My Big Gay Podcast

S5. Ep17. Two Gays and the Chest Surgery

July 26, 2023 Benji & Brad Season 5 Episode 17
My Big Gay Podcast
S5. Ep17. Two Gays and the Chest Surgery
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Season 5: Episode Seventeen. Benji and Brad give you another peek into the spirited world of London’s queer community. From musical theatre drag bingo, open air-cinemas and the Impulse London body-positive pool party, the capital has got it going on this summer! Brad also shares his personal experience with having gynecomastia and cosmetic chest surgery, and Benji bares all on his recent experience on working in a toxic environment.

A special shout out to our FWB for the month of August!

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Speaker 2:

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of my Big Gay Podcast with me, benji and me, brad, giving you the life, the loves and loves of living in London. Two gays one city.

Speaker 3:

What could possibly go wrong? Excuse me, why do you pull that face every time I say my first bit of the opening jingle?

Speaker 2:

Because, honestly, I swear, week by week, your voice gets more and more gravelly.

Speaker 3:

Because I've hit puberty.

Speaker 2:

My voice is dropping, my bowls are dropped at last by the end of the season, you'll be like With me, brad, that's some sort of cookie monster.

Speaker 3:

Every time I start talking, you pull this like strained face, like it's the worst thing you've ever heard in your life. You look disgusted at what my voice sounds like.

Speaker 2:

All correct. Vile, vile, vile Anyway, other than like a horrific drug abused voice. How are you doing this week?

Speaker 3:

You know what? I am absolutely loving life right when it's summer in London, all the social stuff happens all the time, and I'm one of those people I think that's thrives of social extravaganza, whatever you want to call it.

Speaker 2:

Wow, you thrive of social extravaganza.

Speaker 3:

I do. I do Because you know they get those people right and when they're around people they get loads of energy. That is me definitely.

Speaker 2:

There is actually a word for that. I can't think what it is.

Speaker 3:

But you know, you get those other people that like they need to have like a little break. And then they see people, but then they have to have a break. I'm always like, no, give me people and I'll be on top form all night long.

Speaker 2:

As if you could be on top all night long.

Speaker 3:

Facts of facts, UK.

Speaker 2:

In fact, as if you could top period.

Speaker 3:

Anyway, what are you drinking today?

Speaker 2:

Well, this week I'm not sure if you saw on our Instagram listeners, but we were very lucky and we got gifted a bottle of gin each from Bond Street Distillery, which is the distillery that held the party Pahangli Pride that we went to a couple of weeks ago with their Pride Gin, which they call passion for pride. Can you guess what flavour it is?

Speaker 3:

I feel like it might be passion fruit.

Speaker 2:

It is passion fruit my goodness, it's a branding genius out there somewhere. But as a passion fruit gin it's absolutely delicious and they've sent us a bottle to have live on the podcast. And what's even better is, with every sale that they make, they actually give 15% back to their Pride projects back at home.

Speaker 3:

Do you know what? This is what we should be doing as a community. Don't be buying those big corporate branded alcohols. Get the ones that are brewed by the queer community. Give the money back to the community. I'm all for this.

Speaker 2:

So true. And you know, when you're in bars you're like, oh, I'll just have the house, whatever it is the house gin, the house vodka, the house tequila and they basically pick the cheapest. I think all gay bars, your house gin should be a gin that's linked to a charity.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely yeah, give it all back to the community. Keep the LGBTQ plus community rich and prosperous. That's what I say, and drunk.

Speaker 2:

That too it's actually read delicious, jins. If you can get your hands on a bottle, I'd absolutely recommend it, but I'm not going to drink too much. I feel like we have drank an awful lot recently and I'm definitely coming to the end of a set of antibiotics which I have not been responsible on at all. And the packet does say in big bold letters do not consume alcohol. But hey, here we are. I'm alive and sorry, doctor, oh goodness.

Speaker 3:

Because it's been another social week for us, isn't it? This is why I do love living in London. There's always stuff going on, especially in the summertime. Right yeah, and we went to I've never done this before musical theatre drag bingo.

Speaker 2:

We did with Ruby Violet who actually came on the podcast. In was it first season, second season.

Speaker 3:

She's been on twice.

Speaker 2:

She's been around. Whoa, she already done had hers is. You've had enough airtime, ruby, come back when you have new jokes. Joking she's actually. How good a host is she actually, jokes aside.

Speaker 3:

Incredible host. Yeah, I mean she's very outrageous. So if you are someone that's maybe a bit easily offended, probably not the one for you. Or a Tory yeah, exactly that. Yeah, but she does push the boundaries. She takes the piss out of everyone. Yeah, her jokes are filthy as well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I have never seen musical theatre and that kind of filthy jokes combined in the same room.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it takes a lot for me to get so shocked that my jaw hits the floor, and not in the dislocated way. There were points where I actually wasn't even laughing because I was so shooketh by the jokes. But, to be fair, to me that is top drag, so I'm here for it.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, she was fantastic. And also she's a singer right, she's a musical theatre queen. So she was singing all the show tunes, doing all the jokes, doing the hosting, doing bingo. Brilliant, brilliant night out. Yeah, and what's even better is I won the bingo, I know, and I even did a little ditty, so oh yeah, she was singing and she put the mic in your face and you were like, oh, I don't really want to sing, don't make me sing, don't make me sing.

Speaker 2:

Oh, don't make me sing. Yes, everyone is dying.

Speaker 3:

in here it's everyone that's dying, but don't make me sing. Suddenly, the musical wave took over you and you were belting out that Whitney Houston.

Speaker 2:

Well, belting might be a bit of a stretch, but I was giving you a lovely acoustic number.

Speaker 3:

She is a singer these days.

Speaker 2:

Benji and the ballads. Anything else is too much. Benji and the ballad. No, no, no, no.

Speaker 3:

But then after musical theatre, bingo, we ended up going out because it was on the wave and it was a school night. I don't know why we did it, but it was so much fun. Yeah, Cut to 5am. After party back at mine. Oh gosh, random drag queen that I've never met before in my life sat on my bed with her boyfriend and some other people that we just like rounded up on the way home, yeah, and then we were playing drinking games and having a gay old time.

Speaker 2:

Have to be honest, I feel completely responsible for that night, taking a bit of a not a nose dive, but going that way. I remember being at the club and it closing at two and maybe like why on earth is anywhere closing at two? That is horrendous, that is completely homophobic, absolutely on the wave. And I remember grabbing you outside the club and going after party yours right. And you were like, oh my God, yeah. Going back to saying you feed off the energy of other people, oh my God, yeah. And I was like great, ask those people. And then straight away, like the good boy, good boy, good boy that you are, you skipped, gave live that drag queen and we're like I'm having an after party in my house, would you like to come? And she didn't even give it a second thought. She was like, yeah, right, I know Wild.

Speaker 3:

This is what I'm like, exactly because I feed off other people's energies and we're all having such a good time. I was like after party of mine 100%, and we went on. I think I went to bed about 7am that day.

Speaker 2:

I didn't get into bed or half past seven on a Thursday.

Speaker 3:

That is absolutely ridiculous.

Speaker 2:

I know, I know.

Speaker 3:

It's summertime. Who cares? Who cares? Have the best time.

Speaker 2:

I know what else have we did this week. Something a bit more wholesome. We did open air cinema.

Speaker 3:

Oh, yes, yeah, I actually am feeling the open air cinema. What a cool way to watch a film. It was chilled under the stars. Yeah, it was nice. And what was the movie we saw?

Speaker 2:

It was clueless.

Speaker 3:

Yes, I love that film.

Speaker 2:

Favorite quote have a good one.

Speaker 1:

You're just a voyaging who can't drive.

Speaker 2:

Whoa, that was totally harsh tie.

Speaker 1:

You're a virgin who can't drive. Oh, that was way harsh tie.

Speaker 3:

You do that New York accent so good. We were just laughing when we've been quite in that ever since.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but every time we're granted it gets more and more obscure. With the New York accent. You're just a voyaging who can't drive. It sounds like a video. That's sort of like putting half speech and mew. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

But yeah, great movie. I forgot how good it was. I'm not seeing that movie for what? Maybe like 20 years or something like that. Yeah, loved it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a really good film. If you haven't seen it, definitely go watch it. It's iconic. It's kind of like the Mean Girls before Mean Girls came out. Right, yeah, for sure. Yeah, no, it was good, but anyway, full on week Now I feel like something that we need to touch upon is you went to a costume party.

Speaker 3:

Okay. So I did get invited to a gay boat party and I was like, yeah, cool, I'll be mad for that. And then I was told, oh, it's fancy dress themed. And I was like, cool, do you know what? I've got so many boxes of fancy dress clothes in my house. I'll definitely have something. And then they said, oh, the theme is animals. Now that is the one thing that I don't have fancy dress for. Huh, Would you believe it?

Speaker 2:

Your room is literally a costume shop and you don't have an animal costume.

Speaker 3:

Literally. So I was thinking like what animal could I go as? And do you know what made me think of the animal was? I was on the phone to you on my balcony and I was just outside and a bee flew at my face.

Speaker 2:

Not just any bee.

Speaker 3:

A bumble bee.

Speaker 2:

I need to take over the story from here. So I was on the phone. We were just discussing various bits and bars about the podcast and all of a sudden Brad screams. And I mean screams, oh my God, a bumble bee.

Speaker 2:

And I just heard him running and I was like what's wrong? And you're like a bumble bee just flew right into my face. It's not your reaction to when you see a bee, and it wasn't just like oh my God, a bee or like a wasp, it was a bumble bee. It just makes me laugh. So what did you go? As you went as a bloody bumble bee to a boat party.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, Because we were laughing about this bee thing. So obviously bee was on the brain. I was like you know what? I'm going to go as a sexy bumble bee to the animal themed boat party. So I ordered some bits of Amazon lovely, and I went as a bumble bee, thinking no one else is going to go as that. How many bees were at this gay boat party? None, about five. There was me thinking I was being original, like no one would ever think to go as a bee. No, like other people thought that Anyway. So we did the gay boat party. It was really good fun, highly recommend if you've not done a boat pipe before on the Thames and then afterwards the ticket included entrance into a club called Fire. No, no, thanks.

Speaker 2:

How have you?

Speaker 3:

been to Fire before.

Speaker 2:

No, I just don't think it's my jam.

Speaker 3:

It's not really my jam either. So basically it's a club that opens at like midnight and goes on to like 10 am the next day. It is like full on. It is where they host the Gay Porn Awards, which I went to once before as well.

Speaker 2:

How they let you in, I will never know. No.

Speaker 3:

It's very like circuit party gay. So you get a lot of well they have like dark rooms and things like that at the club. So you get a lot of people there looking for like sex that way, like harnesses, jocks. It's very much that sort of vibe.

Speaker 2:

Those of you that don't know what a dark room is. It's not a room where they just leave the lights off so you can have a snooze. It's a room where you can go in free of identity, let's say, and just explore your sexual being whilst exploring other people's bodies.

Speaker 3:

Exactly that, yeah, Feeling your way around and touching all the naked bodies, basically, yeah. So it's kind of like half dump dump dump club and half like sex club, right, I didn't know what you were talking about then.

Speaker 2:

I was like are you talking about that? The music, the music, the dump, dump, yeah, yeah, no, I got it, I got it, I got it.

Speaker 3:

So there I was of all these gays at the bar, in their harnesses and their jocks and ready to go to the dark rooms. And they're me, dressed as a bumblebee, that buzzing up like excuse me, guys gonna get one more little drink in the bar.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh.

Speaker 2:

Excuse me, you are that scene in Mean Girls where they're like, oh, don't come to the Halloween party to Lindsay Lohan's character, and she turns up as this gruesome like Dracula's wife and everyone else like, oh, sexy, because you posted a picture of you with some other people in costumes and there was like a sexy wolf, a sexy pig, a sexy bear. And there you are in the middle with yellow duct tape round your shorts to make stripes, bumblebee glasses with a little what they call it a lantern eye on, and, oh, bumblebee gloves, wings, full on gloves. Who thought you were with those elbow length Bumblebee gloves and wings, absolutely loving life.

Speaker 2:

And were you just stood there smiling. No, you were not. You were in a perfect little Bumblebee bevel.

Speaker 3:

Giving you show girl Bumblebee on the boat. Oh my gosh, nobody would book that Nobody would book that.

Speaker 2:

Hi, excuse me, I'm just wondering if you have any show girl Bumblebee. You do, oh my gosh great. Can I see a picture please? Oh, actually, I think we'll go for the angels, we'll go for the top of this boys, thanks, oh my goodness. But yeah, I've never thought dresses of Bumblebee.

Speaker 3:

I'll be at Bloody Fire at like 4am in the morning, but hey how. It's all about the social life in London right now and I'm living for it Right. We've just had a little break from the podcast and you've been doing, as a joke, asmr, but I think you're really good at it. I would listen to an ASMR episode from you. You just want me to whisper into your ears, don't you?

Speaker 2:

But you've got quite a nice soothing voice for that, I think.

Speaker 3:

Go on, give us a little taste of what you've been doing. What my head? Ok.

Speaker 2:

OK, so, um, I'm going to go for the top of this one. I want you to imagine OK, you can't laugh.

Speaker 3:

Sorry, sorry, but it's made to go tingly.

Speaker 2:

Go on, go again. Ok, here we go.

Speaker 1:

I want you to imagine that you're lying on a cold bed and suddenly the bed turns to a warm treacle and your body starts to slowly fall through the treacle. As you open your eyes, you find yourself in a meadow. The meadow smells like freshly cut grass and you're completely naked.

Speaker 3:

Honestly, you're so good. I've actually got goosebumps. I'm going to go tingly.

Speaker 2:

I've been watching some ASMR like Instagram channels and some people do really weird stuff like eating like pickles. Oh right, yeah, yeah, yeah so there's like ASMR, where people like just whisper, basically, and like read full on novels. And then there's people I don't know you listen to them like crunch and chew and smack their lips and it's very like.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that sound doesn't make me want to go to sleep. That gives me other thoughts in my mind.

Speaker 2:

No, but I mean, I have often thought about doing audio books, just whispering them, but hey, you should do that.

Speaker 3:

I would actually listen to. You read a nice little story to me. Why's it go to bed, nice?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you wish, honey, stop trying to get me into your bedroom at night.

Speaker 1:

Time.

Speaker 2:

Jeez. Anyway, moving on with actually what we had planned for this podcast, we went to quite a fun event this week, which was by Impulse London. Oh yes, had you heard of Impulse before?

Speaker 3:

I had heard of Impulse before. Yes, because they do a like I think it's called Grindr Hookup dating or something, isn't it Like Grind's date? Grind date that's a grind date. I've not been to that event, but it's basically like a live dating show, right, yeah?

Speaker 2:

it's basically blind date, but for gay people.

Speaker 3:

Perfect. But I really like what they stand for because they're all about knowing your sexual health status and giving away like free sexual health tests and condoms and lube and things. So, yeah, I really like the space that they're creating. So Impulse I'm a big fan, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So they're a charity right and they do a lot for the community, and this pool party was all about, like, body positivity. It was a sort of a gay social event, wasn't it? Yeah, and it was based sort of in East London. Where was it East?

Speaker 3:

East London, yeah, east London.

Speaker 2:

There's me having to do the thing. Never eat shredded meat. It's easy. Yeah, it wasn't too far from the other two actually, no, but it was really fun. They had loads of pools, because it was, like I said, a pool party. There was like a room where there's like lots of drag events going on. There was free tarot reading, there was free STI tests, there was free condoms. We got a little welcome bag. That was very nice.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we included a book about gay mental health, so I'm definitely going to be reading that over the summer. Yeah, and also, I really liked as well, they had a space that was a sober space. You weren't allowed to drink alcohol in there, there was no bar there and they had gaming consoles and tarot reading, as you said, and they had stand up comedy in there and that was more like, if you didn't want to be involved around like sort of drinking party and atmosphere, you can just chill out in the sober space. I really liked that concept.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was really good and, to be fair, the ticket prices were incredibly reasonable. So if it is the sort of thing you're interested in, definitely do check them out in post London. But a pool party? Now I'm going to be honest.

Speaker 2:

When this invite came through, I felt like slightly hit by anxiety. You know what I'm like. I'm not. I'm not like looking for a problem, but I do quite often feel like within the gay community, when there are events, it is tailored around needing to have this specific body type to feel like you are not being looked at for the wrong reasons, right.

Speaker 2:

So when it was a pool party, I was like, ok, well, there's no amount of money that would get me in a pair of Speedos and into this pool, but it is a stepping stone to possibly make myself feel better for like the next time that I go. And I was actually pleasantly surprised that there were different sort of body types representations. There wasn't just gay men, there were some trans performers there as well, which was really nice. It felt very welcoming. There were some lesbians or some allies, so it wasn't just gay cisgendered men. But I did not quite feel confident enough to get into the pool and that you were absolutely fine. No, sooner we found a place to put our bag down that your top was off and you're in that pool splashing around.

Speaker 3:

I was. I was splashing around with the other gays, chatting away, making friends, and I agree with you right. So the idea of a gay pool party in my mind does fill me with a little bit of dread, right, because I don't have a six pack and I don't have that like stereotypical aesthetic that you see for like beachwear, right. But impulse, I thought they did a really great job. They had signs up all over the venue saying everybody has a beach body and like really body positivity affirming messages. Yeah, and that was reflected, I feel, in the people that went there. There was all sorts of shapes and sizes and people in the pool with their tops off and didn't have that like stereotypical look, right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah so.

Speaker 3:

I felt very confident with that. And actually a little story for you A few years ago I wouldn't have taken my top off and gone in the pool. I would have been too anxious to do that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Is that because you weren't happy with how you looked, or because you felt like pressured by society?

Speaker 3:

or yeah, I wasn't happy with how I looked, so I used to have a real issue with my chest Right and I'll be totally honest with you. So when I went through puberty I felt that my body was changing and then I noticed that I had quite a lot of sort of fatty tissue around my nipple area and it used to be like kind of I used to dreads doing PE, like change in PE in the school change rooms, because I felt that my body was very different to other people's bodies and basically I didn't have a flat chest, even though I was quite a slim person. Yeah. And then that like carried on into kind of late teens and my 20s and I was sort of like really confused why I had like this kind of like flabby area by my nipples, essentially.

Speaker 3:

And I tried everything right and dieting. I got a personal trainer that just worked in my chest area. I researched into things like how to get rid of fatty tissue. I did it all and no matter what I did, it just wouldn't go away. I didn't have a flat chest at all. And then I found out later on down the line that I had a thing called gynecomastia.

Speaker 3:

So I don't know if you've heard of this before, but it's actually really common in men.

Speaker 2:

I know gyne is Latin right. So basically, your breast area, your breast tissue, your chest.

Speaker 3:

Oh, I did not know that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's correct. What's me be completely wrong?

Speaker 3:

And like Latin scholars listening.

Speaker 2:

If you have any like that's absolutely incorrect information. But no, I'm pretty sure it is and that's what it refers to. Yeah, sorry, kerem.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that makes sense. So I kind of came across it. There was a TV show in the UK called Embarrassing Bodies.

Speaker 2:

Oh, you remember it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and they had a whole episode dedicated to, I guess, like male chests and like man boobs and like how you potentially like develop that or not, and there was all different types. But one of the things was gynecomastia, which is essentially what happens when you hit puberty. Obviously your hormones go up and down, right Testosterone and estrogen and it's like just goes up and down all the time. And what is a common trait in men is that if your testosterone levels are low, your body is producing estrogen and you start to develop glands behind your nipples that will then develop into breasts, essentially, and then obviously your hormones like settle down as you get older and you go through puberty and then you have these glands behind your nipples, but then they don't develop anymore because you have testosterone, right. Yeah, and that's exactly what happened to my body.

Speaker 3:

So as soon as I hit puberty, I started to develop these glands behind my nipples.

Speaker 3:

I had no idea at the time they were glands, but then what your body does is, because they're glands, it attracts all the fatty tissue to protect the glands. So then you end up with like kind of a sort of a fatty substance on your chest, right. So basically, after research, no matter how much dieting I did or personal training or gymming or whatever, it was going to be a struggle to get rid of these glands right, because they're in your body. So I was in a very fortunate position where I went to a private surgeon in Harley Street and they cut open my nipples essentially and removed the glands. They cut them out and then they also liposuct the fatty tissue away from them as well and then sew me back up and there I was with my flat chest and ever since then I've been very confident to take my top off, whereas in my 20s and teens no way, even during sex. I used to keep like a vest on during sex for a lot of the time.

Speaker 2:

And if you have just joined us during your dinner, we really hope that you are enjoying yourself. That's really interesting, though Did you not like try and go through like NHS to get it done? Because obviously it's not. It's not. It's technically a medical condition, right? Something you have completely no control over Correct, completely natural through just growing. I guess. Yeah, so did. Was that not an option for you?

Speaker 3:

No, they don't do this on the NHS, and I think that is a really bad thing.

Speaker 2:

Personally, but not even like a waiting list. It's just that they don't do it. They just see it as a vanity.

Speaker 3:

Yeah they see it as a vanity thing, like cosmetic. Yeah, yeah, yeah. If you want to get rid of these glands, you have to go private, and it's expensive, obviously, to go private, as I'm sure you know, and a lot of people probably can't afford to do that.

Speaker 1:

No.

Speaker 3:

So it's such a shame because I know NHS they do things like help you stop smoking and things like that. Right yeah, and I do feel like, as you say, because this is a condition that you kind of develop during puberty, that should be available personally, for sure, and listen, in this next statement, I'm not at all coming for the NHS.

Speaker 2:

I think they're amazing and I think they're one of the best things that this country has, if I'm honest with you. So I'm definitely not coming for them at all, but I do feel like sometimes, like you say, them providing free healthcare for those wanting to stop smoking, when although, yes, when you're an addict, it's really hard to stop by yourself. But it was you that started smoking to begin with, and I'm pretty sure that my friend got like their teeth whitened on the NHS because they smoked so long and they'd quit smoking. What? No, yeah, or like, at least like really clean to get rid of all, like the nicotine stains. So I'm surprised at something that literally you have, you had absolutely no control over, was not available for you.

Speaker 2:

I wonder if that is something that might change, because if you say if it's really as common as you said, it is, they told as they told you, surely that is something that they could offer people, because that's a big deal, right? If you go through the majority of your younger sort of life and your teens feeling insecure about yourself, that can really affect your mental health, and we already know that the male mental health situation in the UK is not ideal If it is really really bad and little things like this can make a big, can make a big impact on your life. So when you got it done, how was that? How was the recovery? What was the situation? When you're there for a couple of days, do you know what the actual procedure is, so quick.

Speaker 3:

I was in and out in under an hour, wow, and I got it done. So, basically, little story. I realized what I had just before I turned 30s, in my late 20s, and I saw a few different surgeons and they all said I had the same same thing. But I'll be honest with you the cost. This is like 2018 time. The cost to get it done is about £4,000. It's quite a lot of money, right? And I was just about to turn 30. And I had this dilemma. I was like do I go have a big 30th birthday and spend my money doing that, or do I get my chest done? And obviously, being the party boy that I am, I chose the party option and I had a big party. So I was like I'll get it done at another point.

Speaker 2:

But that's really interesting. So if you had it done, then that means I met you before you had your surgery.

Speaker 3:

Correct, and I'll be very surprised if I took my top off when we went to bed together.

Speaker 2:

I think you did have your top off. If I'm honest with you Now, it is hazy. There were a lot of one pound shots involved.

Speaker 2:

But I thought you did have your top off. I'm being perfectly honest with you, and even if you didn't, I don't recall any that ever being a situation which is it kind of proves that. That's not me taking away from the fact that you wanted to have the surgery. I'm so pleased that you did because I can. Obviously, I see your confidence every day now, but it's interesting how something can be blown up so much bigger in your head and really have such an impact on your life that you don't even want to take your t-shirt off. And other people may not eat it may be so Mine are the people they don't even notice, but for you it is like it's almost virgin body dysmorphia, right, because you feel like it's so much bigger and that is the first thing that people notice.

Speaker 3:

Oh, absolutely, and probably in my head it was way worse than maybe what it essentially look like on the outside. Yeah, but you know I had a couple of comments made at school in the school changing rooms and that stuck with me and you know that was always on the back of my mind and at the time. So when I was in my twenties, remember the fashion used to be like very tight, fitted tops and shirts and things. Yeah. Now it's like really baggy, oversized stuff.

Speaker 2:

Love that yeah, you're still sat there on FaceTime with the tightest yellow t-shirt I've ever seen in my life.

Speaker 3:

Okay, this is a run in top and because I'm gonna try and go to the gym later, this is me to get into gym mode.

Speaker 2:

Oh my goodness. But yes, I do remember. It was like everything was tight fitting really tight.

Speaker 3:

So you know, I was, I'll be honest with you, a fairly slim person in my twenties and so I would put on these like tight t-shirts or tops, whatever, and they would fit. But I would have almost like sort of like I guess you call it a man boob shape, like where my chest was, and it used to really frustrate me, like I don't feel like I can wear this. Getting clothes was a nightmare, to be honest with you, during that time period, and I used to hate everything I wore, and so I'd always wear like a shirt and then the jumper over the top or whatever, like extra layers to try and like cover this shape of my chest. So, anyway, what happened was in lockdown. Lockdown happened because it takes six weeks recovery to recover from this, yeah, and my issue was finding enough time off where I could just recover. So that is obviously another thing. So when lockdown happened, I was like cool to know what. I'm gonna try and get this surgery done now, because I've got all this time to recover, not working just at home.

Speaker 3:

Right, that's when I when I got it done and it cost about five thousand pounds yeah, I mean there's extortion for under an hour yeah surgery and also I went in at nine o'clock in the morning to get it done in London and I assumed I was the first one of the day and I was like, oh my, the first one, that I already done one already, yeah. And I said, oh you busy. They're like we have a waiting list. We are sold out. It's so common. Yeah honestly, they was like it's really, it's a really common problem, and which was actually quite nice to hear some member at the time think like, am I this like?

Speaker 3:

yeah, cause this freak body like I don't know anyone else that has this issue. Yeah, it was. Yeah, really sort of like what's the word is? Maybe feel like really bad about my body, right?

Speaker 2:

yeah, I really want to say nasty, hilarious comments.

Speaker 3:

I'm not going to accept this very vulnerable moment for you. I've got my new tits done now so I feel top of the world.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm just gonna make a joke about. If you had five thousand pounds to spare, why wouldn't you start on your face?

Speaker 3:

but hey, that's next on the list and then work your way down.

Speaker 2:

So I want to go back a little bit. I just want to talk about the recovery. So you went in for an hour. They took out what they didn't need. You said that you had lipo and then the six week recovery what was? What was that like?

Speaker 3:

so you have to wear a compression vest For six weeks. Oh yeah, and the first few days, or actually the first couple like week, well, the first few days you I just have to line beds. You can't really do anything, can't really move. And then after about a week you can slowly do little things like bits and bobs, but you can't be like going to the gym, you can't be doing anything that's like excessive Exercise or anything like that, can't be lifting heavy things, because what they do is they cut underneath the bottom half of your nipple and they kind of flat the nipple up and then that's where they Then get the land out and cut it out, and then they saw it back up. So obviously you've got to let that and a hill and I'll be really honest with you, I have hardly any scars, you could not see it. So I was so pleased with the end result personally.

Speaker 3:

And yeah, so after sort of a few weeks you can then start to do bits and bobs, but again, they don't really encourage you like going to the gym and doing weights, for example, because your body still healing and recovering and yeah, now I love it and I feel really confident to go and buy clothes Because I feel like I have a flat chest, which is what I kind of always wanted or assumed I should have, based on the stereotypical look of what a man has right yeah, so how do you like feed yourself and things if you want to get out of bed?

Speaker 2:

was it just like very minor movements, was it? How long was it painful for, like, did you have to change your in dressings?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I actually had a friend come around to change my dressings for the first like week because I just couldn't really move at all and then, luckily, I had some friends and housemates that would make me food and things like that. So, yeah, so very, very blessed to do that. But I remember doing. We recorded a podcast episode when I was in recovery yeah, this is back in like season one and I never told you the time. So at first I was a little bit bit insecure about it, didn't want to tell people that about my issue or what I was doing, so never actually mentioned it for a little while and I wanted to see what it looked like afterwards as well and I was really happy the results and I was like cool to know what. I really wish there was more awareness of this when I was growing up and I would have known exactly what I had some and what it was.

Speaker 2:

It's interesting, isn't it?

Speaker 2:

Because any, if there was, if people knew this as a condition and bear with me with this thought process if we saw someone who had I'm not even gonna give an example, actually, but just imagine if you saw somebody at a pool party who had a medical condition and as soon as you saw them, you were aware of that medical condition, you wouldn't judge them for it, right, of course not, no, but if it's something that you don't know about, like your situation, of course you probably and you did at school get people commenting on it and making Fun of you, and so I am a part of me is a bit surprised that there isn't more awareness out there for these various things that we can go through during puberty and how we end up, on, how it changes our physicality and how normal and accepted actually it is.

Speaker 2:

I'm not sure why we're not seeing more of that in the media, on posters yet and I get it, I get it sex sells. I very much understand that marketing side of things. However, wouldn't it be even more like Powerful for us if empowerment sold like when? It be amazing to see all these different like figures and aesthetics and conditions on these posters, do you know I mean?

Speaker 3:

I totally hear you and I really really wish that was the case yeah, or do you know what?

Speaker 2:

even better, what was if we just didn't make judgments on people's, on people's physicality?

Speaker 3:

I totally agree, and this is why I really love the impulse Popeye so much because, I felt it was very judgment free.

Speaker 3:

And there are all those amazing body positivity affirmation posters and signs all around, yeah, and I just felt like it was a really safe space. And, as I say, I was in the pool with all sorts of body types and shapes and everything and nobody cared. And I said this is amazing, and had there been more of those sort of spaces when I was growing up, probably would have Maybe felt confident, take my top off and not be judged for sure, and that's not, by the way, that's not taking away from those that do Manage to build that gym relationship and do have these very impressive muscular bodies.

Speaker 2:

I totally appreciate how much work and effort goes into them and a lot of people actually just find a lot of sort of mental health space by working out and I'm not taking away from any of that and I'm absolutely not making them the problem. I'm just saying it will be so nice if we celebrated and we looked at other people's bodies, like we're conditioned to look at people who have Beautiful muscles you know, I totally hear you.

Speaker 3:

I think, yeah, you just said it perfectly exactly that okay.

Speaker 2:

Well, I didn't get in the pool this year. Who knows what happened next year? Because, like you know, I do like to go to that there, that rock back on the island, back at home, and where absolutely no clothes at all. So I don't know how I can do that and not go to a pool party and get in the pool. So, watch this Space. Maybe I'll be in the pool next year, or maybe you'll have to come visit me down on that rock sometime.

Speaker 3:

Anyway, the summer is here. It's all great.

Speaker 2:

I'm loving life and I'm very excited for what we have in the diary yeah, although I'll be honest, I can't quite think about the summer now, I'm still being a little bit sick because in between that little break, brand decided to send me a picture of his post up self and there was no warning and he just sent me a picture of what they removed.

Speaker 3:

Let's say, I honestly feel a little bit ill yeah, I sent you the picture of the glands that came out of my chest.

Speaker 2:

I can't, I'm not ready to talk about it.

Speaker 3:

The word gland and not really shock about it.

Speaker 2:

And yeah, summer, let's talk about some of the summer. I mean, where are some are gone? The weather is absolutely appalling, but I'm very excited to have a bit more of a free summer this year than I had last year.

Speaker 3:

I know I'm actually very excited I'm gonna talk about this on the podcast because you have left your job. That you were doing and I fully support that and I think it was very brave of you to do, because leaving the job is quite scary but definitely the right decision. So well done you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I thought yes, I mean decision, I'm not sure how in control decision it was. I felt like it just had to be made, if I'm honest with you. But yeah, I will talk about this now. I'm not gonna be that person who leaves the job, that they were miserable and they just want to sort of slag off various companies things. I'm not gonna do that yeah, that's not you anyway no, I'm. The way I'm gonna say is I cannot tell you how better I feel for reading myself of toxic working relationships.

Speaker 3:

I mean, what I've learned growing up is that doesn't just apply to working conditions, but also people around you. Right? We have one life. I'm all about having a great time. Right? I want to be an old man and have the best memories of what I've done in my life. I know you're the same.

Speaker 3:

You are an old man, yeah an old man, then and yeah, you know, if you're not happy in your job, if there's a way for you to kind of cut your losses and move on and do something else, I certainly support that and you've done that.

Speaker 2:

I have, yeah, and it's really just this week that it's kind of settling, sort of setting in in my mind. Settling in my mind, does that make sense? Settling in my mind Is that what I mean?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, because last week you had like this shock of oh, I have just done this, if I made the right, decision right. And I was like yeah, you have.

Speaker 2:

What have I done, sweetie? Is this? What have I done? It's musical theatre reference.

Speaker 1:

I am.

Speaker 3:

No, I feel so much better for it.

Speaker 2:

you know and I it's a line of work which I think I guess I've kind of discussed a little bit on the podcast before, how I work with a lot of drag queens and things et cetera, and I just sort of thought why am I spending so much energy in trying to make somebody else happy when I can just go do it myself?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. I mean, I've said this for a long time, honey, and finally the message got through, and that is why live on the podcast.

Speaker 2:

Today I'm telling you that I am now launching my very own solo podcast called Benji and ASMR, and this is the last episode of my big podcast.

Speaker 3:

What do you think on the toxic person?

Speaker 2:

No, you absolutely not, but you have. You have listened to me talk about toxicness for a very long time, but yeah, so I feel I feel great. I think that's all I need to say on the subject. I very much. I'm still going to be doing what I've been doing for the last 18 months, but on my own. And I feel, yeah, I feel great, and I know we've got loads of events that we want to start doing which I now have the time to focus on. So I feel like I've been given a new lease of life. I feel very positive, and what better time to do it than the summer, when I can just go sunbathe and sort of work on the common?

Speaker 3:

I mean, couldn't agree with what you said more. And it's all about being positive anyway, right? Yeah let's just enjoy life, let's cut out negative, toxic people and just surround ourselves with beautiful souls that are just going to uplift us and give us the best time on this planet for sure and don't feel controlled by finances.

Speaker 2:

I think is a big thing for me. You know. You know I'm like, I'm a workhorse. I will, I will say yes to any job to save every penny I can.

Speaker 2:

I was like I'm literally a yes man and I, for once in my life, I'm not doing that now and I'm starting to choose what I want to do, right. Yes, it's a great feeling because, honestly, I think, if you notice toxicity in your life, whether it be work or relationships or friendships, after a while you kind of forget that they're toxic and you, because you just accept them and you just accept it and you kind of move on. And then, but that gut feeling and that little part of you that made you feel miserable when you first felt that toxicity, that never goes. And then you start to question within yourself, like what is wrong with me? Why am I? Why am I being like renegative? Why am I really low? Why am I down? Why do I always feel tired? And you forget that you're accepting this toxicness in your life. So my advice for that is, if you're in any situation and you feel something is toxic, on not I keep saying this word toxic. Thank you, britney Spears.

Speaker 3:

Britney Spears.

Speaker 2:

No, but if you do feel that sort of negative energy in your life, tackle it straight away. I'm not saying that that person needs to be cut out your life, but tackle it head on. Don't let that continue into your social circle. Don't let it continue into your everyday life Because, like you say, we have no time on this earth. We need to live every minute as much as we can, not worrying about how we look, not worrying about sort of are we pleasing other people? Just live it for yourself. And that is the end of my TED Talk.

Speaker 3:

I'm good, I'm all about positive affirmations. I think being at impulse is really like drum that into me and, as I say, seeing all those messages like yeah, this is how we should be living our lives, and I'm really glad. Oh, I hope that we are creating a space on this little podcast of ours where we kind of encourage that and promote that with everyone else.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. It couldn't say it better myself, but, brad did you know? That is all we have time for on this week's episode of my big Gabe podcast. If you enjoy listening to us, please head over to our Instagram. It is at big Gabe podcast. And, as always, if you have any questions, any worries, any concerns, please send us a DM. We do respond to every single message, so if you do have anything you want to say, please let us know there.

Speaker 3:

And we're going to have a bit of fun. Coming up on the podcast, we have got a brand new game that we're going to play and you can get involved. So if you don't follow us on Instagram, now is the best time to do that, because we're going to want your input into this little game of ours.

Speaker 2:

That's right. Keep an eye on the stories and it'll all become clear very, very soon. But, brad, like I said, that is all we have time for on this week's episode, until next time.

Speaker 3:

See you next.

Speaker 1:

Wednesday. So I'm thinking, if I just talk like this, then perhaps you'll just fall asleep.

Speaker 2:

Then I can rob you.

Speaker 3:

John Meats give ASMR ago.

Speaker 2:

Oh, go on then.

Speaker 3:

Here we go. Hello podcasters, how's it going? I hope you're having a lovely summer and remember stay happy, stay joyful and stay positive.

Speaker 2:

Honestly, that's what I think it would sound like if you got into bed with the artful dodger. Please, can I not have any more.

Social Extravaganza Week in London
Impulse London's Body Positive Pool Party
Body Positivity and Overcoming Insecurities
NHS vs Private Healthcare
Recovery, Body Positivity, Changing Jobs
ASMR Introduction and Request for Sleep

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