Our society loves the idea of being thin, and obsesses over the idea of being physically fit… but there comes a point when enough is enough because your health, and well being, is at risk. Anorexia Nervosa is a complex eating disorder where the person has an intense fear of gaining weight and becomes obsessed with being thin. Muscle Dysmorphia is a disorder where a person becomes obsessed with being muscular and alter their eating habits in order to gain more muscle mass…Typically seen in professional bodybuilders. So this leads me to the question… Is body building a disorder? Bodybuilding can be classified as reverse anorexia (aka muscle dysmorphia) because they are obsessed with their look and diet and exercise begin to control their lives. People who suffer from anorexia believe they are too big, while bodybuilders believe they are too small… both of which affect their perception of their body image. A study done at Vanderbilt says that 8% of bodybuilders insisted they were smaller than they really are. Research done by Pasman and Thompson found that people obligated to weightlifting demonstrate more eating disturbance than eating controls and while they are trying to find their perfect physique, they reach unparalleled extremes in changing their eating habits to maximize workouts for greater muscle mass and definition. They eat massive amounts of meats and consume enormous amounts of protein, they eat healthy fats in order to get rid of the bad ones and drink a lot of water.
These disorders engulf their minds and can alter their lives not just through physical appearance. People who suffer from anorexia also tend to suffer from depression, making them isolate themselves from friends family and/or actives. Fussell (a retired bodybuilder) stated that he gave up many aspects of his life like his job, his friends, and his family to pursue his obsession with bodybuilding. Bodybuilders are a team of one, meaning they rely only on themselves because coaches and teammates are not apart of the lifestyle. Knowing all of this, do you believe bodybuilding is a disorder?