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. 

Introducing the Your Own Soulmate Protocol

I’m excited to announce a new program that I’m offering. It’s called Your Own Soulmate – you are the one you’ve been looking for. Society has an idea of a soulmate and that we have only one person in the whole world who is ‘perfect’ for us. My belief is that we are that person. We need to become our own soulmates for many reasons not the least of which is to recognize and honor our own self-worth.

Many women, for the most part, are taught to believe that they need someone to ‘complete them’. This is a fallacy. We are complete already. We just have to believe that and understand how we are complete. This requires introspection and analysis. In order to uncover what you’re looking for in a soulmate and how you uniquely qualify, my partner Deidre Prince and I have uncovered a protocol that you can follow.

First and foremost, you need to believe that you are enough. Marisa Peer is a British hypnotherapist who believes that most of our problems stem from not believing we are enough as we are. Well, as part of the Your Own Soulmate (YOS) protocol, we encourage participants in the program to begin to consider how they are enough and understand that they are complete already. We begin by asking our participants to come up with ten positive and believable “I AM” statements that they can begin to build their newfound and strong self-concept upon.

Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to:

  • I AM CARING, etc.

We encourage folks who enroll in our program to not base more than one or two of these statements on their appearance. Many women define themselves by how they look, and this can be a slippery slope. No one is immune the deleterious effects of aging. As a result, we will work to build a solid foundation of self-esteem. In order to do so, we must look to our virtues and unique ‘superpowers’. 

In the YOS protocol, you’ll also learn about the work of Dr. Kristin Neff. Dr. Neff, who works out of the University of Texas in Austin, is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion. Self-compassion, in a nutshell, is cutting yourself some slack and showing the same level of care and concern for yourself that you show others.

There is a lot of time for self-reflection and study in the program. You will get out of it what you put into it. If you’re interested in becoming your own soulmate, let’s take a journey to the center of yourself and get the process started. Six-week long classes will begin in 2023. You can send an email to to set up a complimentary, in-depth chat about the protocol and learn more about the offering. I look forward to hearing from you.

Your Own Soulmate – What Does It Mean?

When I split from my first husband, I was about 25 years old, maybe a little younger. He and I really shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place, but I was pregnant and Catholic – so you get the drift. Regardless, I realized that I had made a major mistake. Please note that I do not consider my son a mistake. I never regretted having him, but I did regret marrying his father and, to be fair, I think his father regretted marrying me. I haven’t asked him, but I’m pretty sure he would probably say that’s a proper assumption.

Basically, after the marriage fell apart, I decided that I need more for myself and especially for my young son. I had never thought about what I was looking for in a partner or what I was looking for inside myself. Now, I’d love to say that I’ve cracked the code of being a completely whole person on my own, but I can’t. Like everyone else, I’m a work in progress and will, hopefully, continue to progress throughout my life. I often tell clients the day we stop improving ourselves is the day we die.

I began reading all sort of books like Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus and Smart Women, Foolish Choices and so forth and so on. I was on a mission to figure out the formula for the perfect partner. I began by making a list of my red flags – the things I would not put up with. I also made lists of my requirements and what I was willing to compromise on.

I then came up with a 16 page questionnaire based on that research – I was, after all, a history major from Tufts University – and began to look for partners who met my criteria. I began to believe that I deserved to do the choosing and not just look to be chosen. I’d love to say that everything went perfectly from that point on, but it would be an incorrect statement. Life is far from perfect, and I was not great at making decisions when it came to who I’d date. I did not inflict my choices on my young son…until I found my current husband, John.

John was different from the others. He actually filled out my questionnaire thoroughly and sent me back one to fill out on my own. Bonus! He checked off many of my boxes and I knew there were no real red flags. He had his own home, a good job and he was kind, caring, cute and sweet. Only problem was that he lived nearly 2,000 miles away in Austin, TX. I was living in the Boston, MA area.

We carried on a relationship over the phone back when flip phones were a thing and long-distance charges were insane. We spent hundreds of dollars a month on phone bills, but every night that I would hang up the phone with him, I’d immediately want to call him back. My bed felt lonely without him, and I wanted to just talk to him so more.

In May of that year, I totaled my car on the highway, and he was the first person I wanted to reach out to. He came up a few weeks later for Memorial Day. Being from Texas, he had not prepared for the cooler Massachusetts weather – and I didn’t know what Texas was like in May. We were both admittedly naïve. Regardless, when we had our first kiss, sparks flew. I felt like I could spend forever with this man.

I then introduced him to my son. They hit it off right away and, as they walked hand in hand to play my favorite game at the arcade together, I felt sad that my son uninvited me to play but thrilled that he seemed to respond to my new boyfriend. John and I then made plans for me and my son to move to Texas. We did that in August of 2001 and he and I married in October of that year. The following year, my youngest was born and our family was complete.

Life has not been a picnic and I’m still learning what it means to be my own soulmate, but I am closer than I have ever been, and I understand the protocol for being a complete person. I live it and teach it to my clients and friends.

I invite you to visit my new website called I go into greater detail about the protocol and concept there. I will be leading an informational class on October 11th at 1pm MDT. Visit the link below to sign up for the event. Hope to see you there.

Full classes start in mid-January. If you’re interested, reach out to me at I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

About Emotional Overeating

Emotional overeating occurs when a person uses food to comfort or soothe themselves. The person who emotionally overeats will do so to avoid feeling uncomfortable feelings. Emotional overeaters can be fat, normal sized, or even thin. All have an eating disorder, or a dysfunctional relationship with food.

Why do people emotionally overeat?

Many people learned in childhood that feelings were things to be avoided or ignored. Some come from families of food pushers. Those are people who use food as a salve for everything. If you’re happy or sad, mad or glad, there’s food shoved your way. Some people also had significant trauma in their lives like sexual assault or abuse. They use food to deal with their feelings surrounding these issues. It’s not a bad thing, but it is something that can affect their health and well-being.

Why does the US have such a big obesity problem?

In the US, we are ripe to succumb to the disease of emotional overeating and I do believe it’s more of a food addiction. We have a culture where food comes into play for everything. We are conditioned to eat to handle emotions and just about everything else. We are given mixed messages too that make us desire to eat and then shame us for eating. This sets up a very big emotional dilemma, one that many people don’t recognize, and fewer understand.

How can we begin to overcome emotional overeating?

First, you have to recognize and accept that you eat for emotional reasons as well as physical reasons. Well, in fact, you may not even know when you’re physically hungry because you’re so busy feeding the emotional side of yourself. That’s why we start with the food/mood log. It will help you get in touch with why and when you eat so that we can see if there are patterns we can examine further and work on. Using a food/mood log and the hunger and satiety scale, which we will discuss next time in more depth, can help us figure out our pattens and begin to alter them.

Lessons of COVID

Recently, I got COVID. It was a difficult experience but not as difficult as I anticipated. As I write this, it’s been over three weeks since I was officially sick. I’m testing negative but I still have a cough and am tired all the time. I don’t think I have long COVID, but I do think that we don’t fully understand the lasting effects of the virus.

However, this is not really what this article is about. Rather, I want to talk about the things I learned about life while I was sick with COVID. I had a bit of down time. Sure, most of it was spent sleeping, but I did have some time to think.
For example, when I get a tattoo, for a few days afterwards, I feel as if I can conquer anything. Being able to withstand the pain of the needle makes me feel invincible. Of course, that feeling is short-lived. With COVID, I felt something similar. I stared down the face of the beast that has been tormenting our planet for nearly three years. It wasn’t as bad as
I thought which is another life lesson. Usually when we anticipate something, we think of the worst possible case scenarios. Our brain likes to play the ‘what if’ game and spur our anxiety on.

Of course, what’s ironic about this is that the brain feels like it’s helping you and protecting you by planning for every contingency. That’s simply not true. In fact, the brain is working against you and making you doubt yourself. Human beings are resilient and adaptable. We will overcome anything. If you don’t believe that, you aren’t a student of history.
Throughout the centuries, we have faced down many pandemics like the bubonic plague and the Spanish flu. We have survived and thrived after them. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t take COVID seriously. We absolutely should, but we should not underestimate ourselves.

For example, when my family got sick, I didn’t crumble. I spurred into action and made sure everyone saw a doctor and got the rest they needed. We went into survival mode. I worked because I couldn’t take the time off – if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. That’s the life of a private contractor and small business owner. I accept it as my lot in life. There’s no one I can hand the reins over to if I’m sick. It’s just that simple, and I am more than okay with it. I am compensated well and happy to have the job that I do have. I appreciate it.

Yes, I was able to work and do what I needed to do so long as I allowed myself to rest when I could. I practiced extreme self-care. I rested, relaxed, and tried not to stress out about anything. I knew it wouldn’t ameliorate the situation. I realize that I am very fortunate to have the opportunities that I do, and I do not take them for granted. Not everyone is as privileged as I am.

Of course, that’s not to say that my life or having COVID was easy. Life is difficult, with or without COVID. COVID puts this shadow over everything, or it did until I got it. Now, I know I can stare the beast in the face and come out okay. I am not underestimating COVID, but I am no longer underestimating myself and my problem-solving skills.

No matter what life throws my way, I’m going to be okay and that goes a long way towards building up my self-confidence and self-concept. I am not glad I got COVID. Just want to make that clear. However, I am glad I survived it and learned to appreciate the blessings I have in my life more than ever before. A COVID world can be difficult and scary to navigate but it’s not impossible or unmanageable. We got this! All of us.

Deanna Goodson is a mental health and wellness coach specializing in nutritional counseling. I can work in any area of life. If you are interested in chatting with me, please set up a free, 60-minute chemistry session to see what we can achieve together. You can do that via I look forward to chatting with you!