Here are some great tips from ADO Fitness coach Jennifer Ann NPC Bikini Competitor ❤️ A MUST READ for competitors below:
As competition season takes full force I wanted to take a moment to talk about some of the struggles that I faced and what I did to deal with them.
1. Post Show Depression
When I started my first prep I remember girls talking about post show depression and how hard it was to deal with. My first thought was, “Oh, I’m like the happiest person and thats not something I feel like I will ever go through.” Unfortunately, I was very wrong and just two days after my show I woke up and felt the strongest feeling of despair, which was something I had never felt before. I went upstairs and tried to eat but couldn’t choke anything down, so I thought maybe I just needed to go to the gym and get a good sweat on. I was twenty minutes into my workout and I remember doing bicep curls and suddenly I just started to cry. There was absolutely no reason for me to be crying, but I felt this overwhelming sadness that I just couldn’t stop. I just wanted to be back to my normal happy self, so thank goodness, when I woke up the next day I felt back to normal.
Later on I read that post show binges, especially on sugar could trigger a post show depression because your body was so acclimated to eating clean that the sugar basically shocked your body. Since that was my first show, I did eat a crazy amount of candy afterwards, so never again after a show will I eat that much sugar. Since then, I have never experienced post show depression.
During my first 5 competitions I dealt with binge eating. My diet at the time was extremely strict and I was never allowed high fats or carbs so I was hungry at every moment of every day. I usually would do ok, but there were moments that I was unable to control the urges and I would eat an entire box of pop-tarts, cookies, cereal or even an entire jar of almond butter. Yes, I said an entire jar of almond butter. Anyone that has ever eaten Buff Bake almond butter knows the struggle 🙂
After I would binge I would feel like a failure and force myself to go workout to burn off the extra food I had just eaten. Binging is a viscous cycle and can go on and on and on. But I was fortunate enough that I was able to find a coach that believes in a healthy prep ( Amber Fokken) and she began to add fats and carbs back into my diet. By adding veggies in my diet and more fats I felt like a whole new person and my binging stopped. Another way I was able to combat binging is with the intermittent fasting method. Read more about IF here: Click Here ) Basically you set yourself an eight hour window of time that you are going to eat your meals. Since you are limiting the hours of the day you can eat, you are able to eat bigger meals which in turn will make you feel more full and less likely to binge. For example, let’s say you set your window from noon until eight, you will start eating at noon but have to finish eating by eight that evening. Then you won’t eat again until the next day at the same time. You can start by trying this method a few times a week and see if it helps you the same way it helped me. I also find that when I eat a larger variety of clean foods, I don’t experience any cravings.
So this is something I still deal with on a very strong level and unfortunately I don’t have the answer on how to fix it, but I can tell you how I deal with it. When I get to the end of my prep about 4-5 weeks out I don’t sleep at all. I am so used to it that I am able to function the same with or without sleep but regardless, I do use a few tricks to try and knock me out. Tea!! Tea is awesome at relaxing your mind and body, I personally like sleepy time tea. Essential oils are also good at calming me down for the night, I use lavender oil from Doterra. I also take ZMA and sometimes z-quil for those really tough nights and sometimes it does the trick!
I hope some of this helps one of you competitors out!