Joe Wicks on his childhood influencing workouts and fitness
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During the lockdowns that came with the coronavirus pandemic, Joe Wicks helped many people with their mental health with his PE With Joe home workouts. He received a flurry of letters from parents who had confided in him about their own personal struggles and the worries for their children. Joe knows all too well about the impact parents’ personal lives can affect their children, as he recently opened up about his own story. He admitted it was hard living with his mother when he was young due to her eating disorder and OCD.
In his latest BBC series, Joe Wicks: Facing My Childhood, Joe delves deeper into his mum’s OCD, eating disorders and anxieties, as well as his dad’s addiction to heroin.
Touching on what he learnt about his parents, Joe admitted: “So many things. Understanding why my mum had an eating disorder was very emotional.
“What was she controlling? What was the reason she had OCD? Why was she cleaning the house four or five times a day? I thought that was what all mums were like.
“I now understand the root of that. She went through some really tough stuff that we didn’t touch on in the documentary because it was too upsetting.
“But when she explained it to me, I was in tears. It all makes perfect sense,” he told Radio Times.
Joe explained that OCD could be someone trying to get rid of something or a way of avoiding their feelings, which was what his mum used to do with food.
She knew she could control the food she ate and how her body would react to what she was eating, describing the experience as “sad”.
Touching on his dad’s addiction, he explained it began from his own childhood trauma and led to an array of drug-taking at a young age.
He added there was a reason they went through what they did and admitted they were “self-medicating” to get through their own pain.
During the documentary, Joe meets Our Time, the UK’s only charity dedicated to working with children of parents with mental illness.
Whilst discussing the issue and looking at how many children are impacted by their parents’ mental health, he begins to ask questions about his own childhood.
He questions how his early life experiences and the trauma that he endured have affected his outlook on life as an adult.
Joe also sits down with his mum, dad and brother to have honest and emotional conversations, which unearth long-suppressed memories.
He learns how to confront how he dealt with his turbulent home life and how it forged his identity today.
After his successful YouTube videos during the lockdown, the fitness star had his name put forward by hundreds calling for him to receive an OBE.
He raised more than £350,000 for the NHS through the channel and fitness classes he ran every morning through the lockdown.
A source told The Sun: “Joe has become a household name since lockdown started, and he’s become a figurehead in isolation because of the PE classes he puts on every morning.
“Hundreds of requests putting his name forward for an OBE have been handed to the Honours Committee.
“Many have been written by children who think Joe is fantastic, getting an honour from the Queen would be the icing on the cake for Joe.”
Joe Wicks: Facing My Childhood airs Monday, May 16 from 9pm on BBC One.
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