My Big Gay Podcast

S5. Ep 12. Two Gays and the Stranded Night Out

June 14, 2023 Benji & Brad, Matt Boyles Season 5 Episode 12
My Big Gay Podcast
S5. Ep 12. Two Gays and the Stranded Night Out
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Season 5: Episode Twelve. Two hungover gays, two cities… what a weekend for Benji and Brad! The boys chat about their day trip to Brighton where they ended up stranded all night! Plus, joining them this week is gay health coach Matt Boyles who talks about his experience and advice on fitness and wellbeing in the LGBTQ+ community.

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Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of my big gay podcast. With me a bottle of tequila. And me a bottle of vodka Giving you the life, but that's your line.

Speaker 2:

Oh, my goodness, i feel like this episode is going to be as chaotic as our weekend together.

Speaker 1:

I think so too. We have to get through the opening. We've done it for five seasons. Let's do it, that's it Right, let's try again. Hello and welcome to this week's episode of my big gay podcast with me Benji.

Speaker 2:

And me, Brad, giving you the life, the loves and lovelies of living in London Two gays, one city.

Speaker 1:

What could possibly?

Speaker 2:

go wrong. I mean two gays slash, two very hungover gays today, yeah, and two cities from this last weekend and it all went wrong.

Speaker 1:

It really did. Yeah, I mean, I mean, but before we get into that, how are you feeling?

Speaker 2:

Do you know what? When we obviously said that we're going to be recording the day after going to Brighton, I was thinking this recording is going to be a struggle.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but.

Speaker 2:

I don't feel too bad today.

Speaker 1:

I actually this is pretty the best hangover I've possibly ever had, but I do feel like a hollow shell. I haven't got the hangover pains. I haven't even got anxiety, and for those of you who don't know what that is, it's when you're hungover and just you feel anxious about everything, like what did I do last night? What am I doing with my life? Have I invested in the correct pension scheme?

Speaker 2:

These are the sorts of things that keep me up at night, All right but, I do feel like, yeah, hold on.

Speaker 1:

It's like an Easter ring, like, oh, it looks so great and amazing outside And then you like tap it and it crumbles the thinnest pieces of chocolate. I feel like that. I feel like I look gorge, but on the inside a hollow chocolate egg.

Speaker 2:

One poke and you're going to fall apart.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I don't really like being poked. We've discussed this multiple times. So I would probably fall apart on a good day, but right now it would not be good. But yeah, other than that, i think I feel okay, which is amazing considering what actually went on at the weekend, which I feel we should probably get straight into so that people realise we sound as rough, why we sound as rough as we do, absolutely, yeah, gosh, that sentence was a struggle.

Speaker 2:

I don't normally struggle to get words out, i know you're pretty good with your words, but yeah, that wasn't your best today.

Speaker 1:

Thanks, mate way to pick me up when I'm feeling shit. I mean, where do we start?

Speaker 2:

Well, from the very beginning, which is a very good place to start, Julie Andrews told us many, many years ago.

Speaker 1:

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. I mean, has anyone heard from Julie Andrews recently? Because I've not seen anything on social media and I feel like we should just check in with her. So if any gays actually know Julie, could you just, you know, check. She's all right, julie. You're at hand, But no yeah, you start mate, because I actually don't know where to start.

Speaker 2:

Well, we went to Brighton for a day party, basically a day drinking session. It was our friend's 30th birthday, which is amazing. He's the youngest of the group. So I feel like we've now done all of our big 30th birthdays, Because the last few years it has been big birthday after big birthday, And this was the last one. Yeah, happy birthday, Stephen Happy birthday, But I didn't realize how close Brighton was to London. Really It was like an hour on the train.

Speaker 1:

I mean it should have been an hour on the train, but we decided to go to Brighton on the hottest day of the year. Even in the morning. When my alarm went off at like half past six in the morning, it was like today records could be set as the hottest day in June of the last decade And I was like brilliant, and we're going to sit on a train. Everyone's going to have the same idea as us.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and they did, And all the trains were delayed and cancelled classic British trains. But yeah, we did get there in the end, didn't we? We did. After the delayed And it was like being on holiday. We walked off, we went down to the beach and I was like I feel like we're in Spain right now.

Speaker 1:

This is amazing. Yeah, it was absolutely beautiful And actually when we got to Brighton it wasn't as mobbed as I thought. I mean probably because I sort of associate Brighton with pride, yeah, when you literally can't even move on the streets, yeah, so this wasn't too bad, but it was. It was so hot.

Speaker 2:

So hot, yeah, i mean we went straight to the beach. We got tinnies on the way and we was on the beach for about an hour. Then we were like, okay, we need some shade. This is yeah, we're getting a bit overheated here.

Speaker 1:

Well, we kind of just got settled on the beach and I was like, okay, it's like 32 degrees, this is stunning. Any of our American friends listening like 32, is that it?

Speaker 2:

I'm not. Is that it, Yeah, Any of our worldwide listeners? this is like a really really hot day for the UK. We're not prepared for it. There's no air, con nothing.

Speaker 1:

Nothing's air conned Like it's just it is miserable. We got to the beach, got all set up and then after about 20 minutes, everyone was like, okay, we're done on the beach. And I kept on being like let's go buy some shops, guys, get some drinks, meaning like water, maybe some fruit juice. Everyone's like oh, great idea. Tinnies, tinnies, tinnies, tins, tins tins across the board. Literally I was like, okay, some sort of like non-alcoholic drink would probably be good, but what do I know?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, right, but right by the beach is the Brighton Pinn Famous, isn't it, because it is just full of like arcades and rides and all the kind of seaside stuff that you would want to do in the UK, and we had the best time on the pier. It was amazing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it was good fun, The guys slot machines, little games like sweets, like there's a soft play area which sadly I was too tall to go into. You can buy like chips, candy, floss, and then, yeah, there are all the rides as well.

Speaker 2:

But you weren't feeding the rides.

Speaker 1:

Listen, i'm a thrill seeker. I love me a bit of Disney, as we know Thorpe Park, alton Towers, all the men in places. But there's just something in me that says do not trust a ride that has been built on scaffolding, balanced over the ocean, which the previous pier had burnt down twice.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you are literally on the water, aren't you?

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Wooden slats And I was worried that I was going to drop my phone and then I was going to lose it all down the pier.

Speaker 1:

Whoa, whoa, whoa whoa. You were not worried, you were going to drop your phone. We were all worried because you get to opening your bag and be like where's my phone and your wallet? It was like precariously, like balance, like just about to fall into the ocean below. Like there's no getting that back.

Speaker 2:

I know, and also I've only just got back my ID. You know I lost my ID last week. Yeah, i applied for my new license. That came really really fast. I was very impressed with the UK government on that one.

Speaker 1:

Yeah you would have thought it would be a really good opportunity for you to be used like a more current photo of yours, not one pre-hair transplant.

Speaker 2:

It was a pre-hair transplant photo.

Speaker 1:

Who is this bald man on your ID? Oh?

Speaker 2:

gosh.

Speaker 1:

Oh goodness, Yeah, we did the rides. You did get me on one of the rides.

Speaker 2:

I did. yes, The famous ghost train. Is it famous? Well, our friends told us afterwards it was actually. it won the award for the worst ghost train in Britain, Great.

Speaker 1:

Well, I'm pleased I spent five pounds on that.

Speaker 2:

It was awful. Were you scared? No, the scariest bit for me was sitting next to you.

Speaker 1:

If I'm honest, Okay, that was literally what I was about to say.

Speaker 2:

I read your mind.

Speaker 1:

What was even scarier was being stuck in a car like seat belted in next to you in something that could break down in the 34 degree heat, because inside that thing was a furnace.

Speaker 2:

With those like cheesy things that kept popping out, like those plastic skeletons. Oh, it was so bad.

Speaker 1:

I mean, at one point you went around the corner and you could literally just see the fuse box.

Speaker 3:

You could see the extension cables like plugging into these.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, So bad So so bad But we've got to do it as like a tradition with the group of gays, like whatever kind of seaside town we're in. If there's a little theme park, you have to do the ghost train.

Speaker 1:

It's like a thing to do, yeah, but I was then very much ready for some clubs.

Speaker 2:

Yes, And the gay bus. there are just so many in Brighton.

Speaker 1:

Do you know what I'm going to do? you know Soho and Clapham Dirty, but Brighton You have the most lovely group of LGBTQ plus people. Yes, it was so friendly, so nice. Everyone was chatting like oh, i haven't seen you before. Oh, we're from London. Oh great, we've been to London, we've done this. But like, just genuinely, everyone was lovely. We went to what was it called the Queen's Arms to see a drag show, which was brilliant.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, she was hilarious, she was so funny.

Speaker 1:

Davina Sparkle, her name was Yeah, and she was like pick on on all of us, like, oh, from London, like just making us all really welcome.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was lovely. And also the drinks prices. Hello, when they came through I was like I'm sorry, i don't think you've added that up correctly. Yeah, you said he has 14 pounds, but I bought like four drinks, so like, no, no, that's 14 pounds for four drinks. Yeah, i'm like that's one drink in London.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the first bar we went to was called Center Stage, also a drag show. It was great. I went and ordered a drink. It's on the front, it's got big balcony overlooking the sea, like prime location Beautiful. Yeah, i ordered a Keelah Soda Lime Cordial and it was four pounds.

Speaker 2:

That is just unheard of, isn't it? I can't believe it, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Four quid. And then the next venue bottles of Prosecco 23 pounds, amazing.

Speaker 2:

Cheap, amazing. We should go there more often We should go there every weekend. Yeah, we spend like a fortune going out in London. Yeah, well, you do, that is so true.

Speaker 1:

Drinks on me, lads.

Speaker 2:

No.

Speaker 1:

Put the card down, put it away.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's not the card we're talking about. But yeah, no one wants to see that Again. No, it was good, but it did. The reason why we are so exhausted is it did go ever so slightly wrong nearer the end. So we were in the Queen's Arms and a couple of us were flagging. We were like, look, there was sort of chats of trying to get a hotel, wasn't there? Yes, but we're like let's just see what time the last train is. Blah, blah, blah, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping.

Speaker 2:

Canceled Next train canceled, all the trains canceled. We were stranded in Brighton with nowhere to stay.

Speaker 1:

No, even the Ibis was like £200 a night for two people.

Speaker 2:

But also, it was just so hot, wasn't it? We was out and about anyway, but we had to keep going outside to cool down. I was like we could just sit on the beach, like on that hot. And yeah, we carried on clubbing, didn't we? until whatever time it was. And then we got the first train back to London at like half four in the morning.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, don't miss out the worst part of the whole trip, which is when we went to a subway at like 3am which was open. They would. They turned the toaster off at 11pm. I mean, why even be open?

Speaker 2:

I know you were furious about that.

Speaker 1:

It's actually when we went in, there was a hendu already in there. They were like, don't bother, they've turned the toaster off.

Speaker 2:

And by that point I was done, I was ready to go and I was just sat on the pavement outside with my hood up, Like I just want to get into my bed. We've been drinking since like half 11 in the morning. It's now like half three the following morning. Yeah, I'm done.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, i didn't actually get into bed till just before 7am Yeah same Yeah, About half six got into bed Yeah. I'd literally been pying for 24 hours. Well, I've been out for 24 hours and essentially drinking for the majority of that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, but it was so good though. What a great day. I love Brighton.

Speaker 1:

It was so good. If you can, if you are sort of in the areas where you can get to Brighton for a weekend, definitely would recommend it. It doesn't even have to be a weekend, you know, it could be any day of the week. Well, actually that's a good point. At one of the bars we were like, oh, we're just wondering where, like some other drag shows are. They gave us like a full on map flyer for the month of every single show going on at all the different venues, for every single day. It was. It was so good. Yeah, it was amazing. Yeah, the Gays definitely run that town.

Speaker 2:

Oh, yes, yeah, 100%.

Speaker 1:

Gay capital of the UK.

Speaker 2:

I mean the Gays would run the world if we ever got a shot, Some of us would.

Speaker 1:

If I was just in you and Boris Johnson, I may still pick Boris Johnson.

Speaker 2:

No, you wouldn't, Absolutely not. We'll see, but more of the story is Go To Brighton, lads, for a nice game day out.

Speaker 1:

Go To Brighton. Book your accommodation in advance. The train for us was like 14 quid. It was absolutely bargain, yeah, but yeah. So much to do, so much sun to see all the frolics. Get yourself to Brighton if you can.

Speaker 2:

Right, benji, i know you're hung over today, but we do have a very special guest on this week's episode, so do not mess this up for us, ok.

Speaker 1:

Excuse me, i'm on top form today. You are the one that's bad with hangovers. I woke up this morning and I put my little vitamin C tablet. I've taken my vitamin B and this delicious little multivitamin gummy which I'm pretty sure I just eat because they taste like sweets And that's me being healthy. Wow, you've taken all the pills today, all those above board over the counter legal pills, mum, i promise.

Speaker 2:

But before we get on to our special guest, i thought it might be worth talking about summer being around the corner and that's so exciting, right? Well, i'd love it when it's summer in the UK, yeah, but do you feel that there's a bit of a pressure in terms of wearing less clothes and body image and being like that summer body ready? in quotation marks, because I don't really agree with that statement.

Speaker 1:

Oh gosh, i know. Do you remember that big campaign on the tube that everyone hated, the Beach Body Ready campaign? Oh, horrible, yeah, ok. So, in short, yes, me personally I do feel a lot of pressures in this field. Obviously, i grew up on a very small island which is all beaches, so as soon as the sun's out, everyone is sort of topless anyway. But being in Brighton actually really it wasn't like a horrible feeling, but it really took me back to sitting on the beach, feeling really hot and being terrified to wear less clothes. I used to sit on the beach in like three-quarter length short trousers, things. They were cool back then. All right, big fleece massive hood up.

Speaker 1:

No well, yeah, you joke, but I could jump. Oh wow, like long sleeve, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Because in Brighton there were a lot of topless people around, weren't there?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but I must be honest, in Brighton I there was people of like all different body shapes and sizes, like and people just didn't care, which I kind of loved.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, me too.

Speaker 1:

Because when we go to somebody they're like clap and common, it's so. It's a very different vibe. Yeah, it's just like, i don't know, like a catwalk for people who have literally lived religiously at the gym Yeah, for the past four months or how it actually probably years, but specifically the last four months so they can walk around in tiny speedos with rock hard body. Sure, yeah, we'll leave that there, but yeah, so that was. That was a strange sort of you know, reminding me of what it was like when I was younger. But I think I don't think it's just for the individual person to feel pressure. I think anyone would be lying if they said they didn't feel the pressure. Even people that have inverted commas, the perfect body, which we'll come back to, uh-huh, i think even they feel the pressure because they have to keep up with it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, The maintenance of that, because I know you've been gym in this year, yeah, and I've been dipping in and out, yeah.

Speaker 2:

As I do The pool, yeah, literally. But I find it really hard to be consistent at the gym because I do have quite a busy social life, as do you, yeah, and trying to balance that with work. I just don't want my social life to be affected where I say like, oh, i can't come out tonight because I've got a gym class to go to, or I don't want to have a late one on a Saturday night because I want to do the gym on Sunday. You know, i just don't want my life to be dictated by just going to the gym. Yeah. But I agree there should be like a balance, you know, of being sort of trying to be healthy, um, but I struggled to find that balance personally.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, look, I think I've spoken on this before but like when I was like 15, let's say 16, I was at my like my biggest, biggest stage and I was like 18 stone I was. I'm not even that tall, So I was vastly overweight for my age And I remember feeling miserable And then sort of moving away from home to college, dancing all day. Weight literally just dropped off me. I found the gym and I got into a really unhealthy place with fitness. I look back at pictures and I'm like I'm literally unwell, Like you can see the bones in my face, Like it was just really not good.

Speaker 2:

So, one extreme to the other, you went Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Basically, i mean, look, i I never had any. Um, uh, i wouldn't say I would label myself with any disorders, to put it lightly. I don't want to say any words because it's quite triggering some people, um, but I don't. I don't feel like I had any of those. I literally just ate too much when I was younger and then it got into a routine and it was. It was bad for me. I don't think my mental health was great And I think I use food as a way of trying to suppress emotion. Um, but it's insane.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, i do go to the gym more, but I do it purely for me. I don't do it for an end goal of having a specific physique. I really and I genuinely mean this, hand on heart, i do not care about having a six pack. I do not care about having like zero percent body fat, i don't care. All I care about is getting to that space where I personally, for me, feel comfortable walking around in just swim shorts without feeling like people are looking at me in a negative way. Uh-huh, that's my only goal and that is purely personal.

Speaker 1:

And I've had boyfriends be like you go to the gym for way too long, like you don't need to do it. You just need to go for an hour, do this workout, blah, blah, blah. And I have always said to them like look, i'm not going to hit these stats, i'm not going to do these specific reps or whatever it is you want to do at the gym, which is fine. I go to clear my head and to feel like I am getting enough physical exercise to make me feel confident within my own body. Yeah, um, and I think some people don't get that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, cause I know you go to like switch your phone off and have an escape from work and the busy life for a couple of hours. So, I, you know, i do applaud you for that Cause it's very difficult to switch off, particularly living in the city and doing the work that we did in the jobs that we do, where we kind of like on call all the time, constant. So yeah, i fully applaud you for doing that for that reason.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, i mean it's again. It's completely selfish. I don't care, saying that it is purely for me And it is my time that I give myself. But listen, I think I think body image we're never, there's never going to be a point where the whole world is like cured of body hangups or, you know, of disorders or because it is kind of life and it changes constantly. The pressures on younger people change every few years, like it was. Everyone wanted to be sort of more curvy And then everyone's come back to want to be like hair and chic, skinny, and we're very much at the mercy of the fashion industry and sort of films and who's famous and etc. Etc. Etc. So it's we're always going to have these battles. So I think getting somebody onto the podcast that we will be having later on which is very exciting, somebody who comes in it from a completely different angle but pushing it into mainstream sort of gay culture, like to battle this stigma, i think, is it's really important.

Speaker 2:

I'm really and I'm very much excited to hear what Matt has to say and sort of what made him start and made him feel like he was sort of making a difference and what keeps him going, because do you think gays that go down that like muscle route is because of maybe bullying when they were younger and therefore kind of overcompensating when they're older to be like, okay, well, I've now got these muscles and I've got this like stereotypical masculine look and kind of make up for all the times where people call me like a sissy or a fennboy or whatever back at school?

Speaker 1:

I don't think there is a definitive, single answer to that question. Sure, yeah, i think people go to the gym to feel secure in their body. Some of them go, yes, to feel attractive to other people because of, maybe, something that happened in their past, maybe they really struggled with their coming out, and so they want validation by being suddenly very attractive to whoever it is, whatever gender or like playing up to that stereotype of what attractive is.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, maybe, and I think it's also like when people wear a lot of makeup. I feel like it's a form of defense And I do think from that, sometimes you do go a bit too far and you become a bit toxic and you forget to get to know people for actually who they are, not for what they look like. Sure, that makes sense, which I really struggle within the gay scene for that, like talking to people, i can tell, like new people in clubs, i can tell they are judging me on what I'm wearing, what I look like, or I feel that they are. I should say They don't necessarily. They're not talking to me just to get to know me, which is actually what I felt in Brighton. When they were coming up in the clubs and talking to us, i felt like they genuinely cared about where we'd come from, like wanting to know a little bit about us, not just because of what we individually looked like.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I definitely got a sense of a real gay community in Brighton, definitely Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I do feel the gay scene in London it needs to change. I think it is changing, but I think it needs to. it's got a long way to go. Yeah, sure.

Speaker 2:

Well, listen, we're about to have an expert come on to my big gay podcast who knows all about this, because he is a fitness expert for the LGBTQ plus community. So why don't we take a little short break and we'll bring on the wonderful Matt Boyles?

Speaker 1:

This is a final call for Benji and Brad travelling to Jersey for Channel Islands Pride. Oh mate, hurry up, we're going to miss the flight.

Speaker 2:

Benji, I can't run in these Espa drills.

Speaker 1:

Gosh well, what a shame it'll be for them to get left behind. Look, just put that book down and hurry up.

Speaker 2:

It says here that Jersey has over 30 beaches and is the sunniest place in the British Isles.

Speaker 1:

Yes, and we won't get there if you don't take those shoes and sun hat off.

Speaker 2:

Wait, how is my sun? hat slowing me down.

Speaker 1:

It's not, it's just ridiculous.

Speaker 2:

Whoa? did you know that Channel Island Pride is one of the most attended events in the islands?

Speaker 1:

Yes, and this year they're going huge, with a main stage, a cabaret stage and performances from Top Drag Queens, local artists, silent disco, dance tent and some exciting headlining acts yet to be announced.

Speaker 2:

Quick. Do you need anything from Duty Free? Have you packed protection?

Speaker 1:

Of course I have it's Factor 30. Not that kind Oh.

Speaker 2:

Come and pie with us at Channel Island Pride in Jersey Saturday, the 16th of September.

Speaker 1:

It's only a 40 minute flight from most UK airports, so pack your speedos, pack your sunnies pack your sun cream and we'll see you at the beach. For more information, head to channelilandsprideorg.

Speaker 2:

Well, Benji, I am very, very excited for our guest today.

Speaker 1:

I'm excited as well although I do have a slight like imposter syndrome with the fact that we've got like a fitness confidence coach coming on the podcast when we've only recently just woken up after like three hours sleep from our all night venture in Brighton. There's something that doesn't quite add up there but we're going to go with it.

Speaker 2:

It's all about balance. You know we have a heavy weekend and now we're talking about fitness, so we're going to meet in the middle.

Speaker 1:

I don't think that was meeting in the middle and I do not think that that is balanced. But hey, we're going to see how it goes. I'm going to try and forget about the half cooked subway that I can still taste in my mouth.

Speaker 2:

Is that the only thing you can taste in your mouth? Anyways without further ado.

Speaker 1:

I am very, very excited to welcome on the founder and CEO of Fitter Confident U, which is an online personal training platform tailored to the LGBTQ plus community. He has worked with over 1400 people around the world. It is the one, the only, the lovely, matt Boyles.

Speaker 2:

Hi guys, Hello Matt, How are you?

Speaker 3:

I'm very well, thank you, good good.

Speaker 2:

Thrilled to be here. Oh, we are so excited to have you on Now. Before we get going, we want to hear your mic check, So could you give us your best mic check for us?

Speaker 3:

All right, give out a mic, check one, two and I can't remember the lyrics, because I forgot to look up the lyrics.

Speaker 2:

I don't know the lyrics either.

Speaker 1:

That's right, you gave the best ones.

Speaker 2:

How was that? That was perfect? Oh, few.

Speaker 1:

I mean, does anyone really know the lyrics to that song or is it just that one bit? Just that one bit is the one bit. But, yeah, thank you so much for taking the time to come on to the podcast. especially on a day as hot as today, it is sweltering, but, yeah, we're very happy you're here. So thank you.

Speaker 2:

Pleasure, and, matt, you are also a fellow Clapham gay, but I've yet to see you on the common. Will you be there this summer?

Speaker 1:

Sorry, just clarification on which part of the common I think it's needed.

Speaker 3:

I do indeed love living so close to the common. Having that on my doorstep, i obviously completely rammed this weekend Exactly Just lovely, open space to be able to get out into.

Speaker 2:

Oh, great, great. Well, as you know, we have just come back from a weekend in Brighton which was quite chaotic in the end, but it was so much fun. And we were actually just talking about the summer and how lovely it is in the UK when it's summertime, but maybe the pressures that that comes with in terms of body image and maybe having to wear sort of lesser clothes or like beach clothes, that kind of thing, and we were sort of saying about the pressures that maybe we feel about that. So I guess you're the expert on this anyway And I wondered do you find that a lot of your clients come to you this time of year for that reason?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely That, and also just not knowing how to get started. The two main reasons that I hear from people most of the time body image, body confidence. oh, i'm going on holiday. I feel stressed. take my top off. But getting comfortable with your top off is a journey that all of us have to go on in some way. But, brad, you were at Mighty Hoopla last weekend as well, weren't you? I was Yes.

Speaker 1:

Boy, who was he?

Speaker 2:

In my pink glitter cape.

Speaker 3:

I've done my homework.

Speaker 3:

I was too as well And what I think is going to be really helpful to people is so there were 30,000 basically gays there And obviously all the other amazing people across the LGBTQ spectrum, but of people with those sort of bodies in inverted commas, who people who clearly live in the gym and may or may not take steroids, but because you just don't know, but they were such a tiny proportion like 0.0000001.

Speaker 3:

Everyone else had, in inverted commas, normal bodies, regular bodies, bodies that let them go dancing for two days in the park. I think we've built this up in our minds, our collective gay consciousness, that everyone looks like they work out 10 days a week, everyone is so obsessed with fitness that they don't allow themselves to eat any food they want, and also people believe that a there the majority and be that they will really mean, and I just don't think it's the case. I think we've talked ourselves into this corner where we believe it, but actually the lived experience, when you get out there and see all of our amazing cohort and compare trace, just isn't the case. I think we just like part of the thing we need to start doing is just questioning our own fears around it and say is this really true? is this really real? are we really pressured into looking that way, or is it just something we've sort of Like this color, got this collective fear over, even though it doesn't actually exist?

Speaker 2:

sure does that make sense? yeah, i think it's because when I was growing up I would buy by underwear and it's always six pack people wearing the pants, yeah, and I guess I'm not the game magazines, and it was always that kind of look of like oh, if you want to be like a hot man, you need to have that six pack and that body and I think that's what's always put me off of going to the gym is sort of seeing those people with those bodies and thinking all my body does not compare, so That's put me off.

Speaker 3:

Go in no, i guess the flip side is, their bodies didn't look like that when they started that's very true.

Speaker 3:

Anyone can look like that if you want to it. But obviously take it can take over your life just to get to that level. But this is the whole ethos of what I preach and what how I teach, because helping people see that it's like what we do with fitness, what we do that bodies and for bodies is so much more than how it looks. I started saying this recently, which is quite controversial, but I think your body no offense to everyone your body is the least interesting thing about you. Everyone has one. They're all essentially the same.

Speaker 3:

It's what you do with it. It's what's in your heart and your brain and your soul that The allows you to go and do good things and be a great person and create stuff and be funny and caring and support friends and all like an explore, like anything you want to do, any verb. But Having a body itself in and of it isn't. Isn't that special, does seven billion us and we've all got one. Yeah, helping people take that step back and going okay.

Speaker 3:

Well, there's all these other things I could be excited about and reasons for training I sleeping better, high sex drive, better posture, stronger, faster, better confidence, all of these things and it's also, it's all symbiotic, linked. But when you take out the appearance piece and don't do it for everything else, it becomes so much easier and so much more exciting because you start to realize What is it? most people especially if they train for their bodies just to change how they look. They doing it for someone else, they're not doing it for themselves, they're doing it to fit in, to say they have to, and that is never gonna be sustaining or sustainable because it's not a pleasant reason, it's a chore. I'm doing it because I have to do this versus all the other ones are. I want to do it because I feel amazing when I do.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, for sure. I mean for me, we find out. We actually discussed that very briefly before you came on about how. For me personally, for years I was very unhappy with my physique and then I went to the other way. I was far too far too underway. It was sustainable, i had no energy, became a new Like just really bad, and then I got to a place where actually, as long as I felt happy in myself, actually changed sort of how I was, other people, like relationships, etc.

Speaker 1:

But for a lot of, i guess, a big argument that I always read so do you try to keep up with these sorts of things is like who? who's the blame for why we have these negative feelings? is it ourselves? or is it the media? because I know, like we're out some day on the common mates will see somebody has like the most like ripped body, let's say, and they'll go on again is that beautiful? but they won't. They won't say about anybody else. So it's like why are you saying that? is that because you're, you think that is the be all and all, that's what you have to become? is it habitually built into us? because, like back when we were like Forages, those that were hunting, getting food and stuff were more access to the fit. I've read that before. Like is it built into us that we want to be muscular? do we want to have that physique? like So do you? do you think the media does have a big part to play in it, or is it mainly ourselves?

Speaker 3:

no, i mean we can't help but be influenced by what we see in the media we consume. and yes, like 20 years ago when I moved to London, when you two are still growing up at school, the magazines like QX and boys and attitude every magazine that was out there then only ever had gym fit bodies on the front and that was at least 10 years of that, probably longer, going back.

Speaker 3:

For even I, even I was picking them up. There has been a certain change of that. This, i guess more of the body positivity, movement and accepting and making sure people Can feel comfortable on their terms in their, in their own skin more and more and you do see a better representation of bodies. But that's the other thing as well. So when your friend Is comparing or looking at someone on the common, all they're doing is saying all they're beautiful in very specific, rigid terms, but then You literally only have that snapshot of them there and then they could be so miserable they could absolutely hate their life.

Speaker 3:

They like we just don't know. But that's what humans are really bad at. We project so much onto people who we will never meet or never speak with, without knowing anything about them. Well, i'll, he looks like that. He's happy, he has loads of sex, he's got a great job, he's rich like he's got loads of friends. Just don't know that it's when you make that leap that two plus two equals five. Oh, he's definitely As happy as he ever could be because he looks that way. That's when we do it to ourselves as well. So we get the worst of both worlds if we're previously, when we were surrounded by that sort of media and when we were doing it to ourselves yeah, interesting, i think, something else for a lot of sort of younger generations growing up and sort of looking through adult content on online.

Speaker 1:

So since lockdown I know it was before there as well as massive culture, particularly on a site called only fans, which is sort of giving back the control to people offering So various adult content of themselves, and a lot of them do have this matching physique. so obviously anyone going through I know that's supposed to be able to access these sorts of pages. but like going to puberty, sort of going to changes growing up, figuring out their sexuality, etc. when they do go online to try and see what they're supposed to look like, that is kind of one of the places they Fall upon. yeah, and do you think that's gonna have also then kind of a damaging effect on the younger generations growing up?

Speaker 3:

potentially, but the thing is this isn't just a gay problem. Yeah, it's issue very much on tiktok. Like the girls and the guys super contoured, super like Posing you know exactly what I mean like filter to within inch of their lives as well, presenting that this is a real way. This is what this is real more than anything, and I think it's that I came up with what I think is a billion dollar idea, but I still need to make. It would be an app that you download your phone and just every time before you open any social platform, all it does is flash up and say this isn't real and it just reminds you like everyone in some way has curated or contoured or faked or filtered or taken 30 selfies before they've got one they're happy with. Everyone is doing that. Like that is definitely not just an old. You need to keep us issue.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, is that sort of extension of the more you buy into this world of fakeness, like the more you have to have the whitest teeth, the curvious bum, the biggest chest, and like when i'm talking with clients who, for example, this is sound like a plot twist, but this is relevant like i'm talking with client, say about comfort eating, but they're eating to comfort themselves, but like, how much food you need to comfort yourself? you can't answer that. And in the same way, how filtered you need to be, how perfect you need to present to the world, because in that, like online, there's always be someone with inverted commas, better body than you always be you're. So if that's what you're striving for, you'll never be happy because you can never attain that, because there will always be someone else who's even more polished and who knows if it's fake or not, but even more Pristinley created in this inverted commas, perfect presentation yeah, i mean, there was a point back when i started releasing instagram which, i'll be really honest, i did use to edit my photos, to make teeth white etc.

Speaker 1:

And i never realized. When, like a couple years went past, i went back through pictures, i was like, omg, i have aged so quickly in the last couple years. I completely forgot that i'd altered all my photos and it wasn't until i, like, found the original ones in my camera roll and i was like oh, oh, okay, actually i looked absolutely fine back then. Why did i feel the need to edit them? so i think that's really, i think that's really poignant actually.

Speaker 2:

So what was your journey to get into the fitness side of things? did you were yours into that school and therefore carried on into adult life, or did you discover it later on? because i know for me personally, i Hate it, pe fitness. it was horrendous, it was the worst time of the week and i would do anything to get out of it. so i always came to fitness initially in What a negative background, i guess just from previous experience that's absolutely the same with me as well.

Speaker 3:

As i went to school that was very rugby focused and i was a very skinny, spindly child who, funny enough, didn't like being beaten up in the mud twice a week in winter. Obviously, as an adult some of those things appeal. Now, back as a child wasn't what i was into, all looking for, and also it was just such a hard aggressive way of getting into sport and fitness and The basic ethos of my school is if you want to rugby basically assumed you want to. Anything else in the eighties was very little support and Nurturing of anything else other than the a rugby team. So i went through school trying a few other things but nothing really sticking cuz. It just wasn't that passion that there was from the teachers and the school for anything other than rugby. When university tried jim walk in, didn't want to do walk down, move to London.

Speaker 3:

My twenties basically the same, and it wasn't until i'm randomly joined, went to bootcamp with a friend And it was just because it felt so different to what i thought sport fitness was, because it was by myself, it wasn't in competition with anyone, it was outside in the sun, which obviously made it better.

Speaker 3:

It was on my doorstep and it just Really just switch flick and i realized, oh, i've been wrong for twenty five years.

Speaker 3:

It can make me feel better, it can make me sleep better, all these other things.

Speaker 3:

I started to just see and feel different about myself and that was when i started to explore other ways of why i got a gym membership and i found a good trainer who was really kind and understanding, just help me on my journey, going from there like and then just running with the ball and getting into it a bit more, realizing this is what changing me in a good way.

Speaker 3:

It's giving me that my voice, my confidence, my boundaries I'm. Actually, when i started as a trainer, originally i was a face to face trainer in the park on club common and train people In the traditional way and i work with anyone. But it was when, about six years ago, i started building an online version that i realized, hang on, as a gay man, this is help me so much. I just find just feel more at home in my own skin. I realized there are so many other guys out there just like me who didn't know where to start, felt intimidated in james, would like to do something, but just had no clue how to do that, and that was when Fit, a company you specifically working with gay by trans queer guys, was born.

Speaker 2:

That is amazing and so good that we have people like you to lead on so quick fitness, because i do feel a lot of lgbtq plus community really struggle to find their place within that. So it was so amazing when you got in touch with us and we definitely want to Hear all about it. Yeah, and cause you've also got a wonderful book out as well which you sent to us and we had a little read of and it's fantastic. Thank you, that's very kind. So the book is called fitter, confident universe And it's an lgbtq bus guides to well being on our terms, which i think is absolutely amazing. Yeah, guys, how long did it take you to write the book?

Speaker 3:

I'm about five months last year, january to may, i did it. I basically set these really tough guidelines because i know me, if i had more time, i just would have taken more time.

Speaker 3:

But i just knew i had to get it done And i wrote it just because it didn't exist. It didn't really like. The book goes into lgbtq plus history as well, to help people understand why we don't always learn to prioritize ourselves, why we don't always see the value in Health and well being, a things like that and just saying it's okay to do on your terms. You can do home workouts, you don't have to join a gym like giving all these options just to show people the reason One size fits all way to make it work for you. It's about the more you said do it on our terms, more you can do on your terms, more just make sense. The more it feels like yours is slots into your life, like with less and less pressure, just become something you can enjoy as opposed to something i'd like i said at the start that you feel you have to do yeah, that makes total sense.

Speaker 2:

And what would be your advice on someone who may be at a bit of a similar background to me? hated fitness at school, hate pe and therefore is now trying to find that journey, but within an lgbtq plus world.

Speaker 3:

Awesome question. So the strength in numbers, so finding your tribe and like. For there are this more and more brilliant lgbtq plus fitness groups, sports clubs and that doesn't mean you, obviously. Sports clubs might sound a bit aggressive if you've never done anything before, but There's all sorts of things from squash, tennis, rowing. Obviously there's quite a few gay rugby group teams now as well, which is brilliant, but Anything you want any. If there was a sport you wanted to do a promise that's an lgbtq plus group out there doing it and that just means that takes out the one. Like.

Speaker 3:

The one thing that we all have to do all day to people is come out, even though straight people think you come out once and that's it. Yeah. Yeah, you guys know you come out when you speak to a taxi driver, when you're in a shop, anytime you meet someone new, you have to come out. But that just removes that one stress by your instantly around people who get you but equally doesn't need to be a sport team, could be an online group. So i've got a brilliant facebook group of an amazing community that's free to join. That is all about motivation, support, encouragement, helping people how to. It's never about appearance. What that group does is shows guys from all around the world, all different body types, backgrounds, exercise interests, fitness levels, doing their thing And people get cheered on.

Speaker 3:

And what is really amazing is when people and this happens, not just this happens in any group when you find your tribe, this is people who discover it's just as powerful to be cheered on as to cheer on your friends, because then you're part of something and you feel like more than the sum of its parts. There's like a greater movement there. My favorite phrase is a rising tide lifts all boats. Like we rise together. We support each other and we get stronger and fitter and happier and healthier and more confident together by looking out for each other.

Speaker 3:

So, finding people to do it with and if you don't want to, if you're not like into finding a group or whatever like that, you almost. If you're looking to get started, i'm pretty confident you will have one friend who does go to the gym And if they're your friend, i'm sure they'll be nice enough to go with you. Get a guest pass and let them show you round And go into the gym, even if you're nervous. Going with someone else like more than halves any embarrassment or stress levels because you get to share the experience with a friend who hopefully cares about you and wants you to feel happy and relaxed. So doing things with friends well, or finding groups as well, they're absolutely the best way forward because it just means just makes it more fun and it should be fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, for sure. I mean, Brad, don't get any ideas, i'm not going to the gym showers with you. Listen, matt, i feel like you are such a guru on this topic. I could actually listen to you chat about it for ages and, i'll be honest, your voice is giving me absolute like in McKellen vibe. You have the most soothing tone. I'm just sat here absolutely listening to you, like literally word for word. It's so nice to hear somebody who knows this world inside out and is using that for good for other people. So genuinely thank you for everything that you've done. And if people want to go and read your book, where can they go and get it?

Speaker 3:

Easiest one is just hop onto Amazon and search Fritter Confident Universe and that's Universe, with YOU at the start.

Speaker 1:

Yes, and it's got a lovely picture of you on it as well. Here you are looking at me whilst I talk to you, And if people want to find you on social medias, websites, etc. where can they go for that as well?

Speaker 3:

So fittunet, i know edgynet. And then on the socials is Fitter You Global on Twitter, instagram and Facebook Awesome.

Speaker 2:

Well, matt, thank you so much for taking the time to come on board. We have loved having you on and it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you, thank you.

Speaker 3:

Guys, thank you. I'm really grateful for the opportunity and this has been a joy, which obviously I knew it would be, because I listened to the podcast.

Speaker 2:

But thank you for just putting me at ease.

Speaker 1:

Thank you Well.

Speaker 2:

Matt, i'll probably see you on the common in the summer, so see you there.

Speaker 1:

And I'll see you on the other part of the common.

Speaker 3:

Who am I?

Speaker 1:

bringing the Lamborghini to.

Speaker 2:

Oh, Matt, thanks so much once again and we'll see you soon. Bye Cheers. Wow, what a lovely guy Matt is.

Speaker 1:

So lovely And, honestly, did you not get Gandalf vibes?

Speaker 2:

Yes, the soothing voice.

Speaker 1:

I guess he's like very wise is an expert, bit of a guru.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, I can see where you're going with this. You Fun fact. did you know Ian McKellen changed that line It's supposed to be.

Speaker 1:

You may not pass. Oh there you go. Wow, they didn't know that.

Speaker 2:

So glad I know that story. I'll see better tonight knowing that Thanks.

Speaker 1:

Daddy McKellen told me himself Thanks, thanks. I did not have him, please, nobody. Yes, it was because he was wise, but also that voice is so soothing. I was just sat here like actually forgetting to ask questions, because I was like you could just talk to me for hours.

Speaker 2:

You never say that about my voice.

Speaker 1:

Well, my mother always said if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Get your mess, get your mess, oh my goodness. No, but that was really lovely to hear from Matt. Like we said before, we have been trying to get him on the podcast for a very long time, so it's a topic that's actually very close to my heart, as you know. We've touched on it a couple of times, so I yeah, it's really nice to see somebody putting out this positive approach to fitness, especially within the LGBTQ plus community.

Speaker 2:

I totally agree. And if you were sat there listening to our chat and thinking do you know what I really want to start my fitness journey, Then today is your lucky day.

Speaker 1:

That's right. The lovely Matt Boyles has offered us a once in a lifetime prize. It's an online training program one to one with Gandalf himself, Mr Matt Boyles, which is worth a thousand pounds. He has given us this prize to give to one of you lucky, lucky listeners.

Speaker 2:

That is such an amazing prize. I actually want to enter it out myself.

Speaker 1:

I know right. Can we do that? The producer's shaking his head. We're not allowed to do that.

Speaker 2:

But, benji, how can you win this incredible prize?

Speaker 1:

Well, i'm so pleased you asked me, brad. What we want you to do is write into us with your fitness flops. Now, this could be something that happened at school. This could be something that happened at the gym. Maybe you tried to do couch to 5K and lockdown. Did it go awfully wrong? Whatever it is, whatever you think is your best, funniest fitness flop, we want to hear from you, and to do that, you just need to send us a message on our Instagram, which is at Big Gay Podcast, or, of course, you can email us, which is hello at mybiggaypodcastcom.

Speaker 2:

Benji, I've just had a flashback Back to Brighton. Do you remember when we found out all the trains had just been cancelled And we were talking like what do we do? Do we stay, do we get an Uber, do we find accommodation? And you're like guys, i've got my accommodation sorted already.

Speaker 3:

Don't you worry about me.

Speaker 2:

And I look at you and you're on Grindr chatting to about five different boys, all offering you to stay over. Do?

Speaker 1:

you worry about me guys. Bye babies, Bye babies, I'm fine, I'm fine. Yeah, And that to be fair, yes, that did happen, But from what I remember, you're like Benji. Could you just ask them if, like, we can all come sleep over as well? Like nothing sexual, like you go in and do your business. We literally just want to sleep on the couch before our next train. Don't ask that, Yeah, Anyway. I've got to go because I've got a train to catch Where you going Brighton, but podcast is all we have time for This week's episode of my Big Gay Podcast.

Speaker 1:

If you don't already, please head over to our Instagram It's at Big Gay Podcast or over to our website, which is mybiggaypodcastcom. And, like we said, we're running a competition this week where you could win a thousand pound prize of online one to one fitness coaching with the lovely Matt Boyles, Mr Gandalf himself. All you have to do is to send us in your fitness flops to our Instagram page or to our email, which is hello at mybiggaypodcastcom.

Speaker 2:

Benji, you've totally taken over and haven't left anything for me to say.

Speaker 1:

Yes, mate, i've got a train to catch, so like. I said podcast is all we have time for in this week's episode. Until next time, see you next.

Speaker 2:

Wednesday Right Now that we've finished the podcast recording, you can open up your window.

Speaker 1:

Oh, because I am so hot in here. The neighbors are still out there, though, so, um yeah, i'll open it quietly.

Speaker 2:

I can't believe that you have to hide from your neighbors because you had sex with one of them.

Speaker 1:

That is outrageous. Honestly, do you know what's really outrageous, what? I've also slept with your neighbors.

A Weekend in Brighton
Body Image and Brighton Recommendations
Fitness and Body Image in Summer
Pressure to Look a Certain Way
LGBTQ+ Fitness and Well-Being Journey
Fitness and Community for LGBTQ+ Individuals

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