Many figure and sports models around the world all have the same problem…
When they are in the “on” season, they are really on, training hard, doing cardio, taking their supplements, saying no to junk food, timing their meals perfectly, etc, etc… Basically they live like a well-oiled machine regardless of the pre-comp approach they take.
But in the “off season”… well… That’s a whole another story. Basically they get fat and worst of all, they become unhealthy (really unhealthy). They develop an unhealthy relationship with food and think, “I can eat whatever I want because I’m in the offseason.” Of course, they are human like everyone else and suffer the consequences (AKA. They develop a fat arse).
Why does this paradoxical situation happen?
I believe the root cause is the identity one takes on when they become a ‘figure athlete or sports model”.
Let’s take for example Christianity. If apart of your identity is that you’re a ‘Christian’ then you will probably go to Church every Sunday, say your prayers, celebrate religious holidays and chances are you might even believe your brand of religion is the way to go.
I am not putting a moral stance on the above saying its right or wrong. It’s what that person believes and from beliefs we shape our identity of who we are in this world. They are things we believe about ourselves to be true.
Once people identify themselves as a “figure athlete” or “bodybuilder” they forget they were first a healthy person who liked to train and look good all year around. (That’s why most people compete right?)
They forget that whey protein really doesn’t agree with them, or that that the glucose after training is actually making them fat, or that the fat burners they are on are actually causing them early stages of adrenal fatigue and causing them not to sleep.
The purpose of this article is to focus on what I believe to be one of the most damaging beliefs for the female competitor and replace it with a more empowering truth.
The damaging belief is:
There is an on-season and off-season diet (or any mention of an off-season/on-season approach)
When someone competes once (yes just once) they identify themselves as a ‘bodybuilder, figure chick or sports model.’ They compete once and it lasts with them the rest of their lives in the form of an identity shift which can go hand in hand with a figure chick/sports model eating disorder.
How It Works
Well as previously stated, they compete once. Majority of the time they are on horrific diet plans and cardio regimes that I wouldn’t even wipe my arse with. But that’s another story for another day.
After the comp because they are so depleted (and hungry) they eat everything in sight. They beat themselves up for days and days wishing and hoping they had more self-control. Newsflash, self-control is not the issue! You were starved and told to exercise. Your adrenals are wiped and it’s going to take some time for your metabolism to kick in again… That’s if you get off the fat burners.
From this belief rises a very unhealthy relationship with food. They believe when it’s the on-season, they will be perfect (and they are). But that also means in the off-season they can eat whatever they want… Foods they wouldn’t normally be caught dead eating for no other reason than they are not competing. But don’t worry, “one day” they will compete again and when they do, then they will be ‘good’ with their food.
In my experience, one day never happens because they have done too much damage mentally, spiritually, emotionally and of course physically. It’s hard to recover and so I hear things like:
“I’m allergic to gluten and get really bad skin when I have dairy, but that doesn’t matter, I’ll cut it out when I’m competing”
You can quote me for saying this; “LOOKING GOOD” is a side affect of HEALTH, but health is not a side effect of looking good.
Perhaps now you can see my perspective as why the ‘on-season/off-season’ mentality is so damaging.
Instead of believing in the off/on season, replace it with:
I am a healthy person who eats healthy foods all year round that build and nourish my body. When I CHOOSE to compete, I only have to make the slightest changes to my healthy lifestyle. I am in shape all year around.
If this article resonates with you, write the above out and put it somewhere you will see it everyday (like the toilet).
A quick point on males; it’s rare that males have emotional problems with food. It’s possible but not as likely. Males are more ‘logically’ driven creatures trying to ‘fix’ things whereas females will emote their problems.
My pre-comp philosophy is quite simple; Get healthy first. Then make changes to an otherwise healthy diet. This means foods that were created in the past 100 years (eg. McDonalds, processed foods and soft drinks) are certainly off the list 99.5% of the time.
When people compete for the first time they become part of the bodybuilding community. That 10 to 15 minute experience of getting up on stage can last a lifetime. For me there is nothing sadder than to see someone compete only for 2 weeks later for him or her to put on 15 kilos of fat. To me it speaks about their identity. At the root of every competitor (the ones who do it naturally at least) should be a health… (But then again, I would be indulging in the thought that people train and eat for more than just looking good.)
And don’t mistake this as an attack on bodybuilding and figure competitions; you’re smarter than that. It’s a distress signal to first time female competitors out there that your prep comp doesn’t have to be unhealthy… You just need to know what you’re doing.
A chicken and broccoli diet with 1 to 2 hours of cardio 12 weeks out from competing is not a diet or training plan; it’s a recipe for disaster.
Maximus Mark Ottobre– Find out how you can learn from me in seminar! Click here
P.S. Read part two, How To Shift Yourself To Health
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