This weekend we had the trainers’ photo shoot here in London.
I must say it’s very inspiring to be in a room full of people that have worked towards the same goals and that share passion for the same things.
During this prep, again, I learned some great things that I will put into my toolbox when I need to bring it out for myself or my clients in the future.
But I must say, even though I did not diet as hard or as long as my previous prep, I am happy it is over. I have spent 20 weeks in total dieting this year, which may or may not sound like much, but it has definitely not been easy.
So I am looking forward to re-establishing some balance and maybe not seeing food as the centre of my world, that would collapse if I didn’t plan my intake for the next couple of days in advance.
Most people that have gone through it know that post prep is a difficult time, and for myself maybe even harder than the actual prep.
This will of course also depend on the duration of the prep, how hard you pushed your diet and, of course, your ability to stay sane throughout the whole time.
So what happens when you’re done?
All of a sudden, that rock solid focus on a deadline is no longer there. You’ve had a constant reason to train hard, even though you’d rather go easy on yourself or not train at all.
A reason for saying ‘no’ to going out for a meal with friends, because you know it will slow down progress. You spend all this time learning how to best optimise your food intake so that you won’t walk around feeling hungry all the time.
To truly get a transformation out of yourself, you have to get a little bit obsessed.
So the things mentioned above become the centre of your day – they’re so important that you make sacrifices and plan everything else around it.
You might become very isolated and maybe even lonely, because most people just don’t understand the lengths you go to get super lean.
After my last prep, I woke up three days after my shoot feeling slightly lost and scared. You’d think that once you are done with the prep, you are happy to ‘go back to normal’ and ‘get on with it’.
But what is ‘normal’ changed somewhere along the way, and the mind starts playing games with what is okay or not okay. You have reached the end of the tunnel, and you are scared to step back into the light.
And then, of course, being scared of getting ‘fat’ is a horrible feeling when you have spent so many weeks focusing on shredding down.
Set new goals
The thing is, being extremely lean is not sustainable in the long-term, and it is not healthy. It is cool to diet down for a competition or a few photo shoots, but it is important to get back to a healthy baseline once you have reached your goals.
This doesn’t mean bingeing on everything bad you fancy or tripling your calorie intake from day one and watch your weight explode up, even though emotionally this is all you want.
So technically, if you want to do it right… you are still on a diet, only this time in reverse. Only now you don’t have that end goal to focus on.
So again, what do you do?
I think the most important thing to do post-prep is to set new goals to focus on, surround yourself with positivity, try your very best not to beat yourself up for feeling a bit lost and most importantly – be fucking proud of your achievements.