Losing and finding my daughter at Target

Losing and finding my daughter at Target

My daughter wanted to go to Target which is nothing new. She’s 19 and is a consumer of skin care products and sunscreen, knowing much more about the latest and greatest than her pediatrician mother. She’ll be shocked at the sticker price when we finally make it to self check-out and will offer to take one of them (not the most expensive one) back, knowing I won’t want to deal with it, so will give in. We’ll get home with stuff and I’ll never know if it works or not.

It’s our first home from college summer and it’s going so well, mainly because I’ve finally learned to stay in my lane. I’ll say to my husband while patting myself on the back, “This is the best summer. I have to give Audrey all the credit. She’s really learned to let go of stuff.”

Until tonight at Target. It’s 7:30 pm on a Sunday and I never give up an opportunity to connect with Audrey. It’s always been on her terms and she knows it. Sure, I’ll take you to Target. Oh, my friend Ava may be working tonight. She saw you and Dad buying a pillow the other night at Target. Yes, Violet peed on Dad’s pillow. I know. Gross. She peed on the bed. Damn, Violet.

She said you guys didn’t say anything to her. We didn’t see her. We don’t really know her. You know how we are. We would always say something. We go overboard. Both of us. You know that, Audrey.

We were doing great in the make-up and skin care section. I was silently applauding myself for not saying anything and acting like I wasn’t judging her selections out of my “bombastic side eye” (TikTok viral trend- get with it, friend) when we made our way by the toothpaste aisle. First, I went to get my husband his 3 in 1 shampoo and Audge was still in the make-up/skin care section. Excellent.

We were walking together by the toothpaste aisle when she saw one of her friends and said hello and we kept walking. I walked a few feet down the toothpaste aisle, grabbed the Colgate whitening value pack (won’t work on our old yellow teeth), literally turned away for a few seconds and Audrey and our cart had vanished. Like out of thin air. I wasn’t panicked at this point at all. I calmly took my value pack and kept going on the main aisle as my strategy, looking down each aisle, but no Audrey. Maybe she went to the grocery aisle to get some LaCroix or stock up on the food she says we never have at home. How could our food be worse than the college food she’s complained about all year, giving her scurvy. According to her, just look in our home fridge.

Nope. Not there. Go back to get toilet paper and kleenexes, looking like Steve Martin out of The Jerk, “All I need is this paddle ball, and this chair and this….” All I needed was a cart. I put my stuff down in the old DVD section to get my phone which wasn’t there! I had no phone, no Audrey and NO CART!

I’ve lost my daughter. You could see the franticness on their faces, then reassurance when I said, “She’s old.”

Later recounting my side of the story, Audrey says, “Mom, I seriously doubt they took one look at you and thought you had a toddler.” Is this why Audrey is obsessed with buying all the latest anti-wrinkle age prevention creams on the market?

If you go back to the front to get a cart it will look like you’re trying to steal toilet paper and kleenexes and value pack whitening toothpaste.

Damnit, Audrey. Are you messing with me?

Then, I hope she’s okay. I went through the grocery aisles, the home goods aisles, then back to the make-up skin care area, found a Target employee who told me I had to go to customer service to page her overhead.

I decided to make one last attempt before going to the front. I stood at the multi-vitamin supplement section without going to look down the aisles (big mistake) and yelled her name, “Audrey. Audrey! AUDREY!” I found out later she heard me but was too embarrassed to answer.

I went to check out and went to customer service. They let me use their landline and I tried calling her, must have called the wrong number, then called my husband and told him to call Audrey and tell her to go to the front of the store.

“Maam, do you want me to page her overhead?” Yes, definitely. Please. When I’m in panic mode, I want all options to be utilized.

While she’s on the phone with her Dad, she hears, “Audrey to the front of the store. Audrey Lester come to the front of the store. Audrey to the front of the store.” About six times.
She and her Dad burst out laughing at the ridiculousness.

Audrey comes up pushing the cart shaking her head. I grab my items and walk back through and there’s Audrey, “Why didn’t you bring your phone?” “Why wouldn’t you bring your phone to Target?” “Who doesn’t bring their phone to Target?”

“Why did you ghost me, Audrey?”

“Why did you page me and use my last name like 6 times?”

I was super worried about you.
“Must not have been too worried if you checked out before finding me?”

I knew this first home from college summer was too good to be true.

Ava walks up because she heard Audrey’s name called overhead so met her up front.

“Hi Ava. I’m Karla. I’m Audrey’s Mom. Do you like working here at Target? What area do you work in? How long have you worked here?”

80’s Mixtape: Big Industrial Complexes

80’s Mixtape: Big Industrial Complexes

You just heard St. Elmo’s Fire by John Parr and I started your 80’s Mixtape with You spin me round by Dead or Alive. Playlist for the day is almost all top hits from August of 1985, so 38 years ago. It’s got an industrial feel, so I thought we’d talk about the top benefitters or profiters of America’s poor health. That’s what it’s all about, right? Toxic profits and for just a few. 


The very concentrated few. You’ve heard of the Military Industrial Complex. Well, I’m here to tell you about the Industrial Complexes that have created and profit from the epidemic of obesity, type 2 diabetes and on and on. Especially in children and teens and now for generations. 


These are not in any order of their toxicity. First is Big Food or the Food Industrial Complex. Next is Big Pharma or the Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex. Not to be outdone, Big Healthcare or Corporate Healthcare, which is what all of healthcare is, comes in as the Healthcare Industrial Complex. Let’s not forget Big Diet or the Diet Industrial Complex profiting off of promotion and glorification of eating disorders. 


I’ll tell you more during the next break about the most powerful industrial complex and it’s subterranean and has all the control and reaps all the profits and has tons of feeders. 


Here’s We don’t need another hero by Tina Turner. When it comes to your health, you need to be your own hero. 


It can happen by Yes. That’s from 1984. 

Spanish Eddie by Laura Branigan from 1985. 

Lay it down by Ratt. That’s Ratt with two T’s for everyone in the back. 

Now, let’s go with Wham Rap by Wham.


Invincible by Pat Benatar


Would I lie to you by Eurythmics. Of course, they would. That brings me to the next Industrial complex which I believe is super powerful and has tons of feeders and perpetuates our poor health and is a major influence on children and teens. Any guesses? It’s what I call the Media Industrial complex. Social media, Influencer culture, toxic wellness industry, digital marketing. Let’s call it Big MIC. Teens have high exposure to: digital advertising, peer-group influence, and they have developing brains with cognitive and emotional vulnerabilities. Food marketers are stealth and use three main promotional platforms:

Broadcast/mass media food packaging, TV, billboards, magazines

Digital marketing

Settings-based like schools, movie theaters, restaurants, stores, clubs, and transit systems. 


In honor of us disrupting the toxicity of the Big Media Industrial Complex, BIg MIC, This is Hey Mickey by Toni Basil. 

Thank you to my daughter, Audrey for her research on marketing tactics and children and teens. 


If you’re ready to help your teen be their own health hero, connect with me for a coaching consultation. 


If you’re ready for a metabolic  telehealth consultation, go to drkarlamd.com and schedule a consultation today. No referrals needed!


Send me your 80’s requests,

Dr. Karla

80’s Mixtape: Big Industrial Complexes

Megan starts her Junior Year on Wegovy!

Every parent, especially Moms worry about being an Almond Mom stuck in diet culture, potentially causing an eating disorder or doing absolutely nothing to help their teen who has health issues like insulin resistance and mental health issues associated with internalized weight bias. 


The healthier the relationship between parent and teen, the healthier the teen. When I say healthier I don’t mean weight. Health is not a number on a scale. I’m talking about relational health. 


Megan and her Mom are the best example of a parent and teen relationship being the foundation for reaching health goals.


I’ve been coaching Megan, who just started her Junior year. We’ve been working together over the summer. She’s doing great with her health goals she set for herself. Her Mom reached out to me several months ago about her amazing daughter who has struggled with her weight since she was little. Megan is a leader in her school, has great friends, makes all A’s, has been active in sports, and has an amazing supportive family. Megan’s full of dreams for her life. 


Megan feels like her life is 90% great, but the 10% is holding her back. It’s like the 10% is taking over the 90%. Megan has almost a freeze response when she’s bullied. Even though she’s a leader Megan isn’t able to stick up for herself when she’s weight bullied. 


My first step was a 30 minute coaching consultation with Mom to go over what’s going on. Mom was on board with my four pillars and my Let’s meet in the middle philosophy. See my viral TikTok video. Read the comments on my post to see how important it is to take a compassionate and not a compliance-based approach. 


Mom felt like Megan would be a good candidate for the newly FDA approved GLP-1 medications, but her pediatrician wasn’t comfortable writing a prescription. This is a common scenario. Mom didn’t know where to start. I did. It’s like a flow diagram. We do this in medicine for patient care. 


My telehealth practice isn’t licensed in her state, but that didn’t stop me from helping to navigate the process of getting a prescription and supporting Megan’s health goals. 


Speaking of flow diagrams, stop here to see if you live in one of the ten states I’m licensed in and go to drkarlamd.com to schedule a specialty consultation. No referrals needed!


Define the problem. Diagnose the issue. 


Back to Megan. It’s not the weight. The problem is not having answers, not knowing what’s going on, feeling stuck in self-judging, thinking if it was different then everything would be good, staying stuck in overdesire food cravings and binging. 


Don’t push your solution. If you make it all about the “how”, then that’s diet culture and you will get ghosted. It’s like being a transactional parent compared to a transformational parent. I’m writing more on this in my book………..


Spoiler alert: Megan is slaying her health and life goals! 


Stay tuned for the next IME-mail where I’ll share how I coached Megan and her Mom to slay her health goals! 


Here to help with compassion,

Dr. Karla

Losing and finding my daughter at Target

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

80’s Mixtape: Big Industrial Complexes

Stop Body Shaming – Write Your Own Body Positive Anthem and Cancel Diet Culture

Parents, have you heard of @Jax?

If not, you better get with it!

Have you heard @Jax’s viral hit “Victoria’s Secret?

If not, listen to it on YouTube using the link above and share with every friend and every teen you know.

Never mind on the teen part.  They’ve already heard it. Her song is not a secret and it’s maybe, just maybe, unintentionally taking down a decades old, body-negative, body shaming, disordered eating promoting brand.

Who Is @Jax?

I’ve been following @Jax, a 20 something songwriter on TikTok for quite a while now.  Jax is a fun singer/songwriter and American Idol alum who nails situations like a rock-band poster to the wall with her catchy melodies.

Along with songwriting, @Jax is a nanny or babysitter for a pre-teen girl, Chelsea, who was recently body-bullied by a “friend” when trying on bikinis.

A few girls went shopping at Victoria’s Secret before their first boy-girl pool party. Mean girl told Chelsea that she looked “fat and flat” in a bikini she was trying on.

Chelsea told @Jax about it when she picked her up. @Jax was “cringing” thinking about her own body insecurities growing up watching VS models on the runway, so @Jax took it to her keyboard and her body-positive anthem was born. Her song went viral from launching as a flash mob outside of VS headquarters, choreographing the lyrics:

Victoria’s Secret Song Lyrics (by @Jax)

God I wish somebody
would have told me
when I was younger
That all bodies
aren’t the same

itty bitty models
on magazine covers
Told me I was overweight

I stopped eating.
What a bummer.
Can’t have carbs and a
Hot girl summer

If I could go back
And tell myself
When I was younger….

I’d say…


I know Victoria’s Secret
And girl, you
wouldn’t believe
She’s an old man
who lives in Ohio
Makin money off
Of girls like me
Cashing in on
Body issues
Selling skin and bones
with big boobs

I know
Victoria’s Secret
She was MADE UP
by a dude

Victoria was MADE UP
by a dude

Itty Bitty Models, Dudes in Ohio, and Unhealthy Body Image Standards

Victoria’s Secret has created this situation for themselves by promoting and profiting off an unattainable and unhealthy body standard for decades now.

The power of social media to take down a brand makes me feel hopeful.

Calling out VS and its creepy founder DUDE is a strategic by product of her viral song.  It’s like a bonus.  It wasn’t her intention. @Jax only intention was to help Chelsea whom she adores so that Chelsea won’t suffer from the same society-induced body image issues and disordered eating @Jax endured. She can’t protect Chelsea from our society that’s obsessed with the pursuit of thin privilege, but to stop the internalization of fatphobic aggressions will likely change the trajectory of Chelsea’s life.

Most Teens Experience Body Shaming and Body Judging By Peers

Let’s focus on what’s going on with your teen because most teens (lots of studies show) experience body-judging and body-shaming by peers, doctors, teachers, parents, and themselves. Check out my anti-bullying blogs starting with, “Stop bullying your selfie.”

Unfortunately, us parents all too often get stuck in diet culture thinking and get triggered or activated and fight, flight or freeze up when our teen is experiencing a situation like this.

How to Get Unstuck from Diet Culture and Help Your Teen

How would you show up in this situation as a parent?

Do a pre-visualization (mental rehearsal in coach talk) right now and imagine your teen getting in the car after being at the mall with friends and they told you a “friend” body-bullied and shamed them.  Their “friend” called them “fat and flat”.

Would you be like my mom, Barb, and say, “Oh, don’t listen to her.  She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

Barb would also add in a dig, “She’s homely.”

Would you get into fix and solve mode and call out the bully?

“I’m going to call her mom when we get home. I’m not surprised.  Her Mom’s superficial and weight obsessed.” This is exactly what I would do 100% as my past-parenting self. I do believe there’s a time for this approach. It feels so good to get that bully’s mom on the phone right away, but it’s okay to pause and respond rather than react.

How would you talk about it?

Would you say, “I can’t believe she said that. You’re not fat or flat.”

Or would you get triggered or activated like some parents by your diet thinking self, get into body-judging and say, “She’s bigger and less curvy than you.”

Do you have the words to help your teen, so she/he/they depersonalize and don’t internalize fatphobia and dehumanize themselves which often leads to restricting food?

Restricting food leads to overeating and binging.  Restricting food is harmful 100% of the time.

You want your teen to create healthy habits and have self-confidence, which is what parents tell me they want and what I also want for my kids.  That’s a given.

I just want my kids to lead their magical lives. Also, I have funny kids and, selfishly, I like to hang around them because all three of them make me laugh. So, more magic and more laughs. More hilarious quotes from “The Office” from my daughter, Audrey, who knows every line from every season, please.

What do you want for your teen?

Have you seen the September 2022 mantras about debunking diet culture? These mantras may also be helpful for your teen if you would like to share them.

Teen woman holding sign that says BEAUTIFUL

Show Up for Your Teen Like @Jax: Be a Parent Who Calls Out Diet Culture Harm

What I want for you and your teen is for you to show up like @Jax.

Be the kind of parent who would write a body positive anthem and call out the harms of diet culture.

Write Your Own Body Positive Anthem for Your Teen

Ready to write your own body positive anthem for your teen?

Start with my 5 ways for Parents to be an Upstander when their child or teen is bullied:

  1. Acknowledge and accept feelings with a word or sound…. “Oh, mmmm (like Marge Simpson)”or a simple statement:
  • “That sounds so tough.”
  • “I understand why you’re upset.”
  • “I’m sorry that happened.”
  • “It’s not okay that she/he/they said that.”
  • “How are you feeling about it?”
  1. Instead of logic and explanations, validate and allow your teen’s feelings:
  • Sit and listen and allow your teen to express anger, sadness, defensiveness, or whatever emotion is coming up.
  • Don’t make it about you. Your experience is your experience.
  1. Let your teen know:
  • It’s bullying and it’s unacceptable.
  • Body judging and shaming isn’t okay.
  1. Stay out of “should”, “shouldn’t” and “I wish” statements:
  • The aggression happened. That’s reality. “She should not have said that.”  “I wish they wouldn’t have said that.” “I wish our society wasn’t so messed up.” These things are out of your teen’s control and put your teen in a powerless place or a place of fixing and controlling what they don’t cause or control.Guru time: Byron Katie says all our suffering comes from attachment to beliefs that things should be different. From not accepting reality. My business, your business, and the Universe’s business. As a parent, with good intention, you want to fix and solve and make it go away.What do we control as parents? How we show up and where we put our attentional focus.That’s kind of it.Oh, and don’t forget the unconditional love part. There’s that too.You are there to support he/she/them.They aren’t powerless.

    They get to decide their next best step.

    This is not the time to lecture about bullying or try to make your teen be objective about a situation that is so emotionally loaded.

    Has nothing to do with them. Let your teen know how to depersonalize it. They are not powerless. Create a bully ban. Be an upstander in a situation like that in the future. Start by being an upstander for themselves.

  1. Create bully bans to help your teen create healthy boundaries:
  • Try one I learned from a mom who follows me on TikTok: She coached her daughter to say, even at family gatherings when family members comment on her body:
  • “MY body is none of YOUR business.”

Self Trust Improves When a Teen’s Parent Has Her Back

Your teen will know you are there for them.

Trusting you is their first step to creating self-trust they will have their own back in the future.

Keep the door open for ongoing conversations.

Coach yourself to decide your next step.

You may want to address weight bullying that’s happening at school with the counselor or even the other teen’s parent.  Making the decision for your next best step coming from a place of showing up loving and supportive for your teen is more powerful and productive than coming from fix and solve over function mode.

Don’t pressure yourself to get it right in the moment.

Sometimes Listening to Your Teen Is Better Than Talking

It’s okay to listen.  You always get it right when you listen.

Keeping my mouth shut is what my own teens prefer.

As a parent, you know your teen best and what will work for them.

Join the Anti-Diet-Culture Community and Work with Dr. Karla

Stay tuned for more ways to work with me.  I will coach you to talk about difficult topics like Victoria’s Secret induced body shaming and judging.

I’ll coach you to show up like @Jax and write your own body positive anthem for your teen.

I’ve always got your back,

Dr. Karla

Notes for Teens:

If you feel stuck in a body bullying  or body shaming situation:

  • Realize that friends don’t judge and shame other people’s bodies. It’s bullying and bullying is always unacceptable.
  • Talk to someone you trust who will listen and not just tell you what to do.
  • Allow your feelings and emotions.
  • Realize bullying is about the person and not you. When someone is judging someone else, they are judging themselves. It’s coming from a place of weakness and insecurity always.
  • Don’t get in their head. Don’t try to spend time figuring out the bully’s motivation for bullying.
  • Keep talking about it if you need to or want to.
  • Think before sharing on social media or with other friends. Maybe you want to but think about it first.
  • Write about the situation for a few minutes.
  • Decide if you want to confront the friend who bullied you and what you will say:
    • “That was hurtful.” Say, “I felt…., “instead of,
      “You made me feel……”.
  • Create a healthy boundary for yourself (physical, emotional, or verbal).
  • Make sure you don’t comment on people’s bodies and don’t talk crap about your own body when you’re with your friends.
  • Try this bully ban one of my TikTok followers uses:
    “MY body is none of YOUR business.”
  • Be an upstander not a bystander if you see body bullying. “You need to stop. That’s not okay.  It’s creepy to judge and comment on other people’s bodies.”
  • Go to the party!!! Don’t let the bully win. Show up and have fun!

Make sure you check out all of IME Community goodness on social!

Debunking Diet Culture – Story vs. Facts – September 2022 Mantras

Debunking Diet Culture – Story vs. Facts – September 2022 Mantras

Ready to challenge beliefs? Like, really challenge beliefs? Let’s do some necessary self-care by debunking diet culture beliefs that many people have accepted and internalized.

Do you know your thoughts have power? 

Your current thinking creates your current reality.

Your Now thinking creates your Now result.

The IME Community Think/Feel/Do Circuit

Check out the IME Community Think/Feel/Do Circuit below. 

Your brain is a story making machine.  

Most of what goes on in your brain, the thousands of unconscious thoughts coming up on the daily are just stories.  Thoughts are a rainbow that comes and goes; a sentence in your mind; a cloud going by while the real you is the quiet confidence of the blue sky.

You see other people and all of your life through a lens of your thoughts and most of the time you believe your thoughts to be true without challenging or questioning.  

Maybe you spend time protecting your ego and take action to protect your brain’s story and prove you are right?  I personally don’t know anything about this ego thing!

It’s not a problem for you, unless you get stuck in life, or blame other people for how you feel and for your actions. That’s called emotional childhood.  I’ll coach more on that later. 

Thoughts: The Power of Your Mind

Don’t believe me?

Check out my podcast or YouTube interview with my friend and colleague, Pete Allman where we talk about his book, “Thoughts: The Power of Your Mind”.  

It’s epic. 

Epically helpful, that is.

What Is a Belief? (Especially As It Relates to Diet Culture)

So, what’s a belief? 

It’s a powerful thought on a loop in your brain, mostly left unchallenged.

Did you know you can drop beliefs that don’t serve you like a book? 

Thought awareness is powerful.  

Most of the time, thoughts come up as a feeling, a vibration in your body. When it comes to diet thinking and beliefs and also with parenting, most of the time it’s disappointment, shame or fear that comes up as a vibration in your body.  

Here’s how it works. 

The more attachment to your thoughts or beliefs, the more powerful that think/feel/do circuit becomes in your brain. In my book I’m writing to help GenX parents deconstruct 80’s harmful and unfun diet culture so you can help your teen create healthy habit sticks for life. I’ll share more about how important “the work” is to do for yourself and in your home in my book, so get ready. 

The reality is if you don’t do “the work”, your teen will adopt diet beliefs and perpetuate the diet thinking cycle. 

When you are aware that you are not your thoughts, your thoughts are optional, same with beliefs, you can start to let go of what doesn’t serve you and create beliefs on purpose that do serve you.  It’s called a belief upgrade and it’s an epically powerful life coaching tool. 

In the book, “Helping People Change (Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth)”, coaching science shows humans are motivated to take action from a place of PEA or Positive Emotion Activation.  

Telling people (teens) what to do is authoritative compliance and evokes NEA, negative emotion activation and amotivation. For teens, for anyone to transform their health, they need PEA. 

Let’s start with some of the common diet thinking beliefs I’ve heard and thought about myself.  You may be following along with my Self-love superpower monthly mantras.  September is a month to challenge beliefs and create belief upgrades. 

Once you become aware of the beliefs or thoughts creating your feelings, you’re there.  Just pause.  You can then shift to create a belief upgrade or thoughts to think list.

30 Current Diet Thinking Beliefs

  • The only way to lose weight is to go on a diet.
  • The only way to lose weight is to deprive myself and watch what I eat all the time.
  • I have to count calories and be strict.
  • If I gain weight I will feel like a failure.
  • If I binge all of my work is gone.
  • I’m out of control when it comes to sugar.
  • I have to work out every day to lose weight.
  • A calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight. 
  • Weighing myself is the only way to see if I’m successful or a failure.
  • I have to set a weight loss goal.
  • I can’t eat what I want and lose weight.
  • Everyone else gets to eat what they want.
  • I should be able to stick to eating less sugar, but I can’t.
  • I don’t believe it’s possible for me to eat sugar in moderation.
  • Every time I have something I need to do, I just grab my phone and put it off.
  • I’m such a procrastinator.
  • I hate exercising.
  • I’m not an athlete.
  • I’ll get bullied if I try out for a sport.
  • I love sports, but I’m not good enough to make the team.
  • Every time I exercise I get so out of breath.
  • Exercising just isn’t for me.
  • There must be something wrong with my body.
  • I would have less worries in life if my body was smaller.
  • I’ll feel good about myself when I reach my goal weight.
  • I know I need to love myself, but how is the question.
  • I wish I could just live my life but everyone is so obsessed with my weight.
  • Truth is I don’t really care about my health.
  • I wish I wasn’t judged by my body size.
  • I wish people didn’t feel so entitled to make comments about my body.

Changing Diet Thinking Beliefs

Now, check out my 30 belief upgrades for each day of September:

  • I’m curious to discover a non-diet approach to reach my health goals.
  • Deprivation never works long-term, is harmful and leads to binging.
  • I always get to choose how to measure my success.
  • I never make gaining weight mean anything is going wrong.
  • When I binge eat, I use my self-compassion mantras to disrupt the binge-restriction cycle.
  • My over-desire for sugary foods is a habit pathway in my brain. 
  • My body was created to move.
  • Creating healthy habit sticks is the way to help my body reach a healthy weight set point range.
  • I never have to weigh myself if I don’t want to, especially if it’s triggering for me.
  • Setting a weight loss goal dehumanizes my body and puts all my success at the finish line. 
  • I choose to eat delicious food that serves me and my health goals.
  • I stay out of self-judging by not judging body sizes and what others eat or don’t eat.
  • I’m curious to learn more brain science about sugar craving pathways.
  • I am not powerless over sugar. 
  • Going on my phone is a habit and I can easily get unstuck.
  • I can take one action step and that’s enough.
  • I get to try new ways to be active and move my body. 
  • I am an active person.
  • My past experience trying out for new things doesn’t have to be in the way of my future self.
  • I try out for the team with every intention of making it. 
  • When I’m out of breath exercising, I can take a break.
  • I trust I will discover fun ways to be active.
  • My body is working.  Shaming my body never works.
  • Wishing my body was smaller creates unnecessary drama in my brain.
  • I fully love and accept myself now. 
  • Self-love is my daily intentional habit practice. 
  • I’m choosing to live my magical life.
  • I get to create my own definition of health that works for me.
  • I connect with people who value body diversity.
  • I let people know my body is my business.

Check off the mantras that resonate with you and write one of your own.  Let’s go:

Current belief:_________________________________________________

Belief upgrade:_______________________________________________

When you sign up for my Cut the Cringe parent coaching workshop, you’ll get entered into a drawing for a signed copy of Pete’s book, “Thoughts: The Power of Your Mind”. 

Thoughts, anyone?

Self-love superpower,

Dr. Karla