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Have you ever realized to what extent you have body dysmorphia?

Yeah! My wife is the only one close to me that’s ever seen me without a shirt on..I don’t take pictures, and I only wear long sleeve shirts..the highest body fat % I’ve been in probably my whole adult life around 13%..don’t know where it’s came from
 
Its been said, we all have this to some extent. Maybe not when we started, but if you stick with it long enough you will develop some dysmorphia to some extent. As humans we are social qualifiers and will unconsciously compare ourselves to others at times. I manage it well and am realistic, but still creeps up now and then.

Our aesthetic references are different from those of normal people, but that does not mean body dysmorphia.

We are programmed to look for fat deposits and every time we meet other people, whether they lift or not, we are evaluating them on whether they put on weight or lost weight since the last time we saw them.
 
I always remember back in the day at the grocery getting comments from old dudes being like “when I was your age I looked just like you” and remember saying in my head “bitch, no one looked like this in 1960”hahaha.
It’s amazing how often this happens!
A couple of years ago I was traveling for work and training in a gym where I knew nobody.. This was about two or three weeks after I did North American, so I was still in really good shape.
This guy randomly started talking to me at the gym and started in with the “when I was your age, I was blah, blah, blah”,“when you get to be my age, you aren’t going to be able to maintain that body fat level”, “once you get to be my age, things are just going to hurt all the time and you won’t be able to train like that”.
So I asked him how old he was.
“I’m 42.” was his reply.
I looked at him and said “I’m 46.” Then I walked away.
 
So I believe its two factors:

First - I obviously have some form of PTSD from being a chubby fuck for several years. So any break in diet or not going to the gym for a few days just absolutely fucks with my head and makes me feel like I’m 17 again.
Same here. I had tits before the girls did… That really messes with your head! Every single day for me is throwing another shovel of dirt on that fat kid‘s grave.
 
My wife is the same way. Don’t get me wrong she’s supportive as can be, but she doesn’t get it nor does she care to hear about it that often.

I would venture to say it’s why a lot of us are on here talking about our physique and bodybuilding.

Nobody in your life wants to hear about this shit and even if they did, they certainly don’t understand it. LOL
So I guess that’s one place that my life is a completely different experience.
My wife is in it with me 100%.

My parents have been supportive from the first time I ever touched a weight in high school, and apart from some out of state competitions, neither of them have ever missed a contest. I remember in college when people still carried pictures in their wallet, the pictures that my parents carried of me to show their friends were always competition pictures.

As far as my coworkers, they all think it’s really cool, and always come to me with exercise and nutrition questions. I’m in medical sales, so when even the doctors that I call on show interest, it really makes things fun, and gives an added dimension that sets me apart from other sales professionals that call on them.. When I do an educational lunch or dinner, they all know why I bring my own food, and are always interested in the outcomes of competitions.

I think i’m really fortunate in that regard.
 
I feel like the young guys in the gym in 2024 NEED some sort of body dysmorphia...or maybe they have it in reverse.
Far too many small kids who have put 0 time in flexing and THINKING they look like classic competitors when they are fucking light years away.

I like the good ole days of thinking you looked like kinda shit no matter what lol.

We grew up with the idea that we sucked and it would take years of training before we had the right to brag in front of the mirror. Only people with big arms wore tank tops.

Now the stick arms wear tank tops, they don't understand how pathetic and ridiculous it looks.
 
So I guess that’s one place that my life is a completely different experience.
My wife is in it with me 100%.

My parents have been supportive from the first time I ever touched a weight in high school, and apart from some out of state competitions, neither of them have ever missed a contest. I remember in college when people still carried pictures in their wallet, the pictures that my parents carried of me to show their friends were always competition pictures.

As far as my coworkers, they all think it’s really cool, and always come to me with exercise and nutrition questions. I’m in medical sales, so when even the doctors that I call on show interest, it really makes things fun, and gives an added dimension that sets me apart from other sales professionals that call on them.. When I do an educational lunch or dinner, they all know why I bring my own food, and are always interested in the outcomes of competitions.

I think i’m really fortunate in that regard.
Oh she’s definitely in it with me. My least favorite words from her are “don’t you have to eat a meal”. She holds me to my schedule better than I do on eating. 😂

We’ve both sacrificed a lot to pursue this competitive journey of mine and am very blessed to have her in my corner.

I just don’t pretend or expect her to have to listen to me talk about this sport all day or to understand the difference between MENT and Mint. LOL

If you compete and don’t have someone by your side who is ride or die then it will be one rocky relationship.
 
I always remember back in the day at the grocery getting comments from old dudes being like “when I was your age I looked just like you” and remember saying in my head “bitch, no one looked like this in 1960”hahaha.

Generally always true that they are full of shit and no one liked like that in the 60's... except this one time 20 something ago when I ran into this super old dude who managed the male dancing at the Maryland "Hanger Club." Turns out the MF'er had been one of Mae West's male revue musclemen, lol. Racking my brain right now to remember the name...
 
So I guess that’s one place that my life is a completely different experience.
My wife is in it with me 100%.

My parents have been supportive from the first time I ever touched a weight in high school, and apart from some out of state competitions, neither of them have ever missed a contest. I remember in college when people still carried pictures in their wallet, the pictures that my parents carried of me to show their friends were always competition pictures.

As far as my coworkers, they all think it’s really cool, and always come to me with exercise and nutrition questions. I’m in medical sales, so when even the doctors that I call on show interest, it really makes things fun, and gives an added dimension that sets me apart from other sales professionals that call on them.. When I do an educational lunch or dinner, they all know why I bring my own food, and are always interested in the outcomes of competitions.

I think i’m really fortunate in that regard.

You have a keeper dudeee.
My wife is innn it with me and supports me 100%. But she also isn't interested in it in general.
Once every month she'll ask me how my coach is and what "the plan is." But thats just to stay updated lol
Like bbxtreme and w8lift mentioned, i get far better questions from random people at the grocery store, work conferences, gym, etc than i do from my wife haha.

She'll always hype me up and give me too notes and tell me im looking great. But she's into sewing right now :LOL:. I dont give 2 shits about sewing but ill always ask her what her next project is and pay attention because SHE loves it...lol similar i guess.

What ive noticed lately, and im sure it happens to you guys — places like thisss are the only places we can kinda talk about life and what's normal to us. We like all the subjects, we can talk about this shit for hours and its most likely our only outlet unless we have some hardcore BBing friends very close to us. SO when someone has a general question for me and im like on a work trip, i will try to keep it short. We enjoy talking about this. But im also very cognizant that people who want to talk about themselves and their own hobbies too much are the worst. They have 0 self awareness and are douches. I feel like im very good and keeping it short, deflecting it to someone else and asking about their hobbies/career/family. ESPECIALLY since my career is not fitness related, i dont want to box myself in as some dude who ONLY wants to talk about the gym and eating and competing is like. So i'll give answer their question relatively quickly and ask about their life.
 
You have a keeper dudeee.
My wife is innn it with me and supports me 100%. But she also isn't interested in it in general.
Once every month she'll ask me how my coach is and what "the plan is." But thats just to stay updated lol
Like bbxtreme and w8lift mentioned, i get far better questions from random people at the grocery store, work conferences, gym, etc than i do from my wife haha.

She'll always hype me up and give me too notes and tell me im looking great. But she's into sewing right now :LOL:. I dont give 2 shits about sewing but ill always ask her what her next project is and pay attention because SHE loves it...lol similar i guess.

What ive noticed lately, and im sure it happens to you guys — places like thisss are the only places we can kinda talk about life and what's normal to us. We like all the subjects, we can talk about this shit for hours and its most likely our only outlet unless we have some hardcore BBing friends very close to us. SO when someone has a general question for me and im like on a work trip, i will try to keep it short. We enjoy talking about this. But im also very cognizant that people who want to talk about themselves and their own hobbies too much are the worst. They have 0 self awareness and are douches. I feel like im very good and keeping it short, deflecting it to someone else and asking about their hobbies/career/family. ESPECIALLY since my career is not fitness related, i dont want to box myself in as some dude who ONLY wants to talk about the gym and eating and competing is like. So i'll give answer their question relatively quickly and ask about their life.
Ok so I’m not the only one who does NOT understand the sewing thing. 😂

My wife is into this recently and to me it’s the most boring drawn out hobby in the world, but then again so is bodybuilding in her defense. But I do my best to sit there and listen to her try to explain it all to me. Lol
 
I’ve figured out over the years who likes to hear about your physique the LEAST.
The gfs, and wives.

Unless they’re full tilt in it with you, they could not give less of a fuck if you’re a soft 250 or hard as nails 275 (drawing from my own life here).

Even though the above comparison is HUGE in our world, they just don’t care. 🤷🏻‍♂️
That is very true! My wife loved me the same when i was an obese 280 lbs. a couple of years ago compared to a relatively lean 230 lbs. today. But I will say I have noticed a significant increase in bedroom activities since I’ve gotten in better shape! And she has developed this strange fascination with smacking/grabbing my ass now that it is a lot harder. Lol
 
Yeah! My wife is the only one close to me that’s ever seen me without a shirt on..I don’t take pictures, and I only wear long sleeve shirts..the highest body fat % I’ve been in probably my whole adult life around 13%..don’t know where it’s came from

It's because you see your body as a work of art, you're a perfectionist and never feel you're ready to show it off to others, whether it's on the beach or in a competition.

Or maybe you're just a fat fucker, lol.
 
For me it’s always the clothes. If you need confirmation look there.

It’s annoying as hell. I went to an event last night and had zero dress pants that fit. So athletic tailored jeans it was.

If you ever second guess how big or small you are look to your clothes. They never lie.
Off the shelf pants I need to get pants that are way to big in the waist to fit properly. I have to wear a tight belt till I have the waist tailored in.
 
But that’s the thing - it’s not about caring what other people think. Body dysmorphia is how you think about and view yourself. We are our own harshest critics. I, as I’m sure plenty of other members here, get compliments all the time from friends, family and randoms. Doesn’t stop me from shitting on myself.
This is me, I can't see what they see.
 
Ok so I’m not the only one who does NOT understand the sewing thing. 😂

My wife is into this recently and to me it’s the most boring drawn out hobby in the world, but then again so is bodybuilding in her defense. But I do my best to sit there and listen to her try to explain it all to me. Lol

Must be a generation thing and to keep the tradition going. Its a good skill to have as well. Takes patience, concentration and good hand/eye coronation. My gf is 23 and still sews. Obviously not al the time but enjoys it.
 
Here's my experience with dymsorphia.

I was a stocky kid. Not really fat but a thick build. I remained a bit chubby until I was a teenager and started using recreationals which got me down to around 160-170lbs.

When I got to college I let myself go badly. Lots of alcohol, weed, and late night junk food. One day my junior year of college I looked in the mirror shirtless and saw fresh stretch marks on my lower abs below my belly button. I was an overweight 230lbs. and I knew it was time to change.

That's when I started with the gym and healthy eating. In summer 2010 I dieted like a bodybuilder for the first time and ended up 166lbs. and maybe 10%. I've posted that picture here a few times.

That's when I started building myself back up. I very much had the same idea Ben Palulski had - first I want to be 180lbs. with abs, then 200lbs. with abs, then 220lbs. with abs. And it kept going and going.

Body dysmorphia has never been a huge deal for me. I don't see myself as the fat kid I used to be. For years I've been 100% happy with my physique. That doesn't mean satisfied - I'm always trying to improve it. But years ago I said if I never lose or gain any more muscle or fat I'm fine with that.

When I first became a legit huge bodybuilder, over 250lbs. lean, I got stares and comments in public all the time. Over the years I got to where I rarely noticed it - my girlfriend was alway the one to catch it. Things like that attention should keep dysmorphia at bay because it's literally other people acknowledging how great you look. It can go the opposite way - Iain Valliere said when he was at his peak that if he didn't get comments in public it really bothered him and made him think he looked bad.

Another ways to stave it off is to put things in perspective. If you're 250lbs. lean and can flat bench 315 x 1 you're literally in the top 1% of biggest and strongest men to ever walk the planet. That didn't hit me until about two years ago but it really put in perspective how far I've taken bodybuilding.

Here's the biggest thing that's probably prevented me from having severe dysmoprhia - I only bodybuild for me. I don't give a shit about the comments, stares, women, etc. Yeah it's very cool to get them and makes you feel good but if I never got any of that I'd still pursue bodybuilding just as hard because I like pushing myself to be better every day.

And another thing - hardcore bodybuilding should be a relatively short period of your life. I know I peaked a few years ago and I enjoyed all the spoils that came with it. I've been the biggest guy around. I've been the strongest guy in the gym. I don't need it forever. I think this is one of the things guys struggle with the most regarding dymsorphia - they can't let go of what they think they need to be.
 
Off the shelf pants I need to get pants that are way to big in the waist to fit properly. I have to wear a tight belt till I have the waist tailored in.
For jeans try Duluth Trading Company ballroom double flex - if they fit my legs they'll fit anyone's. Not sure if they have them in pants.
 
ESPECIALLY since my career is not fitness related, i dont want to box myself in as some dude who ONLY wants to talk about the gym and eating and competing is like. So i'll give answer their question relatively quickly and ask about their life.
As another guy in the corporate world (big bank) I'm very much the same. My campus has over 5,000 employees and I can't count how many people have sought me out just to meet me in person because they heard I'm the jacked guy.

I'm always happy to talk diet and training if others initiate it with me but I literally never bring it up myself. Clearly everyone I work with knows I'm not a dumb meathead but I don't want them to think that's all my life is about even if it is a big portion of it.

Professional Muscle is my outlet to talk this stuff. I've never had a training partner, I don't have friends who are into fitness, so I really value good discussion here. That's also why I get pissed with the garbage threads, morons, people wanting their homework done, etc.
 

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