In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I'm constantly eating, and I like the way my body looks, but my doctor says I'm underweight. She's worried because I'm 18 and still haven't gotten my period. Is there a healthy way to gain a little weight? And if I do, will it throw off my dancing?
Not to worry! You can absolutely gain weight the healthy way. And if you do it correctly, it won't throw off your dancing. If anything, it can help you get stronger. Start by focusing on gaining muscle. I'm not a nutritionist, but try eating foods that can help your body weight go up without gaining "bad" fat. Focus on higher-calorie whole foods like nuts and nut butters, lean meats, olive oil, etc., that have a lot of good fats. These will give you energy and help your health, as well. You don't need to eat sugars and junk food. I would also cut back on any type of cardio (which tends to burn fat) and start doing Pilates, yoga or any muscle-building exercises. Getting your period is crucial to your health, so gaining weight might be necessary. But don't worry—it will probably make you an even better dancer.