Ever seen those bodybuilders who seem to give everything to their goal of building mass? They could be suffering of a strange, little-known condition, which is more like a mental state. Bigorexia is seen as a compulsive disorder. It is one of those disorders which make the individual obsess about their physical appearance.
What is bigorexia?
Also known as muscle dismorphia, it doesn’t represent an actual problem with the muscular system, however. It is, in fact, the opposite of anorexia. When one feels they are not big enough, when their perception is severely altered, despite of having a well-developed musculature, we call it bigorexia. This is the key here: they’re not small at all, nor underdeveloped. They just perceive themselves to be so. Like with anorexia, it’s a distorted perception of reality. A skinny guy or hard-gainer who wants to grow isn’t a bigorexic. It’s the big guy who doesn’t show his physique and who would push himself over his limits, because he thinks he’s not good enough. People who have this disorder are constantly obsessed with the size of their muscles.
Men (and sometimes women, too) who may already possess a significant muscle mass may be constantly comparing themselves to bigger bodybuilders, to stars of this sport, feeling they still have a very long way to go to reach their level. Among frequent gym goers, it is said that 10% are bigorexic. It may even happen that they set unrealistic goals for themselves. Thus, some get to enrich their diets with loads of protein powders and supplement to enhance the muscular mass. They will, however, exhibit a string desire and motivation to train hard for many hours, day by day.
The adverse effects of bigorexia
Bigorexia may get athletes to train beyond their limits and can lead to dangerous behavior. Besides the exaggerate consumption of supplements, they may also keep training when injured, instead of recovering. They will also be the fans of the newer, more extreme exercise types. When desperate, their last resort will be plastic surgery, in order to have the big muscular body they’ve been obsessing over.
Weight lifters with bigorexia may get to have a bad mood because of this. The obsession may even push them into a depressive state. They can even go as far as being highly suspicious of foods that were not cooked by them and never eat out or at a friend’s, because they don’t want to ruin their food calculations. They are overly concerned with these aspects.
Bigorexia is fueled by insecurity and increases when one is focused on fitness models of their gender or bodybuilding superstars. As you can see, there are different degrees for this body image disorder. If you’re becoming too concerned with how you look and you are missing important events in your life to have a workout instead, it may be the start of bigorexia. Once installed, it becomes as bad as drug addiction and it will be very hard to step back and take a realistic look at your situation.
Your fitness pal