While former NFL player Clayton Echard may look confident, he had major concerns ahead of his reign as the lead of The Bachelor.
Looking for vulnerability out of the women competing for his heart, the Season 26 lead revealed his insecurities on a group date hosted by former The Bachelorette lead, Kaitlyn Bristowe.
Opening up on the Talking It Out with Bachelor Nation podcast, the 28-year-old talked about body dysmorphia and his worries about how he would look on The Bachelor.
Clayton Echard opens up about body dysmorphia
Speaking to Bachelor Nation alums Bryan Abasolo and Mike Johnson, Echard described how a history of little comments about his physicality led to his body dysmorphia issues.
“I had friends tell me, you have a really weird body, you work out so much, but you don’t look like you work out,” the Missouri native spoke of the memories that stuck with him over the years.
Noting that he “hated” who he saw in the mirror as a kid, his fears continued even as The Bachelor.
“How am I going to look on camera? I remember that was a big thought I had. The camera adds 10 pounds. How am I going to look on camera when this plays back?” Clayton continued. “I’ll be honest with you, I was kind of scared. Well, here we’re going to find out right now how I look on camera. I had no idea. I was afraid it was going to put me in a little dark spiral. I’m like, ‘You look fat. There you go. You look fat on camera.'”
Clayton Echard explains that he’s in a better place with his body dysmorphia
While the orthopedic salesman says he’s in a “better place” with his body dysmorphia, it’s an ongoing battle as he noted, “All it takes is three comments back-to-back-to-back to say, ‘You look kind of fat.’ That’s all it takes. All of sudden, it puts you right back into that negative mindset.”
Understanding the power of body dysmorphia, while he admitted you “never truly get rid of it”, he has been able to “get it under control in some realms” through diet and exercise.
The Bachelorette Season 17 alum added, “Unless you can change the way that you view yourself, you’re never going to truly shake it because it’s what’s you see.”
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.