The Sugar Plump Fairy – Another Lesson in Self Image

Posted by skiges under Weight Loss Big Picture

One of the core causes of the cycle of food addiction and binge eating are the internal messages that we get from the outside world.   Whether that is TV, magazines or just idol gossip we take in many things that are a detriment to our lives.  For myself, one of the things that has helped me stay healthy and keep those 170lbs gone is to monitor what goes into my head as well as my mouth.

I was flipping channels on the TV the other day and saw the segment on Oprah where she was interviewing Jennifer Ringer, lead dancer with the New York City Ballet.

Oprah wanted to know if there were any similarities between the real-life pressures of being a ballet star and the recent movie Black Swan.   Jennifer explained how much work they had to do to keep in shape.  She said being in rehearsals or performance 12 hours a day keeps you in pretty good shape; imagine if instead of a 1 hour aerobic class, it was 12 hours long!  She also mention that she personally had more of a womanly body then the typical very thin ballet dancer and also went through a period of really hating her body.

The real surprise was when Oprah spoke about a New York Times dance critic review of Jennifer’s performance as a sugar plum fairy in The Nutcracker, writing that she looked “as if she’d eaten one sugar plum too many.”

“It’s horrible to read something about yourself like that, so it made me feel bad,” she says. “It was embarrassing.”

On the other hand, Jennifer says, it made her realize that she had conquered her eating disorder. “My first thought was, ‘It’s happened, my worst nightmare. Somebody has called me heavy in the press and lots of people are going to read about it.’ But then my next thought was, ‘It’s happened and I’m okay and I’m fine the way I am and I have survived it. I think it’s just because I had gone through my eating disorders, I had gone through depression, I had lost dance for a while because of my eating disorders.”

Now if you saw the show and saw the photo of Jennifer on stage as a sugar plum fairy you would swear that reviewer must be smoking something!   I mean really, ridiculous.  However it is interesting that this reviewer is “a person who cannot do” but writes about it, finds nothing better to critique then his own arbitrary subjective beliefs.   Maybe stick to artistic merit?   The sad part is the opinions of these reviewers do carry some clout.  I performed myself in New York for many years and was amazed at what these “cannot do it themselves” critics dribble onto paper.

I found the way Jennifer went “inside”, found her core values then realized that she is much more then this ridiculous review very inspiring.    We have no control over the outside world, but we do have a choice in how we respond to things.  Losing weight and keeping weight off requires much more than a healthy food diet, it also requires a healthy mind diet.

Please give me your thoughts on this.


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