Transcript for College Football Star Opens Up About Binge-Eating Disorder
Welcome back to "Gma." That is Joey Julius, a kicker for Penn state university taking down an opponent from Michigan. He is a fan favorite at my ALMA mater. The Nittany lion sophomore known as much for his size as his ability opening up about his private struggle and Paula Faris, I know you have that story. Good morning, everyone. Joey seemed to be on top of the world, popular on campus yet secretly battling binge eating disorder. It is a life-threatening disorder and says it could have taken his life and sitting down to share his courageous story with me. Joey Julius to kick it away. Joey Julius is a college football sensation. At nearly 260 pounds the Penn state kicker's uncanny size and powerful hits make his fans go crazy. What his fans love most about him, his size is what he secretly hated. I was calling myself fat, disgusting, lazy. Reporter: A secret he recently shared in a stunning Facebook post. I've decided to go public about my absence from the team. Reporter: Depressed and anxious he left the team this past spring and checked himself into a treatment center. It was there he discovered why he'd been struggling for the past 11 years. My name is Joey Julius and I have an eating disorder. Reporter: Joey had binge eating disorder. It's when people lose control over their food intake including eating large amounts of food at a time even when not hungry and eating fast. It's often done alone. How do you respond to learning that you, a man, a collegiate division 1 football player has an eating disorder. I just said, what's that? You had no idea what it was. No idea. There is a stereotype that eating disorders are quote/unquote women's problems. I just think it's completely false. I mean, we all eat, you know. Do you think there are guys out there that are struggling with this but they're too ashamed to come forward. Yeah, I would think so because I was one of those guys. Reporter: In the U.S. Alone 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point. I think just the fact that being a college athlete kind of pushed me towards like that goal of kind of correcting what was wrong with me. Reporter: For Joey a typical episode would involve eating a salad in front of his teammates but hiding food in his backpack, going back to his room alone ordering cheesesteak, fry, Chinese food and pitchinging. I would have to lay down to the point where I was so sick I couldn't move and just, you know, lay there -- there were some types I would cry. Reporter: Joey, has there ever been a moment where you thought this could kill you? Yeah, after I think I got the treatment, that's when I was like, you know what, if I would have continued down this path I might not be here right now. Now Joey says this is something he will deal with for the rest of his life. He acknowledges there are going to be bumps in the road but when he feels he goes in the dark place he takes a step back and thinks about what he's doing and you guys he phones a friend. He's no longer afraid and ashaped to ago for help and inciting other people -- it's stunning, that stereotype these are women's issues. Right now. Shocked by that number, 10 million men deal wit. I was asking Michael if he saw any of this in the NFL. I want to say, Joey, thank you for speaking out. It's phenomenal.
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