“Not Physically Possible to Stay Looking Like That”: 8 Years After Retirement, Ms. Olympia Champion Details “Post-Show Blues” That Led Her to Quit Bodybuilding

Published 04/19/2023, 9:45 AM EDT

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2013 Women’s Physique Olympia winner, Dana Linn Bailey is one of the most renowned female bodybuilders in the industry. She was the first women’s physique professional in the NPC and IFBB. Although Bailey built an incredible career, she decided to exit the bodybuilding arena in 2015. Recently in a video, Bailey opened up about the struggles she faced post-bodybuilding competitions that pushed her to retire. 

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On April 12, Dana Linn Bailey, on her official YouTube channel, uploaded a video titled “THE TRUTH ON MY “RETIREMENT”, where she talks about why she stopped competing and how she drives positivity by being away from the sport. 

“Post-show blues” overwhelmed Dana Linn Bailey 

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In the video, Bailey expressed that during her competition era, she was doing four to five shows that took a mental toll on her. She pointed out the post-show depression that hits bodybuilders. Bailey reveals that “what a lot of competitors don’t talk about, especially like after a show, is um the depression that kind of happens after a show. Some people will talk about like post-show blues and all that.” 

Bailey continues and says that throughout the competition, they are in their best shape. However, post-competition, they quickly put on weight as they switch to their regular eating cycles. Dana stated in the video, “I knew what I looked like on stage — it’s not physically possible to stay looking like that all year round.”  She explained how competition prep changed the way she thought, “However, the many, many years of dieting and getting in shape and the cardio and literally weighing every single ounce of your food […] it changes the way you think about food [and] it changes the way you think about training.”

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As a bodybuilder, she made her body go through intense conditioning. Hence, the competition results also impacted her. Dana explained her situation that after winning Olympia 2013, she had more expectations of her. But when she attained second place at the 2014 Olympia, the results shattered her completely. It made her consider retirement when she was at her peak. Although it took a mental toll on her, she eventually realized that what really mattered was her fitness. Hence, she concentrated on improving her strength while preparing for the 2015 Arnold Classic. In that competition, she came second, but it made her understand that she does not need to compete to dominate the fitness space. 

Hence, after retiring, Dana Linn Bailey continues to pursue fitness as her passion. She inspires many to start their fitness journey which in return makes her feel positive about herself.

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Besides Dana Linn Bailey, other female bodybuilders radiate positivity with their out-of-the-box fitness beliefs. 

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World’s tallest bodybuilder on body positivity

Dutch bodybuilder Maria Wattel is the world’s tallest bodybuilder with a staggering stature of 182.7 cm. Unlike other bodybuilders who talk about self-acceptance, Wattle has a different approach toward body positivity.

In February, Maria Wattel expressed her thoughts on body shaming through an Instagram post. While flaunting her impeccable physique in a video, she stated, “Every body is triggered and tripping out over labels and to be “accepted”, guess what if we all just focus on our own sh*t”. Wattel explained that it is for the best if we focus on ourselves and ignore external validation.

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Watch This Story: From Arnold Schwarzenegger to Chris Bumstead – Here Are the Top 5 Most Aesthetic Bodybuilders to Ever Compete in Mr. Olympia

Female bodybuilders like Dana Linn Bailey and Maria Wattel chose to step out of the ordinary and focus on themselves. They gave a different meaning to body positivity in a true sense.

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Written by:

Muskan Sharma

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Muskan Sharma is a sports writer at EssentiallySports, specializing in Martial Arts, NHL, and other American sports. She is a degree holder in Journalism and Mass Communications. Muskan has been able to bring her unique set of skills and sensitivity while covering news stories.
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Edited by:

Simar Singh Wadhwa

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