This past week I had a young lady in my studio who's story was so inspiring to me that I felt compelled to share it on my blog. Alex is a 2018 high school senior. Several weeks ago her mom, Paige, booked a photo session for Alex, specifically requesting fitness photos. Alex is a body builder and will be competing today in the NPC Vulcan Classic. NPC (National Physique Committee) is the premier amateur physique organization in the world. This weekends competition includes categories in Bikini, Bodybuilding, Figure, Fitness, Physique and Classic Physique. Alex, who only recently began training for competition, will be competing today in the bikini category. The fact that a 17 year old high school student has the discipline and drive to train for this type of competition is impressive, but, it is the motivation behind her drive that tells a deeper story. Alex credits body building with saving her life.
The necklace that Alex proudly wears around her neck is the symbol for NEDA, National Eating Disorder Association. Alex, who suffers from Anorexia, has gone from a 96 lb young lady who's health was in serious jeopardy to a competition worthy athlete. Not only will she be entering the first stage of fitness competition this weekend, but Alex is also preparing for some upcoming speaking engagements where she will be talking to teens about the dangers of bullying and the risks of eating disorders.
Alex's struggle with Anorexia began in middle school when she allowed a bully to convince her that she was "fat". This started her on a path of self destruction as she set out to prove the bully wrong. Little did she realize at the time the drastic affect her choice to not eat would have on her health. It was later in high school that she was drawn to a fitness photo and expressed an interest to her Dad in wanting to "look" like the girl in the photo. Her Dad convinced her that she could do it but it was going to take a combination of training and eating to gain muscle. Alex set a goal and is currently training with Team Kelly Fitness.
The training and dietary requirements necessary to prepare for competition is strenuous. Few people possess this level of drive and discipline. To see it in someone this young is beyond impressive. I will be cheering for Alex today and wish her the very best as she enters, what I am convinced, will be the first of many competitions. What impresses me even more about this gorgeous young lady is her desire to reach out to other young people who may be struggling with their own life threatening eating disorders. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please visit NEDA online for information on how and where to get help.