Meet the Doctor of Disruption

Dr. Z, the founder, and disruptor of Representation Rebellion, is compelled to create a world where we listen to each other’s stories and feel empathy.

Her obsession with nutrition, weight loss, and body image was born out of the need to control something.  She got a BS and MS in nutrition.  For over 30 years, she worked as a director and registered dietitian for UC San Diego leading numerous community health programs to support families in low-income neighborhoods to eat healthy and be physically active. She published over 60 articles in journals to encourage these behaviors.

Through her experience, she realized nutrition and physical activity have little to do with well-being and living a successful life, especially for a woman. 

When she was told that women in their 50s become invisible, she went back to school at 49 and got her PhD in leadership. It was the best and worst of times…The PhD program reinforced how “they” want to erase women in their 50s.

As her dad has said, “When you tell Michelle she can’t do something, she doubles down and does it.”

That’s how Representation Rebellion was founded.


Some fun stuff about Dr. Z:

  • She was born into an Irish Catholic family (aka guilty alcoholics). 
  • Her dad had 19 careers, such as a Navy pilot, junkyard owner, and author.
  • Her Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) score is 6 out of 10.  A high score of four or more is considered high.
  • She identifies as a suburban hippy.  She grew up half of her life in Pacific Beach, CA, and the other in Alpine, CA.  PB is fast and furious; Alpine is slow and slow.
  • She lives in a 1926 Spanish-style house in a suburb of San Diego with her husband, an adult daughter, my teenage (6’5”) son (her older daughter lives in her own place), six chickens, two parakeets, a leopard gecko, and a Pitbull mix (she looks like a walking pot roast) and a miniature Pomeranian (he looks like a rodent, but don’t tell her daughter she said that).
  • She loves Jacaranda trees, Taos, Jason Mraz, the smell of patchouli, writing and reading, Schitt’s Creek, cabernet sauvignon, making green lights, bean and cheese burritos, a good night’s sleep, and the sound of wind chimes.