What’s the story you tell yourself about yourself?

What’s the story you tell yourself about yourself?

Is that a tongue twister? Typo? Copy and paste?




One of the first coaching tools I teach you about is story vs. facts. Your brain is a story making machine. Your brain is a meaning-making machine. Your brain has negativity bias. 


As a human, you attach meaning to the thousands of thoughts swirling around in your brain. It can be exhausting. Why does it matter? The reason it matters is because your thoughts create your feelings which drive your actions or inactions. Everything you do or don’t do is to make you feel a certain way or avoid feeling a certain way. 


If you’re stuck not taking action, it’s because you have an attachment to a belief or beliefs about yourself that are creating a feeling of shame, powerless, helpless, unmotivated, or defeated, tired, sad, and on and on. It’s like you’re stuck like paint on a wall to a thought. You are choosing to stay attached to a thought that doesn’t serve you. 


Get curious and start with thought awareness.  Thoughts are like a rainbow. They come and go in your mind. 


Beliefs are powerful thoughts on a loop in your brain. I believe that beliefs are a way to organize all the thoughts. It’s like we’ve got a big filing cabinet and self-beliefs are a whole drawer. 


Self-beliefs are optional. The problem is without creating awareness of your thoughts or beliefs or the story, you will keep staying stuck. 


Let me give you an example.


I was coaching a teen who feels guilty every time she eats. Her brain tells her, literally every time she eats any food, “You shouldn’t be eating this.” Her relationship with food is her punishing relationship with herself. It feels safe. Restriction is control. I know it well. 


I didn’t argue with her and I didn’t convince her to believe a different story. We coached on how the rigidity comes up in her body, described it as a metaphor, and how she can recognize and take a pause. She wasn’t ready for that. The restriction feels good to her. It’s a powerful addictive obsessive pathway in her brain. It’s perfectionism. It has nothing to do with food or weight. It feels safe to her and if it leads to binging, then so be it. Binging is a powerful relief, followed by shame, doubling down on restriction and so the cycle goes. She’s stuck in the extremes, pinging back and forth, all coming from the story she keeps believing about herself. 


What would it feel like to have a softer kinder approach? To feel like food is food?


“I can’t.”


When you learn to drive, you learn that you don’t have to slam on the brakes. Just let up on the gas. Let up on the self-punishing accelerator. 


“I don’t know.”


I let up on the coaching accelerator. Don’t argue. Don’t convince. There’s a little crack in the darkness where a bit of light is shining through. 


I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, Dr. Karla, how do you not cry when you’re coaching a teen who says this?” Let me tell you, I hold it in and then once I click the end meeting for all button on zoom, I do cry. The reason I cry is because I adore her and I send up a little prayer or positive vibes into the metaverse, “All good things for ______.” 


I emailed her Mom to let her know her daughter’s thought model, and asked her Mom to be on the next coaching session. I also asked her Mom to connect with me on zoom. I’m not licensed in her state, so she couldn’t be a patient in my Metabolic Telehealth clinic (drkarlamd.com), but I decided I needed to put on my medical hat with this one. I don’t give medical advice, but education and sharing resources. 


What do you want to let go of? 

Most of the time it’s hard to let it go because that negative self-talk voice is so strong and has served a purpose for so long. 


You are worthy of this work. You are unbroken. You are enough. Always.


Self-kindness (not self-loathing) is the key to your health goals,

Dr. Karla

What’s the story you tell yourself about yourself?

Self-Love is the Gift that Keeps on Giving – December 2022 Mantras

We made it! 

A year of self-love superpower mantras! 

I’m excited to share that I’ve put the whole year of self-love mantras into a 12 month journal! 

Available soon!  Just email me if you would like one to gift to someone you radically love!

Let’s wrap this year up with radical self-love superpower!

Here are your December mantras:

  • 12/1: Choosing food that serves my body is a gift I give to myself.
  • 12/2: I am blessed to have the friends I have.
  • 12/3: Picking out gifts isn’t about the gift.
  • 12/4: I love thinking about the person when I pick out a gift.
  • 12/5: Self-love is created over time.
  • 12/6: I commit to showing up with self-love even when I hear my inner critic.
  • 12/7: Self-love spills over to the people I care about.
  • 12/8: I finally learned that self-love is demonstrated by actions.
  • 12/9: A big part of self-love is creating boundaries.12/10: I listen to myself and it feels good to say no sometimes.
  • 12/11: Beautiful food is a part of our holiday traditions.
  • 12/12: Self-love is about connecting with myself and others.
  • 12/13: When I feel self-love I show up as my authentic self.
  • 12/14: A part of self-love is being okay with not being everyone’s cup of tea.
  • 12/15: I show myself self-love when I carve out some alone time during the holidays.
  • 12/16: Self-love is taking a break for myself during the holiday season.
  • 12/17: Self-love is not having a checklist of expectations for myself.
  • 12/18: Self-love is being in the present moment.
  • 12/19: When the holidays don’t go exactly as I planned, I have grace for myself.
  • 12/20: Self-love is staying out of perfectionism.
  • 12/21: Self-love is a gift I intentionally give myself every day.
  • 12/22: Self-love is knowing I am always enough.
  • 12/23: When I recognize I’m in overfunction mode, self-love tells me to take a pause.
  • 12/24: Being present despite the hustle and bustle of the holidays is self-love.
  • 12/25: Today I celebrate the gifts of my life.
  • 12/26: Self-love tells me to take a rest when I need to.
  • 12/27: Taking some time to get outside and enjoy nature is self-love.
  • 12/28: Today feels like a good day to catch up with myself.
  • 12/29: I’m reflecting on all the ways I’ve shown up with self-love this year.
  • 12/30: Self-love is my superpower!
  • 12/31: I am launching into the New Year with radical self-love!


Dr. Karla

Cultivating Daily Gratitude – November 2022 Mantras

Cultivating Daily Gratitude – November 2022 Mantras

November is for Cultivating Daily Gratitude

If someone asks you if you are a grateful person, you will likely say, “Of course.” 

But, do you have a daily gratitude practice? One where you show up with gratitude for even the smallest of things? 

Most of the time we don’t look up in life. We spend our days looking down, grinding out external achievements with the promise that at the finish line we will feel a certain way about ourselves or avoid feeling a certain way.  

We’re taught that what are perceived as negative emotions, just your everyday human brand of emotions need to be submerged like a beach ball underwater. It’s draining and keeps us depleted of the energy we need to show up as our true selves in life. 

Do you believe it’s possible to create a more joyous life on purpose? 

Dr. Brene’ Brown’s research on joy and gratitude is life-changing. She found that actively practicing gratitude creates a more joyous life. 

How do you cultivate gratitude in your life with daily intentional habit practice? 

As I’m writing this, I’m grateful to look out my dining room window onto a view of my glorious white pine tree. My dog, Violet, is quiet for now and is sitting right next to me on the rug as I type. She follows me everywhere I go.  Though her bark and separation anxiety is annoying a lot of the time, I’m grateful there is a being in this world who is still interested in hanging out with me during all the moments of my life, no matter how mundane. I’m grateful for the delicious food I just ate for lunch.

House surrounded by fall foliage - November 2022 mantras - IME Community

What are three things you are grateful for? Be specific and in the moment. Write them down. 

Try my November Daily Gratitude Practice mantras to create a more joyful life: 

  • 11/1- My life is full of amazing moments.
  • 11/2- I love to pause during the day and just breathe in the goodness.
  • 11/3- I feel so blessed to get outside and enjoy the sun. 
  • 11/4- I can get out of a funk by saying three things I’m grateful for.
  • 11/5- I am amazed at how focusing on the goodness in others gives me peace.
  • 11/6- Sweating the small stuff makes life harder than it needs to be.
  • 11/7- I can’t control the weather, but I can control how I will show up during the storms.
  • 11/8- I am grateful I don’t depend on others to make me happy.
  • 11/9- I’m grateful for true friends.
  • 11/10- I am grateful for learning self-kindness is the key to my health goals. 
  • 11/11- I’m grateful for food that satisfies my hunger.
  • 11/12- I am grateful to let go of beliefs that don’t serve me.
  • 11/13- I’m grateful that I committed to show up for myself.
  • 11/14- I am blessed to have self-trust that I will have my own back. 
  • 11/15- I’m grateful to be done with listening to negative self-talk.
  • 11/16- I am grateful for the time I have with those I love.
  • 11/17- I am filled with gratitude when I think of my family and friends.
  • 11/18- All the little things in life I find meaningful.
  • 11/19- I am grateful for creating self-awareness.
  • 11/20- I am finally showing up with self-worth and gratitude. 
  • 11/21- I am grateful for my body.
  • 11/22- I feel gratitude for all my body does for me.
  • 11/23- I am grateful when I choose to move my body doing what I enjoy.
  • 11/24- I feel grateful for my family’s food traditions.
  • 11/25- I feel grateful for the variety of foods I eat.
  • 11/26- I wake up feeling grateful for a good night’s sleep.
  • 11/27- Taking time for myself to get centered always makes me feel grateful.
  • 11/28- When I feel stressed out I am grateful for mindfulness.
  • 11/29- When I say no to something I don’t want or have time to do, I am grateful. 
  • 11/30- I am most grateful for ____________. 

If you want to connect with me to cultivate healthy habits and self-confidence for your teen, then go to drkarlamd.com and join me for a 30 minute 1:1 coaching session! 

Stay tuned for December Self-Love is the Gift that Keeps on Giving! 

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

What’s the story you tell yourself about yourself?

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

Obesity Is Hormonal – October 2022 Mantras

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!