World Wrestling Entertainment's TORRIE WILSON
by Christine Lynn Harvey

You may know her from World Wrestling Entertainment or she may look familiar as Ms. Galaxy. What you may not know is that Torrie Wilson suffered from a life-threatening eating disorder that landed her in the hospital. By suffering through her illness and by turning her life around through fitness, she has become a well-known fitness celebrity.

Torrie is on the road four days a week with her show and she says it’s important to her to get a workout in to keep her stress levels down because working in TV can be very demanding and the hours very long. “If I don’t get a workout in, it really affects me mentally. Exercise helps me get my ‘aggressions’ out.” She gets up each morning, has breakfast and does cardio for about 45 minutes, then weight lifting for 30 minutes. In her spare time, she likes to do Bikram Yoga, or Hot Yoga (see article in this issue) when she can take a class.

In the past, she has worked out much harder when she trained for The Ms. Galaxy, a very challenging event since half of it is based on successfully completing a “Marine’s style” obstacle course. This course involves climbing over a ten foot wall and across a 20 foot cargo net. She trained 9 months primarily using her own body weight to build up her core strength. Doing lots of pull ups, weight-assisted pulls-ups and push-ups to helped her complete the grueling obstacle course. To prepare, she had a wall built in her backyard so she could train on it.

“I was pretty nervous coming into my first competition and I still felt nervous, but once I got there, I was fine,” she says. Torrie went to the gym twice a day. Once in the morning, she did cardio for an hour for the physique portion of the competition, then she went back at night to work on the strength portion. In-between, she would practice on the wall in her backyard.

What inspired Torrie to enter the Ms. Galaxy competition was her being anorexic, then bulemic. Due to her illness, her thyroid was damaged which she is still taking medicine for. She tells her story to anyone who listens and she serves as an inspiration for others. “I knew I did not want to think about food constantly for the rest of my life and trying to be this thin person I was never going to be. I started reading these fitness magazines and saw pictures of women that were feminine, yet with a little muscle to them,” Torrie says. She realized her body type was more in line with the women she saw in the magazines and she started hanging their pictures on her wall for inspiration.

“I thought a fitness competition would be a great way for me to get started in that lifestyle giving me a goal to work towards.” She was 19 when she saw the magazine photos and when she was 21, she focused herself and entered the realm of fitness competitions. “I think everyone goes through a period in their life they try to be something they’re not. I was trying to be a supermodel and there’s very few people on this earth that can look like that without worrying about what they eat. I had an athletic body to begin with and that’s my forte. I just needed to go with the flow and become one with who I really am.”

Torrie finally had a spiritual awakening when she landed in the hospital due to dehydration from her bulemia. She had taken every pill imaginable to loose water weight. Torrie decided she could not live this way anymore and took her energy and put it into working with her body instead of against it.

Nutritionally, Torrie follows the Zone Diet. She says any diet that is so low in carbs is not good if you want to burn fat. “I don’t think it’s healthy. After one week of no carbs, all I do is dream of carbs. Carbs give you energy. If you don’t have enough energy to get to the gym to work out, what’s the point?” Torrie works for Muscle Tech which she says had great fat-burners and meal supplement products. She tries to eat every 3-4 hours just to keep the “fires burning.” Since Torrie is on the road, she will have a shake or bar before she goes to the gym. She typically will eat breakfast consisting of egg whites or something else healthy, but if she can’t have that, she will have a protein shake. Then she will have a half a bar mid morning and then a normal lunch. “I like to have a normal meal between meal supplements.”

“My philosophy is,” Torrie says “a lot people try to plan everything day-to-day and you can’t really plan where your path is going to lead you. I followed my heart into the fitness world which led me to the wrestling world and that may now lead to the movie industry. The only plan I really had was to get into fitness to help my health and well-being, to get over an eating disorder, that was my main goal.”

Torrie says too many people lead too rigidly structured lives and she suggests they might go with the flow more. She thanks her mother who is an inspiration to her. Torrie’s mother wanted to go to college at a very young age, and her first husband wasn’t very supportive. “She finally went back to school when she was fifty years old and she just got her masters. I’m really very proud of her,” she says.

Torrie Wilson embodies how we can overcome obstacles in life. Whether they are Marine-style obstacles, or self-imposed by the erroneous beliefs we hold about how we should look or be in life, Torrie shows us we can overcome them.