Skol Sessions – Episode 17: Body Dysmorphia

In this month’s episode, Coach Erik talks with member and psychologist Michael Shelby about body dysmorphia: what it is, where it comes from (historical variations and pop culture today), our own history with it, and how to combat it. Enjoy!


00:00 Introduction
00:50 Michael Shelby – Background
04:00 Dysmorphia Defined
06:00 Origins of Body Dysmorphia for Men
11:00 Leanness vs. Health/Sustainability
13:58 Male Movie Superhero Physique
18:00 Female Beauty Standard
20:00 Strong is Healthy Movement
25:17 Muscularity Outside the US
27:56 Form Following Function
30:00 Erik’s Training/Dysmorphia History
32:50 Circling Back to History and Current Trends
37:45 How to Move Beyond It
40:22 Conclusion


00:06 Welcome to Skol Sessions, the Viking Athletics Podcast, where strength meets smarts. I am your host, Erik Castiglione, owner and head coach of Viking Athletics, and today I am joined by a long time member, Michael Shelby.
00:20 If you know him in the gym, it’s Shelby. If you know him outside the gym, it’s probably Michael. And if you’re a coach, it’s f****** Shelby.
00:29 So welcome to the podcast, Shelby, and I appreciate you being here. Thank you, Erik. Today this is probably one of the more important podcasts that we’re doing we’re going to be discussing a you could I guess you could call it a widespread epidemic especially in the US body dysmorphia so Shelby
00:50 I just want to get a little bit into your background and I think anyone in the gym obviously that’s been there for a while we all know you as a Russian hacker but you made a career change a few years ago.
01:06 I did. I switched over a number of years into psychology, I’m a therapist, I’m a mental health professional, I still love computers, I still love hacking, but no one is hiring 60-year-old hackers anymore however, a 60-year-old psychologist therapist or mental health professional is just starting in
01:26 his career and I very much like what I’m doing and I think that it is a good fit for me.
01:33 I’ve been doing it for a number of years, and it is something that is very helpful to society, better than hacking, actually helping people as a therapist, saving lives.
01:46 I like that. I feel better about myself at night. It’s really better. Fantastic. Do you have an area of specialty?
01:54 I know you wrote a book recently, correct, on technology addiction? I did. My book came out in December. It is called Technology Addiction, manual, how to recognize it, how to treat it. 02:03 But it is something that I have been involved in for well over two decades with Dr. David Greenfield. It is the area of addiction in general, as you well know, I’m 23 and a half years in recovery myself.
02:18 Not the technology aspect of it, but the regular chemical stuff. And this subspecialty is something that has been in the news and of special interest to me for a long, long time.
02:35 Internet gaming, gambling, shopping, p***, you name it. People dive into YouTube and if they get to come up for air, as wrecked.
02:45 As many lives, I will say, alcoholism, drug addiction, it is just another form of addiction. And this is something that I do work in, I specialize in, and very, very closely tracking this particular area.
03:04 Sounds like good work. And that’s a big reason that I wanted to bring you on is obviously as a, I guess I can call you an addiction specialist.
03:14 Body dysmorphia is hugely pertinent in our society. You see it it’s pretty wide spread and it has been for a long time and I think it is kind of an addiction in some ways.
03:28 People obsess over how they look. Nobody’s really ever happy with their progress and their end result. We’re always constantly looking to be a little called ideal shape.
03:44 And that is why I wanted to get your perspective on it. So I don’t know how familiar you are with this from a clinical perspective, but I wanted to hear your thoughts kind of on.
03:56 Well, let’s start at the beginning. What is body dysmorphia? What is dysmorphia anyway before we introduce the word body? Yeah.
04:06 Yeah. It is an adjustment that is I’m unhappy with I see I want a morph into something different. I am not my visual representation in the mirror body.
04:25 This morph here is a feeling. It is a feeling that people, it’s a very real feeling. It is an uncomfortable, unsettling feeling that people experience based on the visual feedback of how they perceive their bodies, not how their bodies actually look to other people, but how they themselves perceive
04:52 their body’s look versus how the body, quote unquote, should look. What is the image, mental image of my body? And what I see, does not correspond to what it should look like and what I want to see.
05:09 And that’s the this is the dysmorphia, the distance, the delta between the two is the dysmorphia connected to the body image, body shape.
05:22 Makes sense. So I think you that that was a big point there, your self perception as opposed to what is the reality and you know how the body should look.
05:36 I know you and I have talked in the past don’t should all over me and how should can be a very toxic word.
05:41 And it’s this expectation of what we’re supposed to be and you know that idea of what is ideal. So you and I chatted about it briefly a little earlier on where does this idea of the ideal come from?
06:01 How much time do we have for this podcast? Let me count the ways. It is almost too easy to blame societal images and societal messages.
06:13 We talked about our upbringing. We talked about images from our childhood from comic books from movies the transformation of the GI Joe and X-Men from a regular-looking guy to a very pumped bodybuilder in just over a decade.
06:34 It changed I don’t know if we start you know with Arnold I don’t know if we start with what not but this almost un-maintainable, not unachievable, but un-maintainable, tapered look, thin and big biceps, well-defined muscles, the proverbial six-pack that everyone’s chasing, including me, and if we try
07:08 to get there for whatever good reasons, With think we need to get there and we get there. We can’t really stay there for too long and be comfortable It’s not what body likes to do to be some six sub eight percent body fat and chiseled all the time And yeah, every movie every action movie every You know
07:33 message every ad in In man’s magazines, women’s magazines, every commercial, you see apps, you see muscles, you see very lean look for men and women, and people think that’s the norm.
07:48 That’s what we want. We want that. It’s a marketing message. And then misconstrued at us going to go to healthy, that’s what healthy is.
08:00 16% body fat is very healthy, 12% body fat is very healthy. 60% body fat is not very healthy, you know, it’s a messaging and it is, I think, more prevalent in other societies, because, you know, you and I will both travel the lot, I just came back from trip internationally, it’s not as prevalent outside
08:23 of the United States. Yeah, I think you hit on a ton right there, you know, where it comes from and we could start with Arnold.
08:33 You know, the idea of this, you know, I promoted this in our private Facebook group a while ago. I love the documentary bigger, faster, stronger because it is literally three brothers who decide that, you know, muscles are your claim to fame.
08:51 They are basically your ticket to the American Dream and that site Arnold, as kind of the mold for that. You know, became famous as a bodybuilder, went from bodybuilding into acting, married to Kennedy, went into politics and muscles were the key to that.
09:11 So they try to replicate that and they grew up watching all of his movies, you know, just this ass-kicking hero who happens to be totally jacked.
09:22 And you brought up, you know, we talked about my upbringing and you look at the X-Men cartoon in the 90s and Even Charles Xavier whose paraplegic has a freaking six pack when they show them on the parallel bars and we’re exactly Constantly, right, so we’re constantly bombarded with these images, and
09:41 I would go back further, honestly You know, I would go back to Greek times, and you’re looking at Greek statues And this is what the ideal male looks like not to be fair they do have, if you look at the bottom of their abs, they do have that little roll of fat there.
09:56 But still, this is the ideal male. And you know, it ties into, you know, we’ve been bombarded with that our whole lives.
10:03 And you brought up the GI Joe scene that I showed you from that bigger faster, stronger, which I love is the, the GI Joe in the 1960s.
10:11 It’s just your average lean looking dude. And then a decade later, he has a six pack. And then in the 90s, has a six pack and big biceps and then you look at the two thousands and it’s just this tank of the human being bigger than Terry Cruz and I think you know the marketing piece is huge absolutely
10:33 because everybody’s trying to sell supplements and workout programs and you know I literally just filmed a video the other day about fitness buzzwords that need to die because this industry is so unregulated that anybody can pretty much sell anything and as long as it isn’t poison, there’s nothing to
10:53 stop you from doing it. So yeah, there’s a ton of money to be made, praying on people’s insecurities, and we certainly see that a lot with marketing.
11:03 And the last thing you brought up that I really wanted to hit on is, you know, you said it’s not healthy and it’s not sustainable.
11:11 And I’m speaking from experience, you know that. Well, there’s that, but it’s also, if you look at the sport of bodybuilding.
11:18 When they’re going on stage to compete is when they are at their least healthy. They are severely dehydrated. They are, you know, one of my former coaches prep bodybuilders and one of the things that he would do for some of his people right before they got on stage is actually give them a drink or two
11:40 of vodka to ring the water out of their system. They are dehydrated, they’re on some of them take skin thinners so that you can see the vascularity underneath their spray tanned, like you wouldn’t believe.
11:56 And they’re just irritable and miserable because they’re not at their healthiest even though they look their best based on our perception of the ideal.
12:05 So my they don’t my own family asked me at my lowest 8.8 body fat when I looked most vascular said please don’t do that ever again we can’t stand you you’re f****** asshole plain and simple please don’t ever do that and I didn’t I listened to them but I’ve never been something ever again so it you know
12:31 yeah you’re irritable. You don’t have a lot of energy and it certainly affects the mental side of things because of the sacrifice it takes to get there.
12:42 And the flip side of that is again, when we’re talking about body dysmorphia is even so is that enough being there or are we still trying to get bigger?
12:53 Are we still trying to get leaner at what point is enough enough? You know I think that’s where it gets very individual or if there is a big enough profit margin and pay back in the end of it, you have a movie, you have a photo shoot that you’re booked for and it is directly related to your look.
13:17 Then people, actors, models, bodybuilders, competitive people will push themselves above and beyond. I think average, even a very active average person in our box, or people that I know, will not do that to themselves day in day out for six months or a year to get to this one event where they look ideal
13:46 , but feel miserable. But people do it all the time, and that’s the images that they see, and that’s what they and how normal people, that look becomes the new normal.
13:58 But that’s not the norm. Exactly. And I’m thrilled to hear the, you mentioned actors. I love hearing Hugh Jackman, Henry Cavill, and I’m blanking on his name.
14:16 What role did he play in the actor? He was in the Eternals. Oh, yes. Oh my god, he built it.
14:22 Yes. I know exactly what you’re talking about. I love hearing them open up about what they are doing. It’s not just the training.
14:31 Hugh Jackman in particular, he had one shirtless scene and days of future past where he’s back in the 70s, he wakes up in the 70s and he gets shot at, but he’s shirtless and he’s incredibly vascular and they actually tried to change the filming date of that scene.
14:46 And he’s like, no, we can’t change it. I’ve been manipulating my water all week. That is the day that I will be ready and so he actually went on I love the Graham Norton show He went on and he’s sitting there next to Patrick Stewart after filming Logan and he’s talking about The sacrifices that it takes
15:04 to look that way and again. It’s water manipulation. It’s the fact that he’s Eating six meals of steams chicken and stream broccoli every day and no, they don’t look like that all your brown They can’t maintain it exactly like you said Henry Cavill went on the show and was talking the same thing about
15:21 water manipulation for that one particular shirtless scene for the Superman role for the Superman role and again it is literally to look like that for one day for that one shoot one shoot yeah and the rest of the time sure they’re still big they’re still in shape but they are not that shredded and they’re
15:39 not that vascular yeah because it’s not sustainable and I’m just thrilled to hear people talk about that now whereas you know sure Arnold had some chemical help back in the day but I’m I’d be curious what did he look like all year round, you know, especially when he’s no longer got to be pictures of
15:59 that I’m sure, but you know, he would he would start training card anytime he had terminator coming out of his shirtless role He’d start training for that.
16:08 So there is an off-season and it’s what do people look like in the off-season They don’t but you know, we never see that so The internet and I think you know the marketing materials are tough because on the one hand And we’re bombarded with it, but on the other hand, you still mean you now have these
16:26 people that are coming out and saying, yeah, so the Indian actor’s name I’m blanking on is also like, anybody can do this as long as you have a studio footing the bills and giving you a personal chef and it is your literal job to do this.
16:42 To look like that. That’s my job. So I love hearing that because it does provide context. And I think unfortunately a lot of us miss that.
16:52 You know, you got fitness influencers and everything’s filtered and Photoshop these days. But oh, Photoshop don’t even get me started on the Photoshop.
17:00 How much of this is not even real work but a work of Photoshop skills and people, you know, with thinner wastes and bigger shoulders and bigger b**** and bigger biceps, they don’t look like anything like that in real life when you see video.
17:19 It’s like that’s not the actual image. Robin Williams live on Broadway talking about breast implants in Las Vegas. He’s like, and even God’s going, I didn’t make those.
17:29 I can’t knock him too much. You know, plastic surgery did put me through college. Yes, Kumail Nungiani. That’s right. Yeah.
17:41 I couldn’t remember the name. But again, yeah, we’ve been talking mostly about male body dysmorphia and you see it with females as well, obviously.
17:54 That’s where I think there’s a little bit of divergence. We mentioned Greek statues and that was kind of the ideal for men.
18:02 And you and I talked earlier about female beauty standards. Have, I mean, there has been some evolution in what is considered attractive for male, obviously, but I think we see it a lot more when we’re talking about women.
18:16 And I’m not an art history major, but I want to say look at the Venus. Look at the stars. Exactly.
18:26 Women were what was considered beautiful was plumber women 100% and you know that healthy tight skin not emaciated no cheekbones no six backs what we didn’t see their mid sections but we did actually we did in some of them but plumber look at Eve look at classical pictures of Eve do you see a thigh
18:46 gap there no thank you again the whole point was you are fertile basically yes that was considered the ideal And, you know, that’s obviously evolved, and, you know, we saw, look at the 1990s, well, Sir Mix a lot aside, you know.
19:05 The disco revolution, the tight skin. He just super thin, emaciated women. Yeah. That was. Mr. Riggie, remember that? Yeah. And, you know, now we’re seeing kind of the opposite where it’s, you know, fit women are considered, you know, I know there was even in the CrossFit world strong as the new skinny
19:25 , strong as beautiful. There was that whole movement to popularize women that were more athletic and actually putting them. Do you think that is catching on with the popularity of CrossFit, CrossFit Games, the attire that people wear?
19:39 They don’t wear, you know, a single full body covering suit. They wear tops and bottoms. Very, they’re painted on so people can see what the actual bodies and motion look like and women are starting to see it and look at it and say, God damn it, I want that more than I want thigap or, you know, skinny
20:07 bones sticking out of the ribs. I mean, I don’t know. What do you think? You know, the heroin chic look.
20:13 Don’t get me started on that, Erik. I don’t know if that’s catching on. I would hope so just because there’s you know from my perspective obviously I’m immersed in this world and for the health benefits alone on a huge advocate of strength training conditioning and all that and being out of a job and
20:33 out of a business if I wasn’t. You would be surprised how many times outside of our microcosm I’ve heard strongest in new skinny.
20:46 Normal people, older women, healthy looking women, not image, not built, not skinny. Strong is a new skinny. I’m doing weight training, I’m lifting, I’m squatting, I’m benching, I’m, you know, the cardio is great.
21:02 I love it, blah, blah, blah, you know, but I am lifting. I want to get stronger. I like how it makes me feel.
21:09 So that is huge, and if that’s catching on great, and that’s kind of where I wanted to take this conversation, and when it comes to general health, that’s what we care more about.
21:23 Yeah, you can look at blood markers, you can look at body fat percentage and all that, but ultimately, there’s no substitute for how you feel on a regular basis.
21:33 And strength training is a huge part of that and feeling good. So, you know, how to, you know, that was going to be kind of the takeaway here is how do we move on from this and there’s a big reason that, you know, we focus a lot more on, and I will give CrossFit a ton of credit for this.
21:50 Focus on performance rather than how you look and form follows function. So if you are physically capable of doing these things, what your body looks like is going to follow.
22:01 You know, and in the caveat with that is, it’s such a good example, again, you watch the games, the games are catching on, people are watching it, people seeing it, and people see such different body types on both men and women.
22:14 Yes, some are big, some are bulky, some are slimmer, some are thin, some are taller, some are a lot shorter, and yet they are all able to move weight, to do pull-ups, to do hand walks, to carry heavy stuff, to clean, to deadlift, to squat heavy, to do movements that normal society says that I can’t
22:35 do that. And here you see someone who sort of kind of looks like you doing it. God damn it, if they can do it, I can do it.
22:42 It’s a great example. I’m actually, they do analyze statistically what the average CrossFit Games athlete looks like. I’m actually a little taller and a lot heavier than a typical CrossFit Yeah, there was running joke back in the day, the running joke was back when Rich Froning was champ, and Rich Froning
23:05 is not the fittest man on earth, he is the fittest white male under six feet with disposable income. I’d never heard that before.
23:14 Yeah, there were some good CrossFit trolls back in the day, and that was pretty hilarious. But the point is, you know, the breadth of what they’re able to do, you look at these guys and they could qualify for nationals in the sport of Olympic weightlifting, but they can also run sub-six-minute miles
23:32 , swim, walk on their hands, and it’s pretty damn amazing. Thank you for teaching me termed bignastics, I don’t think- Oh, bignastics, yeah.
23:43 After I got my first muscle up, Dairycoin, the term big nasties, I didn’t coin it. I don’t remember who coin that but I took it from someone and yeah, if you’re over 200 pounds.
23:57 So actually, along those lines, the average CrossFit mail back in the early 2010s, average right around 195 maybe 200 the games athletes are heavier but they’re moving much heavier weights than they ever did before so and still running and still rolling and still sweating right and still doing those
24:26 amazing box jumps and and gymnastic movements and rings and bar work and muscle ups and you name it climbing ropes with no or no legs arm zone yeah all that kind of stuff at 95 to 100 pounds, right.
24:40 So, you know, for me, obviously, this is my world. And I see it a little bit. We were talking about is that movement catching on outside.
24:51 You look at some of the popular podcasts. I’ll give Joe Rogan credit for having anybody and everybody on there that’s pushing anything that could do with health.
25:00 Some of it’s good. Some of it’s not. But you have, you know, Dr. Andrew Huberman you have I think Peter Attela is the other one that’s popular.
25:08 These are doctors that are now pushing weight training and you know they’re we’re starting to recognize the general health benefits of this stuff.
25:17 So I hope it’s catching on but again you mentioned outside the US we don’t really suffer from that. I’ll tell you what I had a friend that went to England and they referred to him as big guy.
25:32 Not a compliment. And like, to them, the fact that I just came back from England and a couple of times, both in a taxi, I was like a taxi driver in the tube, people mentioned something along those lines and I do not have your physique, but for a 58 year old guy, I sort of kind of stand out.
25:59 Telling you this earlier you you have muscle mass. I do have muscle mass and it stands out and put me in a UK society in London and it stands out a lot Yeah, it actually sounds like people comment on that, you know It man commenter positive way women’s like that’s strange.
26:16 I don’t see a lot of that But it’s different. It really is different So I know in this country we’ve definitely seen a push to normalize resistance training just for the health benefits of it, you know when I’m on social media I’ll see a couple classmates of mine from high school that have gotten into
26:36 it totally on their own which is awesome, loved to see it but for me it’s hard to say just because I’m so immersed in this and you know I think that was a nutrition client I was meeting with earlier before you came here.
26:56 Just the stuff that I do is so normal for me. And I’ve been in this. So for so long, it’s, it’s hard to, you know, we had a staff dinner on Saturday and I had a 28 ounce strip steak.
27:07 28. Yeah, which is, was that enough for you? 51 is my record. Oh, okay. So yeah. So you’re my 50% there.
27:16 That’s good. That’s good. But one of the other this is like I’ve never seen anyone put away steak that fast and I’m like this you and I should have a steak both.
27:27 I can eat a lot and I wrote an article on this years ago I went down to visit my college roommate in DC and I went to a I called it bougie and I laughed because my wife was just there a couple of months ago and she’s like it’s not bougie.
27:42 It’s a Southern restaurant called suck a Tash in Washington DC. Okay. And I ordered the chicken and waffles. And so did my roommate.
27:49 And it was like two chicken thighs. So maybe six, maybe eight ounces of chicken and a half a Belgian waffle.
27:56 And I’m looking at it. And I’m like, that’s it. That’s it. And my roommate, who was, he played tennis at Yale, he’s he still runs actually for my wedding.
28:07 He was running and running in Philly and he can run we did a 10k together and I think he maintained like a 737 40 mile pace.
28:16 You did 10k? The day after we went to that restaurant, yes it was my zone two cardio day anyway. So hopped into an impromptu 10k.
28:26 The goal was to keep the heart rate under 150 so it was a very very slow 10k. Okay thank you for clarifying.
28:34 Oh yeah completed it’s just not going to be fast. I could have gone faster, but again, heart rate was the goal.
28:40 And my point is he’s built like a tennis player in a runner. He’s a lot leaner than I am. And he’s, you know, he’s looking at that meal.
28:49 And he’s like, wow, this is a lot of food. It’s just one of the be like, Hey, if you can’t finish that, can I have the rest of yours?
28:57 Like, can he deadlift by punching? No, I don’t know what he can lift. But again, that’s the point is my background is significantly different than his, my training is significantly different than his, he’s got a leaner frame to begin with and you know we talked about where it is, this Morphea come from
29:17 , looping back to that, I brought up some of my upbringing to you. Again everybody’s a little bit different so this idea of the ideal really shouldn’t exist to use the word should in the proper context is you know everybody is different that’s why we try to encourage people to focus on performance rather
29:38 than looks I’m built like my father you know I’m a little shorter thicker bones a little stockier and my brothers are built like my uncle they’re taller so even my younger brothers taller than I am apparently I’m the run to the family so you decided to grow in a different direction to grow up for me
29:59 I got an a strength training largely because when it came to sports, if I wasn’t the most talented on the field, I was going to make up for it with hard work, and I was going to be able to compete with you.
30:10 What I lacked in skill, I was going to make up for in physical capacity. That was what I got into.
30:14 Did that work for you? Not well, depending on the sport. So wrestling was my main sport, and in wrestling, yes, I could make up for a lot of that by overpowering people.
30:27 But there you know when I got into jujitsu a little bit less so and there’s a lot more finesse in that as opposed to wrestling wrestling straight up conditioning straight up strength made a big deal You could be pretty meat and potatoes in terms of skill.
30:43 If you could overpower people. Correct. The more nuance the sport, the less that played a factor. But, you know, my brother’s growing up didn’t have to do shit and they had abs.
30:56 They were just naturally thin and it was exposed. And you know, for me, if I wanted to have any visible abs, I’d work a lot harder.
31:08 And you know, my own history with a little bit of dysmorphia was largely shaped by that and the fact that what I now recognize is them being insecure for being thin, so they had their own issues with dysmorphia, they would take that out on me by calling me fat.
31:28 And I was actually normal, but to me it was no, you’re fat and we had other things going on. You know, my mother was actually trying to bulk them up a little bit, so it was little things like that I didn’t recognize until they started calling me fat.
31:45 She would have them drinking whole milk while I’m drinking 2%. And my recollection was always skewed and she put me on 2% because I am fat and she’s trying to lean me out a little bit.
31:55 But in reality, it was the opposite. So trying to fathom them off all of that and them on because they were so thin and there were other issues I didn’t realize my older brother was being bullied in school and there was a ton of other shit that I didn’t know was going on.
32:09 So we can see that. That’s the flip side question. Just more. When and how did normal become fat? Right. Right.
32:19 So the lean chiseled abs visible, delts popping, you know, big chest, big arms, muscular legs is the new norm. And the norm that everyone has lived with for centuries and centuries and centuries now is fat or skinny for that matter that’s it’s not normal you’re too big 16 18% body fat no you’re fat
32:50 when did that change? That’s a good question and that’s what I don’t know I don’t know the answer to that question but Not industry mage and again, in terms of the lean muscular ideal male, we go back to Greek times.
33:05 That’s why I throw that out as, you know, look at the statue of David. His lead, but he’s not huge.
33:13 He’s not Arnold. I mean, he’s not massive. He’s not massive. He’s not massive, but he’s lean. He’s proportional. He’s proportional.
33:19 Thank you, proportional. You know, wait, I don’t know. I will say, I mean, if you look at the sport of bodybuilding, it’s a whole other debate about, you know, Arnold was never the biggest, but he was very well proportioned.
33:33 And then you get into, you know, the early 2000s, late 90s, you get Ronnie Coleman, you get Jay Culler and they were calling was the math, the math monsters.
33:43 And they’re putting on size, more so than necessarily the symmetry. And Arnold always compared bodybuilding to being a sculptor. You’re trying to chisel away what’s on top to get to what’s underneath interesting and that’s exactly how Then sculking at yeah, and then you look at like Ronnie Coleman There’s
34:08 none of that mindset. It’s I’m trying to add I’m trying to build to this rather than chip away at it So I don’t know Bull what starts balls extreme.
34:19 So just move here. Yeah, both putting on that’s not there taking away What is there but shouldn’t be there again?
34:28 The proverbial should, the image that delta between what people tend to see is painted externally from outside in people see images and more images and more images again, age of internet, age of YouTube, age of advertising and movies, constant, constant visual messaging.
34:56 This is what James Bond looks like. This is what Superman looks like. This is what G.I.G.O looks like. This is what X-Men look like.
35:06 This is healthy. This is strong. This is powerful. This is the way to look. This is what wealthy women, successful look like.
35:19 Jet set, thin legs, thigh gap, tall, very, very, No muscular, no muscles at all. Tricky was a supermodel, right? There’s not much muscle mass there.
35:34 Look at me, Tricky. Look at the current female average CrossFit athlete that is very strong. We talk to you, but strong is the new skinny, right?
35:49 When did you hear that phrase first? I mean, that’s a strong, I feel it’s catching on. I think Strong is a new skinny.
35:56 I saw Merle push that back in I want to say 2011 2012. Okay. He had it on t-shirts for the ladies in the gym outside of Relentless what I saw was strong as beautiful as what was pushed throughout calling it The new skinny it was framed a little bit differently like This is beautiful.
36:19 I like that strong as beautiful I think it’s a better message than it’s as strong as a new skinny. Yeah, I mean, well, it’s different with all respect tomorrow.
36:29 One is definitely much more what he would say. Comparative and we’re replacing, you know, it’s a little bit more competitive to say that strong is the new skinny.
36:42 It’s let’s replace this with strong and the message is more one of replacement as opposed to you know, just qualifying strong as beautiful in and of himself.
36:55 So we have, I don’t know, bred into us, the box, this whole idea, but 1% better than yesterday. I compete against myself, bottom line, and this whole idea of images, competing what the people see in versus what they see on TV or in the movies.
37:23 That’s not competing it yourself. That’s competing against something. What did you say about Hugh Jackman, right? It was a Hugh where he is, no, that was about Frony, that he is the fidgetist white man with disposable income at what happened or six feet?
37:41 Yeah, out of the six feet with disposable income. That’s more accurate, it. You know, switching over this idea that body, dysmorphia, body, image issues, and whatnot, comparing it against yourself only because we’re so different than you.
38:04 If that message can get out there somehow, I think a lot of problematic, I mean, truly debilitating being dysmorphia of consequences can be addressed somehow, just do something today that will make you either lighter or stronger tomorrow, but you’ve got to work.
38:26 You can’t just look at the images. You’ve got to do something yourself in a constructive way. Okay, constructive. That’s true.
38:33 I was going to say the only substitute for hard work is plastic surgery, and again, I know a great one.
38:38 Or drugs. Yeah, I guess that would be the question, then, is assuming the message does get out there, how do we help people internalize this, and is there a way to kind of filter out all that noise and reshape the ideal in our minds so that it’s more about what my body can do in how I can feel as opposed
39:07 to how I look. The marketing companies out there will put a collective contract out on you if you try to do that because it’ll take money out of their pocket.
39:17 People are happy with the way they look and they’re happy with the most important right. You and I discuss how you feel.
39:22 How do we maintain? How do we feel about ourselves? How much energy do we have? That is the ultimate measuring stick.
39:35 I did it. I’ve been at 8.8%. I’ve been at almost 20. I’ve been at 12. I’ve been 16. 12 to 16 is the range where I feel the best.
39:44 I go over 18. I feel heavy. I feel bulky. I get to 8.8. Everybody hates me, including myself. But I look great.
39:51 But I look fantastic. Yeah. So there’s a price to pay for anything else. There’s a price to pay. I’m just carrying this balance, this ever-illusive balance of look versus feel, external messages versus internal perception.
40:09 That’s a challenge. Again, there’s nothing there is no silver bullet if you have one, call it out. It’s just constant work and constant awareness and you know better than yesterday.
40:22 Yeah, absolutely, nice sense. Okay, great. So to bring this full circle, you know, body dysmorphia, we’re surrounded by marketing images.
40:41 It’s, you know, the ideal perception of beauty has changed throughout history for both men and women. And dysmorphia is largely based on self-perception rather than how you actually look.
40:53 So our message here is use methods of, I would say methods of measuring use metrics that are a lot more subjective, how you feel, how you perform is a lot more important than how you look.
41:09 And you know, as strength training has become more pertinent and relevant and widespread in our popular culture, we start seeing that shift and focus because on health markers, blood work is a lot more important than having visible eyes.
41:30 Visible eyes. Take very much. So, well, I think that brings it full circle and I really appreciate your time and your insight.
41:40 Thank you for having me here, Erik. I very much enjoyed it. And bring me back for a different topic that we can sink or teeth into.
41:46 I always enjoy talking with you in first person, That third person, that persona that I adopted the gym. That’s just a good one. Hopefully this is also a anyone listening that’s a gym member like I said, we know him as f****** Shelby in the gym.
42:03 But yes, it is a, it is a persona. And if you ever heard him on the radio or when I meet people that know Michael outside the gym, it’s always Michael.
42:12 It’s not Shelby. It is a, it is a persona in the gym. And that’s why we love him. Because we know that it’s persona.
42:21 Anyway appreciate everyone tuning in and we’ll catch you next month. Thank you sir. All scroll. Ice tea and beer. Not the combination.
42:32 Thanks for having me. This is great. I appreciate it. Thank you, Shelby.

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