There is a strong culture of binge drinking here in the UK, particularly among young adults. Many people believe that reality shows such as Geordie Shore and Ex on the Beach are fuelling this behaviour. With the stars of these programmes regularly seen falling out of nightclubs drunk, there is a view among young adults that it is okay to drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
One reality star who has changed her ways is Jemma Lucy, who appeared on series three of Ex on the Beach and who says her ‘addiction to partying’ left her struggling with body insecurities and depression.
Does Heavy Drinking Take a Toll on the Body?
The Government issued new alcohol guidelines in January 2016 where the recommended safe level for alcohol consumption for men was reduced to fourteen units per week, bringing it in line with the limit for women.
However, across the UK, young people are continuing to drink far more than this every single week, and Jemma was one of them. She became well known for her wild antics on nights out after appearing on the show but acknowledges that her heavy alcohol consumption eventually began to take a toll on her body and mind. She said, “I was going to events all the time with people in the same position as me, and I got into a routine of partying and drinking too much. Hangovers are no-one’s favourite thing, but I get the worst hangovers. I get depressed; I cannot do anything the next day. I started to notice it affected my moods for longer than a day after, so it would affect me three days later.”
As well her drunken behaviour, Jemma is also known for a string of bad relationships with other reality stars, including Stephen Bear. Nevertheless, despite her wild past, Jemma insists her priorities have changed, and she has turned to fitness instead of drinking.
She has now revealed that no matter how confident she appears on screen, she has always been insecure over her figure. She said, “I am very insecure, the world I’m in, the boys I meet, it’s so much pressure to be perfect. I’m far from it. I know I’m not 20 stone, but I’m far from where I want to be. I want to have a massive bum and a completely flat stomach. It’s fine but in my eyes, it’s not fine.”
She went on to say, “I want to be completely ripped, I want to be the best at my job; I want to be the best girl a boy can have; I don’t have a boyfriend at the minute, but when I do. I want to be the best I can be, and I’m not there yet.”
Giving up Alcohol
Jemma has now vowed to turn her life around and has given up alcohol. She said, “I’m sick of mixing with people who don’t really give a f*** about me. The whole lifestyle comes with madness. You mix with the wrong people, you get into the wrong things, drinking too much, so I started training about a year ago, for Ex on the Beach. I haven’t touched a drink for eight weeks, just a couple of cocktails on the beach, which I don’t really count, but no proper nights out.”
She added, “I used to think to myself before, why do I feel depressed, why do I feel sad, why do I feel de-motivated, why don’t I want to get out of bed until 2pm, and it’s all because my mindset was negative. All I’ve done is one thing, go to the gym, and it’s changed everything. I wouldn’t say I was addicted to alcohol, but I was definitely addicted to partying and being sociable.”