Phil Heath has become one of the sport’s most visible ambassadors since stepping away from the stage in 2020. In a recent Instagram post, Heath opened up on his experiences with body dysmorphia and how it has affected his way of thinking for over 20 years.
Competing in the IFBB Pro League, Phil Heath dominated with round muscle bellies, fullness, and 3D proportions. He is a seven-time Mr. Olympia titleholder (2011-2017), a distinction he shares with bodybuilding icon Arnold Schwarzenegger. ‘The Gift’ may have stopped competing, but his experience and charismatic personality make him uniquely qualified to tackle even the most sensitive issues in bodybuilding.
The 43-year-old has maintained his size and fullness in retirement. Heath shared an ‘optimal’ bodybuilding cycle he’s used effectively over the past several months. He explained that taking ‘testosterone, DHEA, Prednisolone, Dihexa, and a little bit of T3’ have helped with early morning energy levels.
Heath’s rumored return to bodybuilding continues to brew online. As of late, Heath improved his midsection and looks to be in fantastic shape. Speaking with his close friend and former rival Jay Cutler, Heath confirmed that he will be coming back to compete soon. Months ago, he teased fans by announcing that he had something ‘fuc**ng crazy’ in store for 2023.
Instead of a physique update or comeback discussion, Heath is taking a closer look at a more serious topic. He talked about body dysmorphia, which is a mental illness characterized by an obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance.
Phil Heath Sheds Light on Living with Body Dysmorphia: ‘You Have to Start with Loving Yourself’
Heath revealed he’s been dealing with body dysmorphia for over 20 years.
“I have body dysmorphia. That’s right, I have it, I’ve had it for a very long time, well over 20 years. But most importantly over the last two years, how I deal with it… I get up in the morning and go to the bathroom, and I say, ‘Phil, I love you, I love you for everything that life has thrown at you, and you stood tall and decided you wanted to do better and although that you may have failed sometimes, you won a lot of those battles, a lot of those wars. And that you’re worthy and that you’re strong.’
I want you guys to all know that you’re strong and you are extremely worthy. But you have to start with loving yourself. You cannot love others the way that you want to if you can’t show love to yourself and show grace to yourself. We pick ourselves apart so much to where we become paralyzed and don’t move forward. love yourself, know you’re worthy, and go after it each and every day. You’re not alone,” Phil Heath shared.
In Heath’s caption, he urged others to ‘answer the call’ of body dysmorphia and to ‘love yourself.’
“Body dysmorphia is real!!!
It’ll truly steal the joy out of your days making yourself believe that you’re not good enough and you’ll never ever reach your goal.
Friends, family and even fans would compliment me as many may do for you and you’d completely mute and disregard their nice sentiments.
You’d think that it would pick you up but because of our inability to love ourselves we can’t even be in the moment and receive love from others.
In order to remove this, you must be in gratitude for what have going for you and the first thing is that you are ALIVE!!! You’ve got so much greatness within you and by choosing hurtful negative thoughts to yourself especially about your physical appearance will only promote poor emotions and poor performance.
What’s wild is that even when you can hit a physical achievement you’ll tend to feel like you’ve lost and that’s not ok.
I encourage you to look into that bathroom mirror each morning and begin to love “YOU” more.
You must say it [I love you] out loud as it will vibrate throughout your whole body that you actually mean it!!!
REMEMBER…You’re alive and capable to achieve more than you can ever dream of. Continue to declare that you’re gonna always give this life of yours love and respect.
Many are already rooting for you but the biggest person who is cheering you on is your ultimate personal version of self!
Answer that call right now!
Love to All!
-PH” Phil Heath wrote.
Heath isn’t the only bodybuilding legend spreading awareness around body dysmorphia or what some call ‘bigorexia.’ Arnold Schwarzenegger went on the attack recently and said bodybuilders are ‘taking drugs that damage their health,’ and their joints and ligaments can’t handle the newly added weight from excessive eating.
RELATED: BBC News: ‘Bigorexia’ Muscle Dysmorphia Now Affects 1 in 10 Gym Going Men
Despite being well known for his Mr. Olympia-winning physique, body dysmorphia can affect anyone, including Phil Heath. After spreading the message, his hope is to help others suffering from similar issues, especially while they navigate through the sport of bodybuilding.
Unless the “sport” starts testing regularly for steroids, it is a scam. And the organizers should be held responsible for the deaths on their hands due to complications from steroid use. The number of people dying young is alarming.