What Are Almond Moms and What Do They Believe?

What Are Almond Moms and What Do They Believe?

Dr. Karla Lester was recently quoted in a Newseek article titled What Is an Almond Mom? Yolanda Hadid’s TikTok Sparks Diet Culture Convo.

Dr. Lester told Newsweek: “What diet culture teaches us is that people say they’re pursuing health or wellness, but actually, they’re pursuing thin privilege. It’s all based on fatphobia and internalized bias.”

Here’s Dr. Lester addressing the almond mom topic on her TikTok channel:

@imecommunity #Inverted Almond Moms are addicted to the pursuit of thin privilege and get a dopamine hit by subsuming their child in their disordered eating. The child’s weight is completely irrelevant. #almondmoms #yolandahadidflop #narcissisticparents #pediatriciansoftiktok #lifeandweightcoach #obesitydoctor ♬ original sound – Dr. Karla

Self-love superpower,

Dr. Karla

Obesity Is Hormonal – October 2022 Mantras

Obesity Is Hormonal – October 2022 Mantras

Obesity is hormonal. Don’t be a Diet Culture Zombie!!!

TikTok testimonial from one of my followers (adult) who I coach on my TikTok lives:

“I have great news!! A1C was 6.1 in March.  Made changes to diet and did Intermittent fasting.  Lost 30 lbs and as of June A1C is 5.5. Smiley face emoji! Thank you!”

Her labs show a reversal of pre-diabetes.  She said I was the one who connected her to a new way of thinking by introducing her to “The Obesity Code” and coached her to make changes and show up as a curious compassionate scientist for her health.  Her doctor told her to diet and exercise and that’s it. So, the same old eat less and move more. She didn’t let that get in her way. She went to her doc, got her labs drawn, did some research on her own, and showed up for my TikTok coaching and videos. 

My Own Weight Loss Journey

My own weight loss journey started five years ago. It was very shocking for someone like me, who’s been a pediatrician working to address the childhood obesity epidemic for nearly two decades, to learn that the old calories in minus calories out is too simplistic and leaves out the role of hormones.  

It made total sense after I learned about it and because that’s what I was seeing in my pediatric weight management clinic. Insulin Resistance and what are called comorbidities, like type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The number of children and teens with NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), which I call the silent epidemic, was and is, worse after the pandemic, truly frightening! 

I love disrupting the status quo.  How about you? 

I also loved getting chocolate when I was a young one, trick or treating. Anything chocolate, except for Mars Bar or Almond Joy. Yuck! In my neighborhood growing up, we always knew which houses handed out full size Snickers and which ones gave out apples or dimes.  Steer clear of those buzzkills, for sure. That’s enough about candy, candy, candy. My mouth is watering. 

Stay Out of the Scarcity Mindset

By the way, stay out of restriction and scarcity when it comes to Halloween candy.  Don’t think, “This is the only time I get to eat candy.” 

Pace yourself, people! I know. I know. I get it. You’re going for all the m&m’s first. Which color is your favorite? Brown, for sure, for me. Those taste the most like chocolate.  Did you get that I love chocolate?

Let’s switch gears, like completely. 

October is all about metabolic health! I’m launching IME Health and disrupting the status quo that is not working, is unhelpful and seriously unfun. My only point with my Obesity is hormonal mantras is to get you thinking in a different way about unfun and unfunny zombie diet culture. 

Sure, I get my share of TikTok trolls, but I also get my share of metabolic health coaching wins. 

Let’s start getting you some results too.

October 2022 Mantras: Obesity Is Hormonal

So, let’s dress up as nerdy scientists this Halloween and dive right into my October mantras: 

Obesity is hormonal and not simply caloric.  What does that even mean? 

You’re probably thinking, “It’s the month of candy, candy, candy, so give me a break!” 

What does it mean when I say that obesity is hormonal?

The 4 Major Hormones Associated with Weight Gain or Loss

I’m talking four major hormones: Insulin, Cortisol, Leptin and Ghrelin

The way our society is so stuck in the Energy Imbalance Model of Obesity, or weight is only a result of overeating and lack of physical activity and both of those are blamed on lack of willpower.  Makes me almost puke like I did after eating too much Halloween candy one year.  JK. 

It’s just not scientifically true that weight gain is simply due to total calories eaten minus calories burned with exercise! I’m not saying what we eat and how much we move aren’t important, it’s just that this model doesn’t include the most important part of a human that controls our hunger, appetite, and energy expenditure- the BRAIN! Think about it! 

Our ultra-processed food system (yes, that includes Halloween candy but don’t get your undies in a double bubble wad) along with a bag full of bad diet culture advice has created an epidemic of Insulin Resistance and diseases like pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, PCOS, and fatty liver disease. 

I know it’s not as fun as eating loads of candy, but let’s try my October ghostly mantras out: 

  • 10/1 Insulin is a hormone that keeps my blood sugar stable. 
  • 10/2 Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps me focus, stay awake and helps me when I’m stressed. 
  • 10/3  Leptin is a hormone that lets me know when I feel full and satisfied.
  • 10/4 Ghrelin is a powerful hunger hormone that lets me know when I need to eat. 
  • 10/5 Obesity is hormonal. It’s not just simple calories in minus calories out. 
  • 10/6  It’s okay to challenge societal beliefs that are clearly not helpful.
  • 10/7  Diet thinking restricts me and my health goals.
  • 10/8  My body is always working. 
  • 10/9  My body is not a machine.
  • 10/10 Not all calories are created equal or are used the same in my body.
  • 10/11 A balance of real food is good for my health.
  • 10/12 I don’t control my body with willpower.
  • 10/13 I don’t cause weight gain or health issues. 
  • 10/14 There are many causes for weight gain.
  • 10/15 I’m kind to myself and stay out of self-judgment.
  • 10/16 Insulin Resistance is a way the body adapts to sugar intake.
  • 10/17 My body is able to adapt and change.
  • 10/18 My body and brain work together. 
  • 10/19 I understand when I don’t sleep well, I go to food for energy the next day. 
  • 10/20 Sugary foods create dopamine zings in my brain. 
  • 10/21 Stress creates cortisol release and cortisol raises my blood sugar.
  • 10/22  My body wasn’t meant to be stressed all the time. 
  • 10/23 Better sleep is one of the most important ways I can improve my health. 
  • 10/24  Circadian rhythm is my body and brain’s natural sleep and wake cycle. 
  • 10/25 All health behaviors are equally important. 
  • 10/26 Sometimes I have a hard time knowing when I feel full and that’s okay.
  • 10/27 I’m a curious and compassionate scientist for my health.
  • 10/28 Every body is totally different.
  • 10/29 I focus on all of my health, not my body size.
  • 10/30 I don’t have scarcity thinking when it comes to sugary treats. 
  • 10/31 Boo! It’s okay to eat candy. Just choose my favorite and make it a true treat. 

Have a fun Halloween however you do or don’t celebrate!

Self-love superpower,
Dr. Karla

Stuck in Stretch Mark Drama?

Stuck in Stretch Mark Drama?

PERFECT doesn’t exist. 

Perfect DOESN’T exist.

Perfect doesn’t EXIST.

Ginny is 15 and hates her stretch marks.  Every time she glances in the mirror, she notices them on her thighs and stomach.  They just seemed to pop up overnight. 

Even if she’s having a great day, seeing her stretch marks ruins everything.  It doesn’t help that her doctor just diagnosed her with PCOS, and she’s scared about it.  Also, Ginny’s Mom says, “You’re beautiful.  You’re growing. We all have stretch marks in our family.” 

Sometimes Ginny can’t get her mind off her stretch marks, and she thinks about them for the rest of the day. Sometimes Ginny asks her mom if she can have surgery or laser treatment or if she needs to go on a diet to get rid of her stretch marks.  Sometimes Ginny gets mad at her mom for giving her the stretch marks since they run in her mom’s family. 

Thoughts Are the Cause of Stretch Mark Drama – Stretch Marks Are Just Skin

Are you like Ginny? Stuck in stretch mark drama? 

Thoughts are the cause.

Maybe, you’re like, “No way, I couldn’t care less about stretch marks.”  

Same thing. 

Thoughts are the cause.

Not your stretch marks, which are just skin.

I never thought I would be coaching on stretch marks, especially when I haven’t thought about mine in forever, like decades, but stretch marks come up all the time.  Especially with pandemic weight gain. I remember thinking about mine when I first noticed them. 

Stretch marks usually aren’t painful, but they definitely seem to cause a lot of mind pain and drama.

Powerful Coaching Spoiler alert: It’s not the stretch marks.  It’s your thoughts about stretch marks that are keeping you stuck in your mind pain and drama.

What Do You Think Stretch Marks Mean?

  • Do stretch marks mean you’re old before your time?
  • Do stretch marks mean you’re out of shape?
  • Do stretch marks mean youre ugly?
  • Do stretch marks mean you’re scarred?
  • Are stretch marks permanent?
  • Are stretch markes evidence of something?
  • Are stretch marks something to be ashamed of?
  • Do stretch marks mean you’re broken?
  • Do stretch marks mean something’s wrong with your body?

Do you believe me when I tell you that your stuckness in stretch mark negativity has nothing to do with stretch marks?  

Getting Rid of Stretch Marks at All Costs Won’t Change How You Feel

If you change and get rid of stretch marks by whatever means possible, then I guarantee you will still feel the same.  It’s because of how your brain works.  

There are circumstances in the world like facts, other people, all the things you don’t cause, and you don’t control.  Yes, stretch marks fit into a definition of circumstance.  Your brain is triggered with a thought or many thoughts about circumstances in your life.  Thoughts create feelings and feelings drive actions and actions create your results.  Your current thinking creates your current reality.  I’m not making this stuff up.  I promise.  

See the IME Think—>Feel—->Do Circuit:

IME Community Circuit - Think Feel Do

Even Celebrities Have Stretch Marks – And It’s Also Okay Not to Love Them

When you attach to society’s external and unattainable beauty standard, you are attaching to a false belief about your body.  Think Kardashians and IG pics.  

I promise all the Kardashians have stretch marks. In other words, stop comparing your body to what doesn’t exist. 

It’s also okay to not love stretch marks.  

Create Awareness of the Thoughts to Change Your Thinking

It’s also okay to create awareness of the thought that you are attached to that takes you down the rabbit hole of negative self-talk and hating on your body.  

Check out my June Body Image Thoughts to Think where I coach you to get out of your negative body talk.  

It’s also okay to create self-awareness of how easily your brain hops on and rides around on the body judging thought train. 

When you become aware of your thoughts that are creating your feelings and actions and your current almost addiction to negativity, then you are free.

It’s your thoughts that are the cause.  You are not your thoughts.  Thoughts are optional. Guess what? How do I know this? Because I’m on TikTok a lot, I can assure you there are people out there who have zero thoughts or negativity about stretch marks. 

They may think, “Everyone’s got them.”

Let’s plug it into the IME Think—>Feel—–>Do Thought Circuit to see how your current thinking creates your current reality.  

You may be thinking Now Thought Circuits:

“I shouldn’t have stretch marks.”


“Get on my phone/Get on IG/Google how to get rid of stretch marks”

“I am arguing with facts.”


“I can’t accept myself if I have stretch marks.”


“Look for all the things that are wrong with me/Judge my body/Scroll on TikTok for hours”

“I don’t accept my true self no matter what.”


“My stretch marks are more evidence I am broken.”


“Judge myself/Restrict my eating/Binge”

“I believe my body is a failure.”


“Only gross people have stretch marks.”


“Isolate in my room/Don’t talk to friends/Stay home”

“I am choosing to judge myself and others based on society’s unattainable false perfectionistic beauty standards.” 

If none of these You may be thinking Now Thought Circuits flip your switch, then try writing your own.

See how the Thought Circuit works? Your action or the Do line comes from your Feel or feeling line which starts from your Think or thought line. 

What you Do creates your Reality or results. If you’re taking Algebra (don’t remind me of story problems), it’s kind of like a formula and Think, Feel, Do are the variables and Reality is your result (funny word to say out loud a bunch of times) on the other side of the equal sign.  If you are actually taking Algebra, can you toss me a variable and help me out? 

Stretch marks or skin are the circumstance.  A mere fact if you will.  

If you’re staying stuck without awareness of the thoughts that you’re attached to that create your reality, you will keep giving more and more power to the body-judging negativity circuit in your brain.  Body judging circuits will get more and more power surges.  

You can unplug and the power will go out by creating thought awareness.  

So, maybe someday you decide you want to change something about your body?  


Future You Can Decide to Change Something About Your Body – Or Not!

You can always change.  Keep in mind changing is different from fixing.  If you believe you can change up the circumstance line and your feelings will be different, or if you act from a feeling of fear or shame about yourself, you will have the same reality and result of body judging negativity.  

You may decide not to decide to change something about your body.  You may decide, “Wait, that doesn’t align with me and who I truly am.”

Here’s Future You talk: “Sure, I don’t want my stretch marks, but after thinking about it, I’d rather save up my money to go on a fun trip to Europe with my future college friends than spend $$$$ on laser treatment that most likely won’t work for stretch marks.” 

You may decide you value life experiences over chasing validation from society’s made-up external beauty standard. 

Doesn’t mean you want to automatically own your stretch marks and go flaunt them.  

Maybe, you do. That’s your decision.

Sometimes knowing this fact is super powerful: 

You can always change something about yourself. 

Of course.

No problem.

The problem is acting from a place of self-loathing and negative self-talk usually only brings short lived relief.  Thoughts are the cause of your pain.  Your attachment to your thoughts without awareness or questioning them is what’s causing harm.  You need to like your reasons for changing something about yourself.  

Hating On Your Body Is a Choice That You Can Shift

The more you stay stuck on your current thought, the more powerful it becomes.

It’s a choice.  

You can shift. 

Sometimes knowing this fact is super powerful: 

Hating on your body is a choice.  

Here’s what to choose instead when a negative body thought comes up:

  1. Recognize you’re activated
  2. Allow your feeling 
  3. Create a pause 
  4. Self-love superpower
  5. Notice “I’m being hard on myself.”
  6. Allow “I feel pressure and sick to my stomach right now.”
  7. Pause “I’m taking a deep breath in through my nose.”
  8. Self-kindness “This is hard.” “I’m not stuck.” “I love and accept myself now.”

You are now rewiring your thought circuit to one that serves you. 

Not a fake cheesy one, but a thought circuit that creates a reality more aligned with your true self and is more fun, you have your back, is based on self-acceptance and you can start making decisions from a place of calm and not self-hate and fear of not fitting in.  

Stretch marks are a circumstance that may trigger your body-judging thought train.  Body judging thoughts will keep coming up in your brain and that’s okay.  There’s nothing going wrong when that happens.  Awareness cuts off the power source. 

Notes for Parents

  • Don’t convince your teen to love all their body.  It may be too much of a thought leap and if it’s not believable, will not resonate with your teen and you and your advice will not resonate with your teen.

  • Don’t invalidate your teen’s feelings.

  • Get your teen to share their thoughts and feelings.
    • “It sounds like you’re upset.”
    • “What are you feeling?”
    • “That sounds tough.”
  • Recognize when you’re activated with fear because of your own body-judging thought circuits.

  • Don’t say anything about your own stretch marks.

  • Do the thought circuit work for yourself.

Reminder for Parents based on my personal experience and epic failures: Your teen may get into resistance mode and defend their thought or belief and get more stuck in body judging thoughts if you get into fix and solve mode. 

Ready to rewire your Think Feel Do circuits to get unstuck from body negativity and get what you want? Oh, and have fun doing it? Let’s go! 

Check out all the ways you can Work with Dr. Karla (https://www.drkarlamd.com) and make sure you follow me, Dr. Karla and IME Community on social. Share the goodness with everyone!

Self-love superpower,

Dr. Karla