Sometimes, I wonder if I have body dysmorphic disorder.
As a kid, I used to run and play outside all the time. I even used to challenge myself to Dune-style prana-bindu exercises where I would try to flex randomly chosen muscles. Somewhere around the time I entered middle school, though, I lost it. I started reading more and playing more video games, and in general became passive and fat. I lost a lot of proprioception, and would bump things more often, not realizing that I had gotten larger. That became the new normal for me for a long time, until one day I just got fed up with how bad things had gotten.
Since my weight-training program started, though, I have not felt like I have changed much – my mental image of myself is still in fat-mode. Part of that is my early focus on weight, but even using measuring tape is not great since I seem to have stalled out in that department. I know body recomposition, which is my primary goal right now, is hard to measure, but it is still discouraging.
Some friends and family have complimented my progress, but I always wonder if their mental image of me is “stuck” the way my own is. Recently, though, some people meeting me for the first time have asked if I work out, so I guess there is some objective evidence that something is working right, even if I do not see it.
Does this mean my body image is just lagging behind reality, as it did when I was getting big? Do I just not notice the changes because I cannot appreciate the minuscule daily changes in the mirror? Or do I have a deeper and possibly more permanent mind-body disconnect?