On the cusp of his latest album “Deluxe,” coming May 5, Ed Sheeran reveals his struggle with body image and an eating disorder.
“I was in the One Direction wave, and I’m like, ‘Well, why don’t I have a six-pack?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, because you love kebabs and drink beer,’” Sheeran told Rolling Stone.
In the cover story, Sheeran opens up about being self-conscious and bad habit of comparing himself to other male artists. Working with teen artists such as Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendez, and fellow British superstars One Direction – Sheeran couldn’t help but compare himself to them – despite the age difference, lack of workout routine, and poor diet.
As he struggled with his body image, he tried to take matters into his own hands and became bulimic for six years. In some moments, the “Shape of You” singer says he would find himself gorging – much like what Elton John wrote about in his memoir.
While the pop sensation is used to performing in front of millions, owning his eating disorder didn’t come easy. Sheeran believed that talking about certain things as a man “just didn’t sit right with him” – a thought that many men can attest to.
“Men admit to having an eating disorder puts them at risk, as far as their masculinity is concerned,” Joel Jahraus, MD, chief medical officer at Monte Nido, told Verywell.
Over the years, Sheeran has regained control over his bulimia, but now he faces a different issue when it comes to eating – confessing he’s now a binge eater. His binge eating moments have led him to take other measures of control without the fork and instead into the gym.
Eating disorders affect everyone regardless of age, race, religion, or sexual orientation. According to Single Care, 30 million Americans have suffered from an eating disorder at least once – and at least 10 million are men.
While it’s hard for the male population to talk about eating disorders or body image issues, some might get turned away from health centers when they’re seeking guidance or professional help.
“These centers often admit people of the same gender for patient comfort and safety concerns since in-patients have to share bedrooms and living spaces.” Michael Chiumiento, PsyD, adolescent and family services clinical supervisor at Walden Behavioral Care told VeryWell.
The Grammy Award winner is working on new ways to improve himself, saying that the end of his party days is due to his children. Now, Sheeran is focusing on living a healthier life while giving himself a little grace.
“It’s all about balance. Like you can have a filthy burger once a week if you want, and you can have ice cream every day if you wanna have it, it’s just about balance,” Sheeran said.
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