Why Your Appearance Doesn’t Define You

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Tom Stevenson Instagram

For most of my life, I have constantly been reminded of my appearance.

I was always skinny growing up.

In primary school, I never really noticed. Everyone seemed to be of a similar weight and it was never picked upon.

I mean, I never even thought about!

Things changed when I went to high school.

Suddenly, I was constantly aware of my weight.

Classmates would make jokes about my weight all the time. Sometimes, I would laugh with them, other times I would sit there in silence hurting inside. While on rare occasions, the jibes would become too much and I would lash out.

It got to the point where my appearance had fused into me. I was gifted a nickname in school.


To this day, my friends from school still call me by this name.

For as long as I return to my hometown, I will be known by this nickname.

How did this affect my life?

In two ways.

Firstly, it made me extremely self-conscious about my weight. All I wanted to do was become big and strong to stop the jibes.

I’ve got to the point, where I’m no longer a bag of bones. I’ve put on a lot of weight through heavy lifting.

But, it affected my mental state. My happiness was based on my weight.

If I was bigger I would be happier.

If I wasn’t so skinny, women would be more into me.

If I wasn’t skinny, my problems would melt away.

This was a fallacy. As I put the weight on, I didn’t become happier, and the problems were still present.

Despite being more muscular, deep down, I was still the 13 year old, unconfident skinny kid.

It was only when I reflected on my mental state, that I realised I had solved the superficial without addressing the internal one.

Thankfully, now, my happiness is not tied to my weight. I’m content with my body for the first time in my life.

Secondly, being skinny spurred me on to pursue a different path to my peers. I could accept my status as the skinny guy and fit in, or I could do something about it, and change my life.

The constant teasing over my weight instilled a determination inside of me to prove people wrong.

This has led me to transforming my body, travelling the globe, living abroad, and starting my own website.

Would I have achieved all this without the constant jibes in my youth?

I’m not so sure.

It lit a fire under my belly that has not been extinguished to this day.

Being skinny taught me to how to pursue my goals and push myself to greater heights.

For that, I will always be thankful.

I like to write. I like to travel. https://www.thetravellingtom.com Join my email list -> https://tomstevenson.substack.com/

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