My name is Alexa. I am 29 year old. I lived 22 years with an undiagnosed celiac disease causing me to gain weight, which led to teasing, which brought on depression and anxiety. I didn’t know that I had toxic gluten levels that were causing these weight and mood imbalances, but I knew that I didn’t know anyone my age who suffered physical and mental pain. I always felt ostracized.
I came from a small country town in upstate NY where I tried to promote individuality (I had a mohawk during high school, wore combat boots, and tutu’s with my plugs). Needless to say, I never fit in.
I am bisexual, I am heavily tattooed, I have body modifications, I have self inflicted scars (from before my diagnosis), I have been the victim of domestic abuse (the peace sign on my ribs is a purple domestic violence awareness tattoo). My clavicle bone and second rib are now permanently displaced from the abuse I endured.
Once properly diagnosed, I was able to regulate my diet to suit my body’s needs. I lost the weight I had gained and am in the best mental state of my life. However now, I get ridiculed for being too skinny or told I need to eat more. This leaves me to explain my condition or say nothing at all. It’s ironic how I got scrutinized as a child for being “overweight” and now as an adult I get scrutinized because I am “underweight”. This just goes to show how much society and our culture needs to change its perspective.
The be.come project has helped me feel less insecure not using equipment in my workouts and instead relying on my body. (I always felt like sports and gyms were the only way to be fit). I have always felt the most comfortable in home, dressed in underwear, upside down with my head on the ground and feet in the air, stretching my body in different manners. I have always been made fun of because I do this daily. When I had roommates they would make fun of me, when I get off planes and do it in the airport, I get stared at, etc. I never understood why it was weird to move myself in a way that felt most natural.
Instagram and social media has been flooded with fitness people who are promoting body building almost like a competition. Promoting unhealthy substances to put in our bodies to make them something else, instead of using what our bodies were given naturally. I believe there is still a stigmatism about working out in an organic manner rather than one revolving around large weights and a Smith machine. The be.come project is building a community that fights that stigmatism and promotes a healthy, loving relationship with your body and the movements it’s capable of. You (and the be.come) have made me realize that I am not alone in my journey towards embracing my mind, body, and soul naturally.
I just want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being such a positive beam of light and helping others to be.come their own. We live in a society where people are told from their birth what they are and who they are supposed to be. If they don’t fit these very specific roles, they’re scrutinized and are left feeling guilty of themselves. Which is completely ludicrous. I am so grateful that you have inspired woman (and men) to be.come their true selves (despite what they’re being told to be). You are such an inspiration and I wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I (and we ALL) appreciate what you’re doing. It’s truly beautiful. You are truly beautiful.