Here’s a common question I get a lot and I’ve asked myself too.

Where do I start when I want to make a change like losing weight, improving my metabolic health, or just plain feeling better?  

Have you heard Eat Less Move More? We all have.  Who can argue with this public health message?  I guess I can.  It’s a good message, just not that helpful.  It’s like, “Okay, um, sure. I’ll just Eat Less Move More and now I’m good to go!”

Why didn’t I think of that? (Sarcasm alert here)

I certainly know when I started my weight and life coaching journey, exacty four years ago (Woot! Woot!) I needed way more support than Eat Less Move More to make transformational health changes.  

I created IME Community to offer healthy weight coaching for teens with Dr. Karla and give all of the same level of support I had to create a healthy life!

Stress Less, Sleep More

I switched the messaging this week from Eat Less Move More to Stress Less Sleep More for Week 11 of the IME Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge! 

Learning how to Stress Less Sleep More is a very important part of your overall health and health transformation and life goals. In fact, diet culture keeps us fixated on just one area and that’s focusing on the number of calories, but, what is really effective is focusing on all of our health, including Stress Less Sleep More.

Plus, stress and sleep go together, just like PB&J, so let’s get started with the week!

This week we are talking about stress reduction and sleep hygiene and why it’s so important and how to do it and what we’re going to gain from it. 

If you’re a parent of a teen, you may be thinking, “Sleep hygiene? I’m just trying to get my kid to wear deodorant on the daily!” (No personal experience infused here. JK) 

Remember, you are worthy of your healthy life! I’ve coached you on taking massive action and starting with one goal at a time. Starting with taking action on a goal to Stress Less Sleep More means you are taking massive action on your health goals!

You have the power to choose where to start.

Don’t get stressed as I’m teaching you about stress.  

Let’s take a breath in and then exhale.  

Now that you’re fully relaxed, let’s talk about stress!

Cortisol is our body’s stress hormone and the problem is our bodies are not meant to constantly be exposed to stress hormones, like in the case of chronic toxic stress that we will talk about on Thursday of the week as it relates to ACES or the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. 

Cortisol raises insulin levels and we are now week 11 of the Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge, so we know that constantly elevated levels of insulin usually translates to weight gain and poor health consequences.

There is a healthy amount of stress, but when we are continually exposed to cortisol, studies show that we become at risk to suffer from chronic diseases.

That’s enough talk of stress for the day.  

Remember, you are never stuck. I always believe in your unlimited potential to live your magical healthy life!

Make sure if you are a teen, 12 to 18, or parent of a teen, Join IME Community where you will find it easy and fun to start creating results right away and get me coaching you on zoom!

Reverse Your Insulin Resistance Challenge Week 11 Plan

Stress Less Sleep More Monday

  • Instead of Eat Less Move More (okay, um, sure), let’s try simple messages that are actually helpful. Stress Less Sleep More is a message we can all wrap our minds and bodies around just like a nice warm self-acceptance blanket that is always readily available to you.
  • Stress and sleep play an important role in our overall health, as much and maybe even more than eating and movement, but all we ever hear about from diet culture is to focus on restricting calories, which, for me, anyway creates more stress in my life. It’s unfun (a nufnu) and life is meant to be fun, so no thanks on what feels restrictive.  I’m excited to take a holistic approach to health with the challenge this week.  Our health includes a lot of measures including sleep and stress levels and is one of the reasons why weight and health are not exactly correlated and you should never judge someone’s health based on the external.  We literally know nothing about anyone else’s health! Heck, a lot of times we hardly know anything about our own health.
  • Where will you write our new and fun and actually helpful message so you remember this most important aspect of your health?
  • Here’s your easy action step for the day: Put Stress Less Sleep More on a post-it note!

“Wake me up before you go go!” Tuesday

  • Let’s talk the science of sleep! I’m going to speak with a really excited voice so you don’t fall asleep while talking about sleep. You’ve probably heard about sleep hygiene. No biggie if you haven’t.  Sleep hygiene means cleaning up your sleep routine.  This is the massive action goal I’m working on now, and, let me tell you, I have some work to do. Let’s do it together.
  • How much sleep do we need? Depends on your age, but teens need around 10 to 12 hours a night.
  • Screen time and sleep? Screen time recommendations are so limited for children and teens and if you are a doctor or a parent listening, let’s not ruin our credibility and tell, especially teens, that they should not be getting more than a couple of hours a day. That’s true, but it’s just we have seen an uptick in screen time with COVID and we are all feeling pretty overwhelmed. How can we help our teens create a balance?  What can you do instead of screen time before bed?  What are the steps you might take to do that?  Get specific.  What is your current thinking and feelings about staying off your phone a couple of hours before bed?  How can you decide ahead of time?  Parents obviously create the boundaries around screen time and can help our teens create a balance. I am in the middle of this with you. Smack dab dealing with this too for myself and with my teens who get their stuff done and see no problem.
  • My daughter, Audrey, did some research for IME Community around junk food marketing to teens on social media. The words I would use are tactical and subterranean.  The ads embed the cueing and stimuli of the urge/craving conditioned overdesire for processed carb filled foods in our brains.  So, you are being influenced and you don’t even know it. Just something to keep in mind.  Ha! You get my little pun there?
  • How is sleep deprivation related to weight gain and poor health? Our hunger hormone levels (ghrelin and leptin) may be off that tell us when we’re hungry or full. We have more time to eat when we’re not sleeping as much.  That one cracks me up. We spend the next day in energy seeking behaviors, like eating quick energy foods that don’t serve us and our goals, especially sugary foods.
  • Do you buffer with sleep? How do you know? If you are buffering with sleep, that probably means you spend a lot of time in bed, but still feel tired and are not getting done what you want and need to do.
  • How much sleep do you usually get?
  • What’s your sleep routine?
  • Ask yourself, how can I improve my sleep hygiene? In other words, declutter up that sleep routine!
  • Quiet or noise machine, limit screens a couple of hours before bed, Limit caffeine intake, keep the room cool and dark, shower before bed, wear loose pj’s, sleep meditation, see the light in the morning to help wake up?

“Under Pressure” Wednesday

  • One time when ipods were as fancy of technology as there was out there, my family and I were on a plane and my husband looked at my ipod and said, “My God, Karla, you’ve listened to “Under Pressure” over and over.” I love the song, but it was actually healing to me because I was really feeling, at the point in my life that the weight of the world was on my shoulders.  That was just a thought, but I didn’t know that at the time because I hadn’t learned anything about the transformational power of life coaching. Really, I do love “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie.
  • So, I mentioned before that cortisol is our stress hormone and it serves a function to keep us safe. Cortisol increases insulin which causes us to gain weight.  That’s not usually a problem, unless we have chronically elevated cortisol.  So, reducing stress is important.  A healthy dose of stress is okay and we can’t get away from or control all of the stress in our lives, but we can take action to reduce stress.
  • Stress relief is an action. It’s not sitting in front of a screen.  Whether it’s moving your body, getting outside and connecting with nature, your friends or family, practicing deep breaths, meditation, drawing, writing, music, journaling and doing thought downloads, it’s all a part of active stress reduction.

What’s your ACES score? Thursday

  • Today’s message comes with a trauma warning. Have you heard of the ACES study?  ACES stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and was a study done by Kaiser measuring 17,000 patients ACES scores and then determining the score with health outcomes in adulthood.  ACES measures 10 different areas of trauma in childhood in the areas of abuse, neglect, exposure to domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness, and whether a parent was incarcerated.  The study showed that if you have a score of 2 or more, you are at risk for adverse physical and mental outcomes as an adult, and this includes chronic diseases such as obesity.  Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician and current surgeon general of California took the ACES study to children and showed the adverse effects of chronic toxic stress.
  • My ACES score is 7 out of 10. That does make me sad when I see that score.  I know that becoming obese was tied to the trauma and chronic toxic stress I experienced growing up.  What you want to do is find a trauma-informed therapist to work with to set yourself on a path to intentionally heal. It is possible and you are not stuck.
  • Check out my IME Community YouTube interview with Brandon McDermott, author of “Abandon Brandon”, TikTok, IG and Radio Star to learn about his story and how he is intentionally healing. It’s so powerful!

Changing your brain Friday

  • Have you heard the term neuroplasticity? It’s a cool word.  Our brains are changing and malleable and adaptable, but we have to challenge our brains to try new things and think in different ways to create new pathways and connections.  I love the book, “Livewired” by Dr. David Eagleman, a neuroscientist, researcher and writer.  Check it out if you get the chance.
  • We spend a lot of time managing the world in our brains, sometimes arguing with reality. Our brains offer up tens of thousands of thoughts per day which create the response in our body which is our feelings.  We are not our thoughts and don’t have to stay attached to thoughts that don’t serve us.
  • Start rewiring your brain by creating awareness of what’s going on in there with daily thought downloads or brain dumps for 1, 3, or 5 minutes. I challenge you to do daily thought dumps for a week and then go back and see what are actual facts that can be proven and what is the story your brain is telling you.  This is powerful work and the first step in creating thought awareness and the results you want!

“Let it go!” Perfectionism, that is, Saturday

  • You know you’re a perfectionist if……..
  • Do you have some patterns that are keeping you stuck? I’m talking patterns like perfectionism? Have you labeled yourself as a procrastinator? If you hesitate to get going and have a lot of fear of criticism and failure and feel like you have to get an A+ on the first draft and you should know everything before you even started to learn it, then you may be a perfectionist.
  • Here’s the good news. You are not stuck.  Once you recognize how perfectionism comes up in you and when you have your own back and move forward with self-love superpower, then you become less afraid of the criticism of others.  When failure is only learning and you are always curious and kind to yourself, then you will keep taking action.  There is no perfect.  Perfect doesn’t exist.  Try B- work on that first draft.
  • “I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to be perfectly kind to myself.”

Healing on purpose playlist Sunday

  • Ah, we made it. Let’s exhale.  This has been a really tough week talking about sleep and stress and all of the things.  Have you heard the term, time heals all wounds? I think it definitely helps there’s no doubt, but what also helps is healing with intention or healing on purpose.  Don’t be hard on yourself or listen to that negative self-talk brain if you’ve had a tough time.
  • Welcome your human emotions and allow them. You are entitled to your human journey.  It’s time for self-love superpower. Other things to consider are sound therapy, EFT (emotional freedom tapping), yoga, meditation, gratitude journaling as a means to cultivating joy.
  • Here’s a relaxing playlist of a few anxiety busting songs for your listening and relaxing pleasure. Strawberry Swing by Coldplay; Someone like you by Adele; Weightless by Marconi Union.  Try creating a playlist of songs you love that chill you out.

Get ready for the week! I would love to coach you to create any result you want!

Self-love superpower,
Dr. Karla, ActivistMD

Watch the Video Replay

Up Next: Week 12 – You Are 100% Lovable Now and Forever
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