Fitness coach Gabby Male decided to debunk the diet and exercise myths after struggling for years on her own journey. Like most of us, she turned to the Internet to find as much information as she could, but was soon overwhelmed. Some sites said they did not eat carbs, others said they limit fat, and still others said they eat all foods raw. How do you know which of the thousands of diets on the market to follow?
Gabby says she wanted to stay active and healthy, so she did her research to find the best path. However, all the contradictory and overwhelming advice seemed to do more harm than good.
“Without knowing it, I gave myself very messy habits and eating disorder, and it even turned into a full-blown eating disorder.”
Misinformation and peer pressure lead to eating disorders.
Unfortunately, many young women in our high-pressure world struggle with disordered eating patterns and eating disorders. According to the National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, about 9% of Americans will experience an eating disorder in their lifetime. Eating disorders they have the highest death rate among mental illnesses, second only to opioid overdose. The most common eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.
Below are the definitions of the two most commonly diagnosed eating disorders, based on the National Association for Eating Disorders.
People with anorexia maintain an unhealthy body weight. They hide their undernourished appearance under thick layers of clothing and long sleeves. They see themselves as “fat”, despite being thin, and they also refuse to eat regular meals. In addition, they maintain rigid exercise programs, even when it is not safe to do so, such as running on icy roads. This eating disorder is dangerous, and potassium and electrolytes can lead to a heart attack or death.
People with bulimia nervosa they also express extreme concern about their body image. With bulimia, a person gorges himself on large amounts of food and then purges himself by vomiting or taking laxatives to get rid of the food. They express feelings of shame or helplessness to stop these unhealthy behaviors. You can see a person developing a ritual of excusing themselves to the bathroom right after eating, a sign of bulimia.
Over time, the dangerous cycle of bingeing and purging leads to periods of weight gain and loss, fatigue, and dehydration. As with anorexia nervosa, not addressing this health problem can lead to an electrolyte imbalance or death from a heart attack.
Gabby recognized her problems and set out to debunk those myths about diet and exercise.
Despite Gabby’s struggles with body image and eating habits, she learned a lot through that experience. She learned about food freedom, loving her body, and that life is so much more than just your looks. Now, Gabby creates content online to help others overcome exercise myths and find their own freedom.
“I really, really struggled for a long time with food and fitness, and without that part of my journey, I would definitely not be where I am today,” Gabby said. “As difficult as it is, I’m thankful to go through it, but my whole purpose, passion, and mission right now is really to make sure young women especially don’t have to go through it.”
She says her goal is to find ways to reach young women and share her hard-earned knowledge with them. Gabby wants women to know that they don’t have to hate their bodies or constantly compare themselves to people online. However, with the pervasiveness of social media in our society, many women find it difficult to maintain their self-esteem. Especially for teens and young adults, it is not always easy not to compare yourself to others.
“I really encourage people not to look at weight when they start their health journey.” Instead, Gabby asks them to focus on the types of movement they enjoy and what makes them feel good. You want to emphasize that health and fitness are about much more than just going to the gym. One of the biggest exercise myths you’d like to debunk is that it’s not just about losing weight.
You may even have other fitness goals besides losing weight, like fixing your posture or getting stronger. Above all, your journey to health should be about improving your life and feeling better. Weight loss can happen as a side effect of that, but Gabby wants people to remember that there is much more to life than just appearances.
“My biggest advice is not to focus on the weight. Really, really try to get a step away from that scale and focus on feeling your best. “
You should exercise when you feel like it, rest when you need to, and avoid perfectionism in the whole process. When you get too strict and have too many rules about fitness, you can easily become obsessive. This more easily opens the door to eating disorders and excessive exercise. Gabby encourages people to go at their own pace and really listen to their bodies during their journey.
Final thoughts on how to break free from myths about unhealthy diets and exercise
If you would like more information about Gabby and her coaching services, you can do so on her website. It offers a 30-day home workout challenge and even has an app with monthly workouts! Additionally, Gabby does group coaching and business coaching and has her own podcast and blog. She turned her passion into a viable career and helps many women debunk exercise myths and find what works for them.
We leave you with these inspiring words from Gabby’s Instagram:
“The most important day is the day you decide that you are good enough for yourself. It is the day you break free.
Say it with me:
I am more than enough, I am worthy, I am beautiful ”.
What myths about diet and exercise have you stopped believing? Let us know in the comments!