Thomas Powell was forced to get breast surgery last week – a process he live-streamed on his social media accounts – after his addiction to Performance Enhancing-Drugs left him with gynaecomastia – a condition in which boys' and mens' breasts swell and become larger than normal.
However, in an exclusive chat with OK! the former Love Island star admits he will never stop using the drugs, and plans to be on them for the rest of his life.
"Hell yes! Without a doubt, I will be on steroids for life," he says – just days after undergoing the surgery.
"I don't drink, I don't take drugs, I'm not a party animal. So steroids is sort of my poison – the benefits I get from it are so much healthier than me going out."
Thomas underwent breast surgery for gynaecomastia last week, a condition that can occur for a number of reasons including a hormonal imbalance, obesity, and puberty. However, the reality star openly admits his was down to his use of injected steroids.
"I got mine through injected testosterone, through PEDs – Performance-Enhancing Drugs,” he tells us. “It's a build up of oestrogen behind the nipples and comes from either prolactin or oestrogen. It comes from too much testosterone in the body.”
Thomas is open about his addiction and reveals he was first introduced to growth hormones at the age of 16 when he was part of the Welsh rugby team and injured himself. He hadn't used them again until right after his stint on Love Island in 2016.
The fitness influencer said he was "natural up until this point" but "really wanted to be in the fitness industry, in incredible shape and be sponsored."
He started with testosterone injections before venturing into other compounds of steroids, including testosterone enanthate, testosterone propionate and testosterone cypionate.
The testosterone injections he uses are banned in all sporting competitions, including athletics, cycling and body-building contests, but Thomas claims: "When you understand steroids, you don't class it as cheating.
“I read up on it for six months straight, did a course on it and then in the January I did my first ever cycle.”
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Having gone through six cycles of steroids since 2017, Thomas is currently on a break, but has no desire to stop.
"People do not understand steroids. There's this thing called growth hormone, which I will probably be on for life," he admits.
"It's a cell regeneration aid and all it does is regenerate cells so your hair grows better, your skin grows better and your nails grow better.
He even claims that "if you cut yourself, you heal better."
According to the NHS, though: "Regularly taking anabolic steroids can lead to physical and psychological changes in both men and women, as well as potentially dangerous medical conditions."
It adds: "Some people believe taking anabolic steroids will help them become fit and healthy. This isn't true: taking anabolic steroids is a dangerous drug habit."
Despite being adamant that he will continue to take the PEDs for the foreseeable future in low dosages, he doesn't recommend them to anyone.
"I don't recommend steroids to anyone," he says. "If you are going to take them, take them as safely as possible. You need to know the ins and outs.
"I've been training for 10 years plus, you need to tap out your natural range before you do anything. We don't realise how much of an impact steroids can have on your life.
"When you come off, you're a little more emotional because your testosterone levels are dropping and your oestrogen levels are higher, so you get emotional. I know loads of lads who have suffered because of coming off testosterone."
Currently recovering from his surgery, Thomas says he is happy with his decision to live-stream the process and says he hopes it reduces the stigma around these kinds of operations on men.
He says that by sharing his own journey he hopes to help other men in similar situations, including a client of his who is "too conscious" to take his top off because of the same condition.
Love Island 2021
"If I can help at least him, or five people, by going live and showing the procedure, that's my job done I suppose," he says.
"This can cause genuine stress, like my client will not take his top off. He goes to the beach in the summer and does not take his top off, that's someone suffering to me.
"That's not a cosmetic surgery, that's mental health that is. So the more I can help people like that, the better."
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