WWE’s first transgender star Gabbi Tuft opens up about transition


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More than a decade ago, Tyler Reks made his mark on the WWE with his signature manouevre that was so crushing, it was called the “Burning Hammer.”

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The Dreadlocked Demolition Man was a regular on Smackdown, Superstars and NXT before he left the WWE in 2012.

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Then the former WWE star, now Gabbi Tuft, came out as transgender in 2021 and has now opened up in a profile piece about what it took to achieve a feminine physique.

“It took a lot of trial and error to get the feminine body I always wanted,” Tuft wrote this week in Insider.

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“Before transitioning, I was a WWE star, weighed in at 280 pounds, and had 6% to 8% body fat.”

There was also all the muscle built up on her 6-foot-2 frame to which Tuft said, “At my peak, I looked like a cross between Ragnar Lothbrok from Vikings and The Mountain from Game of Thrones.”

Tuft admitted that when she was younger, she would secretly dress up in her mother’s clothes but the COVID pandemic allowed her to reflect on her identity and she began to cross-dress.

She then decided to transition when she was in her early 40s.

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Hormone therapy helped to eliminate all the muscle mass and, as already an expert in fitness and nutrition, Tuft was able to play around with food and exercise to find what her new body best needed.

It took two years but she found “a pathway to the fit, feminine aesthetic I was after,” she wrote in Insider.

Tuft described every transition journey as “unique” but said hers was about focusing on “evolving strength – inside and out.”

“I’ve lost 190 pounds of weight and muscle mass, but my transition didn’t happen overnight,” she wrote of what she called her “ugly-duckling phase.”

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“I sometimes felt discouraged, especially when what was staring back at me in the mirror didn’t align with the image I had of myself in my head.”

Tuft, now a fitness and nutrition coach, has more than 152,000 followers on Instagram, and shares her journey as well as diet and lifestyle tips.

“It’s an evolutionary process, one that is not only physical and nutritional but also mental and emotional,” she wrote in Insider.

“I specialize in helping women break free of cyclical behaviours, and it’s exactly what I needed to do when seeking to shed the muscle that defined my pretransition life.”


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