This is something that has concerned me for sometime. As I learned more about proper nutrition and training, it conflicted with what I was seeing and reading. The reality is, you just cannot an "amazing" body with safe practices. And, by "amazing" I mean, whatever your ideal is--a softer frame, the curvy bikini body, the slightly more muscular fitness model, figure competitor, figure competitor (circa 2007), women's physique, or bodybuilding. Depending on your starting point and your goals, you are going to have to put in work to get it and to keep it. Kudos to those who are working their way there and who have gotten there. But, I think something that needs to be remembered when we are looking at those inspirational photos.
First, remember your own journey and why you are doing it. It does not have to be all deep. Shoot, looking and feeling great are great reasons. Second, listen to your body. Rest and recover when you need it. Respect any injuries that you have. Finally,avoid extreme practices. Now, some would say that preparing for a show is "extreme". However, if done under knowledgeable and responsible coach; the process can be quiet enjoyable and safe. The "by any means necessary" approach has consequences. As a matter of fact, I am chatting with a former competitor on Facebook, who just read the post. And, all she wants is the body that she used to have; the one that responded to simple good food, exercise, consistency, and time.