Michelle Vina-Baltsas spent decades struggling with her relationship to food and body. Feeling like an outsider in her community and experiencing trauma at an early age drove Michelle to turn to food as her companion, her friend, her comfort when times were tough. In college, Michelle knew her eating patterns weren’t “normal,” and looking back, she believes she had Binge Eating Disorder. At that time, that wasn’t a term people were using.
After college, Michelle turned to Overeaters Anonymous, which helped her feel connected, like she wasn’t alone. During her ten years with OA, she was able to unravel and begin to understand her deep connection with food, eventually realizing that she wanted more freedom in her relationship with food. This led her to stumble upon Intuitive Eating. Michelle’s skepticism and curiosity kept her committed to this new journey and inspired her to become an Intuitive Eating Counselor.
In this episode, Michelle talks about her constant battle with self worth, how she turned to food to protect her against outside triggers, and the fear she faced as she learned to give herself unconditional compassion and permission. She talks about the stigma of emotional eating and how it’s actually a positive thing. You eat because it makes you happy, because it tastes good. Through her own experiences and her journey with Intuitive Eating, Michelle has been able to repair her relationship with food, her body and exercise. Exercise is now about feeling good and having fun, not changing her body. She is able to nurture and respect her body and where she’s at right now. She’s happy.
Today, Michelle works with women heal their relationship with food and body through Intuitive Eating. She helps women relearn self-compassion, self-awareness and how to trust in themselves again. Through self care and coaching, you can learn how to love yourself and food again. Tune into the whole episode to learn more about Michelle’s path to self-love and how she believes that you can reach that, too.