7 Essential Steps to Reaching your Personal Best Body
Through The Whole Dancer, I work with dancer’s to reach your personal best body healthfully and sustainably. I use a 7-Step Process that has worked time and time again to support dancer’s in reaching body goals. Does it happen overnight? No. But with focus and attention you can make major shifts in just a few months.
Here are the steps so you can start to work in the direction of positive body change on your own. If you’d like to dive in a bit deeper with me, sign up for this free best body workshop, apply to work together one on one or join the waitlist for The Dancer’s Best Body Program.
STEP 1: LEARN THE BASICS OF HEALTHY EATING
You’ve got to have a healthy foundation. Learn about macronutrients (proteins, carbs + fats) and micronutrients (vitamins + minerals) so you can easily put together complete and satisfying meals.
Do research for yourself – stick to learning nutritional science information and seek knowledge on fueling athletes. Be aware that a lot of nutrition information is biased. Look for evidence based research and studies conducted using athletes or dancers.
STEP 2: ADOPT A PRACTICE IN SELF LOVE
Taking good care of yourself through self-care practices is one of the best ways to cultivate self-love. You’re communicating to your body through your actions that you are worthy of time and care.
When you look in the mirror, frame your self-descriptions in a positive way and always look for what’s good. Don’t criticize yourself harshly. Work on getting that little voice in your head to speak kindly to you.
STEP 3: PRIORITIZE MEAL PLANNING AND PREPARATION
Eating healthy, delicious meals is very possible. It does typically take a little bit of planning and preparation. Find the healthy recipes you truly enjoy eating. Seek out options that are quick to cook or easy to heat up and make them ahead.
Have staple recipes that you make every week. Switch them up when you get bored. If you’re not excited to eat something it will be less satisfying. You’ve got to find satisfaction from your food if you want to stay on the healthy track.
If your healthy recipes are bland and boring (they don’t have to be) you’ll be more likely to binge on unhealthy foods.
STEP 4: FIND THE EATING PLAN THAT WORKS FOR YOU
Not all foods work for all people. It’s important to experiment to figure out what works for you. Just because your friend has found success on a Vegan or Paleo diet doesn’t mean you will.
It’s also very supportive from a mindset perspective to realize that you don’t have to fit your eating style into a box. You can (and arguably should) shift your choices around food as needed.
Signs you might need to make some shifts: you’re breaking out a lot/more than usual, you’re feeling lethargic or wired, you’re gaining weight inexplicably, you’re losing weight inexplicably, you find yourself binge eating or emotional eating (these are emotional/mindset concerns but your food choices can impact them or be impacted by them).
STEP 5: CULTIVATE CONFIDENCE
Each and every day, think about all of your gifts. What positive light do you bring to the world as a person and dancer? How can you lift up those around you?
When you step into the studio and watch the other dancer’s, admire them for their strengths. The more you see the gifts of those around you, the more easily you’ll identify those gifts in yourself.
STEP 6: DISCOVER SMART, TARGETED CROSS TRAINING
Cross – training shouldn’t take hours a day and it shouldn’t be exhausting. If you destroy yourself at the gym you won’t be able to bring yourself fully into your dancing.
A lot of dancer’s are turning to weight training for good reason. It can benefit you even if you’re only spending 20-30 minutes in the gym a few days a week. Check out The New Rules of Cross-Training for Dancer’s by Annelise Bryan here.
STEP 7: END RESTRICTION AND A RESTRICTIVE MINDSET
If you’ve gotten to a place where you simply aren’t eating enough or you think you must eat less to reach your body goals, it’s time to adjust.
Depending on how deeply you’ve gotten into restriction you might need eating disorder counseling or support. Find a counselor or psychologist who works specifically with dancer’s.
If your mindset is only somewhat skewed at this point, adjust how you’re looking at food. Food is not “good” or “bad” and you shouldn’t let your food choices impact how you feel about yourself.
It’s not about self control.
It’s about fueling yourself with enough food that is healthy and enjoyable so that you can easily move towards your body goals.
If you’d like to learn the 7-step process to reaching your body goals in more depth, grab my free 50 Tips to Get Back in Shape cheatsheet. That’s a great place to start!