One of the biggest fears of a dancer is gaining weight and having to face the fact that they will have to look in the mirror almost every day donning only their leotards and tights. This fear rings through the dance world and every dancer knows the feeling. If someone who is 5’3’’ and weighs 130 pounds auditions for a company and someone who is the same height but weighs 100 pounds and auditions for the same company, the company will pick the thinner dancer even if the other had better technique. Even though companies encourage dancers to be thin they should notify the dancer if they are becoming too thin and should remove the dancer from the company until they seek medical help. If a company doesn't recognize that one of their dancers is becoming too thin and could endanger their life the dancer should reconsider the company they are in and maybe switch or quit.
Normal eating habits are being able to eat when a person is hungry and continue to eat until the person is satisfied. Healthy eating habits are being able to use some moderate constraint on the food selection to get the right food, but not being so restrictive that you miss out on pleasurable foods. Normal eating habits is giving the body permission to eat because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good sometimes. A normal eating habit is to have three meals a day, or it can be to choose to munch on small amounts of food multiple times throughout the day. It is being able to leaving some cookies on the plate because they will be there tomorrow to eat again, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful when they are fresh. It is okay to overeat at times and to feel stuffed and uncomfortable, it is also okay to under-eat at times.
A healthy person should be able to trust that their body will make up for its mistakes in eating. Healthy eating habits should take up some time and attention, but still maintain its place as only one important area of a person's life. In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to people's emotions, schedule, hunger and, proximity to food. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and the food they eat. On average one in every one hundred people have anorexia and one in every five dancers have anorexia. People with anorexia nervosa attempt to maintain a weight that's far below normal for their age and height. To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with anorexia nervosa may starve themselves or exercise excessively. It's an unhealthy way to try to cope with emotional problems. Some people with anorexia lose weight mainly through severely restricting the amount of food they eat. They