Bodybuilders are hypercritical & focused on their bodies because it’s literally the way this sport works.
You step on stage, you get judged to meet appearance based criteria, you go home.
And if you compete again or plan to, every day is really focused on how to be better.
Being better in this sport is directly attached to how you eat, train, sleep…which is not the best, but it is the reality.
Then, strong associations are formed between you & specific behavior.
That’s where things like “I should” or “I shouldn’t” come up along with thoughts of not being “good enough”.
I don’t think that these risk factors need to keep you from competing, they just need to be considered before & during competing.
How you see food, bodies, exercise, etc will change.
If you’re not prepared to address concerning perspectives or distorted views along the way, it will be harder.
Establish your perspective early on & be willing to change with it.
Your perspective could be that even though you eat xyz foods closer to a show, it does not mean abc foods are bad, it just means xyz foods were beneficial in that time…This can help to keep you from associating morality, worth, or judgment to food.
Your perspective could be that your body is only worthy or loved or admired or nice to look at when you’re stage lean or in prep mode. This is dangerous for reverse dieting, making improvements, and being a healthy functioning person & athlete. A perspective shift might sound like “even though I love my prep body and the lines and how I fit into my clothing, I recognize this sport requires building, therefore I can thank my prep body and honor her by doing my best in improvement season to grow while keeping her healthy” this supports health & longevity.
Your perspective could be that being a competitor in this sport requires laser focus but by setting aside everything that matters to you outside of this sport, including your own mental or physical or emotional needs, you end up hurting your chances of sustaining your competing career so prioritizing other identities is necessary to your success.
Has your perspective on anything changed since competing?⬇️