Reverse anorexia

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    Apr 15, 2009 12:37 PM GMT
    I know that this has been discussed in here before, but thought I'd touch on it again as it is something I suffer from badly. When I started seriously working in the gym back in 96 I weighed 165 lbs, with a 41" chest, and 12.5" arms. (I like to tease that I looked like Karen Carpenter a week before she died). So as of today I am a solid 200lbs 26" chest 16" arms, 32" waist...and i think that I look skinny.

    I keep thinking to myself...okay 10 more pounds, then hmm 10 more pounds...maybe I will not look skinny when I am 225.

    For those who have never been painfully skinny it is just as difficult as those who has lost a lot of weight.

    Will I ever be happy? What does one do about this problem...seriously!! Should I be talking to someone about it??
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    Apr 15, 2009 12:54 PM GMT
    I´m an (almost) ex skinny (you can see it in my before and after pics in my privates CAA). It does take a while to start changing your self perception.

    You are not skinny, you look great

    Whether you will ever be happy depends on (1) how much your brain adjusts to the reality of your body. For me seeing myself in the gym mirror and not recognising it was me was a big step (I actually started checking myself out lol) and (2) how much power you give that to effect your happiness.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Apr 15, 2009 1:26 PM GMT
    I thought this was going to be more like me, who will look in a mirror and say "You're not fat, go ahead and have some cake."
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Apr 15, 2009 2:35 PM GMT
    The Adonis complex is real. I think we all experience it to a point. Only you know if it is interfering with your normal daily life. If it is, maybe it wouldn't hurt to talk to a professional about it.
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    Apr 15, 2009 2:50 PM GMT
    I have to agree with Texan. You may want to see a professional because it's usually deeper issues that are beneath the surface. Your 200 pounds of pure muscle and you still see yourself as skinny. I feel for you. Try not to focus so much on the exterior and look inward sweetie.
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    Apr 15, 2009 3:00 PM GMT
    It couldn't hurt to speak with a professional. I wish I could lose more, but know I'm at the correct weight and I would look a bit disfigured - I already have a large chest and rib cage that keep me from looking too thin. I've had to accept that this is where I'll be weight-wise. It's just a wish in the back of my head that I don't take too seriously.

    If you're stressing about it, other than a passing thought, you should probably speak with someone. If not to resolve an issue, then to prevent an issue down the road.
  • alwaysonpoint

    Posts: 173

    Apr 15, 2009 3:12 PM GMT
    It's called Dysmorphia, and I suffer from it as well...just 10 more pounds just 10 more pounds. I just don't know what to do with myself sometimes. I thought I was around 180 lbs, but on Tuesday, I went to the medic for a body fat test and learned I was actually 167.4 lbs. The scale in my gym is terribly off! But earlier this year in Jan, I thought I was 178 lbs (using the same raggedy scale), and then went on vacation for 31 days and worked out three times. I thought I was doing well and now I'm just all thrown off!
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    Apr 15, 2009 3:18 PM GMT
    you have the gym addict syndrome. it happens to everyone. once you start getting bigger and you like what you see... you want more and more and MORE!!!! no one is ever 100% completely satisfied with everything about themselves... and if they say they are... they're lying. insecurity is a part of life and we all deal with it. it might help to talk to someone about it. maybe you're not getting the feedback you need... in that case... lemme just tell you that you look aaaaaaamazing. ;)
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    Apr 15, 2009 3:28 PM GMT
    I think at some point you have to hit a plateau of acceptance, and not to sound mean, but especially at your age. I personally have accepted the fact that I will never have the body that would be on the cover of a fitness magazine. I'm too short to have that nice long torso, kinda sucks. It is what it is though.

    You obviously have worked really hard and achieved a great looking body. You should be proud of yourself and not so tough. Of course I think you should always have goals, but maybe it is time to switch things up!
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    Apr 15, 2009 4:23 PM GMT
    Maybe there's something to be said for having unrealized goals. It's a goad that gets you going and keeps you trying harder. If you decide you're OK where you are, you may get complacent and stop pushing yourself. Just a little dysmorphia may be a good thing if it keeps you from getting stuck on a gym plateau, the bane of our existence. The OP looks great and shouldn't be too concerned, however.
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    Apr 15, 2009 5:40 PM GMT
    I've had body image issues most of my life. I was chunky in elementary school. In middle school I progressively lost the chunk and by the time high school rolled around I'd taken up running seriously I'd gotten down to skinny with very little muscle tone. I was tall, with long legs, and very aerodynamic and capable of maintaining a fast pace over a long distance but I had very little power. By the time senior year rolled around I'd gained some weight. I was burned out on running, so I didn't take it too seriously. When I got to college I pretty much quit except for an occasional run in the area surrounding campus. I battled with 100 lbs of weight gained within a 4 year period. I vowed to myself to lose the weight, and I did. I thought it would fix everything, I'd find a great job, a great boyfriend, have a great family with that great boyfriend, and everything would be great. When that didn't happen I fluctuated in weight, not quite as severely. If I'd allowed it, it would've gotten out of control I'm sure. Now I've maintained between 175-180 lbs for the past 2 years, I feel is a good weight. I'm not perfect, I have some problem areas I'd like to see go. However, the most important thing I learned that if you don't fix what's on the inside anything you do on the outside doesn't mean a thing. I'm far from fixed, but I keep journals, and when I read back on stuff from then to now it can be quite shocking.

    So, if you're anything like me. The only thing you're going to get out of gaining 25 lbs of muscle is short lived immediate gratification more than likely from the number on the scale rather than the actual results. Then if you're really like me, you'll look for another problem to obsess over the split second that sigh of satisfaction dissipates. We tell ourselves we'll be happy once we reach the next goal, but it's a lie when you're obsessing over it. There's a difference between having fitness goals and being obsessed with your body. It is so liberating just to let go, and even if I have some squeezable love handles not discounting myself as a person. Accepting that I'm imperfect, and moving forward is a much healthier way of being. When I do that, I get the best of both worlds because then I'm healthy in both mind and body.
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    Apr 15, 2009 5:47 PM GMT
    CapeAnnAthletic saidI know that this has been discussed in here before, but thought I'd touch on it again as it is something I suffer from badly. When I started seriously working in the gym back in 96 I weighed 165 lbs, with a 41" chest, and 12.5" arms. (I like to tease that I looked like Karen Carpenter a week before she died). So as of today I am a solid 200lbs 26" chest 16" arms, 32" waist...and i think that I look skinny.

    I keep thinking to myself...okay 10 more pounds, then hmm 10 more pounds...maybe I will not look skinny when I am 225.

    For those who have never been painfully skinny it is just as difficult as those who has lost a lot of weight.

    Will I ever be happy? What does one do about this problem...seriously!! Should I be talking to someone about it??


    Dude? You ARE skinny. Look at your pictures. 12.5 inch arms was TINY. 16 inch arms are still smallish, yes. Don't believe any CRAP from any one here that tells you you aren't thin / skinny. You're also extremely lean in the picture that's the default. You have a realistic image of yourself. You're thin, skinny, over-lean, whatever you want to call it. You ARE NOT disconnected from reality. If that's what makes you happy and it's not so bad and to disrupt your health, I wouldn't sweat it UNLESS being bigger makes you happy. In that case, EAT.

    If you're looking to not be tiny you have to eat, or fix any physical, or mental, illness if you have one. It's that simple.

    Hard telling if you'll be happy heavier. You'll only know when you get there.

    You want what? Validation? I have no idea what will make you happy, nor will anyone else. You're happy when you're happy. If you like how you are be happy, if not, eat. We set different expectations on ourselves. If they're realistic, and yours are, then, no harm done.

    It's THAT SIMPLE.

    I weighed 175 pounds at 12% fat in HIGH SCHOOL, without ever thinking about it. What's really weird is being 6'3, and 165 pounds. That is REALLY skinny. You're still skinny, but, you don't look like you live in Ethiopia. Do I worry about how much I weigh. Not usually. I see food; I eat it.
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    Apr 15, 2009 6:46 PM GMT
    Speaking from experience, BDD is not something that is an easy thing to deal and/or cope with. I am 6'2" and used to weigh about 135lbs...just look at the photo of me in the pool on my profile to see how EXTREMELY skinny I used to be. I started working out about five years ago, and I absolutely admit that it opened up the door to a whole other set of issues that I had no idea that I would have to deal with. It is true, you start to gain muscle and mass and you kind of just want more and more...all the while comparing yourself to pictures that are not a realistic expectation for the majority of people out there. I also admit that I began to have more insecurity after I bulked up than when I did when I was rail thin. I had some counseling to help with the issue, and it did help, but like anything else, I don't know that the mindset will ever go away. It is just more manageable now. I don't think there is any way that someone is ever going to be 100% happy with they way they look, because each day is different...one day I feel super skinny and then there are days when I feel like I am the size of a cow. In case you are wondering, today I feel not so thin, so it is off to the gym. You control your happiness.
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    Apr 15, 2009 7:10 PM GMT
    This thread is making me feel skinny icon_cry.gif

    Of all the addictive tendencies I think protein bars and working out is easily at the least shameful and degenerative
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Apr 15, 2009 7:10 PM GMT
    CapeAnnAthletic saidI know that this has been discussed in here before, but thought I'd touch on it again as it is something I suffer from badly. When I started seriously working in the gym back in 96 I weighed 165 lbs, with a 41" chest, and 12.5" arms. (I like to tease that I looked like Karen Carpenter a week before she died). So as of today I am a solid 200lbs 26" chest 16" arms, 32" waist...and i think that I look skinny.

    I keep thinking to myself...okay 10 more pounds, then hmm 10 more pounds...maybe I will not look skinny when I am 225.

    For those who have never been painfully skinny it is just as difficult as those who has lost a lot of weight.

    Will I ever be happy? What does one do about this problem...seriously!! Should I be talking to someone about it??


    IMO, you are a tall, lean guy who is well muscled for his frame. You seem like a very active guy. Are you not as physically strong as you'd like to be? Do you think larger looking muscles will make you perform better?
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    Apr 15, 2009 7:17 PM GMT
    Chucky, is this really the right place for your copy and paste rant? You really say some inappropriate and crass stuff sometimes.

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    Apr 15, 2009 10:44 PM GMT
    Its called Muscle Dysmorphia. It is a body image problem where you see only a short small man, when in fact you are actually very muscular and big. i did a public speaking event in college on it. Many professional bodybuilders suffer from this. Therapy is the best way to deal with the problem. In extreme cases people suffer from this so bad that they will keep using steroids so much that their body develops huge tumors and in one known case they had to amputate the mans leg and he still wanted to use steroids.
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    Apr 16, 2009 6:31 PM GMT
    Thank you guys for all of your input. It does go deep, and it does go way back. I am getting better with my self esteem, and I realize I do not look like I did back in 96...I will post the photos to show you (as much as it pains me).

    And of course I meant to say 46" chest lol...oops!

    I am the hardest on myself...very driven. And trust me when I say that I don't care if I will be 42 in July...I feel like I am 25! Perhaps I will reach my goal...perhaps not, but I will keep working at it.

    I know that the work is paying off because my long sleeve shirts now come up my wrist a few inches, and all the jeans that I have spent way too much money on don't fit in the thighs...DAMN! Anyone need some lowrise 32x34 jeans??

    I guess we all work hard at it...and I'll even say that Chucky did not piss me off...yes you are over 40 my friend, but you have gotten so big that you look disfigured. So, yes you suffer from this too obviously...and obviously by the telltale distension of the gut you have had a lot of chemical help getting to that size (and that is not a judgement...that is one's choice and i respect that)....so don't be so hard on folks....if I may quote you directly from your profile..."If you're insecure and lash out at others as a way of projection / transformation, we won't be a fit".

    Otherwise, I thank you all for the encouragement...and for all of you (big or small) if we keep working hard we will get to where we want to be.

    Again...thank you, and look for the pics I will be posting soon....I really do like this site...I have had the opportunity to meet so many really nice people!
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    Apr 16, 2009 7:15 PM GMT
    "I'll even say that Chucky did not piss me off...yes you are over 40 my friend, but you have gotten so big that you look disfigured. So, yes you suffer from this too obviously...and obviously by the telltale distension of the gut you have had a lot of chemical help getting to that size (and that is not a judgement...that is one's choice and i respect that)....so don't be so hard on folks....if I may quote you directly from your profile..."If you're insecure and lash out at others as a way of projection / transformation, we won't be a fit"."


    I love you CAA.
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    Apr 16, 2009 7:54 PM GMT
    Maybe you are suffering from a mild form of "body dysmorphic disorder" whereby (usually) men are never satisfied with their appearance or muscle gain.
    Check out Mayo Clinic definition, although you don't sound as serious as this:


    Definition
    By Mayo Clinic staff

    Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which you can't stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance — a flaw either that is minor or that you imagine. But to you, your appearance seems so shameful and distressing that you don't want to be seen by anyone. Body dysmorphic disorder has sometimes been called "imagined ugliness."

    When you have body dysmorphic disorder, you intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, often for many hours a day. You may seek out numerous cosmetic procedures to try to "fix" your perceived flaws but never are satisfied. Body dysmorphic disorder is also known as dysmorphophobia, or the fear of having a deformity.
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    Apr 16, 2009 7:57 PM GMT
    Lostboy said"I'll even say that Chucky did not piss me off...yes you are over 40 my friend, but you have gotten so big that you look disfigured. So, yes you suffer from this too obviously...and obviously by the telltale distension of the gut you have had a lot of chemical help getting to that size (and that is not a judgement...that is one's choice and i respect that)....so don't be so hard on folks....if I may quote you directly from your profile..."If you're insecure and lash out at others as a way of projection / transformation, we won't be a fit"."


    I love you CAA.


    I think you're an asshole, and an ignorant one at that. Here's my story:
    My dad is a cattle ranch in The Sandhills of North Central Nebraska. I'm in my 35'th year of lifting weights. At the age of 17, and having never heard of anabolic steroids, I was 175 and had the fifth highest strength index in my high school. In 1988, I weighed 230 pounds, at 12% fat. I was studied by the National Strength and Conditioning Association for my genetics. I've also worked with journalists, and doctors, along the way.

    As you may, or may not know, AAS were not controlled until 1991, and that was even though not a SINGLE agency recommended that they do so. In fact, endocrinologists are now recommended they not be. You're very much more endangering yourself by eating fast food, than AAS, any day of the week.

    Just like the movie "Reefer Madness" was a crock of poo, so it what you're saying.

    At 48 years old, I have a cholesterol of 130, a PSA of 0.4. I've never seen any of the things you describe, EVER, in my 35 YEARS of training.

    I encourage you to watch HBO's awarding Real Sports Episode #99, where my friend, Bob Klapp of Phoenix, talks at length. I also suggest you watch the movie "Bigger, Stronger, Faster", and, read the real studies from places like UNT, on the actual mortality of bodybuilders. (You'll see it's still much lower than the general population.) The GAO has made some interesting studies on this topic, as well. At some point common sense and truth should prevail.

    I'm proud to say I've been on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for YEARS. I'm also proud to say I'm rated at the top 2% for my age in fitness, considered at no risk of heart attack, and lower than 2% for a stroke. I take no meds other caffiene, ibuprofen, and my HRT.

    Those who struggle to attain what comes easily to me, and lash out with false claims, are pretty pathetic. I'd take you to task over distention.

    9730_132305.jpg

    I'm not hard on folks. I'm honest. That's completely different some someone who spreads bunk around.

    I'm big on disease prevention and wellness, rather than disease treatment, and love the way that I look, and feel. My blood work supports my view; science supports my view; my experiences support my view.

    What's disfigured, in my view, is someone who is starving, or morbidly obese.

    The difference between me and you is you make claims that you have no basis to (slander is the legal term). I just say you're skinny, and if you like it fine, and if you don't, eat. I have class, and you don't.

    I don't workout because I'm obsessed about my appearance. I workout to win. I workout to have a goal. I workout to feel good, more than anything. If I gain a few pounds, or lose a few pounds, I'm the last to get worked up, but, I don't let myself go like a fattie would, and I don't starve like a tiny person would. I don't workout because I'm insecure (quite the contrary, I KNOW, I'm a consistent 9 to 10, on any rating site, any day of the week, and I don't base my id on my appearance that much anyway.) I do expert slob, any day of the week. I workout to grow old gracefully, and not be taking a handful of pills that turn my mind and body into mush. Get a clue. Not everyone is insecure. Just because you are....it's called projection.

    I've seen what happens to fat folks, smokers, and so on. I've chosen a different path, and whatever misinformation you might put forth, I'll look into and either validate, or invalidate it

    You don't know me; I'm not your friend; I have NO INTEREST in knowing you.
  • Mikeylikesit

    Posts: 1021

    Apr 16, 2009 8:45 PM GMT
    Can someone give me the abridged version of this??...lol

    Why must people write their whole life story to respond to a post....icon_eek.gif
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    Apr 16, 2009 9:00 PM GMT
    CapeAnnAthletic saidI know that this has been discussed in here before, but thought I'd touch on it again as it is something I suffer from badly. When I started seriously working in the gym back in 96 I weighed 165 lbs, with a 41" chest, and 12.5" arms. (I like to tease that I looked like Karen Carpenter a week before she died). So as of today I am a solid 200lbs 26" chest 16" arms, 32" waist...and i think that I look skinny.

    I keep thinking to myself...okay 10 more pounds, then hmm 10 more pounds...maybe I will not look skinny when I am 225.

    For those who have never been painfully skinny it is just as difficult as those who has lost a lot of weight.

    Will I ever be happy? What does one do about this problem...seriously!! Should I be talking to someone about it??

    I think you look great. There's nothing wrong with wanting to add a few more pounds of lean muscle. But if it turns into an obsession, then it might become dangerous. If you think you're going down that route, you really should seek counseling.
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    Apr 16, 2009 9:16 PM GMT
    I think you look fantastic. And there's nothing wrong with being skinny.
    Ninjas are skinny, and they will ruin your day.
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    Apr 16, 2009 9:50 PM GMT
    The abridged version of that is simply that Chucky loves to lash out at others, and gets really testy if someone lashes back....oh and by the way Chucky...I'll be 42 in July and my total cholesterol is 115...not that it has anything to do whatsoever with this discussion.