If you have ever competed in the sport of bikini, figure or fitness, you may have personally experienced the dreaded post-show blues that can come with the territory. I know firsthand, because it happened to me. The same is true for any sport or goal you set, if you don’t have something else to look forward to, its easy to fall prey to this sort of downward and depressing spiral.
After working so hard to reach a goal, you can completely climax and flatten out if you are not strategic about the next step. For me, my figure first show back after having my third child came in the end of 2012. I was so eager and excited about hitting the stage, hired a professional coaching team and followed my workouts and meal plan to the T. I had my hopes set so high for myself, there was no way on this earth I wasn’t going to win and so I did. I won my height class and advanced to the national stage after my first show in many years. I was honored, proud and most of all, on such a high I couldn’t believe my goals had come to fruition. And then it happened. In the blink of an eye, I woke up after all of the congratulatory noise had lulled to a dull whisper and then all at once, silence.
I no longer knew what I should eat, how I should train, or for what purpose I even stood for. The wind was completely knocked out of my sails. I decided I didn’t want to go to the gym, I was sick of the highly regimented and super strict program I was on. It now felt robotic to me and I needed change. My body was morphing and softening and I was at a complete loss as to why I was feeling all of these feelings. I had worked so hard and now it seemed as thought it was all gone. I was completely down and blue.
I decided to share these feelings with other friends in the industry, my coach and my husband. Without giving a voice to it, I’m not sure what would have happened. It was incredibly inspiring to hear that this wasn’t just happening to me, many girls I knew had experienced the same sort of low after competing. My coach said it best when she told me this was and would always be the case unless I created new goals for myself. For me, that meant putting future shows on the map.
In the summer and fall of 2013, I competed nationally several more times in the hopes of gaining my pro card. I won an overall title in the Bev Francis Atlantic States which was a huge milestone for me and placed in the top five at every show coming very close to earning pro status. I took for granted that many girls compete for years at that level and don’t do that well. As each progressive show was under my belt, I found something to attack next. Without this, surely I would have fallen back into my depressive post show state. When I decided not to compete this year in the pursuit of other interests, I knew figure was something I would always love and may come back to in the future. I am fine with aiming high for other passions I have and always eager to chase other goals. I’ve learned so much in going through this experience and these lows. Most of all, I learned I never wanted to feel that way again. I’ve learned my self-worth extends far deeper than any figure title, plastic trophy or pat on the back. It starts and ends with me.
If you’ve ever felt this way, you are not alone. Understand that it takes time to settle back into a different lifestyle just as it did a competition one. Find another show, a road race, a Tough Mudder, anything to focus on and continue in your pursuit of life long fitness and health goals. Your world is not over because you are not training for a show, and if anything, it’s an opportunity to explore other ways of maintaining your fitness goals.
I have a few suggestions to help ease back into every day life without such shock to the system. This inevitably is what helped me pull myself back up out of a rut and move towards happiness once again.
- Set your sights on a future show and commit by registering
- Start training with a friend for a fresh motivation in the gym
- Change your workouts drastically to breath new life into them. by taking your fitness outdoors, trying group fitness classes or anything that will make it new and exciting
- Hire a trainer to push you when you don’t feel you can push yourself
- Learn to love yourself at every stage, above all else. Self-love will take you farther than a plastic trophy ever could