Tosca Reno


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

POST CONTEST - What Now? Post Competition Blues

Post-show celebrations with my kids - Kelsey-Lynn, Kiersten & Rachel,
Eat-Clean Diet Ambassador Maryska, Coach Rita, and
Clean Eating magazine resident chef & Eat-Clean Diet Ambassador Chef Jo Lusted

From Me:
Assuming all is normal in my life you would think that post contest week would be easy breezy Covergirl fun.  Not so much.  I am still having fun but things are not simple yet.  On Monday I had a teeny weeny photo shoot with Paul Buceta so we could capture the post-contest body.  Thank goodness!  It may disappear faster than I can write this email.  Hopefully not though because I am going to take this body to New York City, where I am now, and later this week to LA with the purpose of keeping myself tight for interviews and appearances to help promote this amazing lifestyle I love so much. Eating Clean has been very very good to me!

Many competitors struggle with post contest crash. For weeks and months life has been highly structured with nutrition and training, and then you fall into this abyss of not knowing what to do after your contest.  You have to find some way of making sense of it.  I have experienced it every time I have competed.  The pros will tell you it is normal, but you still need to figure it out.  Basically, this means I have to make some adjustments to my pre-contest training and eating.  I know Coach Rita will address the specifics of this, but I will tell you the personal side of it.

Since I have to stay tight I am still eating loads of egg whites, raw vegetables, asparagus and healthy fats. One change I have made though is to increase my consumption of raw juices. I pulled fresh parsley, celery, watercress and Swiss chard from my garden and ran it up the hill to my kitchen so I could press the juice out of it and load myself with alkalinizing nutrients in the way only greens can.  You see when you are on a high-protein diet the danger is that the body becomes overly acidic and that is where disease thrives. I have already had a horrible cancer experience this year losing Robert so I paid strict attention the instructions his cancer doctors at Medicor gave us, "Get that body down to alkaline fast!"  You can test your pH using pH strips and do it once a week to monitor your levels.  The body has its own ability to balance pH but sometimes extra help from greens can be helpful.

I also want to feel good in my skin regardless of what this "old jalopy" (my mother calls her body the Old Jalopy so I am borrowing her words) looks like.  Eventually I won't be in contest shape anymore and I should still be alright with that, shouldn't I?

The point is, I will strive to keep things tight during this not-so-normal post-contest week.  Then Rita and I will address the big "NOW WHAT?" question.

Thank you for your stunning support throughout this wild adventure.

Stay tuned.  There will always be more!

From Coach Rita:
Years ago, the first time I competed in a show, itwas the month of May. I remember thinking how great it would be after the fact. I would have a bikini body for the summer, and would finally be able to indulge in the summer wonders of patios and beer, beach and ice cream.  Was I ever living in a fantasy world.

Post-competition is like the post-partum of child bearing. Everyone prepares you for the BIG day, giving you advice, attending classes, mentally preparing yourself.  But no one tells you of the afterbirth, the distress of breastfeeding or the “ring of fire.” These are things you get to experience all by yourself, with no prior warning.  The same thing happened to me post-first show.  No one warned me that I couldn’t just go back the next day to eating bread, dairy, fruit and other indulgences without digestive distress.  No one warned me about the post-show bloat that happens after you manipulate your water. I went from feeling like a Victoria’s Secret Model to the Pillsbury Dough Boy in 24 hours flat.  Did I mention bikinis and patios? Yeah right. The pressure of wanting to maintain a “show-like” physique that I placed upon myself was not only unhealthy physically, but mentally as well. Aside from the physical torture, after working towards a goal for so long (I trained 5 long and hard months for my first show), I felt “lost” post show. Now what? It’s a question most competitors ask, and Tosca is no exception.

Because I experienced this myself, I learned from each show how to make these somewhat avoidable situations, better.   I learned how to slowly introduce foods post show with the same respect and patience in which I removed them.  I made sure I increased my water consumption higher than normal for the next week to avoid a lot of the post-show bloat.  I also did a lot of self-reflection, and came to terms with the fact that I can still have a fit and healthy body, without looking and feeling as I do on stage. Thanks to my own personal struggles and solutions for change after competing in 11 shows, I am able to warn my clients and Tosca about these not-so-fun experiences.

There is room however for a couple of post-show indulgences… and by that I don’t mean… a tub of ice cream, an entire Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, a bag of Reese's Pieces, All Sorts Licorice… oh sorry, time lapse.  It does mean one meal of your choice that you crave.  After Tosca’s choice cheat of Carrot Cake (which was Vegan), we proceeded to a restaurant where her meal of choice was a salad - yes. But is was a beautiful green, fresh salad with a little goat cheese, nuts, and dried fruit.  I am not writing this so you can judge what Tosca did or didn’t eat (or so that you feel bad for me and my first post-show indulgence).  It’s so you understand what should be done post show. Tosca knows all too well how hard she had to work to get her body to the state it is.  She understands that each bite in the wrong direction will deter her from her ultimate goals.  So why self-sabotage? She enjoyed her cake and ate it too.  I loved watching her savour her salad and sip on her champagne.  She had the post-competition glow - the one of a champion.  A woman surrounded by her family. She took joy in having her loved ones around, in toasting Bob and feeling amazing, it wasn’t about her cheat meal or anything else at that moment. It was about her personal achievement and accomplishment and her tribute to Bob.

And yes, the fact that SHE WON!

Now, with meetings and opportunities looming, Tosca needs to keep it tight and I have no doubt that she will. We will have her stick with lean protein, loads of vegetables and healthy fat.  We will slowly introduce fruit again, a bit of dairy and the odd grain if she chooses. Training will scale back to 4-5 days of resistance training, which we will discuss when she returns from L.A.  I think red wine and the odd sweet in moderation at this point will help Tosca to balance out her life.  She has earned it. I look forward to the next chapter and am walking in with the same fearless energy as I walked into the first.

Keep your goals in mind and remember that the journey is more important than the final destination- although….WE WON!

Proud coach of a champion,


  1. Great post, and there is no doubt that you will remain "tight".

  2. Yes Tosca you are beautiful, tight & inspiring with or without your "competition" bod. I loved following your journey these last few months as it reinforced the fact that with hard work and believing in yourself you can achieve anything. Though for me, I relate to you best when you are eating clean, veggies and fruits, splurging on a little wine here and there and learning from your beautiful, positive, compassionate spirit. Hang in there, we are all rooting for you!!

  3. Appreciate the honesty of your posts. I am sure it is tough adjusting to life again after having such a rigid routine. It wouldn't be realistic or healthy to keep a competition body long term.

    So enjoy those little indulgences and take time to take care of yourself.

  4. I am with LizB on her comments about you Tosca you look amazing. So happy for you.
    Great posts.It is so wonderful to hear the truth about it all. Thank you for sharing. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

  5. What a terrif message, Tosca and Rita! Thank you for sharing, as always. And again, can I just tell the both of you how amazing you are? I am so proud of you both. <3

  6. Tosca,
    You are an inspiration to me. If I have done the math correctly we are the same age. I have lost 60lbs and have a few more to go. I have a goal to run the Warrior Dash in Portland, OR. I would love to hear from you the 'dirty details' of your workouts. I feel like things hurt on my body that didn't used to. My knees ache, getting up off of the floor isn't as easy as it used to be. (I'm a preschool teacher) etc. Please tell me that it gets easier-or it doesn't. That you had aches and pains but got through it!

    1. I agree it would be interesting to know more of the details. Same age group as well, and things are more challenging to do.

  7. Tosca, please write a book on your journey to winning and/or or a biography! This would be so inspirational for myself and others to read! Just a thought!


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