How do you keep going when you’ve just reached a goal? Whether you’ve just competed in a show, or just finished a diet plan, Stephanie Hammermeister – ISSA Pro Fitness Trainer and IFBB Pro Figure Olympian – can show you how to readjust your routine when there’s no goal in sight.
Here is the thing; just like anything in life, we have to continue to set goals for the things we want to accomplish. Just because we have finished a show prep or dropped the weight for that summer wedding, doesn’t mean we start smashing donuts each morning for breakfast. However, treats can be included in moderation with a healthy balanced diet and workout regimen but that still opens up a lot of questions. What food to eat, what not to eat? How to train? How much cardio is too much cardio? More importantly, what is life like without an end goal and how do you readjust to your new reality? The following information is set against the backdrop of a post-physique contest, but anyone can use it as a playbook to readjust their routines once their why has come and gone.
A New Mindset
This is the toughest, but most important. Begin to prepare your mind to accept the changes that you are going to be facing post-show, both physically and mentally. It is important to accept that your show-ready body is only maintainable for so long should you wish to enjoy a ‘balanced’ lifestyle. So what does a balanced lifestyle look like? While you still maintain a ‘prep’ like diet and workout regimen, you are allowing yourself a bit more freedom. It’s important to enjoy the sweeter things in life and not to feel guilty about them. Instead, use those treats around your lifts, so they go right to work. This will help with mindset when our crazy noggins want to make us feel guilty about it. Take the time to enjoy; you deserve it and get back to work.
About a month out from your actual show day or big event, write down 2-3 short-term goals. These should be attainable within weeks/months following your end game. Write out 1-2 long-term goals that you’d like to accomplish within the year. These can be anything life related and may have nothing to do with fitness. Set up a new goal to work towards so that your mindset switches from stage prep, to the next goal. This will keep your mindset grinding, just as you would during prep. Write down the steps you would have to take to accomplish each goal, both short and long-term. It’s very important to be descriptive and big on detail. This will help with your day-to-day priorities that are no longer driven towards an end result.
About two weeks out from your show date, ask your coach or prepare yourself a reverse diet and workout regimen to follow immediately following show day. This is one of the biggest struggles that many women face. It is important that your diet looks similar to prep-diet for the first couple of weeks following stage, with minimal food add-ins, to avoid an increased weight fluctuation. When this is not in place, the ‘misplaced’ mindset plays tricks on us. We find ourselves confused because our former habit has been revised but it’s far smarter to revise with it.
One week out from your show/end goal, find some time for reflection. Purchase yourself a little notebook and write about your journey, outlining both positives and negatives. Whether it’s your first prep/diet or umpteenth, there is always a thing or two you have learned about yourself along the way. Let’s be real; prep is a struggle and those struggles turned into triumph because you got yourself on that stage. Be honest with yourself when writing your reflections. This will allow you the opportunity to look back on these notes and work towards a better you for the next big adventure in your life.
In many people’s opinion, this is arguably the most important. Whether there were several or few that supported your journey to the stage, it is crucial that you acknowledge their efforts in surviving with you! You can use the same little notebook used for reflection: write down all the people that have supported your journey to the stage… your family, friends, sponsors, everyone.
Over a two-week period, post-stage, reach out to these people and let them know what their support has meant to you. Words or forms of action help! This will let them know that you appreciate everything they did for you. They’re your #1 fans right there!
Life is way too short not to live it! You may skip a meal, you may not make it to the gym, it’s okay. Always realize that time with friends and loved ones is simply something we can never get back, so be sure you’re finding time to be present in the moment. Embrace your body, your life, your friends and loved-ones and most of all, never forget how incredible your talents are.
EXPERT: Stephanie Hammermeister – ISSA Pro Fitness Trainer and IFBB Pro Figure Olympian features as our cover star for our Holiday 2018 edition of TRAIN for HER magazine.