Hey guys! If you follow my fitness Instagram @stephbalanced_fit, then you’ve probably seen my journey of prepping for and competing in my first fitness competition. I haven’t been blogging lately, but I want to pick it back up and I thought I should start by updating you with all that’s going on! Also before we hop in – I may be changing my ftness Instagram to my main instagram and renaming it to match this blog. Let me know what you think.
You can watch my show day vlog here, too!
Let’s do a little recap on the competition!
My first competition was a few weeks ago, the Dexter Jackson Classic in Memphis, TN and I have another local show in a few weeks. Back in January I decided I would want to compete this summer, so I decided to do a 3 month “bulk” to put on the added muscle I would need before cutting (leaning out/losing body fat) for the show. I started prep in April, and prepped for about 14 weeks for this first show.
The competition was one of the most weekends of my life! The venue was beautiful and everyone running the show made it so enjoyable and as stress free as possible. Seeing 14 weeks of hard work come together on stage was so rewarding. I’ve found I have a true passion for this sport and it combines so many things I love.
I ended up coming home with 3 trophies, which was I wasn’t expecting at all! I won True Novice, Teen, and placed 3rd in Open Class B. Words can’t explain how happy and grateful I was. After the show, I went out to celebrate with my dad and Hayden and we enjoyed a good burger, sweet potato fries and an amazing deep dish chocolate chip cookie skillet topped with ice cream. And we can’t forget the Gibson’s Red Velvet Donut Hayden had waiting for me when I got off stage. I enjoyed the next day and we went out for brunch, before hopping back on track for the next show. I’m currently 3 weeks out!
I want to share a few things I’ve learned, observed and want to share with you all.
Competing definitley is not for everyone. It takes a lot of discipline and sacrifice if you want to be successful. It can also trigger obsessive exercise and food behaviors for people that have a past of disordered eating. I honestly did not experience that during my prep, but it’s something to be aware of. I obviously had to meticulously track and weigh my food – but it’s for the purpose of the sport – not out of the obsession with food or the fear of gaining weight. There’s a big difference.
Another thing to remember is that getting stage lean, or getting abs – is not natural for your body. It’s a temporary state, and is NOT HEALTHY for a prolonged period of time. Being at such a lean state and in a calorie deficit does affect your hormones. Some are more affected by this than others- especially women. You absolutley need to put on some healthy body fat post show, and work closely with your coach to reverse diet properly. My coach, Paul Revelia has awesome information on his YouTube channel. You can check out his coaching offers at prophysique.com
I will do more posts on body fat, hormones and health very soon. 🙂 But overall, I think competing is amazing, but you have to do it for the right reasons.
Some things to remember if you’re considering competing:
- Getting stage lean will not and cannot fix: 1. un healthy body image 2. unhealthy relationships with food
2. People will not love you any more or any less if you compete.
3. Competing does not validate your fitness level.
4. Competing is very expensive. Don’t do it unless you know you have the money too or have saved for it.
5. During prep, it can easily take over your life and you will have to sacrifice certain things for a period of time.
6. If you don’t like structure, you’ll probably hate prep. If you like structure (like me) you’ll find it hard but still enjoy the process. Make sure you evaluate this before hand.
I hope you all found this post helpful, and let me know what else you’d like me to talk about! I’ll update you on my next show and also my post-show plans. 🙂
Stay happy and healthy.