12 Expectations of Prep- Part 2
We just kept coming up with examples we had to make this a two-part series. Welcome to part two where we dive into even more examples of things you might just want to be prepared to expect when preparing for a competition. Look forward to hearing what you think and if you have some funny examples drop them in the comments section!
Shocker, but you WILL experience hunger. Your body is on the border of starving. We are creating a high caloric deficit and a high energy output. You will get hungry and you will have cravings. The thing to remember is the end goal in sight and to take days and meals one at a time. This sport is not meant for the faint of self-discipline, it is hard, it is really hard when you get down to the wire. But for a lot of us, it is worth it. It is worth the sacrifice, the suffering and the challenge because the reward is seeing how dramatically you can change your body and test your mindset and limits.
This doesn’t happen to everyone but it is a good one to address. Insomnia, the lying in bed with your mind always running and the inability to shut down and fall fast asleep. It is pretty common for competitors to begin to experience this a couple weeks out from a show. I know most of the coaches here at Atlas Nutrition have experienced it. Either due to hunger, mind running, or body aches, it does happen. Sometimes finding a good supplement like melatonin can help, it promotes healthy sleep and can get you to sleep faster. You can take 5-10mg 30 minutes prior to desired sleep time. You must understand that your body is in “GO” mode, its metabolism is revving, its hungry, its physically and mentally tired. You are pushing and testing your limits, these are the things that can cause insomnia. Do what you can but to aid it but be prepared in case it does happen to you.
Ooooh, this one is a tough one to swallow. You will lose friends, friends that normally would be by your side and be cheering you on. For some reason and I truly cannot comprehend why this happens but it does. Some of your closest friends will NOT understand why you would commit your body and your mind to something as challenging as this, on purpose. This can cause some tension and it can cause drift. Now, don’t get me wrong, true friends tend to stick around for the right reasons, they are motivated by you, they want you to succeed. But you will see others leave your life. They don't understand why you can’t go out for a few drinks or stay up late or skip the gym. You also tend to become somewhat of a hermit while you are prepping, you want to avoid and remove yourself from temptation. Some friends will take this personal. We all have lost friends due to this sport but the one thing I will say is that I have also met some of the coolest people from this sport, some I consider my best friends and I know they would support me on any endeavor. And I have also let go of some enabling friends due to this sport, so for both of those experiences, I am grateful.
Addiction to the results
The results you will see in a competition prep if you are doing it right, are phenomenal. It will shock you how much your body can change and in how short of a time. You are putting your body pedal to the metal and it is responding faster than you thought imaginable. When you get closer and closer to your show date you will literally see your body change DAILY… this right here can become addicting. I call this the “snowball effect” as soon as your body starts revving, the results come faster and faster, like a snowball rolling down a snow-covered mountain. Your body literally begins to change over-night, you see new muscles, new striations, new veins and are becoming leaner each day. It is a pretty amazing experience. The biggest thing I can say about this, stay humble.
Due to the low calories, you are consuming on top of low body fat, you will experience some wicked cravings. No, you are not pregnant you are just hungry and your body is requiring certain nutrients you might be deficit in, but you are in a deficit on purpose. These cravings lead to the trying weird food combinations we talked about in part 1 of this series. The cravings can be extravagant and bizarre to something as simple as pickles or cheesecake, cookies or muffins. Just remember you can reward yourself after the competition. This diet is temporary and guess what?... food isn’t going anywhere, stay strong and earn the reward after you earn that trophy!
Let us end on a good note. You will see a significant boost in confidence. This is my absolute favorite part to see in clients, it puts a smile on my face. People see their body change, people see how they can test and surpass their limits and create a body they had only dreamt of. Anything is possible and if you put your heart, soul, mind, body and work ethic into it, it can happen. You will begin to wake up with a smile knowing you have accomplished something that most people fail at. Honestly, most people won't make it to the competition stage. One of the expectations listed above will make them cave. But if we can grow your confidence in the process, we all won! To end on a light note something we like to call “selfie addiction” will set in, you will begin to take more and more selfies to track your progress and you will also begin to motivate more and more people in your circle to make a change, so be proud, take those selfies if you want, be confident and be proud!