If you have been training hard and have a show picked out, you will be starting your “prep” about 12-16 weeks out from your show date. Perhaps you are sick of feeling fluffy and ready to get lean! I get that!! This is very very exciting. It’s mind blowing how quickly things just got real.
You are officially just weeks away from stepping on stage! OMG!
I want to share with you some things that helped me considerably in my preps. Let me explain how they were different.
My first show prep was adrenaline driven. The show was ALL I thought about. It was my everything. I had zero balance. I feel like this is common with a lot of competitors in their first show. It’s actually pretty awesome. It doesn’t mean it isn’t grueling, or you aren’t hungry. It’s just different.
Stepping on stage after that prep is a high I cannot begin to explain.
Subsequent preps I tried to do with more purpose. I worked hard in off season to bring up lagging parts, improve my physique each time. Prep was very different.
I, in fact have a love/hate relationship with prep. I think it’s incredibly grueling and requires much more focus and strategies than adrenaline.
Mistake number one
I’ve had coaches in the past tell me to go eat whatever I wanted right before prep because it’s the last meals I would get for 16 weeks. I hate starting like that. I’m immediately feeling deprived and my focus is on what I am going to miss out on, not what I’m gaining. I do not ever want to start prep, bloated, and mad at myself for a “sanctioned binge”.
Going straight from several dessert runs to turkey chicken and fish effected me negatively. It reminded me of all the “I’ll start my diet on Monday so I may as well eat everything I want” experience. This is NOT how I want to start an competitive training schedule.
How I focus
I choose to start my prep in a positive mental state..
1. Knowing I am capable to do what needs to be done. Fear has no place here!
2. Knowing my food will be colorful. I will eat things I like and that are fulfilling because I choose the right things to forward this process. My health is important to me!
3. Knowing that it’s going to be very hard sometimes but I will prevail. 🙂
4. Knowing that skipping the struggle isn’t an option.
5. Knowing that I’m going to feel weary, and want to quit but I won’t.
6. Visualizing myself being on stage with my best package.
7. Knowing that others will question me not support me, be rude, comment on my body/food or try to make me feel like it’s ok cheat on my plan. I will prevail because my goals are important.
8. Knowing that everything that tempts me, will be there after my show.
9. Knowing that this challenge is something that very few people actually complete and that I can do it.
10.Knowing there will be times when I doubt myself, feel I won’t be ready, feel I’m not going to do well . I will push past that with the mindset that I am bringing my best. Negative self talk is out of place.
11. Knowing that I can give 100 percent to this goal every single day. I will be disciplined when desire/motivation fails me.
Stop trying to skip the struggle:
So, in one of my preps, I realized that I’m pretty much, always wishing I could skip the struggle. It’s not an option. Did I embrace it and work through it? Sometimes. Sometimes I was just angry and questioned why I ever really wanted to compete. Once that light came on for me, I really found myself pulling it out at the end. This is typical Tracy fashion. Getting out of the comfort zone is like me jumping off a cliff willingly.
Sometimes I wish I was flying blind again like I was in my first show.However, I have learned a lot about myself. I find the challenge of prep the thing I most appreciate about doing this sport. My goal is always to bring a better package but now I also have a goal to perfect my prep each time. I grow an incredible amount during this process. It is worth it on the other side because I prevail on a real challenge I set for myself. When I step on stage, no one knows all of this, no one cares. It’s my journey.
I encourage you to take some time before you begin your prep and make peace with the next part of your journey. If it’s your first time, you can benefit from adrenaline prep and strategies!
I believe we can push ourselves far beyond what we think is possible. I wish you luck in your competition journey! xoxo