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Editorial: From the Edge

 by Megan Irwin  published on Thursday, January 19, 2006

Irwin<br>Editor in Chief/issues/arts/695313
Editor in Chief


From the Edge

Body issues. I have them, and I can pretty much guarantee you do too. It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, how slender your thighs are, or how big your biceps -- I bet you can list at least three things you don't like about your body right now off the top of your head. I can, though I'm not self-depreciating enough to actually do so in print.

For better or worse, it's pretty normal to dislike your body. It's also pretty normal to resolve to fix what it is you don't like. But, serious problems arise when people reach a level of self-loathing so high that their minor flaws become major obsessions. This is what happened to Shannon Fabian, the subject of this week's cover story (see "Big Enough" page 8). What started as a desire to gain muscle mass, turned into a six-year bodily obsession filled with epic workouts, supplement use, torn ligaments and, ultimately, steroid abuse.

I wish I could say that I don't relate to Fabian's body dismorphia, but unfortunately, I do. Things are a little different for women. Fabian was obsessed with weight gain, while all I wanted was to lose it. In high school I was the queen of the diet pill. My idea of a "meal" was two ephedrine filled tablets swallowed with a Diet Coke. Gross right?

Luckily, I think I'm reaching a point of maturity, just like Fabian, where I've realized there are certain things I can't change about my body and other things I shouldn't change. As for the rest of my flaws I can fix them the healthy way -- no supplements necessary.

Megan Irwin is the editor-in-chief of SPM. Reach her at

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