Misty Copeland Wants You to Know That Ballerinas Eat Plenty of Food
"If one day I'm like, 'I'm going to have a Domino's pizza,' I'll do it."
Misty Copeland has been refreshingly honest about how she's struggled with self-esteem and body image on her road to success. But that doesn't mean she has a complicated relationship with food. That's why the principal ballerina and Under Armour athlete is taking the time to talk about the misconception that all ballerinas practice restrictive eating, which she says is far from the truth. (Related: This Plus-Size Ballerina Defies "Ballet Body" Stereotypes)
"We eat! We eat!" Copeland told People as part of her partnership with Naked Fruit, Nut & Veggie Bars. "That's one of the hardest things when I meet people-they don't really understand what our days look like, and that we're athletes...Of course, they're going to be like, 'Oh, they're just these pretty, thin people.' But we are working 8 to 10 hours of the day, hardcore physical activity, so if you weren't eating there's no way we could last."
Copeland herself follows a pescetarian diet, cutting out all red meat and poultry, but that's where the restrictions end. "If you want to have a cookie, have a cookie, but maybe don't have 10," she says. "It's all about moderation. I don't have cheat days. If one day I'm like, 'I'm going to have a Domino's pizza,' I'll do it."
"It's really just about finding a good balance of not eating everything but also not depriving yourself of things you may enjoy because if not, you're just going to lose your mind and binge eat at night," she added. (Did you know that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to losing weight?)
The ballerina is still working on figuring out what foods best suite her, but knows that the learning process is a life-long journey. "It's just been like this trial and error of figuring out what works for my body and it's something that I'm constantly sharing with other women but it's about the journey," she continued telling People. "No one's perfect. You should find what eating habits work for your body. Not everyone is the same. I don't believe in diets, I believe in just changing the way you approach a healthy lifestyle."