If you compete, you know the golden period. It’s the period right after your competition when you still look really good but you also feel really good. Because you’re not thinking about your next meal every second that passes after your last meal. Because you’re not sore from the last three work outs. Because you’re not dreading the cardio you still have left to do. Because you’re no longer jealous of any and every one because they get to eat any and every thing.
But this is the golden period. People feel free to approach you to tell you how good you look. You are their role model. They ask If you’re a trainer. They ask about your workout routine. And about what you eat. People in public think you look like this all the time and the people at the gym forget what you looked like just a few months back. They wouldn’t have dared to approach you just two weeks ago. Two weeks ago you looked hungry. You looked like you could bite. You looked like you could bite them. Hard. And draw blood. And smile while doing it. But now you are back to your sweet approachable self. And they want to know all your secrets.
The golden period is fabulous. You accept all those invitations to dinner that people promised you during prep – and sometimes they even pay. It doesn’t matter whether you won or it was your worse year yet. They toast you with wine and exotic drinks. Your friends are happy that you are happy. They are so happy that you are back to your pleasant carb-up self. They like being around you again. They ask if you want to taste their food – or share a desert – with no agenda. You don’t feel like they are trying to derail your diet. You realize they really just want to share.
The golden period is short-lived. At some point, you start looking like a normal person. (Well, a normal person with an inordinate amount of muscle, that is.) Your legs fill out. Your shoulders lose definition. The belly is not so flat. But you also get your shape back. Your sway back. Your natural curves. No more need for the padded bra because the “girls” are back. No longer looking like a boy in almost everything you wear because the hips are back. And your backside is – well - back. You bounce when you walk and it’s not a bad thing.
Some of us mourn the end of the golden period but it is inevitable. More importantly, the end is healthy. Being lean year-round is not good for the body. And it’s not good for growing muscles. Nothing can grow in a state of starvation. Muscles need to be fed which means you need to be fed.
So enjoy the golden period while it lasts. Taste the flavors and the colors. Enjoy the company and the laughs. Go ahead and revel in it. I know I will.