Many people on this site either diet for competitions, photoshoots or just for a special occasion.
I think that it is nessesary to prepare anyone who is dieting for the first time for the after effects or post dieting blahs.
So everyone please tell your story and how you cope with the weight gain etc.
Here is my story:
I have been competing now for two years and in those two years i have dieted/competed 7 times. The after effects of dieting have somewhat changed but as many i still struggle to let me body rest and go up to a normal bf % .
After my first competiton i contracted a donut eating disorder and knew that when the women at the drive through knew my order before i even told her. I gained 10lbs over a 1 month period and ate everything that i could get my hands on.
My second competition was done on because i felt i needed to have a goal to get "lean" again. I power dieted for 3 weeks and although i came in about 2%bf higher than my first competition i was alot fuller. After this competition summer was definately over and so the after effects werent as drastic because i had pretty much eaten everything in sight after comp #1.
This year my first competition was in March. I took a very different approach to dieting with weekly cheats up until 3 weeks out and dairy right up until the week before. I came in just as lean as the previous year and could definately notice some big improvements in overall muscle gains. After this comp. i went absolutely balistic and gained 15lbs in one week. My tummy blew up and i looked like i was 6months pregnant and it took a long time before i could make it go down. This was mentally hard because i had started dieting in January and now April had come and i only had 4 weeks to prepare for the Nationals.
For the nationals i tried to carb cyle, it worked REALLY well however i got addicted to the No Carb days (no veggies either) and so my tummy shrank to the size of a pea. I took one week off from comp. one and had to lose that 15lbs i gained and this diet and training definately worked. I went from 18% to 11% in 4 weeks. I got up on stage proud of my accomplishments and that i actually lasted 7 days (of pure HELL) of NO CARBS...i mean nothing. After the Nationals i gained 14lbs in 4 days
So i started to take more supplements for comp. #3 of the season so that i could once again get down to 10%bf. The diet went well and the training was a friggin killer, frequent episodes but i loved it. Blah blah blah and then after that comp. i knew it was time to give myself a rest. However it wasnt for long that i created another opportunity to diet again.
3 weeks later i started dieting AGAIN. Training was terribly hard and my head was not in the right place. I frequently cheated and knew that my body had enough only i longed to feel that lean dieting high i had only weeks ago. I knew that my body needed a break but i had to just do one more shoot. I ran into some major health problems like nervous system delays, bleeding from my ears (yes i know that sounds bad) and EXTREME high blood pressure. Even though these things came up i still kept on going. Determined= maybe, Addicted= yes. Everything went well and i came in happy with my condition but you could tell that i was spent.
So that was only 1 week ago and i pretty much havent stopped eating. My head tells me to stop and my tummy is full. I am up 8lbs and feel like i need to diet again. Everytime i come off a diet i know that i need to slowly increase calories and introduce more foods, but comeon that is never what happens. Life is piling up on me now and i have this urge to once again DIET. Although i know that dieting again isnt even an option cause my body wont let me, i sit here eating and eating. You look at yourself in the mirror and think "how does it take so many effin weeks to take all this shit off your body and in 4 days it all comes back".
I wanted to share this with you so that you kinda get an idea about what goes through your head after a show/diet/shoot. Some may not feel like this and others may be able to continue to eat well, however some of us do experience depression and binge eating.
OMG I know things are bad but it is good to hear all this because I need to know this because no one will tell me things. I am so glad I have you to talk to. When i bitch and moan you listen and I am totally glad you are becoming one of my close friends :-)
Hun you are so wonderful and I wish i could give you a huge hug right now, you and i both need it. I am feeling kinda down right now and you are a dear I miss darren and my friends are irritating me right now, it feels like they keep forgetting me
J'Bo...I understand what you're talking about having experienced it first hand on a number of occassions.
Sometimes it's good to try and figure out why one competes...is it for the thrill and enjoyment or is it to give one an excuse to diet...often I believe for many it's the later.
This is my beef with all the no carb dieters....diet, diet, diet. There is something to be said for "normalized eating behaviors" as well as set point.
IMO...talk to your friends and family and maybe do some reading on positive self talk. It tokk me a long time to realize that people like me for who I am as a person nd not how lean my abs, shoulders, and obliques look. Fight the urge to diet again, give yourself time and I KNOW YOU"LL WORK through it
I wish you all the BEST....summer is over half over....take a some time to enjoy the finer things in life and get in touch with your inner self.
Good luck...and I hope I wasn't preachin'...just tryin' my best to help...cheers
Speaking for myself, when I was in compition shape 240(ish), my body weight never fluctuated more then 10 to 20 pounds max. The last thing I even thought about after a compition was to go out with everyone to the resteraunt and pig out like so many do because the comp was over. I kept a strict diet throughout the year. There is nothing I despise more then seeing guys like Lee Priest and his counterparts that blow up in the off season to proportions that you don't even recognize them. There was never a day I couldn't take my shirt off and not be embarrassed. My advice it to keep a healthy and controlled diet year long. My long term goals were always far more important then any short term goal and that was to remain healthy. Healthy = staying power. Look how many of these guys get sick from those massive weight fluctuations. It just is not healthy for the heart. Keep the Krispy Creams and Ice cream. I'll take a protein shake anyday.
wow.. i'm so stoked i read this thread. i dieted for about a year and got a seriously cool body.. but i was always hungry .. next thing i binged once and that was it. i ate huge amounts for a few months and put on 5kg. i'm not fat but i'm average. i wanna be fab looking again but its almost like i cant lose weight anymore. its odd. i know i need to restrict my cals but i'm not prepared to be moody and hungry again. i guess if i had comps to diet for i'd kill it. so myabe its better i dont..
becasue i have such a fast metab. and i have a hard time putting on weight, i've only ever bulked. i literally eat "everything in sight", but 90% clean foods.
IMO, and from what i've read, like fire suggested, its best to stay relatively lean all year long. moderate cardio and clean foods will accomplish this as well as not make you have to diet like crazy to lose all that excess bf.
fit freak suggested competing is an excuse for dieting. for me, its the complete opposite. i am doing it for the thrill and to see what i can achieve. i dont' diet, ever. i guess i'm lucky cuz there's no need to. but, i plan on doing a comp. either next summer or fall, so i guess i gotta start learning how to diet right now......
You're a funny guy, Sully, I like you. Dat's why I'm going to kill you lahst.
Wow J'Bo, I can relate! My first show ever was in October 2003. My dieting and cardio for it was all over the place because I kept freaking that I wasn't going to be lean enough. Everytime I increased my cardio and/or decreased my calories I would get uncontrollable cravings, give in, binge, then feel guilty and train and diet my a** of for a few more days and repeat the whole cycle. Although the show I did was so much fun and all the girls were so nice (hanging out with the other competitors backstage was the best part) I knew deep within that I was not proud of how I looked on the show date OR how I prepared. It was obvious to anyone I am sure that my conditioning was not there, no tone, not tight at all. Anyways despite all this I decided right then and there I would show up next spring having dieted and trained seriously and not half-a**ed!
After the show I went from 130-147! In about 2 mos time. I ate everything in sight and things I would never ever eat. I guess at first I thought I would just pig out for a few days and then get right back in the gym on Monday with a healthy offseason diet (yeah right!) My body really couldn't do it I needed a break. I took a week off then went back with a heavy training program and decided for some stupid reason I should avoid cardio because it would interfere with my gains. I guess the real reason was because I was sick of it! Anyways I gained 17 lbs doing no cardio, lifting heavy 2-4 days a week and attempting to eat clean but bingeing 1-2 days a week.
Gaining weight like this really brought me down. I had a similar problem about 5 yrs ago where I gained 40 lbs in 4-5 mos due to depression. I won't go into all the details but I vividly remember what I felt at the time (loss of control over my life in general) and vowed never to allow myself to get into this type of situation again. After gaining the post comp weight I was sleeping alot, withdrawing socially, not taking care of myself, etc. I sought help w/therapy and medication. Don't get me wrong, I know post comp depression is normal but this is something I have been dealing with since I was a teenager.
I recently started working with a trainer on diet and training for the spring. although when he took out the calipers i thought i was gonna be 21% or more it turned out to be 16.7%, not as bad as i thought but yes in your mind you do feel fatter after comp. even when you come in not-so-lean like me!
what i've learned from all this is don't take xtreme measures like cutting cardio out completely (believe me wnen i started it up again i was winded!!!) don't diet drastically stay lean and don't think of it in black & white. I am dieting=no cheating, xtreme dieting and postcontest=free for all. everyone always says it, and it's true: everything in moderation.
Very Interesting. Personally I pretty much cardio down to 2 session a week when I cut. I find not very neccessary. I just get the diet straight and train hard. When I bulk I drop the cardio. I dont care if I gain fat because I do mini cycles. Bulk 3 weeks then cut 2. I find it works well. Maybe it is slowing down my gains but I rather add mass slowly then to get high in bf and have a hard time loosing it. Oh...by the way I dont compete but I did have to throw in my 2 cents.