Prepping for a physique competition or photo shoot can be a really fun and rewarding experience. The process can be incredible and you can learn a lot about yourself, how your body works and can meet some great people along the way. But we really should have an honest look at ourselves, all things involved and the reasons for beginning before a Prep is started.
Getting show ready or reaching the level of leanness required for some shoots can require a lot of focus on the current condition of our bodies and definitely as the prep unfolds. If there is not a healthy level of comfort with the current condition of your body, getting show ready will not change that and may actually make matters worse, especially after the shows/shoots are done.
We need to know and remember that when the show is done there are all of the other issues that may need to be dealt with; returning to a healthy “normal” and our feelings/perceptions about ourselves and our appearance that may come along with that, dealing with decreased energy that can follow or issues surrounding food that can sometimes follow intense preps (even more so if there are already issues there beforehand).
For most people, being in competition/lean-shoot shape is not a healthy or realistic look to have and most have to work very hard to get there. For most, our bodies do not “want” to be in that sort of shape (and definitely not for an extended period of time). Because of this, the training and nutrition may need to be pretty intense, there may need to be sacrifice (time, energy, perhaps other goals may need to take a back seat for the duration of the prep,etc.) and it’s important to look at everything involved and everything that may be affected before deciding if this is really the right choice.
Take all things into consideration; health, personal and career goals, finances, your current relationship with your body and food, how much time/energy you may have to dedicate/are willing to sacrifice, etc.
Maybe, after considering all things of importance, reaching a show or shoot level of leanness does seem like a great idea. If so, great. Maybe it does not. Either choice is okay.
This is not meant to be discouraging. Shows and shoots really can be incredible experiences and a lot of personal gains can be made. But they will only be rewarding and meaningful experiences if they are the right choices for us. They are definitely not for everyone and do not have to be.
Just really think about things. The shows, shoots and other fun things will be there when you are ready for them, if and when you decide it is the right time and the right choice for you.