It doesn’t matter “What she eats in a day”

Those “What I Eat in a Day” posts are everywhere. They’re super popular and total click bate. And while I’m not a fan, I totally understand the appeal. There was a time when I was grasping for any and all information about what I should eat. I was desperate to know what successful and thin ballerina’s ate and since I could never really know for sure I just assumed it was little or nothing.

Now that there are posts everywhere sharing what dancers, athletes, actresses, and influencer’s we no longer have to wonder. However, there are some things I’d urge you to stay aware of when you check out those posts.

Remember that it’s possible they’re sharing what they eat in a day when they’re “virtuously” healthy.

No sugar in sight. No indulgences. Just pure #health and #cleaneating.

eat in a day

Also, please keep in mind that just because a certain meal plan works for your favorite dancer doesn’t mean it can or should work for you.

If you enjoy checking out the “what I eat in a day” posts for some inspiration, take the details with a grain of salt. Not every dancer actually practices healthy eating and unfortunately some of the eating plans dancers, models, and fitness influencers share are actually deficient in key micro and/or macro nutrients.

If you try following their model of eating and find that you’re not satisfied, your energy is lagging or it’s not helping you reach the goals you’ve set around your body, it’s not the best plan for you.

The best way to figure out what shifts you might benefit from making in your own meal plan is to work with someone who can help.

This is one of the key things I work with dancers to figure out. How can you maximize or refine your current eating in order to reach your body goals?

The Dancers’ Best Body Program provides a great option if you’re working towards specific body goals and need support improving both your mindset around food AND your actual food choices.

One of the first things that’s discussed in the program is the fact that there is no “one size fits all” eating plan. What works for your friend may or may not work for you in the long term. That’s the big problem with fad diets and most of the recommendations you see on the Today Show.

So while it’s tempting to copy your favorite dancer’s eating plan, even if you copy it to a T, there’s no guarantee you’ll see the changes in your body you desire. What you eat in a day should be about YOU.

eat in a day

As much as you might wish you had Sylvie Guillem’s body it’s unfair to compare your own body or body progress to anyone else.

You can’t change your proportions and there’s only so much you can do about your actual body shape and tendency to carry weight in one part of your body vs. another.

Rather than hating on yourself and comparing yourself to other dancers, find the way to turn your “flaws” into strengths. Rather than viewing your quads as “bulky” see them for the power they can bring to your dancing.

So much of your potential for success in dance is dependent on how you view your body, how you view your dancing and your ability to rise up and move forward.

This is also true for your potential to alter your physical form in a healthy way. If you view your body as it is in a positive way rather than hating on it you’re going to see a lot more progress towards your goals.

When you’re seeking inspiration from your fellow dancers, look for those who truly demonstrate a healthy approach to food and their bodies. We can’t always know for sure as outsiders looking in but healthy habits tends to radiate from the inside out. Some dancers who might inspire you are Natasha Sheehan, Jenelle Manzi or Juliet Doherty.

Ultimately, it’s helpful to be willing to pave your own way with food. Try new things. Experiment. Stay positive. Seek support. Reaching your body goals is possible. If you’re interested in support on the journey, check out The Dancers’ Best Body Program!

Photo by Janis Brandt

Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

It doesn’t matter “What she eats in a day”
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Jess Spinner

Jess is a former professional ballet dancer turned Health Coach and founder of The Whole Dancer.

3 thoughts on “It doesn’t matter “What she eats in a day”

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  • September 27, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    I love this post so much. Everything here is spot on, as usual.

    FWIW, it’s also inspired me to maybe do my own “What I Eat In A Day” post—but not the usual aspirational kind. More like the, “Hey, don’t sweat it—professional dancers aren’t perfect, either!” kind. Like, just any old normal day, when there’s a mix of healthy stuff and the occasional, “Oh, shoot, I should’ve eaten a little more lunch, what kind of granola bars does this gas station have?” or even, “I’m having dinner with friends and we’re eating greasy pizza and you know what? It’s gonna be okay.”


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