Margaret Cho recounted her experience on Dancing With the Stars in a recent blog post. She wrote about body image and how it affected her dancing. Margaret “felt clumsy and awkward among the svelte, swanlike figures of Jennifer and Brandi and Audrina.”
She reports that practicing was much less nerve racking than the weekly competition. During practice, she was able to focus on her body a bit more and was able to achieve true beauty in her dance. She did get distracted by constantly seeing herself in the mirror, something she’s not entirely comfortable with or used to but she was able to dance past it.
Because of her relative comfort during practice, Margaret didn’t realize that her self-esteem was still an issue. “I thought I had left all these physical insecurities and self doubt behind, but what truly happened was I was just in denial about how much self hatred I had left in me.” Margaret felt so much pressure and anxiety from competitive dancing that she slipped into a very bad habit; emotional eating. At one point she admits, “I would put on my eating dress and panic-eat entire pizzas and boxes of chocolates.”
Margaret is not alone in the world of emotional eating. Admittedly, the first thing I do when I’m stressed out is reach for a chocolate bar. Addiction is always hard to overcome but unhealthy eating habits are particularly difficult to face. When an alcoholic makes the decision to become clean, they can distance themselves from alcohol. An emotional eater cannot distance themselves from food. If you struggle with emotional eating, it’s important to get help. You can face the issues that are causing you to eat and improve your life.
For Margaret, dancing seems to be the answer. Pursuing bellydance, burlesque and being on Dancing With the Stars has helped her feel less detached and more ‘in’ her body. She will continue to dance so that she may connect with her body more. She wants to eradicate her emotional and addictive ties to food and start a healthier life. She now understands the need to do so.
Margaret said about her experience on Dancing With the Stars: “Although it unearthed a world of pain I didn’t even know existed, there were moments where I have never felt so beautiful.”