I recently answered the question “what’s it like to live with an undiagnosed mystery illness for a prolonged period of time?”. Having my own autoimmune diagnosis that used to fit this description, and working for ten years with clientele who were often labeled as “malingerers”, and “hypochondriacs”, I understand with extreme clarity how this experience plays out and affects you emotionally. These “Invisible Illnesses” have an effect on sufferers that is quite distinct from other disorders.

Prior to my diagnosis, and during my training in graduate school, I became extremely familiar with the term “ worried well “. Not surprisingly…


BMI isn’t everything

While BMI is an important indicator for health risks, it’s not the be-all end-all of predictors. Visceral (belly) fat is associated with chronic inflammation, excess insulin and insulin resistance, all of which are risk factors for diabetes and the diseases that often follow.

The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study revealed that even when BMI isn’t in the “obese” range, if you have an apple shape (any excess fat you do have is collected in your belly) you are still more likely to develop significant risks. Throughout a 24-year study they followed 156,000 U.S. women ages 50–79 (upon entering in 1993)…


Recent headlines have been telling us something many of us already knew: work burnout is a big problem. Why is it news now, though?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently recommended a diagnostic code specifically addressing the distress that so many go through at work — “ Work Burnout “. This term appears in the International Classification of Diseases, 11th revision (ICD-11), which will go into effect in 2022.

The ICD is a standardized system of communicating diagnoses among medical professionals all around the world, regardless of spoken language. …


There, I said it. You may be busy, or not have access to a fancy gym, but let’s get down to what really blocks people from starting to move, or getting back into if after inactivity.

In a recent interview with Aaptiv, we discussed things that cause “fitness anxiety” and how to work through it. I like to call it more of what I think is at the root — intimidation. Here I share with you more of what I really believe are some of the biggest barriers, and tips for moving past them.

If You’ve Never Been One to Exercise

The biggest obstacles to starting from…


Image Credit

You know that friend you have that’s hard to make plans with? The one that cancels at the last minute and doesn’t really get into explaining why? That friend who doesn’t want to get together after she’s run all her errands, picked up the kids, and made dinner? She says she’s too tired. What’s that about, people do that and more every day?

I Guess She’s Too “Important”

When you do see her, she might have been late and said she had to go back to get the bottle of water she forgot. She may have even forgotten to bring that thing you wanted to…


Got a health concern? A severe illness? Want to prevent cancer? By all means, do your research. Knowledge is power, after all.

We’re bombarded with stories these days about health “breakthroughs” of all kinds. There’s the miracle food, or the one that should be classified as “poison”. Sometimes the same food is featured in opposing articles. Then there are all those “systems” that people have developed to cure what ails ‘ya. How wonderful it would be if we could trust everything we read.

Some of it actually is accurate, so don’t assume it’s all fake news. The key is sorting out the good, the bad, and the “keep an open mind but don’t jump in with two feet”. …


In 2015, 1.5 million Americans were diagnosed with Diabetes with 95% of cases being Type 2, related to excess body weight. In recent decades, even with abundant information about diet and exercise habits that affect risk, that number increases each year (Centers for Disease Control, 2017).

Attempts at a long-lasting healthy lifestyle often fall short when we try to make drastic changes too quickly. If you are at risk, it might be easier than you think to start making the right changes.

Eliminate 100 calories, three times a day.

Researchers in South Korea have identified a small but effective change to reduce diabetes risk by decreasing visceral…


Remember that time you woke up one morning and decided to start exercising every day from here on out and you did it? Me neither. Unless you are a born athlete who hasn’t stopped moving since you were a kid, you probably struggle with getting started and staying active. So many of us do!

How do those active people do it? How did they start? How do they keep it up? Why can’t you be like them? Well, I’m here to tell you, you can. You may never go to the Olympics, but you can be someone who’s active and…


Gyms that were packed a few weeks ago look pretty empty in comparison right about now. Where did everybody go? Around this time every year, people lose steam on their New Years Resolutions. Don’t be one of them this year. Here’s how to get back to it and make it stick.

Look for New Inspiration:

What prompted your decision to get active? When I was researching for this article, I did some keyword searches to see what phrases and images people are searching for when looking to get motivated. I have to say, it really wasn’t surprising. …


What is a Narcissist?

Chances are, you’ve heard the term Narcissist. If you live with a narcissist, it can be difficult, to say the least. Words often used to describe them include: egotistical, arrogant, self-absorbed, vain, and condescending. It may have come as a surprise when you first saw your loved one behave that way, or may have been eerily familiar if you’ve been involved with one (or more) before. First, a brief explanation.

When you first meet a narcissist, you probably see a charismatic, confident person and feel quickly drawn in. They can be charming and exciting, and when they find you charming…

Susan Masterson, PhD

Licensed Psychologist with over 25 years combined training and experience in behavior modification, lifestyle change, mental health treatment and teaching.

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