The Rebound Effect and Excuses from Competitors Who Gave Up

by Matt Weik

I recently came across an article that talked about a bikini competitor who went from fab to flab. Her reasoning? Balance. I literally had both of my hands on the monitor and was about ready to heave my screen across my office until I realized I needed it to write this feature. This girls reasoning has nothing to do with “balance” and everything to do with someone who simply doesn’t have the willpower to put the fork down and choose healthy, nutritious foods, over junk. “Balance” doesn’t simply give you the excuse to eat whatever you want, whenever you want. She’s a quitter—plain and simple.

When you quit, you come up with excuses

In her Instagram post showing what she looked like competing and what she looks like now, she talks about how she went from someone who trained in the gym, focused on her nutrition and how many think her new body is a sign that she “let herself go.” Umm, yea. It is. I don’t care what anyone says. You can be happy with your body and your image and everything else, but deep down you know what you are doing to your body isn’t healthy. You know this. So, don’t give me all this BS about “balance” and that life isn’t about the way you look. How about, life is about living a healthy lifestyle and giving your body the nutrients it needs to function optimally? That sugar and carb-filled diet you’re on, that’s not “balance,” that’s called lazy.

As you keep reading in her Instagram post, she talks about rafting with friends and eating foods she would have never touched when she was competing. She said and I quote, “Your body is quite LITERALLY the only thing that gets you through this life, your worth and joy isn’t weighed by what you can lift or what the scale says.” Wow, touching. But what she is really saying is that she enjoys to eat whatever she wants without consequence and hides her poor nutritional habits around the excuse of not caring about your weight and what the scale says—as if she’s immune to disease and illness.

This isn’t about her “body.” She likes to come up with excuses as to justify her lack of commitment. Your body IS what gets you through life. And because so, you need to make sure you are giving it the proper nutrients it needs to properly function. I’m willing to bet when she said she “enjoyed food the old me would have drooled over,” isn’t exactly a healthy option.

Let’s cut the nonsense and quit fooling ourselves. Look around you. No, seriously, look around you. Count how many overweight people are around you. I’m not trying to be a jerk or trying to shame anyone, but American’s these days are lazy and complacent. It has nothing to do with “we don’t know any better.” That’s baloney. There are so many tools and information around us that it could make your head spin from information overload. It’s about accountability—something most American’s don’t want to take for themselves. They would rather blame on it a million other reasons why they are overweight.

We have a real problem on our hands

We look our obesity epidemic in the face ever day. Some of us see it every day when we look in the mirror. Whose fault is that? Ours. How did we get this way? Because we allowed it. Slowly we started accepting people regardless of their weight—which I completely understand and appreciate. Yet, we watch individuals become ticking time bombs due to their sedentary lifestyle and the junk they put in their mouths. We like putting blame elsewhere because it’s easier than putting the blame on ourselves. No one wants to talk about anyone being overweight these days because it comes back as them being discriminatory and body-shaming.

Some will say I’m a jerk for writing this. Others will see the cold hard truth punch them in the mouth and will make a change. Whichever way you take it is on you. I, for one, am sick and tired of watching people deteriorate and waste away because of the poor choices they are making in their lives and blaming it on “balance.” People are getting sick every day. Cancer, disease, illness, you name it. All because they aren’t moving enough and they aren’t taking their nutrition seriously.

Getting 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week is so simple that it blows my mind how people don’t meet the requirements for health benefits. You don’t even need to do the full 30 minutes each day all at once. In the example above with the girl, she talks about her body literally being the thing that gets you through life. Know what changes that? Disease. Death. She’s right—you only have one body to get you through this life. So, how are you going to treat your body? Do you want to live life to the fullest and do and see everything you’ve always wanted, or do you want to be underground and miss out on everything? Do you want to live a healthy life full of longevity and have a good quality of life until you’re in your 90’s with tons of amazing experiences or do you want to become sick and die at 40? The choice is ultimately yours. I can’t make that decision for you. Only you know what you’re willing to do and what your overall health means to you. Maybe you want to get sick? Maybe you want to put that burden on your family? Who knows?

I write articles every single day and have them published. It’s not because I have nothing better to do with my time. Trust me, there’s a lot more I could do to fill my day without the need to be writing articles. But, I write them to help people. To help people understand that exercise and proper nutrition are not difficult. It simply takes committing to making the change, making it a priority, and then ultimately your follow through on if you stick with it or not. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym every day. You don’t even have to give up pizza and ice cream. It’s about making choices.

Competitors are a rare breed

If you are a competitor, you know all too well about the rebound effect of competing. You deplete yourself to get on stage in order to look a certain way, just to rebound post contest and blur all of the definition you had on stage. You’re a rare breed. Not many people will go to the extremes that competitors do, and that’s more than ok. In fact, for most people I wouldn’t even recommend ever thinking about competing—it’s a whole new game when compared to simply getting in shape and living a healthy lifestyle. It’s a completely different level of dedication.

But, for many competitors the rebound can mentally mess with them. I believe that might be the case of the girl mentioned above. Looking at her physique and lines, one can tell that she struggled to get into competition shape. Her body was clearly fighting her. So, I’m sure the experience for her was not a healthy one—both physically and mentally. It’s my belief that her experience caused her to shut down and not want to exercise or eat healthy. She took things to the extreme and it ruined the fun and journey associated with living a healthy lifestyle and she ended up going from one extreme to the other (where she gave up on exercise and eating nutritious foods all together).

When you compete, there’s a chance that you will get burned out and wind up hating the process. When you’re constantly counting calories, eating certain foods, training and doing cardio in order to drop to a single-digit body fat, you can easily end up hating your life at that point. The burn out is enough to potentially push people away where they want a break from it all, but never end up finding their way back to a healthy routine and end up in a downward spiral, unsure how to stop the freefall.

You aren’t alone

Some people are born with amazing genetics and can seemingly eat anything they want and never gain any weight. Then you have others who swear they look at food and gain weight. You aren’t alone in your journey. There are trainers and nutritionists out there who are willing to help you along the way and be by your side. There are websites out there and fitness experts who want to share information with you and help you reach your health and fitness goals. That’s the whole reason I started my business and I want to help people understand why they should be doing certain things. How easy it is to understand the various concepts associated with fitness and nutrition. Look, I get it—it’s not easy. If being in shape were easy our statistics would be flip-flopped right now. But unfortunately, we are tipping the scales with our weight rather than putting food on them and understanding what our bodies need.

What we all need to do, is stop with the excuses and take a look in the mirror. No one is telling you how to live your life. If you want to be a statistic, that’s on you. If you want to change your life for the better a live a long, healthy life, that’s your call. I just hope you sway toward the latter and get to experience everything life has to offer.