This sport can be tough, truly tough. I'm not talking about the diet, the lifting, the odd lifestyle to the "outsiders" - I'm talking about the mental stress you put on yourself. Now, I'm not looking for sympathy, nor am I looking for others to say "well, you're the one who chose to do this sport, you did it to yourself" or "then just quit", I'm just stating a valid statement. To the "outsider" it seems like an easy fix, but to those of us that compete, it's really not.
I mean if you think about it, we HAVE to be critical on ourselves. We are in a sport that requires us to go on a stage and have our bodies judged/critiqued while asking for feedback from these judges to see what might need to be fixed, changed or completely taken away. The "average" person would never be able to handle any of this. It's the truth. It truly takes a certain type of person to handle stage anxiety and the feedback we receive (this is strength in my opinion), but with this said - you eventually can become the most analytical person known to man.
The trouble with over analyzation is that it consumes you. Every ounce of your body is consumed with picking apart each and every inch of your body. It's a sickness. Really. To "outsiders" your body is something they'd kill for, yet here you sit thinking you're not "perfect". Yes, I said it, perfect. No one's "perfect", I think we all know this - but at the same time I think we all have an image of "perfect" within our heads and we strive to achieve that, however, when we reach that or even exceed that "perfect" image, it just changes.
I speak of all of this through experience. I am probably the most critical person of all in regards to my own body. I can look at another woman, even those that aren't in the fitness industry, and see the beauty of her body - no matter her shape or size - we're all beautiful in our own way, yet when it comes to my own I simply fail at seeing that beauty each and every day.
What I have found though is that in order to keep myself involved within this sport I have to obtain self love and limit my analyzation. Some days are easy, others are tough. Really tough. Whether it be I think I'm too "skinny" or that I look "bloated" or that my glutes will just never grow, I'm always pointing something out in the mirror to myself that I don't like. However, what I am learning is that I need to "live in the moment" and love myself regardless of how I feel that day. When I begin to pick apart a particular area I find another that I love in order to outweigh it. This is essential. Through doing this I've found self love and I've found inner piece with my analytical tendencies.
Bodybuilding is a tough sport, but it's a sport that takes extreme dedication day in and day out on all levels. It can consume you and it will if you let it. What you have to learn and take away from it though is a new respect for yourself and a new way of thinking. A tedious task at that, but it's manageable if you want it.