“Hey, I’m skinny and I can’t seem to gain any weight. I’m 5’10”, 205 lbs. with 8% body fat. I’ve tried everything to put on weight over the past 6 months. Can you give me any ideas so that I can wear shorts this summer without people staring at my chicken legs?”

Believe it or not, I’ve gotten emails like the one above. Here’s a hint, if you’re scale says you weigh 205 lbs. at 5’10”, one of two things is going on:

    1. Your scale is broken

Fit Life

  1. You are not skinny

Most likely, you are not skinny. And you may have a condition called Bigorexia.

Yep, it’s a real term and a real illness, the opposite of anorexia. Its technical name is Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder.

Check this report: Bigorexia: A Muscle Building Obsession.

Long before the shrinks gave this disorder a name, its existence was evident. In every gym, there has always been that well-built guy who always works out in baggy sweats. You sit there thinking, “Damn, if I had that physique, I’d be showing it off.” And if you tell them that, they reply that their calves are puny or their delts are practically non-existent.

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Bodybuilding and the pursuit of getting bigger isn’t a bad thing. It can be a healthy pursuit. But it can definitely work its way into obsession that negatively impacts your life.

Kerry Dulin has a good article on his bout with the disorder, including a list of questions to ask yourself if you feel you may be afflicted.

I’d add one more to his list of questions — If you think your being stared at because you’re so skinny and yet the scales tell you that you weigh more than the average NFL player for your height, you need to step back and consider seeking help.

Bodybuilding should be something you enjoy, not something that controls your life.