View Full Version : Post-competition help!
10-12-2002, 06:48 AM
This question is mainly for the women who train to get their bodies ready for competition, acheiving super-low body fat to better display hard earned muscles.
I have found myself at the way-low end of the bodyfat range - havn't had a period since March, libido is shot (still!) and my hair has been falling out in handfulls.
I have made some pretty amazing changes over the past few weeks
(see http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=62296 - "Disordered eating/training recovery journal ").
I was wondering how you deal psychologically with gaining bodyfat post-contest? It is so counter-intuitive, and there is NO information out there on how to do this in a healthy way. It is even socially unacceptable for a woman to want to gain bodyfat - evin if it is critical to her health (and marital happiness!) It seems that most of us got hereto re-claim control of our bodies to combat an eating disorder, where our lives revolved around bodyfat going down, how do you reverse this train of thought?
10-19-2002, 10:31 AM
I just replied to your message, and then realised that i wasn't logged in, so here goes again!
Firstly, no period in 5months, hair loss, no libido, your main problem is not psychological, it's physical...go and see your doctor IMMEDIATELY before your condition worsens!
Images-the images we are supposed to live up to today are quite tough, especially on women. One or two inches extra around the waist etc are frowned upon, and it can make women feel as though their efforts are for nothing!? WRONG: your post competition period of time should be incorporated into your overall mental fitness plan for the competition, a plan that begins when you begin to train for that competition!
Your mental fitness plan is the goal that you set, and it should correspond to the SMARTER principle:
S-specific, what do you want to do?
M-measurable, how are you going to do it-what programme of exercise?
A-agreeable, with you and your trainer
R-recorded, to keep track of your progress
T-timescale, how many months=how many sessions p.w. etc
E-exciting, so that you'll move on and set new goals!
R-reversable, or suitable return...here is where you incorporate your post competition strategy into the plan, by resting, recuperating, realising that it is NATURAL to rest after training, to eat what you want, to take a couple of weeks OFF training before setting your new goal and beginning all over again!!! It's also a physiological benefit aswell as a mental one!
See a nutritionalist, get him/her to advise you on what you should/shouldn't be eating and drinking-come off the ergogenic aids, whether it be protein shakes because my guess is that it's them that are causing the harmful sideeffects you've mentioned above!!
My name is Kieran, firstname.lastname@example.org, i'm from Ireland, not a bodybuilder, but a fully qualified rugby, soccer and athletics coach, a psychologist and teacher by profession,
Hope that i've been of some help to you, there's loads of litereture out there, if you need any more advice, e-mail me!!
10-19-2002, 11:41 AM
Thanks for the help! The physical part isn't a problem right now, my diet has improved a hundredfuld and I am putting on weight.
My doctor is not only clueless - but just last week she announced that she will no longer be practicing medicine and couldn't be bothered to refer her patients to another physician!
I know I'm doing the physical part right, cutting down on cardio, adding more calories to my daily intake and I have gained a pound a week for a month now. I'm going through the right steps, but the problem is still how to psychologically deal with this! I havn't been spending the whole time navel-gazing hoping to think my way out of this, I have been making huge strides forward, hoping the mental part will catch up.
That's why I was hoping to get some pointers from someone who has gone from a competition ready physique to watching her muscle definition disappear under a layer of fat. It's kinda traumatic.
10-21-2002, 06:30 AM
Yeah, the whole mental aspect is the toughest part. I have done 4 shows and have totally lost it after all of them. I just went on an all-out binge and then tried to take control again. This last diet was particularly tough. I just couldn't stop eating for like 3 weeks. Well, I am back on track now and doing my first bulking cycle. I have always been in the lose-weight-mode so this is weird for me. The funny thing is I am 30 lbs heavier but can still wear size 5 jeans! I just feel so much stonger and healthy but I still go crazy thinking about the numbers on the scale. I am much better about it now but it is still hard. I guess you just need to realize your goals and don't get caught up in the numbers game.
I find giving myself new goals every week keep me on track and focused.
Keep up the good work, though!
10-22-2002, 02:39 AM
How are things? Glad to hear that your diet is in good order, shame about your physician though!
Whenever you put together a physical fitness and nutrition plan, always draw it up in the context of a Mental Fitness plan. It works like this: you set a YEAR GOAL i.e. win the comp at the end of the year, you set PERFORMANCE GOALS for each month i.e. to increase muscular endurance and body shape in month 1 by doing sets of btw15-20, and then you use ACTION STEPS i.e. set a timetable, select the right foods, set your physical plan up in chronological order working from body shape/endurance-hypertrophy-strength-definition
YEAR GOAL=)PERFORMANCE GOALS=)ACTION STEPS!!
If you have a longterm Mental Fitness plan, you psychologically tune in to what you need to do from the beginning, you are mentally preparing yourself for the physical work you are about to embark upon, and for the resulting adaptations that your body and mind make, i.e. muscle shape and definition, muscle soreness, mental fatigue(over a period of time)etc etc.
Importantly, you set your psychological goals according to the SMARTER principle discussed earlier, if you do this you actually prepare your mind for the post competition period, the period where you put on a bit of weight, eat some junk which actually challenges your body physiologicaly. R-Reversibility and return, where you place no stress on the body, but give it time to recuperate. This might last two weeks, and means v litle training, perhaps some flexibility, ultimately it is down to you, but during that two week period you begin to set up your new Mental Fitness Plan with new goals, a new start where you will begin to work on your shape second time around!
My advice: if you have the time, see a sports psychologist for one session, speak specifically about your problem, and then consult your instructor and draw up your plan! I hope that this has been some help to you, there is loads of literature and websites that you can look at, let me know if you're stuck!
Mental Fitness is trainable, can be worked on regurlarly and can be improved, try it out!
10-23-2002, 12:25 PM
I am going thru the same thing, too! I went to see my docter the other day and she told me I need to gain 10-20 lbs. I am 16 years old, 5'5'' and weigh 102 lbs right now (10.8% bodyfat). I workout with weights everyday and occasionally go for walks (this past summmer I did a lot iof areobic exercising and lost like 20 lbs...too much weight actually). My periods have stopped completely and my hair is falling out too! SWhen I get out of the shower and comb thru my hair like all this hair just falls out! Aghj! It's rweally gross! I know I need to gain weight-it's just the fact of gaining weight-depresses me sortof. Ive spent years literally ttrying to lose my babyfat-and now that i have accomplished that...I have to gain weight now! I want to put on lean muscle mass and definitely keep my bodyfat levels low. I want to avoid as much cellulite as I can. I am gradually increasing my caloirc intake. I eat no processed or refined foods. I eat lots of oatmeal and fish! I also drink two protein shakes a day. Ontop of that, I have a nonfat yogurt before I workout and cottage cheese as a snack. I am thinking about trying Balance bars for a snack as well. Maybe just have one a day tho-they have like 15 grams of sugar in them. I really want to be bigger-muscular-yet I am so affraid to start eating really big....All thoes Oxygen and Fitness magazines show pictures of thoes fitness chicks all ripped and in shape looking during their contest season. The magazines dont show pictures of the fitness models while they are bulking-why?! This irritates me! I wish they'd put pictures of real women who are working hard trying to build up their bodies-not necessarily 'cut up' for a competition. I was so influenced and perseuded by thoes damn fitness magazines last summer to losse bodyfat and become all ripped just becus that looks sexier-and I ended up screwing up my health. I am still trying to get thru all this. My docter even said I was indeed, anorexic. I hate that-I dont want to be labeled that. I want to be normal again and get off Paxil. I want to build my body up-not cut it down. I can go on a cutting diet when I want to enter a competition. Right now, I need to focus on building my musckles and nurturing my body! For gods sake, I am only 16! I have the reszt of my life to get "cut" and enter a competiton...and hell, who says I have to enter a copmpetition?! I need to do what feels right and healthy to me! That is what we all need to do! If any of you guys (gals,girls,lol whatever!) want to email me my address is PinkPiNika@aol.com. I love these message boards becus everyone is working towards a goal and is serious about their health. I have found alot of info on nutrtition and training here, too. And not to forget-inspiration! !
10-23-2002, 03:54 PM
I never thought I wasn't eating enough, I ate a meal every 2 hours! But it turned out that I was burning it up too quickly! I have never intended to , nor wanted to enter a competition, I just ended up with a competiton-ready body, super-cut muscles, WAY low bodyfat. For some reason, I didn't think anything of it and I thought it would be sustainable. Women are supposed to achieve low bodyfat through diet and exercise, right?
I went overboard
I have been adding protein bars, like Designer Whey, NitroTech. Meal replacement bars like Balance are full of sugar, you're right. I have also added a cup of yogurt, during my morning snack, a half cup of kamut pasta or rice to my lunch (which previously didn't include starches), or a 1/2 cup of brown rice, or 1/8 12 grain bagel. I like to get the 'starchy carbs' in mostly during lunch time. Over the past month, I have noticed my mood as inproved 20-fold, I feel so much calmer. Most of my increased calories are protein. I have added 2 extra protein shakes per day too.
Please see my journal for my workouts, they are giving me a noticable increase in muscle tone.
The suggestions of short term goals are really helpful.
I got my hair cut shorter so I feel a lot more confident about my hair at least. http://home.databloom.com/albums/album01/aey.jpg
This board has been my lifeline! Fabulous support and inspiration.
Best of luick to you, keep in touch and let me know how your progress is going too!