Dealing With Body Dysmorphia
Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD) is a body-image disorder characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one's appearance. In other words pertaining to someone who overthinks and can obsess about pieces of their body. BDD tends to sneak up on people, even those who may be extremely confident. It has been said that 1 out of 50 people can suffer from this disorder.
Symptoms Of Dysmorphic Disorder
Symptoms are some of the following:
-Obsessing over a slight imperfection on your face, skin or hair.
-Emotional distress over the way you look
-Feeling that your appearance is too fat or even more slender than you truly are.
-Covering up your body or specific areas of yourself
-Constantly looking in mirrors or completely avoiding them
-Excessive exercise or dieting
-Continually talking negatively about your body (specific parts) or putting yourself down.
The list goes on.
The reason I am touching on this subject is because I believe many people suffer from this disorder and it is simply not talked about enough. I personally have gone through trial and error trying to correct the way I think about myself or my body.
My Struggle With Body Dysmorphia
My quick story:
As many of you may know, I recently competed in my first ever figure bodybuilding competition. I went from 26% body fat to 12% body fat within a 6 month time period. We used this DSK protocol along with extensive exercise. I did this process in the most healthy manner and I did everything perfectly by the books. As my body fat began to shed I literally could not see the difference in the way I appeared. I knew I had lost pounds and I knew my body fat had gone down but I could not physically see any changes. I felt that my “loose skin” was fat and I would look down to see “rolls”. I could see the veins popping out of my biceps but could not understand because I simply didn’t see myself any different. I would go to the gym and pinch my stomach fat so hard to hurt myself so I could remember why I was working so hard. The image I had of myself was beyond skewed. After my competition, I needed to gain some weight back to maintain a healthy female body fat. As I did, the dysmorphia got a tad worse. Gaining even just that healthy weight back was horrible in my mind. All I could see was so much fat. I obsessed about food, my body, my workouts, my nutrition. I’d spend hours working on my diet and workout plans. I simply couldn’t maintain this way of living. So, I asked for help and put myself out there for others to see. I changed the way I looked at myself and I chose to see beauty in the healthy weight I had gained. I look back at pictures of my competition or my prep and well up with tears. In those moments, I had no idea that's what I looked like. I am now better, not completely but always a work in progress.
Body Dysmorphia Awareness
I bring this to your attention because most of you are following DSK as a simple weight loss strategy. I have seen many come and go through this program that also have suffered from BDD. I am here to bring its awareness. I am here to put its ugly face out there and give you freedom from those thoughts. Open up to someone, allow yourself grace, take a look at yourself from a larger perspective, look at how far you have come and what you have accomplished. You can do every single step right but somehow our minds still go another direction. Be confident, be strong and be willing to watch your body change as you put in the work.
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are”
Crystal Love- DSK Coach
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