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Ballerina Fired For Being 'Too Fat' After Treating Bulimia, Reveals Shocking Industry Pressure To Be Deathly Thin

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Dec. 21 2012, Published 5:30 a.m. ET

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By Staff

After starving herself and binging and purging up to eight times a day for years, a former ballerina is coming clean about the shocking pressures to be deathly thin in the dance world.

Kathleen Rea, who finally sought professional help for her bulimia after 10 years of suffering with the illness, describes the dangerous and horrific effects of the deadly eating disorder with which she battled during her years with the National Ballet of Canada, and has the details.

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Rea, who claims half of the girls she danced with suffered from similar eating disorders, checked in during the peek of her career at 5'6" and 105 pounds, which she maintained by extreme starvation and dancing 40-hours per week.

"They said because I had larger breasts than the other girls, they had to see more bones," she shockingly revealed to US News about the everyday pressures put on her.

"I spent days and days starving myself," she shared, "and then I would binge-eat, because I was so hungry this famished creature would overtake me.

"I slept on the bathroom floor because I thought my bedroom was too luxurious for what I deserved.

"I would sleep with a knife almost ready to cut the fat off my thighs and at that time I was also binging and purging up to eight times a day."

Tragically, when she finally decided to get help and subsequently managed to put on a little weight, she claims her ballet company told her that she had embarrassed the entire nation of Canada by looking "too fat" on stage and she was subsequently fired.

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Rea, 42, is now a psychotherapist in addition to being a therapeutic performance facilitator, and recently published a book titled The Healing Dance, about her bulimia struggles and how she overcame them and became healthy.


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