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How Body-Building Ruined Me – Guest Post

Guest Article, from Evana that you know from loads of webisodes and the Dating vlogs

How body-building ruined me

I looked in the mirror and pulled out a bit of skin on my side and thought ‘Oh my god, I’m so fat!’. I wanted to cry. I was 60kg, had just lost 23kg of fat (and gained several kilo’s of muscle) to do my first bodybuilding competition but achieving those goals, getting on stage to compete and having a medal around my neck wasn’t enough.

These photos popped up in my Facebook memories this week (images below, a month out from competition) and I remember when I took them, I was feeling ‘fat’.

I had always thought.. ‘Once I have mastered the art of eating clean and training daily, I will be happy with my body’,

‘Once I get to this goal weight, I’ll be happy with myself (the goal weights constantly change and the new goal is constantly out of reach)’,

‘When I can wear anything I want without trying to hide this and that and that and the other, I will be happy with myself’,

‘When I am happy to have photographs taken of me, anytime, any place, and look great, I will be happy with myself’.

After all of the dieting and exercise, I STILL wasn’t happy with my body.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder: ‘People with BDD suffer from obsessions about their appearance that can last for hours or up to an entire day. BDD obsessions may be focused on musculature (i.e. fixation on muscle mass or definition). Hard to resist or control, these obsessions make it difficult for people with BDD to focus on anything but their imperfections’.

I remember having to tell myself to ‘snap out of it’ and that I ‘wasn’t fat at all’. I couldn’t look in the mirror as the water came back on (after dehydration for the competition), my mind was trying to get me into a deep dark hole and I had to fight very hard to keep my head out of it. I considered what measures I could take to ensure the post-comp weight wouldn’t come back on, no matter how drastic. Eating disorders were an option at this point.

I had to work very hard to keep my mindset positive.

A year later (current pic below), a girl who, not matter what size, was confident and vivacious, now struggles with obsessive thoughts of weight, food, exercise and what I see in the mirror. I am at an average weight for my size, yet FEEL hugely overweight. (and in my mind, look it).


After a lifetime of no health issues, rare Dr’s visits and no allergies or ailments, I have been in and our of Doctor’s offices several times, in the last few months, being rushed to A&E and administered several different types of medications (in which I react to), all due to my declining health. I am suffering from extreme fatigue, I have regular dizzy spells, constant headaches and nausea; I have put on 10kg which I cannot seem to shake. I can no longer eat the foods I used to enjoy (as I did before before introduced to the bodybuilding diet) and I react to almost everything I put in my body.

Sometimes I can’t get out of bed in the morning (try being a solo mum and managing to get your child off to school). Sometimes I have to sit down with an ice pack when feeling faint. Sometimes I cry because I don’t know how much longer I can cope with feeling like this. And then I cry harder because I know others live their lives every waking moment in serious pain and illness. The mind goes through every form of emotion.

It could be the fact I’m ‘not as young as I used to be’ or that I am ‘overworked’ or because of some unrelated trigger… We still have no exact ‘diagnosis’ of what is wrong with me or what brought it on but I whole-heartily beleive it is my body shutting down because of putting it through what I have done in the last year and a half, in bodybuilder lifestyle.

So now, after much battling with my bodybuilder mindset, a complete change in diet is in process (noting down anything that I react to as it is re-introduced) and cutting my training right back to combat my fatigue (the biggest challenge for me, being that fitness is a huge love in my life).

Don’t get me wrong; I loved the bodybuilder life while I was living it; loved weight-training; I loved my fit body (as unrealistic as it is to keep it as it was) and I live for goal setting and pushing myself to the limits but to make such drastic changes to the body, has been of detriment and so it would not be my recommendation for anyone to do as I did, and try and cut so quickly.

Now, of course, like with anything.. everyone is different. I know people that have been in this industry and living it day in and day out for 30 years. They thrive on it; their bodies can handle it, their psyche can handle it (I thought I was one of them). But not everyone can.

My advice to anyone wanting to get into bodybuilding (or any similar sport where training and extreme diet is concerned); go slow. Don’t ‘starve’ yourself, don’t over-train, don’t beat yourself up if you do or eat something you are not supposed to and know that what you like like in competition week, is not a true representation of what you will look like in the days, weeks, months proceeding.

Research, talk to other athletes, find trainers that work with you and listen to you and most importantly, learn to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Your body knows best and when you tune into it, it will let you know when something isn’t working for you.

If body positivity is something you struggle with, no matter what shape or size (whether it be a 0 or a 22) .. remember.. health is wealth.

It shouldn’t matter what you like but how you feel and how healthy you are. As the saying goes.. “Your body is a temple’; treat it right and it will treat you right.

Keep the positive mindset, watch the self-talk; push any negative thoughts about yourself our of your head and replace them with positivity and thankfulness of your strong, healthy body!

Much love ❤

E

Oringial article can be found HERE

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Empire motoring Journalist, Vlogger and general larakin. Pro food and lifting heavy things.

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