If you’re like me, you love lists and you overthink a lot. So here’s a few lists and questions you should most definitely be thinking about if you’ve been considering stepping on stage. Competing is no small feat, so you should be overthinking about it before committing to a prep.
The number one thing you need to ask yourself before making any decisions is WHY do you want to compete? What is your WHY?
If your reasoning behind wanting to compete are any of the following, competing may not be for you.
- You think it will make you more popular on social media or among the fitness industry
- You think it’s the natural “next step” in your fitness journey
- You think it’ll fix your relationship with your body or food
- You think it will make you money
- You think it’s a good place to show off that you lost a couple pounds
- You think it’s what everyone else is doing, so why not?
- You think because your boyfriend did a show, you should do one and he can coach you
- You think competing will be a good way to lose weight, or get healthy
Any of those sound like you, or someone you know? Reassess your situation and be realistic with yourself. Now, answer these questions below.
- Do you have an autoimmune disease of any kind? YES/NO
- Do you now, or have you ever had an eating disorder of any kind, or a bad relationship with food? (think of food as “good” or “bad”, sees certain foods as completely off limits, regret after eating certain foods, fear of carbs or higher calories, etc.). YES/NO
- Do you already have a high stress life? Serious anxiety and or depression? YES/NO
- Are you currently eating less than 1200 calories a day? YES/NO
- Do you need to lose more than 20lbs to be in a good spot to start a prep? YES/NO
- Are you looking for more balance in your life? YES/NO
- Are you uncomfortable in your body, or struggle with body acceptance? YES/NO
- Do you compare yourself to others frequently? YES/NO
- Do you attach your happiness, success, or worth to your body? YES/NO
- Do you struggle with consistency or adhering to a plan? YES/NO
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you are not ready to compete. This isn’t to say that you can NEVER compete, but I genuinely don’t think you should until all answers above are NO. Start looking at the questions you answered YES to, and begin working on solving the problem at hand, one at a time. You need to get your mind, body (physically and internally), and your finances all in line before taking this leap into the bodybuilding world. If you think jumping into a prep will help you lose weight, congrats! It will. BUT it’s not sustainable and you’re saturating the sport with this kind of thinking! Post show, you’ll either go back to where you were before, or you’ll end up with one of the above situations, which will leave you worse off than when you started. (Thank you AnneMarie for that last tidbit). It may be harsh, but its the truth. You’re saturating the competition if you aren’t in it for the right reasons, or taking this seriously. And if I’m continuing to be real with y’all, as I always am, it’s kind of insulting to veteran competitors when people just jump into a show when they’re nowhere near ready, or just because they wanted to compete for 1 of the 8 reasons I listed at the top. It’s not just something easy to do on the weekend, it’s an all or nothing type of commitment. I’m just going to say this one time, and then I’m going to move on to my next list: If you’re going to compete, don’t step on stage unless you can truly be competitive. Thank u, next.
Keep reading if you’ve made it this far without answering YES above (but honestly just keep reading anyways).
- Are you financially stable, and willing to spend as much as $2-4k on everything from groceries, coaching, and gym memberships, to your suit, entry fees, and travel? YES/NO. If you weren’t aware of how much competing costs, CLICK HERE to read the full break down.
- Do you have thick skin? (you’re going to need it) YES/NO
- Are you willing to sacrifice social events that could distract you or otherwise get in the way of your goal? YES/NO
- Are you able, and willing to work harder than you’ve ever worked before to get to the top without quitting or “cheating?” YES/NO
- Are you able, and willing to dedicate 2-3 hours a day, 7 days a week to focus on prep related tasks (training, cardio, meal prep, check ins, posing, grocery shopping, etc.) YES/NO
- Have you been consistently training for more than 1-2 years? YES/NO
- Do you love and accept your body at all stages (in season & off)? YES/NO
Now, if you answered NO to any of these questions, then you may need to take a step back, and make smaller goals to turn those NO’s into YES’s, because you are still not ready to compete.
In hindsight, yes, you may still compete regardless of your answers to these questions, but once you’ve done your show, then what? If that was the end goal for you; if just being able to say “I did it” was the whole point, then competing STILL ISNT FOR YOU! You’re just once again, watering down the sport, wasting your money, your time, AND the judges’ time at that. I understand that there are those who start out with all the right intentions, they compete, and then they decide it’s not what they expected it to be, or find out it’s not for them on their own. It happens. But before you can even get to that point, reevaluate and think about why you want to compete, and then think about it some more. Overthink like the amazing overthinker you are, and CHOOSE WISELY. Competing isn’t healthy. Everyone knows this. So don’t put yourself through all the madness if you’re not ready to give it absolutely everything you’ve got, make some sacrifices, and fuck shit up!