Now Certified in Hormone Health

In my never-ending quest to improve my knowledge of health and nutrition, I have recently graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition’s (IIN) program in Hormone Health. During the course of the 6-month program, I learned a great deal about the endocrine system and how hormones work.

I studied the basics of the endocrine system, the pituitary and hypothalamus glands – and how they impact hormone production. I learned about the thyroid, stress hormones and reproductive hormones and how they are correlated.

The thyroid section was very interesting as I struggle with hypothyroidism myself and my thyroid was malfunctioning at the time I was taking the course. I found the information I learned in the course extremely beneficial in reclaiming my own health and know that I can help others do the same as a result.

As for reproductive hormones, it’s evident to me that many doctors and specialists do not understand their full impact, especially on women. I hope to help empower people to ask for the right tests and eat the foods that will help them get the best results for hormone health. I also want to teach people about how stress affects them and ways to reduce stress.

For women who struggle with menstrual issues, I have learned some ways for my clients to get a handle on them and to understand what they need to discuss with their doctors. I am not a doctor and do not diagnose medical conditions or prescribe supplements or medication. My suggestions are just that – suggestions. All I do is educate and enlighten. You have to be your own best advocate with your medical professionals. My goal is to give you the information to do just that.

Are you ready to take control of your hormone health? Great! Set up a session with me today. You can do so by contacting me at I look forward to working with you!

Find Me On WellMeRight

Hey all, I’m so excited to share with you that I’ve recently become a wellness expert on the WellMeRight platform. For those of you who are unaware of WellMeRight, it’s a great resource to find wellness professionals who will meet with you via video. Professionals like me.

I’m offering several nutrition coaching packages including one on Intuitive Eating and Nutrition Basics. I have ongoing sessions as well. I do offer a free discovery call on site. Feel free to book with me there if you’d like.

I would love to work with you in a more targeted manner. Nutrition is something that’s very important to me as a woman who has been obese or overweight for most of her life. It’s personal for me and my journey to wellness is ongoing but I have learned and achieved so much so far. I love helping people figure out how to get to the next steps in their nutrition and fitness journey.

As a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I offer a unique perspective on Health Coaching. I believe in bioindividuality – the concept that what works for one does not work for another. That’s why traditional diet plans don’t often work. They don’t take the individual into account. It’s usually a one-size-fits-all mentality and it leaves people tired, frustrated and oftentimes more overweight than when they started.

It’s a vicious cycle. Let me help you get off of the dieting not-so-merry-go-round. I am a big proponent of intuitive eating and I truly believe that it’s not just about what you eat but also why you eat. There’s a huge emotional component to food and nutrition. If something is not working well in other areas of your life it’ll show up in the food.

We eat our feelings. Well, most of us do. I still have to master not doing that, but I’m on a journey. Let’s take the journey together. I’m here for you.

Visit my profile at: I’d be honored to be a part of your road to wellness.

Anxiety 101

I work a lot with clients who deal with anxiety. Anxiety is a common human condition. In fact, we all experience anxious thoughts and feelings from time to time. It’s normal. However, when the anxiety impacts our day to day functioning or lasts for a prolonged period of time, then it becomes a problem. Many of us struggle with an anxiety disorder at some point in our lives. I personally have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). I deal with many people who struggled with GAD or Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).

Anxiety can manifest in different ways for different people. Some people report having panic attacks where their breathing is impacted. They may feel sweaty or clammy and have heart palpitations. In some cases, the individual feels as though they were having a heart attack. Anxiety can impact our sleep and disrupt our lives.

Many people know about the primitive responses to stimuli. These are our flight, fright or freeze responses. They are part of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and were very much a help when we were running for our lives from predators like lions. Nowadays, stress is everywhere. It’s on the news, in our jobs and families and pretty much anywhere else you can imagine. Stress is not generally life-threatening, but it is always on a slow burn, or so it seems.

What many of us don’t know is that we have an ancillary nervous system, housed in the vagus nerve of the brain. The vagus nerve is often referred to as the eighth chakra or the seat of the soul. It is where our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is housed and it wants us to be calm and at ease. The PNS is our alleviate anxiety, de-stress and digest response. I don’t know what it has to do with digestion. I’ll leave that to better scientific minds than mine to decode.

Basically, most doctors would want to give you a Xanax or a Klonopin to counteract your anxiety, but you may not need it. There are some interventions you can take – some of them in the moment and others daily – that can help you reduce your anxiety in the moment, bringing you from a level of overload back to a problem-solving level.

If you haven’t noticed, when you are overly anxious, your brain short circuits so to speak. You can’t engage your problem-solving part of the brain. It’s just not possible. You’re overactivated and your brain is like a pinball machine that’s all lit up. By doing some of these interventions you can reduce your overload and overwhelm and get back to problem-solving by throwing anxiety off its game.

I like to teach people about three specific techniques to quell their anxious brain.

  1. Laugh every day. Yes, laughter really is the best medicine for our mental health. When we laugh for up to twenty minutes every day. This is not forced laughter. It can be by watching a funny tv show, listening to a comedic podcast or reading a Subreddit of dad jokes. Whatever makes you laugh will work.
  2. Try the half-smile. This is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skill. You take your tongue and press it gently against the roof of your mouth. Hold it there for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. At that point, you should fully smile or laugh. This will allow you to problem-solve. It’s amazing how well this works for some, but not others.
  3. Tap your way to mental health. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a methodology using specific acupressure points on the hands, face and upper body that helps to reduce anxiety and alleviate stress. I am certified in EFT and can teach you a two-minute routine that you can do every day as many times a day as you need to to build up your parasympathetic nervous system. However, before I teach my clients the full routine, I ask them to test out one special tapping point. This is located below your nose and above your lip. It’s where there’s a big of a dip or divot in the face. If you place your finger, preferably the pointer finger of your dominant hand, on this point and tap for about 30 seconds, you should feel a release of tension in your neck and shoulders. This can help you feel less stress or anxious. If this point works consistently then the larger tapping routine will be helpful for you.

Of course, there are other ways to access the parasympathetic nervous system such as deep or box breathing and using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to alter negative thought patterns such as catastrophizing. These are just a few ways you can intervene for yourself so that you can feel better in moments of high stress or anxiety.

If you’d like to chat with me in greater detail about these methods and others, please reach out to me at I look forward to working with you.

My Struggle with Sugar

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with sugar. As a little girl, my mother likes to tell the story of when I was two and inadvertently locked her out of the house. I was so distraught and nervous that I ate two whole donuts, which were left on the coffee table in the living room.

As an anxious child, I was often given cookies, cakes and other sweet treats to calm myself down. This began a lifelong struggle with sugar. I learned to equate sugary foods with love but that kind of love hurts. It caused weight gain and a cycle of addiction that I still deal with – every day.

As a teenager, I broke my ankle right before going into high school. I was in crutches and a cast for six months. The activities that I used to do to keep my weight somewhat in check were impossible. I couldn’t go to dancing school or play outside with my friends. I loved sports from street hocket to football to tennis and baseball. I was not a good runner, but I did try.

Without the physical activtiy and the inability to push myself away from food that was given to me by my parents who felt guilty that they didn’t believe I had broken my ankle right away. I ate and gained about 60 pounds on my already heavier frame. I became the fat freshman and stood out for all the wrong reasons. I remember sitting alone at lunch and being picked on by football players because I was fat. Very fat.

I felt insecure and unsure of myself so I turned to food as I didn’t have any other coping mechanisms at the time. I got picked on at school and picked on at home. The breaking point came when two boys I didn’t know singled me out at the park because I was too fat to be playing baseball with my best friend. That afternoon, I went back home and stuck my finger down my throat for the first time. My grandmother had suggested I try bulimia as a weight loss aid a few months before, but I didn’t want to – until that day.

This led to a cycle of bingeing and purging that would last throughout my adolescence and for most of my adult life. At one point, I had eaten my way up to 444 lbs. I was miserable – and devastated. However, the bad feelings I had about myself only seemed to go away when I numbed myself with sugar. Over time, I learned that you needed more and more sugar to get the same fix. I once ate a whole sheetcake from Costco. I’m not proud of it, but I did that.

Entire boxes of cookies and trays of brownies would disappear in my ever-growing gullet. I went to a nutritionist. I had bariatric surgery – twice – and still struggle with weight management. I also have a dysfunctional thyroid and a day-to-day battle to steer clear of sugar or at least reduce it significantly. There is so much sugar everywhere. I didn’t realize how it hidden in many foods. I’ve learned to read labels and learned to avoid sugar in all its forms.

Some days I’m more effective at this than others. I’d love to tell you that I’ve completely kicked my sugar addiction, but I haven’t. I can use my experiences to help you work through your issues with sugar and with healthy eating. I have walkekd the walk and I have struggled. I still struggle so I get it. I understand.

I’d love to invite you to set up a 60 minute free consultation with me to see what kind of work we can do together. I offer nutritional coaching, mental health coaching and more. Please feel free to contact me at for more information.

The Thyroid – What it is and What it Does

I’m currently working on my certificate in hormone health through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition where I received extensive nutrition training in 2020-2021. As a health and wellness coach, I wanted to learn more about hormones because they are poorly understood by traditional medicine. I know I am NOT a medical professional and any and all information provided here is for your information only. If you suspect you have a thryoid issue, I highly recommend that you work with a doctor to get a full thyroid panel. At the minimum it should include your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).

The pituitary gland (which is the power house of the endocrine system) secretes Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, aka TSH. TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to secrete hormones such as T3 & T4 that affect metabolism. In a nutshell, the metabolism is vital to chemical changes that take place in a cell. These changes make energy and the materials our cells need to grow, reproduce, and stay healthy.

Triiodothyronine, which is more commonly referred to as T3, is produced by the thyroid gland and other tissues through a process known as deiodination. This allows the hormone to be enzymatically converted to T4 in the body. T3 is important on its own as well as it helps the body maintain muscle control, brain function and development as well as digestive and heart functions. T3 also plays a significant role in the body’s metabolic rate and maintenance of bone health.

Thyroxine (T4) is produced by the thyroid gland under regulation from the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, setting up the HPT axis (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Thyroid). The feedback loop signals to the hypothalamus in to release thyrotropin-releasing hormone, which then stimulates the pituitary gland to release the thyroid stimulating hormone. It really is a powerhouse.

Problems related to T3 and T4 can be rather significant and affect nearly aspect of our metabolism. When the thyroid is out of whack, the body doesn’t function properly. For example, if you have too much T3 in the bloodstream, you are struggling with thyrotoxicosis. This condition often results from overactivity in the thyroid gland, which is also referred to as hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism occurs in conditions such as Graves’ disease, inflammation of the thyroid or a benign tumor. Signs of thyrotoxicosis include weight loss, increased appetite, palpitations, irregular menstrual cycle, tiredness, irritability, and hair thinning. Hyperthyroidism can also occur when supplements with T3 are ingested.

Conversely, hypothyroidism occurs if the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone. This may be due to autoimmune conditions, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition which essentially has the the body treat thyroid hormones as invaders. Certain medications can also cause hypothyroidism such as lithium and glucocortocoids and any medication containing iodine. Hypothyroidism can also occur in pituitary dysfunction, such as pituitary tumors or inflammation.

While hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism, both conditions require the assistance of a medical professional, preferably a functional medicine practitioner. You can check your local listings to find functional medicine doctors in your area. They can be expensive and most don’t take insurance, but they may be the best defense you have in combatting thyroid dysfunction.

To assess the state of thyroid function, experts recomment that you ask for a complete Thryoid Panel (it’s a simple blood test) and it includes thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), T3 (free and total), T4 (free and total), reverse T3, and thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and anti-thyroglobulin (TG) and antibodies. I recommend a functional medicine practitioner in part because most general practitioners only test TSH, total T3 and total T4.

Remember this article is not to be interpretated as medical advice nor is it a substitute for medical treatment. Thyroid dysfunction is a serious condition and should be monitored by a medical professional.

More on My Thyroid, My “Glorious” Thyroid

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’ve been struggling with my thyroid for quite a while. I changed doctors and got put on synthetic Amour Thyroid that produces both T3 and T4. I have an appointment to monitor my thyroid on Thursday with my third doctor in as many months. It’s not that the previous doctor was not to my liking – she just didn’t take my insurance and functional medicine can be expensive.

Last Friday, I had a massive thyroid attack. I refer to it as a ‘thyroid storm’. I was cold and hot at the same time. I had a horrible headache. I felt microwaved and frozen. It was scary. I also felt extremely emotionally dysregulated. My poor husband didn’t know what to do.

Neither did I.

I must admit that I was disturbed that my thyroid was still a problem. I mistakenly thought that the Amour would be enough. Unfortunately, what I learned – and am trying to practice – is that my diet was lacking essential nutrients. Yes, me a health and wellness coach with a certificate in Nutrition from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) as well as an advanced certificate in Hormone Health, which I am still in the midst of taking.

I should know better. I wasn’t eating enough fruits and vegetables. I decided then and there to rectify that. Sure, I’d cut out artificial sweeteners and gluten as well as reduced sugar significantly, but I needed to go further. My eating plan was not supporting my thyroid function. Without my thyroid function, I could not function.

The thyroid controls all aspects of metabolism. In order for it to function optimally, we need our Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), T3 and T4 levels to be in a normal range. Different doctors define this ‘normal range’ differently. My previous primary care doctor felt it was normal if it was between 0.5 – 4.0. Usually, my thyroid would fall on the lower end, which may not have been the optimal level for me to function at my best.

However, this was not something my primary care doctor was willing to consider or entertain. Secondary hypothyroidism, which happens to many women and some men, occurs when your thyroid is not at an ideal level for you. It could appear ‘normal’, but it’s not your normal.

Regardless, I don’t actually know where my thyroid hormones stand at this time. I will be seeing my functional medicine nurse practitioner on Thursday and have my thyroid hormones and antibodies tested. I could have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which is an autoimmune condition in which the thyroid hormone is treated as a foreign invader and the body ‘attacks’ it.

Yes, my own body could be working against my thyroid and it needs my thyroid to function. I don’t know what will happen yet, but I really hope that my thyroid function improves and that I get on the right dosage of Amour Thyroid so that I can begin to feel better again.

Want to love your hormones or let them love you? Reach out to me at I offer a free, 60 minute chemistry session to see how we could work together.

My Thyroid and Me

Since I was a little girl, I’d say I have had a sluggish thyroid. My mom once joked that I could eat an apple and gain weight whereas other kids could eat all the junk food they wanted and be fine. I was an active child and am an active adult, but I have been obese for the majority of my life. I can’t say I eat perfectly. I’d love to, but I can’t.

Even with my background in nutrition and wellness, I do make poor choices sometimes. I’m getting better at it. In December, I went to see a Functional Medicine Doctor (FMD) for the first time. She encouraged me to get off of all artificial sweeteners. I am also limiting dairy, eating no gluten and reducing sugar and alcohol. Some days are better than others and I could probably improve my fruit and vegetable intake, but I’m a work in progress and I don’t pretend to be perfect. I tell my clients I’ve been where they’ve been and still have to work at it day in and day out.

That’s not a lie.

Now, I’ve had a sort of hate-hate relationship with my thyroid for a very long time. I felt it was to blame for a lot of my problems. In taking IIN’s Hormone Health Course, I’ve discovered that I’m not that far off with respect to my lack of love for my thyroid. However, I need my thyroid to survive and thrive so I need to make peace with it.

I’m working on it.

In July of 2022, I got COVID. I didn’t know it at the time – and there’s no scientific proof as of this writing to back me up – that my thyroid somehow got out of whack from the experience. Why do I suspect that? Well, a few things came up after my bout with coronavirus.

  1. I was extremely fatigued. My doctor said it was due to long COVID and one day, I’d just magically feel better. That day did not happen well over five months later.
  2. I had brittle nails and hair. Usually my nails are strong and my hair is lustrous. My nails would crack easily and my hair looked like a bristle brush. I have colored and curly hair, but my hair stylist assured me it was fairly healthy. He couldn’t explain why it was this way – and neither could my primary care doctor.
  3. I had cold hands and feet – even during the Texas summer. The could not get warm.
  4. I gained weight. I put on about 10-15 pounds in about three months. When I told my primary care doctor, he seemed unfazed by it and suggested I look at how much I was eating. Urgh! Same old story, different doctor.

My cardiologist did extensive blood tests as he usually does for my annual visit with him and we discovered that my thyroid was seriously low. I contacted my primary care doctor with a screenshot of the evidence. He suggested we re-test my thyroid in his lab, where they found out that my T3 was low. His course of action was to put me on more levothyroxine (Synthroid) which is synthetic T4. I called bull shit and saw a functional medicine doctor who put me on Amour thyroid, which is desiccated pig thyroid hormone and it mimics human thyroid hormone. It’s more natural and impacts both T3 and T4.

I’ve been on Amour for almost two months and although the scale is not really moving, all of my other symptoms are gone. Hmmm? We are re-testing my thyroid hormones in about two weeks and checking my thyroid antibodies to see if I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which is an autoimmune condition where the thyroid hormones are treated as a foreign invader. The immune system essentially ‘attacks’ your thyroid hormone. The symptoms are close to hypothyroidism, but if this is I do have Hashimoto’s, we may be one step closer to figuring out my thyroid dysfunction puzzle.

My Holiday Eating Plan for 2022

I love the holidays. From the beginning of October to the end of December, I completely indulge in the festivities. I immerse myself in the holiday experiences and enjoy them so much so that in January I usually go into a bit of a post-holiday depression.

One of the things I’ve come to associate with the holidays is food and drink. I know I’m not alone in this, but I’ve been known to gain between 10 – 20 lbs. during the holiday season. This year my goal is to stay the same. So far so good. I weigh what I did the last week in September before I began to celebrate the holiday season, which, for me, kicks off October 1st.

I love Halloween and allow myself to indulge in some Halloween candy ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT. I choose three pieces of candy – and don’t get upset at myself if it turns to four, five or six. I know that the next day, I will not eat more candy. I even eat light before the big night so that I can indulge in the sweet treats I’ve come to associate with the day.

It seems – especially more so in recent years – that November 1st kicks off the Christmas season with Thanksgiving being just a blip on the holiday radar. Holiday foods begin to fly off the shelves. I am an admitted Pumpkin Spice fanatic. This year, I bought some zero-calorie pumpkin caramel and pumpkin spice syrups to flavor my coffee so that I could enjoy this sweet treat without feeling guilty afterwards.

It worked well. At least I didn’t gain weight during PSL season which has been known to happen in the past. When Thanksgiving arose, I chose foods that were health-promoting over less health-promoting foods. Believe it or not the Thanksgiving table is full of yummy foods that are also good for you. Turkey is a relatively lean protein. There are brussel sprouts and other veggies at our holiday table. Sweet potatoes, provided that they are not mixed with marshmallows and cinnamon sugar, are very healthy and delicious.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you and say that I ate perfectly on Thanksgiving. I did make room for my husband’s pumpkin cheesecake and some whipped cream on top. Unlike in previous years, I did skip the pecan pie and other treats. I just really allowed myself to enjoy the cheesecake and didn’t beat myself up over it. I also made sure I exercised extra that morning and ate a light breakfast. I also didn’t go for the post-event meal later in the day. I grabbed some extra turkey and had a protein snack instead of a full late-evening holiday pig out.

We’re at Christmas week and I’d love to say that I haven’t eaten cookies or indulged in some egg nog. As I sit writing this, I’m enjoying a salted caramel hot chocolate. Yum! I have my strategy laid out for this week. I am limiting myself to two, gluten-free cookies a day and drinking non-caloric drinks with no artificial sweeteners like LaCroix carbonated waters and Stevia-based drinks. I’m also eating light for breakfast and lunch with a bit of an allowance for holiday foods here and there.

We are having a big holiday party on Friday and I encouraged people to bring foods they enjoy and love and want to share. I do expect to indulge a bit, but when people have asked what to bring, I’ve offered veggie options like Brussel sprouts, butternut squash and the like. I know if they are there and someone has taken the time to make them, I will sample them and save myself from some of the higher calorie options.

It’s best to go into a holiday event with a solid strategy so you don’t derail or undermine all the progress you’ve made during the year. October, November and December don’t need to be a feeding frenzy for you to enjoy them. There are many ways to have a happy holiday – and not all of them involve food.

If you want to discuss healthy holiday strategies with me, I’m booking up fast for the season. Please reach out to me directly at

My COVID Story – Is It Still Impacting Me?

In July 2022, I finally got COVID. I was concerned about catching it, like everyone else. After a week of rest when I wasn’t working, I got better, or so I thought. Soon after I began having symptoms that were seemingly unrelated, but now I’m not so sure that they are.

Almost immediately, I started getting migraines. Daily migraines. The last time I had migraines was when I was a teenager. No one could explain to me why I had them. This time, they seemed to come out of nowhere. These could be related to hormones. When I was a pre-teen I got my period and I am probably in menopause now, at nearly the age of 50.

However, a visit to my primary care doctor, yielded no helpful information. He suggested that I take my muscle relaxer, Flexeril, which I use for my Fibromyalgia. He suggested I use it when the pain got too intense. I also had an eye exam; and, they didn’t find anything wrong with my prescription. I just suffered until I added b-12 back into my supplement list. As a bariatric patient, I am supposed to take it and am not sure why I stopped although recent blood tests suggested I wasn’t low in vitamins or other nutrients.

A few weeks later, I went back to my primary care doctor. I was struggling with extreme fatigue (still am). He told me to practice better sleep hygiene. I’m already on two sleep medications so I didn’t want to add anything additional and left with no answers. I also voiced my suspicions that I might have long COVID. I was told that it would just correct itself after about six months. I didn’t like hearing that, but what else could I do? No treatment was recommended, and my doctor admitted that they don’t yet ‘know all the lingering side effects of the virus.’

I left the doctor’s office upset. I’m still tired all the time as I write this. It’s not normal for me even though I do have Fibromyalgia and insomnia.

The third time, I went to see my primary care doctor it was for extremely cold hands and feet – even though it was still in the low 90s in Austin. I also complained of weight gain. I was told not to worry about it. He did agree, with a little prodding from me, to do a full thyroid panel. The results showed that my T3 levels were low but my T4 and TSH were fine. He recommended that I increase my Synthroid by half a pill on Saturdays and Sundays.

I was not satisfied with this because my understanding is that Synthroid, aka levothyroxine, doesn’t impact T3. He suggested we test again after the holidays and I was given a recommendation to the practice’s weight management group.

I’ve lost over 200 lbs. from my high weight of 444 with a combination of surgery and changing my habits. I exercise daily but am struggling to find the energy to do so for the first time since I began my weight loss journey. I mentioned on Facebook that I was having these problems and a friend reached out to me to say that she had COVID earlier this year too and had all the symptoms I told her I had been having.

She said that it would eventually go away even if the excess weight gain did not.

As of this writing, I have an appointment scheduled with a functional medical doctor for this week. I hope to get some answers. I still, despite those lab results, suspect my thyroid is malfunctioning. I also am pretty sure I have leaky gut syndrome and insulin resistance, but I want a diagnosis and to feel like I’m not crazy.

Some days, like yesterday, are so bad that I can barely get off the couch and am in pain. A lot of pain. I feel hopeless, listless and depressed. I am sharing my story in the hopes that it can provide some missing pieces to people who may be feeling similarly. I will keep you updated on my progress. I will fight for my health even if western medicine would prefer that I ‘lose more weight’ and ‘exercise more.’

Want help with creating healthier habits? I follow the Prochaska change model and believe in a ‘small changes make big impacts’ approach. Feel free to reach out to me at to set up a free 60-minute consultation. As you can see from my own personal story, that I get it.

Christmas Shoes and the Sentimentality of the Season

The holiday season is upon us. This time of year I get very sentimental. I don’t think I’m alone. Holiday songs like Christmas Shoes, which wrecks me every time so much so that one time it was on while I was driving and I had to pull over because I was sobbing so hard, are meant to make us feel all the feels. 

I am not ashamed to admit that my youngest child comforted me during a replay of Frosty the Snowman because I cried. They said, “Mom, it’s okay. Frosty will come back again another day.” That set me off into another round of hysterics. It was really sweet of them. My family will not allow me to watch Nestor, the Long-Eared Donkey anymore. When Nestor’s mom dies because she shielded him from a winter storm (Spoiler Alert), I just lose it. I cannot even.

Basically, I could cite many more examples of how the holidays get to me. Usually during this time of the year, I am very happy and excited. I am looking forward to the festivities. We host a holiday open house on the 23rd or the 24th and do a modified version of the Feast of the Seven Fishes because I grew up in a big Italian and Portuguese family. (No baccalao, sorry, y’all. I cannot do such salty fish. Sorry, dad.) 

Unfortunately, I set myself up with high expectations and the day after Christmas I go into a deep depression. Like I said, I feel all the feels. The highs and the lows. I am also bipolar so that kind of bleeds into it. However, when my children were little, we watched all the holiday movies and specials that we could. We looked forward to FreeForm’s 25 Days of Christmas. Elf still cracks me up especially the part where Buddy jumps off the couch and puts the topper on tree and on Christmas Day we still have to watch Ralphie and company and all their antics in A Christmas Story

My children both love the moment in the Grinch when he and Max, his trusty dog, are careening down the mountain and come to a place where the mountain sends them up and around. At that point, Max waves at the mean old Grinch. They both giggle and when we had the VCR tape – my children are 20 and 25 respectively, they would ask me to replay that part over and over again. Their squeals of delight would always make me laugh. 

Christmas through a child’s eyes is more special and beautiful. I miss those days of old when my husband and I watched the kids get excited for Santa. We still, to this day, keep the Norad Santa tracker on all day Christmas Eve. My youngest would always hunt down Santa and when he got close, they’d go to bed as would their brother. I’m grateful that he, despite being five years older than they were, helped us keep the spirit of Santa alive for his sibling. 

I am nostalgic for those days gone by, but I know that some of our Christmas traditions will never go away. Someday, hopefully, I’ll have grandchildren and again be able to experience Christmas through their eyes. It’s more beautiful that way.

With the world being where it is and all the negativity going on, I am really excited to be in holiday mode. However, I feel an impending dread that I will crash hard and go into the ‘black’ as I refer to my bipolar depressive episodes. I expect the world to hold onto the concepts of peace, love and goodwill to all men (and women and children) all throughout the year; or, at least, I did up until COVID hit. I realize that the world is different now. I am different now. I think we all are. 

Christmas has become more special to me since the pandemic began because we still get to celebrate the season. I celebrate everything – Christmas, Hanukkah, The Solstice and even a day dedicated to honoring Kwanzaa. I believe that every tradition is important. I also feel that each has its own special qualities and enjoy every minute of these celebrations. 

I try to squeeze as much joy and solace as I can during this time of year. We need more comfort and love in the world. I just want to extend these warm and fuzzy feelings to other parts of the year. Unfortunately, that is too much to ask so while I will still tear up at Dolly Parton’s Hard Candy Christmas – if you haven’t listened to it, give it a whirl – and many other things. I will keep my tissues close by. However, this year I am setting my expectations accordingly in the hopes that the New Year will not send me careening into a depression. If it does, I will deal with it as I always do and get through it somehow. 

Happy Holidays to all y’all. Thank you for reading. If you find that you struggle throughout the holidays, I would love to help. Please email me at or call 512-484-7634 to set up your 60-minute complimentary session. It’s free. GIve the gift of mental and physical wellness to yourself this holiday season. Ask me about my special holiday six-pack. I’ll be happy to hook you up.