My Fuel the Fierceness nutrition philosophy is not about being pristine with your diet. It’s not about being an austere monk who never indulges in a drop of anything unhealthy. It’s not about drawing strict boundaries and creating forbidden categories of food that can never be touched.
It is about learning to trust your body and soul so that you can give them what they need to be vibrant. Sometimes, that means indulging in treats that are seemingly unhealthy and forbidden. Just because a treat might not be considered "healthy" by the industry's standards doesn't mean it can't nourish your body and soul in a different way.
A major part of being a Bad Girl Ballerina involves breaking the rules. But, it's not just breaking the traditional bunhead rules but being able to continually break your own rules that is important here. When you set out to accomplish something like fat loss or being healthy, sure, consistency is key to achieving your goals. But, consistency can very easily turn into obsession. And, obsession can easily lead to unnecessary restriction. There’s a fine line between discipline and obsession.
Especially when you are performing, you have to listen to your body and what you need to stay on top of your game. Most likely, your goals will have to shift to address what is important to you in the moment (more on setting 2018 goals next week...stay tuned!). You have to know when it's okay to break your own dietary rules instead of stubbornly adhering to strict rules you have set for yourself. Being able to be your best in whatever situation you are in involves continuously breaking the mold so that you don’t get stuck in a “magical” routine but that you constantly adjust to what your body needs.
A younger version of myself used to think that I would perform best when I was super regimented and strict with myself. So, when performance time would come around, I would get even more rigid than usual (if that was even possible!). Did this make me dance better? I doubt it. If anything, I think it made me more nervous and neurotic. And, it certainly didn’t make me enjoy my performing. I remember feeling flat and anxious. I couldn't wait for the performances to be over so that I could relax and let myself off the hook a little. What a terrible way to feel as someone who is making a career out of being a performance artist, right?!
Now, instead of tightening up my grip on myself and restricting even more, I focus on feeling vibrant during performance times. That means indulging in treats that I normally would consider off limits when I’m in fat loss mode. But, since my focus shifts from fat loss to wanting to give my all on the stage, this is a necessary shift. Things like enjoying my favorite hot chocolate from City Bakery to refill my emotional stores or having more carbs at dinner if I’m feeling sluggish the night before a performance become important tools for helping me feel vibrant.
Performing your best on the stage is not always about being strict and disciplined with yourself, adhering to all the "healthiest" policies you think are supposed to be good for you. Often, it involves nourishment not just from a health standpoint but from an emotional one, as well. Achieving your peak performance state requires vibrancy from your body and soul. And, in order to acquire that vibrancy, sometimes you have to break a few rules;)
What makes you feel vibrant for performances? Share your story below!