Vigorexia and inner beauty
In a time when the cult of the image is increasingly evident, it is sadly easy for us to get accustomed to maladaptive behavioral reactions from friends, acquaintances, etc. This cult implies, in part, associate our self-esteem with our physical image , and given that this will not always correspond to the ideal of imposed beauty of the day, we can assume that this self-esteem can be easily compromised.
Among the reactions to which we refer we can find a considerable economic outlay in clothing, cosmetics or aesthetics in general, that our mood becomes dependent on the approval of others, or even establish toxic affective relationships . But these behaviors away from an unpolluted mental health can end up leading to serious pathologies, such as anorexia, bulimia, or vigorexia.
- Related article: "Vigorexia: causes, symptoms and treatment"
A distorted perception of oneself
Vigorexia is a mental disorder characterized by the performance of a disproportionately demanding physical activity , sometimes linked to the consumption of vitamin or anabolic supplements and a distorted image of the body itself.
This distortion is usually oriented to perceive the own body more thin or weak of the real one (of opposite form to the typical case of the anorexy, where the patient perceives to have a greater weight of the real one), and usually implies an eternal nonconformity with the own body, whose immediate consequence is that maladaptive behaviors in relation to physical exercise tend to be maintained indefinitely, as well as the feeling of dissatisfaction with one's body.
In addition, the vigorexia can leave physical and psychological sequels, in the form of growth disturbances, inability to re-develop a sports practice in a healthy way ...
These behaviors are essentially the same as any athlete, only taken to the extreme, and we all know people who, in our opinion, devote a large number of hours to the gym, so, how can we differentiate vigorexia from a simple workout? demanding?
How to distinguish it from the sporting requirement?
Like any disorder, the vigorexia will be so as long as the related behaviors involve a significant deterioration in the athlete's life . If you dedicate less time to your obligations (academic or work) than you intend to train, if you alter the quality of your social relationships, your sleep hours, or if your health is affected, through inadequate training (due to your weight , age, physical conditions, etc.) or the consumption of substances.
Due to the great social pressure that exists and the reinforcements associated with sports practice , vigorexia is a disorder that involves a component of addiction, so most of the time the athlete will not be aware of having a problem, or feel that it is worth living with that problem while getting their maladaptive objectives.
That's why we should be very attentive to the manifestation of the first symptoms of the disorder , before this is established and go more and more, since in any intervention at a psychological level is vitally important the patient's motivation to solve the corresponding problem.
- Maybe you're interested: "10 reasons to put a sports psychologist in your life"
The psychological treatment
People do not change if they do not want to. And when he wants, people are supposed to work or train systematically in different techniques derived from psychology, which in this case would be, above all, oriented to, on the one hand, correct the distorted vision of one's own body through techniques related to cognitive restructuring, that is, "dismantling" those irrational beliefs that are keeping the behaviors to modify. "I'm a puny" has to give way to "But X kg", I have "x muscle mass or body fat index", "I'm above average", etc.
On the other hand, modify the pattern of maladaptive behaviors through the establishment of short-term objectives, seeking to maintain the motivation for change ("I have managed to train less, I can do it") and managing the contingencies between these behaviors and the consequences of these, either reinforcements (those that facilitate the associated behaviors are repeated in the future) or punishments (those that diminish these probabilities).
But the most important thing is to generate critical thinking that protects us from the media bombardment of a limited way of understanding beauty because this, never better said, is inside.