All-Star Body Image

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Dec 3, 2011
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one of my friends (a triathlete) was recently diagnosed with anorexia. now a lot of girls at my school are skipping meals and my group i sit with are always criticizing what i eat. i don't eat poorly, i eat healthily because i know i need my muscle for cheer.
i'm 5'7 and about 130lbs.

have you girls ever faced problems about your weight being an all star?
 
I think I've had before, or at least "tried" (not in the sense that I wanted to have body issues, but like tried to fix them) and I would diet for about 3 maybe 5 days max before I went back. But I did do it unhealthy, skipping meals, exercising, etc. But while I was doing that, I was miserable the whole time. I had no energy and every moment I spent awake I was thinking about food. & I mostly felt this way after my growth spurt because I was really skinny in elementary school but once I went into middle school, I had a huge growth spurt and thought I was huge and now I look back, I wasn't big at all. I would compare myself to the rest of the girls on the team and thought there was something wrong with me. And now I can realize that I like grew up faster than them and I'm happy with myself.
Now to you, I think no matter what, you should only worry about making yourself happy. Who cares if people don't approve of what you eat and how you exercise. If they criticize you then you shouldn't hang out with them because there are tons of people who would accept you for you. :)
Ps I just found your BMI, it's 20.4 which is PERFECTLY healthy! Actually I read online that you can find your ideal body weight by starting with 100 pounds then multiply 5 by inches so yours would be 135.
 
I think I've had before, or at least "tried" (not in the sense that I wanted to have body issues, but like tried to fix them) and I would diet for about 3 maybe 5 days max before I went back. But I did do it unhealthy, skipping meals, exercising, etc. But while I was doing that, I was miserable the whole time. I had no energy and every moment I spent awake I was thinking about food. & I mostly felt this way after my growth spurt because I was really skinny in elementary school but once I went into middle school, I had a huge growth spurt and thought I was huge and now I look back, I wasn't big at all. I would compare myself to the rest of the girls on the team and thought there was something wrong with me. And now I can realize that I like grew up faster than them and I'm happy with myself.
Now to you, I think no matter what, you should only worry about making yourself happy. Who cares if people don't approve of what you eat and how you exercise. If they criticize you then you shouldn't hang out with them because there are tons of people who would accept you for you. :)
Ps I just found your BMI, it's 20.4 which is PERFECTLY healthy! Actually I read online that you can find your ideal body weight by starting with 100 pounds then multiply 5 by inches so yours would be 135.
my cp just turned 12 and is going through the same thing she had her growth spurt early granted she is only 4 foot 9 and hasnt grown in over a year but she is also a ball of muscle however on her team she flies and is definetly the biggest flyer so she is struggling with her body right now and has started to do horrible things like skip meals however hopefully we caught it early enough and with the help of her coaches we are hoping to get it under control but its very sad to see girls struggle with these type of issues this sport is so athletic that the muscle mass is going to be there and as a young girl it has to be hard to understand why your bigger than another girl your age and i really think with flyers this is a serious issue but you are completely right when you said you should only worry about making yourself happy i tell my cp this all the time a true friend will never judge you by what you look like
 
I've always been slightly underweight (just how my body was- my mother is naturally very thin), and I remember this irrational panic the first time the doctor told me I was on the cusp of underweight/average healthy weight. Can't remember how old I was, and did nothing about it, but I remember that fleeting anxiety. People always comment on my thinness, but now it's usually accompanied by 'And OMG you should CHECK OUT HER ABS *pokes me in the stomach*'

The sad part about anorexia is that there will ALWAYS be a layer of fat you can never get rid of (because it's your body's basic need for survival- provides warmth and cushioning protection). And once you reach that threshold, you just start destroying your inner organs and muscles. Eat right, work out and ENJOY your life..you will be healthy, your skin will have more glow (without proper nutrients including proper fatty oils, your skin doesn't look its best), and you will be less prone to disease or organ failure. And nobody wants organ failure.
 
The sad part about anorexia is that there will ALWAYS be a layer of fat you can never get rid of (because it's your body's basic need for survival- provides warmth and cushioning protection). And once you reach that threshold, you just start destroying your inner organs and muscles. Eat right, work out and ENJOY your life..you will be healthy, your skin will have more glow (without proper nutrients including proper fatty oils, your skin doesn't look its best), and you will be less prone to disease or organ failure. And nobody wants organ failure.
This is the point where dieters have to realize that they can damage their body and themselves if they go to far! I hate seeing that point where somebody who just went on a simple diet goes past that point and you start to see their hair get thin, and their skin become dull and pale. It saddens me. Nothing is more sad than seeing a cheerleader who was strong, muscular, healthy, and talented, throw it all away worrying about their body. Cheerleaders, gymnasts, and all athletes need to realize that they NEED that muscle and fat to do the skills they have! If you loose weight, you not only loose fat, but also muscle. And sure there are so really skinny girls that can do a bunch of tumbling and stuff but that's THEIR body. Everyone's body is different.

And to all girls who have body image issues, please don't be hard on yourself and allow comments, other people, or preconceived thoughts on the "perfect body" influence you. You are perfect the way you were made! Chances are, if you are a cheerleader or athlete, you are perfectly healthy and don't need to loose weight! Enjoy your body now and allow it to help you do the skills and things you love. Without the muscle and fat you have, you wouldn't be able to do any of it! Fuel your body and make healthy decisions, but don't over do it.
 
Hey everyone, I have a quick question and I'd love your feedback and perspective. If we lived in a world where all cheerleaders wore full tops with no midriff showing, do you think it could positively affect our athletes currently suffering from body image issues? Also, do you think it could attract other girls to want to join an all star team?
 
ASCheerMan said:
Hey everyone, I have a quick question and I'd love your feedback and perspective. If we lived in a world where all cheerleaders wore full tops with no midriff showing, do you think it could positively affect our athletes currently suffering from body image issues? Also, do you think it could attract other girls to want to join an all star team?

Yes! I know I am in the minority but I prefer full tops for this reason. Preteen and teen girls have enough thrown at them already to make them feel insecure. I hate watching the girl in the back of routines that has the look on her face of pure discomfort with her belly hanging out.
 
Hey everyone, I have a quick question and I'd love your feedback and perspective. If we lived in a world where all cheerleaders wore full tops with no midriff showing, do you think it could positively affect our athletes currently suffering from body image issues? Also, do you think it could attract other girls to want to join an all star team?
Definetly. The first team I joined wore half tops..and it was a bit of a culture shock for me. I felt really uncomfortable, and my mom was very weirded out by the (very short) half top. If there was full tops for everyone, more people would be willing to try the sport, and wouldn't feel uncomfortable.
 
Hey everyone, I have a quick question and I'd love your feedback and perspective. If we lived in a world where all cheerleaders wore full tops with no midriff showing, do you think it could positively affect our athletes currently suffering from body image issues? Also, do you think it could attract other girls to want to join an all star team?
Not only will it make the girls more comfortable with their bodies, it will also relieve the pressure of having to show their stomach. They won't have to worry about abs or anything! The only drawback is design of the uniform. Most designs look better crop top. But I'm sure you can work it out and make a cute one:)
 
The only reason my best friend didn't end up in all star cheerleading way back in 7th grade was because of the half top uniform. she loved watching us, but would never feel comfortable practicing in sport bras and spandex; and competing in short skirts and half tops
 
A full top would probably help reduce the rates of disordered eating, but for those with actual eating disorders, it probably wouldn't make a difference, or in some ways hide the disease for longer because you can cover up your body. Many anorexics will wear baggy tees and loose fitting clothing to mask their thinness. Body image, self esteem, dieting, disordered eating, body dysmorphia and eating disorders can be easily lumped into the same category, but they are very different issues when it comes to dealing with/treating them. As much as I would love something as simple as a change in wardrobe to fix the issue, it needs to be approached more holistically. I would rather they put a bottom age cap on the senior age division than mandate long tops - the amount of anxiety I read about and see everyday from normal, healthy 16 year old girls comparing themselves unfavourably to normal, healthy 11 year old girls...
 
For me, the best medicine for body image issues is to spend some time with my really good guy friends. They always talk about how a girl with muscle definition is like the "hottest thing ever" and how it's better to be toned and bigger than tiny and look like a toothpick.
 
I'm naturally skinny, almost too skinny actually and I just can't help it. People always compare themselves to me and are like " I'm so fat! You're like a stick!" I try to explain to them the situation but they don't understand how that happens. You can't compare your body to someone else's because you aren't the same. Two people are not meant to be the same body type and size. You should love your body and be happy with whatever you have. Now if you know you are too big, like doctor has told you this and everything, than do it the healthy way. Eat right and exercise, because even though you won't be skinny by next week, you will see results.
 
I'm not really referring to eating disorders but I will comment on body image. Comments about people being sticks can be almost as bad as saying someone is fat.

My cp is 6 and tells me she is fat. Idk if she just tells me that for attention because then she will come home and say I'm the 2nd skinniest person in my class. So obviously there is points where she thinks she is skinny.

However I think back about 7 months ago. A mom whose daughter did a tumbling class with my daughter (her daughter didn't cheer) any ways she had a friend with her and they were sitting beside me. (unless people know me they don't think I'm jaylen's mom because I'm only 23 and ppl think I'm like 18 lol)
Anyways her friend said to the mom she came with- "your daughter looks good unlike the other one who looks like she is sick because that doesn't look good"
She was talking about my daughter because the only other girl in that class was like a normal size 14yr old and our daughters are close in age so she was comparing the two.
I almost said something but I get real hot headed very quickly so I just kept it to myself! Other wise I may have offended more then a few people.

The thing is my daughter looks skinny and everyone that sees her says that but my daughter has long legs. She is the height of most 9year olds on average. If my daughter was the height of most 6 yr olds then no one would be calling her skinny.
She has a couple 8yr olds in her 1st grade class (they got held back) and she is easily the tallest just like she was last year in kindergarten! People need to realize like other above have said is that people are different. They are built different, height and weight is only a small factor in what makes up someone's body.

Also it's nice to say to someone wow you look good- keep up the great work. Just don't insult them.. I try to tell my daughter everyday how pretty she is because I know the time will come when people call her more then skinny or fat. Me and her dad are both 5'6 and no one in our family is tall or skinny so I won't be surprised if it changes one day but I think long as she is eating healthy and not abusing her body then I'll be happy no matter what she turns up looking like!
 
I know there are times where I feel self-conscious but that's outside of cheer. If anything cheering with a half top has made me more willing to just show off what I have and not care about what people think about my body image. My teammates love me for who I am, my coaches love me for who I am and that's what matters. Just my 2 cents
 
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