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

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




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