December 2018 I decided to finally begin my first competition prep. I would say my desire to compete began a couple years before actually beginning my prep. Currently I’m 23 weeks into the process and have lost more than 20 pounds. I’m also waiting on my body to dial in a bit more before finally being happy with what I want to look like for my first show. This prep has taken me through an incredible journey of ups and downs, but most importantly I have learned so much. Below are some pros and cons for anyone deciding on doing their first contest prep.
You have a goal in front of you, which will help keep you motivated.
A prep will help you level up your discipline game. The amount of work and dedication required has helped me apply discipline in all areas of my life.
Your clothes fit better. I will not lie and say this is a huge plus. I have loved feeling great in everything I wear!
My confidence level has increased. I have pushed past barriers that I did not think was possible and have reached milestones that I did not think was achievable when I started.
I have become more patient. The whole process of bodybuilding has taught me a new level of patience that has spilled over to other areas of my life!
You sacrifice other aspects of your life. Certain aspects of my life as well as interests have currently taken a back seat. A contest prep will force you to have to prioritize accordingly. I have had to prioritize my training and diet over social gatherings and my other hobbies.
A prep becomes isolating. This is an extension of the point above. Be prepared to say no to invitations out and if you do spend time out with friends be prepared to say no to food and drinks.
You will have low energy and mood swings. This has come in waves, but dieting down is not fun the deeper you get into it. Our bodies are not designed to diet down for long periods of time and your body will let you know!
Sleep quality will go down. The longer I have been dieting I notice I don’t sleep as well sometimes.
You will be hungry. Nothing you eat will really ever feel satisfying. You basically eat to help you feel a little more energized and make it through the day.
You will start to look at your body in a weird way. I have moments where I have picked myself apart, but luckily I have a coach who will give me an objective view.
It gets expensive. Between hiring a coach, paying for a competition suit and posing lessons things have added up. This is a pricy hobby!
All in all I am definitely glad I took on this goal. Even though I still have a little ways left to go I can say this is a journey I have not regretted. I have learned so much about myself and have enjoyed how the ups and downs have made me better. Stay tuned for the end result! I’ll definitely be blogging about competition day.