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Freddie Flintoff Praised For Opening Up About Eating Disorder

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Freddie Flintoff Praised For Opening Up About Eating Disorder

Freddie Flintoff has been praised by viewers for opening up about his eating disorder.

Freddie Flintoff: Living With Bulimia saw the cricketing legend give an honest account of his battle with bulimia.

Around 1.5 million people in the UK - of which 25 percent are male - suffer from conditions such as bulimia.

The former England captain revealed for the first time how his meteoric rise to fame, leading the national team to its first Ashes victory in 18 years and receiving criticism over his weight badly affected his mental health.

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Viewers were left stunned by his honesty and candour, and praised the sporting hero for taking such a huge step and giving others the strength to speak up.

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In the hour-long doc, Flintoff revealed that he would make himself throw up during the iconic 2005 Ashes series - for which his performances saw him crowned BBC's Sports Personality of the Year.

The 42-year-old said: "I became known as a fat cricketer. That was horrible. That was when I started doing it.

"That was when I started being sick after meals. Then things started happening for me as a player."

Adding: "Everyone was happy with me. My weight was coming down. It was, like, 'I'm bossing this.' It just carried on and I was doing it all the time."

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Flintoff played 79 Tests for England before his retirement in 2009, and he believes that his bulimia may very well have contributed to him leaving the game at the age of 31.

Freddie Flintoff said being known as a 'fat cricketer' affected his mental health. Credit: PA
Freddie Flintoff said being known as a 'fat cricketer' affected his mental health. Credit: PA

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, the dad-of-four said he almost asked for help from one of the England team's dietitians but decided not to because a '6ft 4 bloke from Preston' he wasn't 'meant to have an eating disorder".

He told the programme: "I nearly asked for help in my early 20s. We had a dietitian come in to speak to the team. I was at that point where I was about to say I have a problem here.

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"She signed off by saying that she worked with a lot of women... and she wouldn't imagine there was anyone with an eating disorder in the room, because we were a group of lads, obviously.

"I didn't feel like I could speak or say anything. Being a bloke, 6ft 4 and from Preston, I'm not meant to have an eating disorder by rights. So, you keep it hidden away and you don't want to speak about it."

UOKM8? is a campaign by LADbible, featuring films and stories that provide advice and inspiration on mental health. Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Let's talk mental health.

MIND: 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans: 116 123.

CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: UOKM8, U OK M8, Food, Mental Health, UK Entertainment, Health

Dominic Smithers
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