I got colonics, had body wraps, took diet pills, fasted, and got enemas.
Eventually, I had not just the six-pack abs they wanted, but visible ribs and dangerously low body fat to boot.
Growing up, I'd taught myself how to dance in my bedroom, and I eventually shimmied my way into teach- ing a hip-hop class at a gym.
One day, a student who was a cheerleader for the local NFL team told me I should audition for the squad.
The network's Darren Rovell subsequently tweeted: 'Cowboys not allowing interviews with tackled cheerleader @Melissa Rae regarding yesterday's game,' and later, 'Shame on the Cowboys for pulling cheerleader @Melissa Rae off Twitter.
I would get up early and sit in the gym's steam room for hours in hopes of sweating out a few extra ounces.Looking the Part I quickly found out that the hardest part of professional cheerleading isn't learning the eight counts, high kicks, or whatever cheesy dance move we were being taught. Our contracts actually said, "Your appearance must be impeccable at all times." We were required to have nails manicured with light or clear polish.We could be pulled from cheering at a game if we showed up with curls when management had mandated straight hair (even if pouring rain guaranteed that a girl's naturally wavy hair would coil back up after mere seconds) or if our skin looked too pale, sunburned, or orangey from fake tanning.But just because the friendships were real, it doesn't mean they were al- ways healthy—our social lives consisted of hours at the gym, followed by tanning sessions or manicures.We'd share advice on detox diets, diuretics, and colon-cleansing pills.The first time I weighed in at 127 pounds, the choreographer assured me that it was just gas.