Ed Sheeran on his bulimia: ‘so many people do the same thing and hide it as well’

Ed Sheeran is currently touring and, according to his latest Rolling Stone interview, will be for five years. At the same time, he has his next album, Subtract, coming out May 5 and has at least three other albums written and almost ready to release when he figures out what he wants to do with them. And this is a man who considered retiring and becoming a stay-at-home dad just two years ago. But as his RS interview points out, those two years have been very hard on Ed personally, losing a good friend in 2021 and then his best friend Jamal Edwards died suddenly from a cocaine related cardiac arrhythmia. Then, while pregnant with their second daughter, his wife, Cherry Seaborn was diagnosed with a tumor that couldn’t be operated on until she gave birth. Maybe it was because of everything Ed’s been through that he got so raw in his interview, but he opened up about getting depressed and his past struggles with binge drinking and eating. For the first time, though, Ed divulged he combatted the calories from binging with bulimia. Ed said many people do it, but few men talk about it.

“I’m self-conscious anyway, but you get into an industry where you’re getting compared to every other pop star. 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.’ Then you do songs with Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes. All these people have fantastic figures. And I was always like, ‘Well, why am I so … fat?’ ”

“So I found myself doing what Elton [John] talks about in his book — gorging, and then it would come up again.” The Rolling Stone writer notes that Elton spelled it out a little clearer in his autobiography, writing, “I had developed bulimia.”

Ed continued, “There’s certain things that, as a man talking about them, I feel mad uncomfortable. I know people are going to see it a type of way, but it’s good to be honest about them. Because so many people do the same thing and hide it as well. I have a real eating problem/ I’m a real binge eater. I’m a binge-everything. But I’m now more of a binge exerciser, and a binge dad. And work, obviously.”

[From Rolling Stone via Just Jared]

It feels like Ed’s been trying to tell us this for years. He’s touched on his binging a few times. He’s exactly right that men do not discuss eating disorders or issues. Mainly it’s the starvation methods that are considered women’s issues but even obesity is side-stepped from general discussion in men. Ed is doing something huge by continuing the conversation he credits Elton John for starting. I’m sure he was uncomfortable brining this up. Ed’s already a media target and some sicko will make fodder of this. So kudos to Ed, because this is important. Bulimia is a tough disorder. It’s just as tough to shake as any other addiction but people don’t understand it, so it remains, as Ed said, hidden.

I also appreciate that Ed admits he’s refocused his binging from eating and drinking to exercise. Just because we consider dieting and exercise good for us, anything done to obsession needs further evaluation.

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10 Responses to “Ed Sheeran on his bulimia: ‘so many people do the same thing and hide it as well’”

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  1. It Really Is You, Not Me says:

    I just love Ed Sheeran from when I saw him open for Taylor Swift 13? Years ago. He is amazing to open up about his struggles in this way.

  2. Ewo says:

    It is so brave of him to open up about this. I started therapy for binge eating and bulimia this year and just sharing my secret problem with a therapist was so difficult after half a lifetime of hiding it. It’s the least sexy of eating disorders.

    • A says:

      I hope you’re doing better! Or, at the very least, feel like you’re on a good path for the future.

  3. SAS says:

    Well shit, now I admire Ed Sheeran I guess! This is really courageous and will have a huge impact on some of his fans.

    I know a couple of athletes that have spoken about bulimia but it’s great to see from someone in the entertainment industry where we know it’s so rampant.

  4. Lila says:

    I imagine it took a great deal of strength and bravery to be so vulnerable and share this. It’s incredibly admirable. I wish him well.

  5. Justpassingby says:

    It’s so courageous of him to open up about this. Love Ed Sheeran! <3

  6. Happy_Fat_Mama says:

    I admire his strength.

  7. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Bravo Ed! On a superficial note, I love his ink. ; D

  8. detritus says:

    I like he’s talking about this.

  9. Glamarazzi says:

    I had no idea he struggled with this. Goes to show you never know what another person is really going through.