When you’re in improvement season, a lot of the improvements you make will go unnoticed.
It’s not like prep when changes are super visible each week with new lines appearing or muscles popping with thinner skin and all your poses or vacuums or gym shots displaying the closeness you are to the stage.
Oftentimes you’re body is positively reinforced with compliments related to your shape changing.
This doesn’t always happen in improvement season. Although, it is still nice when it does, the truth is the goals are different.
When you’re building, you’re focused on growth and changing the shape of your physique to get bigger.
When you’re in an improvement season but don’t have to build a ton of muscle, you’re focused on fine tuning and inner health and capitalizing on rest / time away.
Regardless, you’re not trying to shrink.
You need to be okay with this and reinforce growth and improvement that happens outside your physique.
Worth noting, if you can do this through prep too, and place less emphasis on your body shape and size, then you’ll have an easier transition.
Focus on celebrating your efforts, the mental health changes (in all seasons), the things people can’t see with their eyes but can understand through your actions and approach or that only you will ever truly appreciate.
Going into improvement season with the right intentions and a level head will support you in the changes to how you see yourself/think you are seen.
The point I’m making is that you cannot rely on external validation as a competitor.
Despite the trophies and titles, what will actually keep you going is only truly known by you… those things you overcame, committed to working through, focused on healing, and made you show up for yourself even when it was the last thing you wanted to do.
Remember that when people don't see all the work you’re doing day in and day out, or there’s no way to vocalize or express it, it still matters because When you prep or step on stage or go into an improvement season or hang up the heels, your story will be so unique and special to you!