TV presenter and cricket star Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff released a BBC documentary last night discussing his 20-year struggle with Bulimia.
He met with other men and families who have battled with eating disorders, which they hope to remove the stigma around how the conditions only affect women.
1.5 million people live with an eating disorder in the UK, at least 25% are male
Freddie Flintoff: Living with Bulimia explored how eating disorders are often hidden by men and there needs to be more awareness around these mental health conditions to encourage those struggling to ask for help.
He describes that when at the top of his cricket career as England captain, he battled with his body image and bulimia the most.
“The first Test of that series, I was being sick,” he said.
“Everyone is talking about how well you’re doing, and there’s part of you that thinks, ‘it’s working, let’s just crack on with it’.
Throughout the documentary, he never classes himself as having ‘Bulimia’ but would say, ‘being sick’.
Freddie Flintoff is one of the first male celebrities to openly discuss his eating disorder and being a well-respected public figure has started a conversation across social media and takes away the stigma of the condition.
“If this resonates with one person watching, or through this, we can show someone that there is help out there, then this is worth doing” – Freddie Flintoff.
For more of an insight into Freddie’s battle with Bulimia, you can watch the documentary here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000n1xx/freddie-flintoff-living-with-bulimia
If you are concerned about your mental health or a possible eating disorder you can talk in confidence to an adviser from the eating disorders charity Beat by calling their adult helpline on 0808 801 0677 or youth helpline on 0808 801 0711.