How does fear affect our health?

How does fear affect our health?

Experiencing fear is a healthy survival mechanism that is fundamental to our in fear is unhealthy.

Our bodies hold onto that fear and has negative effects on our physically wellness (ie: crippling our immune systems, screwing with our sleep, eating disorders, muscular pain, etc.) and emotional wellness (ie: dissociation, anxiety, phobias, mood swings, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc.)

And to my midlife mamas...fear raises our cortisol levels and messes with our hormones and we certainly don’t need anything else messing with our hormones! 

Fear puts us in fight, flight freeze mode and shuts down our pre-frontal cortex which makes it difficult for us to engage in executive functioning! 

Are ya hearing all the chatter about not being able to focus, zoning out, stress eating, stress baking, drinking, scrolling endlessly on social media? 

So let’s talk straight about fear…

Zig Ziglar said FEAR had 2 meanings:  Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise

Running from our lives is an unhealthy coping mechanism. 

Believe me, I tried, years of emotionally eating my fears instead of facing them has added up! 

I now choose  to be resilientAF and rise to face my fears.  

I get it.  This shit is hard.   Facing fear head on is intense. 

Choices in life are sometimes gut wrenching.  

Parenting taught me much of what I know about fear- we as parents hold fears for our children’s safety and well being.

The fears in my head were often way worse than the realities and when we hit the deepest darkest moments and real life scary shit was happening- the fear was overpowered by love- a love so intense that fear couldn’t continue to paralyze me. 

I now fully realize  “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”  (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

Action absorbs anxiety and fear- we free ourselves up to live more fully and present to love and gratitude.  Self care is love in action. 

Radical Self Care that I turn to when fear is present:  

  • workout -especially with the boxing gloves on!
  • take a walk, bonus points if the sun is shining
  • dance! sing!
  • gratitude journaling
  • Aroma Freedom session
  • connection with loved ones
  • Kava Stress Relief tea
  • Stress Away and Peace & Calming essential oil blends
  • nurturing whole foods
  • hugs...lots of hugs

Want to bump up your self care game? Come hang with a bunch of resilientAF midlife mamas? You are not alone! We get it!  

3 transformational lessons learned from the gym...probably not what you think!

Sadly, today my gym shut down their business.

Fortunately, the owners/coaches brilliantly pivoted and went remote, which is awesome....yet the community as we knew it is over.

My heart is so freakin’ heavy.

I sheepishly walked in there January 2018 -
DESPERATE- I had spent much of 2017 using a cane and managing pain. I needed to be healthier.

The transformation I experienced was priceless.

First of all...I actually
SHOWED UP and to be honest, I walked in terrified EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

And every day I walked out to my car a

For the first time I felt physically and emotionally safe in a gym setting. All shapes and sizes were welcome and present. Modifications and scaling was available for anyone at any level of fitness.

Oh how I will miss the community!!

We had daily celebrations of achievement and and compassion for life inside and outside the physical four walls of the gym.

2018-2020 were some of the most emotionally difficult years of my life and being present with the community and pushing myself physically supported me in ways I never could have imagined.

3 transformational lessons I learned from the gym: 

1.  It was never about my weight. People would compliment me on my weight loss and how great I looked...and honestly, it made me cringe. 

2. I would smile and share how amazing I FELT. It was always about feeling better in my body, being able to move without pain, to get on and off the floor, to climb stairs without my arms, and to live my best life.

3. I wanted to be seen for the way I was showing up for myself, for that was where the real loss was. The LOSS OF GUILT for putting myself first!

In 2019 when things in my life took some painful twists and turns I struggled to stick with my radical self care. I had pain again and became acutely aware of what a shamp I was at holding my emotions in my body.

Fortunately in the last 6 months I have learned a technique to release them….and am now getting certified in it so I can help others!

This community will always be in my heart, the coaches will always be in my head, and I will continue to move my body, to push myself past the point of my mental comfort zone, to step outside myself and find my inner warrior.


She is there and she is resilientAF!  

Check out
Project Wellness...remote training from two amazing coaches!!

and join other resilientAF midlife mamas on Facebook in our free group!! 

Whole New Back to School....College Edition Top 10 List

Whole New Back to School....College Edition Top 10 List

After months of indecision, waiting, researching, discussing, and shifting is time to send the 20 year old back off to college.  

We chose an off-campus apartment so they can stay put regardless of how the wind blows witht his pandemic.  

And then the packing began... remember when we prepared to bring this baby into the world almost 21 years ago and we packed a hospital bag? 

Yeah, of course you do! Well now it’s a “C*oV*I*D Bag” we need to prepare! 

This student will do all the things...wash hands, mask up (hopefully remember to wash the mask daily!) , keep distanced….and is only on campus for like 1 hour a week.  

That said, sick happens...and even just a cold becomes cause for concern.  

I can preach about “supporting immune system” all I want AND we all know that getting enough sleep and eating healthy are not synonymous with college students. 

So, the “BAG” - you are probably wondering what is in it...I have read about smart things like an extra phone charger, a list of important numbers and any allergies or sensitivities, insurance card, some comfy clothing and a cozy blanket.  

The concept is...student gets sick and needs to isolate...roommate can easily “grab the bag from the closet” vs. digging through the room to find the stuff. 

My list may be different than most, but I will accommodate for that.  I lean towards natural remedies...but my student and perhaps some reading this may not. 

Tobi’s Top Ten: 

  1. thermometer 

  2. pulse oximeter (btw...need to remove nail polish first so perhaps a packet of nail polish remover

  3. Cough supplies (over the counter stuff) : cough dropslozengescough syrupcough sprayschest rubs….whatever it is in your home that your student will use! 

  4. Ibuprofen or Acetominophen or any other tool you prefer for lowering high fevers and helping with body aches 

  5. Zinc lozenges

  6. Vitamins and Supplements -especially C , D and probiotics 

  7. Prescriptions- things they are already taking and will need to keep up with 

  8. Comfort Foods - obviously not perishable- and preferable healthy- maybe some snack/protein bars, granolacans of soupor favorite green tea bags (high in quercetin!)

  9. Personal hygiene products: including the “don’t leave home without it” hand sanitizer

  10.  Toothbrush!  Yes, technically a personal care product,but this could be the best tool available….research oral hygiene or prevotella and C*V*D and read up on keeping the top of the gut biome clean! 

Bonus Tip: Include a note with the exact location of anything that doesn't live in the bag so the roommate can easily find it!

Good luck! You got this mama!! 

Come on over and join us when you are done at packing at resilientAf midlife mamas on Facebook!! 

Life is beyond weird!

Life is beyond weird!

This. So much this. 

Thanks to this oily ally for speaking to my soul.  

My life is beyond weird. Though I spend less time in survival mode now, when events occur that shake things up, my body shuts down and I feel the energy vampires 🧛‍♂️ clamped on! I’m currently doing the work and learning about my trauma response and how to work through it.  It’s so empowering to name it and not have it take me down for days or weeks at a time. 

I'm learning to acknowledge the feelings that I often want to escape from and I'm waking up to the many ways I try to jump in and distract myself before allowing myself to feel.  I'm focusing on where and what I am feeling in my body and how I can breathe into it and release it.  I am a 52 year old work in progress.  I definitely ate my way through some of the hard stuff last night...and ya know what really sucks...all the pain and fear was still there when the cookie was gone! (and the cookie wasn't even good!) No judgement. It just is. It is all perfect.  My recovery time is quicker...I reached out to my supports, I went outside and I had a cup of tea. 
This morning I dragged myself back to CrossFit , it’s been too long-it was my first time this year. I desperately needed to move.  I needed to sweat.  I needed to get out of my head and all the trauma/drama.  I needed to be with my training tribe (and I am so glad so many of them were there!). The workout forced me to breathe deep and push myself. Tears were quietly shed at the end of the workout. A pressure valve like release of stress and energy that had built up just burst and then my energy shifted. My disposition going into the day was sunnier and I was primed to make the calls and have the conversations that I didn't want to make.  I got to decide.  That is the magic fairy dust.  I got to choose, to create my day and not let it dictate for me.  

 The vision is clearer through the murky chaos.  The vision is LOVE.  

Post Thanksgiving Truth Bombs

"It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place."

Oh yeah...I needed to see this today....all of this, but particularly this paragraph spoke to me in relation to my relationship with food (maybe a bit of procrastination, but liquor is not my thing) 

I masterfully justify eating chocolate (an easy example) as a means of soothing my soul when I am feeling all the feels, as if chocolate has superpowers and is capable of easing me from my pain.  And I have made up stories about if I buy the Lily's stevia sweetened ones they don't really count, nor do the so yummy Hu bars that are paleo.  I am fully conscious as I open them that I "deserve" to eat it because x, y, or z happened.  WHOA! TIme to re-frame my thoughts!!  

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“Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing.

It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.

It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.

A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.

It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.

It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.

If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.

It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.

It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.

It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.”
-Brianna Wiest

[Illustration: Yaoyao Ma]

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