Strictly’s John Whaite shares bulimia battle after being criticised by gay community for being a ‘muscle Mary’

Strictly’s John Whaite has hit back at members of the gay community who have branded him a ‘muscle Mary’ over his body transformation.

The 32-year-old who has been making history on Strictly Come Dancing as one half of the first same sex male couple with dance partner Johannes Radebe, has become noticeably more muscular since he shot to fame as the winner of The Great British Bake Off in 2002.

But the chef from Wigan says online trolls have been attempting to drag him down over his change in appearance since he started working out.

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As someone with the eating disorder bulimia, who has also struggled with body dysmorphia since he was a boy, he has called out those making unkind comments saying that working out helps him to keep things under control.

John with his dance partner Johannes on Strictly

He said: “Since I started working out I’ve had so many messages from members of the gay community telling me how disappointed they are with me for becoming ‘yet another muscle Mary’.

“I don’t work out so I can post pictures of myself on Instagram. I don’t work out because I feel having muscular body shape makes me a better person.

“I work out because I am bulimic and because I have struggled with body dysmorphia since I was a little boy.

“Going to the gym is my way of keeping things under control. It allows me to feel like I have a small grip on the rudder of my life.

“I also listen to classical music while I work out, so it gives me a little time to zone out of this very hectic world we all share.”

John added: “But please, if you’re going to post platitudinal screenshots about being kind and caring, please put that into practice.

John won Bake Off in 2002

“You don’t know what any single one of us is going through.

“If you feel the need to comment on someone else’s life, direct that energy inwards and focus on yourself. It’ll make you a better person.”

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John previously opened up about his bulimia battle while appearing on the Channel Four show Steph’s Packed Lunch last year.

He revealed that he had only accepted his eating disorder within the last year and a half and that it had been difficult to overcome.

He said: “My body image as I grew up was very difficult… I was so conscious of being fat.

“But one thing I was aware of as being problematic for 12, 14 years was overeating and then purging.

“The painful forcing down of food and then that instant need to get that out of me.”

He added: “If I was making a batch of muffins and something went wrong in my life that day, or around that time, I would sit there and I would eat all 12 of the muffins and then I’d run to the bathroom and I’d make myself sick.”