Freddie Flintoff still not ‘100 percent comfortable’ with BBC bulimia documentary
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Speaking on Good Morning Britain today, Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff explained he is still now “100 percent sure how comfortable” he is with the documentary airing tonight and he expects a lot of reaction. The Top Gear host explained how he kept his bulimia hidden after he heard from a dietician in his early 20s when he was playing cricket.
He told hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: “The stats of men suffering from eating disorders is high… I nearly asked for help in my early 20s.
“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.”
Freddie added: “So, you keep it hidden away and you don’t want to speak about it.”
“I’m 42 now, I’m still not 100% sure how comfortable I am with the documentary tonight going out and the reaction there will be towards it,” he continued.
“But I suppose I’m more comfortable in my skin these days.”
Speaking of how he felt when he was younger, the former cricketer remarked: “I remember when I was young when I started playing professional cricket, and I was a shy and quite retiring young lad, and I don’t think that would have cut it in the world of professional sport.
“So, this Freddie character seemed to develop, where he seemed bullet proof, nothing is going to bother him, every time you walk out onto a field or into a situation, you have got it under control.
“I developed that over a period of time, I suppose, just as a coping mechanism. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun as well.
“As I get older, I think I’m coming back into myself a little bit, more comfortable in my own skin. Probably more like Andrew, than Fred.”
Freddie explained he started to learn “a hell of a lot more” about himself and how he copes through making the documentary.
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He said every now and again he needs to have a word with himself, saying: “It isn’t something that I’ve had treatment for or something I’ve seen people for, but I’ve had it for such a long time.”
It’s not just eating which is part of the disorder but over-training.
“What I’ve realised as well is I could be living better and a little bit easier through this,” Freddie reflected.
“Probably treatment and seeing someone, something I’m definitely looking into.”
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It is estimated that at least 1.5 million people, of which 25 percent are male, have an eating disorder.
In a clip from tonight’s documentary, Freddie can be heard explained he started being sick when he “became known as a fat cricketer”.
“That was horrible,” he recalled. “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.”
Freddie Flintoff: Living With Bulimia airs tonight on BBC One at 9pm.
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