Natural bodybuilder Joseph Ortiz sheds light on post-competition body dysmorphia

Image via Instagram @fit_fluential

The former Natural Olympia Men’s Physique champion explains how to have a healthy relationship with food and your body after competition.

Maintaining bodybuilder body fat levels while performing during a show is not realistic. However, regaining weight and body fat after a competition can harm the mental health of bodybuilders. It’s easy for them to develop body dysmorphia by incorporating more food and not being as jagged as when they were walking across the stage. International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA)/Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) natural bodybuilder Joseph Ortis sheds light on the struggle many bodybuilding competitors have with food and their post-competition body image.

Joseph Ortiz was the men’s physique champion at the 2019 Natural Olympia. He knows it’s easy to have an unhealthy body image in the sport of bodybuilding after competitions. And that competitors may be too hard on themselves for the extra fat they gained by incorporating more food.

In a social media post on Dec. 22, 2021, Ortiz opened up about the bodybuilders’ struggle after shows. He expressed:

“A good handful of competitors struggle to maintain a healthy relationship with food and their physique after their competition is over. body dysmorphia.

body dysmorphia in bodybuilding

Body dysmorphia is a mental illness when you are excessively ashamed of your body image. Even when you might be outstanding and healthy on the outside, a person with body dysmorphia only obsessively acknowledges their flaws.

Many athletes suffer from bodybuilding bigorexia, which is muscle dysmorphia – constantly thinking about building muscle. (1) This is not a surprise since to do well in bodybuilding shows, often more muscle is better. However, bodybuilders can fight this mental illness with the right strategies.

Prevent body dysmorphia through a healthy relationship with food and body fat after competition

After the bodybuilding shows, Joseph Ortiz offers some strategies for healthy relationships with food and body fat. Here’s what Joseph Ortiz recommends.

  1. Prepare yourself before starting a cut that weight gain after shows is normal, healthy and necessary.
  2. Have the right plan in place for reverse dieting after your show so weight gain is controlled and moderate.
  3. Know that if you go too far with the weight gain, it can be lost and won’t stay forever if you don’t let it.
  4. It is perfectly acceptable to seek the help of a professional (therapist) if necessary.

Joseph Ortiz says it’s essential to recognize that weight gain is normal and healthy after competition. He recommends that you have a plan to gain weight in a controlled way. It also says weight gain can be lost. And there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you need professional help.

Below, you can see Ortiz’s full Instagram post.

to summarize

Body dysmorphia is a mental illness that is an obsessively negative thought pattern about your body image. And it’s common in bodybuilding, especially after a competition. However, gaining weight after a bodybuilding show is completely normal and healthy. Have a plan in place and don’t feel embarrassed if you need professional help.

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  1. Mosley PE (2009). Bigorexia: muscle building and muscle dysmorphia. European Review of Eating Disorders: The Journal of the Eating Disorders Association, 17(3), 191–198.

Teresa E. Burton