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January 7, 2023

I Became Obsessed With Lifting

By John M.
, college freshman
, from Columbus, OH

A lot of teenagers are starting to lift weights, especially as going to the gym has been trending lately. But when this interest becomes an obsession, it can start to have negative consequences on mental and physical health, like it did mine.

I first started lifting when I was 15 because a lot of people were saying I was too skinny. I spent hours at the gym lifting weights and became fixated on the numbers on my weights and the size of my muscles. I prioritized workouts above all else, including my school work and relationships. This led to a lack of balance in my life and harmed my overall well-being.

Despite the time I was putting in, I could never get big enough. I saw all these influencers on social media and I wanted to look like them immediately. But progress in the gym takes time and I was impatient. So I started doing protein drinks, but that wasn’t good enough, so when I was 16, I got into tren (steroids). I was on gear for several months, but then it started to have an impact on my health: I broke out and when I went to my doctor, I had unusually high blood pressure. My doctor said I was doing permanent damage to my body, and if my goal in the gym was to be healthy, by taking steroids, I was putting my health at risk. It was extremely difficult to stop and at first I felt weaker in the gym, but I realized that going to the gym had other benefits. If it didn’t make my body look the way it would with steroids, I still looked fit and working out cleared my mind, no matter what else was going on. I just enjoy working out and without the obsession, I find it relaxing.

It’s important to be aware of the signs of an unhealthy obsession with lifting weights. If you’re a teenager who is interested in lifting weights, it’s important to remember to do so in a healthy and balanced way. Make sure to listen to your body and give your muscles the rest and recovery they need. Never try to lift too much or “ego lift” to impress someone. It’s also important to consult with a doctor or a trainer before starting any new exercise routine. Most importantly, don’t compare your body to others and be happy with your progress. 

That way, you can enjoy the benefits of lifting without letting it consume your life.

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