Amanda Lynne is a sexy young woman. With her long dark hair, smoky eyes, and ruby red lips, Amanda is a burlesque dancer who strides across the stage in high heels and feathered costumes night after night. She also happens to have type 1 diabetes. “It’s not just enough to entertain,” she says. “If you can inspire people and set an example, that’s what makes a difference.”
Amanda started dancing when she was two years old. She remembers sitting in front of the TV watching the Nutcracker and mimicking the dancers. In her bare feet she danced so hard and so often, that she rubbed the skin off her little toes.
“That’s when my mom decided to enroll me in a dance class,” she laughs. At 4 years old she knew she wanted to be a ballroom dancer, the women in her favorite movie, “Ziegfeld Follies.” She never stopped dancing, even after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 14 years old.
Amanda says he was never really allowed to eat any sugar growing up, but remembers that she began sneaking it because she was starving all the time. At 5 ft. 2 inches and 72 pounds, by the time she got to the hospital her blood sugar was 900. The doctors said she was close to death. Amanda was given insulin, and after a few hours she snuck out of the hospital to go to dance class.
“If I was going to die, I wanted to die on the dance floor,” she says. She returned to the hospital after class and stayed there for 5 days, though she says the experience taught her that she needed to be her own doctor. “I ran up and down the stairs of the hospital to get my blood sugar down because I refused to stay in bed and be pumped full of insulin.” Amanda says the nurses were trying to feed her pancakes with sugar free syrup. “The dietician was giving me a list of what I could eat at McDonald’s and I was thinking, why don’t you tell me to change the way I eat?” Amanda explains that she has always been very strict about her diet and eats the same food every day. Her favorite is spicy Indian, which she says helps lower her insulin requirements. (There is currently no scientific proof that spices, other than cinnamon, will decrease insulin needs. Here is a good article on the benefits of cinnamon, tumeric and ginger.)
Amanda makes all her own costumes and is inspired by the styles and materials of Vaudeville, Lady Ga-Ga and old Broadway. Her costumes are brightly colored in pinks, greens and reds, and are bedazzled with feathers, flowers and sparkles. And while she loves all styles of dancing, Ballroom is her favorite. Burlesque dancing is theatrical, Amanda explains, with a lot of stretching while Brazilian Samba is fast paced and Ballroom, her favorite, is a great workout. She always keeps a juice box nearby and a brown rice bar to stabilize her sugars, which she says, is a healthier choice than glucose tabs.
One of the downsides of living with diabetes is her frequent low blood sugars. Amanda doesn’t drive and at 30 years old, still lives at home with her mom. She doesn’t wear a pump because it doesn’t work with her costumes, and has been rotating injections for so long that she has scarring on her stomach and thighs. “I’m honest about my body,” she says. Amanda wears fish net stocking and uses body make-up to hide the cellulite and scarring, and is a big supporter of Nivea Cellulite Cream. “Diabetes has not held me back in my career,” she says, “but it has in my personal life. I’ve never been ashamed and I deal with things head on.” Amanda lives in a world where sexiness sells, but says she provides “fresh, clean entertainment.” The coffee table book, “A Day In The Life Of A Showgirl” is now in the early stages of production and will discuss the fact that Amanda is a diabetic, which contributes to her passion for dance as the healthiest and most beautiful form of exercise.
Tips from Amanda:
- Be your own doctor
- Your body is a machine, exercise daily
- Find what works for you