Blake Beckford’s “eye candy” Colostomy Bag
I hope my calling this young man “eye candy” isn’t seen at all as denigrating, that is not this writer’s intention, however we can’t ignore he is a very handsome, fit, athletic fella... good for him. But wait a minute, what is that bag hanging from his six pack belly?
What many people from the public still might ignore, even after the whole Bethany Townsend hype that caused a lot of media attention around her and her colostomy bag, is that many individuals are now more confident to show their own ostomy surgery results. A good example is Blake Beckford, a 33 year old former bodybuilder who thought his career was over after being diagnosed with a chronic bowel disease at 19 and is now a fitness role model who proudly displays his colostomy bag. Suddenly a picture of a Barbie and Ken wearing colostomy bags comes to mind…
Beckford had always wanted to participate in bodybuilding competitions. At age 17 he decided to go after his dreams which lead him to start training more and making a few changes to his nutrition habits and even taking a diploma on personal training and nutrition. A couple of years later he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which covered the lining of his colon with ulcers. A condition that would shred his hopes of getting farther into the fitness industry.
He endured a deterioration of his condition for five months before being diagnosed. He noticed that he was losing weight and was not able to build muscle with his training. He explains that after leaving the gym he couldn’t eat because he felt very sick or fatigueness wouldn’t let him go in the first place. His nutrition became limited, a certain amount of foods made him feel worse at times. After a long decade of being prescribed with strong medications, his condition would only get worse, in 2013 he was admitted to a hospital after a painful episode and an ileostomy surgery was the only answer to stop his suffering.
This type of surgical procedure consists of removing the large bowel and the small intestine is brought to the abdominal wall forming a stoma to allow waste products to leave the body. After a long bed recovery of 6 weeks that left him almost 42 lbs thinner and with problems of nutritional absorption, he was told that he could not do heavy training anymore, which left him feeling disappointed and his dreams of entering the fitness world completely shattered.
But Blake would not give up. He looked on the internet of other people who had successfully recovered and regained their fitness and found nothing leaving him hopeless, yet he was determined. He started setting small goals for every day, beginning with being able to walk around the block. Pilates and Yoga were key elements in building his strength before he could go back to the gym. Heavy training could easily damage his intestine, which is why he wore a hernia belt and a protective cup to place over his stoma.
His message for others looking to regain their fitness after a surgery like this is to take things slower than slow and to be completely in tune with your body; if something hurts, stop immediately.
Today Blake Beckford is a what he calls “the shape of my life”, it took him a year of hard work both in the gym and in the kitchen. He is a true inspiration of determination, hard work and patience. What he has accomplished is almost impossible in someone who underwent a procedure like his.
Part of the basis of his determination was the chance to inspire others like him. He wants to be someone’s role model as he didn’t have one walking out of the hospital. He truly is a great example that you can achieve anything. As he eloquently puts it, “I want to show those who’ve been through a similar process to me that there is actually light at the end of tunnel.”
For more inspirational messages and fitness tips follow Blake Beckford on Twitter: @Blake_Beckford