Us women who lift would simply come unstuck without the gym. Yet, how many of us can say it saved our lives? That’s exactly what WWE star and all-around ass-kicker Alexa Bliss announced to the BBC.
As a three-time Raw and two-time SmackDown champion, Alexa cuts a formidable figure in the ring. But things haven’t always been this way for the wrestler.
Growing up Alexa battled two bouts of eating-disorders and periods of depression. At more than one point in her life, her relationship with food almost took her life.
Hit hard with ‘reality checks’
Eventually, the damage caused by Alexa’s first eating disorder took its toll. She was soon admitted to hospital with heart failure, before finding out her body would not respond to treatment.
The now 27-year old star says she was hit hard with “reality checks” during this time. When speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Alexa recalled how the doctors told her mom, “one in four women die of anorexia”, and that her daughter would be one of them.
“I remember my mom sitting me down and asking me if I wanted my life to amount to being a statistic,” shared Alexa. She knew she had to be strong and make a change to survive.
Recovery and college
After fighting to recover the former WWE champ headed to college to become a cheerleader. As a “D1 cheerleader we had to be at the top of our game” said Alexa. She also spoke about body fat measuring devices and having to work out three times every day.
The constant scrutiny of her body fat and pressure to perform re-triggered her eating disorder. However, this time the anorexia would come back worse.
It would eventually force Alexa to leave college altogether and concentrate on her health.
Being saved by bodybuilding
In a quest to get fitter, stronger and form a better relationship with her body Alexa turned to the gym. “I started bodybuilding to get to a healthy weight,” shared the star, “the only way I got better was because of bodybuilding.”
According to Alexa she still faces scrutiny over her bodybuilding and fitness model past. However, that doesn’t alter the fact that it turned her into the powerful ring-ruling woman she is today. “I wasn’t just a bodybuilder, I wasn’t just a fitness model,” announced Alexa, “that saved my life.”
The number-two ranked female wrestler in the world confirms online comments never will stop her speaking out. Alexa says she talks about her past in the hope it’ll give courage and inspiration to other women with eating disorders – she wants to be the spokesperson she needed whilst in hospital.
To hear the full inspiring account from Alexa herself head over to the BBC website.
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