It is surprising what people desire to be in the current world. Meet a teenager and he tells you that he wants to grow big. A teenage girl wants to be a model. All in all, everyone wants to look appealing as a bodybuilder or say, power-lifter or fitness model. Further, we also have those who want a better physique for Olympic athletics. All of them want an ideal physique that can suit them or make them fit in the desired profession. Men want big muscles – as big as it can appear threatening to others, and women want a body figure that is appealing to the eyes of the public.

Take this serious advice. If you are going to choose any physique of another person as your target, get prepared for disappointment. You are different in everything from your body composition even to what kind of supplements working better with you. Rather, it is better that you form your personal goals by knowing your body SWOT well. SWOT means strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your body while you intend to change its morphology and physiology.

Talk of the elite competitors, some of them could have started while at their young age. Some have used suppressive measures such as chemical enhancement and full time dedication of their lifestyle to sports. Even though they do well in their pursuit, they gradually develop body dysmorphia through the stereotypical obsession. Body dysmorphia is a condition where the body develops an image disorder. In this condition, one’s appearance has been changed through persistent and overwhelming preoccupations more than the body can handle.

Because we are in more of weightlifting society today, the dysmorphia condition that has accompanied it is bigorexia. In women case, there is a feminine condition as of men’s bigorexia called anorexia. Read below on causes, symptoms and impacts of bigorexia and anorexia:

1. Bigorexia

Bigorexia is a condition where one constantly worries about having a relatively small body or look at themselves as weaker, underdeveloped or underweight. It is a sort of an obsession that seeks to do more on the worrying man’s body. It might also be called reverse anorexia or muscle dysmorphia. If you have this disorder, you likely develop hyper-focus behavior, especially on your minor less perfections of your body physique.

In the process of this condition, you get into a habit of obsession. You therefore get addicted to weightlifting in order to increase the size of the muscles, to add to your strength, symmetry and vascularity. Such an obsession may be harmful in the long run when you age. Safety precautions therefore ought to be taken into account to prevent or minimize bigorexia.

The negative effects of bigorexia are all round. They affect you physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. Males though get more affected by muscle dysmorphia compared to females because relatively, they easily fall susceptible to the obsessing pressure of building their muscle and strength. Thus, they have high chances of developing the disorder.

Bigorexia has not been given a recognition that it deserves though it has been found to be a rampantly existing disease amongst the gym-goers. The medical communities have either assumed it or given it less importance of research commitment. But BBC and Alliance for Eating Disorders identified that bigorexia victims exist in the gyms at a rate of 10% averagely. This is a call for research investment if not to be taken lightly.


Still in one of the studies, it was found that out of 648 males (with a mean age of 29.5) who enrolled on the study, 17% were muscle dysmorphic as 10.6% were lavishing in body dysmorphia and about 34% were associated with certain eating disorders. Apparently, those looking at themselves as of little strength or small bodied might also be the same who eat inappropriately without special diets consideration.

Most studies have depicted how individuals on weightlifting are generally not satisfied with their body. Surprisingly, they are ready to take the risk to change their body to the shape they want and deem better for them even if they are going to be severely affected. They want to eliminate anything in them that they see as insufficiency that brings shame and embarrassment on them. However, we might as well blame the society for asserting certain pressure that requires men to have so-called ‘X-frame physique’. This features male physique with sweeping lats, a narrow waist, bulging arms, broad shoulders, and a six-pack like those of Arnold when he was in his peak level of competition.

There is still greater research gap on precise causes, signs and control measures of bigorexia. A little clue that researchers might have about bigorexia is that it may be as a cause of genetics combination together with brain chemical imbalances. History of being abused is also associated as a basic cause of bigorexia. And, those characteristically known to be moody or anxious and to be having eating disorders do also have higher probability to be bigorexic. Research on these is more required than never to define the characteristics and prevention of this disorder.

Most common symptoms of bigorexia include:

  • Social or family gathering exclusions, instead one workout for physique development.
  • One shows anger, depression or anxiety when he misses his workout.
  • The individuals express displeasure on mass they carry constantly.
  • The individuals are likely to workout even when they feel sick.
    The individuals spend more time in the gym.
  • Lack of flexibility in their eating patterns even if it is abnormal
  • Individuals use anabolic steroids more often.
  • Individuals spend greater amounts on ineffective supplements
  • Constantly comparing themselves with others as they look on mirrors.
  • Might change their physical appearance through surgery
  • They express concerns concern about every part of their bodies.

Where bigorexia might be dangerous is when you start using anabolic steroids overly and get to a condition pushing you to commit suicide – this turnout might be lethal. One is advised to seek healthcare professional care as soon as possible.

2. Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a condition associated with emotional eating disorder. It involves severe caloric, micronutrient and macronutrient intake restrictions. This condition is also likely initiated by high society expectations of how an ideal beautiful and fit woman should look like. It places women with low fat physique, narrow waist, flat stomach, less bulky arms and nicely shaped legs as most preferred of ideality. It has shied off from the traditional bodyweight preference, dawn has come in with new definitions of an ideally physique woman. And those who get fat feel like the odd one out in the society, the main reason to being ashamed to express themselves. The result of this severe pressure is that they develop anorexia nervosa.

Signs and symptoms that individuals with Anorexia nervosa may exhibit include:

  • Losing weight extremely
  • Fingers discoloring and skin getting dry and/or yellow
  • Exhibit irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure
  • Suffer from sleeplessness and all-time fatigue
  • Induce vomiting for weight to reduce below healthy level 
  • Use laxatives, diet aids, diuretics, and/or enemas quite frequently
  • Practice beyond required body exercise
  • Get obsessed with food as they fear gaining weight
  • Constantly refuse to eat
  • Withdraw from social gathering, constant depression, reduced sex drive and think of committing suicide.
  • Use bathroom every time after meals

Around 5 to 20% of individuals with anorexia will soon die due to increasing condition with time. Anorexia is likely initiator of heart failure, electrolyte imbalance and even mentioned suicide. Therefore, don’t hesitate when you have condition. It is better that you necessary medical steps or seek help when you have these symptoms – it will help add the days of your living.

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