Living a Healthy Lifestyle As a Dancer

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There are many ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle is a fundamental component for achieving your optimal mental and physical well being. Healthy habits can help prevent certain heart conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Taking care of you of your body is so important and it will help you live a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Remaining fit forever is very important to me. For the past 18 years all I ever wanted to be was a professional ballerina. The years of training, the hours of rehearsal, the constant striving for perfection. Dance is like an addiction, it’s a necessity in my life, but mostly it is my passion. The strict perseverance that a dancer must have makes ballet more than a hobby, it evolves into a lifestyle. Ballet has shaped who I am as a person. Dance has given me so much and regardless of whether or not I become a professional ballerina, I am deeply grateful for how ballet has shaped me as a person and has helped me discover how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Ballerina
This is the first year that I have actually started living a healthy lifestyle. Bulimia nervosa is a psychological and physical problem and if not treated, it can be fatal. Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life threatening consequences. No one would ever suspect that I have been battling with my weight since I was 12. My eating disorder never became a huge issue until I turned 14. My mom was a dancer, so she had a distorted view of herself and me. I know that it was out of love but she started telling me that I needed to lose weight and her severe criticism caused me to start going into a dark place.

In the beginning, I kept my weight in control by exercising the calories I had eaten off and restricting foods. The minute I binged though the guilt, the self-criticism, and the fear of gaining weight kicked in. Age 14 was the first time that I made myself throw up. There would be days when I would barely eat anything but that was replaced by days were I would eat until I physically could not eat anymore. I knew that I had to get what I had eaten out of me. Purging became my way of staying in control of my weight. It took away my energy and excitement for life. I remember being tired all the time because I was depriving my body of nutrients and fuel. Purging was like a drug to me, the feeling of emptiness was like a high.
Eating Disorder
This pattern of destructive exercising, bulimia, and starving myself continued. Exercise and my appearance became the only thing I was concerned with. I hated everything about myself. I didn’t believe in myself at all. I was filled with rage, anxiety, depression, and shame. I didn’t like myself as a person. I truly do believe that you meet everyone for a reason. Last december I met Paul and he was the first person that I told about my problem. Paul helped me start to love my body and stay in control of my weight in a healthy way. I understand that because of dance I will probably always have a distorted view of my body but I am slowly learning to love myself after many years of self hatred. And to my eating disorder I say this, I won.

I have found happiness and no longer feel imprisoned by my eating disorder. I had lost myself. I couldn’t think about anything other than my eating disorder. My eating disorder may have taken things away from me, but fighting it gave me infinitely more strength and confidence than I ever had before I beat it. And to my eating disorder I say this, I won. I have found happiness and no longer feel imprisoned by my eating disorder. I had lost myself. I couldn’t think about anything other than my eating disorder. My eating disorder may have taken things away from me, but fighting it gave me infinitely more strength and confidence than I ever had before I beat it. This is why I am committed to helping people who suffer to and help them live a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Yoga
Fitness has become such a huge part of my life. Over the past couple of years my body has changed so much as I’ve begun working out. Cross training had helped improve my overall strength and stamina. It has also helped overcome specific weaknesses and make me a more well rounded dancer. Over the past year my body and mind has become very dependent on hot yoga. I go 6-7 times a week and I my day just isn’t the same without it. On top of yoga I do at least an hour of cardio a day and different free weights. If I am ever feeling upset, or sad, or stressed I know that all I have to do is go and sweat it out and I always feel so much better afterwards.

Living a healthy lifestyle starts with the right mind set. Being fit forever starts with a simple daily practice of exercising everyday. You have to implement habits that you can employ into your life to be fit forever. For myself I know that I have to get at least a short workout in the morning to start my day and get my body going. There are certain things that I will make sure to continue throughout my life to make sure that I stay fit forever. The diet world has come a long way and we now know more than ever about the science of nutrition and how it plays a critical role on body composition and health.
Healthy Food
I have figured out a diet that works best for me now, but depending on how much I exercise and other factors I adjust my diet. I also try to allow myself cheat days because I can’t be good all the time. Another big thing is focusing on the quality and quantity of the food I eat. The combination of both is the key to lifelong health and fitness. I know that for my body I can’t eat gluten or I feel awful. I also know that I have to eat a lot of protein and have veggies and fruit. I do allow myself treats, but I try to keep my eating as clean as possible because it just helps me physically and mentally feel better.

My only goal now it to maintain what i’ve got and stay on track. Another very important thing that helps me is planning my meals out and calorie counting. When I don’t know what I am eating that day is when I end up eating badly. So if I take the time to plan out my meals I never have to just eat unhealthy because it is easier. The reason I calorie count and it helps me stay healthy is because it lets me see what I have eaten and so if I cheat I have to count it.

I understand that it will take effort to stay fit forever but that is a choice that I want to make. I plan to continue with the healthy habits that I have worked so hard to make forever.

Fitness will forever be a huge part of my life and while ballet may not be in my regimen next year I do plan on trying out for the lionettes, which is Penn State’s dance team. I have also found a great yoga studio and they have an incredible gym. I’m very excited to figure out my new regimen as a college student. Living a happy and healthy lifestyle is something that is important for everyone.

Bethany Dixon

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