Building Your Support Tribe

Building Your Support Tribe

Having a supportive community around us is one of the best things we can do to build resilience and reduce our stress levels!

I want to direct you to focus in on the word “supportive.”  What I refer to as a Peaceful Living Community is not made-up of a bunch of people who are just in our lives. A Peaceful Living Community is a support tribe; it is made up of people to whom you can turn in both happy and sad times and they are able to turn to you for support as well.

A few weeks ago I wrote about a metaphor that I like to use to explain what kinds of people belong in our support tribe: Grocery store people and hardware store people. Grocery store people are the people you turn to and find the support you need. Hardware store people are people who are not emotionally available to support you.


Many people are lucky enough to have parents or other family members who are the center or strong part of their support tribes.  Find the people in your family who are positive, uplifting and nonjudgmental. Those are the people you want as part of your peaceful living community.

 Just because someone is related to us does not mean that they are a grocery store person! Our parents, by their very role as parents “should” be our grocery stores, at least until we are adults. However, there are just some parents who are not emotionally supportive. This is especially hard as children because we don’t have many options to turn to but as adults it is up to us to find other people to fill our emotional needs. If you know of a child who does not have parents to fill their emotional needs, maybe you can be that person for them.

Even if you are a person who has a great family, it is still very important to have others in your community. Reach out using the suggestions from my “The Importance of Community” blog or come up with your own. A diverse support tribe is optimal – family, partner, coach/ therapist/ pastor, and friends – make up the strongest community but we can find support from all kinds of people in our lives.


Aren’t our spouses or romantic partners supposed to be our primary emotional support systems? Similar to our parents, technically, “yes.” And yet, sometimes they just are not. Perhaps they are going through an emotional downturn themselves or maybe they do not want to be a grocery store.  At this point, as the person who needs emotional support we need to ask ourselves a few things:

  •         Are my emotional needs constant and perhaps overbearing?
  •         Do I have stress-management techniques in place to help me cope with my emotional needs?
  •         Do I have others to turn to besides my spouse or partner to help fill my emotional needs?
  •         Does my spouse or partner give me some emotional support, but it is just not enough?

Answering these questions honestly is very important. If you are a person who is very emotionally needy, for whatever reason, that is okay. But, it may be too much to ask of one person to fulfill all of those needs. If your emotional neediness comes from a place of insecurity, overwhelm or past trauma you may want to seek out a trained coach or therapist who can help you heal. You can ask your spouse or partner to support you in that endeavor, but be aware of asking him or her to be your sole emotional support system.


We all have stress. A spouse or partner can be a good person to go to when we need support in processing our everyday stress. However, your partner is not responsible for being your only source of stress management. Make sure you are exercising, sleeping well, eating healthy food, and using mindfulness techniques.  If your stress is overwhelming, seek the guidance of a trained coach or therapist who can help you feel emotionally more fulfilled and relaxed.


Supportive friends and relatives, spiritual leaders, support groups, therapists and coaches are all appropriate “grocery stores” to go to in addition to your partner or spouse when you need your emotional needs met. It is particularly important to have a widespread net when you have a lot of need. And remember, there are times in our lives that WE ALL have an overwhelming amount of emotional need! 


This one can take a deeper thought process. If you are not terribly needy, and your spouse is not even meeting your basic emotional needs, you are definitely in the hardware store! If you are getting your emotional support from other people and places, but your partner is still not meeting your emotional needs, you are most likely also in the hardware store. Or you are probably at least in the parking lot!

This is where mindful communication techniques about your feelings can be invoked to help your partner understand that your emotional needs are not being met. Stay tuned for a future posting about mindful communication! If you do find yourself in the hardware store with your spouse or partner it may be time to seek the guidance and support of a relationship coach or couples therapist. Trained professionals are skilled at bringing couples back together to a place of emotional intimacy and support.


There are some of us who pick and choose our friends very carefully. Then there are some of us who embrace almost everyone they meet as friends. This is an area in which asking yourself some questions will help you understand how to build the best tribe for you:

  •         Are you a person who needs deep connection with just one or two people?
  •         Or do you prefer to have more people in your circle so you are not too dependent on just one or two people?

Both of these scenarios can be conducive to building your support system. But, they also can both be detrimental if not approached with caution.

Let’s take a look at the first scenario. Having people that you can implicitly trust and respond to gives us a sense of strong emotional security since deep connection is very important to us as human beings.  This is a positive side of having just one or two good friends.  The negative side of this is if for some reason those people are no longer a part of your life, you can be left alone and wanting.  If you are this kind of person you are well-served by having others in your support tribe: Family, partners, a therapist or coach, new friends you’re growing closer to, etc. 

On the other side of the coin, if you are a lots of friends person you may feel like you have a very strong support tribe but after deeper examination you assess if your tribe is only giving you shallow support. If you have so many people in your tribe that you do not have time to connect deeply with any of them, you are missing out on that essential element of human connection – deep intimacy.  You may also find that you are spread too thin trying to “be there” for all of your friends that your emotional well runs dry trying to tend to all of their needs.

The key to having a strong, emotional support tribe of friends is BALANCE.

Try to have more than just one or two close friends, but don’t spread yourself too thin.  It is okay to have people in your life who are acquaintances, but not friends. You are friendly with them but they are not the people who you spend time with on a regular basis. They are not the people you turn to in your times of need or people who have a valued place in your Peaceful Living Community.

Who makes up your support tribe?  Do you have a good balance?

I welcome your thoughts, questions and any value you want to add to my blog! You all are amazing, bright shining lights!

And I’m grateful for your shares and follows on Facebook @peacefullivingwellness & Instagram @peacelifecoach

Love & Light,


Peaceful Living Travel: La Costa Spa

Peaceful Living Travel: La Costa Spa

The Spa at La Costa Resort is a classic lady that never loses her style. I have been treating myself to her loveliness for almost a decade, and will continue to do so every time I find myself in the San Diego, CA area! The timeless elegance, top-notch service, spa amenities and healthy bistro offerings are some of the best I have experienced.  

The Grounds

Whether you valet park or self-park, the walk through the beautiful grounds of the La Costa Resort is a wonderful start to your day (or days) of tranquility.

If you happen upon the resort during the springtime you will be greeted by the scent of the orange blossoms on the orange trees that line the streets and walkways of the resort. If your visit occurs at another time of year, that’s okay, because the fresh ocean air and often the scent of newly cut grass will enliven your senses!  

Make sure to take your time as you wander toward the spa. Take notice of the yellow lilies, the bright pink bougainvillea and the multi-colored begonias nestled among bright greens. Don’t forget to look up to take in the soaring palms against the almost ever-blue San Diego sky!

If time allows, I highly recommend stopping by the book and gift store at the Chopra Center, Deepak Chopra’s west coast hub for his Ayurvedic spa and learning centers.  

Treat yourself to one of the many uplifting books or a beautiful piece of clothing or jewelry. For me, it always seems to be the books that draw out my wallet.  Try out a classic like Deepak’s own Seven Laws of Spiritual Laws of Success (1994) or Wayne Dyer’s last inspirational work 10 Secrets for Success & Inner Peace (2016).

The Chopra Center does not have its own spa in which you can relax, but they offer many Ayurvedic services both in the center itself and at the Spa at La Costa. The one nice thing the Chopra Center does offer for the general public, as opposed to the people who are paying to be part of the Ayurvedic retreats or the educational offerings, are free meditation classes.

These are offered Tuesday through Friday from 7:45 – 8:15 AM & Monday through Friday from 6:00 – 6:30 PM, at the Chopra Center. (Call ahead to confirm these times).

After spending some time at the Chopra Center store head on across the courtyard to the Spa at La Costa itself.  You may want to spend some time sitting by one of the several, large fountains and allowing the sound of the water to deepen your sense of tranquility a little bit more.

The Spa

Upon entry to the spa interior, you are greeted by soft music and an abundance of beauty products, lovely clothing, and elegant jewelry.

If you have already spent some cash at the Chopra Center store you may want to skip by these tempting items and check-in at the desk with the genial employees.

For this visit, as with many others, I opted for a day pass instead of purchasing a service. As of this writing, the day pass is $65.00 US, and grants you use of the spa and all of its facilities from open to close.  This fee does not include any spa services, products or food.  I have never made a reservation for a day pass. However, on this visit, the front desk employee said that my companion and I just got the last two day passes – and it was early!

The funny thing was because it was a Tuesday it wasn’t very busy. I think the spa is restricting the number of day passes they are allowing so I now recommend making a reservation at least a day in advance, maybe longer if you are going on a weekend or during high season.

After check-in, another employee will come to the front to escort you to the spa. She will give you a tour of the facilities and take you to your locker. Each locker has a warm terry cloth robe in it for you to wear during your day at the spa. Spa sandals are available for your daily use as well. (I don’t like the feel of the spa sandals so I always wear my own).

At this point, let the serenity begin!

There are four main areas of the spa:

The women’s area, the men’s area, the outside pool and features and the spa bistro.  The women’s and men’s areas contain lockers, showers and restroom areas, relaxation rooms, indoor hot tubs, steam rooms, and saunas.

The outside area boasts a cooling pool, a hot tub, a reflexology walking path and the most amazing water feature – Roman Showers! More on those in a moment…  

The bistro offers a wide variety of casual, healthy fare, as well as a variety of beverages including smoothies, wine, beer, and cocktails. You can eat at one of the tables in the bougainvillea surrounded courtyard. On cooler days you can even get toasty while eating by the outdoor fireplace.  On warm days, order your bistro food and beverage poolside and eat right in your comfy lounge chair!

A typical day at the spa

Allow me to take you on a personalized tour of a day at the Spa at La Costa! First and foremost, as I start my day I really try to take in the beauty of the spa itself. Again, the Spa at La Costa is a classic beauty. Spanish tile, lush greenery, and teak furniture add to the ambiance.

* I like to start my day with a dip in the indoor hot tub in the women’s area. Clothing is optional inside, so do not be surprised to see women both wearing and sans swimsuits.

*After starting my relaxation process in the hot tub I will either go into the steam room or right out to the outdoor pool.  I love the steam room at this spa! The cool shower in the middle of it is amazingly refreshing in the hot steam. I will often put a moisturizing mask on my face before going in. My skin turns out incredibly soft!

*I spend most of my day lounging by the pool. I love to read magazines or listen to books. I order lunch and cocktails or mocktails to be delivered to me poolside. Sometimes, if I’m with a group of friends, we’ll eat at the bistro tables, which is nice as well.

* I make it a priority to sit under the warm, strong waterfall of the Roman Showers at least twice during the day.  The strong pressure of the water in these outdoor showers is almost as good as a massage! I will lay a towel down on the stone bench, sit on it and let the waters massage my shoulders and then lay on my stomach and let the waters massage my back. It is deeply relaxing.

* I am not much of a dry sauna person, but the dry sauna at La Costa spa is very nice. It is spacious and has a window in the door so that natural sunlight comes in. I never feel stuffy or claustrophobic in it. I usually only go in there on chilly days. However, the spa has outlined a relaxing and rejuvenating experience they call “The Aguas de la Vida” – the waters of life – that includes the dry sauna. I will go in it if I am doing the Aguas de la Vida program for the day irrespective of the weather!

The spa treatments

When I treat myself to a spa treatment I like to indulge in the Ayurvedic multi-modality treatment the Chopra Center calls the Odyssey:

The Odyssey begins with Garshana, a dry glove massage that refreshes and stimulates the skin and lymphatic system. Next, your body will be covered in warm herbalized oil for the Abhyanga, with specialized friction strokes designed to move the oil deep into your tissues to loosen stored toxicity. The slow, penetrating strokes of Vishesh follow. The treatment ends with Marma therapy to awaken your inner energy, while personalized aromatherapy enlivens your senses.

~ The Chopra Center, La Costa

If I do not want to spend quite as much money as the Chopra Center treatments require, I will opt for a relaxation or coastal stone massage through the main La Costa Spa.  Both are lovely treatments and with the right therapist are deeply relaxing.  

One thing I do like to caution for any massage treatment anywhere, massage therapists like to chat. The La Costa spa is no exception to this. I almost always need to gently let the massage therapist know that I can relax more deeply if I am not engaged in conversation.  The Chopra Center therapists are trained to not only perform their treatments in silence but they also quietly let the guest know that an environment of silence is held during the treatments. I find this to be refreshing and relaxing.

Closing out a beautiful day

If I am feeling particularly indulgent I will close out my spa day at one of the resort’s restaurants on the grounds.  Both of the restaurants are quite good and they both possess a lovely ambience. The resort does have a tendency to change the names of the restaurants, but they remain in the same locations, so for my purposes I will call them the Golf Course View Restaurant and the Courtyard View Restaurant.

The Golf Course View Restaurant has a beautiful view of the La Costa Valley and the resort’s sprawling PGA golf course. The Courtyard View Restaurant has a small indoor seating area, but is mostly a patio seating restaurant. As long as it’s not raining (which of course it rarely does in Southern California) that works out well. Even if it is chilly they have fire pits and heat lanterns that keep diners nice and warm.

Chicken lettuce wraps at the spa bistro

Both restaurants have extensive wine lists in addition to featuring many of the local San Diego micro-breweries and full bars.  Finishing off a beautifully relaxing day with a delicious dinner and glass of an excellent California Pinot Noir is absolute bliss!

Your comments, recommendations and opinions about the Spa at La Costa are welcome! Please post below and add to the conversation!

For more information on the La Costa Resort & Spa or to make your reservations:

Omni Hotels Resort & Spa La Costa

2100 Costa Del Mar Road

Carlsbad, CA 29009

PHONE: 760-438-9111

CONCIERGE: 760-929-6378

Wishing You Peaceful Travels!



Want to be a supermom? Take good care of yourself!

Want to be a supermom? Take good care of yourself!

In my last blog I talked about how to assess your life to see if you are trying to be a Supermom, but burning yourself out at the same time.  

Here’s a little metaphor to help you understand why you need to take care of yourself before you can be a supermom ☺

The metaphor of the oxygen mask

Many years ago I was attending a Mothers of Preschoolers group. This particular group was a small group that was just forming.

There were only 8 or 9 of us at any given meeting, and because we had limited time and budget we shared the duties of organizing what we would do at each meeting. At one of these gatherings, a woman who has become one of my closest friends started her presentation by reading out of a book on women’s spirituality.  

The piece she read spoke about how important it is for moms to take care of themselves. The author used the metaphor of the oxygen mask on an airplane to explain her point:

Think back to the last time you took a flight.

Remember that introductory part that a flight attendant does before you take-off? The flight safety instructions?

 After demonstrating how, in the case of an emergency the oxygen masks will drop down from the ceiling above the passengers head, the flight attendants will instruct the passengers to put the oxygen masks on themselves before helping others who cannot do so themselves – even children!

Why in the world would they want you to ignore your children in order to take care of your own needs first???

Simple – Because if you pass out due to a lack of oxygen you cannot help your child.

So let’s apply this to life in general…

Are you running your children around so much that you do not have any time left to take care of yourself?

Are you working in a job that you can’t stand so that your children can have expensive lessons or go to an expensive private school when there are perfectly good public schools nearby?

Are you volunteering for every school committee, baseball board, girl scout troop, etc. because it’s important for your children to have a fulfilled life?


Your children need you to be relaxed and not exhausted more than they need you to lead their scout troop and serve as the PTA board president.  

Your children need you to feel fulfilled and peaceful more than they need those expensive lessons or that expensive sports gear. If your children see you as a happy person, they will be happy people!

So, put the oxygen mask on yourself first

What things can you cut back on to make more time for self-care?

What can you then add to your life for your own fun and relaxation?

Are you trying to buy your kids happiness instead of showing them how to achieve happiness through easy (often free) relaxation and self-nurture?

Comment below and don’t miss my vlog on Facebook at to share how you are going to put the oxygen mask on yourself first!

Love & Light,



Just Breathe

Just Breathe

In last week’s blog about resiliency, my last tip for improving your resiliency was to breathe.

Deep breathing elicits the relaxation response and facilitates an even exchange of oxygen to carbon dioxide (source).

In turn, these phenomena both reduce the heart rate and stabilize blood pressure. They also will bring about a deep sense of relaxation of both mind and body.

Try these breathing techniques & see how you feel:

Graduated Breath: 3 – 5 breaths each round.

Round 1

Inhale into your front rib cage.

Allow your heart-center to shine upwards. Feel the front of your ribcage expand and open.

Feel your heart opening as you breath in oxygen.

If you would like to set an intention or start an affirming mantra, this is a good time to do so.

Round 2

Inhale into your full ribcage.

Allow your entire ribcage to expand with the inhalation and gently contract with the exhalation.

Feel a sense of relaxation coming into your body. Bring your attention to your shoulders and allow them to soften on each exhalation.

Round 3

This time, inhale all the way into your diaphragm.

The ribcage still expands and fills with air.

But now, the diaphragm, that belt of muscle that runs all the way around your body right under the ribcage also expands with the inhalation and gently contracts with the exhalation.

Continue with your affirming mantra.

Continue to mentally coax your shoulders and now your back to soften and relax.

Round 4

Draw your inhalations all the way down into the belly. The ribcage is still expanding and contracting.

The diaphragm is still expanding and contracting.

Allow your belly to shine. The ancient yogis say that the belly is the center of our life force.

Allow your life force to open with the breath.

Round 5

Finally, allow your breath to fill your entire torso.

Your ribs expand.

Your diaphragm expands.

Your belly expands and your lower back expands.

Concentrate on the slow expansion and contraction of your muscles and bones. Feel the sense of calm that comes with each breath.

Connect your mind and your body and feel your entire torso, neck, hips and maybe even your entire body relax and let go of lingering tensions.

Continue with your mantra if you are using one with this practice.

Graduated Breath with Counting: 3 to 5 breaths each round.

Start with inhalations all the way into your belly. They need to be shallow at first.

Round 1

Inhale counting to 3; Exhale counting to 4.

Round 2

Inhale counting to 4; Exhale counting to 5

Round 3

Inhale counting to 5; Exhale counting to 6.

At this point either reverse the count back to inhale 4 and then 3 OR continue on until you are inhaling to 9 and exhaling to 10.

Opposite Nostril Breathing: As many rounds as you like.


Take your index finger and thumb of your non-dominant hand and make a “U.”

Step 1

Place your index finger lightly on the outside of your nostril along the side of your nose. Close off the air.

Inhale through the open nostril.

Step 2

Place your thumb gently over the open nostril, along the side of your nose, closing it off.

Release the index finger, opening the nostril that was closed.

Exhale through the open nostril.

Step 3

Inhale on that same side.

Step 4

Close off that side of the nose with the index finger; Open the thumb from the other nostril and exhale.

Step 5

Inhale on that same side that you just opened. Repeat the pattern at least 5 times.

Try it out!

These are just three of many different deep breathing techniques to try.

Tune in to future blogs and vlogs for more!

Remember, in yoga, we call it “Breath Work” because it’s a practice.

If you don’t elicit a relaxation response your first couple of times using a technique, keep practicing and keep trying different techniques.

The more you practice Breath Work, the deeper your mind-body connection and the deeper your relaxation will be.

Let me know how these work for you!

If you have other techniques that you love, share them in the comments for others to try out!

We’re a Peaceful Living Community filled with Love and Compassion. So please, share on…

With Love & Gratitude!


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!


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