Thinner than thin

Until five years ago, all I thought about was eating and being thin. My idea was just very simple. If you are thin then life is great, beautiful and you are the best dancer and the whole world thinks so too. Never would I have thought that there are so many more things in life that also have to do with being happy. It's not just about what you put or don't put in your mouth. During my health coach training, many great examples have passed on this subject, but the following story has certainly stuck with me and makes it clear at a glance that there is so much more important in life besides nutrition.

Wine and cigarettes

It was about a doctor who told a cardiologist that there were hardly any heart problems in his village. Almost everyone died of old age. The cardiologist investigated what was so special. He gradually found out that people ate fat, drank wine and often also smoked. He then went to look at their genes, but he found nothing special here. Yet they were much less sick than people from a community that drank their green smoothies neatly every morning, lived vegan and meditated, a group that apparently was very healthy. After lengthy research, they found that the first group was in a state called relaxation response .


In essence, the relaxation response is the counterpart of the flight or fight response, which kicks in when we are under pressure. When we are in action mode, a number of stress hormones are released, our blood pressure and heart rate rise, the vessels constrict, muscle tension increases and we are ready to act. Super handy if you are in real danger, but ... our body makes no difference between real (life) danger or the stress you experience because you have to work hard, want to be thin all the time and the associated dietary stress. Basically anything that makes you feel stressed. The opposite of this is the relaxation response. It relaxes your body: blood pressure and heart rate drop, your muscles relax and your immune system gets a boost so that the body can recover.

The 'unhealthy' group lived in a community where people had jobs they were happy with. If a child was ill and someone needed a babysitter, there were always older people who could look after the child. When they came home from work, they would always visit one of the people in the community, have a drink, or eat together with several generations at the table. They undertook various activities together, either from the church or in another kind of association. Older generations lived together with the younger ones. There was little loneliness and everyone was there for each other.

Members of the 'healthy' group were stressed about their careers. If a child was ill and there was no childcare, there was stress about it. Despite their healthy lifestyle, they lived in a constant state of stress and therefore in the fight or flight mode.

So luck here had nothing to do with food at all. People had friends and family, they were happy with their careers, there was fun and relaxation. All things that contribute to a person's happiness.

A frequently heard statement during my training as a health coach was: You can eat all the broccoli in the world, but if you have relationship problems, money problems or career problems, then you have to work on that before you look at your diet. 

looks. Food is often 'used' to rectify an imbalance in other areas.

More balance

With dancers, the emphasis is obviously on physical activity and creativity, but what about the other areas? Balancing these areas will make you a much happier person and that will trickle down into the rest of your life. And so also in your dancing. If you spend most of your life doing things that make you happy and that give you energy, it will also have an effect on your eating pattern and your relationship with food. 

There are so many different aspects in life. It is wise to regularly examine and evaluate all these aspects. As always, I am very much in favor of an individual approach and I think it is important that you look at what is important to you in your life. There are many different models that keep coming back. I chose the life wheel, because I think you can see at a glance in which area more balance is needed. You want the various aspects to be in balance, so that you can lead a happy and healthy life and fully focus on dancing.

Wheel of life

To determine which area you would like to pay the most attention to at the moment, it is necessary to gain insight. If it's your first time doing this you can just take the areas shown in the circle below.

Put a dot next to the number that applies to you based on importance at this moment in your life. If you choose 1 then you really do nothing with this and 10 is the other extreme. Take your time, think carefully, be honest and positive.  

Now fill in the circle again and now give numbers for what you would like it to be. Are there things you can think of that you could do to create a higher grade? After completing it, you can come up with goals and action steps to get from one grade to the next. 

After these assignments it is clear which aspect in your life deserves more attention. Want to work with me on your goals and action steps? Book an inspiration session and then we go for it together.



During the 30-minute inspiration session with Saskia, we dive into your personal and professional goals.

This session is an opportunity to clearly define your goals and see how you can achieve them in a way that fits your lifestyle needs.

What are we going to tackle:

  • Biggest ambitious, realistic goals
  • Action steps and means to achieve your goals
  • Lifestyle tips to optimize your time,
  • Increase accountability and improve overall performance
  • What working with Saskia would look like

I look forward to seeing you.

Nutrition for dancers

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