Dear Abby: I’m a 21-year-old man who has been a successful swimmer in high school and now in college. Over the past few months, I have become obsessed with developing six-pack abs. I have never had much success with women, and I thought that looking like a movie star might finally get me noticed and make me feel good about myself.
As a result, I have become obsessive about my diet. I have dropped 10 pounds, mostly muscle, and my performance in the pool has suffered. If I don’t see perfect definition between every ab and don’t exercise for at least 2 1/2 hours a day, I feel fat and guilty whenever I eat. I have awakened in the middle of the night worrying about what I’ll eat the next day. I’m concerned for the future when my metabolism will inevitably slow down.