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To all of us on this journey, working toward a

healthier life and happier heart, we are in this


together.
I hope you all believe in yourselves every step of
the way.
Know that every day is another opportunityto
keep trying. Work hard and know youre worth it.
Lets create our best versions of ourselves, and
the best versions of our ballerina bodies.

Howboringwoulditbeifwealllookedthesame?No,really.Justasitwouldbe
monotonous,offputting,andsurrealforusalltohavethesamehaircolor,eye
tint,andshadeofskin,wearealsonotallmeanttobeexactlythesamesize.

Iactuallythinkfixatingonnumbers,whethertheyappearonthetagstitchedtothe
backofyourblouse,thescalethatsitsonyourbathroomfloor,orasheetofpaper
whereyoupainstakinglytrackthecaloriesineverymeal,isnotthemost
productivepathtowardyourhealthiestself.Thefitofyourclothing,thevibrancy
ofyourcomplexion,theintensityofyourenergy,areall,inmymind,better
gaugesofwhetherornotyouareboostingyourvitalityandperformingatyour
peak.

Tobesure,manyofthemessagesechoingthroughourculturemakesomewomen
feelthatweareallsupposedtofitintothesamewaifish,cookiecuttermold.Even
dancers,oftenintopshapebecauseofthegruelingworkoutsweputourbodies
through,haveplentyofinsecurities.Afterall,wespendagoodpartofourdayin
frontofmirrors.Addtothatthepressuresofbeingjudgedbydanceinstructors,
critics,and,mostimportant,theaudience,anditcanmakeeventhemostconfident
performerfeeltentativeandunsure.Buteventhosewhodonotspendchunksof
theirlivesbeneathaspotlightcanfeelselfconsciousabouttheirfigures.

Youdontneedtointernalizesomeoneelsesrenderingofwhatitmeanstobe
beautifulandhealthy.Ratherthancomparingyourselftophotographsina
magazineorimagesonatelevisionscreen,theonlyvisageyouneedtofocusonis
theonethatstaresbackatyoufromyourownmirror.Andthankfullywomenare
startingtorebelagainstlimitedandunrealisticnotionsofwhatitistobeattractive
Excerpted from the book BALLERINA BODY by Misty Copeland.
Copyright 2017 by Misty Copeland. Reprinted with permission of
Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.
andareinsteadembracingtheirownuniquebeauty.

Thementalsnapshotofaballerinasbodyhasalsochanged.Womenareflocking
tobarreworkoutstaughtatstudiosandgymslikePureBarre,theDaileyMethod,
andEquinoxbecausetheywanttobewillowybutnotfragile,tonedbutnottiny,
muscularbutnotmasculine.Theyunderstandthattheperfectbodyisonethatis
robustandhealthy.

Sometimesweturntostrictdietstotrytoattainthebodywedesire.Butdietingis
oftenanephemeralfix,ratherthanalongterm,sustainablesolution.Youcan
carveoutthephysiqueandlifestyleyouwantwithoutlimitingyourselftoa
handfuloffoodsorseverelyrestrictingyourcalories.Thehealthierwaytoachieve
yourgoalsisbyadjustingyourlifestylebitbybit,incorporatingsubtlechanges
thatyoucanthencommittoandliveby.

Ieventuallyrealizedtherewasnothingwrongwiththenaturalchangesthatmy
bodyhadundergone,butIhadtolearntoworkwiththisnewphysique,tofindthe
exercisetechniquesitneededtopushthroughhoursuponhoursofrehearsal.Ihad
tolearntolistentothisnewbody,toknowwhatnutritionitrequiredtofuel
performancesthatrequiredsheerathleticismblendedwithadancersgrace.Ihad
toembracemynewphysicalselftoattainmygoalsofmaximumhealthandvigor.

Asadancer,mybodyismyinstrument.Ispeaktotheaudiencethroughevery
muscleandtendon,witheveryglissadeandrenvers.WhenIrecognizedthose
truths,myfitnessjourneybecameoneofjoyandnotfrustration.Iwantedsimply
torespectmybody,togetthemostoutofitthatIcould,inordertolivemybest
life.

Yourbodyisessentialtoyouaswell.Thatswhyitssoimportanttoloveit,to
havefaithinit.Takeastackofstickynotesandpasteremindersofallitdoesfor
youalloveryourmirror,orjotwordsofappreciationonthelinedpagesofyour
journalMylegspropelledmeoutofbedthismorning.Theseshouldersgavea
piggybackridetomychildren.Myarmsallowedmetorakethesoilinmygarden
onaSundayafternoon.

TherehavebeentimeswhenIdoubtedmyself,questioningifIhadwhatittookto
advancefromamemberofthecorpsdeballettosoloist,andthen,oneday,to
principal.IhadmanydayswhenIthoughtIdnevermasterthemixofexercise
andfoodthatwouldhelpmemaximizemyenduranceandeffectivenessasa
dancer.Butanendlessloopofselfdoubtchipsawayatourfeelingsofselfworth,
stiflingourmotivationandcripplingourmomentumbeforewetakeevenourfirst
step.

Excerpted from the book BALLERINA BODY by Misty Copeland.


Copyright 2017 by Misty Copeland. Reprinted with permission of
Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.
So,letthefirstactofourfitnessjourneystartfromaplaceofselfrespectand
appreciation.Wewanttopolishthebodiesthatareourtemples,nottearthem
down.

WhennegativethoughtsriseinyourmindandstarttogoroundandroundMy
stomachistoojiggly!Mythighsaretoowobbly!Myarmsaretooflabby!push
thoseselfcritiquesawayandrefocusonhowsingularyouare,andhow,with
smallchangesandsmalleffortseachandeveryday,youcanbecomestronger,
morevibrant,moresculpted,nomatterwhatyournaturalshape.

Byshiftingmyfocus,changingmyselfperception,andshoringupmyspirituality,
IhavecometolovethebodythatIamin.Themusclesthatripplethroughmylegs
allowmetodothirtytwofouettswithoutcrumplingtothefloor.Thecurves
thatswellbeneathmyclotheshelpmetorelaythemessagetotheworldthatyou
canbehealthy,fit,and,yes,voluptuoustoo.Myphysique,likethecolorofmy
skin,ishelpingpeoplereconsiderwhataballerinalookslike.

Youarefiercely,lovingly,anddivinelyyou.Myballetbasedfitnessplanissimply
goingtohelpyoumaximizethewonderfulbodythatyoualreadyhaveandenable
youtobeasfit,joyful,anddynamicasyoucanpossiblybe.

Excerpted from the book BALLERINA BODY by Misty Copeland.


Copyright 2017 by Misty Copeland. Reprinted with permission of
Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.