Post Show: "Sneaky snacking" and shame

Post Show: "Sneaky snacking" and shame

After my second show, I enjoyed a delicious meal of pizza and salad. When I traveled back home on Sunday, I ate left over prep in the car and a poke bowl within my macros for dinner.

My coach kept my macros the same for the first week. I planned to show again in June so my “reverse” is only a partial.

I was used to my macros after 3 weeks of the lower carbs so I was able to follow them for meals however I developed “sneaky snack syndrome” (trademark pending, jk jk). I finally had candy and it set me off into major sugar cravings. I ate M&Ms at a movie and they were so incredibly good. I finally had a doughnut and ice cream. I felt out of control but couldn’t stop sneaky snacking.

During the first two weeks, I would eat within my macros but then snack on things I was embarrassed to log. I share this because it’s important to acknowledge that one cannot eat perfectly all of the time and shame was encouraging me to hide my mistakes from myself (no one even looks at my log but me). I only report weight and macros to my nutrition coach. Shame and omittance are unhealthy habits.

Everyday I would weigh myself expecting to be “up” but I wasn’t. I remained within 2 lbs of stage weight for the first 3 weeks despite my imperfections. I wanted it to go up so I would “snap out it.” If the scale caught me, I would be “good again.” I could pretend like it never happened and no one would have to know.

1 Month Weight fluctuation (MyFitnessPal)
2 month Overview (MyFitnessPal)

I finally got my fix and stopped pining for sugar. I stopped sneaky snacking and went back to logging everything. Was it wrong? By my standards, no. Why? Because if I am going to do this long-term I cannot develop shame eating certain foods. Most retired competitors that I have spoken to admit that they had “food issues and or body image issues.” I refuse to get into the best shape of my life and end up with an eating disorder or negative feelings associated to my body or food. I fully recognize that this is an uphill battle and that an unintended consequence of competing could very well be a negative relationship with food. This is exactly is why it is critical to be open about these triggers. I will speak openly about my experience and my emotions as all of the above are realities of the sport.

I was bulimic for a good portion of my 20’s. I got it under control but thoughts were always in the background. I did work on intuitive eating in my 30’s but also used it as an excuse. “My body wants a cheeseburger for some reason so I should have one.” This is how I crept up to almost 170 lbs. I was just doing what my body “wanted.” When I started this journey last July, I tried to make myself purge one time after years of not relapsing. It was in this moment that I told myself I would not be able to pursue competing if this is how I planned to achieve my goals. I swore to myself that I would never do it again. I did doubt if I was mentally strong enough but thankfully that was the only time in the process. I kept my word.

I genuinely believe that there is no sense in feeling guilty or shame associated to the food I eat. If I eat pizza or something sweet, I want to enjoy it and get back to work tomorrow. I refuse to punish myself after being so consistent for almost a year. Food is fuel but it is also part of culture, how we celebrate and something to be enjoyed. I sacrificed a lot to achieve what I have. I know that to make it to the next level, it will require even more sacrifice and discipline. My promise to myself is that I’ll do my best at each stage and continue to push myself.


  • Practice grace and compassion
  • Say no to sneaky snacking: log everything you eat but enjoy it. It's okay if you exceed your macros at times.
  • Acknowledge any triggers and be able to speak about them with your coach or support system (or start a blog to confess them to the world)

Up next: Rest Days (your body will thank you)


Bicep Blonde

2 weeks Post-Show

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