lifestyle

Dear Ashy Bines: Bugger off out of my Facebook feed.

I live as a banished outsider from the walls of Clean Eating City.

I sit, huddled, glaring down on the thriving city where sweet potatoes are burger buns, chia seeds pepper every meal and kale smoothies come in pretty jars with striped white and red straws.

In recent weeks I have noticed a new tribe. They are a growing army of clean eating, quad squatting, montage uploading, Lorna Jane minions; their gleeful cackling heard for miles. They are armed and dangerous with protein shakes and they WILL use them.

They are the Ashy Bines Cult.

Ashy Bines is a ‘body training specialist’, who runs 12 week fitness programs and sells clean eating diet plans. People who sign up can choose to participate in Facebook engagement – which invariably means ads and sponsored content will show up in friends’ Facebook feeds.

Curious – and sick of seeing it in my Facebook feed – I requested to be added to the page, the “Ashy Bines Clean Eating Diet Plan.”

Watch Nigella Lawson discuss the dangers of restrictive diets (post continues after video).

In the days and weeks that have followed I have watched, curiously, as my news feed became overrun with a guerrilla marketing campaign of stomachs sagging over a plethora of terrible underwear (cotton, baggy, floral, leopard, synthetic, take your pick), all-kale-everything, Nike Free Run mania.

I saw recruits as young as 16 asking how to ‘shred’ and mothers of a mere matter of weeks lamenting their weight loss struggles. It was a scary and dark world of body obsession that had me guiltily recount my previous night’s dinner of water crackers, a bottle of wine and a bottle of Moet. I was behind enemy lines, and Ashy Bines was watching.

So. Joining the ranks of John Malkovich and James Boag, we ask: Who Is Ashy Bines? According to my research, she’s a 24-year-old blonde Queenslander (uncomfortably close to home, friends) who has made millions selling a $69 diet plan to achieve the perfect bikini body.

You know what? NO.

Here’s another theory.

I am of the utmost belief that Ashy Bines is actually a mid-forties, transition lenses, smock wearing, obese man who has started a cult. Tapping into the current obsession from women worldwide to ruin perfectly good food by making it with bizarre substitutions (I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, SWEET POTATOES ARE NOT BURGER BUNS) he is gathering his minions preparing for international takeover.

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Looking like a modern day Mark David Chapman, he operates from his mother’s paisley living room, barking orders to Stella McCartney for Adidas wearing secret agents. He has declared war on food-induced endorphins.

I have some exciting news to share with everyone to kick start 2016 making it our healthiest and happiest year yet! . I am super honoured to have joined forces with a organisation that is close to my heart. Educating others about the power of proper nutrition, Food Matters TV @FMTV_official and I are proud to work together to bring you some of my favourite health and wellness films. . To assist you in smashing your goals this year while educating ourselves check out their incredible documentaries, inspiring interviews with experts in the field, plus easy and nutritious recipes all at the click of a button! . All suitable with my Clean Eating Programs! It is SERIOUSLY the Netflix of Health and Wellness you’ll never be bored and we all can never stop learning. To truly make a change this year, I believe you need to firstly understand why. Learn with me to live and breathe a healthier, happier life. Follow this link in my profile to see what I’m talking about – @ashybines . PLEASE ONLY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS POST NOT OTHER THINGS :) xx

A photo posted by Snapchat : ashybines1 (@ashybines) on Jan 10, 2016 at 5:25pm PST

Prepare yourself people, in ten years you won’t be spending your hard earned bones on ratsak pingers, you will be hitting the black market for contraband Mars Bars. You think global warming is bad? Try having to blend your breakfast every day and struggle to pronounce the ingredients in your lunch. Acai, quinoa, cacao nibs anyone? The world will collapse under a growing army of early risers who compliment you on your body mass index and could drive a truck through the gap in their thighs. I’m already reaching for the Xanax.

Like any lunatic conspiracy theorist, I feel so alone in my tinfoil hat hell. I have prodded a couple people over the course of writing this to ask what they thought about Ashy Bines, to not a lot of success. Mum’s convinced I went to school with someone called Ashy Bines, my friend thought it was a Selena-Gomezesque Disney star and my flatmate was found yesterday morning with several bags of McDonalds strewn across his bed, so I figured he was out of the equation. My favourite research subject, however, was the lady who washed my hair at the hairdressers the other day.

WASHER WOMAN: “What are you writing?”

YOURS TRULY: “An article on Ashy Bines.”

WASHER WOMAN: “Who’s she?”

YOURS TRULY: “She invented a diet to look good in a bikini and has a Facebook group and I think she might be a cult leader. What do you think about clean eating?”

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WASHER WOMAN: “Yeah, like with all the pollution, you shouldn’t be putting crap in your body … I live in an apartment so I can’t grow food but like, as a promotional model I really like to eat clean food. Or make sure you wash it. Pollution is bad for your skin.”

I was very confused until I realised she had no idea what ‘clean eating’ was, and took a stab in the dark at thinking it was food devoid of pesticides. I like her.

takeaway istock
Note to self: Takeaway food… not okay by Clean Eating standards. (Image via iStock)

I feel the Ashy Bines cult members cropping up around me like ingrown hairs after DIY wax job. Today on the tram, as I shovelled a Nandos wrap down my gullet I felt someone watching me. I looked up to see, across several heads and bodies, the iron glare of a woman several rows away. My eyes darted to her running skins, her Nike Frees, her protein shake cup… Oh good fucking lord, it’s one of them. Looking back at her, I locked in eye contact as I polished off the last of the wrap. You will not get me too, Ashy Bines.

This is a warning to you, readers: Ashy Bines is out there, and he’s hungry. That heaving oaf will sing you a siren song of lettuce cup burgers, chick pea cookies and vegan meatloaf (I am simply BOILING with anger) but you must stay strong. Think of your children, and the cheeseless-pizza world they may have to live in. THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

So next time you think a Before And After Shot Instagram session is rinsing around your mind posing as a good idea – stop and think of this. If you want to lift up your shirt next time you’re out with your mates and ask what they reckon about your BMI, be my guest.

If you want to make photo collages of your rabbit food green slurrie bullshit with overused axioms like ‘rise and grind,’ knock yourself out. But remember who’s watching you. Ashy Bines and this posse of bikini body babes, ready to knock that cookie out of your hand and shove it down your throat instead.

Are you a fan of clean eating? Why/why not?

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