This blog title comes from the famous book by Dr Rick Kausman of the same title.
I talked about why dancers don’t (shouldn’t) diet in the previous post.
Then comes the question:
If you’re not dieting, what do you do?
Eat for nourishment, fuel, and satisfaction.
In it’s purest, most authentic form, the word “diet” refers to “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”.
But over time this has changed its meaning to “a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.”
This restrictive eating is nothing but harmful for a dancer’s physical and mental health.
Suboptimal nutrition (not eating enough) is associated with injuries in dancers.
With restrictive eating also comes fatigue. Fatigue has a negative effect on dancers’ physical performance as well as being a risk factor for injuries.
With restrictive eating, you lose concentration. Lack of focus and deep thinking means you’re not capable of taking in the valuable corrections and advises provided to you during class.
With restrictive comes early ageing – dry skin and fuzzy hair.
With restrictive eating comes sluggish circulation. Leg ulcers become more common.
If you’re a dancer, and dance has a special place in your heart, then you’d want to look after your body in a nurturing and nourishing way.
Dieting is a restrictive, guilt-inducing, shame-calling, mentally-draining activity.
And you don’t want to throw your body into dealing with all the negative consequences of that.
Instead of dieting, let’s eat.
Instead of “I shouldn’t eat that”, let’s grow the mantra “All foods have a place in a healthful eating and I’m allowed to eat what my body needs for today”.
Before I share ideas with you in the next post, I’d like you to think:
What comes to mind when you think of nourishing foods?
What you thought of is often the ideal nutrient-rich foods that can support your dancing body.