With modern-day technology, it is easy to become engulfed in the ideals of the “perfect” physique. Dancers often forget that the way they fuel their body’s is vital to the outcome of their performance ability. Which is why it is important to do everything in your power to ensure that you are getting the proper nutrients.
With the struggle of body image ever so present in the world of dance, MTD is offering some advice on how to rebuild your relationship with your body and plate.
Don’t Be Ruled by “Rules”
There are so many diets and fads that claim superiority. Each of these diets comes with its own set of rules. Many of these rules can be restrictive, making eating feel like a chore. Forget the rules and enjoy what you eat. It’s OK to splurge.
Tip: If struggling to find the proper balance between food, buy vegetables of all different colors. This is a fun and easy way to ensure that you are providing your body with proper nutrients.
Stop Comparing Yourself
Vegetarian, vegan, paleo, or gluten-free. It is time to stop comparing nutritional styles. What works well for one person, may not work well for you. It is important to recognize that how you fuel your body is your choice.
Tip: It’s ok to not belong to a nutritional style, most people don’t. Sometimes switching out proper nutritional items for the latest fad can harm you, rather than help you. If that doesn’t help, we’ll leave you with this…
“Personality begins where comparison leaves off.
– Shannon L. Alder
Practice Mindful Eating
While being a dancer means having minimal free time, taking time to savor your food is important. When it is time to have a meal, sit down and unplug. Focus on chewing and taking time to enjoy your food and the company you are around. Not only will this help aid in digestion, but also it leads to an appreciation for food.
Fuel to Feel Good
Dancers are often associated with the unrealistic expectation of the “perfect” look. Unfortunately, this is an ideal that can lead to malnutrition. It is important to remember that fueling your body is GOOD. By fueling your body, you will notice a considerable difference in the way you feel, and we promise your energy levels and performance will soar.
Tip: STOP labeling foods as either good or bad. There is no such thing as a “bad” meal, don’t feel guilty for indulging in a burger. Foods only become unhealthy when indulging becomes less of a choice and more of a habit.
Let Go of Perfect
Rebuilding a relationship between your body and plate means letting go of perfect. We all need to indulge in our favorite guilty pleasures every once in a while. Understand that no one, and we mean NO ONE has perfect nutrition. So, go ahead and indulge on the extra dessert. Food is fuel that is meant to be enjoyed, and that is OK!
*If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, contact the NFDA