Body positive plus-size Preston couple check in to 'Big Body Hotel' in new TV show
Being self conscious about people's opinions of his size consumed Phil McGennity and stopped him ever taking his shirt off in public, before he was invited on a plus size inclusive holiday with partner Sophie.
In a new Discovery Plus programme, Phil and Sophie McGennity check into the 'Big Body Hotel', an exotic getaway exclusively catered towards plus-sized tourists, allowing them to enjoy their holidays in peace and without fear of being judged.
The couple, from Clayton-Le-Woods, admitted they are 'polar opposites' with Phil battling his own body hatred and partner Sophie, 30, embracing her curves and working as a plus-sized model.
Their trip to 'The Resort' in Antigua features on the new Discovery Plus show and captures their journey accepting their bodies and learning to feel more confident when on summer getaways.
Funeral care worker Phil, 37, said: "The programme is all about body positivity, feeling comfortable in the skin you're in and not worrying about people's opinions of you, especially when on holiday.
"I am extremely body conscious and really despise myself which is totally different to Sophie, who embraces her body and her curves.
"The show was brilliant at getting us together and giving us the opportunity to talk about our issues together as a couple because we realised we didn't communicate properly, and it helped me listen to her when she tells me that I look good, even though I don't feel it.
"It really helped me work on my body confidence because before the show, I was so insecure and wouldn't ever take my t-shirt off, not even in my own back garden. It taught me how to embrace myself and realise that people don't care about what you look like."
After a brief breakup last summer, the couple, who have been together a total of eight years, was scouted for the TV show and used the opportunity to work on their relationship and body acceptance.
Despite being overweight, the couple made daily trips to the gym before lockdown during their lunch breaks and after work.
Phil admitted that he went from being the "guy in the corner who shied away from everything" to becoming more positive about his plus-sized appearance after being on the show.
He added: "We really took a lot from the show and we embraced the whole process. I have learned how to be more positive about my body and stop worrying about what other people are thinking.
"I constantly worried about what people thought and even though I am big, I have always been into sports and gone to the gym to try hard and shift the weight but it feels near impossible. I shouldn't have to change who I am to please other people.
"The show sees me turning my insecurities and negativity around and shows what the resort helps plus-sized people do and how it builds their confidence. The owners were amazing people and everyone there feels at ease and comfortable being a bigger person."
The Big Body Hotel is available for streaming on Delivery Plus now.
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