Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff has opened up about his struggle with bulimia, revealing that he didn’t feel he could ask for help because he assumed he was “not meant to have an eating disorder.”
The cricket star, 42, discusses his experience of bulimia in a new documentary which will air on BBC One tonight.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Monday morning, he explained that he came close to seeking help in his “early 20s” when a dietician spoke to him and his teammates.
However, when she told the group it was unlikely that anyone present had a problem “because [they] were a group of lads,” he felt unable to speak out.
“The stats of men suffering from eating disorders is high… I nearly asked for help in my early 20s,” he told presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.
“We had a dietician come in to speak to the team. I was at that point where I was about to say ‘I have a problem here.’
“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.”
The Top Gear star admitted that he is “still not 100 per cent sure how comfortable [he is]” with the documentary airing, but said he is “more comfortable in [his] skin these days.”
He added that making the documentary had allowed him to speak to other men who had similar experiences, which allowed him “to learn a hell of a lot more about myself and how I deal with this.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV. Freddie Flintoff: Living With Bulimia airs tonight on BBC One at 9pm.
Beat, the UK's eating disorder charity, provides help and support for those affected by bulimia and other eating disorders.