The Perfect Body,Is it form of Mental Torture?
BODYBUILDING!! IS IT A FORM OF MENTAL ILLNESS??
What do I mean by bodybuilding??
Am I referring to the tanned, ripped god like figures that adorn the stage in little posing trunks? Well, yes. They are technically one subset at the extreme end of the spectrum.
But im referring to anybody that tries to build their body in any physical regard. A lot of people refer to this as toning up. But, it’s the same basic concept. Drop body fat and build/tone muscle.
So who, at some point, has become obsessed over the scales number dropping? Who has felt the guilt of binge eating after a period of restrictive eating on a “diet”? who looks in the mirror and all they can see is the bit of fat hanging over their belt, their bingo wings, their spare tyre, even though they’ve already lost 2 or 3 stone and added some much needed muscle to their previously inactive physique??
These types of compulsive behaviors and body dysmorphia are not the mindset of a mentally stable person. No matter how much we try to argue the facts, they are still facts. This is how issues such as bulimia and anorexia can initially manifest.
I will be the first to admit, I suffer from body dysmorphia. As I sit here typing this, sitting at about 8% bodyfat sipping a coffee and popping a fat burner before I go to train legs, my mind is constantly stressing over the fact that I’ve a fat back and only 9 weeks until my competition to get rid of it ALL. Now Im lucky, because I’ve been around the block and this is how I make my living and I have a plan to follow that I know will work, but it stil ldoesnt stop the fact of my fat back causing me worry. What if it doesnt all come off in time??
On another note, as the bodyfat comes off and my clothes get looser…” have I lost muscle? Am I just gonna look skinny?” also consumes my thoughts. So I am now skinny with a fat back!!
My defence is, it is this mentality that that strives me to keep pushing and has allowed me to far exceed any of my highest expectations, but the truth is, it does cause me stress and sometimes lack of sleep.
I know many competitive bodybuilder that has had the same dream – you’re backstage, your name is called to go onstage. You look down, you’re not in shape, forgot to shave, forgot to tan. But its too late.
Obviously this is from my competitive viewpoint, but even the average person who judges progress by the scales and when it doesn’t drop they freak. Eat less. Exercise more. And nothing happens. So they eat less and exercise even more…recipe for disaster.
The over compulsion to reach certain goals, perpetuated by unrealistic goal setting and media portrayals do nothing to quell this behavior. Only indulge it.
How do we stop this?? The answer is WE CANT.
What we can do is, learn to control it. Educate ourselves on whats realistic. Educate ourselves on proper exercise and nutritional practices. And learn to set goals, short, medium and long term and the steps required to get there.
This body dysmorphia mindset is summed up in the following quote:
“ THE DAY YOU BEGIN LIFTING, IS THE DAY YOU BECOME FOREVER SMALL”