I am a dancer, and as a dancer, I have to be somewhat conscious of my food intake and body weight. From birth, I had always been naturally thin, but the winter of my junior year of high school, I took some time off of dance to play Hedy LaRue in my high school's production of H2$, and gained a few pounds. I was perplexed because I wasn't eating any differently. Shortly after that, I was cast as Ariel Moore in a community straw hat theatre production of "Footloose" and I decided I was going to get back down to my normal weight by the time rehearsals started, which also coincided with beach season. I made a collage of pictures to motivate me and picked a goal number and wrote it in the middle of the collage. Then I got to work. I started working out more than normal, got acquainted with Beach Body's Shaun T, and began jogging. And, of course, changed my way of eating, such as, limiting my calorie intake to 1200 a day, eating only whole grains, not drinking anything except water, substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream, and not snacking at all between meals. I would eat an early dinner and try (almost obsessively) to not eat at all the rest of the night. I got to the point where I would be happy if I were starving when I went to bed because it meant I was losing weight. My weight loss obsession got so extreme that I would pick pieces of bread off a sandwich to avoid carbs, or wipe butter off an English muffin if my mom had put a tiny amount on. I also would refuse desserts and sweets of any kind (which if you knew me is QUITE a feat). By that point I had reached my goal and gone about 7 pounds below it. It wasn't an eating disorder I just loved feeling so in control of what I was doing to my body.
However, that winter, I started to gain the weight back which I had lost because the constant food battle was too tiring to keep up, especially for someone who loves food as I do. Coming to college did not help either because it’s hard to consciously count calories when you're in a hurry, are starving from exhausting days, and don't really have many healthful options at the union. After Christmas I started to lose a few pounds slowly and wanted to keep going when school started back up, especially because of the demand in the theatre world to be flawless and fit. My dance classes are a bit more strenuous this semester, and I've been more careful about the things I buy in the "onion" as we call it. I wish it were easier and more affordable to eat healthy, but I'm learning to do what I can. It helps a lot when a person has great friends as I do, who help support and motivate me. Which reminds me...it's time to hit the gym!