San Diego, CA
Josh has been married to his wife, Jennifer, for 11 years. The couple has two children, Emma (11) and Noah (16). In their late twenties, Josh and Jennifer were overweight as a result of eating and drinking too much. They decided to give the P90x workout series a try. It worked. Josh and Jennifer lost weight and were able to get healthier. The problem is Josh hasn’t stopped working out since. Workout DVDs segued to body building competitions. Josh has won several national NPS shows, but his ultimate goal is to obtain his IFBB professional card, the industry standard for body builders. Josh will do anything in his power to achieve this goal, regardless of the consequences. By nature, Josh is a smaller guy and struggles with putting on muscle and bulking up. He has experimented with testosterone replacement in the past but hasn’t pulled the trigger on anabolic steroids. He has considered trying them but is nervous that steroids are a dangerous and slippery slope. Josh works out 7 days a week, sometimes as often as three times a day. He has never missed a workout. Ever. Even if that means he’s working out at 2 o’clock in the morning, foregoing sleep and familial obligations.
Josh’s fitness regime is a major drain on the family’s resources. The family spends 80% of their grocery budget on Josh’s food alone and Josh spends close to $1000 per month on his gear, supplements, and gym membership in order to keep up his physique. Mentally, Josh is struggling with giving up on his dream and letting himself down or returning to his average, unfulfilling, and overweight life.
Josh has spent much of his career in insurance, but he truly wants to be a professional bodybuilder. He is currently between jobs which has lead the family to live with friends until they get back on their feet. Jennifer complains that while Josh should be looking for a profitable career, he is instead watching fitness videos online or at the gym. Josh isn’t providing for his family in the way that he should be, but they are still spending what little money they do have on his fitness goals, putting his families’ needs in last place.
Jennifer has witnessed health related issues: complaints of kidney pains, shortness of breath during what should be an easy walk, stomach cramps, inability to sleep and profuse hot and cold chills. Although he hasn’t seen a doctor, Jennifer is worried about what he is doing to himself physically. Although she has been a patient wife, Jennifer doesn’t think that their marriage can survive this much longer. As bad as it sounds, Jennifer has even considered encouraging Josh to take steroids, because in her mind at least he would have the body he wants and wouldn’t have to be gone all the time. She knows it’s not a practical or ethical solution but she is desperate for anything to work. Jennifer has even secretly hoped he would injure himself, so that his fitness obsession might slow dwon. Josh’s fitness addiction is also affecting his relationships with his children. He isn’t a present or attentive father or role model and he knows for a fact that he is causing irreparable harm to his children.
Growing up, Josh was bullied and teased by siblings and friends for being weak, skinny, and effeminate. He had a rocky and tumultuous relationship with his mother growing up. Jennifer believes that an aspect of Josh’s body building is about obtaining the approval, validation, and love from his mother and family that he didn’t receive while growing up. Jennifer believes that his mom might be unknowingly enabling this behavior. For Josh, he is ultimately worried that bodybuilding will never be enough and that he will lose his family and his marriage in his pursuit for physical perfection.