Today Melissa Price shares her story of being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
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Dr Orlena: Hello, and welcome to fit and fabulous with me, Dr. Orelna, we have an amazing guest today, Melissa Price. Welcome. Welcome, welcome.
Melissa: Thank you. It's so awesome to be here.
Dr Orlena: Melissa is very kindly and I think very bravely said that she will talk to us about having diabetes. And the reason I have invited Melissa on is because.
Dr Orlena: You know, I'm always telling you how easy it is to lead healthy, healthy lives and inspiring you to take action. But sometimes I think it's really easy to forget why it's important. And so I want to just pull back the curtain a little bit and talk to somebody who sat there with a diagnosis of diabetes and see.
Dr Orlena: What is going on for them. So, Melissa, first of all, thank you so much for being brave and coming and chatting to us.
Melissa: No problem. I believe in education and I still am a work in progress.
Dr Orlena: Perfect. So would you like to start just by telling people a little bit about yourself, giving them a bit of your bank?
Melissa: Sure. I am a former homeschool mom. My kids are grown now and I have two grandkids. I love educating myself on just about everything. I'm especially interested in emotions and I work with families, teaching them a little bit about their purpose and how to use them to move forward in their lives.
##Melissa is Diagnosed with Diabetes
Melissa: I was diagnosed with diabetes probably about seven or eight years ago. And it's been a journey of ups and downs, but I fully believe I can reverse it.
Dr Orlena: Perfect. Perfect. Okay. So can I start by asking you how old you are right now?
Dr Orlena: So you were like 47 when you were diagnosed. Yeah. So if you could just take us back a little bit before you were diagnosed, what did life look like?
Melissa: It was super busy, so I was in the middle of the last years of homeschooling and I was teaching a lot of classes just working with my kids, helping them, you know, Move on with life and just busy, really busy.
Dr Orlena: We all, all of us busy.
##Melissa had Weight Problems and Didn’t Prioritise Looking After Herself
Dr Orlena: Can I ask a personal question? Was weight an issue for you at that time? Yes. And were you trying to lose weight? Were you just sort of thinking, yeah, it's something that I sought out. Were you happy with your way?
Melissa: I'm not happy with it, but I was too busy to work on it. So I tend to be one of those people that I'm really focused on my family.
Melissa: And I come third or fourth down the line.
Dr Orlena: We know those people on this podcast. Yes. And one of the things I always say to people is. Well, my, one of my favorite quotes is the best thing you can give your kids is your own happiness. And I say happiness, but I think, I mean health as well, but, you know, I use happiness as that word to really say, you know what?
Dr Orlena: You need to look after yourself. And so the, the phrase is the best that you can give your kids is your own happiness. And the second best thing you can give them as vegetables. There you go. There you go. Exactly. So, yeah, you were busy and not busy looking after everybody else and not prioritizing your own health and your own needs.
Dr Orlena: And so tell us about that day when you were, or, you know, what, what was building up to that diagnosis? What happened such that you got the diagnosis diagnosis?
Melissa: Well, actually, I had been working with a health company and they had put out that they were doing a study on a new product. That sounded great. I don't remember what it was, but so I was hoping I could participate and they rejected me and they had a little circle piece of the paper that said, go to your doctor and see if you have diabetes.
Melissa: And that was like,
Dr Orlena: So you had no symptoms
Melissa: that I was aware of. I knew that like, when I was. Young adults. I found that eating a little bit of sugar with nothing else in my body was a real big no-no. And so I stopped doing that right away. And so I kind of knew that there was maybe a blood sugar thing going on, but I just thought don't eat sugar without eating real food first.
Melissa: Right. But. I don't have a health history and my family have diabetes that I know of. So it was a bit of a shock, but then looking back and learning more about diabetes, I was like, oh, okay. So that's when I had high blood blood sugars and that's how it manifested. I just didn't know enough about it.
Dr Orlena: Okay. Fine. And so when you were diagnosed, what went through your brain?
##Melissa Started Making Changes and Got Healthier
Melissa: It was two months before my daughter's wedding. So that was crazy. And I just happened to meet somehow online, a guy who was a nutritionist that helped people with immune disorders, but diabetes was one of the things that he helped.
Melissa: And so I started right away working with him and just learning a little bit about. Diet and exercise and how to eat that would serve me better. And and that, that worked for a while until I started being not quite so BD int that makes sense, Lu, you know, getting back to being busy and putting me second.
Dr Orlena: I would say, if it's not easy and fun, it doesn't get done. And it doesn't really matter whatever you're trying to do. Like, you know, we can sit here and discuss whether it's the keto diet or this diet or that diet. It's totally irrelevant if it doesn't fit into your life. You know, it's that lifestyle bet that is that's really important, which is why I'm always going on about habits, systems and routines.
Dr Orlena: And that is my way of helping people to. Really do things because that's the way you get to do them. It's with habits, systems, and routines. So going back to your standing there, you've started doing things, you know, you've got, you got your diabetes under control at that stage. Did you?
Melissa: I did. I, I my A1C went down quite a bit.
Melissa: In that first, maybe
##HbA1C is a Marker of Glucose Levels
Dr Orlena: six months ago, it's going to explain what the A1C is for people who don't know. So the A1C is a marker of. It's called glide caucus, little, excuse me, glycosylated hemoglobin. And what it is is it's looking at. How, like how it's a sign of over the last 30 days, how high your sugar levels have been, it's sort of an, an average market.
Dr Orlena: So for example, if you think I'm not going to behave well, I'm going to do all these naughty things. But the day before I go to my doctor, I'm going to be super, super, super good. Well, you're HBA one C we brought HBA. One C in the UK is still going to be raised because it gives you a sort of like an average of how things have been doing in the last month or so.
Melissa: so I was able to lower it quite a bit. And what he had me do very, basically that was working for me was I was having more meals, smaller meals, and always pairing proteins with carbs and eating more complex carbs. And as we would progress. We'd find out what carbs weren't good for me. So we had to keep cutting out carbs, cutting out carbs.
Melissa: So the, and then it was, it was good that I was eating more often cause I have always neglected to eat until I'm like starving. So I think that's part of why I got diabetes apart. And. It was going pretty well. And then I just got too busy to make sure I was eating those six meals. And then I was eating more, not like I ate a ton.
Melissa: I did stop sugar and I've been pretty good about not eating sugar. So that's a habit that I've changed. There's so many carbs. I don't eat. But I've also lessened recently the vegetables and just gone for the super quick meals because I continued to be busy. And that I think has hampered me.
##Things Started to Slide and Melissa’s Diabetes Came Back
Melissa: It's kind of put me back to where I started.
Dr Orlena: So when did you get back to where you started?
Melissa: Probably in the last year or two. Okay. And how does that. Not great. I mean, I know that if I buckled down, I can do better, but I think one of the things that you mentioned that this nutritious nutritionist and I, we were just discussing was like, really it's the stress level in my life that has been kind of a.
Melissa: Kill joy as far as overcoming this. So working on that.
Dr Orlena: Perfect. Perfect. So, I mean, I think one of the things that I really wanted to illustrate in this podcast is really that sort of sitting here and thinking, oh my goodness, diabetes is a really scary illness and thinking, you know, if you stand there and think, okay, if I don't change anything, What, what happens in your mind?
Dr Orlena: What does your mind start to say to yourself?
Melissa: Well, I have my nutritionist in my head that said, well, you either do this or you lose a leg, like very blunt. So he's told me, like I one of the problems is elevated. Blood sugar can affect her eyesight. And recently my eyesight got better. And then it was going back and forth.
Melissa: And I was like, why can't I see far away today and learned that that's, that's a problem with high blood sugars. And so my, my friend. You know what they'll do if you have bad eyesight is they'll start to inject things in the back of your eye for the rest of your life and you don't want that. And so there are scary things that can happen.
Melissa: So the
Dr Orlena: nutritionist
Melissa: he's good, but he's a little scary, but yeah,
Dr Orlena: I think it's important to really lay that. Down on the ground. And, you know, we can go on and say things like, you know, one out of three people have diabetes end up having a heart attack, like really serious statistics like that. And yet you have what I call this golden opportunity, this opportunity to make changes.
Dr Orlena: And, you know, I know that you are thinking about this, but really my aim with this podcast is to explain that that's the same for everybody. You know, you're standing here with what I call this golden opportunity. And we don't like to look ahead. We don't like to look at the nasty, bad things that can happen, but that's kind of like burying your head in the sand and going, it's not going to happen to me.
Dr Orlena: Whereas science shows us medicine shows us what happens when people have diabetes, but now you have an opportunity to change that. Do what I call, you know, live your amazing life and, you know, have all that energy and get your health back and all of that exciting stuff. So here's another question for you.
Dr Orlena: If you were talking to people who are listening, who were in a similar situation to you and they might even be in that situation right at the beginning where you had no idea that you had diabetes, what would you say to them?
Melissa: One of the things that I have learned is the emotional side, maybe to having diabetes is not enjoying your sweet life. Like we I had relationships that I was really struggling with and. Continually brought me down. And so the stress of that I think really contributes to the diabetes as well. I mean, we turn to comfort when we don't know what to do with our big emotions.
Melissa: And so while I don't feel like I turned a lot to. To food necessarily the foods that I was turning to, or the more comforting foods that were in is healthy for you. And long-term, and so that's kind of, I think how I ended up here. So I would say like, just being consistent with, with understanding.
Melissa: How to take care of yourself is so important because I didn't know how to do that. And I've spent the last decade learning how to take care of myself, how to love myself, love where I'm at. Forgive myself and forgive others. Like there's just a lot of little things that you can do exercise and diet.
Melissa: Absolutely. But that's not the complete picture like that emotional side is so.
Dr Orlena: Yes, no, I totally agree. And you know, as I was saying before we started recording, I teach four pillars, healthy eating, exercise, sleep, and the emotional wellness and that emotional wellness piece is what I call the foundational piece.
Dr Orlena: And that includes, you know, your relationship with yourself, emotional eating stress levels. And essentially if you don't change that, if you don't fix that, It doesn't matter what changes you make in the other three pillars, because if you don't go back and really change. That foundation, then it just it's temporary.
Dr Orlena: It falls apart at some stage, the problems that you have in pillar four, your emotional problems, they are just going to come back and it's going to manifest as emotional eating or whatever, you know, not great behavior. You're exhibiting that. Isn't great for your, your health and that you need to have those tools to really help you enjoy a really good emotional life.
Dr Orlena: But without turning to. Fabulous. Thank you so much for your time. Any, before we ask you all about your emotional gain, but I'm super excited to learn about any last words of wisdom for people.
Melissa: what we focus on grows, so. Focus on for me, like focusing on all the things that bring me joy and working to bring more of that to me. Is so important when I'm looking at what I'm not doing well, or I didn't eat well today, or, you know, this family situation exploded and letting it bring me back down, I worked super hard to bring myself back up because I want to live that joyful life.
Melissa: And it's just a day-by-day process, but really Focusing, focusing on the good is so important nowadays.
##Melissa’s “Emotion Commotion” Game
Dr Orlena: Absolutely. I love it. Thank you. Now, would you like to tell everyone about your emotional game, which I'm super excited to find out?
Melissa: Okay. Sure. I created this game called emotion commotion, and it's super easy.
Melissa: You just do an action and an emotion.
Dr Orlena: So this is for the audio. I'm going to just read out what she's holding up two cards. And one of them has a cute little picture of a pig on it, and it says, show the emotion by making the sound of a pig. And then on the other card, the emotion is over with.
Melissa: Yes. So you do the action in the emotion and people try to guess the emotion.
Melissa: So if I were to make the sound of a pig, that's overwhelmed. Yes. I'm going to embarrass myself. It might be like,
Melissa: I don't know. But what happens is, as people try to guess, they're expanding their emotional vocabulary because you're naming the. The synonyms and that emotional vocabulary helps us be really in tune with what we feel so we can get the right message from that emotion and act on it. It moves us through emotional regulation by we accept an emotion card without judging it, and we allow them.
Melissa: Energy to move through our body as we're portraying it, however we're portraying it. And then we get rid of that energy, which is what we need to do with our emotions. Before we get the message from them. We need to accept that we're feeling an emotion, allow it to move through our bodies in our favorite tools and then figure out the message.
Melissa: So I love that it helps with that process. We practice it as we play. It gives us this unique opportunity to be. Vulnerable with our emotions. Cause we're just playing a game and that's what really connects people. So I can play with, I played with business women groups and we don't know each other.
Melissa: And by the end of playing it for an hour or two, cause people love to play. Then we know each other really well and feel really comfortable with each other. And I played it with kids. As young as five young adults had amazing conversations. It's just, it's a tool that. That on the outside is just a really fun ice breaker game, but there's so much that you learn just by playing it and it's not preachy teachy kind of thing.
Melissa: So I love boosting the emotional intelligence
Dr Orlena: of amazing. It sounds super, super fun. And where can people get hold of
Melissa: it? They can get ahold of it. And at emotion, commotion, game.com.
Dr Orlena: I do happy, less fabulous. I will leave links in the show notes. Thank you so much for your time.
Melissa: Yeah, you bet. Thank you so much.