Updated: Jul 31, 2020
Now this may look and sound like a sympathy blog post, however I can assure you it’s quite the opposite. In fact, if you‘re thinking “Oh cry me a fucking river, at least you have abs!”, you’re more than welcome to take your leave (or go fuck yourself, your choice!).
The hard truth is that I too suffer from body dysmorphia no less (or more) than many people to an extent. Regardless of differences in appearance, body or mindset, my mental health and that of other physique competitors and health professionals can be affected just as much as anyone else. I myself am constantly striving to be better and improve day by day, but not just because I want to look great, but because in relative terms I’m not happy with how I look and nor will I ever be. It’s not necessarily a bad mindset to have, but boy can it open up a can of worms at times!
As a fitness professional and physique athlete in a side of the industry fuelled largely by vanity and living in a millennial era where how you look and portray yourself on social media can have a massive input on your career and life, it’s just as acceptable to feel down about how we look and feel on a daily basis.
What’s important is that we accept that we’ll never quite reach perfection, but not let that get the better of us and always give it our best attempt. Especially at this point in time where I myself am preparing for what would have been a bodybuilding competition but due to Covid has now become a professional photoshoot, I currently have a ridiculous habit of walking past a mirror, stopping to lift my shirt and check my abs are still there, grabbing and pulling at what’s mostly skin with a small layer of body-fat at this point and thinking to myself “it’s not good enough”. I proceed to have this obsessive compulsive routine EVERY time I walk past the mirror in my landing. If that’s not body dysmorphia I don’t know what is!
Luckily for someone with experience like myself, I know that the methods I use are effective and I trust the process, but every day brings a new mental challenge. It’s only natural that we question and second guess things, It’s part of the curiosity we possess as human beings and that’s okay. It’s important to remember that because someone may be in a much better position than you be it physically, financially and so on, It doesn’t mean that they feel any differently to you when it comes to the position they are in, everything is relative and we all have our battles to overcome. I’d like to think putting myself through the same process as my clients will give me a greater understanding of what they have and will go through and It helps me relate, knowing exactly how it feels to be in particular situations before they experience them.
If any of you are going through a similar stage when it comes to your diet, your body, losing weight or just anything in general just remember you’re never going to be the only one. We all experience our hardships, sometimes all it takes is having someone to talk to that’s been through similar experiences. Surround yourself with positive, likeminded people that motivate you and you will be sure to succeed in achieving your goals. This post isn’t really about me, its about anyone struggling to come to terms with how they look and acknowledging that we all struggle at times. Whatever we may convince ourselves on a daily basis, our best will always be good enough no matter what. We may never achieve what we each perceive as “perfection” but remember that in the eyes of others, we may already be pretty damn close.