I'm a little over 3 weeks post my first figure competition, and I'm STILL bloated! I bulked and cut on a 17 week program guided by a Coach. I'm 4'9" and started at 106lbs and ~ 23% BF to 98lbs and ~ 15% BF once I hit the stage. I plateaued for most of prep at 104-102lbs, and I attribute my stage look to sodlium loading, fat burners, diuretics, and H2O cutting. Post show, I had a the cheat my coach told me to have: 1 glass red wine, beef burger on a bun, sweet potato fries. Also had a dozen chocolate covered strawberries.
The next day, salmon burger, a little fro yo with fruit, and sushi (one role had tempura). For the next week I "binged" on fruit and veggies. No cookies, no cake, nothing. I just hired an IIFYM coach to hep me reverse, and I'm on a 1500 kcal diet with ~160gC, 48gF, 118gP. My abs are gone, and a squishy layer of water won't go away! When I move my tummy around, I can see muscles, but I am worried that this bloat is actually fat. Anyone else have this experience? I have not had alcohol or oatmeal out of fear of bloating. I ate a little sweet potato, but that bloated me, so I'm back to high fiber "dry" carbs - ezekiel bread, fiber cereal etc and lots of veggies.
I feel like I am doing post comp life "correctly" but I am losing motivation and tempted to get back on a cut to make my abs come back. Help! Is this all in my head? -- BTW I have a triathlon in < 1 month, so I am struggling with cardio vs weights, and tend to do both at least 5-6x/week.