RANT: Vanity?? Body Dismorphia????

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    May 31, 2007 4:27 PM GMT
    Someone told me yesterday that I had a reverse eating disorder and I was body dismorphic because I want to become a bigger guy. Now I whole heartily admit that part of the reason I became so interested in bodybuilding/weight lifting was because as a kid, I was teased for my skinniness or "lerp" as they called me and I no longer wanted to be the skinny kid anymore. Plus, I was also involved in cheerleading and I was the weakest guy on the team and I wanted to change that. Once I started getting bigger, I loved my new found strength, I loved how "alive" I felt and I admit, I was getting attention that I never got before. But I admit I have gone over the line. I was obsessed with working out and my mood was sometimes affected by how my workouts were going. But I have since grown from that. But when I told this person that I was worried about loosing strength/mass because I might have to go in for surgery, I was labeled as body dismorphic and vein.

    I ask you this. Why is that when someone is obsessed with golf, basketball, baseball, swimming or backbitten and they want to be the best player out there, they are called motivated, if someone wants to be the greatest bodybuilder, weight lifter or have a great body, they are vein, body dismorphic and obsessive. Is this not hypocritical? Do you think great golfers, basketball players, baseball players or any olympic athlete would practice so hard if they didn't get any recognition or trophies? Probably not. In fact, recognition is probably the main motivator for anything we do in life. That's why companies have the damn "Employee of the Month" picture! But when fitness fanatics want to be recognized for their hard work, they are vein and reflect negative body images on others.

    Now, let say you go up to a person and you have a great body and say "You are fat and ugly!" or "In Brazil, average build is fat" (someone has said that to a friend once), that to me is body dismorphia/vanity because you are putting others down to build yourself up and you should be shot in your tracks. I go along my merry way and make it a point not to bring people down and if they want my help, I am more than happy to give it to them. People really need to stop being jealous and reflecting their insecurities on others and appreciate themselves for the good traits they do have and not trash others for the ones they don't have. And if they don't like their foreseen bad traits, they have every right to change it like we all have taken the initiative to.

    Am I alone in this rant? What do you think?
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    May 31, 2007 4:53 PM GMT
    Looks like some folks need to learn what body dysmorphic disorder actually is.

    "Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental disorder that involves a disturbed body image. It is generally diagnosed in those who are extremely critical of their physique or self image, despite the fact there may be no noticeable disfigurement or defect."


    "Ironically BDD is often misunderstood as a vanity driven obsession, whereas it is quite the opposite; people with BDD believe themselves to be irrevocably ugly or defective."

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    May 31, 2007 5:41 PM GMT
    I've been naturally thin my whole life...consistently weighing 155#. In February, I decided to start working out (4x per week) and eat around 2500-3000 calories a day (over 6 meals). I'm very dedicated to my routine and am actually enjoying myself in the process! I love how working out and eating right makes me feel and am really starting to see visible results
    I have added #1 per month...I'm up to 158#. :)

    Anyway, I constantly receive "flack" from people surrounding my dedication. I have been accused of have BDD and I am constantly being told I need to face the fact I will always be thin and working out and eating as much as I do will never change that.

    (Note: My goal is NOT to look like a bodybuilder...I'm in this for health and fitness reasons. And, I was also happy with my appearance prior to Feb.)

    Not to discount BDD, because it is a VERY SERIOUS disorder, however, I think it's easier for society (i.e. people who don't exercise)to label a lot of us with it because it makes it easier for them to understand where our dedication and motivation come from.

    I totally agree with Paradox...they should familiarize themselves with what BDD really is prior to talking about it...
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    May 31, 2007 6:43 PM GMT
    Question Hapak. Why do you let the remarks of stupid people get to you?

    As long as you're healthy, who cares what other people think?

    There will always be someone who tries to bring you down. Life is about holding your head up high, enjoying yourself and being kind to others I think.

    You seem to be enjoying your fitness so what's the problem. Ignore those idiots and get on with it. You can be as big, or as small as you like, as long as you're not endangering your health what gives others the right to be negative.

    Now pump some iron.

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    May 31, 2007 7:51 PM GMT
    You don't have BDD, you have Muscle Dysmorphia IF anything.

    Muscle dysmorphia is a disorder in which a person becomes obsessed with the idea that he or she is not muscular enough. Those who suffer from muscle dysmorphia tend to hold delusions that they are "skinny" or "too small" but are often above average in musculature. Sometimes referred to as bigorexia or reverse anorexia nervosa, it is a very specific type of body dysmorphic disorder.

    Muscle dysmorphia can cause people to:

    Constantly examine themselves in a mirror
    Become distressed if they miss a workout session or one of six meals a day
    Become distressed if they do not receive enough protein per day in their diet
    Take potentially dangerous anabolic steroids
    Neglect jobs, relationships, or family because of excessive exercising
    Have delusions of being underweight or below average in musculature.
    In extreme cases, inject appendages with fluid (e.g. synthol) to simulate cartoonish muscular proportions.
    To be diagnosed as muscle dismorphic, the person must exhibit symptoms of the type and degree outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for body dysmorphic disorder, and not merely appear over-interested in physique or engage in behaviors other people would find unwise. Muscle dysmorphia is fairly rare and simple obsession with working out or bodybuilding does not fit the criteria of a body dysmorphic disorder.
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    May 31, 2007 8:01 PM GMT
    Body Dysmorphic Disorder doesn't mean you are obsessed with working out, though that may be a symptom of it. Nor does it mean you are vain.

    Men with BDD basically have a distorted body image. They are unable to visualize themselves accurately and usually think of themselves as ugly or otherwise physically inferior -- far from a vain perspective. A formerly overweight man will think of himself as fat, no matter how much weight he loses. Likewise, some men will work out, use steroids, eat constantly, and still think of themselves as skinny.

    So the comparison of BDD to obsession with sports is not sensible. If you regard bodybuilding as a sport, you can compare it with the discipline of sports training, but BDD is beside the point.

    In my experience, most gay men do have some degree of BDD -- the culture asks us to reject our bodies' natural desire -- but, like every pop-psychohlogical diagnosis, BDD is used to pathologize behavior that makes other people uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. (Another example is bored kids who end up with ADHD diagnoses.)

    Remember that when it was taken for granted that homosexuality was pathological, bodybuilders were almost always described as gay...with tragically small penises.
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    May 31, 2007 8:11 PM GMT
    Being concerned that you might loose muscle mass due to surgery is a valid concern, and not evidence body dysmorphic disorder. Your friend is confusing body dysmorphic disorder with narcissism, and really accusing you of that. Whether your of weight loss concern concern is a healthy concern or an unheatlhy concern I don't know -- that is someting only you can decide -- but if a "friend" or someone thinks that area of you is an issue it never hurts to take stock of yourself. There is nothing wrong with working out and there is nothing wrong with being proud of the body that you have developed, plus you have the added psycological benefit of conquering your former insecurity. But where that goes from being healthy to unhealthy is hard to say. But no, I think this person is making too much out of your concern. I would be concerned if I was having surgery as to how the period afterwards would affect my ability to exercise, and the effects it would have on my body.
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    May 31, 2007 10:19 PM GMT
    Maybe I am narcissistic but who isn't about something?

    I guess my main point is that why is it okay for professional athletes and Olympic athletes to be obsessed with their sport and we call them "motivated" but bodybuilders, weight lifters and fitness guru's alike are labeled vain or having some type body issue?

    I can't count the number of times that I have heard friends/peers after seeing a bodybuilder/built-guy say "He must be a vain asshole and can only love himself", "He is trying to compensate for a small penis", or "Must be a steroid freak." Its never, "Oh, he must have worked really hard for his body, I can tell." Its so judgmental and hypocritically.

    Normally, I don't concern myself with the stereotypical reflections of other people but I find this one just really hypocritical and just wanted to see your guys opinions on it.
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    Jun 01, 2007 12:44 AM GMT
    Thats just how people are. They are jelous. In a previous discussion chuckystud said it best. something along the lines of: "when a fat man takes his shirt off he's considered freespirited and confident but when a buff guy does he's showboating and vain." Don't forget that 60% of the United States is obesce. As a society we have messed up views on body image so don't sweat it when people put you down. As long as you keep it healthy, thats all that matters.
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    Jun 01, 2007 12:45 AM GMT
    People don't appreciate the fruition of hard work and effort because they're jealous that they don't have your motivation, and because they don't understand it. People are afraid of what they don't understand.... because they are stupid.

    You will always hear it, I can guarantee, just as sure as I will always be told I need to eat a cheeseburger (well, Im working on that one.)

    Please don't let it get to you... sure other peoples opinions matter, but yours matters the most. Do what you feel is right and what makes you happy.
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    Jun 01, 2007 1:25 AM GMT
    A healthy dose of narcissism never hurt anyone -- and is often what makes people go places in life.
    I think why people are ultimately on some level insecure about their bodies, and that body building brings that to the fore if not for the body builder than definately for the people who view him/her. Such attention to the body makes some people uncomfortable and I think such comments say more about the fears and insecurities the person is projecting than really anything about the body builder. The difference with other sports is that you don't focus just, or solely on the body. While we might lust after a different type of athlete's body -- put x athlete in -- the focus is shared with whatever abilities s/he has in that sport. I can rationalize that a football player built his smoking hot body as a means to better his game while focusing on what an excellent player he is. But in body building there is only the body. In reality I don't know the reason why either of the athletes built they body they did or how they feel about it, but I can rationalize and that the football player is somehow more "altruistic" in building his body as a means to further his sport. But then again this is a projection of what would be the my reasons or rationalizations if I were the football player or the body builder for building such a body.
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    Jun 01, 2007 4:18 AM GMT
    I ain't got it. I know I'm a stud! LOL I rate a consistent 9.1 to 9.9, even idling. Lucky me. Body dysmorphia? I've been accused of it. What do we call fat folk? (I know the actual answer).

    I just love the PC stuff: full-figured. I'm fucking full-figured, but, with less fat, more muscle, and flavor. ROFL.

    Too funny! LMAO
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    Jun 01, 2007 4:23 AM GMT
    Trust me, in 31 years, of lifting, I've heard much of it.

    If a fat, ugly, poorly groomed, person who smokes takes their shirt off, they are just fat and trying to cool off. Now...if I take my shirt off, I'm a narcissist, self-loving, exhibitionist, with body dysmorphia. Um...right (SIC), but, they love to look at me.

    I concur that some folks are way fucked up on body image. A classic example (you know what I'm going to say) is the pictureless. Pictureless, are take, take, take, and (pick your excuse(s) are self-loathing, religiously-conflicted, stupid, lazy, dishoest, needlessly paranoid, in denial, etc., ad nauseam.

    It's o.k. I rise above all that, but, I have to giggle. Is their body dysmporphia? I reckon. Does every built guy have it? Nah.
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    Jun 01, 2007 4:24 AM GMT
    Oh, and reverse body dysmorphia: self-declared VGL that run pictureless / profileless.

    That's delusional, deceitful, in denial, etc.

    I've seen much of it.
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    Jun 01, 2007 4:33 AM GMT
    I love lifting, posing, doing stairs (oops, that's a big lie)...I don't mind some cardio like biking. I love my CMP results when I go to the doctor. I'm good...real good..at getting big...and I like doing it. It's been a lifelong passion. I've never felt inadequate (I have good esteem), but, I do like being "full figured." Full figured is good, I reckon. Works for me, anyway.

    Spock, of Star Trek fame, said it best: in an insane society a sane man must appear insane in order to appear sane.

    I remember being on the blazing edge 30 years ago. Only queers would shave their bodies (I always liked how it made me look and feel) Then, that became all mainstream. I've been chastised many times over the years for walking to my own drummer. Bottom line, I think is that if it's not bothering anyone else, and doesn't affect society in an adverse way, you should be able to be big, small, or whatever, and stick pretty much whatever you wish into your behind.

    Often, folks look for an excuse for being (pick medical condition), when, in fact, they're lazy, and undisciplined.

    Just my many cents, or should I say sense?
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    Jun 01, 2007 4:34 AM GMT
    Oh, and, if Marky241 keeps his head in the game, he's going to end up being all hunky.

    My wisdom for the day.

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    Jun 09, 2007 10:45 AM GMT
    Get fucking huge, hapakun. Fuck the fucking fuckers. Let THEM be girly men. ROFL.

    Just drinking my morning cups.

    I like being large. It's fun.

    Call me FULL-figured. Hee hee.
  • GQjock

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    Jun 10, 2007 10:39 AM GMT
    True BDD is a verifiable and terrible psychological disease where some victims cannot look at themselves in a mirror or obsess to the point of not being able to function in society
    ...do we as gay men somewhat obsess about our looks?
    yeah we do...but this is no where near what Body Dysmorphic Syndrome entails