What if you believed reverse dieting was easy?
Or that maintaining your results was simple and didn’t require lots of “hard” work?
And that being happy with yourself and at peace with food, your body, & your goals was possible for you?
Our actions reflect our beliefs
Going into something believing it will be very hard can be helpful to some extent like using that knowledge of potential difficulties to preemptively prepare to overcome sabotages or situations where challenges could arrive
But from what I’ve seen, and I’m sure you’ve seen perpetuated on your Instagram feed, many athletes go into reverse dieting / improvement season with a perception that it could be stressful, difficult, and there’s a high likelihood for failure or disappointment from oneself
Competitors go competition to competition with this fear, confusion, or worry about the inevitable ominous cloud that could be waiting for them after the last Sunday brunch marking the close of their competition season
A time when autonomy increases, control seems hard to hold onto, and the body changes no matter what you do
And because everyone warned you about this stressful, scary, potentially freeing & exciting (but again, mostly challenging and confronting time), you believe it’s going to be difficult
Your anxiety increases your stress which releases hormones that begin to reduce your confidence in yourself
Your identity takes a hit as you’re forced to take a step back, focus on other things, and grow or recover
Your body’s lines begin to fade despite your hunger being off the charts, your fixation on food being highly concerning (and annoying), and for some reason you can’t stop looking through your prep files
You start to wish you were on prep because “things were easier” and you “had more control” and you are “unable to trust” yourself around foods or when you’re not dieting
Your coach tells you you need the time off to build and you’re rogue mini cut backfires on you, and you’re sleeves deep in another package of oreos because of course you “already ruined your macros anyways” or “will be better tomorrow”
But it doesn’t have to be this painful
When I personally struggled with my reverse diets the most, it was when I went into them thinking they’d be really hard for me or scary or cause some sort of immediate threat to my identity as a “lean” competitor or bring on really frustrating moments in front of the mirror or doubts, guilt, and thought flurries around food
In retrospect, I was most successful when I just went in with a plan that aligned with my needs, goals, and values at the time
I have been most successful when I set expectations for myself based on myself, not the expectations or approaches or beliefs others promoted that didn’t align with my needs
I’ve done reverse diets in many different ways
But the best way, hands down, is always the way that is best for you
If you don’t expect a cookie cutter approach in a prep, why expect that in an improvement season? Especially post-show!
Variables like mental health, physical health, hormones, life circumstances all need to be considered
Rather than turning to Instagram to further perpetuate an identity crisis or reinforce comparison among other competitors
Turn within and ask yourself:
What do I really need right now?
What expectations am I placing on myself that are unfair or unrealistic for my current goals / season?
What are some standards and commitments I can make to myself that align me with the improvements I want but also allow me to have longevity, peace of mind, and an empowering off season?
What do I need to believe about reverse dieting, taking time off, and my body in order to make this time easier for me mentally?
If you’re struggling post-show or post-cancellation of your show or heading into a reverse diet; the best thing you can do is turn within and focus on better beliefs around this time
Your beliefs will infiltrate your life and show up in everything you do
If you believe this time will be great for x, y, & z it’s more likely it will be
If you believe it will be really hard, it most likely will be
I made a free 7 day coaching series to help competitors experiencing the post-show blues challenge their beliefs, thoughts, & behaviors around food, their body, & their goals
For free access to my post-show personal development coaching series visit: https://celeste-rainsturk.clickfunnels.com/free-7-day-post-show-personal-development-coaching-series
It can be hard and detrimental or it can be an opportunity
Your perception matters
BUILD MORE THAN JUST A BODY