This mental state is what is jokingly referred to in the fitness community as “Bigorexia.” It is the exact opposite of Anorexia.
The simplest and most innocent affliction of this disorder (above) is the most common, experienced by many gym goers and almost everybody attempting to gain muscle. I think in the modern world of fitness, this is prevalent in many ways beyond just not feeling big enough. Where an anorexic individual sees themselves as overweight, an individual suffering from bigorexia sees deficiencies in muscularity and overall size.

It does not solely pertain to one’s perception of their muscularity, but to their perception of their physical appearance as a whole.
The true meaning of fitness includes feeling good about yourself, both mentally and physically. The actual term for this condition is Muscle Dysmorphia, and on a larger scale, Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Never happy with one’s current muscular state, they fail to see the gains that have been made, and instead focus on the unattained goal – which ironically will never be met in the eyes of the beholder.

I don’t have a mental illness, but the pursuit of muscle gain can and has been all consuming. Year after year we will try to build muscle on top of muscle, not only to compete with those around us, but to compete with our former selves.

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