Bianca Belair struggled with bulimia and depression.
The newest WWE Chronicle details Bianca Belair's early life, start in wrestling, and her career today. A track and field star in high school, Belair shared that she didn't want to get involved with the wrong crowd, so while everyone was at parties, she would stay home painting her walls and writing poems. However, after feeling like her speed had plateaued, and hearing her coaches talking about her weight, she started throwing up her food. Here is what she said:
"So I suffered from bulimia, which started in high school. I was always considered the bigger girl in track. I was always very muscular, just naturally muscular. I was running fast and then I just kind of plateaued. The next thing I could think of was, okay, all my coaches talk about my weight. Let me loose weight. I got so obsessed, so I started throwing my food up. No one knew. My parents didn't even know. I hid it. I was throwing my food up all the time, every night, and I lost weight. I ran faster. I got hurt and actually not ended up being able to compete my senior year in high school, but I already had my scholarship, thank God.
I got a full scholarship to the University of South Carolina. I think I had a little bit too much fun. Started partying, started eating. My coach at the time was just so harsh. He'd always say, go back to the girl you were in high school That girl in high school was unhealthy. But okay, if that's what it takes, being 18, 19 if that's what it takes, okay. So I went back to throwing up my food."
Belair reveals that she had B.E.D., Binge Eating Disorder, and became obsessed with food. She says that she would eat because she was upset and ate to the point where it would make her sick. It's a mental disorder that she had to face, but struggled to reconcile it with her track identity, and the fact that no one wanted to be friends with the "slow girls." At 18 years old, this was a difficult thing to handle and it was a very dark moment for her.
"I went to try to go talk to somebody about it, to work through it all, and they put me on medication. I end up leaving that college and transferring to another college to try to start over again, instead of facing my issues and thinking, I'm just going to run away from it. I stopped the medication, and you can't do that, you have to wean yourself off of it. So when I stopped, everything came crashing back down. I got very, very, very depressed and I didn't know why. I didn't know what was happening. I was like, I just don't want to be here anymore. So I tried to not be here anymore.
I ended up in a psychiatric hospital. I remember being in this room and it was a lady on the side of me that was screaming all night long. My parents are visiting me. They are just in complete shock because they had no idea what was going on. Now I feel bad because I feel like, oh God, they think I'm crazy. I feel like a failure and, so that was the moment when I was like, I need to go home. I can't keep running from college to college, I have to face this. I was able to sit there and talk to my parents and know that I have their support. That was the moment for me where I felt very safe and I felt like, okay, it's going to get better. It wasn't better at that moment, but I felt like it's going to get better."
Belair would eventually become involved with CrossFit competitions before being signed to a WWE contract in 2016. In the special, she talked about rediscovering the things that made her happy when she was a child and practicing self-care and love. She currently performs on the SmackDown brand where she is feuding with Bayley. Most recently, she demolished the Role Model in an Obstacle Course competition to determine the superior athlete.
On January 8, Bianca Belair and Bayley both declare themselves for the Women's Royal Rumble match.
If you are struggling with mental health, there is help. You can check out a list of resources (courtesy of Danielle Sinay) at this link.
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