I know this is strange but i just want to be able to say how i’ve been feeling. i am 15 years old and i am a ballet dancer. i’m 5’6 and 97 lbs. in october of 2019 i weighed 120 lbs. i was very fat for a dancer and i know. my mom would constantly tell me i was fat and so would my ballet teacher and they would tell me i would never be a dancer. all i wanted was to quit but i lost the weight. i thought it would make me happy but now everyday i wake up with the fear that i gained 10 lbs overnight. i dance from 9-2 everyday and i have around 400 cals a day but still i want to eat less and be skinnier. everyday i think to myself i wish i was anorexic but i don’t know how to stop eating and every body is always telling me i’m so skinny oh u look great but all i feel is fat and disgusting. i know this is terrible but i have to be skinny to do ballet and i have to be skinny so that my mom likes me. and a part of me knows i’m skinnier but it’s like every five seconds i’m weighing myself and calculating the calories and freaking out about what people r thinking abt me and i rlly don’t know what to do i just want to feel skinny i put in all this work to be skinny and lose weight but now i feel even fatter than i ever have.
I see that this is the first time that you e shared in our community and I want to welcome you. We are glad that you are here. It’s not easy to talk about our pain, and you are brave for doing so.
I also grew up in the world of dance, so I understand, to an extent, what you’re feeling. The desire to be thin is so prevalent in the dance arena that people go to dangerous lengths to obtain it. I don’t have to see you to say that whatever you look like, you are beautiful as you are. I went through periods in my life where I would starve myself and when I did it, I was in the middle of a cross country season in high school. Cutting calories actually made my body weaker and I was unable to run as much as I wanted to.
If you truly love ballet, then treat your body well, so that you can continue doing it for as long as you can. You won’t be able to dance anymore if you pass out in the middle of class and have to go to the hospital. It’s dangerous territory to eat so little. You’re talking to someone who knows. I know it’s not the easiest thing to take care of yourself when you’re so insecure, but I would strongly encourage you to talk to a professional. It could be a therapist or in your case, just a regular doctor could work. Maybe see a dietician because these people can talk to you about your health goals and help you achieve them in a healthy way.
If you’re dancing five hours a day, your body needs food to keep you strong. Ballet is not an easy sport. It’s very physically demanding, so a proper diet is essential.
I’m sorry that your mom and dance teacher are not treating you well, but your health and wellbeing is more important than what anyone has to say. You have to take care of you and do what’s best for you.
My last suggestion is to say these affirmations to yourself out loud while looking into a mirror:
I am beautiful just the way I am
I am enough
My health is important
I am loved
I am not defined by a number on a scale or a measurement of my waist
I am worthy of good things
You can play around with the order of them or pick the ones that you like the best. But this should remind you just how much you matter. You are loved beyond comprehension and I have faith that you can heal from this. Keep dancing if that’s what you love. It’s a beautiful thing, but it doesn’t have to destroy your life. You are so young and have so much life ahead of you. You deserve happiness and health for all of it
Keep going, girl. You got this. Let us know if we can help in any specific way
Thank you so much for the kind words it’s really nice to here and i think i just need to find a way to change my mind set cause i really do love dance and i don’t want to start to head down the wrong path. So thank you
First off, welcome. I say you’re doing just fine. It doesn’t sound healthy what you’re being put through. Just consider your mental health while you go through ballet and try to be that first. I know you have to go through a lot of work every day and it doesn’t sound like you can do much differently unless you ate different things but, it really sounds like your weight it not an issue realistically. They’re trying to push you to your limits and it’s not right. Try to stay positive
Thank you. i’ll just try to think more about myself and less about others peoples perceptions of what i should be.
No problem Please reach out if you need to talk more. We are always here to help. You’re incredible
Honey, I agree wholeheardetly with our friends here and want to echo what they said. There are people around you, including your mom, who are putting some pressure on your shoulders - pressure you don’t deserve - and it’s leading you to some dangerous behaviors. Your body needs more on a daily basis, and your body doesn’t have to be perfect for you to reach your dreams. It’s not because ballet dancing is thought and perceived to be a certain way that you’d have to fit in those standards - especially if they could be a threat to your life. Unfortunately, artistic and academic fields have always strong standards that doesn’t necessarily make any sense from a stricly human point of view. There are dancers with many different body sizes in this world. The grace and control they have in their movement is the result of their learning and practice, not their body size.
You deserve better. You deserve to treat your health and body with the care it needs. Being healthy is different from being skinny. Yet it doesn’t have to prevent you to live your dreams. Being healthy and being a ballet dancer is possible. And even more, being okay in your body and living your dreams at the same time is also possible. Regardless of what others do or say.
It’s really really good that you are aware that this is unhealthy and feeling disgusting is a red flag. It’s also not normal to have to be skinny for your mom to love you - or make you feel loved. There is something here, an issue that’s about her, and not you. You are not your body, an amount of calories or a number on a scale. Keep fighting against those thoughts, and please don’t be afraid to reach out whenever you need it.
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