Choose a life. Choose a bodybuilding show. Choose chicken, rice, and broccoli. Choose a coach. Choose a category. Choose a calorie deficit. Choose fasted cardio, LISS cardio, HIIT cardio…any fucking cardio that is gonna widen that damn deficit. Choose posing and prancing around a gym in your pants on a Sunday morning. Choose scrolling through Instagram watching semi-nude, essentially pornographic images of fitter, sexier, younger, more beautiful, spirit-crushing bodies, whilst pinching the loose skin where your belly fat used to be. Choose to rot away at the end of it all, years of blood, sweat, and tears inevitably turning into that which you affectionately call, with real embarrassment, your dad bod, or your mum tum. Choose your future. Choose life… But why would I want to do a thing like that?
Let’s face it, we are without exception, ADDICTS. Whether we are addicted to working out, feeling lean, performing on stage, looking in the mirror, posting selfies on social media…these (dare I say negative) behaviors are all part of the same package. Our ‘package’ being the final offering of ourselves on show day.
There is no wonder that so many competitors struggle with body image, mental health, post-stage blues, relationships. When you are addicted to something, the addiction is your primary/sole focus. I’m sure you will have heard the saying, “If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it!” This comes at a price. Make sure the price is not too steep. I do not have the answer here but from my experience, surrounding yourself with down to earth people, keeping perspective and remembering that everything is temporary (including the elation from winning a trophy or likes on social media) should stop you from living the life of the crack head you become during peak week.
On the other hand, the strength of your ‘addiction’ to the game is what makes you a WINNER. Elite players of any sport are fundamentally loony; they are prepared to push harder, go further and cross mental, social, and moral barriers to reach their desired goal. So, if you want to the best, it is most likely that you will have to sacrifice the rest. But please remember, at some point, the dad bod or the mum tum will come. So, will you be happy with the life you chose?
Author – Gemma Ayers