Bigorexia (2020) Movie Script

Hey, you eat your food.
-Eat your food.
They get bigger, right?
Hey, Mom, you ready to do this?
-All right.
-You ready?
- Yeah.
-I'll-- I'll ge--
-Go, go, and I need you styled
to sleep, right know.
Perfect. I'm going to, uh,
I'm going to get
in the position.
This one's almost closed.
That one still has a bit to go.
-Just a little bit of--
- It runs out?
Not pus,
just oozing a little bit.
Kind of tried
to figure out what was...
the best to do to--
At first,
I was removing a lot of pus.
A lot of pus.
And then...
See, it's still
healing in there.
I got lucky.
Didn't feel that way initially,
but I almost think,
this was tough to go through,
very painful,
but for the long run,
permanent damage wise,
you know, I'll be, I'll be back.
I'm going to have
some nasty scars
and some, uh, you know,
bad stories
and bad memories, but...
this will heal and tha--
that's, you know,
that part of it,
I feel fortunate.
I started bodybuilding
when I was about 22 years old.
Started competing naturally
and then decided
I wanted to make a run
at being the best bodybuilder
I could be.
I remember back then how I used
to think about myself.
I thought I was little,
I thought I--
I thought I wasn't ripped.
I thought I sucked.
I looked great.
But back then, just
the self-hate was so intense
that I wouldn't
let myself enjoy it,
I couldn't see it, it wasn't
good enough. I was ashamed.
I wouldn't quit because,
you know,
that's where bigorexia
locked you in it,
it's like you're--
"I got to keep this going,
I got to be-- uh, I don't
want to lose my body."
It took me almost dying to,
to stop and go, "Hey, this is--
this isn't worth it."
Being big is not worth
dying at, you know, 50, 60.
That's why I had to quit,
I mean, "I have to quit
or I'm going to die."
-Jeff. What's going on, man?
Good to see you, man.
-Hey. How is it going?
-Good to see you. All right.
-Come on right in.
How you been,
man? Excellent.
- I'm all right. Busy.
I know. Going back--
- Work.
-Come on in, man.
- All right.
So, you know,
we saw you last week
for the initial history
and physical exam.
So the good news is
that you have no coronary
artery disease.
So the arterial bed
has no plaque,
there's no disease in there.
That's one aspect.
That's good news.
This is a representation, right?
So this is diseased,
-and this is yours,
you have no plaque.
But we did an echocardiogram.
-So you have some heart failure.
-All right.
So I know from-- we'll discuss
how that came about
and where we are
and how do we remedy this.
My name is Dr. Thomas O'Connor.
I'm a board certified internist
and I've been studying
the effects of anabolic steroids
on men for about 15 years now.
Bigorexia it's mainly men--
It's the reverse anorexia,
right, "big-rexia."
These are men that feel poorly
about themselves
and their body image.
They will start lifting weights,
they'll change their whole
behavior and their life,
they orient everything
around the gym.
Body dysmorphic disorder
is a psychiatric disorder
in which individuals have
a pretty massive distortion
around their body image,
often seeing themselves
in a way that's vastly different
than how they objectively look.
They see themselves
as looking too skinny,
too scrawny,
not muscular enough,
and they really fear
losing size.
These are individuals that
might avoid going out in public,
they're not the people that
are taking off their shirts
for fear that people will think
that they look too small.
if you look at it academically,
falls under the subset
of an obsessive-compulsive
of body dysmorphia.
Someone is "ill"
because they have compulsions,
they're obsessive
and compulsive.
And, you know,
some of this stuff is positive.
And then they cross that line.
They start doing
anabolic steroids.
I think that's the thing
about bigorexia,
is it can lead
to dysfunctional behavior.
People are going to start
doing stuff to gain size
that's not healthy.
A lot of times,
the men that I see are men
who struggle
with self-esteem issues,
um, might have other issues,
whether it's depression
or anxiety,
and a lot of times feel,
if their body looks perfect,
then somehow that compensates
for something that they feel
they lack internally.
Is bigorexia a problem
in society today?
Uh, definitely.
We're certainly seeing
an increase in prevalence,
whereas 25 years ago,
it wasn't as much
as what we see today.
They're willing
to take the risks.
In the end, it's the same,
they're suffering.
- It's okay.
I was raised
in Strongsville, Ohio,
really nice suburb area,
didn't work out.
I was really into music.
That was my passion
for the time.
I found fitness and,
um, I told myself,
"I want to try to put on
some biceps and abs."
I just started going to the gym.
I-- at sometimes, I'd get caught
and I'd go to another gym
and try to sneak in.
And it's just kind
of what I did, snuck into gyms.
I just didn't know
what the hell I was doing.
I just went in there and just
started lifting shit up.
What's up?
All right.
Yo, hey.
-Can we picture, uh,
in the backyard?
All right.
Hey, how's that?
- You see that arm?
-You want to get that toned
a little bit?
- Just a little bit.
Friends of freedom,
I am Dr. Tony Huge,
and we are here
to crush ignorance
and pioneer human evolution.
I've met many of the most
massive bodybuilders
around the world
and I have met a number of them
that do not understand
how large they are.
They want to get
as absolute big as possible,
they want to be the biggest.
To most people,
it would make zero sense
because they're
already seen as the biggest.
Why would they want
to get any bigger?
It's to the point
of almost like a circus freak.
...a little break
for the first...
Looks like it's modern times--
I-- I don't want to--
Yeah, hey, what's the matter?
Yes, he looks good, Justin.
-He looks-- he looks cool--
-I didn't really--
Okay, I'll do it, but I--
I just don't--
I didn't really want
to film anything until I was
all ready to go, but I'll stop
sounding like a bitch and do it.
Yeah, I don't think
this part of the process
can be any different.
He's going down the stairs.
Just like he's small
at any time.
I was a toothpick.
I put on 100 pounds naturally,
from 150 to 250.
It was easy to put on muscle,
then once I, you know,
went the other route,
kept on putting on even more
and more and more,
and I was just like,
"Wow, I'm really blowing up."
I mean, I'm 342 right now,
my heaviest ever was 350.
I feel like I'm addicted
to getting big.
When you want to be the biggest,
you just keep on getting bigger
until you are the biggest,
and even
when you're the biggest,
you still want to get bigger.
I would definitely
say bigorexia.
Because, uh,
just never satisfied.
Simply. Never satisfied.
I wouldn't say
it's a bad addiction.
Um, its life-changing
and it could be a problem,
you know,
if it affects your lifestyle,
but I wouldn't say that.
I don't think bigorexia
is inherently a problem.
It is going to cause the person
who suffers from it
to, uh,
cost some of their health,
uh, some of their happiness,
but if you look
at anyone in any industry
that's really great
at what they do,
they're probably great at it
because they're
a little bit insane.
I think Craig has the worst case
of bigorexia
that I've ever seen.
I mean, I think he's
the world's largest bodybuilder.
He fluctuates
between 330 and 350 pounds.
So, here we have the world's
largest bodybuilder
who's still afraid that people
are going to think he's small,
who's still afraid that he's
going to get caught on camera
not looking as biggest,
and who's working every day
to try to even get bigger.
What is my typical day like?
I wake up, I eat breakfast,
I relax, eat again,
relax a little bit more,
let my food settle,
go to the gym, eat again.
Come home, eat again,
relax, take a protein shake,
go to sleep.
For me, I'm into the mass
monster look and, you know,
I'm trying to keep it
somewhat alive
to show the world
that the monsters do exist.
Go ahead, go ahead, go ahead.
You got this.
Bring down.
- One and a half inches.
- Hold it.
I give you that one.
- It was pooling
up in your eye a little bit.
Oh, dude, it was, I couldn't
even see out of that eye.
I was always drawn
into sports and, specifically,
lifting an-- and wanting
to be big and strong.
Big muscles and strength was
something I was always drawn to.
Those two things were
these two strong desires
that were with me my whole life.
To some point, still,
it's still something that,
you know,
trying to balance is tricky.
What are your feelings
on bigorexia?
I think it's a real thing.
I'm certainly in it.
I-- I would say
that I can totally relate.
I think it's very common.
I think a lot
of the bigger athletes
feel that to some degree.
I know I did myself.
You'd walk into a room,
and there's a bunch
of other athletes in there,
but I could be the biggest one,
and I would know that
in my head,
but I would look at them
and I would always feel like
they were bigger than me,
and I would always feel
insecure, like, back then,
the way I picked out
all of my clothes
was what made me look biggest.
Psychologically, it was
a big struggle for me too,
because I'm still feeling
like I'm supposed to be female,
but yet, now I'm putting
more male hormones into my body.
And some of those things
I really struggled with.
Lifting was
more important than my career,
more important
than anything else.
It was just a big part
of who I am,
but now, like,
the need to figure out my gender
and figure out all these things
was kind of surpassing that.
So I was struggling.
Those issues became
this balancing act.
What's most important to me
and what things
am I willing to give up.
If I want to transition
and, you know,
I pretty much have
to walk away my lifting career,
which was something
that was very fulfilling
and something I love doing.
So it's just really complicated.
I'm sorry, am I gross
and sweaty and disgusting...
Listen, Matt Kroc.
You're not a girl,
okay, you're not a girl,
you're gender-fluid.
no such thing as gender-fluid,
you're either a guy or a girl.
Or you have a fetish,
you know what I mean,
it-- you know, that I think
that'd gone too far.
I know transgender is
a whole identity thing.
They're born a man
and they're naturally stronger.
-Yeah, I kind
of agree with that.
-you know.
-It's a-- it's bit unfair.
At the end of the day, I mean,
my wife is in a restroom
and, you know, transgender,
you know,
man goes in the bathroom,
you know, and, you know,
i-- it's a problem,
you know, it's a problem
because who knows
if he goes in there, you know,
and starts flashing
because he still likes women.
You can't do that. Th-- You can
be a transgendered woman,
but you're not a woman,
you know, I mean,
you're not a genetic woman,
you can't-- you-- you're either
born male or born female.
When people think
about trans women,
they think of someone like me,
that is very masculine,
has all this extra muscle mass.
Well, that's not
the majority of the cases.
Another big problem
in the trans community
is that we're so invisible.
And they do that
because of discrimination,
they do it because of violence.
They just want
to live their lives,
and they want to be left alone.
People just have this idea
that it's simply a man
putting on a dress
and growing their hair out,
putting on makeup.
And so, when people think
of trans people,
the only people they think of,
the only ones they see,
are the people
who don't blend in.
Then there's just
so much misinformation
and disinformation.
You hear all these stories
about trans women smashing
world records and all this
and it's baloney,
it hasn't happened.
Trans women have been able
to compete in the Olympics
since 2004, in Athens.
In that time, there has been
no Olympic records,
no Olympic golds,
no Olympic medals of any kind.
So, if this was a huge advantage
that people think it is
and it was so easy,
why aren't all these trans women
coming in and taking over
the sports.
It just hasn't happened.
The reality of the situation is
trans women are not
dominating sports
and they haven't taken over.
As I started getting bigger
and putting on more size,
all of a sudden
I was the cool boy.
I don't know if this makes me
feel good like it used to.
Like, now I feel like
it's not what I want.
So, and I have an appearance
coming up in a another month
or so
that I'm slimming down
specifically for that.
I've dropped, like,
22 pounds so far
and I plan to drop
about another 20.
So the idea is to get there
for this appearance,
see how it makes me feel,
and if I feel good,
I'm going to keep going.
I need at least get
down there and see,
"Would I'd be as happy and feel
as content as I think I would?"
And if not, then I can always
put the weight back on.
How did you discover
Do you have concerns
regarding your health?
You know, it's funny, my life,
you got the bodybuilding
but I would say,
like, I always won,
you know, first,
first place in sales.
This is the Mr. Ohio,
I always got third.
And then I finally won, I won
one time which is that picture.
I won my weight class.
I guess it's cool I got big,
but I did have raw muscles
and then I'm
just striated everywhere, no.
In the end, I'd won
my first show, finally,
after seven tries.
You know,
I'd qualified to go to nationals
a few times before that,
but I knew I wasn't ready.
I was going to keep going,
keep getting
progressively bigger.
I wanted to be a bodybuilder
and that is really tough
to let go of,
I mean, that's a lot of blood,
sweat, tears and money.
This was a pipe dream
from day one,
but I think
the competitive spirit in me,
like, I enjoyed the challenge,
I enjoyed that
"You don't think I could do it."
I loved that and that was really
why I loved bodybuilding,
as it was so tough.
It was so tough.
It was so going
against the grain.
I would think anyone that
goes and works in their body
on a daily basis
or five days a week,
they're bodybuilders.
Now, step aside and say you're
a bodybuilder professionally,
that's what you do for a career,
then it gets a little extreme.
It's actually quite unhealthy.
There is a large amount
of drugs involved right now.
There is very,
very unhealthy extremes
of dieting and dehydration
that goes into looking
the way that you typically see
in magazines or in these images.
A normal person doesn't want
to look like Big Ramy.
The average guy does not
want to look like that.
Bodybuilders have bigorexia,
that's why they want
to look like that.
They say, "I want to look
like that and get even bigger."
I think guys never have a limit,
and they really
don't have a vision,
they're just
kind of in there doing it
without any kind of goal.
And they say, "Okay,
how far can I push my body?"
And some people
are never satisfied.
That's just a person,
I mean, that's like
the workaholic, right?
I think it's the same thing
with people that train
and people who want
to be bigger,
they think just bigger,
bigger, bigger all the time.
If you're, like,
a really dedicated person
striving towards becoming
a bodybuilder,
you are willing
to sacrifice your health for it,
your-- even mental state
at some point for it.
But it's an emotional
roller coaster.
It's, like, intense.
I mean, you make
a lot of sacrifices,
you know, for the sport.
This is a sport. You want to try
to be the best you'd be at it,
there's a smart way to do it
where you can limit a lot
of these things,
but you can't limit them all
and you are going to pay it.
positives in bodybuilding
that are really great,
like discipline, hard work.
The body building we love
and we watch and we admire,
that's a great way
to kill yourself.
So I got a bad infection
in my glutes,
and this kept getting
worse and worse,
and more painful
and more painful,
and they needed
to operate on me.
But it kept spreading.
And so, they kept going back,
got to take some more.
And then, there were,
like, tunnels they dug.
It just felt like they couldn't
get it under control,
it was spreading.
It was all ruined,
I knew it was going to be
a long road out of there.
It was scary.
The most recent data said
that the world
population incidence
of anabolic steroid use,
one to five percent.
Men come in with heart disease,
kidney disease.
Despite a sober warning,
they continue,
despite understanding
that there is going
to be more consequences.
So about 50%,
I would say, of my patients
who have muscle dysmorphia
have used steroids.
Steroids are
a very accessible way
for a lot of men
with muscle dysmorphia
to achieve
what they're looking for.
And, at the same time,
it never works,
it never actually helps them.
If anything, now it's
just raised the bar for them.
There's a whole bevy of research
showing that there are a lot
of adverse medical consequences.
They're guys
that are taking drugs,
hurting themselves.
I see it in their organs,
and, not to mention,
they shut off the whole natural
production of testosterone
and they feel horrible.
So the drugs lead
to more and more,
and they're going
to all think that,
"Next month,
I'm going to come off."
And they don't,
no one comes off anymore.
I love steroids, but I mean,
I've built my career...
around them.
Used the right way,
we've seen great things
happen in sports.
We've seen football players get
bigger and stronger
and faster than ever,
we've seen baseball players
hit far more home runs.
Sports get more exciting because
of performance-enhancing.
I think that there should be
medical supervision.
when done the right way,
most of the hormones
that you'll see as far
as performance-enhancing
are, are safe and effective.
I kind of realized that you have
to go and do the gnarly steroids
and that's when
I started thinking like,
"This isn't what I want to do."
Although it was all new to me,
it's like, "I'm not doing this.
I don't want to take all
this stuff and ruin my body."
I'm pro-st--
I'm not anti-steroid,
but let's be realistic,
when you take steroids, you
not give a shit about health,
you give a shit about
getting fucking jacked.
That's why you take steroids.
Because if you
gave a shit about health,
you would do it naturally.
Nobody wants to do it
naturally either
because they
don't want to fucking
take the time it takes.
It's a different animal
when you're
really jacked
and you're on steroids.
"Pay me now or pay me later."
You'd pay later, that's all.
We like to go to the circus.
And if you're going
to look at bodybuilding,
natural bodybuilding,
it's not going to get the views
and the clicks and the likes
of looking at this superhuman.
I think there are just
some guys that, you know,
"Hey, you're born for this."
But there are also many,
many in the majority of us
that are chasing a dream,
that they think
they're going to look like
the guy on the Olympia stage
and they're going to be the guy.
No one wants to admit that,
and I didn't want to admit that,
so you take more drugs
and you try more things,
and you-- you think
you can overcome that.
This game is-- a lot of it is,
if you are to be the best,
it's genetics.
I'm sorry.
There's a lot of unhealthy steps
that go into looking that way.
And unfortunately,
it's why we've seen
a lot of very popular
bodybuilders die.
I had a dream, I wanted to be
the best bodybuilder I could be.
You got to do steroids.
The odds--
if you're in bodybuilding,
that's a given.
I would argue you steroids,
at that point,
started off as, "I just want
to be better at the sport,
I want to be competitive."
I think there's a way to do it
whereas you limit the risks,
but as a young guy,
don't forget,
you got to understand
what you're getting into you.
There is a price to pay,
you are going to damage
your body to some degree,
you're going to have
to break the law.
I was okay with that.
Bigorexia really takes
the fun out of bodybuilding.
It was-- and also an inability
to enjoy the hard work
and the results.
The whole time I'm looking at it
like, "This isn't enough.
You're not that good,
you could do better."
So it's really a-- kind
of a depressing thing
that just kind
of ruins all this--
you're doing all
this hard work and it's like,
"Can't you let go
and enjoy it a little bit?"
These men feel terrible.
I-- I have them, I--
they feel terrib--
they break down crying
in front of me.
They feel empty, useless.
You're taking drugs,
you're trying to get
bigger and bigger and bigger,
and you're getting sicker
and sicker and sicker.
That's bigorexia.
So, I've used synthol
and a number of other different
size enhancement products,
products you inject to--
into a specific muscle
to make it larger.
It wasn't
extremely appealing to me
because I wanted to be
larger everywhere.
But once I attained
the size that I wanted
in most of my areas of body,
I figured if there's
some weak points,
like my biceps,
I would use synthol
to bring that up,
to make my body symmetrical.
Nowadays, you know,
you can go onto YouTube
and type in "synthol"
or "synthol man."
You see a lot of these guys
that have taken it
to such disgusting extremes
that they've become disformed.
No sane person would look
at that in a positive way.
I have to think
that some of those guys
that have gone that extreme,
they just have screws loose.
Perhaps they just
want to be known
as the crazy guy with these
ridiculously swollen arms.
Synthol is, I think,
one of the most dangerous things
that people can use.
There was a research paper
that came out,
and they took a bodybuilder
who'd used synthol all over.
And they x-rayed
and they took scans,
and it looked horrible.
It look like death
waiting to happen.
When you saw the internal
damage that it'd caused,
the connective tissue damage,
it was unbelievable.
It can be dangerous and I think,
in some cases, fatal.
Do you realize how dangerous
synthol can be?
There's a bunch of guys
that want to get bigger
simply to move more weight.
And there's guys that
simply want to get bigger
because they want
to look better,
and they want to get chicks.
Anytime I see
somebody using synthol,
all my respect for them
goes out the window.
They're looking to get
the shortcut to get there,
they're looking to get there
in an easy quick way.
If you really tell
people what it takes
to put on solid muscle mass
and maintain that
over a long period of time,
they won't want to do it.
People want quick fixes,
and that stuff is not
necessarily healthy.
So it can-- you can run
into a lot of issues.
I feel like physique competitors
are definitely more appealing
to people outside
of the fitness industry.
If you lined up
a physique competitor,
a classic bodybuilder
and a bodybuilder,
I would say a solid 70%,
at least, would say,
"I would want
to look like the physique guy."
I still see muscle dysmorphia,
although I might not see
the emphasis on being huge.
They're actually smaller now,
the effect now is
right out of Hollywood.
Really lean and mean and ripped,
not big and puffy.
I remember when the movie
Fight Clubcame out.
These were lean, cut guys,
they were not big
and jacked an-- and muscular.
A lot
of the younger people I see,
they want to have the six pack,
they want
to have th-- the definition.
They want to be able to have
a lot of cuts and striations
that really show off
their muscularity.
So I still see
the muscle dysmorphia,
but it takes
on a different form now,
where it's not, "I need to be
the biggest guy in the room."
It might be, "I need to be
the cuttest guy in the room."
Zac, how do you feel about your
placing in the last competition?
I was initially excited as hell
because I was first called out
center stage
and I did not get moved
from being the center stage.
And I was standing up there
with these other guys
and then I convinced
myself I'd won it.
I convinced myself,
"Of course I'm in the top five."
I wasn't.
When they called
the names out for the Top Five,
my name wasn't there.
Sixteen weeks of pushing my body
through some of the worst pain
I've been through,
both physically and mentally,
was over in five minutes.
And to not even
be called out of five,
I mean, I--
What the hell happened?
You have no idea
how much that killed me.
I want to be
on the Olympia stage.
I want to win Mr. Olympia title.
I'm just trying to--
I'm just sort of--
We wanted hi--
- These are the good ones.
Is it, when you say good ones?
I love this, it's at the actor.
- The French bonnet.
I'm telling him he looks
amazing, but it's not enough.
He wants to get
to that next bit,
the next level.
I think it's when
it goes to the extreme,
then it can be
a little bit worrying.
It's heartbreaking sometimes.
He does look stunning,
but in Zac's eyes,
he wants to get
that little bit better.
It's not a bad thing.
It's a good thing for him
to always want more,
to be pushing.
Naturally, I have to add.
How do you feel
about the use of steroids?
I will always put my health
before... my image.
I've had a fair few friends die
from taking it too far.
I personally don't think
I'd ever go to that extreme
where I'm putting
my life at risk.
I could safely say
I wouldn't die for bodybuilding.
Life is so precious,
and I'm very conscious
of the fact that we
only have one life.
And I'm not going
to end it for a trophy.
Always liked the col--
the camera, didn't I?
I discovered fitness through
being just active as a kid.
And the first time
I ever went to a gym,
I mainly just went
on the treadmills.
But it wasn't until after, like,
three years of DJing
and excessive drinking
when I really got into it.
I came back from Gavdos,
which is a Greek island,
really unwell,
liver was kind of messed up
after drinking so much.
My diet didn't really exist,
I barely ate any food.
I was just having fun,
but I did do that
every single day for,
like, yeah.
And after a while,
it takes a toll on your body,
and I started becoming
really ill.
I thought I was going to die.
I'd think,
"Oh, my God, I--
I'm killing myself,
I need to stop this."
And I went home
and just put my shoes on
and went for a run. I didn't
even, like, do anything.
The second I got home
from the doctor's,
I went out for a run.
And that was the start
of this new chapter for me.
I never looked in the mirror,
never looked in the mirror.
I hated it.
I hated looking
at that person I used to be.
I mean,
it's funny how ten years ago,
I was scared of mirrors
basically, and now...
I can't stop looking at them.
Keep pulling it back, come on.
Five more.
-Let's go. One!
- The changes
in my physique
from last year are huge.
I'm leaner now
than I was last year.
I'm really excited
about this show.
This is the one
where I turn pro.
I feel like I deserve it.
Okay, just do a bunch.
-All right.
- Good job.
Can you do one in the air, okay?
Get a little further back.
A woodchuck hole...
You saw that.
-Oh, I l-- I like that one
a lot. I look really wide.
-Oh, that's clear.
I like to look big in photos.
Like to look massive,
makes me feel better.
You know, I love
to use angles in photos.
I'm very forward with that.
Doesn't everybody
want to look good at photos?
So if you can look huge,
wouldn't you do it?
I believe men have
the social structure
similar to a lot
of species of animals,
when you have an alpha male
or a male that is a threat,
you either submit,
so it doesn't become
a risk to you,
or you challenge the alpha male.
Usually, with more muscle,
the brain sees,
"Big muscles, threat, submit."
I found that muscles
has actually won me
a lot of relationships
because men see that
as a physical power,
they want to create
an alliance with that.
It's because humans are
a very social species,
if we're not social,
we don't survive.
Do I think that I look good?
From time to time.
I don't always like what I see,
sometimes I look at the
mirror, I'm like, "Wow,
I'm looking small."
How important is it for you
to maintain your size?
It's pretty important.
This is what I'm known as.
So I need to keep it.
If I fail, then, what am I?
Craig, what do you think
about using protein powder?
I use it before bed just because
it's very convenient,
but obviously, real food
is always the best way to go
or drink in your egg whites.
But it's cheap...
Do I feel any differently
about working with Tony
because he's more open
about supplementation than me?
Not at all. My view is,
like, I'm a big believer
that you should wait
to hit your maximum potential
to even touch that stuff.
Like I did.
Do you think coaches
who advocate steroid usage
are a problem?
100% problem.
It's ridiculous. It's unethical.
My opinion?
They should be arrested,
because they're destroying
people's lives openly.
You know what is interesting?
Those gurus,
they do know
how to make a body on stage,
but it's a diseased body.
The hardest part about being me
on a daily basis
is just, like,
being a heavier person.
Tying your shoes can be hard
and just, like,
little things like that.
You know,
you get out of breath easier.
My heart is working
a lot harder than most people.
There's nothing I can do about
it. Once I'm where I'm at,
my mentality of just wanting
to be as huge as possible,
there's nothing you can do.
All you can do is pray,
you're okay and healthy,
and that's about it.
- Craig,
are you even getting huge?
What the fuck are you saying?
I don't think we
would have bigorexia
without social media,
without comparing ourselves
to people that are
impossibly large.
You're always comparing yourself
to an impossible standard
of someone that's
on the other side of the world
who has genetics
completely different than you
and a lot of the photos are
edited or with good lighting.
So now it's,
put in your brain that,
"Oh, you're
no longer the biggest,
you've got a lot further to go."
The issue of body image
has definitely elevated
with social media.
I mean, there's the huge impact
that social media has had
for girls and boys
in terms of how they look
at their body image
because now we can have
a picture taken of us
and we might not
look our greatest.
Now, it can be plastered
all over the internet.
So, there's more of a pressure
for young people
to look good all the time.
Now, when you're
on social media,
you're posting for validation.
And maybe one time
you get validated
with a lot of likes
and next time you don't.
And that makes you think,
"Well, am I fat? Am I small now?
Am I not big enough?
Did I loose size?"
I think in a way,
social media
has changed the game
in both good ways and bad ways.
You can go online,
you can learn almost anything.
You can figure out anything.
You can figure out
how to get in shape,
you can figure out how to eat.
But the other thing is that,
when you look at all
these people, like,
are you less then?
You know,
are you not as good as?
Do you not have the fancy car?
Do you not have the 20 chicks
that you're lifting over
your head like Bradley Martyn?
You know, those are
the things that we look at,
we're like, "Shit, man!"
every time I look at somebody
like Bradley Martyn's Instagram,
I'm like,
"I'm not that jacked and I'm not
that good-looking. Shit!"
Do you think bigorexia
can be positive for some people?
I think anything that comes
in your life as a negative
can always be used
as a positive.
So I think,
if you have bigorexia,
and it's something
that you're trying to fix,
I think, as long as you're
kind of aware of it,
I think it could be
very helpful.
Throughout the years,
I ate what I wanted.
I'd put on weight and--
man, overweight all the way
through being 27.
I remember
I went to the hospital,
stepped on that scale,
605 pounds.
I ain't think that was possible.
What do you do at 600 pounds?
Like, I felt like it was over.
It was that moment
when I looked in the mirror,
I was just disgusted.
I was fed up with who I was
I took a picture and I was like,
"I'm never going
to be this dude.
I'm never going
to be this dude again."
And I was like,
"Man, I'm just going to walk."
I decided I was going
to walk every meal.
And I did that
for about 90 days.
Before I did that,
I had to throw away
everything in my refrigerator,
everything in, in my cabinets.
There's nothing but junk food.
So I was just going
to walk to get every meal.
And then I would eat,
and as soon as I got hungry...
I would go and walk again.
So I walked. I would get halfway
and I-- I used to have to stop.
Couldn't even walk a mile
without stopping.
And those, like, those moments
really made me go even harder.
I just lost 100 pounds
in 90 days.
And that's when it hit me,
I wouldn't even see
the difference.
Find out after losing
my 100 pounds
I was 53% body fat.
You know, most people would...
take that as, "Yo,
I just lost a hundred pounds.
This ain't working."
For me, it was like,
"All right. Well,
maybe I need to lose 50 more."
If I wasn't happy
with where I was,
I always just put
another number on it.
"Maybe I'll be all right
in 50 pounds."
This, uh, never-ending cycle,
50 here, 50 there...
I'd kept up that same attitude
when I stepped in the gym.
It was hard.
It was hard.
It's how I'd lift weights.
Right before I would quit,
I would just be like,
I literally would talk to myself
while I'm lifting weights.
I would say,
"Stop making fun of me.
I'm tired of you all."
Every struggle, everything
I went through in life,
I used to remind myself.
Yeah. Come on.
Hi, everybody, Possible Pat.
Today's the day,
time to do my marking,
stay tuned for the full surgery.
So, we've gone ahead and marked
the center of Pat's abdomen
and the very lowest incision,
down by the pubic bone.
So now I'm going to give
us our basic markings
for the arms and the back.
What we want to do is
we want to follow
this quadrant...
I remember people always,
"Pat, why you in the mirror?
Look it seated."
And I'm like,
"Dude, I'm not in the mirror
for those reasons.
I've never seen this person."
That is me sculpting
who I was today.
And to be honest, like, I'm
just ain't happy about nothing.
...but seriously though, like...
I'm disgusted with my body.
That's just
the honest truth, like,
no matter
how much weight I lost,
no how much-- no matter
how much muscle I put on...
I just, I see
this person, like...
that I'm disgusted by.
Even when I did my show...
and I was the leanest
I've ever been in my life,
I couldn't see it.
How much the bigorexia played
a part in your transition?
I don't see that as a disorder.
I feel like, you want
to be better so you go get it.
Maybe I think like that
because I'm so far away
from where I started.
Just being content
is the horrible thing.
I think having this disease
or whatever you want to call it,
is it a bad thing?
I want to be better.
I want to be bigger.
I want to be fast.
I want to be stronger.
Uh, maybe it's because
I did come so far,
and I know what being
content can get you.
I think it's negative.
I think bigorexia is negative.
If you're not comfortable
with how you look
in the mirror,
there's a problem.
No one's truly satisfied,
I can tell you, I still look
in the mirror now
and I'm not truly satisfied
with how I look,
but it goes beyond all bigger
arms or this and that,
I don't really-- like I said,
I'm not looking for size,
I'm just looking
for a better balance
and leaner--
you know, leaner muscular look.
I think it can only have
a positive effect
in the long run
if they are able to deal
with what's going on with them
and they can
understand themselves.
I see a lot of people struggling
and a lot of people just focused
too much on the material per se.
They can lose themselves
in the process.
And then later,
they're just going to deal
with even more struggles,
because it doesn't
get any better.
The female bodybuilders
I hang out with,
a lot of them that I'm friends
with them and I love them.
Do I find them attractive?
No, I think
it's a little bit much
because they're t--
it's obvious she's taking
a male hormone in a female body.
I cannot find that attractive.
But again, who am I just
to tell her not to do that?
Maybe for those
female bodybuilders,
they're so internally driven
and they have a perception
of what they want to be
that they don't need
external validation for it.
They might have a goal,
"I want to gain muscle
and it doesn't matter,
and I'm going to focus
on the process
day to day to reach that."
Maybe female bodybuilders
who are on stage,
maybe they're trying
to get attention,
like the guy who's
using synthol, you know.
It's a different mechanism,
but maybe that's a way for them
to be different and stand out.
One of the studies
that had looked
at a sample of women
with bigorexia
found a very high
prevalence of trauma,
of rape or sexual assault
in these women's backgrounds.
And the idea of them
building a very strong body
was a defense to, um,
any kind of assault.
So, women that have bigorexia,
there are women
that are using steroids,
and they're using
performance-enhancing drugs.
They get cosmetic
health consequences,
and they lose their hair,
their face structure changes
and they get ridiculed
by people for that.
They lose their female
body structure
in getting what
will be called, you know,
the early boy body,
you know,
where their hips are lost.
Every woman wants
to stay feminine.
Building muscle for a woman
is not as easy
as it is for a guy.
And then, you know,
women have to reach
to different methods
to get muscle.
But that takes away them
from the femininity
if you take certain things,
your facial structure changes.
The more muscle you build to,
you know,
the harder it is
to come down again,
and it just becomes harder
and harder the bigger you get.
-Do we sign in? All right.
- Yeah.
-Just you?
When I first was trying
to figure everything out,
I was taking all these
gender identity exams
and I kept scoring exactly
the same way on all of them,
extremely feminine,
but also extremely masculine.
I was like
in the 99% tile on both.
It's not as simple
as male and female,
and it's not like
there's just these two boxes.
For me it's
a lot blurrier than that,
but I definitely always had
the female gender identity.
When I was a small child,
I would just be daydreaming
and picturing myself
as female and I couldn't
understand why,
but that's just
what felt natural.
But being forced to play
a stereotypical masculine role
made me extremely uncomfortable.
But you basically
just reach a point
where you can't lie
to yourself anymore,
and, you know,
and you got to deal with it
or you're just going
to be miserable.
And I understand,
I know what I look like,
and I know I don't fit
into the stereotypical,
you know, female,
but I'm okay with that now.
And you go through, like,
what young teenage girls
go through,
trying to figure out fashion,
and makeup, and hair,
and what works for you,
and your skin colors,
and, you know,
all that kind of stuff.
How do your transition
affect your size?
On one hand, like,
you know, I'm slimming down,
and being able to wear things
I couldn't wear and--
um, and that felt really,
really good.
But then also,
as an athlete, like,
to go from squatting
1,000 pounds and then,
all of a sudden,
you're down to 900,
than 800, than 700,
and then six,
and then I'm, like, going,
"How far is this going to go?"
Like, I was prepared to lose
some strength, for sure,
and definitely plan to lose
a bunch of muscle,
but it was more drastic
than I expected.
And it's funny,
the only time I feel big is,
is when I'm presenting
very feminine.
Then I feel, like, huge,
kind of like,
"Damn, why aren't you smaller?"
In our society, being a big,
muscular person,
you generally
get treated really well.
And it's just-- it's hard to,
like, walk away
from all that,
especially to embrace something
that society does not see
in a positive light.
My senior year was
when I got a reputation
of kind of being, like,
the big strong person.
Then, you know,
when I went into the Marines,
I was typically the,
you know,
strongest guy wherever I went.
Then that became my identity.
So I was always the big,
jacked person.
I would never feel like
I looked very good or very big,
and I never see myself as big
or strong as I actually am.
And when you go someplace
you don't normally go
or you see certain pictures
or maybe you see
some film of yourself,
and then everyone is following,
you're, like, "Oh, gosh.
Gosh, I-- I guess I am
a lot bigger than I think."
But then it doesn't take long
and you're right back
where you were before.
So I knew I had
a skewed self-perception,
but I was conscious of it
and I don't think it
ever crossed into, like,
into an unhealthy way,
I don't think it pushed me to do
anything I wouldn't
have done otherwise.
At the same time,
it was part of my motivation.
How does bigorexia
affect self-image?
I've asked man about this
that have it.
It's unsanctionable.
I wasn't confident, even though
I looked like a model.
I stopped bodybuilding because
I didn't see me when I was.
I feel it's people
not seeing who they are.
They're just not seeing it.
So I feel like it's people not
having validation for themselves
or from other people
maybe around them that
they need, like, support.
Person with muscle dysmorphia
never feel satisfied.
They always feel
the sense of insecurity
and that they're
never big enough
which means that there's
never really an endpoint
that they can even
feel good about their bodies
or celebrate their successes.
These are not the guys
at Venice Beach
who are publicly
displaying themselves,
because there's
this real hesitancy of, "Well,
what if I'm not as muscular
and somebody sees that,
and then basically I get
exposed for being just weak
and being really vulnerable."
I never took my shirt off, ever.
I wore bigger shirts,
didn't really show the gains.
I was fighting the demon,
and what I did was,
I was like, "I'm just going
to show my physique
that I'm the best."
I started ripping
my shirt off every video,
and I said, "I don't care."
And I wanted to prove
to everyone that I don't care.
I didn't like how I looked,
but when I would
go out in public,
I would receive so many comments
that I could not deny
that everyone else was seeing
something that I wasn't seeing.
You hate yourself so much,
you're so disgusting,
it's so inward focused,
and then you just--
you can't see it.
But I, I didn't show it off
because I didn't think
it was that great.
I was always an athlete
and just always
interested in competition,
and I was one of those people
that's just ultra-competitive,
you know, like, with everything.
And for me, there's
no bigger high than winning.
After I broke the all-time
world record at 220,
I thought, "Oh, I'll go up
and get the one at 242,
and then 275. I'm just
going to dominate everything."
That was my plan.
It was weird, like, after I
broke the all-time world record,
this was a goal
I'd been chasing.
There was this led down,
it was like,
"Okay, what do I do now?"
Then I switched over
to body building,
decided to do a show,
and then this guy from one
of the magazines came up
and asked to interview me.
Then, out of nowhere, he goes,
"So I heard you're, uh, talking
about getting a pro card.
That's a pretty big
statement for someone who's
never even competed."
And right there,
like, my resolve was, "Okay,
I'm getting a pro card."
Because I'm used
to so much of that growing up,
you know, being the small,
white, trashy kid
and always having people
look down on you, and then
all the gender stuff, and so,
I grew up my whole life
having this big ship
on my shoulder and feeling like
I always needed to prove myself,
I always felt
less than everyone else.
And the only way I could feel
better was to beat them.
I felt like, if I was better
than them at what they liked,
then they couldn't
look down at me.
The best quote I got
on Bigger, Stronger, Faster
was Christian Boeving, he said,
"All bodybuilders are little
kids in gorilla suits."
And he said that because
all of us have been hurt,
all of us have been, you know,
kicked when we're down,
stepped on, you know,
and treated like shit.
And basically
we try to battle that
by getting as big
as we possibly can.
It's been a long time
since I've been here.
It's like, I know this school
more than my house.
I lived, you know, every
corridor, every room...
and summer vacation,
we would come to the fields
and just play all the time.
My body when I was younger?
Super skinny, like,
I was the skinniest kid.
Super pale.
I had terrible, terrible gyno
when I was like 14, 15.
I-- I can't remember what they
would say pacifi-- specifically.
I just remember
people laughing at me,
but that was enough,
that was enough.
He was getting teased
at school, and, um,
that kind of thing.
But it wasn't until really after
that the full content
of it came out.
The boys and men
who are bullied or shamed
are definitely
at higher risk for developing,
um, these kind of issues,
certainly developing
self-esteem issues.
But if the shaming
and the bullying is
around their bodies,
then they are absolutely
at higher risk of developing,
uh, body image disorder,
an eating disorder,
muscle dysmorphia.
For boys, it can be either boys
who are shamed or bullied
for being overweight
or underweight.
So the boy who is too skinny,
uh, can be bullied
for not being strong enough.
He's the last one picked
for the basketball team.
It can cause
a lot of insecurities.
What started me
down the weightlifting path
was that, at 19 years old,
I was jumped at a party
and I was beat up by six guys.
And when they couldn't kill me,
they hit me with a beer bottle,
and it just kind of clicked
in my head that I thought,
"Well, if I lift weights
and put on muscle,
people won-- won't pick on me."
And it was almost
out of necessity to feel safe.
When you're 6'3", 295,
no one picks at you
and no one looks at you.
I would cry a lot. I used to run
home, just crying, thinking,
"What's wrong with me?
Am I different? Am I a freak?"
I was questioning so much
and I couldn't understand why,
as in "Why me?
Why-- wh-- what's wrong?
Why am I so different?"
I just didn't want
to be a loser anymore.
I didn't want to be a failure.
I didn't want to be average,
I was sick of it.
If I go
into a gym and it's busy,
my hood is up, I don't want
to be seen by anybody.
I don't know what it is,
I just--
I get very anxious
in certain situations,
having literal battles
with myself,
arguments in my own head.
"How I acted? Am I normal?
Should I do this?
Should I do that?"
All these morbid thoughts would
go through my head all the time,
thinking about death a lot.
Even today, it still affects me.
Next train at platform two
is the 2026, Greater Anglia...
That's a Bronco. Did you eat?
Need to eat, man. Fucking now.
I've put everything
aside for this.
Simple as that.
I've became a slave to the show,
just doing
the same thing everyday,
pushing myself to my limit.
Uh, it is tasteless.
Uh, okay, the strength of it...
All right, 60 grams.
Mentally, I'm ready. Mentally,
I'm focused. Mentally, I'm like,
I'm ready to give it all.
But at the same time,
throughout the day,
because of how, like,
depleted I am,
and drained I am, and...
exhausted I am,
it can mess
with my mental state too.
The work's being done.
Today is my final death day.
Now I just need
to trust in my coach,
listen to what he says
and just do it.
It's all I can do.
Let's fucking go.
What other body parts
do you want to make bigger?
Why synthol and not implants?
If somebody goes and puts
that much synthol in their arms,
I think it has to be--
unless they're
completely insane,
it has to be known
that this doesn't look good.
And that it's just,
"I want people to look at me."
What happens is
they use a little bit
and they get a little bit
of results and they get
compliments on it,
or they get acceptance,
and they want more of that.
And they figure
the more synthol they use,
the more they enhance
whatever body part they're
getting complimented on,
the more love that they'll get.
It crosses a certain point
where it actually goes
the other way,
where they start
to look ridiculous
and they still
are chasing more love
and in-- and injecting more.
Who the fuck is anybody
to say anything
about what somebody wants
to look like?
If some guy wants
to fucking shoot synthol,
I think it's dangerous,
it's not bodybuilding.
If this guy's happy doing that,
it's not fair for me to say
he shouldn't be doing it.
Do you like the attention
you get on social media?
I masturbated to attention.
I loved it, you know,
it got me hard
and guys would mush
their girlfriend,
the girlfriends so hot and shit,
you know, and every guy's
looking at the girl.
And meanwhile,
her boyfriend, staring at me
like a fucking, you know,
and he mushed his girlfriend
to the side
just to come up to me, "Dude,
what are you taking, bro?"
Chris Bell said to me,
"But that's attention
from guys."
I said, "You don't understand.
No, it's not.
It's attention from everybody
because even the girl,
her man is fucking kissing
my fucking ass."
And that bigorexia shit
kicks in,
and you're loving it because
the attention goes with it,
that feeds the bigorexia.
I definitely think that
there's a large percentage
of people that compete
that are definitely--
they're addicted to some
level of attention,
whether it be from insecurities
and it's making them feel better
or just a desire to be
in the spotlight.
So there's a certain level
of the desire to be needed,
for people to love you
or want you
or to be in that spotlight,
for sure.
That's bigorexia. That means
you got this condition
where you got to fucking
be bigger than everybody else,
you got-- you want
that attention, you got
to have an ego for that.
It's all ego-driven, it's all
this need to be fucking--
the biggest guy
in the classroom.
That's a greatest compliment
you can tell a bodybuilder,
"Dude, you look
a little more jacked."
You know, that stokes your ego
and shit, you know.
It gives you big erection
instead of bigorexia.
You know, normal has been tough,
the thought of handle
so normal now is, uh,
more maddening and, you know,
-and that's--
-You work so hard.
I s-- I know sometimes
you would leave here
at six o'clock at night
go to the gym after work,
and work all day,
and come here,
and go to meetings.
I mean, you work so hard,
and you're so not happy.
There was a girl
that lived behind me
who was maybe three,
four years older than me.
She eventually, uh,
got me to start doing
sexual things with her.
I had no idea what I was doing,
I was a ki-- I was eight
years old,
I was in second grade.
This went on for about a year,
non-stop as much as I could
do it because I loved it.
And eventually
I loved it so much,
I told some
of the neighborhood kids,
and what happened is
they told somebody
and Child Services got involved.
I think the neighbors
blame the boy,
and at that point
my life changed,
my whole world went to fear.
That uncomfortable feeling
can manifest itself
in a lot of different ways.
I started to drink
at about 15 years old
and I love to drink and party,
and that...
took off real strong.
I started to not like my body,
I hated my body. I hate it.
Didn't yet want to be big.
So I was very lucky, I got
into treatment pretty quick
and got help pretty quickly,
and then it became a battle,
you know, and that's where--
you know, bodybuilding was
a big part of helping me
stay sober in the beginning,
it was a great relief.
It worked tremendously,
but the problem is,
that there's
that pendulum where,
you know, "Okay,
this is healthy, and now--"
You know, and we start to pay
some serious prices later on.
So the danger of not
treating muscle dysmorphia
is some of the men
that I've worked with
really put themselves at--
at real injury
because of overtraining,
um, have really lost
the ability to work out.
So this is something that's
been so important to them,
and yet that obsession has
led them to be in a position
where they can
no longer work out.
Extreme body dysmorphia
is right out of the poster.
It's a big monster,
he's having heart disease,
kidney disease,
he's isolated his whole life.
He's having
repeat surgeries for--
from acne boils in the hospital
to gynecomastia.
He is financially
not doing well.
Not to mention
the psychological effects.
Uh, psychosis, roid rage,
manic behavior that has
solely been attributed.
These are men that I work with
that don't have a history
of bipolar disorder
or psychosis.
So, from a medical perspective,
there's risk,
but from a psychological
perspective, there's risk.
When you have
an individual that doesn't
and can't feel
that he can leave his house
for fear of how
he's going to be seen,
um, men I've worked with
who get fired from their jobs
because they cannot
leave the gym
for fear that they're going
to get smaller.
So I might work with men
who are suicidal
because they had an injury
and because of that injury,
they cannot work out anymore
and they literally feel
like their lives are not
worth living.
You know, an--
and they're kept out of sight
until someone like Rich
drops dead.
The blood flow that
these bodybuilders got going on,
the heart is pumping
like a motherfucker
to sustain
that kind of body weight
and that amount of muscle.
Rich Piana knew that,
that's why he was talking about
his fucking weight down.
He didn't get a chance to do it.
So you put yourself at risk
when you get that jacked.
You're going to pay the price.
You don't recover
from that shit.
And there ain't no insurances.
There's no fucking benefits.
But you know what?
"I'd rather be big.
I don't give a shit.
I'll die huge."
I guarantee, if you dug up
Rich Piana and said,
"Would you like
to still be alive?
You got to sacrifice that shit."
He would.
So, is there an actual
treatment for bigorexia?
Bigorexia can be treated.
It's a psychiatric treatment
with medicines and cognitive
behavioral therapy.
It's talk therapy,
interpersonal therapy,
and it's real medicines,
like SSRIs, like Prozac.
So a general treatment model
for muscle dysmorphia
would first start
by me assessing
what it is that the person
is really motivated to do.
Are they motivated
to cut their workouts down?
Are they ready to give up
the use of steroids?
Do they have an eating disorder
that we have to deal with?
The two main things
that have been looked at
is cognitive behavioral therapy,
as well as, uh,
antidepressant drugs.
When you use antidepressant
drugs, they help a little bit,
but I don't think they address
the root of the problem,
and cognitive
behavioral therapy does,
and that's actually
changing your mindset.
You need to change
the perception of how you look.
I often will target
the behaviors first.
What are the behaviors
that are getting in the way?
So, if you're not
leaving your house,
we have to work on ways
of getting you out
of your house.
If you are
working out six hours,
we need to cut that down.
What that means
is this individual is going
to get quite anxious,
and part of the treatment
is helping these men
tolerate that anxiety
and tolerate that uncertainty.
What's also the biggest fear
for a lot of these men
is that the treatment
is going to be that they
never work out again,
that the treatment is that
their bodies are just
going to go down
and whittle away to, you know,
scrawny, skinny self.
The goal isn't
that you can never work out,
the goal is to regulate that
and have it be balanced.
But it's all in balance
and too much of a good thing
is still too much.
Starting to get huge, man.
That's all I know, man.
You know,
I don't know about you.
Is that what you know?
-That's why we're going
to the buffet.
I've been looking skinny,
so I told Tony,
"Bro, we got to grow."
All right, let me get,
um, egg whites, spinach.
And, uh, you know what?
I'm trying to get huge.
Let's get, um, mushrooms,
onions, jalapenos,
cheddar cheese, and bacon.
I see people talking
about me when I walk by or,
you know, depend on how I'm
looking on what I'm wearing
or if it's after the gym.
That doesn't bother me.
I love it.
And even when people talk shit,
I take it as a compliment.
Honestly, the way I see it,
they're kind
of complimenting me, man.
You're saying
I look so fucking big.
I'm so fucking huge which I want
to be that I'm going to die.
It's a kind of complimenting me
in a weird, weird freaky sense.
My thoughts on a guy
like Craig Golias,
it's body modification,
he loves it.
You can see that he loves it.
So he put a lot
of work into that,
to say the least.
But if he's happy like that,
then I think it's fine.
Does he have bigorexia?
Fucking yeah, he's got
bigorexia, he eats that shit up.
If you drew him
on a desert island
and he lost all that muscle,
he would probably fucking,
you know,
kill himself or something.
A lot of these men
will create an identity
around building muscle,
kind of like I have.
How far becomes too far,
where you're just never
going to be satisfied with it?
On the other hand,
if you become satisfied
and you become comfortable
with the appearance
that you've created,
then you lose the motivation
to keep working towards it.
That was light as fuck.
And once you attain that goal,
it becomes very depressing
because then, what else
are you working towards?
You've created your identity
towards working
towards this vision of yourself.
It's so crazy.
It's amazing that people will
go up like it isn't high.
Yeah, for sure.
because if not for your hands--
You can keep you...
My presentation still varies
from day to day.
I wouldn't say that I present
exclusively masculine anymore.
I might not be wearing
a wig or makeup,
but my nails are always painted,
I always carry a purse,
99% of my clothing is female.
That's what feels comfortable
for me on some days.
At this point of my life,
I just don't care,
I don't care what people think.
I held myself
back for way too long,
So I just do what feels good
and feels natural.
If I could snap my fingers
and be in a--
in a completely female body,
I would do it in a second.
Which of trails are open?
Let's just make them all.
The biggest thing that kept me
from coming out sooner
was my three sons, even though
they knew everything.
They just grew up knowing that
that's who I am and they
don't think anything of it.
So we have
a really close relationship,
and they're very supportive
and they couldn't be
more awesome.
When I got outed
a few years ago,
a lot of things I kind
of worried about did happen.
I lost my sponsorships
and, I'd say,
at least 50% of the fan base
basically turned on me.
And-- but the silver lining
to that cloud was
that then I was able
to be open and honest
and talk about everything and--
I think I've been able
to educate a lot of people
and hopefully I'll be able to,
you know, keep continuing
to do that.
That I think visibility
is really important,
I think being open and honest
is really important.
Growing up and feeling so alone,
I felt like I was broken,
I felt unlovable and, um,
it was really, really hard.
I don't want other people...
to have to struggle
through those same things,
you know, so...
if me being open and honest
helps other people, you know,
makes their life a little easier
and helps them accept
who they are,
then, uh, you know,
then it's totally worth it.
Sit over here, are you ready?
You're going to cry
or you're going to fight?
Go on.
Eddie. Eddie.
Come on.
Huh, funny. I'm funny. Come on.
Do you think you still
suffer from bigorexia
since your surgery?
It doesn't go away right away.
For the past 12 years,
I've been a bodybuilder.
I lost that identity so,
for a couple months,
I was very angry.
I was very angry.
I was very irritable.
I was, um, you know,
all out of whack.
So it was a mess, it was a mess.
It was really rough.
Because there was another thing,
you know, being a father,
get to enjoy that,
I was robbed of that.
There was, all a sudden,
this moment where I started
to connect with them.
And so, you know, I'm really
enjoying being a father
which is a whole
other thing that I'm so glad
I'm done with bodybuilding.
Once I had a kid
and realized what that meant,
it began to make bodybuilding
look pretty, pretty silly.
If I'm going to have to explain
to him later on in life
why I have health issues,
you know, "Because daddy
wouldn't be the biggest guy
in the supermarket," you know.
No one gives a crap.
-Ready to be
with the group or--
-Yeah, yeah,
you can go this way.
How are you doing?
-Hey, look at you!
- Here comes
the pizza guy.
Oh, there's the most
of meat here.
I want to know--
- All right.
So we're going to do
our meeting real quick. Uh...
-...structure of an AA meeting,
We're not out here in recovery.
Well, no, I just wanted to say,
um, this one thing you--
you know, one thing,
uh, the man, we're coming
to this meeting, you know,
all the way here,
we're talking about,
you know, why I do this,
and I was just explaining the--
well, pointing to the camera
that this--
it does a lot for me.
You know,
the youth man help me out.
Every week I'm here,
you know, this is the--
I always leave here feeling
better than when I got here.
There's usually one or two
of you youth folk outside,
we have a heart to heart talk
afterwards about,
"Do this because
I was once in your seat--"
I believe in helping people,
I'm only here
because of all the people
that took time to help me.
And I'm now ready
to help other people.
And I think the last problem
to solve was bo--
was bodybuilding.
It was really the last
little thing that kind
of didn't make sense.
I don't know how it's going
to play out for the future.
I know that I feel
very dedicated to following
Dr. O'Connor.
I-- I think having
the health facts backing me up,
that he's telling me I need
to lose weight to help my heart,
I've never had that before.
No one's ever told me
anything is wrong.
I tried to do this
before and I failed
so I am nervous about that,
but I would argue that
at this point of my life,
there's a lot of great reasons
why this is a smart move.
It's something I could
kind of feel in my gut,
I kind of wanted to do and now,
"Hey, let's go
do something else, right?"
So how important is it for you
to maintain your size?
I am pushing myself so hard,
mentally, physically,
I'm sacrificing a lot.
I'm not seeing my family,
I'm not seeing my friends.
I get tired and dizzy
and have to go and eat,
and then I have to go and train.
So I'm sacrificing so much
for 20 minutes on stage.
If I don't place
how I want to place,
I'm going to be
absolutely devastated.
That you just worked so hard
for something for so long,
pushing yourself to the limit.
361, hold out.
361, hold out.
Right now, I feel just a mix
party of emotions,
like, totally mixed.
Physically, I feel right now
just half dead, like,
I could sleep any second,
my eyes are heavy.
I have the best physique
I've ever had right now.
Yet, still when I look in
the mirror, I'm-- I get upset.
Once I'm onstage,
all I can do is stand there
and show the people
what I have done.
If I have to come off stage
again without the trophy,
without the pro card...
I am going to collapse.
I have no idea.
I'm not going to-- I don't know.
My only concern is this show
and not winning.
I love you.
I knew I wasn't going to win,
but I thought
I could still maybe
just scraped top three
and get a pro card.
I see people getting their
pro cards all over the world,
and I know I could beat them,
for sure.
And I come here,
and I placed fifth,
and it's, like, what?
Yeah, shocked me. That totally
shocked me, to be fair,
you know.
That's just me being bitter
and sore loser, to be honest.
I'm just being a sore loser
right now, but I mean,
I think anyone else
would be in my shoes if,
you know, there's-- there was
so much hype around them
and they had literally thousands
upon thousands of people
telling you that
this is your year.
I'm now questioning
what the fuck was the point.
I've mentally destroyed myself.
The past three months,
every single day,
I woke up in the morning
depressed because I'm pinching
four percent,
five percent body fat,
getting upset about it
because I'm not shredded enough.
What is enough? After this
weekend, I have no clue.
Bigorexia, I think it's
pretty self-explanatory
what that term means.
It's a self-image problem,
body dysmorphia problem.
I have it.
I am not happy with my physic
pretty much every day.
How can I overcome
this self-image problem,
if today I thought I-- I looked
the best I've ever looked?
And I was actually happy
with how I looked.
For someone to say,
"No, you aren't fit."
Must've planned, eh.
So what about bigorexia
is an important thing
for people to know?
take a deep breath.
Please, realize that
it's a slippery slope.
There really is no end point.
I've never worked with a man
with muscle dysmorphia
that says, "I just want to be
this percent body fat
and this weight,
and then I'll be happy."
Because once they reach that,
they have another goal
that they hit.
I think putting yourselves
around friends
who speak positively
and are able to tell you, like,
"Hey, that's not right.
You know, you are beautiful."
And it's just getting them
to understand,
"It's okay
the body that you're in."
There's a point
where it's so narcissistic,
you're going to get hurt
and feel shallow and empty.
Our brains are not
designed for it.
That's why men
don't go to doctors.
Men don't want to deal
with weakness.
You hurt not only yourself,
but you're definitely
hurting the people
that are--
you love right around you.