Aaron (26)
Arlington, Texas

Aaron is a 26 year old investor who lives in Arlington, Texas with his best friend and business partner. On first glance Aaron is a handsome, charismatic and successful young man. Many would be surprised to know that Aaron lives with a deep seeded sense of unworthiness and compulsion to do anything in his power to achieve an unreachable physical goal. Spurred by the intense pressure of his step-father growing up, Aaron was encouraged to play sports, especially basketball. A former semi-pro basketball player, Aaron’s stepfather cruelly encouraged derision from Aaron’s friends and siblings. He was made to feel weak, un-masculine, isolated, and less than. He was often unfairly compared to his bigger and more athletic brothers as the example of what not to be.

Motivated to win his step-father’s favor and to prove to everyone that he could be somebody worthy, he began a devout and ultimately unhealthy relationship to lifting. Aaron wakes up at 5am every morning and goes to the gym for a first round of exercise that includes cardio, abs and sauna. He then rests for two hours and goes back to the gym for heavy lifting for several hours. This is his routine everyday. Chained by a nearly impossible meal plan, he eats food that he prepares himself, every two hours. In addition he eats an insanely above average amount of protein, often hundreds of grams in one day, in addition to a staggering amount of supplements. Aaron has been hospitalized twice for bowel obstructions because of the amount of protein that he has been ingesting. Aaron took testosterone growth hormones for two years while he was still a teenager which brought his weight from 125 lbs to 190 lbs. However, because Aaron started testosterone before his body finished developing, he now doesn’t produce enough testosterone which means that he will need to take testosterone replacement shots for the rest of his life. An unfortunate by-product is lowered sex drive and thinning hair. Additionally, much of Aaron’s money is spent on his fitness regime with an estimated $2,000 a month going to food, supplements, gear and gym memberships.

Beyond the physical affects of his workout regime are the social and mental repercussion. Aaron admits that he pushes friends and family out of his life because he is focused on training. When his step-father was diagnosed with cancer, Aaron took it very hard, but still refuses to give up a gym session to stay at the hospital. Aaron also feels that he has missed out on nearly a decade of his younger brother’s life because he was too focused on being in the gym. Romantic relationships are problematic not only because of the selfish and demanding nature of his fitness routine, but also the insecurity and body issues that impact the relationship. Even though Aaron appears to be physically fit and attractive, he still sees himself as a 90lb weekling. Aaron has extremely low-self esteem and a distorted body image that makes it nearly impossible for him to love himself or allow him to be loved by others, making a relationship nearly impossible. Many of his past relationships failed because of his insecurity. Although, Aaron has seen the negative results of his fitness addiction he admits that he feels powerless to it. At only 26 years old, Aaron has countless regrets on what his gym addiction has done to him. Aaron desperately wants to end the viscous cycle and gain control of his life.