Post Contest Depression
It is Sunday morning. The big show was last night. Your stomach is killing you because of all the food you ingested between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am. You instinctively think, what time are you getting to the gym for training & cardio. The show is over and you’re not going to the gym today. Then you look at the clock and wonder why it’s so late in the morning and how will you get your 5-6 meals in. The show is over so there is no need to eat 5-6 times today.
Post show depression is very common. No matter if I won or placed low , I’ve experience it .The mind set of a competitor is so focused and so regimented when the contest season is over it gets depressing. A factor that many don’t consider is the social interaction. When you share the same trainer or the same gym, a familiarity with others turn in to friendships. These friendships may remain through sporadic texts or facebook messages but the in-person meetings grow few and far between. A certain kinship develops between competitors that no one that's an outsider can share. The non-competitor friends and family may distance themselves, but your “gym friends” share your dedicated path.
Another contributing factor is that you aren't in show shape any more. The desire to still eat totally clean is there but thoughts of how much you missed out can take over. This may be the Sunday dinners of sauce with the extended family (you Italians KNOW this) or the occasional drinks out with friends. You must still be a friend, spouse, parent and human being once the show is over and not a robot.
How does a competitor combat this? Write down your off season physique goals. Plan on how much you would like to improve the following year or season. Make sure every minute in the gym counts, get in and out. There most likely won't be the need to do extraordinary amounts of cardio, so sleep in. A competitor must love training not just love competing. Shows only come around every so often and if you just love to compete, the depression will be accentuated.