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Episode 17: Discovering Intuitive Eating and all it’s truths and wisdom. Joining me today – Gabby Barreto of Nutrition with Gabby.
Gabby is a registered dietitian who started off as a personal trainer. When she started off as a registered dietitian, she realized that she had entered the world of weight loss. This didn’t sit right with her, but when she discovered intuitive eating all of that changed. She was introduced to the intuitive eating book by a friend and began to read up on the topic immediately. In graduate school, she read the book while taking nutrition classes at the same time and this left her with conflicting feelings. Her nutrition classes were teaching her to count calories and make diets for patients but she was confused about who was actually counting these calories and going through all of this trouble.
Gabby had a regular shaped body as a kid, not large but not super skinny. After puberty, she became thin and she liked the attention it gave her. From ages 16-23 she battled with disordered eating. Gabby had low self esteem and thought being thin would give her confidence. However, once she got help, she realized that her self worth wasn’t based on being thin. We tend to place so much of our worth on being thin so it is important to write down who you are as a person outside of your body! What are you good at? What is important to you?
When Gabby went to work in the hospital as an RD, she saw that size doesn’t determine health. She noticed that people of all sizes have different complications, not just people who are in bigger bodies. Genetically, people are predisposed to having certain body types so who are we to say that it’s wrong for someone to look a certain way. In reality, there is no set body type. In the world of fitness, a thin, toned body is the ideal. When working out, some people like an instructor with the ideal body and some people like an instructor with a body similar to theirs. Many gyms have mirrors all around and many of us tend to shame ourselves at the gym. Gabby would love to open a gym with no mirrors so no one can pick themselves apart at the gym. Without mirrors, people could become more in tune with their bodies while working out. It is important to remember that we’re so much more than our bodies and we deliver so much more than our physical bodies can deliver.
One of the principles of intuitive eating is to respect your body. Can you make a list of things you love about yourself that don’t include your body? Many of us would find this difficult because diet culture is ingrained in us. When someone loses weight it’s so tempting to compliment them. The person who lost weight might be really proud of themselves or on the other hand they may have been sick and miserable throughout the process. We should be mindful of that when we are complimenting weight loss. Of course we can compliment them but sometimes people aren’t healthy with their approach to weight loss or they didn’t even want to lose weight! Someone could have been really sick and lost weight because of that!! Someone may be struggling tremendously with an eating disorder! Gabby has seen people complimenting that kind of weight loss and it is hard to watch because the person is really struggling. There are so many ways to compliment people that aren’t physical such as “I see you working so hard” or “I’ve seen you step it up in the gym”. Let’s focus on the things that we actually have control over.
Weight is not a behavior. Changing weight doesn’t always make you healthier because mentally and emotionally it can mess with you. All of these factors must play together. Some people can lose weight and keep it off but it’s always at a high cost. Someone with an eating disorder thinks about food 80-100% of the time. An average person with disordered eating thinks about food 50% of the time. Imagine how much we could get done in that amount of time if we weren’t obsessing over food. Think about how much more time we would have available for ourselves and for others. Gabby was obsessed with cooking, grocery shopping and cooking for other people. She didn’t notice that these were all signs of disordered eating. She still loves food but has shifted her main focus to other aspects of her life. When someone is obsessed with food, their food has to be perfect because it is the only food that they will allow themselves to eat. They talk about their food a lot and think about it a lot. To give someone that freedom of time and head space can be a powerful thing. Gabby says that she used to have to get her workout in and was so obsessed with putting it in her schedule that she would force herself to work out at night even when she was tired. When you stop giving all that energy and time to being thin, you can accomplish so much more. Maybe you’re missing something else in your life that you’re trying to fill with weight loss. What could you use to fill that void? Many people lose weight because they have low self esteem and they like the compliments and the attention. They think if they lose weight they will gain that self esteem but many times it just makes you more miserable.
There are ads on the radio that promise to try this and you will lose 20 pounds in 20 days. With intuitive eating, time is off the essence. Intuitive eating is a journey and a way of life. Every year you learn so much more and continue to grow. As you grow into your intuitive eating lifestyle, things will change. There’s no 20 days but there is a guarantee that you will continue to understand more about it and grow for the rest of your life.
Gabby is a Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer specializing in helping active women and female athletes nourish and fuel themselves to optimize their health and performance. She focuses on improving your relationship with food to stop the harmful effect of dieting.
She obtained her Master’s in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Columbia University, where she conducted research on nutrition knowledge and sports nutrition education interventions on Division I female athletes. She is also Certified Functional Strength Coach, Kettlebell Specialist, and Mobility specialist, helping people find joyful movement.
She has worked with Division I college athletes at St. Francis College and Long Island University, helping student-athletes fuel their athletic and academic career. She has implemented sports nutrition plans for USTA Pros, endurance cyclists, marathon athletes, martial artists, and soccer players. Additionally, she currently the Sports Nutritionist for the Hofstra University Dance Team.
You can find Gabby on Instagram @nutritionbygabby and her website at https://nutritionbygabby.com/
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Have a beautiful day!
Gila Glassberg is a Master's level registered dietitian and a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. Asa teenager, she was faced with constant ha talk, body shaming and obsessive guilt around food, she smuggled with disordered eating.This is what propelled her into the field of nutrition. She uses a on-diet, weight-neutral approach called Intuitive Eating. She helps growth oriented women break out of chronic dieting, and regain clarity into what is really important to them.
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