How To Handle Post Show Blues... with Katrina Tatae, Bikini Pro
Katrina Tatae is an NSL Bikini Athletic Pro, who hosts her own competition team. We've invited her to share this post about what happens AFTER your competition. A great, and important, message for all competitors.
Take it away Katrina...
You’ve been spending the past 8, 10, 12 or more weeks training for your show. You put in 100 percent effort into the posing, the diet, the gym, and the mastering that stage presence. You got the perfect suit and perfect tan.
Show day has come and gone. The show is over. And, regardless of how you placed, there is a sense of void after the competition.
Everyone that competes has a goal. So, when that goal is achieved, there is this feeling like...”Now, what do I do???”
Have A Plan
If you are not prepared with a post-show game plan, you might feel a little lost at this point. Do you take an offseason and spend some time building more muscle? Do you jump into another show? The choice is different for everyone, but it is vital to your longevity and overall mental health to put together a strategy for what will happen after your competition.
This will also prevent binging and other destructive behavior post-show.
It isn’t healthy, nor is it sustainable, to stay stage-lean year round. You will need to put on some more body fat after the show. Prepare yourself mentally for these changes to the scale and in the mirror. You can do this by accepting this fact ahead of time. This makes it easier to embrace when those changes happen and prevents any negative self-talk, or guilt from creeping in post-show.
Even if you didn’t have a coach for your prep, you might look into one for the few weeks following your show. They can give you guidance and advice on how to eat and train after the show to maximize your metabolism.
Frame of Mind
Being stage lean is not a normal state of being. You are not “fluffy” after your show - you are actually more normal than when you stepped on that stage!
This was really hard for me to understand and accept when I first started competing. I thought I wasn’t fit unless I was stage-lean.
It took awhile for my eyes to see that being in a more normal state of body fat is a positive thing. It helps my energy, training effort, sleep, mood, etc. to have a higher body fat while not on stage.
Reverse With Intention
Have a reverse diet and training strategy BEFORE your show. You are more likely not to swing in your weight and water retention if you do that. Depending on your goals post-show, your reverse will be different. The key is making SLOW changes in the weeks following your show.
Your body is in a really vulnerable state post-show. Any drastic decisions, like boycotting the gym altogether after your competition, will have negative effects on your health, physically and mentally.
Note from Amanda: We recommend checking out the eBook "Reverse Dieting" by Sohee Lee. This book dives into the subject of how to properly reverse diet, including inputs from some of the best scientific minds in the field.
Remember, the food will always be there. You can always make another cookie, or buy a donut some other time. This thought always helps me from wanting to consume everything in sight post-show.
To help alleviate some of the anxieties about food post-show, I encourage you to have variety in your prep diet when possible. It helps when you really enjoy your prep food to not feel like you have to swing the complete opposite in order to make up for all the sacrifices. Find a food or meal that you can look forward to everyday.
Keys to Success Post-Show
Here are some keys to handle the post-show blues:
- Prepare yourself to not look like you did on show day.
- Have a reverse plan in place ahead of time.
- Stop judging or being critical of yourself for adding some more body fat after the show.
For more tips on bikini competitions, including recipes and workouts, check out Katrina TaTaé at katrinatatae.com or @katrinatataefit.
For bikini prep coaching, contact Katrina at firstname.lastname@example.org.