The only World Champion and Internationally Acclaimed Psychologist, Performance Therapist, author, world wide lecturer specialising in strength & power sports - we prove it, not theorise

Disorted Body Image / Body Dysmorphic Disorder


Female dysmorphia and male body image issues/bigorexia

Body dysmorphia is commonly known as a body image problem where you see externally and internally a distorted image of yourself. What you see in the mirror and the picture you have of yourself in your head you perceive others are seeing is different from reality and usually it is a negative distortion.

Body dysmorphia can be caused by so many external issues but almost always they come from low self esteem at some level. The problem is in sport that when you have long periods of training diets or pre competition preparation, to go off season can be incredibly difficult. This can infuse into your interaction with others with you perception of what you think they are seeing and can cause a level of social anxiety or restricted interaction. Thats a very one dimensional way of explining it and the intense self lothing and desperation to change what you see either in the mirror or in your head can almost overtake you life and your thoughts.

Body dysmorphia isn’t just about seeing yourself as larger than you are, you can also see and believe you are smaller. This is a common complaint for many men and is also known as the “Adonis complex” and “bigorexia” and is linked to again a level of self esteem. The problem with body image issues is that the root cause can be dealt with yourself but you are still left with the embedded behaviour and response and image you see.

It is also largely driven by your own frame of mind and how you are feeling. It can get worse purely by catching a glance of yourself at an unfortunate angle or feeling low or vulnerable/not in control and can intensify. You can go from having a good day and feeling reasonably at ease about yourlsef to withdrawn and self conscoius in seconds.

female body image pic

What is it ?

As with all self esteem issues, there are always areas of our lives that we have absolute confidence, however, there are also areas where we may have less and this can impact on us in various ways.

Body image issues are often disregarded but for those who suffer from it it can be debilitating and difficult to discuss or divulge to others. If left untreated it can seep in other areas of our lives and cause profound damage. We also find it difficult to admit to - especially the guys - which makes it even mroe dificult to adress. Instead we "buy into" that mental image we have and try harder and harder to rectify something whic hin reality doesnt really exist.

Although I would like to say it can be “cured” – I do think that some element of it has to be left as the client may feel that if they lose it completely they will wander around with egg on their jumper and not wash for a week. So – we implement to “manage” the condition and build the confidence while ensuring no egg is on your jumper – ever!

Over the next months this section will be expeanded on in the the members section as this is an area of speciality for me with clients so I think it might be useful to try and find a couple of volunteers to work with on camera as I think it would help many people.