The EST of WWE candidly spoke about her past struggles (Photo: WWE)
WWE superstar Bianca Belair has opened up on the incredible strength she showed to overcome eating disorders and a battle with depression.
The 31-year-old wrestler – who is a rising star on the company’s SmackDown brand with huge supporters in NXT boss Triple H and Hall of Famer Mark Henry – spoke candidly about her own struggles with mental health.
In a new episode of WWE Chronicle, 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, “OK, all my coaches talk about my weight. Let me lose 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.’
The so-called EST of WWE landed a full scholarship at the University of South Carolina, and she was pushed into old habits.
‘I think I had a little bit too much fun. Started partying, started eating. My coach at the time was just so harsh,’ she added. ‘He’d always say, “Go back to the girl you were in high school”.
‘That girl in high school was unhealthy. But OK, 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.’
Bianca suffered from B.E.D. – Binge Eating Disorder – and became obsessed with food, eating because she was upset.
She would then eat so much it made her sick, and in her late teens she struggled with the mental disorder.
Belair is now one of the top stars on SmackDown (Photo: WWE)
‘I went to try to go talk to somebody about it, to work through it all, and they put me on medication,’ she explained. ‘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.’
Shortly after, Belair – who is now married to fellow WWE star Montez Ford – was placed in a psychiatric hospital, which led to the first time she was able to really speak openly with her parents about what she was dealing with.
She said: ‘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, OK, it’s going to get better. It wasn’t better at that moment, but I felt like it’s going to get better.’