It sounds absolutely crazy; “grow a beard and your life will change”. But this was actually what happened to Gwilym Pugh.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

So today has been an absolute whirlwind!! I woke up with a banging hangover after the @vo5 @nmemagazine awards to news the article about my personal journey has pretty much gone viral around the world 😱 I’m so incredibly grateful to everyone commenting kind words and supporting me, I think it’s easy to criticise people, especially online, but it’s 2018 and we need to start lifting each other up! Literally anything is possible, even if you’re not aware of it yet. . . PS.. huge thank you to @instagram for making my journey possible!! . . . . . . . #beforeandafter #transformation #gingerbeard #weightloss #fatlossjourney #redhead #gingerhair #gingerman #igtransformation @instagram

A post shared by Gwilym C Pugh (@gwilymcpugh) on Feb 15, 2018 at 10:32am PST

Before all the craziness when Gwylim was still 21 years old, he had started an insurance company from his bedroom. Which was quite successful, might be added. But he had created a lifestyle for himself that was far from healthy, which caused him to weigh nearly 280 pounds.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

It’s amazing what a difference 10 years can make! I really want to hammer that home… 10 years… What I’ve done has nothing on countless people out there who have changed their lives for the better. . But I want to keep spreading the word that anything is possible if you give it enough time and patience. For me, my journey is continuous and is about more than appearance but rather personal development inside and out. I didn’t set out to do what I’m currently doing, but as you learn and grow you become more open and confident to recognise and accept opportunities as they present themselves. When you have self doubt, you have to stand up inside and tell yourself to shut up!! I’m a firm believer that as you positively affect others, good things happen…. Maybe not immediately but definitely in the long term! #inspirehappiness . #disclaimer… the after shot is a professional photo taken by @thomasknights… The lighting was set up with precision and I prepared for the shoot for a period of time in the run up

A post shared by Gwilym C Pugh (@gwilymcpugh) on Feb 20, 2018 at 9:46am PST

“At that time I was pretty overweight, working 12 hours a day, plagued with injuries which meant I couldn’t train at all,” the now 33-year-old recalls. “The business was doing okay, but I decided I needed to get my life in order and wanted to get healthy again.”

He started with some friends a folks-country band and when his barber heard that news he “ordered” him in a friendly manner to grow a beard. “He told me if I was playing the guitar in a folk band, I had to have a beard.”

The transformation

That’s where the transformation begun. He committed to change his diet and create a healthier lifestyle. The thing that helped him most was quitting his desk job as he stopped sitting for 9-10 hours a day.

It took him nearly 5 years to gradually loose his weight. Gwylim keeps a close eye on it now and ensures to stay active.

At some point Pugh decided to join Instagram, and that’s where his life really took a turn. “I started using Instagram as a way of social networking and growing my profile and that of the band,” he explained. “It was there I was spotted and shortly after chosen to be the face of Nathan Palmer’s 2015 collection—which gave me a massive boost in confidence. Before that, I was pretty shy.”

From there, things escalated quickly and Pugh started a modeling career. AMCK Models, a top London based agency signed him. And his beard truly became his trademark. It was even featured a book called “100 beards”.

Pugh recently started working as an ambassador for David Beckham’s male grooming brand, House 99.

Follow his modeling pursuits and photographic adventures on his popular Instagram account.