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  1. #1
    Registered User Abby254's Avatar
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    How the hell do I start?

    I won't lie, it's been extremely difficult to find any pertinent articles online regarding female bodybuilding.

    My goal is to compete in a figure or physique competition. I'm 5'7 and 155 lbs. I've been struggling with bulimia for 6 years and am finally focused on bettering myself and my life. This has been a goal of mine for years.

    But, where the hell do I start? I'm not up for hiring a trainer.....I want to do this myself, even if I don't place or anything.
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  2. #2
    Powered by Reese's Puffs anandagirl's Avatar
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    First, deal with your eating disorder.

    In the longer term, you'll need to gain more muscle than the average untrained woman and to do that, you need a solid program and to eat in a surplus. Pick a training program and stick with it. All Pro's on the workout program forum is good, many, many love Starting Strength. I personally believe in barbell training, especially to build muscle.

    At some point down the road you will need to fine tune your physique, which I pretty much know nothing about. But I'm going to guess that's a little ways off.

    Good luck!
    Proud member of Team Ogre. That's Ms. Ogre to you! ;)

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  3. #3
    Assuming I woke up itsagoodday's Avatar
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    Building muscle is one thing, and for figure or physique that would take a minimum of several years of building. Be extremely cautious of a goal to compete when you have an eating disorder, whether it be a current one or one in your past. Dieting down to stage ready can give people lingering problems with food and body image, and that includes people who had a healthy history with food and body image to begin with. You do not. Proceed with caution.
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  4. #4
    Jerk of All Trades LunaLifts's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by anandagirl View Post
    First, deal with your eating disorder.
    This. It takes a lot to learn to work on changing your body in healthy ways after a history of an eating disorder. Many people turn to lifting, and they either develop a healthy relationship with food, and their body, and do very well, or just find a new obsession based around appearance, and diet. Find a good therapist who can help you through your food issues, and any issues with self esteem, possible depression (I say this because eating disorders existing alongside another mental illness isn't uncommon).

    They can help you find the best way for you personally to move into a healthy fit lifestyle. Many will ok weight lifting towards the beginning, because you can put the emphasis on strength, not body image.

    Taking the time to build for figure takes years of building muscle (muscle growth is slow for women, so it does take a lot of time to build a lot), with cycles of cutting fat. It means gaining fat to gain muscle, and then dieting down, both of which can be hard for ED recoverers to handle. The prep you go through before competition is strict, and can cause issues for people who don't even have a history of EDs. I'm not saying it's not possible, but the road there puts a lot of emphasis on diet, and it can certainly trigger those issues. It's something you have to deal with first.

    You don't need a trainer, you can get routine recommendations, nutritional help, and get in good shape with the information here (though when prep time comes, a coach for that specifically is good to have). We aren't qualified to help with the eating disorder recovery aspect, and if competing is a serious goal, and you do not want to relapse, you need to address the underlying issues with someone who can help you. We've seen what happens when people don't.
    PRs: 95lbs/126lbs/202lbs
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  5. #5
    Carbs are my friend... vandalgirl59's Avatar
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    I've never competed, but I'm going to throw my two cents in. When I got into lifting, I became OBSESSED. I eventually developed eating disorders that took YEARS for me to work my way out of. To this day, I refuse to compete because I know it could bring that back. While I maintain an active healthy lifestyle, many of those thoughts still linger in my brain and I STILL have to check myself sometimes for thinking silly thoughts...For someone currently struggling with an ED, I certainly can't recommend competition prep...but that's just me.
    ~Impatience never demanded success~

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