“Help, I’ve had a mega binge!” These words were trending on The Body Coach’s social media platforms last week. It was a day of revelations as Joe Wicks went live on Facebook to confess that he had a ‘mega binge’ at the weekend.
He talks of how when he was preparing for his new “Lean in 15” book launch in Dubai he followed a strict food and exercise regimen. Yet during the trip and on his return home, he didn’t keep up with his restrictive ways, and soon found himself bingeing on booze, pizza, takeaways and sweets whilst not exercising. He talks about feeling lethargic, exhausted and guilty due to his blow out.
This reiterates that restrictive eating plans are not sustainable in the long run. We believe “a little of what you like does you good”. In other words, no food should be demonised or classified as “good” or “bad”. We do not agree with the ‘clean-eating’ notion. All foods can have a role in the context of a healthy, balanced diet. Once you start restricting foods, you create unnecessary fear surrounding specific foods and often fixate and crave these foods. This can lead to disordered eating patterns and binge, restriction cycles which Joe talks about in his video.
We applaud Joe Wicks for emphasising that social media portrays a very skewed and edited version of somebody’s life. Social media stars and Vloggers are only human and make mistakes too!
This is something that Cherry Healey (television presenter, journalist and author) recently admitted on her Instagram feed. She said “We all hit walls sometimes. Mine are mostly created by myself in my head. Especially after scrolling through Instagram and looking at the amazing things people are doing- even if I’ve had a great day at work or home I always end up feeling so shit about myself. I adore social media, but I need a daily reminder that it is so very curated- you never see Gwyneth crying in the laundry room because an actress got her dream role or the cat pooed on the clean sheets. But that does happen (maybe not exactly those examples!). I could have had a shocking day full of stress, work and insecurity but instead I post a picture of some artistically arranged salad. So scroll away, have fun, it’s a gallery of human spark, but it most certainly ain’t real!”
Although Joe’s binge session is quite unusual for him, regular cycles of binging and restricting food intake is not normal and not characteristic of a healthy diet. Binge eating is an eating disorder where a person feels compelled to overeat (often privately) on a regular basis through regular binges and often reports losing control over their eating. It can be associated with feelings of embarrassment, guilt and disgust.
Episodes of binge eating sometimes alternated with periods of food restriction. This vicious cycle can be difficult to break. If you think you may have an eating disorder, please seek help from a qualified healthcare professional. You can read more about binge eating here.