Before deciding to commence competing about this time last year, not much thought went into my decision-making process. Do I want to do it? Yes. Can I afford it? I think so. Overall score = count me in.
And that was that, my fee was paid and I was on board for my first competition.
When I set myself goals, I don’t tend to be a quitter, I don’t like people to see me give up and feel this is a sign of weakness. I tend to be a little sensitive to getting the feeling of being judged. Odd I know considering the sport I have chosen to partake in, but Judgement on my appearance is not something I have ever ben bothered off. Judgement on my choice of actions, opinions and views, is something that bothers me. So writing on a blog these types of things is what I feel a big step for me.
Over the course of leading up to the first competition I did this within a team, while I felt like the sail was relatively smooth to the finish, I know others did not feel the same way, for a number of reasons. Therefore I think it is important to think about the Pros and Cons of thinking to compete, and I am here to tell you some of them.
lets Start with the Pros.
You will have an amazing body
You know those bodies you see in your instagram feed and you wish you looked like them and believe that is simply a dream? Well now you qualify to feature on one of those pages. You will feel good about yourself and have the abs you always dreamed of.
You will feel in control
From everything you place into you mouth, generally down to he gram, when you train and how often, you will be in control of all aspects of you life. This control can make people feel great, knowing that how you look is all due to your own decision-making.
You will eat a lot
Who in their right mind doesn’t want the okay to eat a lot and be lean! You can eat a lot of the right thing and still meet your goals. The only problem? You might have to make yourself eat more rather than actually being hungry!
You will meet so many new people in the world of body building, and fitness modelling alike. All of a sudden the team you compete in become your family. You see them every week, you go through the same struggles of motivation, training, diet and results. You will build a close connection with these people and some will last beyond the competitions. Plus. wait till you see the list of friend requests you get on FB after your first show!
The attention if on YOU!
If you love being the centre of attention, this will be your time to shine. You get to get on stage and strut your stuff, showing everyone what you have worked hard to achieve. You will have all of your friends and family congratulating you, telling you how good you look and asking you a million questions. It’s a lot of fun!
You will feel Great in what you wear
remember those pair of jeans you used to wear with a baggy top to maybe hide the muffin that appeared once they were done up? well now you can wear everything tight, and why wouldn’t you, to show off your new toned figure. You will have gained the confidence to do so.
Okay, competing doesn’t come cheap, you wan tot consider your budget first, and all the costs. Thankfully not all the costs come at once ie you can buy your bikini and shoes a few weeks in. You don’t have to worry about your hair, makeup and other beauty costs till competition time itself, and often trainer will provide discounts for full upfront payments. After your first comp though, the cost decreases significantly. Which is a relief as you can reuse your bikini and shoes and perhaps don’t need to pay for posing lessons as you did the first year. Considering this cost is vital before choosing to compete.
Lack of social life
There is no rules to say you have to hibernate now you have told everyone you are competing. But as the competition date draws nearer, the requirement to eat, drink, and have your meals 100% correct becomes increasingly more important and therefore eating out can become difficult, unless you don’t mind packing a Tupperware container in your handbag to eat at a restaurant (I have done this). The questions from your friends about this become increasingly annoying and your temper can rise when you are told for the 100th time that surely one night off wont hurt – yes it will. While you want to stay up all hours into the night, your body wont let you, telling you it wants the comfort of your bed, more than the DJ sounds blasting your sober ears. And so, in more of a surrender you will find yourself opting to miss certain events for the peacefulness of your home and scheduled meals.
You might be eating a lot, and sleeping a heap, and getting everything else done just as you did before (or so you thought) but without even realising it you may be over whelmed, maybe a little pressured, worried, and anxious and all of this comes out in your moods. As much as you try to prevent it, it will most likely happen. So apologise to your partner in advance is my advice..
This is a time commitment, many start-up to 20 weeks out, that is a long time to stay focused and meet your goal. For this reason this is why many people may pull out. Life can get in the way and take priority and that’s okay, there will always be another comp you can enter when life calms down. But in the meantime, you will need to commit a lot of your time to this goal. time for multiple meals a day, time to prep those meals, to probably go shopping for groceries on a more frequent basis, time to train daily and perhaps more, time to get your measurements and track your progress not to mention time to practice posing and of course rest. It’s a big commitment, to yourself.
The bounce back into normal life after
For many, this can pose the biggest struggle. The questions on how to appropriately detrain, to fall back into what is considered by many to be ‘normal’ to be social again, be okay with putting on a healthy amount of weight, and to now be in charge of yourself, but without the pressure of the comp hanging on your shoulders. Many people do not know how to handle this, they feel overwhelmed at the thought that every decision is now theirs but without a guild line of right and wrong. Their opinion on what’s right and wrong may not be warped and they are unsure how often to train, eat and of what. For many this can be the most overwhelming feeling of all, and one that needs to be prepared for just as much as the comp itself. Everyone is different and some may not mind that they lose their 6 pack, others this can do their head in, even when they know it’s not healthy to stay 8%BF all year.
I could go on for much longer about the long list of pros and cons, but I think this summarises the basics. I think the choice of competing is ultimately your own but as long as you are aware of all aspects. Some pros and cons will weigh heavier on others, and this will also affect their decision. Personally, I feel I have found a happy medium in both of them, and love the choice I made to compete. It just might take you a little while to find this sweet spot as well