Check ins from 9 days post show.
Up approx 3.6lbs from my 3 days out weight, Macros are 175c, 40f, 135p but I have a feeling they will be raised after this check in lol and cardio is literally only 4 minutes of sprint intervals 4x/week. Lifts have just changed to be powerlifting focused. Completing 3 powerlifting days / week and 1 accessory day per week. The intention is to put on as much muscle and strength as possible.
While I clearly made a lot of progress in the last improvement season I did, this is going to be the most structured of them all. I am mentally and physically starting this phase in the best place I have ever been. We were able to reverse diet into the last two shows which really supported me in coming out feeling refreshed and strong as opposed to super run down or burnt out or anything like that. If I could recommend every competitor to push as much as they can in prep to be able to reverse into their shows, I would! I always knew this would work for me and to be able to finally do it with seeyoulaterleaner guidance, i was thrilled.
Now that all the physiological updates are in, let's talk about the mental stuff since I know that's what I do best and you all were wondering...
1. I have had huge amounts of hunger in this week post show. It wasn't too bad the first few days but boy did it pick up. I deal with it by reminding myself of how important the data is to me so we can learn even more for future preps. I also remind myself that I was really on low macros and high cardio for months and if I could do that then I could do another day of feeling this hunger.
I always thank my body for encouraging me to eat & acknowledge that this is due to the fact we are entering a phase of growth and she knows I need it. Sometimes my meal timing changes because I become so ravenous post workout but I have found that even if I end up eating a lot more food at this time it tends to satisfy me more than trying to hold off on eating my macros for too long. I have been on point with my numbers and have not made any excuses. I also struggled with sleep and recovery when I got back which has been challenging but I am hoping for a turnaround as things reset.
Plus, the family vacation coming up after my speaking engagement this weekend will be SUCH a good reset...
2. I came home from these back to back shows and was hit with a lot of stress with my computer being damaged after I had it shipped from Vegas when I left it there but more than that, I am processing the end of a 7 year relationship which has brought up SO many emotions, beliefs, needs, etc...
I have been managing stress through healthy mental processes like self-validation, distress tolerance, & talking to people I trust. I am so blessed to have such a strong circle of people I can talk to. I also maintained a to do list which showed me that despite the schedule changes, issues with computer, & personal life...I am a frikkin boss getting shit done.
3. I did experience some post-show blues. I have had so many emotional ups and downs which is not just due to the previously mentioned things but also in general coming out of a long prep which took a lot of my time and energy leaves room for space to be filled in my life. Luckily this is with great timing because I always have so much going on so it has been both a relief and a blessing.
I do believe I haven't sabotaged myself or fallen into a huge funk because I have maintained focus on staying in tune with myself, my emotions, and my needs, and in my prep i celebrated each day and really soaked it all in. That practice of presence is being carried over into my post-show seamlessly because I didn't go on auto-pilot mode.
4. Overall, I have been really letting myself feel and reflect. I am excited by the potential which supports me in continuing to show up. Even though things have been up and down, I carry my motto of accept what you can expect with me. I accept the hunger, grief, fatigue, mood swings, body changes, etc that come with post-show. I also know it can be easy to get caught up in the big picture feeling so far away.
Knowing I have 1.5 years to grow could send me into a whole 'then it doesn't matter what I do now' or 'I will have time for xyz later' but that's just not how I operate anymore. I find I get very depressed if I go against myself or my word. I don't like that feeling of questioning myself or my life. So I have continued to show up for myself every day and follow through on my commitments. I recognize that the next 1.5 years of building are going to be what makes my pro worthy physique. I don't want to see the word 'small' written down again. I am motivated by both the pain of knowing that could happen if I don't or I could fall into a depression if I dishonor myself and my body and I am motivated by the pleasure of accomplishment I get at end of each day, knowing my consistency will lead to numbers going up in strength and macros, and the reward of knowing that if there is nothing else in my life that is fully predictable or within my control then I might as well stay focused on the next best step for me. It really really excites me to be in this phase knowing that we are learning so much about my body and my needs. I seriously am fascinated with the experience and know all the data matters.
I am only slightly worried about going on vacation but I remind myself that I will have access to my food and other food and I know how to eat mindfully and I can guestimate and if I set intentions for my trip and each day and stay tapped into the experiences above everything else, I will be okay! Plus I pay such close attention to my body day to day that I will be able to look for those signs and cues while I am gone.I think I am more bothered with the fact that I won't be in my usual routine which I love because it shows that I LOVE my life and my routine but I do need this time with family and a vacation in general to travel and enjoy and explore without obligation! I still work in my business while away but that can be saved for another blog haha.
5. I am respecting the process and my process and approach. I am not seeking out what others are doing or what others think I 'should' be doing. I also am setting boundaries, communicating with kindness about my choices and my body, and recognizing where thoughts, beliefs, desires, and urges might be coming from.
Ultimately, each day is an opportunity to use strength from the past and develop resiliency for the future! When you are in a state of struggle or confusion or conflict, treat it like an opportunity to learn or transform your thoughts and experiences so you can have new and improved associations and trust in yourself moving forward.
If you are struggling with or have struggled with the post-show blues or your relationship with food, body image, and other mental demands of competing, please refer to www.celestial.fit/links for free resources and programs to support your mental health as well as options for working with me.
Let me know what you struggle with most and I will happily share more content on this too...Tomorrow I will be sharing 10 mental health reminders for competitors entering their improvement season so be sure to be on the lookout for that too :)