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  1. #1
    OLYMPIAN
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    Default The Rebound Effect: The Competitor's Silent Struggle

    I came into the Figure Competition arena without a clue about what it took as far as training and dieting went. It was quite the experience, of which I both, really enjoyed at times because I loved how my body was looking, and others times I really wanted to quit. LOL! But I persevered and made the 14 week prep into my first competition and placed in the Top 5, immediately qualifying me for Nationals. I was stoked!!

    As is tradition, I celebrated with a victory meal at the Cheesecake Factory! That burger and fries didn't stand a chance, especially since I hadn't eaten such foods in the previous months. Yes, I did top that delicious dinner off with a kona mud pie ice cream dessert fit for the Goddesses! I was in food heaven and happy as could be!

    Fast forward to the following week. I looked and felt puffy, wait, actually I got FAT! My legs from the knees down felt numb and I had muffin top on my ankles...just to name a few! Yep, believe it, my ankles were spilling over my socks! I asked my trainer what was happening to my body, and found out right then that this rebound is "normal" and was told to get back to eating clean, which I was still doing, minus the 2 days after the show where I had cheat meals.

    So what was my solution to my problem of gaining the weight back and feeling fat? What felt logical was to do another show! And so began the vicious cycle of self-loathing and comparison, inviting rebounds that were worse than the previous ones, marking the downfall of how I saw myself. My new body image issues. My new weight issues. I started to chase that body I eventually found out I could not realistically maintain.

    Why is this part never talked about? The struggles that we are bound to face when we go through such extreme measures to get that ripped up, shredded look to achieve that status of being a competitor? I LOST MYSELF and I felt so alone because it seemed that no one else was going through it. It took me years to feel normal again after I decided to stop competing, not only in my body, but my mind and what I had to learn to accept as my normal.

    I had to be my own therapist through my recovery because I couldn't find the support to help me through this extremely difficult time. I found out I wasn't alone, there were many who were having a hard time, but nobody was talking about it. I eventually learned compassion for myself and for other fellow figure competitors who I knew were silently struggling on their own.

    Who else here still struggles with this?

  2. #2
    RX MEMBER
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    While I'm not a figure competitor, or even a male competitor, I have been disappointed in life at times after I invested everything I had in something & came out of it without what I expected & needed from it. We have all gone through this. The one thing I'll say that helped me was to realize the thing that I might perceive as working against me can be flipped, & end up my greatest strength. It depends on how you flip it, & what you do with what you do have, which is more than we realize when we're working so hard to achieve something difficult. Living with yourself, & understanding that high-stakes goals aren't necessarily in our best interest, can be difficult. But it is possible when we see ourselves for who & what we really are, & stop caring what anyone else thinks.

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