World News – GB – Freddie Flintoff prepares the heartbreaking locker room so he can be sick in Ashes


BBC documentary Freddie Flintoff: Living With Bulimia sees English cricket legend open up about his eating disorder as he tries to eliminate the stigma of men struggling with disease

Cricket fans had waited 18 long years to see the England team raise the ashes and in 2005 they finally got their wish and one of the key players in this historic victory was Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff

At 27, he was already known as one of the best all-rounders to ever play for his country and was regularly named one of the best in the world

His larger than life personality made Freddie a huge hit with fans and he was one of the game’s superstars

But the cricketer was hiding a devastating illness, which had struck him on his first breakthrough for the England squad and had kept him in his grip ever since: bulimia

Freddie has now courageously opened up about his eating disorder for BBC documentary Freddie Flintoff: Living with Bulimia in an effort to stop the stigma surrounding men with suffering

But even when he was on top of England’s victory at Ashes at Lords, he was battling disease

Freddie explained: « First test of this series, I was sick, everyone is talking the way you do so I was like ‘it works, just do it’

« My biggest fear was getting caught I had to plan it I was in a locker room with other people and had to check the toilet, does the door come downstairs I didn’t want someone catches me

« I know I shouldn’t be doing this, it’s not good for me, it causes damage to my body but I still can’t stop I liked it It made it addicting There was a perverse pull in that « 

The 42-year-old first realized his weight at the age of 20 and started playing for England

He said: « I realized that I had gained weight I was in good condition, I would put on a little size I did not see it coming, the sun just hammered me My heart sank I stepped on the scale and I was 19 I didn’t know I was so tall « 

« I got the man of the match ‘yeah I played good for a fat boy’ Something changed in my mind and I was aware of it, but worse, everyone was aware of it

This was when he started to get sick after meals – but when his bulimia started, it coincided with his career taking off

Freddie said: « Things really started to happen for me as a player I have my first 100 for England Everyone was happy with me

« My weight was going down I had lost three stones I thought ‘I’m running it’ I kept going and doing it all the time »

And when he was named captain of England when the team traveled to Australia, it was a dream come true for cricketers

But after the team were severely beaten and Freddie was still struggling with his eating disorder, other issues began to surface.

After being stripped of the harbor master’s office when he had to be pulled out of the water after his pedal boat capsized, the Top Gear was devastated

He said: « The only thing I could control was my bullimia, everything else was out of control I needed to prove myself and the only way to do it was to get back on the field and prove with a bat and a ball « 

His retirement from cricket led him to a second career as a heavyweight boxer and Freddie was training furiously to get in shape

Freddie, who lost three and a half stones when he started exercising, said: « I had never had abs and wanted them I killed myself to get abs, I was on a diet where I had no energy then I looked at myself in the mirror and saw them and thought «  why don’t I feel happier than this  »

« I look at pictures from my boxing career and I am a shell of a person, I look in my eyes and there is nothing behind them »

He still goes to the gym almost every day and trains for an hour, often nine or ten times a week

Freddie said: « I need to train on an empty stoamch, I don’t want to burn food, I want to burn what I have I’m still trying to lose weight I feel better when I’m lighter « 

One of the reasons Freddie says he’s never asked for help with his eating disorder is because he thinks the rest of his life has gone so well.

Since leaving the sport he has carved out an extremely successful career as a TV presenter and is a happy married father of four.

Freddie said: « Where you come from shapes you and one of them being ‘it doesn’t affect anything from my past » and it gets exhausting The strength is to admit it, saying what are your weaknesses « 

« One of the reasons I haven’t dealt with my bullimia is that the rest of my life is going so well I have a new career as a TV presenter, which I love, I have an amazing family, who support me through everything

« So the way I balance in my head is’ if I have to carry an eating disorder, if that’s not the negative for what I’m doing, then I’m okay with it. that ‘ »

But after talking to other men struggling with bulimia, the cricket legend makes the difficult decision to get professional help

He visits Dr Amira Hassan at Maudsley Specialist Hospital in South London and admits that the only way to see his condition change is « for the worse »

Freddie told him: « I don’t know where this is going I would like to look at my body and be happy and not constantly pinch my stomach

« I eat and then I feel like I have to go throw it out after It’s not what a guy does and I hate myself for doing that and always having the urge to do it »

Dr Hassan explains: « It’s a disease, nobody wants to do this Especially with men, there is a huge problem of blame and shame that it is self-inflicted

« I want you to have a healthy relationship with food and your body and be open to weight being not the only way and there to be another truth »

Freddie finally admits he needs help, adding: « That’s all I can think of and I know it’s something that needs to be resolved »

Andrew Flintoff, Bulimia Mental, Cricket, Eating Disorder, Top Gear, England Cricket Team, Good Morning Britain

World News – UK – The Heartbreaking Preparation from Freddie Flintoff’s locker room so he could be sick at Ashes


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