Author Archives: colleen

PLU Codes

Learn how to tell if your produce is Organic or Conventional by looking at the PLU code.(VIDEO)

you are here



These amazingly beautiful and inspiring films were created by the extremely talented
Scott Foley (vimeo + twitter) and Laura Horton (twitterblog)

waiting rooms: an exposé


A large number of rooms in our lives are specifically made for waiting. Restaurant lobbies, airports, hospitals and of course at the doctor’s office. The doctor’s office variety of waiting room is a breed of its own. They are packed with chairs, covered in wrinkled magazines and lined in boxes of Kleenex. The most outdated and worn are typically the average family practice waiting room (Their formula = 1 coat rack  + 2-4 fake dusty plants + .5 container of hand sanitizer + oldies radio/fox new on tv). Hospital waiting rooms have become bright with expansive walls of windows and fancy things like love seats. And the award for most comfortable chairs and best use of ambient water noise, in my exhaustive research, goes to mental health professionals. But there is far more to these awkward rooms than it seems. These 4 insights waiting rooms provide can change the way go to the doctor and help you

Waiting room wall clocks are usually set a couple minutes behind. This is the beginning of the waiting room plot to get you to loose touch with reality.  Then as soon as you enter the exam room time speeds up again. It’s a confusing attempt to make you feel like you haven’t been waiting forever while creating pressure on the doctor to speed up.

  • Check the time on your phone/watch before you go in. That is your masterclock.
  • Call ahead to see if there is a long wait
  • Try and make your appointment for early in the morning or right after lunch.

After a certain amount of time waiting it is only natural that we start sizing up our competition. Assessing their level of sick and keeping track of exactly who has been waiting longer than us. Getting our hopes up when the a name gets called.

  • If everyone seems more obviously sick than you are and the room is packed. If at all possible reschedule. Sometimes surviving the waiting rooms means knowing when to walk out.

The pharmaceutical industry loves the captive audience that every waiting provides. They try and tempt you with fancy pamphlets, calendars, and magazines.

  • If the clip board you signed-in on and the pen that you used matches the prescription the doctor hands you. . . think twice before heading straight to the pharmacy.*

The standard weighting room chair is constructed so you will never get comfortable. There are only a few people that are lucky enough to fall asleep in these chairs-and their mastery is typically due to illness or age. I have even been convinced on a few occasions after particularly torturous waits that these contraptions serve to create such discomfort that the brief walk to the exam room feels amazing and cold papered bed seems like a spa.

  • Walk, pace, stretch or do this.

*It’s cynical but, according to the author of Our Daily Meds, “A survey in 2007 found that virtually all physicians – 94 percent – take gifts or cash from drug companies. Some doctors take hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.  Even the smallest of gifts – a pen or a coffee mug – makes the doctor want to please the company by writing more prescriptions.”   Not that you should disregard your doctors advice but at least research the medication first and see if it’s the recommended treatment for the issue you discussed with your doctor.  I’ve come home with shiny pens/samples/and illegible prescriptions for the same drug- only to return 2 weeks later because it wasn’t helping.


Photo by Brandy Shaul used under a CC lisence, remixed by me.

On Blue: My Way Through Sadness

Some days a yellow saturates.
Or a warm sienna hovers.
Others a transparent wash of green overlays.
Then there are blue days.
That cool grey-blue touches every bit of every space of every moment.

That is my today.

It’s like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, then stepped under a cloud just as it started to rain. lots. My hands are cold and my socks are wet. The umbrella is inside out.

I like no drama and I’m in a good mood 98% of the time. I went to war with depression years ago after that odyssey is early twenties crazy. I understand sad. I’m familiar with the flavor and I strongly dislike the taste.

I’m not heartbroken.
I’m not sad about the world.
I’m not worried about a friend.

Yet there is little to see but blue and a bit of a daze about me. A headache at the tippy top. And exhaustion. It’s easy to go back to sleep and hope that something so nebulous will soon pass. It’s hard to lean into this feeling and fight it. But I’ve learn, the quickest way I start to feel better is to understand whats happening. Feel it and go through it.

I look at it like science. I try and become an observer of my own thoughts and symptons. This helps get me get beyond myself. Here is my process:


I write until the words that seemed unable to describe my hue begin to even vaguely hint at a color. Then I write more. Writing helps get everything out of my head and into the open.

  • How do I feel?
  • Is it worse in the morning? afternoon? etc?
  • Does anything ache?
  • Am I tired?
  • What am I thinking about?
  • Can I focus?
  • What hurts?
  • How do I feel?


Think back. Take more notes.

  • Have I ever had a similar feeling before?


There is comfort in patterns. Connecting a symptom with a possible cause that has been repeated over time can create profound understanding. At the same time, being unable to connect this feeling with anything in the past  can be equally important.

  • I have felt this way before: Why? What happen? What was going on? How did it improve?
  • I have never felt this way before: How is this different from anything in the past?


At this point I reread my notes. Sometimes I am too exhausted and allow myself a bit of a break, but not long. When I approach it again I’m as objective and open as possible. It takes effort to keep from getting stuck and dwelling on the way I feel.

  • Take some of the symptoms and possible causes and Google them.
  • I read medial focused sites first that rely more on professionals than forums.



  • I remind myself whatever I just read on the Internet is meant to provide possible insight and help me work toward a solution. The Internet is not all knowing.


As in REACH OUT. There is nothing wrong with asking for support.

  • Contact a professional: Then I communicate all the things I have just written down. Even if the worst of that feeling has disappeared, it can help to be able to describe it and work with someone to help prevent it in the future.
  • Call a friend: Everyone has days like this and sometimes just letting someone know what you are going through helps. Hang out. Laugh.
  • Read: Find direction and regain balance with the wisdom of self-helpy books. (here are my favs)


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Image: Blue by Jakerome used  under a CC license. remixed by me.

5 things you need to hear if you’re trying to loose weight

I’ve lost over 130 lbs and here are the 5 things you need to hear to if you’re trying to loose weight. (VIDEO)


Secret #1


We are all victims and heroes. We over think and forget to act. We get stuck and we restart. We trust our gut then follow our heart. We wake up again. We inhale this breathe and exhale the next. We will never be the same again. We find friends inside screens, and enemies within us. We fight change even as we’re changing. We let thoughts define us and illusions close our minds. We are capable of more than we have ever imagined.

We cannot hold tight to what was and live in what is.




photo by nerovivo via Flickr used under CC License, remixed by me


The Trouble with the Inevitable


Today facebook let me know that a friend died.

Distance collapsed and some strange collective shock set in at our tiny corner of the internet, like the way cnn mesmerizes the masses with its freshly broken news. Everything found its way back.

Ace wasn’t a super close friend. She was not the obligatory High School add either. We shared laughs, lectures, discussions and completely disgusting cafeteria meals in college.

She was a year older and a lifetime more figured out. Maybe some strange instinct about the span of her days contributed to her clarity and confidence. Or maybe she was just unafraid of being exactly who she was.

Whatever it was, I aspired to have one-tenth of that.

We lost touch after college. Lives happened, years past. Then a simple facebook request. Her profile pic was the first hint, and her wall detailed her years long battle with cancer. There was an increasingly optimistic tone, one clean scan after another. Then there was this:

So how come the out pouring of well wishes the casual observer or browser might think? The cancer just won out this time and my oncologist has given me around 2 months. I know this may seem tacky but announcing it like this but I just don’t have the energy to do it individually.

So Thank for the well wishes and I would love to hear more stories.

I love all of you from the bottom of my heart and have been lucky to have been able to know you all

· September 8 at 8:11pm

Ace passed away 3 months later. She was 28.

There is life and will be death. A point when all those carefully woven hopes for the future fall to threads. When the start we planned for tomorrow fades into a final sunset. The mystery is when, a puzzle that takes root in your subconcious and haunts you on icy highways next to too fast semis. It sends shivers up your spine in dark alleys and can keep you from moving forward.

What would you do if you had 1 year to live? 6 months? 1?

There may be freedom in knowing when, but there is more in letting go and living like it doesn’t matter.

photo by John-Morgan via Flickr used under CC License, remixed by me


On January 27, 2011 I turned 27.

My golden birthday.

I had high expectations that it would be the year I’d been waiting for. Everything would effortlessly fall into place. I wouldn’t have to worry about running out of money or food. Finally, the meaningful life I craved would be realized.

It turns out that it wasn’t that year,
But it was the year that I realized I couldn’t wait any longer.

There were mistakes, abrupt endings, fresh starts, tears and laughter. Reality was only pale in comparision to my expections. And that constant disapointment seemed overwhelming. I was stuck in a cycle of sameness, always falling short of what I wanted. The only relief I found was from steping back and allowing the fuetility of these thoughts to be brought into view. I began to work toward elimanating thoughts that impact me in a negative way.

Let go. Don’t define tomorrow with the vocabulary of today.

Then I remembered that I didn’t wait until spring to start walking or New Years Day to start eating better. I did it because staying the same was painful. The choice became either sleeping or living. So I again choose focusing on now, and letting go of what will be.

Just shy of 11 months into my 27th year I’ve reliazed something profound.

I am happy, golden actually.

photo by Valerie’s Geneaolgy Photos via Flickr used under CC License, remixed by me


Help isn’t a four letter word

No one learns to swim alone.

We don’t attempt to sky dive or ride a bike for the first time without someone behind us.

A hug can’t exist without someone else.

Yet so often we feel alone as we try to make our way through each day, silently coping with pain and unhappiness. We are busy stressing about the latest drama at work, lending our shoulder to family, and our ear to friends. We are so busy that we forget that we need support too. Maybe we are afraid that asking for help might mean we are weak, that we are not strong enough to deal with everything on our own. But being strong does not mean never needing anyone.

Strength is knowing when you need the same support you give.

We all need allies.
We need whatever it takes to support us in taking action to create the life we want.
Change is hard and you do not have to do it alone.

I choose to move away from the city I wanted to live in and back to a place filled with the support of my family. I read a million self help books to convince myself I could transform my life. I created a team of health proffesionals to help me understand my symptoms and create a plan to change them. I found that the people around me that matter want me to thrive. The support of an ally is invaluable on this journey.

photo by cupcakes2 via Flickr used under CC License, remixed by me

The Very Beginning


Hey, thanks for visiting my site!

My name is Colleen, I am the creator/writer/designer of Feelbetteroloy. I want to help you feel better. By sharing my transformation and the techniques that have helped me find my better I hope to help you change your life.

Growing up I was always the sick girl and at some point in my early twenties I became the morbidly obese girl as well. I felt terrible. I was fed up with the medical system, frustrated, and exhaustion. Three years ago I decided to take back my life and find this elusive “healthy”. It has been an amazing journey. Today I am 134 lbs lighter, healthy, and feel better than ever.

Feelbetterology might be for you if:

  • You want to feel better.
  • You don’t feel like yourself.
  • You are frustrated with your medical care/treatment.
  • You want to lose weight without drugs or surgery.
  • You are sick of being overwhelmed and confused about your health.
  • You want to take back your life.
  • You want an ally.


My journey to health has been epic. I was misdiagnosed and over medicated for more than 10 years. I was content not questioning my doctors nor understanding my symptoms. After I found out I was misdiagnosed I lost a great deal of trust in the conventional medical establishment. So when I started to encounter unusual symptoms and experience 6 months of extreme weight gain I knew I had to make a change.

I was determined to see what healthy would feel like after years of being told my condition was chronic and that I would never be “normal”. I knew I could no longer sit back and allow this life to just happen to me. I came up with a plan and took back my life. Read more about my transformation.

I realized that there is no “normalone size fits all path to health and weight loss. The average conventional medical professional is well meaning but extremely overworked. They see the big picture and choose a treatment that works the best for most. But you are not “most”. The days of an all knowing wise doctor whose treated your family for generations is over. In order to get the care you need and deserve you have to be your own advocate. To feel better you must be a partner in your care that engages and communicates with the professionals you choose to support you. There is no magic pill and change is hard. I want to help you feel better and support you on your journey.

What now?

  • Read more about my transformation.
  • Subscribe for updates in your email and download the free tool kit I’ve created to help you feel better. (no obligation, you can unsubscribe at anytime).
  • Take a look around and check out the archive for a list of all posts.
  • Check out what I recommend. (only my favs make it on this list)
  • Get started & FEEL BETTER

If you enjoy Feelbetterology and want to get updates directly in your inbox please subscribe for free here (100% spam free, always) or get updates via RSS.

Also, I love connecting with readers on twitter, facebook, and google+. Or email me colleen(at) if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.
(I don’t bite. . . promise)