Intro (Post show: celebrations, blues and motivation)
It was the first time in my life when I achieved something that was my ‘creation’. It was first and idea in my head, and I drove myself, found the motivation, time and determination to accomplish it. No one told me to do it, moreover I would rather say more people told me not to do it… So the feeling after accomplishing something that big is difficult to describe, it’s like you are ‘on the other side’, where it’s less crowdy, somewhere you never thought you could be, in a place many people talk about but never do anything to get there. Suddenly more things seem to be achievable, because you think to yourself, ‘hey this was just in my imagination, and this is actually real now??’ The initial super buzz lasted about 2 weeks after the show.
I got invitation to UKBFF Championships that will take place in October 2016 in Nottingham. This is really big, but for a change instead of focusing on new challenge I took time to celebrate what I spent so many months working on. If you move on to the next thing, how would you ever be satisfied with what you do? I think you’ll end up just feeling that you need to prove something to someone all the time, instead of enjoying the moment, enjoying the feeling of just ‘being’.
I’m not talking about resting on your laurels, have week or two (or more if you want to) of celebration and at the same time start planning your next move. Workouts, diet, motivation, all these things to get you going on your next adventure.
So how did I celebrate? 😀 I met with friends, talked about my day and prep forever (sorry guys :P), we spent time inspiring one another, I took my trophy with me to cafes, gym, for a car ride, for my beach workouts. People were looking at me, some smiling, some congratulating, everyone was being positive back to me. I loved that, what you give out comes back to you. I also ate too many carbs, my favourite things that I was missing for all this time, cream eggs, fruit, chocolate pancakes, brownies, got sweet tooth definitely. I will tell you more about it in a story called ‘carb loading gone wrong’ … 😀
2. Post show blues
This was something I have not expected that would come. I know that some people may get these if they prepared for so long but didn’t get a place in the finals. However I still think place is one thing, and what you have achieved is what is more important. So the blues came because of 2 reasons. 1. My body that I worked so hard for, all that fat I burned started coming back, I missed my abs. Of course this was because of my carb overload but also because show body is not sustainable everyday, low body fat is not healthy especially for our hormones. Also too much sugar affects my mood for good at first, but then for bad later. Reason 2. I thought getting to where I got will make me feel happy. But with body starting to change to what I didn’t want it to change to I felt unhappy again.
The solution is just to understand that no thing will ever make you happy, whatever you do in life, don’t do it because you think this will make you happier.
Do it for because you want and like to do it. You have to be happy with what you have and who you are in the current moment. Even if everything goes wrong, remember things going right will not make it right, it’s all up to your attitude in any given moment. This is probably why people who win lottery find themselves not being happy again after the initial buzz wears out! If you think new car, new house, new job, new clothes, new girl etc will make you happy, you may be wrong, this is just an illusion many of us live in. The happiness is an inside job. Of course still go after these things if you want, but for different reasons, for example that you want challenge or just something interesting and different to do, to use your skills and so on. We are always happier when we do things that we enjoy doing, so if the process is not enjoyable, then you’re doing it wrong. OK, so how to get over the post show blues? –> Revisit your motivation.
If you thought the motivation will last forever, then… surprise! 😛 Why you originally started may no longer be your driving force, if it’s not be honest with yourself, it’s ok to say that you have no idea why you are doing it. But try to think of your original ‘why’ before you try to abandon it for good. Perhaps your ‘why’ doesn’t seem to light fire in your eyes anymore, but is it because it’s no longer valid? Is your dream really not what you expected or what you want?
Or perhaps what you did so far was so much harder than what you originally imagined it would be like?
That’s why you may feel a bit disheartened and not sure if you still want to pursue your dream. Sure you can change your dream and your ‘why’ to something new, but obstacles will always be there, on any path, easy or difficult. You may as well choose something that occupied your head for so many months or even years. And I strongly believe the original idea is no accident, how come I didn’t come up with a completely different dream, skiing champion, swimming, knitting, singing, writing music, working in a circus, designing sports cars, working for government, it could have been anything, but it happened to be body building and fitness related. And maybe I wasn’t happiest person when I had to say no to desserts and cocktails, or when I was stressing out that cutting is not going as I though it would, but I was the happiest during workouts, and I was at my best when I felt strength building up, when I saw my muscles growing and when I started noticing that everything around me changes for the better, and that what I did inspired others, and then this in turn inspired me to be the best.
Therefore you should think that if what you are doing is not working amazingly, it does not mean it won’t work, it just means it won’t work the way you are doing it. Just try again.
For example, in my experience, super strict diet, low carbs, low fat, zero alcohol took my soul away after a while, I was thinking ah I supposed to love all this, and I feel so bad and ill, what is going on, do I really want to live like that? Yep I could abandon the idea, but instead I kept researching and testing different options, and recently this got me to ketogenic way of eating, more on this in the future, but currently I’m not hungry anymore and can drink wine 😀
4. OK my beauties, so WHAT TO DO NEXT?
What did I do to get back on track? Back to basics:
- Why – reminded myself why I want to do it (‘it’ means just your goal, to me it’s continuing body building and preparing for the contest). This time 1 sentence was not enough, I wrote about 4 pages of reasons lol
- Realistic deadline – I did my first goal in 131 days. It was super tense and stressful, also adding to blues after the show and lack of motivation. I had 1 month break and now have similar time to the next show, however this time I understand muscles don’t grow overnight (you knew??) and I am realistic about what I can accomplish in that time. I also use Arnie’s tip – don’t be afraid to fail or you will never push yourself.
- Checkpoints – review my diet, work out plan, photos, motivation every 4 weeks, celebrate with something amazing to eat or to do or new gym outfit (Victoria’s Secret always works).
- Motivating events – go to World Power Show, Excel in London, July, and meet Frank Medrano 😀
- Relax – schedule time to relax, walk, listen to music, smile, spend time with family and friends
- Balance – to get it all done you need to go all in, but don’t forget about people that were always by your side, do you want to keep them? Then you better get them more involved or gaps will start to show. Be focused but less serious about it, in 100 years we all will probably be gone from here anyway, have your part in life/history, but think that we all came here just to enjoy and experience life, we will move on, maybe come back here or somewhere else later, so if you don’t get done something, then it’s not really that bad 😀
- Workout partner – go back to your coach Bartek, and go for a run with Marty, you need to have people with similar mind-set around you. Joining active group online helps too (active = everyone keeps posting there something all the time), for me this was Ket-ON group on Facebook, lots of people with similar mission, to burn fat, stay lean and healthy, fitness discussions, sharing healthy meal ideas, carb flu stories, a place where people meet the same obstacles as you, and everyone comes up with some kind of ideas to overcome them, this is motivating and awesome, ta da 🙂
- Help someone else – if you are even a bit of a fitness freak then your knowledge is super big, larger than majority’s of people. Share it, online or in person, perhaps there is someone who could use your help, it comes to you naturally so you think it does to others too, but this is not always the case. Helping is inspiring, it takes your mind off your problems because your focus switches to those who are in need. When you have a mental break from thinking about yourself it may turn out that your problems are not that significant (they’re usually not, and you don’t have to resolve them, all it takes it to switch focus onto something else).
- Listen to myself – everyone forced/forces their advices and views on me, I listen but that’s it, this time I also use my intuition more, so far what I noticed is that if it feels right then it is right. So it works other way round too, feels wrong? Don’t do it. When you start listening to yourself or your intuition/gut feeling then you feel more in centre, calm and relaxed, even if outside world seems to be going crazy. Don’t explain yourself to others, if they don’t get it straight away, guess what, they won’t get it.
- Listen to my body – some fitness chicks online were saying that but I always thought to myself, yeah ok but what does it really mean? Examples – pain in joints, nervous tics, lack of energy, craving certain food, this all makes sense now… Any pain or tiredness will often mean you didn’t give your body enough time/food to recover, of course you want fast results, but they will probably be even faster when you rest properly first. I once ate a lot of peanut butter and felt mega guilty after this, but I was on low fat diet for long time and my body knew better what to do, next day guess what I felt better 🙂 Sometimes I go to the shop and look at all the vegetables or meet and I ask myself what I want, and this seems to be working well as intuitively I pick up what my body needs. (ok why I know this, for example I had imbalance of some hormones and after reading what food is good to stimulate these hormones into working properly again it turned out that I was already choosing this food instinctively after the show). I don’t however try this trick on dessert and sweets aisle 😛
The end. Now go and kick some ass! 😀 Ciao, Alessandra xx
Ps. If you have any cool ideas about what else can be added to the motivation list let me know!