That was the question relayed to me second-hand this past week.  Am I manorexic?  Let’s see:

  • 6′ tall
  • 170 pounds
  • 33″ waist
  • 40″ chest
  • Approximately 11% body fat

What do you think?  Do you think I’m “manorexic”?<beetlejuicevoice/>

Obviously the answer is no.  Granted, I could stand to put on some muscle after training for a marathon, but anorexic?  I still qualify as a Clydesdale Runner.  I’m not even in the anorexic ballpark.

This is just one of the many ways friends, family, and even complete strangers will, purposefully or not, undermine your fitness plan.  Even if we don’t have an eating or body image disorder, there are still a lot of emotions wrapped up in how we look.  Having someone tell you there’s something wrong with your appearance impacts you emotionally whether you believe it does or not.

The best thing I know to do is perform a sanity check.  Find your favorite Search Engine, pull up their Image Search, and type in “anorexia”, “anorexic”, or even “manorexic”.  Of course, brace yourself first.  The images can be startling even with Safe Search.

Better yet, let’s look at a picture of me.  This is a picture of my legs about a month after I broke my right ankle .  My left leg in this picture is smaller than it is now by quite a bit.  My right leg is little more than bone.  If I was manorexic, my entire body would look like my right leg in this picture.

Broken Ankle, Cast Off

Whatever your method, make sure you have a sanity check.  Take pictures of your fitness progress, check your body fat with calipers or a BIA scale, or ask a trusted friend.  Do whatever it takes not to let negative opinions unduly influence your health and fitness decisions.

And whatever you do, don’t rely solely on your body weight to judge your fitness.  Weight is largely meaningless without the context of how you look in the mirror and some reasonable approximation of body fat.