1) Let go of the timeline & focus on how you feel, function, and are executing. This’ll detach you from racing to “get somewhere” & will support you in having gratitude for your body & patience in your process while limiting comparison to others who may be on a similar timeline.
2) Avoid over celebrating weight drops & measurement changes. This will support you beyond your prep too. If you spend too much energy positively reinforcing getting smaller, it’ll be a mental shock when you start to gain & grow again as you’re not used to positively reinforcing this. Similarly, if you don’t see a change you’re expecting, it’s still data. Falling into the trap of over celebrating or promoting the results without also recognizing the work, effort, & entire process (including what you did in your improvement season) is going to reinforce these things as more important than the influence of the actual work. I’ve seen competitors go to unhealthy measures like purging or doing extra cardio to “make up” for something just to get a result & still celebrate the result which is NOT productive.
3) Practice Compassion. It’s been found that compassion supports a positive body image. I find during hard workouts or after a long day I have much more compassion which encourages me to push more!
4) Encourage healthy conversations about your body. When we prep, it’s common for people to question how our body has changed & continuously say how amazing we look (at least up until that last phase of prep lol!) This can create an expectation that it’s okay for people to make comments about our body. Naturally as a competitor, this is going to happen. But you can have boundaries. If not, people will feel it is okay to also do this as you grow out of it & into an improvement season which can often be uncomfortable for competitors as mentally we haven’t always caught up with the way our body has changed & are used to seeing it shrink too. I like to reinforce efforts I’m making & how I’m feeling so people ask me more about that than my shape alone. The more comfortable you are with yourself, the less these comments can impact you.