My mind plays tricks on me all the time. I thought I knew where my hips were. I put my hands on my hips all the time. I sometimes use my hips to close car doors or gently nudge something. So you’d think that I should know where my hips are.

But I’m talking about my skeletal hips. Not the fat and muscle surrounding my hips. Once I started losing weight and doing yoga I figured out that my skeletal hips were much narrower than I’d envisioned.

What if I use my hips as the framework to determine what size I’m supposed to be. None of this “I’m going to lose 20 lbs by the summer”. Instead looking at my body and saying if my hips are narrow maybe the size I need to be should reflect my whole body based on where my hips are. 

The Mayo Clinic defines body dysmorphia as a mental health disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance — a flaw that appears minor or can’t be seen by others. But you may feel so embarrassed, ashamed and anxious that you may avoid many social situations.

Well that’s not me. I absolutely, don’t have body dysmorphia. In fact, I’m going to self-diagnose and say I have Reverse Body Dysmorphia. 

For a long time I wouldn’t look in a mirror. Sure I brushed my teeth in the mirror and I shaved in the mirror. But for about twenty years I didn’t really look at myself in the mirror. Even now there are no full length mirrors in my house. So I never really looked at myself the way that people see me day-to-day.

Whereas body dysmorphia is the constant thinking of a perceived flaw. I instead boldly pushed through life completely unaware of what I looked like.

I Googled “Reverse Body Dysmorphia” and it came back with a real disorder called “Muscle Dysmorphia”.

Wikipedia defines Muscle Dysmorphia as the delusional or exaggerated belief that one’s own body is too small, too skinny, insufficiently muscular, or insufficiently lean, although in most cases, the individual’s build is normal or even exceptionally large and muscular already.

In my 20’s I was in the gym non-stop but I was neither fit nor thin. I was lifting all the time but I was also eating bowls and bowls of pasta. Along with many “food” substances I’d never put in my body now.

My mother recently showed me a photograph from one of her albums. I asked who was in the picture. She said it was me. I was truly startled. I didn’t recognize myself. Aside from the awful haircut, the stubble and the gigantic glasses. I had a hard time believing that I was fat in my twenties. But there it was in full color.

I didn't recognize myself
I didn’t recognize myself

It wasn’t until I started getting in front of the camera and editing episodes of The Johno Show that I was truly able to see myself. In my mind I was thin. I know that sound ludicrous but I’m telling you it’s true. Yes I had a 38″ waist but somehow my mind and body were so out of synch that I thought everyone my age had a 38″ waist. I thought I was as thin as my thinnest friends. Even now I have to constantly fight with my mind to remind myself I’m not thin and I still need to lose weight.

On this Journey to Health in which I’ve dropped nearly 90 lbs and am trying to get fit through yoga, I’ve realized I haven’t really understood where my hips are. My plan now is to base my weight loss and fitness on being proportional to my hips.

And here’s the thing…I think this reverse body dysmorphia or muscle dysmorphia are more common than most people think. I think a lot of people believe they are thinner than they really are. But if they thought about where their hips were…I bet they’d realize they’re larger than they should be.

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