The Chubby Kid Inside Me – A fitness expert’s battle with body dysmorphia

I have felt self-conscious about my body every since I was a little boy. My mom struggled with her weight and I’ve battled the overweight kid and chubby teenager who have lived inside me my whole life. I felt so flawed in my own eyes that I thought I needed to be perfect to make any kind of mark in the world.

Food is at the heart of my own personal war. It was and remains my nemesis. I have not stepped on a scale in decades. Even with my regimented workout schedule (and 5% body fat at times), I’ve never been completely satisfied with my body. That might sound strange coming from a lifelong fitness expert; but, I am no different than other people who suffer from body dysmorphia.

What is Body Dysmorphia?

Body dysmorphia is a mental disorder that is characterized by a person’s obsession with one or more real or perceived minor flaws on his or her body. Brain changes, genes, and environmental factors can cause dysmorphia. The Mayo Clinic lists they symptoms of the disorder and they include:

  • Strong belief that you have a defect in your appearance that makes you ugly or deformed
  • Constantly comparing your appearance with others
  • Always seeking reassurance about your appearance from others
  • Being so preoccupied with appearance that it causes major distress or problems in your social life, work, school or other areas of functioning

How I Cope with Dysmorphia

My poor self-image drove me to the gym at an early age*. Results came slowly for me, unlike my friends who were ripped and lean with half the effort. Undaunted, I pressed on. Now, I am in my mid-50s and I look pretty good. In some ways, I am better than ever. I have worked hard to calm the negative self-talk that has rung in my ears for decades.

To deal with my own dysmorphia, I have found other ways to determine how I feel about myself. How do my clothes fit? Do I feel rested and ready to take on the day? Do I have a positive attitude toward what I may encounter? Have I eaten healthy food today and am I looking forward to my workout? Am I determined to take care of myself? Have I had my hormone levels checked to see if I am optimized?

Make Sure Your Hormones are Optimized

I’m not saying hormones are the complete answer; yet, I know they are a vital piece of the total health puzzle. We know nutrition and exercise play key roles in our health. However, without optimized hormones, nutrition and exercise can take us only so far, especially as we age. I chose BioTE® Medical hormone replacement therapy to help me optimize my own levels.

Hormone optimization helps maximize the work your food does and your workouts can yield. It can encourage weight loss, increase bone density, enhance mental clarity, stabilize moods, and improve the overall quality of your life.

We may all have something we don’t like about our bodies. So what? If we eat well, exercise, get regular medical check ups, take care of ourselves the best we can, and make sure our hormones are optimized, we can learn to appreciate ourselves for the amazing individuals we are. After all, perfection is not the goal, progress is.

Here’s to a Better You,

Larry North

Host of the Larry North “Better You” radio show

CBS KRLD 1080 am

Sundays 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Central Time

Listen wordwide at www.radio.com

or join the show by calling 214.787.1080

*It is always a good idea to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. And, getting your hormone levels optimized with BioTE® can be an important factor in your overall health.

BioTE® Medical practitioners are nationwide. For a provider near you, visit www.biotemedical.com

 

 

 


21st Century Fitness – Optimizing every moment in and out of the gym

The 90s were hot for the gym market. In fact, I sold four clubs to a large, well known fitness company. Gyms were massive structures containing lots of mirrors, free weights, cardio machines, racquet ball courts, friendly staff members, regulation-sized basketball courts, yoga studios, spin classes, great music, group exercise classes, simulated golf-swing practice rooms, and non-gym amenities like cafes, pools, and spas. Members* could hire a trainer who’d design a personalized workout program, but most members paid a monthly fee and were on their own from there. That was then. This is now.

Today’s gyms are different – I know mine are. The 21st Century gym is still large and boasts first-class weights, machines, amenities, and staff. But, it has advanced in ways that help members maximize the overall results of their efforts in and out of the gym. Here’s what we are doing in my gyms:

  1. Technology. Handheld devices and apps have changed the world of fitness forever. Gym members have immediate access to nutritional data, body mass index (BMI) calculators, heart rates, tips, nudges, keep track of members’ progress, send out reminders, motivate, calendar item and keep track of exercise – you name it. It is available with a few finger taps. And, members are equipped to ask questions and to challenge beliefs. This can “up” everyone’s game.

From the administrative side, technology keeps gym teams connected to members. We text reminders and email all kinds of information; we forward blogs, take suggestions, answer questions, and post successes so others can get inspired. Technology is making for a great relationship between gyms and members.

  1. Nutrition. We know more about food than ever before. We have learned over the years that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to eating. Counting calories has been replaced with the right balance between carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Carbs and fats have been given a bad name but in the right proportions, they can improve results fast. Protein, is the zenith of muscle building yet may gym-goers still don’t understand the importance of consuming protein before and after their workouts.
  1. Training/Education. Personalized training may seem like a luxury, especially if you have just shelled out bucks for a membership. It can be the change that makes all the difference in results. A well trained, knowledgeable, up-to-date pro can educate you on the latest advances in the science of fitness. He or she gives ndividualized attention and that can help you break through limiting beliefs. This accountability can be the difference between being in “good shape” and “awesome shape.”
  1. Hormone Optimization. This may be the biggest change of all in the 21st Century gym. I have understood the hormone-health connection for a long time. For decades, I believed what I had always been taught about them. I knew that they naturally declined with age. My levels were low from a very young age and I was told I could boost mine a little with synthetics (which I did) but would probably suffer the adverse side effects (which I did). No more.

This year, I learned the difference between “normal hormone levels for your age” and “optimized hormones.” I discovered BioTE® Medical’s bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). It has changed my belief about hormones and it has improved my life. Hormone optimization helps people gain the maximum benefits from your fitness and nutrition.

The 21st Century gyms – my gyms – integrate these components into our health and fitness philosophy. My trainers are working to ensure that individualized training sessions include the “hormone” talk. Trainers are helping our members understand the importance of hormone optimization in helping them reach and sustain their health and fitness goals. Long term.

The gym of the future is here. People’s gym workouts are better and more effective than ever. Gyms have always tried to offer ways for members to benefit from their time in them. The 21st Century gym goes 10 steps farther. We are working to help our members maximize every moment in the gym while optimizing every moment outside of it, as well.

Here’s to a Better You,

Larry North

Host of the Larry North “Better You” radio show

CBS KRLD 1080 am

Sundays 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Central Time

Listen wordwide at www.radio.com

or join the show by calling 214.787.1080

*It is always a good idea to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. And, getting your hormone levels optimized with BioTE® can be an important factor in your overall health.

BioTE® Medical practitioners are nationwide. For a provider near you, visit www.biotemedical.com