Issue #9


by Juan Carlos Lopez

2005 Canadian Nationals Women's Bodybuilding Photos Results

2005 Canadian Nationals Women's Bodybuilding Review

2005 Europa Super Show Photos and Results

2005 Europa Super Show Review

2005 Copa Internacional Guadalajara Photos and Results

2005 Copa Internacional Guadalajara Review

20 Questions with our Cover Model: Mindi O'Brien

Video Interview with our Cover Model: Mindi O'Brien

Post Contest Blues
by Traci Redding

Video Interview: Nita Marquez Wilson NPC Fitness

Is it a Goal or A Dream?
by Sarah and Geff Malone

An Interview with Trina Gillis

Pre Exhaust Bicep Workout
Linda Cusmano

Video Interview: Jenny Guenther IFBB Figure Pro

Women Training Routine Part 1: Leg Training
by Rossella Pruneti

Video Interview: Katie Szep IFBB Fitness Pro

Beyond the Mirror
by Rossella Pruneti

Mindi O'Brien, Lucie Bergeron, Susie Oatmeyer, Alexis Ellis, Tonia Williams

Video Interview: Alia Anor NPC Figure

Diet Depleting and Diapers
by Christine Wan


Post Contest Blues by Traci Redding

We all go through it. It is part of competing, yet every time we say we are not going to do it, we inevitably do. What is it? It’s the problem of rebounding and gaining weight. Many of us experience this problem.

I personally wanted to write this article because I feel there is a great need for it! I have talked with many women who compete and after spending time researching and interviewing these women they all had one thing in common. After a show, most of us experience instant weight gain and depression or what I like to call "post contest blues"!

Obviously it is impossible to stay in Contest shape year round, yet we are so miserable when we can’t stay in that shape. It is unrealistic to walk around at 4-6% body fat and dehydrated. Unfortunately unless a competitor looks like she does in those contest photos she feels fat!

I am going to tell you a story about a competitor and I want you to see if you can relate....

It is time to get on that stage and show the judges what she has been doing all year. Her tank is completely empty, hardly any body fat and no water, she is exhausted and depleted! She gets on stage and she shows the judges what she has been working on all year! All the preparation, dieting and posing practices have gotten her to the point she is and it is all up to the judges, her work is done! She is in the best condition ever and she feels ready!

It is Saturday night and all the judging is over and the results are in!! She doesn't place top 5, but makes the top ten so that makes her happy!! It is now time to celebrate and relax. She choices her food wisely knowing that it can be dangerous to eat and drink too much, as she has experienced this before! So after eating and drinking she climbs into bed feeling exhausted, elated and completely full!!! The next morning comes and she is distracted by photo shoots and plans of returning home, she feels great and her body looks even better than the night before.

It is time to return home and back to work! As she gets back into the groove of her life and how she is on a day-to-day basis she realizes that her shows are over for the year and she is not so sure how to handle it! After 1-2 days she has already gained back anywhere from 6-8 pounds, which is of course mostly water, but still 6-8 pounds is 6-8pounds! As she reflects on her placing and the results of her season she feels sad and depressed wondering if this sport is really for her. After attending happy hour and dinner with friends pretty much every night since she has-been back and don't forget the sweets that everyone feels she should eat, since she has been "depriving" herself for 6 months she feels utterly disgusted and miserable!!!

So after 1-2 weeks of this she steps on the scale and looks down and OH MY GOSH! She has gained 20 pounds!! She then starts crying and stating how fat she is and she cannot believe that she did this to herself, why did she do this, she said over and over how she was not going to do this, yet she did! So now not only is she feeling fat and ugly, she is depressed and just wishes she could be normal and not feel this way! The truth is she is not normal, she never was normal and she will never be "normal"! Normal people are not 6% Body Fat, normal people don't train and diet like Bodybuilding/Figure/Fitness competitors!! So even though at this point she is about 12-13% body fat and still way above the average person, she feels fat! None of her clothes are fitting her and she hates the thought of even looking in the mirror or going anywhere, especially to a Show where everyone knows her. She knows the first thing they are going to think and say is "Man, she got fat!", anywhere else people would be going on and on about how fit she is. This is indeed one very tough industry.

So about 4-6 weeks goes by and she starts feeling somewhat back to normal and not sooooooo swollen and miserable. She decides that it is time to stop obsessing about her weight and start focusing on making changes for the better on her physique and putting a better package on the stage. Her hormones are starting to return to normal and now she is thinking rational thoughts and making plans for her future in competing!

Not every competitor feels this way, this is an extreme case, but I truly believe that most competitors go through what I call "post contest blues". All of the above emotions are valid and understandable, although it is extremely important to realize how you are feeling you should try to find someone around you that understands what you are going through and can support you.

It is unrealistic to walk around all year in contest shape. It is to taxing on one's body and very unhealthy! I believe the key, is to set realistic goals that are attainable year round. I think that it is best to stay about 10-12 pounds away from contest weight. It is critical to find balance in the off-season and not get too far away from contest condition. Remember, most of your work is done in the off-season, that is when you are making the changes, that is when you are sculpting and shaping your physique. Once you start dieting not many changes in your muscles will be made, due to the calorie deficit and extensive cardio training that we typically have to endure.

So, all in all I just wanted to convey how important it is to create stability in your diet and training and not go to the extreme. Also, I think it is important to learn to appreciate a fuller physique and understand that you are not fat. It is a very tough industry and it is very exhausting to constantly be in the spotlight. You feel as if you are under the microscope and that everyone is watching you and judging every move you make regarding eating and training.

Like I have said before, you are not normal and you should be thankful for that! Embrace who you are and work on being happy with yourself and how you look year round.

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About the Author...

Traci Redding lives in Texas and in 2005 competed at Jr. Nationals, USA's and Team U Figure Nationals. Traci is one of those competitors that everyone knows she has a pro physique and hasn't yet been recognized by the judging panel as one. Traci will be competing again in 2006 and will bring the lean and hard physique we all enjoyed at Jr. Nationals.

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