Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff has spoken about his own personal struggle with bulimia and the moment he decided to seek help. The former England cricket Captain appeared on Friday’s Loose Women with TV presenter Gok Wan to discuss their own experiences of suffering from eating disorders. Freddie, 39, revealed that his bulimia first started as a way to get his weight down during his sporting career, but what he initially saw as a ‘quick fix’ soon spiralled out of control and became a daily habit.
Speaking as part of the show’s Body Stories campaign, Freddie told the audience: “It got to the point where I had to lose some weight. I wasn’t hitting the targets that were set for me, and I thought, ‘I want a quick fix’. So I’d go out, I’d drink, I’d eat a kebab like the rest of the lads on the way home and then when I got back I’d make myself sick.” The star said it started to affect his cricket games, revealing: “It came to the point where I’d come off playing cricket at lunchtime and I’d be straight in the toilet – I’d eat my lunch, throw up, and go and play again.”
Freddie Flintoff with his wife Rachel
Freddie said that once he nearly opened up to a dietician working with the cricket team. He said: “A dietician came in to speak to the team. She was going through diets and then she mentioned eating disorders. Then I thought, here’s my chance now, I’m going to pipe up. And then she said, well I can’t imagine there’s any of that in here, so I kept my mouth shut.”
It was a holiday to Dubai with his wife that made the sports star finally confront his eating disorder. “We were in Dubai and I’d booked us into this nice restaurant. We ordered food. I got a scallop cut up three ways for the starter and then a main. After eating it I went into the toilet and threw up. I remember thinking to myself, I’ve just paid £300 for these meals and I just threw up in a toilet.” He explained: “It was at that point I thought I’d say something. She could see something wasn’t right. Once I told her, it was the first part in being able to speak about it and ultimately stop doing it.”