Natalya joined Lilian Garcia on the Lilian Garcia: Making Their Way to the Ring podcast recently to discuss all things WWE, Total Divas, and more, but the biggest revelation from the former Divas Champion was that growing up she dealt with an eating disorder that saw her lose 40 pounds in two months following the death of her uncle Owen Hart (transcriptions via Wrestling Inc).
“Alexa Bliss talked about having an eating disorder and stuff and I actually-this is the first time I’ve ever talked about this: Nattie exclusive, but I had an eating disorder when I was eighteen and um, it lasted for about, I mean they say it never really goes away, but um it spanned the course of about three years,” Natalya said. “I went from a hundred and sixty pounds, in the course of two months after my uncle Owen died…I lost forty pounds in two months. And my family was really scared and I remember being very angry at them and thinking like ‘Why are they confronting me? They should be happy, I look great’. I didn’t realize it until years later how crazy and scary I looked losing that much weight. I was wearing kids clothes and it was a really hard time for me, but I was reeling from the tragedy of my uncle passing away and how that affected my family and also I think because my Dad wasn’t a part of my life because he was working, and busy, and gone. … I don’t know if this is the right way of putting this, but my eating disorder was a lot about control. I couldn’t control anything else that was going on in my life, but I could control what I ate.”
Natalya went on to explain that getting into wrestling helped her conquer those issues she had in the past and become more comfortable and confident with herself.
“Me getting into wrestling helped cure that eating disorder and I never looked back,” Natalya explained. “Once I fell in love with wrestling I just realized, especially with the help of TJ [Wilson] because TJ was my very first trainer, I wanted to do that and I wasn’t going to let food hold me back. And so slowly I started to kind of reintroduce myself to food and I did put on some weight because once you go from starving yourself to eating you do gain weight. I’d gotten a little heavier, but I was happier and I was happier because I was pursuing a passion which was wrestling.”
She also discussed how she was proud of Alexa Bliss for coming forward and being open about her own eating disorder, which made Natalya feel more comfortable opening up about her own past, and how it was important to send the message to young girls that there are tons of women that deal with body image issues and it’s something that needs more awareness.