T Nation

Bigorexia?

The Georgetown University paper has a section with articles from other schools’ papers. The Oklahoma State Daily O’Collegian has an article talking about male eating disorders and toward the beginning says: “Males are falling victim to a recently named disorder - muscle dysmorphia, also known as bigorexia, the conviction that one is too small, according to the site (MenStuff, mentioned earlier). This syndrome is marked by an obsession with the size and shape of the body, constant working out and weightlifting [even if one isnt involved in sports] and the use of supplements to “bulk up,” according o the site. A subject of much speculation and study, eating disorders are symptomatic of deep social, emotional and psychological conflicts.” The article’s wording IMHO is rather condescending toward the “bigorexics” while being very supportive of the anorexics.

My first instinct is to say that the author of this article probably dropped her chocolate covered bacon all over the rough draft, but realistically I know anything can be taken too far to the level of obsession. I know a lot of people here, most, have competed in sports or have been lifting weights for much longer than I have, and was curious to know where you would draw the line between extreme dedication and obsession, if there is one. Especially the coaches on here (Davies, Thibideaux, Alessi), who’ve probably run into this if anyone here has.

I think the issue here is big guys who look at themselves and see “small”, in the same way skeletal people look at themselves and see “fat”.

It has nothing to do with obsessing about weight training. That is a separate issue.

This “bigorexia” is about having a discrepancy between what you see when you look at yourself, and what everybody else sees, and about having extreme feelings of inadequacy that are not based in reality.

I would write more, but I’m losing my pump…

There’s actually a very good book on the subject called ‘The Adonis Complex’ by a group of PhD’s and MD’s who studied the phenomina for years. If you want to get a good idea of where one crosses the line, this book offers some valuable insight on where that line is and how to keep perspective.

I’d think that this would lead to negative behavior based on a distorted self image. If you are 5’5" 230 lbs say and popping with muscle thinking you aren’t big and this causes you to eat a kidney failure amount of protein then you might have this “bigorexia”. But if you are like me, your 5’10" 180, think that you’ve come a long way but you are by no means a big guy, but would like to get bigger by any sane means you have then I’d say nothing is wrong with you. Another point, if “bigorexia” causes you to actually eat something then it is already much safer and less serious a condition than anorexia.