Muscle Dysmorphia: ‘It Makes Me Feel the Way a Man Should Feel’

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Muscle Dysmorphia: ‘It Makes Me Feel the Way a Man Should Feel’

Eating disorders are stereotyped as only impacting women and girls. But young men are also obsessing about dieting and appearance leading to muscle dysmorphia

Bethany Dawson
Aug 22, 2021, 12:17 PM

This article is a repost which originally appeared on the INSIDER

Edited for content

External pressure isn’t a reason to go to the gym.

Four thousand calories a day. Lift heavy weights. Check the nutrition app. Check muscle definition in the mirror. Check it again – and again. No pain, no gain – this was Micky David’s mantra.

It all began when David looked in the mirror one day and was unhappy with what he saw.  Scrolling through social media and inspired by the images of the incredible bodies of fitness influencers he decided to bulk up. He started a grueling eight-week fitness regime. It ended with his world falling apart.

David suffered from muscle dysmorphia and it controlled his life for many months, he told Insider.

” My only fixation was what I looked like. I would think about that numerous times throughout the day. I would panic if I couldn’t make a gym session,” he said.

“I had a nutrition app on my phone, so everything I ate would be scanned in and I would know exactly how much protein I was having, how much fat I was consuming. It was an obsession.”

David was always checking himself out. “For example, if my T-shirt wasn’t tight around my bicep, I’d feel really scrawny, really skinny throughout the day. I’d hate that,” he said.

Meanwhile, socializing became a mental assault course. “If I went out to a restaurant or a social event, I’d panic about what to eat or what to order, whether that would kind of fit into the nutrition plan. So it’s a kind of constant battle.

“I didn’t get these ideas from my parents or family at all. I’ve always been very supportive and stuff for me. It more came from the society around me.”