This article deals with eating disorders and might be triggering for some readers.
"I don’t want to be a statistic."
Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff has opened up about suffering from an eating disorder.
The 42-year-old, who rose to international fame as England's cricket captain in 2006, says his bulimia began when he felt pressure to lose weight as an elite athlete.
In a documentary with BBC, which aired on Monday night in the UK, Flintoff said he developed bulimia as a coping mechanism for the pressure he was under from the press.
Now, over a decade after it first developed, he still suffers from the mental illness.
Watch: Freddie Flintoff on his battle with bulimia. Post continues below.
"I probably should get help," Flintoff, who won Australia’s I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here in 2015, said.
The television personality said his struggle began in the early days of his cricket career, when he was about 20 years old and the media was criticising him for carrying extra weight compared to his teammates.
He explains the eating disorder became an obsession - a secret habit that consumed his life. Even after he retired from cricket, the bulimia persisted.
“I know it’s a problem and I know it needs addressing,” Flintoff shared. “I’ve had periods when I’ve done it this year.”
“I don’t want to be something that’s read about in years to come, that something happened to me.”
He went on to confront the stigma of being a male with an eating disorder.
“I don’t know whether it’s just being a bloke, you feel you should be able to stop it,” he said.