By Angela DeRosso – No, I have yet to skip the gym and opt for an afternoon of binge eating watching the Food Network while simultaneously shoveling Ben and Jerry’s with a side of cheesecake into my mouth with the occasional silently sobbing every time a Victoria’s Secret commercial graces the screen. However, by writing this article, I’m not sure if I have taken a few steps further away from or moved a couple hours closer to an anxiety ridden chocolate fudge brownie feast topped with a dollop of regret.
While I competed in my first bikini show and qualified for nationals four weeks ago, I am also three weeks post-cruise, aka weeklong calorie splurge, on the high seas. While I stepped on stage weighing in at 97 pounds donning a 21 inch waist on the 12th , I gained back all of the weight plus a couple extra pounds by the 19th when I retuned home from my vacation.
My diet was restricted to only what was comprised in a list of carbless, sugarless, tasteless foods for so long that when I no longer had to plan and portion my meals, my body went into near shock. Like if I was hungry and I wanted a sandwich, I could eat it and, trust me, I did. It was like I was eating because I could. It was liberating despite the fact that my body had absolutely no idea how to digest what I was putting into it and absorbed the calories like a sponge after being on a deficit for an extended period of time. Needless to say, I didn’t stay lean for long.
I might be exaggerating a tad because I still work out six days a week and monitor what I put into my body, yet I am still struggling to find a happy medium. While I would love to look stage ready year round, it is not physically or mentally feasible. Since it was my first show, I have no idea what my offseason diet, workout regimen or body should even look like.
Bodybuilding is not only physically strenuous, but it’s mentally challenging. It’s hard to keep my mind in one place with my body changing at a constant and rapid rate both during prep and now as my body is searching for its offseason form. While I’m still kind of lost I’m also beginning to realize that we are never truly done with our own physiques. Even when I stepped on stage with basically the “perfect” body, I was already conjuring up a myriad of ways in my head to make my hamstrings more pronounced and what I was going to do to make my shoulders more capped.
While every day is currently a challenge in my quest for balance and normalcy, when my number was called out and I collected my trophy it was more than worth it. Although my prep was only eight weeks long, it was still laden with days where I questioned the process. Like then, I continue to persevere and push harder. I look forward to shedding the post show pounds while I am also motivated to put them only in a leaner fashion so I can bring an even more shredded package to the stage next summer. Our bodies will forever be a working process and that’s okay as long as we never impede improvement by ceasing to work on them.