He was hooked. Laugh if you want, but you can become addicted to anything. Exercise releases endorphins, and teenage insecurity did the rest -- addiction is always about escape. "When I wasn't in the gym, I didn't feel like moving. But I saw myself in the mirror and would immediately feel better. All the bodybuilders in the gym congratulated me and started recommending eating whey and muscle mass supplement. I worked on different parts of my body and waited to see who would notice first. That was a huge motivation for me, because it was validating that I wasn't a stick dude anymore."
Ah, validation -- the greatest high of all. Psychologists say that's the real driver behind bodybuilding addiction -- getting hooked on the constant compliments. Brian's life became like Trainspotting, if Ewan McGregor had traded in his needle for having buff gym rats say "Nice lats, bro" as they passed by on their way to the free weights. It's around here when you'll start to realize this tale also sounds like somebody being sucked into a cult -- the sense of belonging, the need to separate yourself from all of those weak and impure outsiders, the discovery of a larger purpose in life, the continual policing of behavior within the group ...
"Brother Chad has not removed his sleeves! SHAME!"