Plus, the words of wisdom that help her succeed.

Updated October 22, 2018
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Misty Copeland is one of those people who seems to have it done it all. For starters, she was the first African American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater. Copeland is also a published author (her book, Ballerina Body, came out last year) and an accomplished fashionista (her Inspired By Misty collaboration with Under Armour was also released in 2017). But all of Copeland’s accomplishments have one thing in common: they’re the product of seriously hard work, both in the gym and on her own time.

In an interview with Health (check out the video above!), Copeland recently explained that balance is key to her success. “It’s about having a healthy mind, a healthy heart, a healthy spirit,” she said. To strike that balance, she finds that fueling her body right is more than half the battle.

One of the mantras Copeland lives by: “What you put into your body is what you get out of your body.” Considering the rigor that goes into a ballerina’s fitness regime, Copeland knows first-hand the value of proper nutrition. She gave us a peek into how she maintains a healthy diet: Nuts are a go-to snack. And at mealtime, she prefers roasted vegetables or cooked fish.

At the gym, Copeland has one main move she swears by, plies leading into releves. She counts on this combo to tone her legs.

But balance is about more than diet and exercise. Copeland said she starts off every day by focusing on herself. Sometimes she listens to uplifting music while she gets ready to face the day. And she always reminds herself of her other favorite mantra: “Don’t let other people’s words define you.”

With reporting by Rebecca Shinners