Arnold Schwarzenegger, probably the hardest name for me to type, is one of the best bodybuilders of all time.
Don’t know who Arnold Schwarzenegger is?
- Aside from being one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, Arnold was first elected in 2003 as California’s governor. In 2011 Arnold completed his second term as governor.
- From 1965 to 1980, Arnold won 19 competitive shows from Junior Mr. Europe to the coveted Mr. Olympia.
- Arnold has appeared in over 30 films and has ventured into directing and producing.
Many people start bodybuilding because they are unhappy with their body, have self-esteem issues, or just want to get healthier. Regardless of the reason, most of us start because we are unhappy about something.
Lifting has been shown to reduce and help with depression, increase health, and improve overall quality of life.
But what if I told you that even the greatest bodybuilders of all time have body dysmorphia? Arnold sat down to have an interview with Cigar Aficionado and he dropped a pretty big bomb in their lap. Arnold revealed that he has been dealing with body dysmorphia all of his life — even while collecting Olympia championships.
Now that he has retired from all of that, it seems that his feelings are the same… if not worse.
When I look in the mirror, I throw up. I was already so critical of myself, even when I was in top physical shape. I would look in the mirror after I won one Mr. Olympia after another and think, “How did this pile of shit win?”
We’ve all seen Arnold in movies or pictures flaunting an amazing physique that most of us would do almost anything to achieve… what gives?
I never saw perfection. There was always something lacking. I could always find a million things wrong with myself and that’s what got me back into the gym — because I started out with that mentality.
We’ve seen the unflattering pictures of what Arnold’s physique looks like now. One can only imagine what things he thinks of himself now.
Arnold went on talking about how he would spend hours practicing poses, and practicing reps. He says that “the more you do it, the better you get… and that’s how you gain confidence.”
Find out about body dysmorphia on the next page…
What is Body Dysmorphia?
In short, body dysmorphia disorder affects more people than you may believe. Most of us have something that we cannot stand about ourselves. Someone who has body dysmorphia thinks about their real or perceived flaws for hours each day.
Bodybuilders are susceptible to BDD because most have started lifting weights to fix a perceived flaw. Add in the hours of intense exercise per day and you have yourself a recipe for an unhealthy cycle of degrading thoughts.
While only 1% of the U.S. population fully suffer from BDD, a high percentage of people are unhappy with something about themselves. They may not go to the extremes of surgery, changing clothes excessively, or avoiding mirrors altogether, they still do not allow themselves to be happy.
It is heartbreaking to hear someone like THE Arnold Schwarzenegger, that made an unmistakably large name for himself starting with nothing but hard work, deals with such a disorder.
Arnold goes to show that with enough hard work and patience, anything is possible. It goes to show that even if you don’t believe in yourself, you should strive for something. Becoming complacent and accepting life “as it is” will not be fulfilling.
Check out Arnold and his shenanigans as he goes undercover at Gold’s Gym:
How surprised are you by Arnold’s admittance of his self-esteem issues?