The dirty truth of bodybuilding – eating after competing

Firstly sorry for the hiatus…

There’s a reason why I’ve been quiet and it’s something I’ve massively debated airing to public view. It’s taken some guts to put this down in writing but it’s something that’s so hidden from view and I feel far too many people suffer after competing

So as you know by now I competed for the first time 4 weeks ago. Amazing day, I absolutely loved every second of it! I placed 7th which I’m so proud of because the line up was tough and I was defiantly the smallest girl on stage.

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However something happened to me almost instantly when I stepped off stage and I haven’t been right since.
From the very second my class was done a switch flicked in my brain and all i thought about was food. Despite setting myself a post comp plan my brain over rode everything the minute I was back stage I was eating a packet of crisps and then proceeded to walk through the audience to my family munching creme eggs. That night I ate like food was going out of fashion, I ate until I felt sick. Then I was sick…I purged and deliberately made myself sick. And continued to eat to repeated again.

This cycle carried on for the next 2.5 weeks, binging and purging, binging and purging. Eating to the point of sickness and then shoving my fingers down my throat. Within 2 weeks I had gained 8kg and I hated myself. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror, I couldn’t stop thinking about food and then beating myself up over how I looked. I was in such a vicious little cycle and was punishing myself so much for what I was doing but I couldn’t seem to stop.

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I was also punishing myself with my workouts, trying to push through my fasted 4.45am cardio then weights in the afternoon and often a third HIIT session too. My body was so tired and so weak but I just wanted to keep pushing and pushing. To try and over compensate for the amount of bad food i was binging on.

It wasn’t until I went to a bbq for my dads birthday where I found myself with my head down the toilet, crying to myself after eating until I felt sick yet again that I realised I had to stop this. I hadn’t yet told anyone what I was doing and I knew the only way to gain control was to stop being alone in my head. I came clean to my husband that night, explained why I was tired and so shut off, that I hated myself and most importantly that I had been making myself sick. As always his support was astounding and we both decided that together we would make it stop.

May 5th was my final night of binging and purging. The very next day I put every ounce of effort into just sorting my head out. Not focusing on that competition body but on just being healthy. 15 days later and every single day has been a battle. I’m technically learning how to be normal again, teaching myself how to eat. I feel I am not yet stable but I am better then I was 2 weeks ago.

I suppose the biggest question is why did this happen? I’m naturally quite a controlling person, and I have obsessive tendencies. In 19 weeks I shed 20kg…so nearly half my body weight and I wasn’t ‘fat’ to begin with. In order to go through prep you not only have to be dedicated but also obsessive. Everything you do, everything that goes into your mouth is calculated and for a reason. When I left prep my mind was in two halves, I wanted to maintain what I had achieved but I also wanted to be free. This left me without any balance and I truly lost control. I went from having a structured life to nothing and no end goal. My brain clearly couldn’t handle this and so I done more then rebound, I fell into the traps of an eating disorder. If truth be known I’ve had some kind of eating disorder for the last 6 months…mainly thanks to prep.

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It’s really strange how I went from being healthy and normal, enjoying my food and training to confused as to what was good and what was bad for me. I’m still really having to learn, it’s taken me a good few weeks to try and even strike a balance. I’m still not 100% there with it but I’m controlling my own brain much better then I was.

Truthfully it pisses me off that this is such a hidden subject within the fitness industry. Absolutely no one warns you what it’s like coming off prep, the eating disorders that develop are hidden and it’s so wrong because it’s nothing to be ashamed about. When you’ve put your body through that much stress then resuming some kind of normality is a massive shock to the system because prep almost becomes normal to you. This really is something that should be spoken about openly so people don’t have to go through it.

Ultimately I want to compete again next year, I do consider myself to be in off season. My mind is really torn however as I hate my current condition but I know my state of mind is much more important, I want to grow but then I also want to lean. I had a taste of that lean body that I worked so hard to see but it wasn’t in a maintainable way and I honestly don’t know how to find something maintainable. This is all something I will work out, I have a massive amount of support behind me. I just need to find what it is I really want and gain some focus and clarity. This is my current condition as of today…and I’m really not happy with it, it’s not what I anticipated 4 weeks post comp.

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The fitness industry is vicious, it’s brutal and it will break you if you let it. It’s also full of hidden secrets and bulimia is a particularly large one of these. Be prepared, be aware and make sure you continue lapping up that support!!
G xx

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