I was never a confident person growing up; seeing myself for the thin body shape I had and the person inside who thought looking in the mirror would be a last resort.
Body confidence has always been a big thing for me and I’m at the part of my journey where I love who I am, what I see and what I’m doing, forgetting about everything in the past in the process.
I say that, but it isn’t easy forgetting. The Peter Crouch body shape being mocked for the lack of fat on a lanky frame, mentally scarring me to the point I hid my body by wearing baggy clothes. I wouldn’t go out without a tracksuit on growing up, pretending I was a famous athlete, just so I could say I was training for my next big race, when it reality, I was body conscious.
I lied to myself for so many years and looking back, I’m glad I did. I’m glad I lied on the way I saw myself in the mirror, as at the age of 16, I started my fitness journey. I joined the gym, and within a year or so, I started to notice change. Change into a physique I always want.
At 6’1, 8 ½ stone, I was seriously underweight. I was trying everything I could to gain weight, and even by eating loads of junk food, nothing was happening. Nothing was happening, and the emotions took over…
“Please! I don’t want to look like this any longer! I want to look like the person I am, not the body of someone I’m not meant to be!”
Thinking about how down I’ve been of late, I understood the person I am today. I’m an improved version of the person I was in my Peter Crouch days, with confidence radiating from my smile and the way I communicate on and off John’s Road to Volunteering.
When I looked for a location to shoot today’s pictures, the original plan didn’t represent me. Using a brick wall for my background just isn’t me. I like the simple idea behind using plain walls, but I’m a creator. I’m a spokesperson. I’m an individual.
The graffiti in the background doesn’t represent my gangster persona (who am I kidding?), but the smile my personality represents. The colour represents my colourful personality, the cheeky chappy ready to pounce on the next opportunity to crack a joke, and the love I have for myself.
Self-love is a significant factor to creating and promoting your content, and it’s something I’ve learned also replicates in your fashion.
The fashion I once thought suited me, was a coping mechanism. A coping mechanism for the introverted teenager with goofy teeth, a receding hairline and a loss of self-worth.
A self-worth doubted by those around me and it rubbed off! But…not anymore! I’ve adapted to the bald head that shines the streets of Southampton and beyond, and what I wear brightens the light.
I know that when you look at what I wore in today’s post, it’s pretty much a ‘standard’ style; t-shirt, jeans or shorts, and a pair of plimsolls. It’s a ‘standard’ style, but a style I never thought I could pull off.
I was seriously off the point believing I couldn’t even where shorts, as I didn’t like my knees, but watch out UK, the knees are out!
The knees are out with the rest of my body, as with every passing day, I’m loving who I am as a person. The person I love today can pull off numbers from Diesel and Ralph Lauren and feel comfortable in his body, whilst pretending to catwalk down the local high street.
Confidence comes with the journey. The confidence develops as you develop, and that’s part of the correlation between self-love, fashion and your journey.
We all grow up believing we’ll never be the person we want to be, yet I’m standing against a graffitied wall proud of who I am, the way I look and wearing brands I never imagined would suit my body type.