Written by: Richard and April Stone
After your latest life-event (a wedding, welcoming a new baby, moving to a new city, a marathon, a vacation, or even the Saints & Sinners 5k, and regardless of the level of success with said event, you’re left with one common issue. ?What to do with the void that was previously filled preparing for that event? You have crossed the finish line, said ‘I do’, been there, done that and got the t-shirt (that you’re proudly wearing in your Facebook profile pic). Your bags are unpacked and you are suddenly left with a feeling of emptiness, an absence in both mind and body that was very recently cluttered by anxiety, dread, elation or surprise. The experience was grand, but all good things must come to an end. What do you do AFTER you have spent months prepping for a major life event? All of these events have affected your diet, workouts, and way of life, so how does one ‘maintain’ a healthy state of mind and body that ensures future success or simply allows you to move forward?
Please allow me to give you a brief background regarding my own experience before I delve into the advice. My husband and I had both competed and won our first competition in couples bodybuilding for the State of Texas. We trained for hours every day, prepped meals, cleaned dishes, and had zero time for anything other than preparing for competition day. Lucky for us, all that hard work equalled success in the form of a state title that we could utilize in strengthening our credibility as diet coaches for our family business, TKO Nutrition and Smoothies based in Austin, Texas. ?After the final traces of fake tan had been scrubbed away (a lofty task indeed), I felt lost. I still went to the gym, ate clean (most of the time) but had suddenly lost the drive, focus and competitive edge that I had begun to depend so heavily on in search of my goal. ?I realized that I had to make some conscious choices if I was to regain and maintain a sense of purpose and contentment.
Here?s a few pointers that I implemented in order to get me back on track with my meals, training…my sanity:
- State of Mind: ?I did something I had never tried before?yoga. It is the opposite of a competitive sport. I walked into the studio for the first day and I knew I was not the best. I would not compete to be the best. I would do MY best and enjoy the experience every time. I didn?t have to stress that I wasn?t doing a pose perfectly. Finally, my clothing, hair, make up, muscle fullness, definition, and size held absolutely no weight whatsoever.
- Diet: ?I still like to eat very clean and healthy foods but the food scale had to go! My husband and I continue to eat turkey, chicken, and fish followed with a seasonal vegetable and recommend the same for our clients. However, we have learned to enjoy a dinner out once a week and sometimes it isn?t very healthy (Thanks a lot Torchy?s!). ?It’s imperative to construct an ?After the Event? meal plan. This will allow you to stay on track, and not go off the deep end (it’s equivalent to not going to the grocery store when you’re hungry).
- ?Training: ?I was doing 4:30 am cardio. NEVER AGAIN! I aim for cardio on a regular basis but adjust to fit within the constraints of other boundaries of time, including work and ‘real life’. When life gets a little busy, I don?t stress. I simply bump it to later in the day. ?The same goes for weights. I don?t allow my blood pressure to rise just because I didn?t train my biceps on Friday. I just work it in a little more next week. After all, tomorrow is another day. I prefer to employ my obsessions on other aspects of my life that are more enjoyable.
In summary, complacency is a slippery slope. If you don’t articulate a plan for the vacuum left where a healthy dose of competition once stood, you will soon find yourself on the losing end of an unhealthy lifestyle. So in spite of where you finish in the race, carefully managing your exit strategy will ensure that you live to run, walk or crawl another day. After the ‘Saints & Sinners’ 5k, stop by any of our four locally owned TKO Nutrition stores, visit us at tkonutrition.com or ‘Like’ us on Facebook for help in developing your plan!