WWE Superstar Alexa Bliss hopes overcoming body-image issues can inspire girls with similar concerns.
The 25-year-old battled a life-threatening eating disorder when she was younger but has since competed in bodybuilding tournament the Arnold Classic and forged a fruitful WWE career.
Bliss defeated Ireland’s Becky Lynch on Tuesday’s edition of Smackdown to secure her second Women’s Title, just seven months after being promoted from WWE’s NXT brand to the main roster.
“I remember looking through magazines and watching TV and thinking ‘why can’t I look like those girls, what’s wrong with me?'” said Bliss during an interview on ESPN.”I want to be that person that shows: ‘It’s okay – I’m five foot, I’ve got a thick body, I’m curvy, I’m strong and I love it.’ I would rather that then being 80 pounds and afraid if I was going to wake up the next morning.”
Opening up about her eating disorder, Bliss said: “When I was diagnosed, my doctors told me that I was 24 hours away from dying.
“They told my parents that with the way my body takes to an eating disorder that my organs weren’t coming back.
“I was hospitalised with bradycardia [slow heart rate] – they didn’t let me sleep as they thought I would go into cardiac arrest.”Bliss, who signed for WWE in 2013, puts a large part of her success in the company down to NXT trainer Sara Amato, who wrestled on the independent scene, including in Ring of Honor, as Sara Del Rey.
“I remember my first day in NXT – I went up to [Sara] and said: ‘I have no idea what I’m doing, I need your help!'” added Bliss.
“The one piece of advice she gave me was that it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon – she helped me in so many ways and I owe so much to her.”