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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 05: Principal Dancer Misty Copeland attends the American Ballet Theatre Annual Holliday Benefit at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on December 5, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
Earl Gibson III—WireImage

Misty Copeland is speaking out against the stereotype that most ballet dancers have eating disorders.

“When you think of things like an eating disorder, these stereotypes, they happen everywhere,” the ballerina, 34, tells People Now. “I would say that from my experience, 15 years as a professional dancer, that it’s really, really difficult to actually perform and have a lasting career if you have an eating disorder.”

While Copeland says she never had an eating disorder, she did struggle with her eating habits.

“I definitely was overeating at one point in my career, and it was really difficult for me to figure out what worked for my body and how to take care of it,” she says.

For Copeland, finding a happy medium was the key to living a healthy lifestyle.

“It’s about finding balance in your life, and enjoying everything in moderation,” she says. “I don’t believe in dieting. It’s about changing your lifestyle, so I still love cakes, I love cookies, I love Krispy Kremes. It’s about when and how many.”

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