Former Natural Olympia Men’s Physique champ shares how to have a healthy relationship with food and your body post-competition.
It’s unrealistic to maintain bodybuilders’ body fat levels as they perform during a show. Gaining weight and body fat back after competition can take a toll on bodybuilders’ mental health, though. It’s easy for them to develop body dysmorphia when incorporating more foods and not being as shredded as when they walked across the stage. International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA)/Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) natural bodybuilder Joseph Ortiz shed light on many bodybuilding competitors’ struggle with food and their body image post-competition.
Joseph Ortiz was the Men’s Physique champion at the 2019 Natural Olympia. He knows that it’s easy to have an unhealthy body image in the sport of bodybuilding after competitions. And that competitors can be too hard on themselves for the extra fat they’ve gained from incorporating more foods.
In a social media post on December 22, 2021, Ortiz was vocal about bodybuilders’ struggle after shows. He voiced:
“A GOOD HANDFUL OF COMPETITORS STRUGGLE TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD AND THEIR PHYSIQUE AFTER THEIR COMPETITION IS OVER. ONCE THE BODY FAT % STARTS TO TRICKLE UP THEY BEGIN TO BEAT THEMSELVES UP, SOME CAN EVEN DEVELOP BODY DYSMORPHIA.”
Body Dysmorphia in Bodybuilding
Body dysmorphia is a mental illness when you have excessive shame over your body image. Even when you could be outstanding and healthy on the outside, someone with body dysmorphia only recognizes their flaws obsessively.
Many athletes suffer from bigorexia in bodybuilding, which is muscle dysmorphia – constantly thinking about building muscle. This is no surprise since to do well in bodybuilding shows, often, more muscle is better. However, bodybuilders can battle this mental illness with the right strategies.
Prevent Body Dysmorphia With a Healthy Relationship With Food and Body Fat Post-Competition
After bodybuilding shows, Joseph Ortiz suggests a few strategies for healthy relationships with food and body fat. Below is what Joseph Ortiz recommends.
- Prepare yourself before starting a cut that weight gain after shows is normal, healthy, and necessary.
- Have the proper plan in place for a reverse diet after your show so that weight gain is controlled and moderate.
- Know that if you go overboard with the weight gain, it can be lost and isn’t going to stick around forever if you don’t let it.
- It’s absolutely OK to seek professional help (therapist) if needed.
Joseph Ortiz states that it’s essential to recognize that weight gain is normal and healthy after the competition. He recommends you have a plan to gain weight in a controlled manner. He also says that weight gain can be lost. And there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you need professional help.
Below you can see Ortiz’s full Instagram post.