Friendship Blog Part 2: Where to Find Your Support Tribe

Friendship Blog Part 2: Where to Find Your Support Tribe

In my first blog on friendship I talked about how having friends is important for stress-management but for some people the idea of making new friends can be stressful. For some, meeting new people may be easy, but forging long-lasting friendships may be confusing. For others, overcoming social anxiety can be their biggest challenge.

I gave a quick overview of these things in my “How to Create Your Support Tribe” blog last week. This week I am deepening the conversation to give more details about where to find new friends to add to your support tribe!


This can be a truly perplexing topic for adults. Most of us are no longer in school where we were forced together with a finite group of people to choose from. Some people forge friendships in the work place but in many jobs, more than casual relationships can be problematic. Stay at home parents and those who work from home can have a particularly challenging time meeting people because they are often alone.

Be a Joiner!

Finding a group of people with whom you have something in common is a really good way to make friends. Joining groups also gives you something to do while you are getting to know new people. This is something that introverts find particularly helpful. If you have a book to discuss, it gives you something to say.  If you are hiking or kayaking it gives you something to do while talking. Here are some different ways to find groups to join:

  • This website has groups with every interest under the sun! And, if you don’t find a group already in your area, you can start one up! If you build it, they will come.


  • Book Groups: Go to your local book store and inquire about groups. This is something you can also find on Start one for kids through the PTA/PTO at your children’s schools if there isn’t one already. Join it with your kids if there is one. also has online book groups specified for different genres. Pick one or more and create an online community for yourself.


  • Politics: Join the political club in your area that matches your political affiliation. Again, these will most likely be like-minded people


  • Find a Church, Synagogue or Spiritual Center: This is most challenging of course for those who are not religious. So I will focus on them. There are “fellowships” even for Atheists and Humanists. I personally attend a Unitarian Universalist Fellowships where a rather large part of the congregation is Atheist or Humanist. And while I personally am very spiritual and follow multiple religious teachings, I fit in quite well there. You can also try Unity Churches, Buddhist Sanghas, or Hindu Satsangs. But, if this is just complete anathema to you, then ignore this one.


  • Classes & Activities: Classes are another place to meet people who have similar interests to you. Check through your local Community College, Community Parks & Recreation Division, or Adult Education program: they are chock full of classes in everything from advanced physics to dance to photography. If you are into art, see if the local galleries have classes. If you are into music, go to the local music store, I’ve never seen one that doesn’t offer classes.


  • Join a Sports Team or Activity Group: Ok, I am not an athlete. I’m a yogini. So for me, going to a local yoga studio is a good way to meet people. I do know a lot of people who join sports teams and make great friends – everything from adult softball to basketball to bowling. I even have some friends in Denver who are in a kickball league! That sounds like so much fun!!! But gyms & yoga/ Pilates studios can also be good places to meet people.

One thing to remember about gyms and yoga/ pilates classes is that individuals can truly stay in their own worlds in both environments. People wear headphones at the gym and silence is encouraged at many yoga studios. So I recommend chatting when you can (maybe the locker room) or going to community gatherings hosted by the gym or studio. Many yoga studios have Kirtan concerts and other community events where talking and even dancing are encouraged.


Even as an extrovert I have twice found myself in situations where finding friends was extremely challenging. And now that I’m moving from the west coast to the east coast, to a city where I know absolutely no-one, I may be encountering that situation again. That can give even a super extrovert such as myself a bit of anxiety! ACK!

A  School Without Friends:

The first time I found myself friend-challenged, shall we say, was in graduate school. I know, I talk a lot about the stress of graduate school. But that’s because it was sucky!!! And not having friends was a part of why it was so stressful. In many school situations an extrovert can find at least a few friends. But in my graduate program it took me a couple of years to find some people I could truly connect with. My program was highly competitive and the students in my cohort took that competitive nature to heart. I was also feeling very insecure and thus was probably repelling people just with my insecure energy.

Additionally, while I tried to keep in contact with my friends from my home-town. It proved to be really tough to do so. My work schedule, between being a student and a teaching and research assistant, was overwhelming and beyond time-consuming. I also got into a huge fight via email with one of my best friends in my hometown and stopped going home on a regular basis.

A Mom, A Job & A Town With No Friends:

The second situation occurred not much later in life – I call the entire period of my life from 25 to 35 “The Dark Ages!”.Just when I had finally forged some nice friendships in my graduate program and the surrounding community, I got married and we moved several hours away (as did many of my grad-school friends).  I was in my first faculty position teaching at a major university, but I was an adjunct lecturer, as opposed to a tenure-track professor. Thus I was caught in a no-man’s land of sorts; I was part of a department, but most of my colleagues did not see me as such. I wasn’t invited to faculty meetings. I rarely crossed paths with other lecturers. AND, I lived over an hour from campus. So as soon as I was done teaching I would head home in order to beat the Southern California traffic.

Soon after starting my new teaching job I also got pregnant. Now one would think that having a baby would be a great way to make friends. This is true to a certain extent, especially for an extrovert. I met a nice couple in my water aerobics class at the gym and my husband and I met a nice couple in our child birth class (but they lived 40 minutes from us). Yet the area of Southern California in which we lived was a little challenging for us. We found that we didn’t have a lot in common with the people in our community: religious, educational and political differences (and of course, those are the things you don’t want to talk about in polite company, right?). So when I tried joining a couple of mommy groups it was definitely challenging. That said, I did make a couple of friends in those groups, one of whom I’m still very close with today.

Having the baby also furthered my alienation with my colleagues at the university. Most of the women faculty members in the department did not have children. Moreover, children or not, tenure-track faculty members were so dedicated to their jobs that socializing and swapping kid stories was just not on their agenda. Coincidentally, there were women in the mommy groups that had a really hard time understanding why I would work. Being a stay-at-home mom was the only way to be a good mother in their eyes – and yes, they did say this to me!

What to do? Become a joiner!

There I was stuck in-between two worlds: career woman & mommy. And I had very few friends. It was really lonely! So I started to join things. First, because the area in which we were living was a very church-centered community I started church shopping. As a person who supports same-sex marriage, is pro-choice and practices yoga, this can be a challenge! But with the help of my mother I finally found a small Lutheran church with a pastor who is my age and a growing group of young families in the congregation. It was at this church I forged what have become life-long friendships. 

The other thing I did was I started a National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter in my area. This was a lot of work, but it was also fun. I met some amazing young women from the local university. And I forged another life-long friendship with one of the women who worked for the state chapter. Thank goodness for Facebook! I get to keep in touch with all of these wonderful women even though we live miles & miles apart!

Moving Again…

At this point in my life, online groups were just starting to appear, so I didn’t join any Meetups or Yahoo groups. But now, because these online resources are so prevalent, I have used Meetup on several occasions to make new friends. When we moved to San Diego I was all over Meetup! I’ve also learned how to reach out to other women and tell them I think it would be fun to hang out – moms from the school, baseball moms, women I meet through my business, women from church, etc..

Here are a few things I like to say to extend new friendships beyond the “group” setting

  •         I like you! We should have coffee or lunch sometime!
  •         Let’s get the kids together for a play date. Do you guys have time in the next couple of weeks?
  •         We should talk about working together. Let’s have lunch.
  •         Wow, your business is really cool (or what you do is really interesting). Would you like to have coffee or lunch sometime? I’d love to hear more about it!


Finally: Be “the starter”:

In my experience, I have found that many people just do not make overtures like the ones mentioned above. Well, maybe in business they do. But not so often in personal life. This may be a regional thing. Southern Californians, in my opinion, are really nice when you get to know them, but they’re not necessarily overtly friendly. If you find yourself in a place where you have a lot of acquaintances, but few friends, you may need to be “the conversation starter.” Use the phrases above, or your own, and reach out to people who you like! The best way to make friends is to be one!

Please leave comments! I would love to hear what you have to say about friendship!

What friendship challenges do you have?

What friendship challenges have you had in the past?

How did you overcome them?

What are your favorite friendship-making conversation starters?

Thanks for reading & commenting!


Love, Light & Namaste!


How community creates a peaceful life.

How community creates a peaceful life.

The month of February is all about hearts and flowers and romance! In the spirit of the month of St. Valentine all of my blog entries will be about relationships.  

Not only romantic relationships! I will also talk about friendship and family relationships.  

How to reduce stress

Ask any of us stress-relief gurus about how to reduce stress, and the word community is bound to come up.

Having a supportive community around is us one of the most important things we can do for both our emotional and physical health.  Yet, for some of us, finding that community can be really difficult.

I am going to save the dynamics of relationships for the next blog installment How to Build Your Emotional Support Tribe.  For this installment, I am going to focus on why building community is so important for your emotional health AND talk about the different people and places you can go to find the members of your support tribe.

In an earlier blog installment, Supportive Friends, I talked about why having friends is so important for our health. The following research findings help us to understand this:

  • Loneliness is one of the leading causes of depression.  Having people to reach out to when in need is one of the most important interventions for depression. Source
  • Having a social support system is one of the most important factors in reducing both symptoms and mortality in myriad diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and emphysema.  Source
  • Having positive interactions with other human beings raises the levels of our happy hormones and thus promotes both emotional and physical wellbeing. Source
  • According to Emiliana Simon-Thomas of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, “Human beings are an  ultra-social species and our nervous systems expect to have others around us.” Source
  • Even healthy, happy people need to be around other people! Recent neuroscience research suggests that the human brain and neuro-system work better when we are around and interacting with other humans. Source

The many places we can find social support

As a home-based entrepreneur, I can tell you that life can get pretty isolated and lonely without the camaraderie of an employee-filled workplace! Believe me, as a Work At Home Mom (WAHM) and the friend of many Stay At Home Moms (SAHMs), interacting with children as your primary humans is not enough! 😉

Our families can definitely be support systems for us. Our friends, especially a treasured “best friend” are also important social support systems.

It’s important to remember that we should not put all of our support eggs in one basket.

Our families and treasured “best friends” are not around 100% of the time.  I have seen this happen many times both in my own life and through my clients’ stories. I will speak more to this subject in the next blog.

For now, let’s talk about how to spread the wealth of our social support system!  Here are some examples of how to branch out:

  • A coach or therapist are trained professionals who will guide you and support you when you have emotional needs.
  • A spiritual leader is a wonderful person to turn to when we need emotional support.
  • A spiritual group of like-minded people is also a good place to find comfort and camaraderie. Churches, temples, or spiritual centers, in general, can provide some of this support.  I recommend joining a smaller group within the larger spiritual center. Bible studies, meditation groups, moms groups, and helping hands groups all provide a smaller environment in which to make closer friends.
  • An interest group of friends provides a social network and is usually centered around something that all of the people like to do. Examples of interest groups are book groups, movie & dinner groups, hiking groups, etc. etc.  These are good for both extroverts and people who are more introverted to find friends because there is always something going on at the same time as the social interaction.
  • A casual sports team is another good way to gain a wider-spread social group. Just like the interest group, it is a good place for people who are a little more introverted to find friends because they have a common interest with the people, which gives them a topic of conversation. Just make sure to go out for pizza after you play! And even if you are not athletic you can often still find something fun and easy to do. I have friends that play recreational kickball! And yes, they are adults!
  • And finally, your workspace is often a good place to make friends. Use caution when associating with workplace friends though. Make sure that the conversation does not turn into complaint sessions about the workplace or gossip sessions about coworkers. That type of conversation can have very negative consequences and end-up causing you more stress in the long run.
  • And what about us WAHMs and SAHMs? Co-working in a center for entrepreneurs is a great way to get out of your home alone work syndrome! And of course, networking groups and all of the above-mentioned spiritual and social opportunities. SAHMs & SAHDs there are lots of playgroups around if you have little ones at home! Find one that is a good fit for you and make it a habit to go. It is good for you and for your kiddos to socialize.

You may be thinking to yourself, “those are all great suggestions Jen, but where do I find social groups and teams to join?”  That actually is getting easier and easier these days!

Try Meetup or your local YMCA or Parks & Recreation Center. Local public libraries host book groups for adults and story hour for kiddos. Also, check into local group play areas for mommy/daddy & me groups!

Get out & Enjoy! Spread the beauty of who you are with others and let them share their friendship and support with you!

Please share your ideas on how to grow your social support network! Peaceful Living Wellness is a community ~ I love to hear your ideas, wisdom, and insights!

Don’t forget, if you would like to have a coach as part of your support system, just reach out and we can schedule a consultation!

Love & Light,





“Resilience isn’t a single skill. It’ a variety of skills and coping mechanisms.

To bounce back from bumps in the road as well as failures, you should focus on emphasizing the positive.”

~ Jean Chatzky, financial journalist

Inner resiliency is an important personality trait to have in order to combat both acute and chronic stress.

I find that many of my clients and friends don’t really know what it is.

A dictionary definition goes something like this:

1. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
2. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

On first glance, it may seem that only the first definition applies to human beings.

I truly believe that both inner toughness and elasticity are necessary for human resilience.

We need to be both tough and flexible (elastic) to withstand acute stress.

For example, when facing the loss of a job, a scary medical diagnosis or being subjected to harassment.

We need to open our hearts and minds to changing jobs; this requires flexibility.

Thus, when facing a significant life change, we need to be tough in the face of the change, but also embrace the change with openness to something new

A new normal

Cancer patients are counseled that they CAN live with cancer; but, they will need to adjust to a “new normal.”

They will need to be tough to stand up to the cancer and to withstand chemotherapy and radiation AND they will need to be flexible in adjusting to their “new normal.”

Cancer patients need to be flexible in order to adjust to their “new normal” of living with cancer.

We also need to be both tough and flexible in order to withstand the stressful ebbs and flows of life that cause chronic stress.

Proud Mommy Moment

I was listening to my daughter talk last night about how mean and sassy the kids in her middle school are. I was amazed by her nonchalance about it.

She just said that they bug her, but that she basically doesn’t have time for their nonsense! She is exemplifying the epitome of toughness in a chronically stressful situation!

You have to be tough in the face of chronic stress

Being flexible is just as important in managing chronic stress.

One of my biggest challenges with my clients is to convince them that they do have time for self-care.

They get so bogged down in the chronic stress of their busy lives they cannot grasp the reality that they actually can carve out time to relax and take time for themselves.

It takes flexibility in thinking and actions to take the time to do this for themselves.

What a great way to build the toughness and flexibility required for RESILIENCY!


The question becomes, how do we get the toughness and flexibility to build resilience?

Here are 5 tips for building resilience:

1. “This Too Shall Pass”

When I was in graduate school I found myself in a professor’s office one day near tears (I cried a lot from the stress of grad school :/ ) .

I was very upset that I did not pass one of the questions on a Ph.D. comprehensive exam.

In hindsight it was quite silly of me to be so upset, because I passed the exam.

We had to pass two out of three questions and I passed both of the others, so there really wasn’t a reason to be upset. At that point in life I had very little resiliency to me!

The professor, wise and benevolent man that he was, sat back, crossed his arms, looked at me and said, “Jen, this too shall pass.”

To me, at that moment in time, I felt like a huge failure! I did not feel like it would pass!

Of course, hindsight is 20/20…

If I had resiliency at that time I would have been tough enough to say to myself that it was okay that I didn’t pass the question.

I would have been flexible enough to move beyond it and not dwell on the false idea that I was a failure.

I would have had enough presence of mind to not get overwrought by not passing one question, when I passed the exam!

2. “What Other People Think of Me is None of My Business.”

This point harkens back to my “Mean People Suck” vlog/ blog.

People can be both super stress relievers and super stress inducers.

When people become stressful having resilience is very important.

If we go back to the example of how my daughter is not allowing the mean, sassy kids at school get her upset, we can see how her resiliency is protecting her from taking it personally when they say mean things to her.

One thing that we all need to learn, is that while we do need to care about what other people think of us in terms of if we are being kind and polite in our interactions with others, we do not need take it personally when others are not being kind or polite to us!

When people are being mean or rude, that is when a resilient person will say to herself, “what that person thinks of me is none of my business,” and move on with her day.

3. “Practice Positivity, But Learn from the Negative.”

I have had enough experiences by this point in life to know that life can be full of joy if I let it.

On the flip side of that, I also know that life has lots of sorrow and challenges.

I can honestly say that embracing joy and working through sorrow has been the most effective method I have found for strengthening my resilience.

Thanks to the efforts of positive psychology researchers like Barbara Frederickson of the University of North Carolina, we now have empirical evidence that a mind focused on positivity is far more open and flexible than a mind focused on negativity:

“Positive people are able to maintain a broader perspective and see the big picture which helps them identify solutions whereas negative people maintain a narrower perspective and tend to focus on problems.”

~ Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D.

Remember, flexibility is associated with resiliency!

If you focus on positive thoughts it will give you a mind that is far more flexible than if you focus on negativity.

Thus, over the long-run focusing on negativity does not build resilience.

This phenomenon is not just true in respect to how we as humans view the outer world, but it is also true in terms of how we view ourselves.

Positive affirmations and self-talk build our inner resiliency.

From the century old theories of French Psychologist Émile Coué, to current research out of esteemed universities, we are seeing that positive thinking has efficacious effects for people.

There are some cautionary tales though.

For example, psychology research has also shown that trying to tell someone not to think their negative thoughts can have the opposite effect.

It can cause them to focus on them more.

In other words, while positive affirmations are helpful in building resiliency, it is also important to accept negative emotions and see them as real.

Do not push them down inside of you or blow them off as not important. But, also don’t dwell on them.

Give them their due diligence and move forward.

Once you have accepted the negative you can move on into positivity and allow positive affirmations to work.

This is the key to building resilience. Working through the negative in order to embrace the positive.

4. Self- Nurture

One of the primary themes running through my coaching, my writing, my speaking and my life is that self-nurture is of utmost importance to reducing stress.

By taking time out to rest and care for yourself you are giving your mind, body and spirit the opportunity to heal from stress, revive and strengthen.

By taking time out to nurture yourself you are giving yourself the opportunity to strengthen.

Remember how on airplanes the flight attendants instruct us to put the oxygen masks on ourselves before we put them on our children?

I love to use real life instruction as a metaphor for the importance of self-nurture in our lives.

We need to give ourselves oxygen, so we don’t pass out, before we can take care of others.

By resting and rejuvenating we are strengthening ourselves and building our resilience.

5. And finally… Just Breathe

People often look at me like I’m being a little ridiculous when I talk about how much breathing can help with stress-management.

I mean, we all breath all day, right?

Without breath we can’t live.

I’m talking about a different type of breathing than that which do all day every day.

I’m talking about slow, deep, luxurious breathing.

I’m talking about the type of breathing that allows your entire torso to expand and contract with the breath.

I’m talking about the type of breath that coaxes your shoulders to melt with relaxation.

I’m talking about the type of breath that allows your mind to slow down and your body let go of tension.

I’m talking about the type of breathing that brings you into a place of tranquility and peace…

So, just breath my friends. Just breath…

What are your stories of resiliency? I would love to hear about the wisdom you have derived, please comment and share!

Love & Light,


Stressing over being fat is unhealthier than being fat

Stressing over being fat is unhealthier than being fat

The stress of fat shaming is more toxic than actually being fat.

The only way to make weight stop being a problem, is to stop making weight a problem–stop judging ourselves and others by our size. Linda Bacon, PhD in Nutrition Science

According to the American Psychological Association stress is linked to SIX of the leading causes of death in the United States: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, liver cirrhosis, and SUICIDE. [source] But, did you know that it’s also one of the leading causes of diabetes? [source]

What does this have to do with fat shaming, you ask?   

Fat shaming is one of the leading causes of stress in American society. Not only is it a cause of stress for people who are overweight, but it’s also a major source of stress for people of normal weight!   People in our nation are so worried about being fat shamed that they are worrying themselves sick about it. Why is fat shaming so pervasive in our society?  First and foremost, because it’s tolerated.

  • We see magazine covers touting celebrities, “ASTONISHING WEIGHT GAIN!”  As if it’s the worst thing that could ever happen to them.
  • We have extremely popular TV shows – The Biggest Loser – that chronical the extreme exercise and dieting of contestants to lose big weight, only to gain it back again after the show. [source

Biggest loser contestants must brutally exercise to keep the weight off, study shows. The Los Angeles Times

  • We see supposedly legitimate news sources discussing whatever the latest fad diet is. Watch Good Morning America or The Today Show almost any week and they will be talking about ways to lose weight
  • We have an American Diet Industrial Complex worth over $60 BILLION annually! They are heavily invested in telling us that being fat is bad, to keep us spending that $60 billion so that we can be healthy, look good and, according to them, feel good! [source– “The Heavy Price of Losing Weight”]
  • We have a medical community that largely ignores many of the underlying causes of weight gain–stress being one of the most prominent–and cashes in on diabetes & weight loss pharmaceuticals, bariatric surgeries, and research that is funded by the pharmaceutical and diet industrial complex.

The Obesity Paradox

Obese patients with disease live longer than those of normal weight.

  • And, of course more recently, we have a president who fat shames indiscriminately.  

If I were running the view, I’d fire Rosie [O’Donnell]. I’d look her right in that fat, ugly, face of hers and say, ‘Rosie, you’re fired.'” Donald Trump to Entertainment Tonight

So there’s the catch…

Common knowledge says that if we just eat less and exercise more we will lose weight!   And this is true, to a certain extent for VERY FEW PEOPLE! Most people either can’t lose the weight without starving themselves and/or over-exercising.  97% of those who do lose weight, gain it back and then some!


My Insulin Story


I was a skinny kid. And I was actually a skinny teenager and a skinny college girl. What’s so funny though, is that I thought I was fat! When I was in college I went on Jenny Craig even though I was a women’s size 0! I thought I was fat because I couldn’t fit into the juniors/ misses sizes around my hips very well anymore (it was really just that my body was maturing around the hips as women’s bodies do…)    I didn’t know that because I paid attention to what popular culture was telling me about my body.  Anybody remember Tamilee Webb and Buns of Steel?


Except, here’s what was going on behind the scenes in my body:


I wasn’t processing the stress of my upbringing or the stress of my current situation well. I was drinking too much alcohol, sleeping too little, and worrying all the time.



The stress was starting to have an effect on my brain chemistry.


I was cycling through episodes of severe anxiety and depression. Much of the time I felt fine, but as time went on the anxiety and depression came around more often and the “feeling fine” time was harder to achieve.  



Little did I know, the stress was starting to affect my pancreas and my insulin levels were starting to ratchet up.


When I graduated from college and decided to go to graduate school, the pace and workload (on top the fact that I still was not coping with my stress appropriately) led to bouts of months-long insomnia, occasional panic attacks and the dreaded weight gain! During my master’s program I gained 20 pounds – in only a year-and-a-half! During the first year of my doctoral program I gained another whopping 20 pounds!!!



Then, I had the opportunity to go to Europe for two months.


 I climbed to the top of every cathedral I could find. I walked and walked and walked… and I ate the amazing fresh food that Europeans are lucky enough to eat every day! I lost 20 pounds!



It was great! Or so I thought…


The problem was that it was the beginning of a cycle of stress-induced weight gain and physical activity + a more relaxed lifestyle weight loss. I wasn’t yoyo dieting – I was yoyo stressing!


Fast Forward to 2016


I just turned 46 and was feeling horrible! I was at my highest weight yet, but I also was in a constant brain fog. I couldn’t remember words, I would show-up for appointments at the wrong time, I was lethargic and constantly battling depression.





I would say to myself with exasperation! What’s going on… why are my awesome mindfulness techniques not working to help me feel better???



I sought out medical reasons for why I felt so bad.


Low-and- behold, after a year of seeing different doctors and having A LOT of blood drawn, it turned out that my pancreas was producing so much insulin that if it kept going at that pace it would likely shut down very soon. When the endocrinology nurse practitioner told me this news the first thing out of my mouth was,


but, I’ve tried so hard to lose weight! I only eat an average of 1600 calories a day, I power walk 3 to 4 days-a-week and I do yoga 3 times a week!


Her response was to look at me seriously and state, “


This is not your fault. You are not insulin resistant because of your weight; you are having trouble losing weight because you are insulin resistant.


It turns out that, according to Allison the NP, the only connections that research has found between causes and insulin resistance are heredity and STRESS.


Here are some facts:


  1. People with overproduction of insulin may be genetically prone to the condition. There is a hereditary effect, but it’s not necessarily the case for everyone. There is a high correlation.
  2. People with insulin overproduction do not usually have what is normally considered to be high blood sugar. For example, my A1C (fasting blood sugar average) ranges between 5.5 and 5.8 – that is well within normal range. In other words, they are not on the typical path toward Type 2 Diabetes which can be detected through rising blood sugar levels.
  3. People with insulin overproduction may be overweight in spite of diet and exercise efforts that would produce weight loss in other people. This is true of children as well, many of whom have been put on calorie restrictive diets by pediatricians who don’t bother to check their insulin.
  4. People who have insulin overproduction are often overweight because of their insulin – NOT the other way around!
  5. A history of high stress is strongly correlated with insulin overproduction.


My endocrine NP’s exact words were:


This is not your fault.  This is not about our weight. Your insulin is so high that it seems like it has been climbing for decades. You may be able to control this to a certain extent through diet–A Low Glycemic Diet. But, most likely you will not be able to fully control it through diet.


Here’s the long-and-the-short of it…  


  • My lack of knowledge about how to control my stress early on most likely led to this condition.
  • Was some of my stress due to my socially constructed ideas about my weight and body proportion? Absolutely!
  • Have I been fat shamed? Absolutely!
  • Do I let it stress me out now? Absolutely NOT!


What’s the Take-Home here?


First, don’t fat shame, or even judge the bodies of, others. You have no idea what is going on with their weight.   Insulin resistance is only one of many underlying medical conditions that affect weight. The stress you cause by judging others size is more harmful than their size actually is. AND don’t fat shame yourself! Accept yourself for who you are and what your body looks like! Definitely get yourself to the doctor if you have unexplained weight gain. Be kind, loving, and accepting of yourself. There is a lot of medical and epidemiological research on your side if you are overweight. That is, there is a lot of medical and epidemiological research that says that if you are “overweight” you are perfectly healthy and thus not “over” anything!



Aaannndddd… Let the comments begin!


Namaste Y’all!, Jen

Resilience and the healing power of music.

Resilience and the healing power of music.

It’s been a tough couple of months. My peaceful living has really been put to the test. I’ve had to make sure that I take extra-special care of myself in order to stay strong under the pressure of stressful times!

In recent Vlogs & Blogs I talked about how to stay strong in the face of bullying and how to bounce back after a particularly hectic time.

Both of those topics underlay this week’s topic of resiliency.

For today, I want to just give a little lead-up to Wednesday’s “Wellness Wednesday” Facebook Live VLOG by talking about MUSIC!

So when my going gets tough & I need to build my resiliency, I turn on some empowerment music and dance and sing!

Here are my Top 20 “Girl Power” songs! (in no particular order, I love them all!)

My Most Recent Favs:

1. Taylor Swift – Shake it Off!
2. Kelly Clarkson – Stronger
3. Kelly Clarkson – Whole Lotta Woman
4. Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
5. Meghan Trainor – Better When I’m Dancing
6. Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire

The Classics:

7. Helen Reddy – I am Woman
8. Gloria Gaynor – I will Survive

The Country Girls:

9. Dixie Chicks – Wide Open Spaces
10. Dixie Chicks – Not Ready To Make Nice
11. Kaycee Musgraves – Follow Your Arrow
12. Shania Twain – Man! I Feel Like A Woman!

All Time Favs:

13. Christina Aguilera – Beautiful
14. Katy Perry – Firework
15. P!nk – So What!
16. P!nk – F***ing Perfect
17. Demi Lovato – Confident
18. Beyonce – Run The World (Girls)
19. David Guetta & Sia – Titanium
20. Sheryl Crow – Winding Road

What are your FAV pick-me- up & make me STRONG songs? Let’s keep adding to the play list!


Get Off The Treadmill

Get Off The Treadmill

Most of the time, my blogs talk about the things I’ve learned to “right” in life in order to live a more peaceful life.  But, today I’m going to start a series on my “oopses.”  The first in this series is titled GET OFF THE TREADMILL because I recently stayed on the treadmill of being busy, busy for a little too long. And now I’m suffering the consequences! (more…)

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