The former England Test captain turned heavy-weight boxer has recently spoken up about the criticism he received about his weight as a young rising star.
Speaking in Sky 1 documentary ‘From Lord’s to The Ring’, he said: “I used to be a really skinny kid. Then I started putting weight on. I got to 20 stone. I wasn’t sure how to go about losing weight. I started being sick. I would eat and put my fingers down my throat.”
The 34-year-old sports star described how he forced himself to be sick in cricket grounds and restaurants all over the world. In the end he lost 15kg.
Now Flintoff is on a special nutrition plan to help him compete against a US novice next week.
Mary George from eating disorder group BEAT says Flintoff should be commended for opening up so honestly about his experience of living with bulimia.
Eating disorders are commonplace in the competitive sporting world, in which athletes often face enormous pressures to achieve a certain weight and build.
80,000 men in the UK are thought to suffer from bulimia, yet many are still reluctant to get help.
Bulimia is an often serious mental health problem. If left untreated, it can be life threatening. Symptoms and outcomes of bulimia include:
- stomach pains
- feeling weak
- tooth and gum decay
- dry skin
- heart, kidney and bowel problems
- problems in pregnancy.
To find out how hypnotherapy may be able to help treat bulimia, please visit our Eating Disorders page.
The original article was found in The Sun newspaper.