We are excited to introduce you to EDRDpro member, Michelle Viña-Baltsas! Michelle is an Eating Disorder Recovery Coach, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, and a Certified Health Coach. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or at www.michellevinabaltsas.com
If you didn’t do what you do professionally, what other job or field would you have pursued and why?
I would have been a therapist, or I’d own a doggie day care center.
Just for fun, tell us something most people don’t know about you.
I’m proud to say that I’m a gifted vocalist. In fact, I met my husband of 25 years while singing professionally at a wedding. I’m also crazy about dogs and when I’m out and about I feel compelled to greet nearly every dog I see!
Where do you work?
Although I do some in-person coaching, I do most of my work virtually from my home office. I’ve had the privilege of working with women of all ages, but in the past few years, I’ve mostly been working with women who are transitioning into middle age (especially around perimenopause, menopause, empty nest, etc.) and beyond.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I feel honored to be an integral part of a client’s recovery process. Helping clients to recognize that they’re not alone in their recovery is so important to me because I know firsthand that feelings of isolation can be very debilitating and often prevent or hinder growth.
Why eating disorder treatment? What drives you?
I hate that people are suffering due to the one size fits all demands of diet culture. I enjoy being part of a movement that speaks to something that I was so intimately affected by for decades. If I can help others reduce their recovery time even by a small fraction with my coaching, I feel blessed and privileged to do so.
Who are your favorite social media influencers in the non-diet, recovery, body liberation space?
I do my best not to spend too much time on social media, but Be Nourished and Beauty Redefined have made an important impact on me.
What are your favorite books and resources that have made a difference in the way you work?
- Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works (and the workbook) by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
- Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Dr. Kristin Neff
- Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
- Motivational Interviewing in Nutrition and Fitness by Dawn Clifford and Laura Curtis
- 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder: Effective Strategies from Therapeutic Practice and Personal Experience by Carolyn Costin and Gwen Schubert Grabb
- Body Respect by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor
What is one non-diet, Intuitive Eating, or Health at Every Size pearl of wisdom that you’d like to share?
Truly embodying the phrase “for the most part” can be life changing because it reminds us to soften those perfectionistic, judgmental tendencies that many naturally cling to. Intuitive eating is not about doing it perfectly and then judging ourselves when we miss the mark. Intuitive eating is about learning to listen, allow, and be kinder to ourselves and our bodies.