Having a small day. Frustrated with my lack of progress. Short of resorting to steroids, I feel like I’ve done everything, while my pups and friends make big gains in a month that it takes me in a year.
I know, I know, I’m “cutting.” I’m down fat and my measurements have mostly stayed the same. My definition is better, my proportions more like a bodybuilder…still feeling small.
Its probably all in my head, but my usual BDD tricks aren’t helping right now. I feel like I need to do something. Switch up my workout, audit my diet, re-evaluate my supplements. Something isn’t working.
Back to my old workout
While big pup has had tremendous results with the Colorado Experiment workout, my stats have stayed mostly the same, with my thighs actually shrinking a few inches. So, I’m ditching that workout. I had the most growth doing my old two-week split. I’m making a couple modifications based on new research:
- SUN: Rest / Cardio
- MON: Rest / Cardio
- TUE: Legs
- WED: Shoulders + Biceps
- THU: Rest / Cardio
- FRI: Back
- SAT: Chest + Triceps
Yes, three rest days. I’m still trying to cut, so I’ll be doing HIIT cardio (mountain bike) on my rest days. I’m stacking up complimentary muscle groups (ala Alexy’s workout), spacing auxiliary muscle groups apart to avoid over-training, and putting legs before my lagging muscle group arms. (For the slight GH advantage this might provide).
I’m using a more traditional bodybuilding format for my workout:
- 3-4 sets at 10-12 reps per set
- 5/1 tempo (slower reps build more muscle)
- 1 compound exercise for warmup (15 reps for the first set)
- 3-4 additional exercises per muscle group
Diet is…okay. I need to be more punctual with my protein intake, otherwise its good.
Sigh! My life.
Today was a good day!
I was getting super depressed post-surgery because I thought I had lost a ton of weight/size from being away from the gym. (Doc says I can’t workout for two-four weeks). Had my first successful workout post-surgery today. Hurray! Previous attempts were met with shooting pain that necessitated my use of pain killers. But not today!
And then I took my measurements! I’ve actually stayed about the same weight, same size, nothing shrank…except my arms, which are down an inch, but that might be because I haven’t worked out in a while.
Anyway. Phew. Measurements keep me from going crazy. My mind plays tricks on me when I look at my reflection; I think I’ve suddenly become flabby and skinny after a break from the gym…but nothing has changed.
Also I start bulking today. Going to try and get my arms back up an inch in time for Folsom.
Excerpt from my Quora response to the question “What is everyday life like for a bodybuilder with huge muscles?”
I’m a hobbyist bodybuilder, and while I don’t consider myself very large (please see: What does it feel like to have Body Dysmorphic Disorder?), thats how most people describe me. I started bodybuilding at 140lbs and have been as big as 260lbs
[ … ]
I always opt for the disabled person stall. Going into anything smaller is like funneling a bull into a kennel. My shoulders graze the stall walls, I turn to sit and my thighs fight for room with the toilet paper dispenser; the ordeal leaves me winded and frustrated.
Airplane seats are no better. Not that I’ve ever heard anyone say they enjoy sitting in an airplane seat, but watching the pained expressions of people as I explain I’m sitting beside them. Thats rough. I might as well be telling them we’re sharing a seat for a trans-continental flight. I tuck my arms in and try to make myself as small as possible, not because I want to, but I sympathize with the other passengers. Nobody wants my arm taking up both arm rests and half their seat.
Read the full response on Quora here.
Yesterday Tony was feeling down about his workout progress. It’s always up to me to lift his spirits up and remind him that he is indeed doing well. When I have those moments though, I usually keep it to myself. I know he would do the same for me; it’s just I feel like it would be how when a skinny girl goes “ugh I’m such a whale” to her fat friend (not a literal metaphor). I know Tony thinks I’m silly when I say I’m not happy yet with where I’m at with my body, but it can’t be helped sometimes. The last thing I would like to do is make him question his progress when I know he looks up to me.
Earlier today I was having one of those moments. I feel I should be further along or bigger by now and that I could be doing way better in terms of nutrition and getting rest. But flipping through my older pics it helps me realize that I have had progress since then. It’s slow and steady, but progress.
This October will make two years since we started lifting.
Just some baby stuffs that I was pondering over while listening in on a company conference call.
I’ve seen “Before” photos of both you guys, and the progress you’ve made is inspiring!
I barely remember my first few years of working out, despite my spreadsheets indicating thats when I made the most progress. No matter how much effort I put into my body, I never felt happy with the results.
120lbs later, I’m the biggest I’ve ever been, but I still am unhappy with my results. My reflection is still the skinny, dirt-skinned twink that started lifting 7 years ago…even though I am nearly twice the size I was when I started.
This is easier said than done, but it’s important to work on your self-perception as well. Love yourself, learn to accept compliments, remind yourself the parts of your body you love daily, and enjoy the positive affirmations people send you online.
Y’all are very beautiful folks, even before you started your fitness journey.
Does your D/s relationship help your BDD in any way?
Yes, actually. In a surprisingly positive way.
When we were first dating, working out with Dan was very difficult. He’s much bigger than I am, has better proportions, handsome face, amazing smell…anyway. It was very difficult. I would compare our reflections and it would make me feel so, so small. I had a couple small breakdowns doing arms with Dan.
But when Dan hit his subspace, our exchanges made me realize that he loved me so much he saw no flaws with me. In that moment all my insecurities disappeared with him. When I’m with Dan I don’t care about how small I feel. It’s very nice.
This D/s relationship is a little weird, but it makes me so happy.
Hey Noodles. Just curious, what will happen after you reach your weight goal? Do you think you'll decided to bulk up further or what?
I’m just 10lbs away from my goal weight of 260lbs, then I’ll be happy. I think I could just maintain at that weight. Wow…why does this sound so familiar…
- Me at 140lbs: “My goal is 180lbs, then I can stop and finally be happy.”
- Me at 180lbs: “My goal is 200lbs, thats another inch on my arms and then maybe I’ll be happy!”
- Me at 200lbs: “My goal is 230lbs, then I’ll be the average weight of a Muscle Bear and someone will love me…or maybe I’ll love me!”
- Me at 230lbs: “My goal is 260lbs, then I’ll finally fit into that XXL tshirt I’ve wanted to wear since I was 140lbs.”
I keep expecting to see some magical change in my reflection as I gain weight and grow…but I’m still the same skinny guy as I was six years ago. So the goal keeps growing in pace with me, always out of reach.
I will probably continue to push the goal bigger and bigger until:
- I can overcome my Body Dysmorphia
- Or I harm myself in pursuit of my goals (eg, steroids, plastic surgery, funny third thing)
I might already be “harming” myself trying to get bigger. Since I’ve hit 240lbs, I’ve noticed some weird health things that will probably get worse as I get bigger:
- I’m getting sleep apnea. My doctor has scheduled a sleep study for January, but thinks I already should budget for a CPAP machine.
- I have been getting horrible acid reflux from forcing myself to eat all the time. This makes my asthma worse somehow.
- To prevent calorie deficit, I’ve reduced my cardio while bulking. My family has history of heart disease, and my doctor has expressed concern that gaining weight would put stress on my heart.
I have successfully recreated the lighting environment of DIESEL’s dressing rooms in my bedroom. It makes my arms look huge.
But, seriously, being able to look at my reflection and not feel so skinny is really nice. I should’ve done this lighting strategy and mirror mount years ago.
Today was horrible.
I was doing so good with my BDD that I had (incorrectly) projected being “over it” in a year or two. Boy was I wrong.
I had a complete breakdown today and ended up stuttering, choking up, and crying in front of my boss. All during a personal review where I was trying to make a case for new responsibilities. He made an offhand remark about my size and the presence I lacked, and I just lost it. So incredibly embarrassing.
Definitely time to go back to therapy.
Just wondering why you take so many photos of yourself.
It started three years ago as a daily-self-portrait project, inspired by Woofer’s famous 365 series. Besides helping me journal and learn to appreciate each day, the project has helped me grow as a photographer.
My therapist suggested I use the project to help me with my body dysmorphia. By posting flattering photos of myself, I gain a better appreciation of my own body, and the positive comments I receive have helped me overcome a lot of body anxiety in the past couple years.
It’s no substitute for therapy (I should really go back someday), but I know other folks with BDD have had similar success using serial self-portrait projects.
So if your research says you won’t be big enough to be a Bull till you're at least 280lbs will your BDD just disappear or will it move to some other part/aspect of your physique that you don't like?
Actually, if I can get to 260lbs next year I’ll be a Bull. I’m on the absolute cusp of the lower-end of a Bull’s physical stats, but I’ll start calling myself that anyways. :D
I’m sure that I will always have some degree of BDD, but the intensity and frequency of attacks have been diminishing over the past two years. I wonder if this is because of all the positive reinforcement I’ve been getting from my blog, my therapy exercises, actual progress I’ve been making, or a combination of everything.
Hi Dylan.. Have you ever gotten negative comments or remarks at anytime while trying to achieve your ideal body? And if so what was your response?... I ask because I have been told by a few members of my family I have weight issues my "friends" also jeer me alot. Im by no means skinny or fat.176lbs 5'7" and work out 2 days on 1 day off.
Yes, I’ve recieved a lot of negative comments from friends, family, and even boyfriends who felt my body needed to go in a different direction.
My mom is always telling me to stop trying to get bigger. I realize she’s commenting out of a place of love, but she doesn’t know how unhappy I am with being so small. I’ve tried explaining my position and diagnosis, but she still thinks I’m getting too big. (Nonsense).
I’ve had plenty of people on my blog telling me I’m getting too chubby, or m belly isn’t big enough, or that I’ll never be big enough so I should just give up. (More nonsense).
One of my exes told me (while we were in a relationship) that he liked me skinnier. When I explained how much happier I was at 240lbs, he started making jabs about how chubby my face had become, or grabbing my midsection to make me self-conscious of how I had grown.
The only person’s opinion that matters about your body is your own. So workout or diet to make yourself happy. If you’re happy, thats awesome. Hopefully your friends and family will see you happy and appreciate you for you. If they don’t, they’re probably assholes.
When was the last time you cried?
I had a BDD attack last month while in Ptown and I cried while my friend Chuck calmed me down. I was ashamed that he saw me in such a moment of weakness, but he handled it expertly and with his help it ended up being a minor attack. Phew!
you're parents were nudists? if so, and correct me if im wrong, wouldnt that mean that they encouraged you to be proud of your body and cancel out your BDD? p.s. ilu ~
I’ve written about what it was liked to be raised by nudists a few months ago…but, they never really acknowledged it was a “different” thing. They just did a lot of stuff without clothes, and we would hang out naked with friends and neighbors. That was my normal growing up.
This wasn’t a special thing. Nobody made a big deal about being naked, they just got naked and went about their day. As such, they never encouraged me to be proud of my body or flaunt it, just that sometimes you didn’t wear clothes…and I would follow the example my parents and friends set.
I think it has made me much more comfortable to be naked (or wear very little clothing), but hasn’t had any effect on my BDD. You can be comfortable naked and unhappy with your body; the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
I have this dysmorphia discussion with my boyfriend a lot. I think his trouble is that he has a warped perspective of realistic body sizes, just like I (and I know you) have. We grew up fantasizing about men in stories, drawings and morphs that just can't exist. I've always noticed you exaggerate the guys in your sightings drawings, and you even used a morphed photo when talking about your ideal body. Is this something that you've thought about or talk about with your doctor or whatever?
Ah. You might be onto something.
I have my unrealistic fantasy man, but I don’t really date according to that. Southern Powerlifter-sized Redheaded Bottoms who are into me just don’t exist.
Do my unrealistic fantasies impact how I view myself? Probably a lot.
When did you first realize that something was... different about you and your way of thinking/viewing yourself? When did you first go to therapy? And did you have any reservations about going at first? ie: Did you not want to admit it to yourself that you might have a disorder?
My Google Search History says I first looked up “Body Dysmorphia” in 2008. I don’t remember the events that led up to this googling, but I do remember my ex Royce trying to explain that I had Body Dysmorphia. After his “diagnosis,” I asked my friends and they all seemed to agree that I had horrible self-esteem and poor body image.
It wasn’t until mid-2010 that I was officially diagnosed.
I was originally seeing my psychologist because my then-boyfriend had required I “seek help” because of my stance on our serodiscordant relationship…annnnnnd after a few sessions, and a breakup, we shifted focus from my non-issue relationship problem, to my self-esteem issue. This was much more interesting to my psych, and later he diagnosed it as BDD.
I had a difficult time understanding it was something as grandiose as Body Dysmorphia, but the more I researched, the more I looked like a classic case.