So now you’re probably saying, “Ok…then what is?!”
It’s easy to look to your metabolism for the reason your body is progressing slowly. Well, what if your metabolism isn’t the problem? First, let’s look at the things that likely aren’t keeping you from reaching your body goals.
It’s a common scapegoat—do you ever have that feeling that you just have a slower metabolism? Your metabolism (resting metabolic rate) is the amount of energy your body requires to simply function.
Things to keep in mind: if you lose weight, restrict calories, or lose muscle mass, your metabolism will be negatively impacted.
If you’re holding onto weight even though you feel like you’re doing “everything right,” there is the slim possibility that you have a thyroid issue. Hypothyroidism affects 4.6% of the US population over age 12 and makes it difficult to adjust your weight. If you think your thyroid isn’t functioning optimally, get it checked by a professional.
Aside from a thyroid issue, your metabolism is not likely the problem when it comes to reaching your personal best dancer’s body. When you find the food plan that is best for your body (just yours, no one else’s), your metabolic rate will work for you and help you get to where you want to be.
Yes, there are certainly dancers who are fast metabolizers. These tend to be the people who are always eating and always bouncing off the walls with energy, and they easily stay super thin. If you’re not that person, it’s ok. (I’m certainly not!) You can still reach your body goals.
You might think the problem is your genes.
An artistic director told a client of mine that to attain a “ballerina body,” she’d have to stick to lettuce and water. The artistic director pointed to genes as her problem. Not only was the information and advice inaccurate, but it was extremely damaging to the dancer as well.
More and more nutritional research points to the fact that our genes are malleable. Certain ones can be turned on or off depending on your food choices.
When I was dancing, I remember feeling that if I wanted to reach my body goals, I needed to eat as little as possible. I don’t even remember blaming anything like my metabolism or genes. It just seemed that to be as thin as some of my fellow dancers, it would take extremes.
This led to under eating throughout high school and college. I kept it up throughout my early years of dancing professionally. Then, when I was working through long days of rehearsals on little food, it started catching up with me.
I’d return home ravenous and uncontrollably eat everything in sight. My weight fluctuated between 5 and 10 pounds most of the time. A tutu would fit one week and not the next. The ballet mistress once said to me, “did you actually gain weight since last week?” If you’ve experienced this on any level, you know it’s pretty devastating.
Stress and stress fractures consumed my training and professional career. My erratic food choices were the cause of all the injuries and anguish I experienced on my dance journey.
You’ve been bombarded with mixed messages by teachers, friends, family, and the media about how you should look and what you should do to attain that goal. You might feel like you’ll only be able to reach your body goals if you go to extremes.,
So if the problem isn’t genetics or metabolism, what is it?
Dancers, the #1 thing you need to work on to reach your personal best body is your relationship with food.
Your metabolism and genes are probably not slowing down your progress. This means you hold the power! Put the time into cultivating a mindset that supports you in reaching your goals. View your body with positivity.
Treat your body with respect, and fuel it lovingly with food you enjoy.
To help you start moving in a positive direction, claim your FREE Best Body Guide and join The Whole Dancer Community. With this guide and the weekly emails from The Whole Dancer, you can start to identify action steps to take you forward!
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