I figured since I thoroughly documented my bikini competition, I should probably let you know how life is now that it's all over.
Well, I'm going to be honest. It hasn't been great.
About two weeks after the competition, A.B. and I attended the most amazing wedding in England followed by a week's long adventure in Paris, France. All in all, we were on vacation for about three weeks. At first, I was careful about what I ate and I was obsessive about how my abs were looking, how my jeans were fitting, etc. Then I quickly dove into vacation mode. I was all about, "I deserve this!" and "I have soooo earned it!" It was a lot of fun and I ate crepe after crepe after crepe.
That's where the fun pretty much stopped.
Once we were home, we were set on getting right back on plan. I mean...c'mon. This will be SO much easier than my competition carb cycling, right?? So, we ate clean the first week and nursed our crazy sore muscles from being back in the gym after such a long break.
However, once the weekend came, that sneaky "You deserve this" voice crept back in. Before we knew it, the pizza was ordered and the beer and wine was flowing. Ugh! Who am I???
All the bad eating has caught up with me. No more lines in my tummy and my back looks far less defined. Also, paranoia has set in. I have actually been embarrassed to go to the gym. EMBARRASSED. At first I felt like all eyes were on me and imaginary whispers of "What happened to her?" were being spread around.
Now, do I think people are ACTUALLY looking at me and thinking that? Absolutely not. I'm obviously crazy.
I've learned that this bikini competition can make you nuts. You spend MONTHS obsessing over every bite of food and every inch of your body for this ONE day! And the stage body is not one you can maintain. You immediately lose your leanness once you get water back in you and if you go off the deep end like I did, you can make things even worse.
So before you start thinking that I've completely fallen off the wagon, rest assured that my clothes all still fit and nothing major has really happened. I've also already leaned up a little bit since I've been back on plan. My point is that I feel like this competition has given me a distorted view of myself. And now I am struggling to learn how to do this in moderation. I've proven I can eat perfectly for months at a time for an end goal, but most people can't maintain that longterm. And really, who would want to? I know I don't. But now I'm working to lose the pounds I gained on vacation, which means packing and measuring my food 100% of the time until I get there.
This has been a tough lesson. I'm going to a big birthday party this weekend. The old me would have said, "Well, I can try to lose the weight next week" so that I could drink and indulge at the party. But then next week comes and new weekend plans pop up...and before I know it I've gained MORE weight by Valentine's Day. The bottom line is that the competition is over, but the lifestyle isn't. Will I get cheat days back? Of course! But not until I've worked off my very long vacation. As my coach puts it, I've basically cashed in my cheat meals for a while.
That's a tough pill to swallow.
So, what's next for me?
In my initial craziness of feeling like I had gained a hundred pounds, I was ready to sign up for another competition. I guess I thought of it as a "do-over". Then I realized that's ridiculous. That's not teaching myself anything. I'm going to have to learn how to live normally and maintain a healthy level of fitness while still living my life. I have to learn moderation and by continuously signing up for competition after competition....I won't learn anything that way.
Does that mean I'll never do another competition? I have no idea, but I can say that I don't have any immediate plans of doing one at the moment.
Anyway, I'm sorry for such a long post, but I felt like I needed to get that out....even just for myself. I've been really beating myself up over the last couple of weeks and feeling like I've let everyone down. So, in case you weren't sure, I'm not perfect and I have the same shameful cravings as the next person. It's a constant battle and it probably won't ever go away. If it does, I'll let you know.