Competition Reflection: Part IV- Consistently Inconsistent
From holding trophies overhead, to holding beer-- I cannot believe it has been over 2 months since my first (and only) competition! The time has flown by, largely because of how non-stop busy this summer/post-season has been for me!
As you may already know from my last reflection post, the first week or so into post-season was pretty rough. I had a way harder time adjusting out of prep than I anticipated, but thankfully I was able to shake those post-competition blues rather quickly. I realized I needed to stop putting such strict, imaginary rules on myself in terms of 'reverse dieting' and simply go back to trusting myself and living my usual, (relatively) balanced life.
So, that is where we've been the past two months, and let me tell you, it's exactly what I needed. Since basically the weekend after my competition, I've had some event, or visitors coming in, or a trip out of town, or vacation, etc. every weekend-- which, while exciting because they have all been fun things, can also be a little stressful at times (creature of routine, remember? all that makes routine quite difficult...)!
As my coach would say, I've had a lot of great things going on. The last thing I wanted was stress in terms of reverse dieting to interfere with the fun memories I was creating. So, I've put memories over macros the last few months-- something I've preached many times before.
I essentially dropped the hardcore, reverse diet mentality and worked back into my everyday-life, everyday-fit, balanced mentality. I've been eating largely intuitively making both smart, and not so smart food choices. I've been sticking with my typical workout routine since working out is my idea of a hobby ;) and I've been enjoying my trips, visitors, vacations, and summer. To put it simply:
I've been consistently inconsistent all summer.
Now, I know, this sounds as though it contradicts my top "fit-tip" of being consistent, but in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't!
Are my weeks 100% consistent? Unfortunately not. I'm lucky if I can keep 100% consistent for 2-3 days straight before something --that I see worthy...-- pops up and disrupts my daily routine -for example, Margarita Monday ;) . However, this doesn't mean that I'm not still being smart. I'm picking and choosing my battles, and that is how the "inconsistency" is working in my favor.
As long as I am consistently being somewhat-consistent, then over a long period of time I will still see change and growth. Will it be as quickly as if I were to be steady week-in and week-out? Obviously not, but despite the number of cheesesteaks I eat this summer, time spent in the car versus at the gym, or drinks I drink, so long as I'm keeping in a BALANCED routine for the most part, then good things are still going to happen inside this body of mine!
*Realizing I've taken more pictures of food this summer than the actual people I was with... Sorry, friends, food over friendship, apparently*
Of course, with this consistently inconsistent lifestyle of mine lately, I am certainly also seeing not-so-good-things happen outside this body of mine, and I'm not afraid to admit that I can struggle with those changes here and there. While my strength and energy are on point, if not increasing, muscle definition is certainly fading. As I mentioned in my first reflection:
"The body that comes out at the end [of competition prep] is not going to be permanent. Mentally, you need to be able to handle it changing (somewhat) back to what you started with as definition will fade and natural, healthy fat will come back."
I think I was about as mentally prepared as I could have been, but you can never be fully prepared for that, especially not after your first ever competition/ into your first off-season. As well, anyone that has ever had a lot going on with little time to be fully dedicated to a routine knows that the body can quickly change; the good news, though, is that it can also quickly change back.
While I knew my body was going to change from prep condition, and while I am hovering anywhere from 2-4 lbs. above my stage weight these days, the many events and travels have moved me slightly past my typical, ideal 'everyday lean'-ness.
This is to be expected, though, and is nothing new for me. A similar physique came about last summer and during the holidays! It is just part of the package for when life gets a little less structured and you choose to put your focus elsewhere (memories > macros ideology), and like I just said, as quickly as it can change, it can change back.
Though at times it can bug me, I quickly remember that this is what I'm choosing for the time being, and I'll get back to my idea of 'everyday lean' soon enough once things slow down a bit.
Right now my main focus is staying somewhat consistent while still gaining strength, maintaining muscle, and getting to do every little thing I want to this summer. And, in terms of those goals, I'm right on track!
Is this your traditional post-show, structured reverse? No, but that's alright because it is what works for me.
Yes, consistency is key, but remember that there are varying degrees of consistency. If you're feeling consistently inconsistent as well this summer, RELAX. You're not as far off as you think you are.
Enjoy your summer, make your memories, and don't stress. Life is all about balance, as long as you have a little bit of that going, then you are A-OK, my friend!