Life after I’ve decided to never set foot on a competition stage, wearing clear heels and that very pricey figure suit, has been…interesting.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: those of us that have competed or still compete are fully aware that the way we push our bodies is not necessarily the healthiest. Yet there is some form of satisfaction we get from being capable of completely transforming our bodies to look like we are some sort of super hero or action figure. It feels and looks damn good.
The number of those who can dedicate their life to this sport/hobby is rather small. This is their priority and it’s likely they are earning some sort of generous compensation that allows them to afford the focus, energy and all the meals and supplements it takes to compete. Then there is the rest of us. We might have other priorities in life. Some people have careers, school, families that demand attention. Others might have a financial situation that forces them to put off competing for a while (or forever). There are some who maybe want to try a different sport or hobby. Then there are those who just grow sick and tired of the food restrictions and simply want to enjoy life and eat food without the enormous restrictions.
You could fall into one or 2 or maybe all the things listed above. But whatever your decision is/was, no one prepares your or talks about life after. No worries. I got you
Below is a list of things most competitors won’t openly share with you once they’re done competing:
- You will constantly compare yourself to your contest shape and it will be the biggest mind-f**k of all times. Your physique looks better than average…yet you feel overweight. It messes with your mind, a lot!
- Selfies just ain’t the same. The full body selfies suddenly become face shots taken at just the right angle in order to make you look “leaner”. Before, any good ol’ selfie was impressive and got all the likes. Be prepared for this. It will be laborious trying to get that “lean angle”.
- No matter how normal you are, the thought of being like everyone else seems somewhat repulsive. See point 1. Being in the extreme competition shape got you ALL the attention. You weren’t just a regular gym goer…you were a competitor. Now you’re lucky if anyone even glances your way. You are now a “normie”.
- Your self esteem and confidence will be challenged. Daily. There’s something about being lean that just boosts our self esteem. I personally think it’s related to the hormonal shifts (higher test/lower estrogen). You feel stronger, sexier, more daring. Now you question yourself…in every outfit, randomly, at any hour of the day no matter what you’re doing. This back and forth in your brain is draining. Noy many acknowledge just how much of a challenge it is!
- The people whom you’ve met during your fitness career will look at you sideways when you go back to “normal”. People who had been used to seeing you in contest shape for months, some years, will think there is something “wrong” with you. There’s nothing wrong…you’re just not competing any more!
- When people come across a fitness photo of you and proceed to ask/comment in shock “that’s you?!”, you suddenly feel so out of place and odd. Raise your hand if you hate this. This sucks! You start to wonder…damn, how much weight have I gained that I look *that* different.
While the transition from a competitor to a “normie” will have its challenges at first, it is important to you remain true to yourself. Finding balance in life during competition is difficult enough and I believe some of those aspects carry on to life after the fact. Be true to yourself and your lifestyle. Be honest and kind to your mind and body. Don’t ever feel pressured to feel like you need to compete again to fulfill someone else’s ideal of who you are and what you should look like.
Remember, life is for living and you shall do so on your own terms.
Please leave your comments! What else could be added to this list?