Your Metabolic Health: IME Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Week 7

Your Metabolic Health: IME Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Week 7

I’m going to give you a warning. This is all super helpful information.  It’s a powerful article.  I’m going to be disrupting the status quo that clearly hasn’t worked and also I will be coaching you to create a different way forward.  Are you ready?  It’s data and information.  I am not your doctor, so always make sure you are seeking the advice of your medical doctor.  

What Is Obesity (Nufnu)?

Obesity (nufnu) is a multi-factorial disease medical, endocrine, environment, genetic/epigenetic, immune, and neurobehavioral components. 

Obesity (Nufnu) related disease risks may vary depending on your metabolic health.  

How Nufnu Relates to Metabolic Syndrome and IR

Metabolic consequences of nufnu include the components of metabolic syndrome plus the inflammatory and thrombotic states.  There’s more inflammation and increased risk for thrombosis (blood clotting).

Type 2 diabetes is closely associated with nufnu and begins with insulin resistance that starts 10 to 15 years before diagnosis.  This is why I’m so ready to reverse IR in teens.  Just because your HgbA1c and fasting blood sugar is normal, doesn’t mean that you don’t have IR or aren’t at risk for type 2 diabetes.  Again, lots of information. 

Focus on Metabolic Health, Not Weight

This is your opportunity to start to focus on your metabolic health and not stay fixated on weight.  If you focus on improving your metabolic health, and I’m going to teach you how to do that, your body will reach a natural weight set point.  

So, let’s take a big breath in through our noses and out again and activate our parasympathetic calming nervous system.  Relax. You are worthy of your healthy life. 

Again, I’m talking about metabolic health this week in the RYIR challenge.  What is metabolic health?  Where do I go for more information?  Check out “The Obesity Code” by Dr. Jason Fung and also go to the Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners or  I’m a founding member.  

First, there’s not a real consensus with these definitions and criteria.  I really think this is a helpful and productive way to think about health and how to reverse insulin resistance and its metabolic health effects.  It’s a way to think about it that actually calls out the problem and offers a true solution.  

MUO and MHO and MUL are definitions used to describe Metabolically Unhealthy nufnu and Metabolically Healthy nufnu and Metabolically Unhealthy Lean.  We have to stop thinking that weight equals health or that it’s all cause and effect.  Our bodies and brains are complex systems.  

Your metabolic health is important.  Many of you are tired and bored with focusing on a number on the scale, and don’t have any problems and at the same time your health is important to you. This is where our society gets really messed up and confused.  

I am helping you create a metabolic health approach and that may fit more into your Future Self vision and feel more empowering and also help get you out of fixed, limited, unfun, restrictive diet thinking.  

What is metabolic health? Metabolic health is defined as having ideal levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, HDL or “good” cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference.  These relate to your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.  

That brings me to metabolic syndrome.  Have you heard of metabolic syndrome?  You may have heard of metabolic syndrome.  I have taken care of many teens who have metabolic syndrome.  

Playlist break: “Born to Run” by the Boss

Playlist break: “C’mon N’ Ride It” by Quad City DJ’s

Be Informed and Make Your Own Healthy Decisions

If you get your information from Google and you follow the guidelines for Prevention, it’s really just the bullet point status quo recommendations.  Let’s take a more fun and interesting and effective approach to improving your metabolic health.  We all need more than bullet point recommendations, especially the recommendations that keep saying the same stuff over and over that hasn’t worked.  

Playlist break: “Speed of Sound” by Coldplay

There is power in knowledge. Get internal and make your own autonomous decisions.  Since I coach teens and I’m a Mom to three young people and I’m also someone who hates when someone tells me what to do, I can tell you there is so much power in getting internal and making your own choices. Many of us adults are like this. I think we all are. 

The Week 7 Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge

Monday Mythbusters:  Calories are not the key to improving your metabolic health. It’s not that simple. Unfortunately, even though we can look around and see that simple calories in calories out thinking, just Eat Less Move More thinking, remains the standard of care in medicine.  It often doesn’t work.  It keeps us stuck in diet culture.  That’s been beat in our heads for ages — to look at the back of a box and the nutritional information, the fat, the sodium, etc.. We are used to eating our food like this, in processed fashion where its value is determined by calories. Another false notion beat into our heads is that we need to count calories and burn as much as we eat through exercise to be a healthy weight.

Here’s the good news: simply eating less does not make you lose weight. “The low-fat, low-calorie diet has already been proven to fail,” said Dr. Jason Fung in his book The Obesity Code. You don’t have to eat less fat or calories to lose weight, but you do need to look at the quality and composition of your food and one way to improve the quality of your food is to cut down on processed carbs.

Let’s Learn more about Insulin Resistance Tuesday: Our bodies are so incredible and interesting.  Don’t fight with your body.  Our bodies are built to conserve energy.  Our bodies were not meant to be exposed to the added sugars in our food system.  Our brains are conditioned to crave sugar because of the added sugars in processed foods.  Obesity is hormonal and not simply caloric. When we eat carbohydrates or sugars, insulin is released to bring the glucose into the cells. Insulin binds to a receptor, like a lock and key, and then glucose can be transported into the cells. Nutrients like carbohydrates raise insulin the most, whereas fats release the least amount of insulin. Every time you eat or snack, you are raising your insulin levels. Excess sugar is stored as fat. Your body can become resistant to insulin. Insulin is linked to other diseases and comorbidities. For example, if your body builds resistance to insulin, you may become diabetic.

What is metabolic syndrome Wednesday? Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of findings and includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar or glucose, increased body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels (HDL and Triglycerides) and is linked to increased risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  About 1/3 of U.S. adults have metabolic syndrome.  Metabolic Syndrome is related to Insulin Resistance.  I’ve taken care of many teens with metabolic syndrome.  

Playlist break: “We are the champions” by Queen 

The risk factors for metabolic syndrome are: age, ethnicity, obesity, family history of diabetes, and if you’ve ever had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome or sleep apnea.  

If you have one risk factor, you should be assessed for the others. 

Gathering your metabolic health data Thursday:  What’s your risk for metabolic syndrome?  Metabolic syndrome is a complex condition.  These are important measures to assess your metabolic health. There are four main components of metabolic syndrome and four measurements: Blood Pressure, Waist Circumference, Blood glucose (sugar), and Fasting lipid panel (cholesterol)

Playlist break: “Rock the Casbah” by The Clash

How to think differently Friday?  You can always improve your metabolic health.  First, you have to reject diet culture and get out of restriction, on again and off again thinking.  You can’t look for answers outside of yourself.  So, this amazing information helps you get unstuck. Also, know your risks.  You are gathering data and getting information.  How important is this?  What’s my level of confidence?  What’s my readiness for change?  Remember, small consistent changes are what you need.  If you are a teen or parent of a teen, you’ll want to Join the IME member Community.  I’ll coach you to create the results YOU want and I will meet you where you are and always have your back along the way.  Also, remember, I never coach on anything I haven’t already gone through.  

Playlist break: “Cars” by Gary Numan

Small changes create big metabolic health rewards Saturday? What you decide on is what works.  It’s that simple.  But, small changes are very important and over time can create long-lasting improvements in your metabolic health. 

How consistent should I be Sunday? Remember when we talked about slaying your goals in week 6? If not, you may want to go back and review.  To take massive action doesn’t mean you are changing everything up all at once.  To transform or improve your metabolic health, what you need to be intentional about is showing up every day for yourself, create self-trust by keeping promises you make to yourself, having your back by being kind to yourself, and doing the thought work when you’re stuck. 

Final playlist break: “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus

Get ready for week 8 where I’m going to coach you to coach yourself! Now, this is the most powerful work!

Watch the Video Replay

Up Next: Week 8 – Positive Body Image

Previous: Week 6 – Get to Your Natural Weight Set Point

Get to Your Natural Weight Set Point: IME Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Week 6

Get to Your Natural Weight Set Point: IME Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Week 6

I can’t believe we are almost half-way through the amazingness of the 12 week Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge! I’m having a lot of fun showing up on YouTube, IME Community podcast and every day on TikTok doing videos and coaching on TikTok Live.  

If you have been participating, let me know how it’s going.  You can email me at  

Are you a teen or parent of a teen who wants to LevelUp and Join IME member Community to have access to my coaching on zoom?  

By the way, I’m thinking about all of you as you are headed back to school.  This morning was my son’s first day of High School and also his 15th birthday.  He’s so hilarious.  I have three very funny kids.  It’s weird to call them kids since they are 20, 17 and 15.  I hope your school year gets off to a great start.  I’m sending lots of positive vibes out into the world to you.  

Also, I’m thinking about everyone and COVID as we are in another very serious wave of the pandemic.  Health systems are completely stressed, ICU’s are full across the country, and it’s very serious.  I want to encourage you to get the vaccine if you are able to. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone. This is so very tough. 

Last week was Week 5, “I Gotta Feeling” where I taught you to give yourself permission to feel your emotions instead of buffering with food.  What an important skill.  I love “More than a feeling” by Boston.  Each week builds on the next, but you can start this week and get going on slaying your goals and learning the truth about your body’s natural weight set point.  

Drown Out Diet Culture – You Are Not Stuck!

I wasn’t planning on addressing this, but there’s so much confusion, especially on TikTok, where creators are saying you are stuck at your current weight.  Nope. Nope. Nope.  Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with staying at your current weight.  Let’s drown out our society’s ridiculous noise that perpetuates diet culture and isn’t healthy mentally or physically for any of us.  So, if you don’t want to make changes.  No problem.  You get to decide.  If you do want to create a healthier life, you can start wherever you want.  Fueling our bodies with healthful balanced  food that serves us is possible and there’s some great data about that. 

I recently saw an article in the NYT about a recent study out that looked at metabolism and is disrupting what we thought about metabolism as we age.  So cool!  There are four stages of metabolism in our lifetimes.  This study is definitely disrupting the status quo thinking about metabolism. 

Physicians Breaking the Mold to Help You Find Your Natural Weight Set Point

There’s only a handful of us doctors across the country and actually, globally, who are disrupting what doesn’t work.  We don’t take sponsorships or ad money.  There’s some amazing data.  There’s so much frickin’ confusion out there, it makes me want to pull my hair out.  Listen to experts, especially those of us physicians who are willing to speak out, say where healthcare has gone wrong, and are helping as many as people as possible to create a healthier path.  What’s also powerful, is that there are some of us physicians who have also gone through our own weight loss journey.  The importance is the focus on metabolic health and reversing insulin resistance.  You can check out the Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners website at  I’m a founding member and proud of it. 

Our bodies are status quo homeostasis machines.  Our bodies adapt to what we are fed.  Sure, it’s more complex than that.  Making the change to cut back on processed carbs and then being consistent over time is going to show some major improvements in your metabolic health and help you to reverse insulin resistance. Let’s get to goal slaying. 

The Secret to Slaying Your Healthy Weight Goals

So, I’m a major goal slayer.  My top strength is Activator and I can grind out a goal with diligence and persistence like nobody’s business.  I can also make it pretty grueling on myself.  I’ve learned the tools of self compassion and I created Make it fun to get it done and learned that goal slaying can be fun and also it’s not being hard on ourselves that works.  It’s self-love superpower. When you learn to be kind to yourself no matter what and have your own back, it’s so powerful.  You can do anything.  All of this is practice. 

I’ll tell you the secret to any goal I’ve slayed. The key to any goal slaying is staying with your vision.  It’s an elevated approach.  It’s not about the how.  It’s like looking up and taking a 40,000 foot view.  You are the butterfly and not the caterpillar.  

Expect to feel self-doubt, confusion and overwhelm, fear of failure, victim and lots of discomfort along the way.  There’s nothing going wrong.  Discomfort is the currency of our dreams. 

Let’s get going with the week!

Monday Goal Slaying Motivation:  Choose the goal that commands your attention! What’s your biggest pain point? What’s the biggest obstacle in your way?  What’s the trade off?  Experience temporary discomfort now while achieving your goals and dreams or the long-term discomfort of not achieving your dream?   

Choose Your Goal Tuesday :  Pick a 30-day goal.  Choose one goal at a time.  I’m sure you’re really excited, but choosing one goal at a time is very important.  Otherwise, you will most likely indulge in overwhelm and that will keep you from taking action on any of your goals.   Choose a goal that motivates you, so how important is achieving this goal and is there value in achieving this goal?  How does this goal fit into the bigger picture of my life?  Am I interested in the outcome?  Drink more water? Cut back on processed carbs?  Crush your sugar cravings?  Work on self-trust eating?  Get more organized?  Increase your fitness?  Get better sleep?  What’s your goal and why do you want to achieve it?  Why will I do it no matter what and who has your back as you are reaching your goal?  

SMART Goals Wednesday:  What’s a measurable goal?  You get to decide how you measure your success. What’s SMART stand for when it comes to setting goals? SMART is an acronym used for any type of goal setting.  SMART goals help set you up for major goal slaying success! SMART stands for Specific (make your goal clear and figure out exactly where you will end up when you have achieved your goal) /Measurable (It’s important to figure out how you will measure your success so that you know when and can celebrate when you’ve achieved your goal.  By this time, I will have completed and created (insert goal).  I will know I’m done because of _______ You can also create your own measures of success.  Did I show up as my authentic self?  Did I coach with compassion?  Did I learn something new?  Did I hold space? Did I have fun? How? .    /Attainable (make sure your goal is possible, If you set a goal that is outside of your realm of possibility, your brain will use that as evidence to criticize and that will cut down on your confidence.  /Relevant means that the goal matters in the bigger picture of your life /Time Bound means you can achieve your outcome or goal in a certain period of time.

Take Massive Action Thursday:  Now that you have your goal and your SMART goals, it’s time to get going.  Self-trust is created by taking action.  You are learning to show up for a goal you set for yourself.  That’s super powerful.  Write down everything you need to do to in the next 30 days to get to your goal.  Break it down into steps.  

Make it Fun to Get it Done Friday: Since this is IME Community, I’m going to teach you my entire philosophy which is to Make it Fun to Get it Done.  Start by owning your goal, then get yourself all amped up to take action like Dwight from The Office before a sales call when he was jamming out on air guitar in the backseat while Jim waited patiently outside the car for Dwight to do his thing.  

Superhero Saturday: Self-love is your superpower to achieve your goals and dreams.  Some of you may not have even heard of Superman.  You should watch the movie, “Superman” with Christopher Reeves, best Superman ever.  Some of the special effects in that movie are hilarious.  Clark Kent was Superman’s version of a nerdy base level human.  When the world needed saving Clark Kent would go into a phone booth and come out as hottie Superman.  Well, you are your own superhero.  You are able to go into a phone booth and put on your self-love superpower cape and go save the world.  No pressure!

Sunday Strategizing:  What are the obstacles in your way? What’s in between you and your goal?  What’s hard about your goal?  What do you need help with?  Now, turn your list of obstacles into strategies.  You can turn your obstacles into strategies which clears your path to achieve your goals.  A strategy could be a skill you need to develop.  Here’s an example: If your goal is to eat sugar in moderation, one obstacle may be “I have lots of urges and cravings to eat sugar.” Strategy examples are: “Even though my sugar cravings are conditioned, my brain can be conditioned to create a healthier pathway.” “ I will create a pause when I have an urge or craving to eat sugar.” “ I will keep an urge jar and only count my wins.”  

Now, get it all on the calendar and mark off your wins! You’ve got this!

Watch the Video Replay

Up Next: Week 7 – Your Metabolic Health

Previous: Week 5 – Social Media Friend Drama

Social Media Friend Drama: IME Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Week 5

Social Media Friend Drama: IME Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Week 5

Coach:  How did you feel when she blocked you on IG?  

Teen: “I don’t know.”  

Coach: Can you describe it?  Where is it in your body?  What color is it?  

Teen: “I don’t know really.  I just felt upset.”

Coach: Why did you feel upset?

Teen: “Because I just did. I have no idea why she blocked me. I didn’t do anything.  I can’t think of any reason why she blocked me.”

Coach:  What do you do when you feel upset?

Teen: “I was doing so great before she blocked me and then had so many more cravings for food and ate so much and felt out of control again.” 

Defining and Accepting Emotions

In IME Community, teens are learning the skill to allow emotions instead of numbing out with food, how to show up as a friend to themselves first, and how to show up and where to put their attentional focus on social media. 

I love helping teens to stop self-judging, to have the self-confidence to achieve their health goals and create a big magic dream for their future. 

So, what is an emotion or feeling?  It’s a vibration in your body created by your thoughts.  Your thoughts create your feelings.  

I can’t believe it’s already Week 5: “I Gotta Feeling” of the Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge!

This week is for all of us, social media friend drama or life drama.  

This week, I’m coaching you to give yourself permission to allow all your human feelings and emotions. 

If you are an adult, don’t you wish you had learned these skills when you were a teen? 

Week 5 Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Plan

Are you ready? Let’s go!

Mood Ring Monday!  Do you remember mood rings?  I had several that turned my fingers green.  I was obsessed with checking in on the current color of my many mood rings to find out what my mood was at any given moment and if my many mood rings were in sync.  

Mood rings are a perfect metaphor for how our culture externalizes our emotions.  It’s just like our society to teach us to watch the changing color of a mood ring instead of giving us permission and teaching the skills to allow us to get internal, check in with ourselves throughout the day and create emotional awareness.  

What’s your mood this Monday? 

Try on a metaphor Tuesday! As someone who has had to learn the skill of allowing my emotions, and as a pediatrician for 25 years, and a Mom of 20, 17, and 14 year-old humans, and mostly from what I’ve learned through the amazingness of coaching teens, I know it’s super tough for all of us to describe how we are feeling.  

One tool I use when I coach teens who are stuck is to create a metaphor for their feelings and emotions. 

What’s a metaphor that works for you to describe how you are feeling?  Calm like in a swimming pool, sad like a weighted blanket is on you, excited like it’s your birthday? 

I’m sure with school starting no one feels excited. Well, I always did.  Nerd alert.

Welcome all emotions Wednesday! In our society and culture, we are not taught the skills or even given permission to feel our human emotions.  That leads us to think there’s something wrong when we perceive a negative emotion, so we end up reacting, resisting, or avoiding, instead of allowing all emotions to pass through us, so we can be present in the moments of our lives.  

Whether you are resisting, avoiding or reacting, your emotions are there under the surface or buried deep.  

When you learn to allow and even welcome all your human emotions, you find a freedom you never had.  You find freedom from buffering with food.  

Ask yourself, “What would it feel like if I welcomed all my human emotions?”

Don’t ride the Thought Train Thursday!  Thoughts create your feelings, but that doesn’t mean you have to do anything other than recognize feelings and how emotions come up in your body. Don’t overthink your feelings.  Don’t spend a lot of time chasing down the thought train of what’s creating your feelings.  Later, you will be able to do more thought awareness, but recognition of feelings is key at the beginning. 

How are you feeling Friday?  When was the last time someone asked you, “How are you feeling?” 

Did they truly listen and care about your answer? You can listen to yourself and care about your answer.  

“I care.”- This is a super cheesy line Luke Skywalker says in Star Wars.  It’s Mark Hamill’s super cheesy delivery that gets me every time.

So, I will ask you on this find Friday,

How are you feeling? 

Permission to Feel Saturday! Do you get critical and judge yourself for feeling sad, anxious, tired, disappointed?  

Recently, I’ve been feeling disappointment, but instead of allowing the feeling of disappointment, I was depleting my energy stores by resisting it.  I was making feeling disappointment mean that I was disappointed in myself and that didn’t feel believable.  

So, through coaching, I created a space, took some breaths and decided to say to myself, “I feel disappointed.” Then, I left it at that.  It felt empty and gray and hollow to me.  I just accepted I felt the human emotion of disappointment and didn’t make it mean anything else.  

Ask yourself, “How can I give myself permission to feel all of my emotions and not judge myself for having a human emotion?”

Sunday Mindfulness. I coach teens to recognize what they cause and control, which is mainly deciding how they want to show up and where they put their attentional focus, and that all feelings are part of the human journey and there’s nothing going wrong when they perceive a negative emotion.  

What would it feel like to respond to your emotions instead of reacting, avoiding or resisting? What mindfulness practices help you calm your mind so you can respond instead of reacting, avoiding or resisting?

Watch the Video Replay

Up Next: Week 6 – Slay Your Goals to Get to Your Natural Weight Set Point

Previous: Week 4 – How Much Physical Activity Is Enough?

How Much Physical Activity Is Enough? IME Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Week 4

How Much Physical Activity Is Enough? IME Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Week 4

Health Benefits

Improves: Cardiovascular function, blood glucose regulation, dyslipidemia (high cholesterol), and HDL cholesterol.

Reduces:  Blood pressure, risk of certain cancers, mortality rate, medications, dementia risk, pain, depression

Knowing How Much Physical Activity Is Enough 

General health benefit: Moderate aerobic exercise 150 min/week

Prevention of weight gain: 150-250 minutes per week

Stay out of calories in calories out mentality.  Stay out of weight loss thinking with exercise.  We can’t exercise our way out of an unhealthy diet.  

Write Your Own Exercise Prescription

According to the 2018 PA Guidelines for Americans, 80% of US adults and adolescents are insufficiently active.  

By Sunday of this week, you will be able to write your own Exercise prescription made up of the CORE Components: FITTE

  1. Frequency
  2. Intensity
  3. Time
  4. Type
  5. Enjoyment

Physical Activity and Energy Expenditure

What is Energy Expenditure?  The amount of energy a person needs to carry out a physical function is known as energy expenditure.  

Energy expenditure is made up of resting metabolic rate (energy expended at rest), physical activity, and dietary thermogenesis (our energy from food). The biggest difference in energy expenditure among individuals is physical activity.  There are different ways to measure energy expenditure.

A rule of thumb breakdown formula for components of total energy expenditure:

70% resting metabolic rate + 20% physical activity + 10% diet-induced thermogenesis = TEE 

Energy Expenditure Definitions:

EAT (Exercise Activity Thermogenesis): Planned, structured and repetitive physical activity with the goal to improve health.

NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis):  Not all physical activity is exercise.  Did you know that not all Physical Activity is Exercise:  NEAT (Non- Exercise Activity Thermogenesis): includes common daily activities such as walking, standing, and climbing stairs and can result in up to 150-500 kcal/day of energy expenditure per day. 

Get started with low or no-impact activities and make modifications as needed; Balance training; and Strength training

Work in rest days to restore.  Your body may need days off to heal and rejuvenate.  Listen to your body.  There’s no timeline or summit.  It’s just daily intentional practice and showing up for yourself.  Practice self-compassion and don’t mobilize that inner critic, self-judging shaming, negative self-talk when you need to take a break.  Set realistic goals for yourself.  Create self-trust.  Remember, you are worthy of your health goals.  You can’t hate yourself to a weight goal or a fitness goal.  

Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Week 5 Plan

Movement Monday: Your body was made to move!  7- day FITTE challenge.  What’s your why?  Don’t make it about calories in calories out.  Stay out of all or nothing thinking.  Stay out of waiting for motivation to come to you.  All movement counts. You are an exerciser.   

  • Physical Activity History (remember your past self is only your thoughts about your past self):
    • Success and/or failure (it’s all learning) of previous physical activity/exercise efforts
    • If no longer doing routine physical activity/exercise regimen:
    • When? Date of change
    • What? Cause of change
    • Why? Identify barriers to re-engagement
  • Current physical activity?
  • Current fitness level, endurance capacity, and mobility?
  • Access to locations for increased physical activity/exercise (e.g. gym, workplace, exercise facilities, bike paths and walkways or trails, urban or rural home setting)?
  • Actual and perceived barriers to increased physical activity? 

Tracking Tuesday:  Know yourself.  Accountability partner needed?  Don’t count calories burned unless you are already doing this or if you have managed your mind.  Are you working towards a goal like walking a marathon a week?  Getting your steps in on the daily? Create self-trust by documenting the evidence that you are moving! 

Tracking Progress: 

  • Daily activity logs (written or electronic)
  • Pedometer/accelerometer logs
  • Dynamic training metrics (miles run, laps swum, etc.)
  • Resistance training metrics (i.e., muscle-circumference measurements, reps, sets, etc.)
  • Percent body fat measurements 

Wednesday Wisdom:  Let’s nerd out.  What’s your target heart rate?  Check your resting heart rate which is the number of times your heart beats per minute when you’re at rest.  A good time to check is in the morning.  

Your maximum HR is about 220 minus your age.  

AHA (American Heart Association) has a table that shows Target HR zone during moderate intensity activities is around 50-70% of your maximum HR.  So, for a 20 year-old your Target Heart Rate is 100-170.  If you are just starting out, aim for the lower range of your target heart zone (50 percent) and gradually build up.  

Thursday Thoughts:  Time for a Thursday belief upgrade? There’s nothing going wrong if you are uncomfortable when you are exercising.  You can take a break when you need to. Practice self-compassion.  Don’t make it mean anything about you or start believing what your brain will be offering up, thoughts like, “See, you are not meant for this!” I put this in quotes because this is an actual quote from my inner critic.   

A belief is a powerful thought on a loop in your brain that you most likely haven’t challenged.  Remember, thoughts are optional and you are not your thoughts.  Same with beliefs.  My beliefs about myself and fitness? Now, do a belief upgrade.  Here’s an example of a belief upgrade I worked on with my fitness coach.  

1.) I’m not an athlete.  Upgrade: My body was created to move.  I am an active person.  

Friday Fitness Fun:  Try something new and challenge yourself. You won’t know unless you try.  You may love it.  You get to choose what is fun for you.  Find a friend and try new things.  You can keep it simple like a new walking route, going to a new park, trying Zumba or boxing.  

Saturday Success:  Increase your NEAT! Let’s focus on activities around your house and yard and running errands.  Make sure you are moving throughout the day.  What’s NEAT? It’s Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Not all physical activity is exercise.  NEAT is energy expenditure not typically considered physical exercise (standing, walking, stair climbing, fidgeting, cleaning, singing, and other activities or daily living).  Increase your NEAT: Take stairs instead of elevators; park further from a destination, monitor number of steps per day with a pedometer. 

Sunday Strategy:  Write your own FITTE Exercise Prescription:

IME Community Exercise Rx:


Aerobic Activity 


Type: Walk Jog Swim Bike Elliptical 


Frequency (days/week):   1 2 3 4 5 6 7


Intensity: Light Moderate Vigorous


Time (minutes/day): 10 20 30 45 60


Make It Fun:  Music Buddy   Dance Class_______


Strength Training:

  • Do muscle strengthening exercises of moderate intensity at least two days per week
  • Not all activities require going to a gym.  You can use resistance bands or do body-weight exercises (e.g., push-ups, lunges, planks, squats, jumping jacks as you are able).

NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Time):

  • Park farther away from entrances.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator.
  • Stand instead of sit.
  • Set a steps/day goal:___________
  • Other:  ______________________________________________


Signature of Commitment: Dr. Karla/______________________________


Get ready to feel your emotions for week 5 of the reverse your insulin resistance challenge!

Watch the Video Replay

Up Next: Week 5 – Social Media Weight Stigma and Friend Drama

Previous: Coping with Food Cravings and Urges

Your Metabolic Health: IME Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Week 7

Coping with Food Cravings and Urges: IME Community Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Week 3

We all know, way too well, what urges and cravings are.  We all have them, especially when we try to strike a balance with our eating.  Coping with food cravings is something very achievable. Any change can make us have increased urges and cravings.  It’s like I remember wanting to chew my left arm off or bite someone’s head off as I was making changes with my eating.  That’s because I had been giving so much power for so long to the urges.  The good news is, even though I still have urges and cravings, I have learned how to allow urges instead of buffering all my emotions with food. 

When we have an urge or craving, there’s nothing going wrong.  Just take things super slow and create self-awareness.  Be curious.  Let me help you get unstuck from the urges and cravings.  I know, especially with pandemic weight gain and then being home during the summer, that there’s a lot of mindless eating and snacking.  Again, nothing going wrong.  Let’s talk about how you can create a healthier way forward and get some freedom from urges, cravings, stress eating and buffering with emotional eating. 

How to Get Started Coping with Food Cravings and Urges

We’re going to focus on how to allow urges and I’ll tell you right now, you are not broken.  We are all in the same boat when it comes to urges and cravings. It’s truly a process of learning and creating self-awareness and when you know that urges and cravings don’t go away, but you have the skills to allow them and be in the moment of feeling the emotions that are coming up, that lead us to buffering with food, then that’s all you need.  

It’s not like a switch.  It’s like a dissipation or a process.  Remember, progress not perfection.  Perfect doesn’t exist.  Perfection is a lie.  It’s a waste of our time and our lives to pursue it. 

Our thoughts create our feelings and our feelings drive our actions or behaviors.  Urges are feelings created by our thoughts.  I look at urges as habit thoughts that create what we perceive as negative or painful feelings.  

Urges and cravings are also habituated or conditioned pathways in our brain.  It’s brain science.  We have a ton of added sugar to our foods and we get an immediate dopamine zing when we eat a sugary food.  It’s a short-term false pleasure.  

The Science Behind Food Cravings

Ready for more science?  Most likely, you have a thought that is permissive or judging or shaming yourself when an urge comes up.  Again, I am the Queen, probably the King of both types of thoughts.  No shame.  Just learning.  

So, a permissive thought is one that’s like, “I deserve this.  I’ve worked hard all day.  It’s been a really stressful day. I’ve earned eating this.”  

A shaming thought is one that’s like, “Might as well eat this because I never stick with anything. It doesn’t matter. Screw it!” 

Believe me, I have lived and continue to live this.  I’ve been talking about learning to feel our emotions, in a way that we respond by recognizing, creating a pause and then a shift, instead of reacting, avoiding or resisting our natural human emotions.  We haven’t been taught this skill in our families or our society.  In fact, we’ve been taught the opposite, to suppress, not talk about, and to buffer our emotions with food, social media, online shopping, overworking, perfectionism.  All the things.

When a natural human emotion comes up that we sense is negative, we believe something is wrong and we need to fix it.  What better way to get out of what we believe is a negative emotion and pain than getting a quick dopamine zing from sugary food?  

There Is No Shame in Having Food Cravings and Urges

No shame here.  It’s just learning.  I’m the Queen of buffering and emotional reactivity.  That’s been the amazing power of showing up every day to learn the life coaching skills that help me to be more intentional about allowing all of my human emotions which helps me to allow urges and not go to food for a quick sugary fix.  

Remember, self-love superpower, so lots of self-compassion.  Our brains are conditioned by the food we have in our society and a lack of vulnerability in feeling our emotions.  I’m not saying we have to be all Kumbaya and sit around singing and holding hands. This isn’t wacky.  I promise.  

Take Back Your Power

So, what is buffering? This is the definition from the Life Coach School which is where I trained.  Buffering is when we use external things to change how we feel emotionally. We buffer when we don’t want to experience any type of emotion.  Our brains are wired to seek pleasure and avoid discomfort and keep us in the status quo and we are constantly bombarded with ways to feel pleasure.  

The more power we give to these pathways in our brain, the more powerful the pathways become.  What we focus on, we create more of.  

Children and teens have been seen as commodities for food companies, so it makes sense that we are stuck in this pleasure seeking, emotion avoidant, buffering with foods that don’t serve us, society.  

We become entitled to feeling happy and pleasure all the time.  But, the truth of life is that we aren’t happy or feeling pleasure all the time.  In fact, these are short term false rewards or pleasures and life can be way better without false pleasures and by creating true pleasures and showing up as our true self for our true lives.  

The Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge: Week 3

Ready for Week 3 of the Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge?  Let’s go!

Monday Motivation:  What are the ways you buffer?  Food, social media, shopping, sleeping, procrastination?  All of the above? 

What are the negative consequences of buffering in your life? Poor health, weight gain, not achieving your goals, not getting the grade you want, feeling a lot of negativity? 

How will you manage your urges to give in to buffering? Start recognizing when you have an urge and think about stimulus control and contingency management that I talked about last week.  You can create an environment and a plan to help decrease your urges and cravings that lead you to buffering.  

Tuesday Tracking:  What times of day do you have urges and cravings and tend to buffer with food?  Write it down.  What are some of the trigger foods for you that once you start eating them you get in kind of a fog?  It’s okay.  You can learn to eat those in moderation. 

Get foods on your plan that serve you if you are hungry and have an urge, craving or desire to buffer.

Wednesday Wisdom:  After you allow about 100 urges, the urges will start to dissipate. Allowing an urge means feeling your emotions that are coming up instead of looking to an external source like food to fix your feelings.  Since buffering with food is what you do to avoid pain, when you stop buffering, you will feel pain.  The emotion is still there even when you buffer with food.  You can handle it.  You can learn the skill to allow your human emotions.  

I really like the book, “LiveWired” by David Eagleman a neuroscientist, researcher and writer at Stanford.  It’s so interesting.  His research shows that our brains are malleable and adaptable if we challenge our brains.  What we focus on we create more of.  Keep giving all your power away to urges, you will keep buffering and stay stuck!  Start challenging your brain and start allowing your emotions and you will be well on your way to break the cycle! You can unstuck (is this a word) your brain! So cool and nerdy!

Thursday Thoughts: What emotions are you attempting to avoid when you buffer?

What are your thoughts that cause your emotions you are trying to avoid when you buffer? Take some time and get curious. You are creating self-awareness.  You are not your thoughts and thoughts are optional.  

Friday Fun: Can you shift to other thoughts that serve you?  How can you enjoy food, keep it simple, and have an exciting life?  What are you doing for fun this weekend?  Focus on what’s fun instead of what is a short-term pleasure like a sugary dopamine zing.

Saturday Success:  Get an urge jar that creates evidence for yourself that you are figuring this out.  Only count the positives.  Put a bead or marble or $1 in every time you allow an urge instead of buffering.  Now, how will you celebrate your wins?  Of course, I’m going to suggest not using food as your main way to celebrate. 

Sunday Strategy:    What are the ways that you showed up as your Future Self this week?  What did you learn about yourself? Spend some time asking yourself these important questions: What are your true pleasures in life?  What’s meaningful?  If you’re a teen, maybe you don’t know yet, so you get to figure this out.  So fun!

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Up Next: Week 4 – How Much Physical Activity Is Enough?

Previous: Week 2 – Why Do We Overeat?