One of the things that always prevented me from prepping for a Figure Show was the message that it sent to my clients, followers, and peers about realistic expectations and goals from diet and exercise. It raises some questions. Am I really happy with myself? Are self love and training for body composition mutually exclusive? Can I preach loving your body and at the same time, prep for a competition that forces me to be judged based on my body?
I think I can. You CAN love yourself - and change at the same time.
There's nothing inherently wrong about wanted to change something. Wanting to go on adventure, or a journey. It's how you go about your changes, where you are coming from, that make you are break you.
1)Are you coming from self discovery or punishment?
2)Do you have realistic expectations understanding of what you are partaking in?
3)What are your plans afterwards to maintain the changes that you have put in place?
Before you try something new, ask yourself these questions. Have a plan for after, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons - and go get out there and do it.
Here are my answers as an example:
I've always been mesmerized by bodybuilding. My friends and I would always talk about doing a show together. Building, shaping, and learning how to move the body by creating such a strong relationship with everything you do. You really learn how daily movements and habits effect your body. For me, taking time on the small things seemed like a great break from the sport of Bodybuilding. I could give both my mind and body a rest and learn about something new, while at the same time making my body better by building lean mass where my weakness are and learning more about diet and conditioning.
I understand that being stage lean isn't the healthiest thing and it's not maintainable year round. I understand that getting to a point that is a winning stage body is VERY challenging and I'll have to make sacrifices. I understand that this is part of the sport and that is is temporary. But it is always MY choice, it is temporary, I'm going to bring my best and then return back to training for Powerlifting and letting my body grow.
I would like to maintain a little leaner than I was previously; however, after my show I will like to slowly gain back 10 pounds - hopefully gaining as much muscle as I can and maintaining a healthy level of leanness that allows me to still enjoy meals out with my friends.