUn.

In all of this, what I found to be most difficult was...

Finding my balance in terms of my body and its appearance. (My training always remained consistent, following a lifestyle in health and fitness was a given, and enjoying life, well, of course!)

I knew my body was going to change following the competition but...

Little did I know how fast it would transform and how soon I would have to say...

"Bye Bye competition physique!" (I could have moderated my sugar intake a little more so as to slow down the transformation process but my sweet goodness I deserved it lol!)

Vegas...
You showed me the sugar!

Yes...

I knew I couldn't and it wouldn't be healthy, to maintain what I presented on stage so...

I was ready for the change to some degree!

But I won't hide the fact...

There was some getting used to! (Sniff Sniff lol)

And like everyone (no matter if you ever competed)...

I had good and not so good days! (I'm going to be honest about it because I'd be lying if I said I didn't! I am human after all and not every day is going to be a great day!)

Now, fast forwarding to the present day...

I have learned so much since my last competition!

Aside from it being one of the most incredible experiences I have ever lived...

It opened my eyes to things I did not know about myself.

Yoga has really helped in focusing my mind.

My self-expectations, what I strive to achieve and why! (And this self-knowledge continues to grow as the days go by!)

Like I mentioned before...

Choosing to compete again was a decision that came with much reflection!

Now...

Having reflected and knowing how I could have approached my pre and post competition experience differently (without taking away from the incredible journey I lived because it was truly unreal!)...

Here are 5 things I learned and would like to share with you:
  1. Appreciate your transformation every step of the way. Don't focus so much on the end result but rather enjoy what every single day in your preparation brings into your life and your overall experience. Every day is a new day to discover something new about yourself, your body and your mind!
  2. Being patient and realistic with the expectations you set out for yourself both pre and post-comp! (And don't compare yourself and your progress to others! You are working to bring out your very best! It's your body, not anyone else's! Love yourself!)
  3. Speak with your Coach/Trainer about the next steps before and after your competition. Make sure you have a game plan set in place, that way you won't be out in the open sea without any direction! Write down what you want and/or plan for next! (This is so very, very important! Be sure to give this some thought!)
  4. After the competition, indulge and savour because my goodness, you deserved it! That said, be sure to get back on track and not get carried away by over-indulging! (Know your limits and remember moderation and balance are key to a lifestyle in health and fitness!)
  5. Accept the fact your competition physique was meant for competition day! Your body will change and what you do with it post-competition will determine how much! This is why #2 is so very important! And I'll throw in one more thing ...
  6. Take a break! SuperFit highly encourages his competitors to take at least 1 week's rest! You need to give your body a break and allow it to reboot! It'll be good for both your body and mind! (I will be taking a FUll 7 days this time around, that's for sure!)
Having shared all of this...

I hope it to be of some value to you! (In taking what I learned, I know I can apply these things not only to a competition but to life itself!)

All in all..

This past year has taught me a lot, and...

I'm happy I gave myself the time as well as the opportunity to reflect, grow (in every way, shape and form), try new things and...

That I didn't rush into my decision to compete again!

Let's just say...

It's truly been an amazing and a continuous journey of self-discovery!


Questions FU You...

1 .Have you ever heard of or been through Post-Competition Blues?
2. After a race, competition, event and/or accomplishing a goal, do you move on to the next or take the time to think about what the journey has taught you?

Stay Tuned FU More On *CaNdY FiT*

47 comments:

  1. SO SO INTERESTING!!

    Ive not experienced the blues before---I guess because for me the training took me away from so much that I really missed.

    I was happy to get back to the people Id not spent enough time with when training.

    wishing we were neighbors,

    Mizzzz

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  2. How cool...there's so much I can learn from you! I love how in preparing for something like competing, we reflect on ourselves and how we're growing personally, not just physically.

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  3. awesome post! love reading this and hearing your thoughts. I can only imagine how it difficult it could be to adjust to life before, during, and after training.

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    1. Thanks Michelle! There's definitely an adjustment component to it! :)

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  4. My trainer and her daughter just got done with a competition and so far they're taking it pretty well! Except, the daughter is competing again September 1 and my trainer isn't. She is very balanced though so I think she'll be okay! :) These are awesome tips and high five to you for being so realistic!

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    1. Thanks Britt! And, a HUGE congrats to your friends!

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  5. Great post and reflections. I definitely went through post-half marathon training blues after my first half. I'd spent 2 months so focussed on that goal and then it was over. It's like....what's next?

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  6. Great post!
    007

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  7. I've even heard of runners going through this exact same experience...especially those that do Ironman triathlons. I have yet to experience it and actually hope that I never do. But given my personality and drive I can see me taking a HUGE "fall" post competition if I had trained long and hard. You made some excellent points!

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    1. Thanks friend! I learned a lot from this experience! :)

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  8. Love all the pics! :)

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  9. I am so thankful for your honesty and open ness about your competition seasons and off time! It seems like such a wild journey!! I am definitely not a competitor but I love to hear all about the dynamics of it all! I learned so much and I admire your dedication and willpower! Keep striving for balance! SPALove!!!

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  10. You look incredible! I admire anyone that can go through all that training and discipline!

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  11. As a first time competitor, this is really great to know. It's not something I thought about before, but I can see where it would be really hard!

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    1. So important to plan ahead and be mindful of not only the change during your prep but after as well :)

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  12. Incredible post, as always!!! I love how real you are.

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  13. i think its so important to get back to ENJOYING the small things in life. like you did. Training has such highs and lows, its good to look at POSITIVES outside of it.

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  14. What an amazing post! I love reader your blog to get a competitors perspective on things! You are awesome!

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    1. Much appreciated Danielle! Thanks :)

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  15. This is such a great post. I think that when you put so much time and effort into something whether it be preparing for competition, a race, a bit event, etc. it's only natural to feel a bit blue. But I love hearing about your experience and your journey.

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    1. Agreed! There's always something after...it never just ends. :)

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  16. Thank you for writing about this! Sometimes I feel like people don't understand what its like to train so hard for that one thing (race, competition, etc) and then BOOM. It's done. It's a hard transition. Good tips on adjusting, love it.

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  17. I do love reading your thoughtful and personal and very informative posts about your training and all that involves.

    And that yoga pose is AWESOME! You must be so incredibly proud of how far you have come - you inspire me every day!

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    1. Thank you so much for you kind words Elle!

      I'm loving YOGA and everything it is teaching me!

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  18. I am with Miz in the fact that I was eager to get back to regular life BUT I did not like having to lose all that hard work - well not all of it but you know, you are sooooooooooo lean! :-) I have always had body probs & especially the low tummy - inner tube area I call it - the only time it was gone was when I was contest ready - I miss that! :-) Not enough to eat contest ready all the time though! ;-)

    It did give me an appreciation for how much I can really do though & I developed my programs around staying lean but not to a crazy extent food wise. That I so appreciate along with how much I accomplished.

    I love this post Kierston - thank you so much for sharing yout thoughts!

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    1. It's amazing what this experience teaches you...both within your body and mind!

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  19. After a marathon I usually take a few days to a week. It really depends how quickly I plan to race again. For sure the day after is "do nothing day." LOL. Love all the photos.

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  20. Awesome post. I know a lot of female competitors and they always mention the post-comp struggle. Great insights here.

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    1. Thanks Brad!It's good to prepare both for pre and post comp :)

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  21. I can definitely see how you would get post competition blues. It's just like getting married, training for a race or anything that you pour your heart and soul into for months and then it's done.

    Great post! You are a super star!

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    1. Thanks Angela! It's amazing how quick it just ends (no matter how long it took you to get there). POOF. Done.

      I think it's so important to have a plan in place afterwards :)

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  22. What an honest post! It makes so much sense, and you were probably really prepared for it, but it's still a big deal, and it is completely understandable that things felt flat afterwards.

    Also - you have an incredible arm span! Lol.

    I feel down about my body if I go through a week of high mileage and strength and then have to cut back - I feel like I'm 'losing everything' - but you just can't maintain it for that long. Because I'm a distance runner, I'm learning that putting on weight when tapering is a good thing! Crazy.

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    1. In preparing for my second show, I am grateful for everything I learned! It makes me see this whole experience from a new and improved perspective :)

      It's amazing how much we learn about ourselves as we work towards our goal(s).

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  23. Hi Kierston,

    Great post! I can identify with everything you described about the post-competition blues. I competed in Figure for the first time in April and had no idea what I was in for post-comp. Although I had the most incredible support from a close friend who also competes, I didn't have officially have a trainer and in hindsight, that was a huge mistake. I am still struggling with achieving a healthly balance diet-wise and with my body image. I wish I had of read a post like this before my competition. Not only do you give awesome advice, but you let the rest of us know that we're not alone. Appreciate it.

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    1. Hi Kat,

      Thank you so much for your message and sharing your story with me!

      Also, congrats on your first competition!

      I think this is something not many people talk about but is in fact a reality.

      In all of this, know that you are beautiful no matter if you have a competition physique or not. Be sure not to be too hard on yourself. Love yourself and enjoy the journey that lays before you :)You will find that balance, just be patient with your body and yourself.

      Kierston
      xo

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  24. This was really really interesting to read. It really reminds me a lot of gearing up for a big race. you put in months of training, every day. Eat sleep and breathe training, and then boom. A couple of hours one day and its all over. I can so relate to all of the feelings. Sadness that its over. Fear when you're not working out as hard and thus you're starting to see all your hard work disappear in the mirror.

    This is a truly great post! :) Thank you for sharing

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  25. after a race Ihave a runners high then I get sad and sing up for another!

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  26. I feel the same way about finishing a show or project. It's all build up build up build up.....BAM...and then it comes down hard.

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  27. Same feeling after a race for me, but my concern is usually based more on finding the balance with food. I get too used to the freedom in food high cardio training allows, when that training ends I have to relearn portion control.

    My olympic triathlon is this weekend and I'm already wondering how I'm going to fill the void not HAVING to do hours of biking/running/swim training through the week.

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  28. Awesome post!! Thank you!! <3

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  29. thats like my husband, post season. He needs the rest, but misses the training, the way his body transformed. But man oh man does he soak up that time of rest. It does a body good! Yes!

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