Yep, that’s me and my cousin Chelsie back in 2008. You may be thinking to yourself, you look pretty different Joey. Heck yeah I do! 2008 I was graduating high school and my weight was over 300lbs!
I was the fat kid in school. I gained bunch of weight around like 2nd grade. Apparently around age 7-8 is when my metabolism said it’d had enough of my crappy diet and took it out on my stomach and thighs. I remember I was able to take out an entire pizza by myself when I was like 10-11, like I used to pack away food.

That is Chelsie and I Again in 2012. 2012 is the year that I decided things needed to change. I had just graduated college and I needed to fix myself. That’s when I moved to Florida to actually work for Disney. (Cause we went all the time anyway.)

In 2013 I began my venture into pro wrestling and that’s when I really began hitting the gym. I ended up looking like this:

I went down to about 180lbs at my lightest and I was feeling better than ever.

But I’m not writing this blog because I felt great. I’m writing this blog because secretly, I still felt awful. Yeah, I know, why? I looked great, I was in the best shape of my life and…really, what’s to feel bad about?

I. Still. Felt. Fat.

The stigma and mentality of always being the big kid stuck with me, but I had added on a new layer to myself. I had become a pro wrestler and the guys who make the money all had these perfect bodies, with perfect abs and great arms…😫

Once more when I was doing all this, I was discovering my freedom to be myself. I had known I was gay since I was a kid, but growing up in Southern Bible Belt Baptist Carolina, I was too afraid to admit it. So when I first got to get into the actual scene and meet other gay men…the guys they drooled over were guys with perfect bodies, perfect abs and great arms…😩

I didn’t really know what to do, I found myself in a depression and freaking out about the way I looked.

Let’s take a fast forward trip to today. It’s 2017: I have a wonderful fiancée, a great life performing and yeah, since I stopped wrestling, I’ve put on about 20lbs and sit around 200. I don’t look awful and I know this. But I’ve started to find myself in this daily struggle of wanting to look better.

Most people will say, then just go workout Joey, get back into shape. I don’t want to be in shape, I want to find that happiness inside myself to where I’m happy with who I am. When Tyler tells me I’m gorgeous, I want to agree with him and not just think that the man in love with me is just trying to make me feel good.

Above is a selfie I took today. I want to be happy with this guy. I want to look in the mirror and smile back at what I see. The question of how I do that is going to be a bit of a tough one.

This blog is a bit of a way for me to vent my frustrations and I would like to know if anybody out there feels the same way I do. How do you cope with your reflection when you don’t really like what’s looking back at you? Is it just my insecurities? Do I blame the media for just showing gorgeous guys? The scariest question I always wonder is: Do I have a problem?

Find the beauty in yourselves folks. All of us are looking for it.