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Bikini Fitness Model Is Convinced That The Pressures Of Competing Gave Her Body Dysmorphia

January 07, 2016 3 min read

For Heather Mowry, competing in bikini contests was like riding a roller coaster. After entering her first show in 2013, the mother-of-two, noticed she was obsessively chasing a perfect physique, only to look in the mirror each day and see herself as fat. Mowry is using her Instagram account to warn people that there may be a hidden and potentially dangerous psychological side to fitness competitions. For most, fitness competitions are incredibly positive. People work hard to build their body for the show, they set goals, and they smash them. This achievement alone is enough to provide competitors with the confidence and motivation they need to take on all challenges in their lives. However, it isn't always so sunny and inspirational. bikinif6 bikinif Mowry says, "People become addicted to the look of being stage ready but being stage ready isn't healthy. There are people like me that are chasing the idea of a perfect body and that's when it becomes unhealthy. I starting noticing my negative body image more after I did my first show." The incredibly toned 35-year-old explains, "When I look in the mirror I see flaws. I see the flaws that in my head other people don't have. I see wrinkles, bloated belly, saggy arms, stretch marks, fat thighs, cellulite, a flat butt, old dry skin. When I look in the mirror a lot of the times I am only looking to find those flaws. I think I'm seeing my true self and somehow the way others might see me is a smoke and mirrors show." bikinif2 bikinif3 Unfortunately, this negative body image prevents Mowry from wanting to even leave the house! She dreads putting on gym clothes and hides out at her mother's pool in the summertime so that people won't see her in her swimsuit. [bctt tweet="Bikini Fitness Model Is Convinced That The Pressures Of Competing Gave Her Body Dysmorphia"] Now, these negative feelings are having an impact on her competitions. Having participated in 13 shows, she says, "I now am starting to feel like I am not good enough no matter how hard I diet and work toward my stage lean body. I have learned ways to mask my flaws to make me feel comfortable. But during off season when I tend to put on normal health weight I just go into hiding." She's decided to take a break from competing and tell the world about the possible downside of extreme fitness. bikinif4 bikinif5 She says, "I tell people about the ups and downs and I try to be as honest about it as I can. I don't sugar coat it. I wouldn't say I regret competing at all as it has formed many great friendships and I have met so many people that I admire. But I wish I had just known how difficult the mental aspect of it was." Mowry says that people reach out to her online and share similar experiences. She's also found a group of people she can vent to without feeling judged. While she doesn't feel entirely positive about her body, she is trying. She says, "I haven't exactly accepted my body. I just try to improve the way I see it." Let this serve as a reminder that body image troubles are not just the purview of the overweight, underweight or those without muscle tone. They can impact anyone, at any time. No matter how perfect you may think someone looks, it doesn't mean that they share the same opinion. Loving yourself and your body obviously comes from the inside out. Be kind with yourself, be gentle. If you look in the mirror and find yourself feeling saddened by what you see, remember that you are not your reflection -- you are so much more. What do you think of this story? Do you think there is potential for damaging body image issues in the world of extreme fitness? Source: Daily Mail [caption id="attachment_118618" align="alignnone" width="100"]instagram logo @BodyRockOfficial[/caption] [caption id="attachment_118619" align="alignnone" width="100"]@BodyRockTV @BodyRockTV[/caption]

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