Kiwi bodybuilder says ‘everything was taken away’ in steroid hell

Kiwi bodybuilder says ‘everything was taken away’ in steroid hell

Josh Williams with his girlfriend Sarah Harris. Photo / Supplied

A bodybuilder and model has opened up about the struggles and anger issues he had to deal with while using anabolic steroids.

Auckland-based Josh Antonio Williams was introduced to performance-enhancing drugs by a friend and started taking them after researching the drugs and believing it was his only way to succeed in bodybuilding.

Six months after starting taking them, he took first and second place in two competitions.

But as the drugs began to cause side effects, with the testosterone surge leading to fits of rage, Williams was still unable to obtain a professional card after officials handed out too many, Daily Mail Australia reported.

“When you’re young, you go out and party more and drink, and the alcohol mixed with the testosterone meant I got into fights,” he said.

“That made me even more depressed and I had social anxiety and people were scared to be around me.”

Williams said he started losing friends after outbursts caused him to hit walls. He also began to lose money as his personal training clients began to disappear.

And model work dried up after steroids saw him double in size and fitness brands deemed him “too big” to model for them.

In addition to this, Williams experienced hair loss, depression, suicidal thoughts, and his testicles shrank.

The now 28-year-old said things in the bodybuilding industry have changed since then, with pre-competition drug tests now taking place. At the time, he was 21 years old and normalizing steroid use.

Williams eventually decided he was done with steroids. As soon as she stopped taking them, she quickly lost much of her volume.

“I felt like everything had been stripped away from me — all the hours and hard work and extreme levels you push yourself to — and then I would look in the mirror and see all that progress was gone,” she said.

Now, he is using his experience to help others.

As a personal trainer, Williams helps his clients achieve their goals naturally. And she uses her own story to challenge social media platforms that promote “guys with crazy physiques” to impressionable men and boys.

Meanwhile, Williams’ fiancee Sarah Harris has also had her own health issues that she has been dealing with.

Earlier this year, Harris revealed how her breast implants led her to four years of hell after she began experiencing health problems and depression.

The New Zealand woman was 21 years old when she underwent breast augmentation surgery. But now the 29-year-old believes they are the cause of a number of health problems.

“For a long time I believed that my happiness and success were defined by the size of my breasts,” Sarah wrote on Instagram in June.

“Until my health was stolen.”

Harris said her symptoms included hormonal imbalance, fatigue, chest pain, food intolerances, nausea, migraines and irritable bowel syndrome.

“My hair falls out in clumps, I have rashes all over my body often. Joint pain, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and migraines plague me on a daily basis now. I have become allergic to a long list of things, including random metals like tin and lead,” she wrote.

“All my tests were inconclusive, I kept looking everywhere except for breast implant disease, even though people were mentioning it. Why? I wasn’t ready to heal, despite feeling like I was dying, I still chose my appearance over my health.”

At times, her joint pain was so agonizing that Williams had to help her out of bed, leading her to undergo hip surgery in 2020.

“My joint pain is so bad that I even had hip surgery in 2020 but it didn’t help,” she wrote.

The implants have since been removed and she feels like she now has control over her health again.

Where to get help:

Life line: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7) • Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO (available 24/7) • Youth services: (06) 3555 906 • youth line: 0800 376 633 • What’s happening: 0800 942 8787 (11am to 11pm) • depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7) • Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155 • Helpline: 1737

If it is an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

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