A positive relationship with food!

In this weeks episode I catch up with Gemma Davies

If you are a regular listener you will know Gemma from previous shows but if you are new to show here is a bit of background info for you! 

Gemma is a busy, working Mum to 3 boys and was diagnosed with Diabetes during her pregnancy

After years of not making the condition her priority and suffering from undiagnosed Diabulimia, Gemma has now completely turned her life around and is living a much healthier lifestyle. She has been kind enough to share her journey with us as she takes control of her Diabetes. 

 This week we talk about Gemma’s new found love of lifting, the positive changes she has made to improve her relationship with food and how she is dealing with Lockdown 2.0.

Missed anything in todays diabetic and healthy podcast? View the podcast transcript below to get the full show notes.

Hi, and welcome back to another episode of the diabetic and healthy podcast as always. I hope everyone is doing wow. This episode is actually being recorded in lockdown, and I am checking in with Gemma. So if you normally listen for podcast, you will know that I have done a few episodes with Gemma now. Um, and she has shared her story to date. So if you haven't listened to those, please do go and check them out. All of the episodes are on the website, on iTunes, on Spotify and on whatever other podcast app you use. Um, before we get started, just a quick reminder about social media. If you're not yet getting involved with diabetic and healthy on social media, please, please do we have a Facebook page? We have two Facebook groups, um, diabetic and healthy community, and also type one fit diabetic and healthiest also on Instagram. And of course, the podcast that you are listening to at the moment, please do hit subscribe. And that way you never miss any future shows. Okay. So I will get started and, uh, see how Gemma's doing. So hi, Gemma, how are you? I'm good. Thank you, Charlotte. Um, okay, so we're actually recording this in, um, Jess going into lockdown, number two. Yeah. How are you feeling about that?

Gemma (01:59):
Um, yeah, I mean, wow. It's okay. Um, I'm all right with it bit fed up with the loss of earnings, but mentally I'm prepared. Okay. That's good. Um, because I was doing a lot of the exercise last, last lockdown. Um, I was doing daily exercise and that really helped with my mental state really. Um, yeah. So, no, I'm, I'm, I'm comfortable with this one or now I can get through it and hopefully it's not going to be as long as the last one.

Charlotte (02:31):
Yes, there is that. Um, so I know last time we were talking, you were feeling quite, um, anxious about the first lockdown. So it was good for you I suppose, because we've done it once.

Gemma (02:41):
Yeah, yeah. We're used to it, definitely. Yeah.

Charlotte (02:45):
And since we spoke before, I know you've really been getting into lifting in the gym and you've carried on some of your PT sessions and things like that. So how has all that been going? Um, right. So

Gemma (03:00):
I'm still having like a PT session once a week. And I've discovered that I really do enjoy the, the, the weightlifting side of things at the gym now. So rather than sort of concentrate in on, um, a lot of the dumbbell exercises, I'm moving onto more of the compound exercises, the deadlifts, the barbell squats, things like that. And I'm really, really enjoying it. So I'm not dreading the gym anymore. Whereas a few, a few times before I started doing this, I was a bit like, Oh, I really don't want to go. I can't be bothered. I'm not getting anywhere, but now I can start seeing a little bit of progress. May not be in my physical appearance, but I know that I'm definitely getting stronger with what I'm doing. Yeah, definitely.

Charlotte (03:54):
Um, and you did a rather impressive leg press. So what is that, what is the highest weight you leg?

Gemma (04:01):
I did, um, 300 kilos the other day. Um, yeah, so I was like, well, impressed with that and what,

Charlotte (04:09):
Well you, what could you do when you first started? Can you remember what

Gemma (04:12):
Kind of height you were on? It was something like 60. I think I started on 60. Um, yeah, but I, I that's my favorite one. So I always go on that every time I go up to the gym and I'm like, I am going to beat everyone up here.

Charlotte (04:27):
Oh, it's really good. But it just shows when you find, you know, when you find something that even if you don't think you enjoy your first, the fact that you could feel your strength.

Gemma (04:36):
Yeah. And that's what motivated me and that's why I enjoy it because I know that I am actually getting somewhere with it. I can see the progress from lifting lighter weights and now I'm lifting heavier. Yeah. It definitely motivates me and makes me think that I'm actually doing something. Right. So, yeah.

Charlotte (04:55):
Yeah, absolutely. Um, so the gyms are now closed for a minute, let's say a minimum of a month. And have you got any plans for, for lockdown of how you're going to kind of keep up with your fitness?

Gemma (05:12):
Well, I went out so day one of locked down yesterday and I downloaded the couch to 5k on my phone. I hate cardio. I hate walking. Exactly. Every, every step is just horrible, but I downloaded it and I did the first day of the couch to 5k. So I'm going to continue with that. And that will be my exercise during lockdown until we can get back into the gyms again. And I'm also, I'm hoping to have, um, a personal training session outside with my PT at some point during lockdown. So that's good. That's good.

Charlotte (05:55):
Yeah. And I know some of the gyms are doing a lot of online classes and kind of zoom PT session.

Gemma (06:02):
I won't be doing that [inaudible] last time. And I tried some of the zoom classes and hated it really hated it. So I'm not doing, I'm trying to find stuff that I can cope with so I can cope with the walking as much as I don't like it, but I will do it just until I can get back into the gym. So,

Charlotte (06:25):
Um, and I guess as well, if you, you know, if you're doing a couch to 5k, things like that, just keeping you active is going to have a positive impact on your blood sugars. Cause I think a lot of people before, if they were going to the gym all the time and then suddenly stopped, you know, you notice a big change in you and your blood sugar start going up. So at least if you're, you're keeping your activity levels up and hopefully that will help balance your blood sugars.

Gemma (06:51):
I also found as well. It was, it was really quite good yesterday because where I work a lot and I go up to the gym like three or four times a week, I'm finding that I wasn't getting any steps in really. I was literally doing the bare minimum steps of like two, maybe 3000 steps a day. That was all I was getting seated job. Exactly. But then yesterday when I put my Apple watch on the charger, I'd done 12,000 steps. And I was like, Oh my God. I like seeing that. And I do know that I really should be moving more as well as going to the gym. I do know that I need to be doing more steps as well as well,

Charlotte (07:28):
As well as there we go. Well, maybe you can blend the two when

Gemma (07:31):
We're out of lockdown thing.

Charlotte (07:34):
And what about food wise? So we've, we've talked about your kind of relationship with food before. Um, I recently did a podcast actually about mindful eating. Cause I know it's something that a lot of people do struggle with and, and that can be in, you know, in any form it might be that you under eat, it might be that you're over. It might be that you binge, but just, it seems that a lot of people diabetes have a slightly strange relationship with food.

Gemma (08:03):
Yeah. And I, I listened to the podcast the other day and, um, currently I'm, um, seeing a diabetic, uh, consultant and, um, a lady that specializes with eating disorders in diabetics. Um, and I have an appointment with, with them once a week to try and figure out why I possibly binge eat or why I do go over the top. Oh, the reasoning behind why I'm doing what I'm doing. Um, so your podcast really helped because it was things that I've been talking about lately. And I know that I need to start really thinking before I start the binge, why am I doing this? As something happened during the day that has triggered this? Or just more, more like, thinking about why I'm doing

Charlotte (08:56):
It. It's a subconscious thing. It's not like this has happened to me. I'm going to go and eat it's why am I wanting to have this bit and then tracking it back or

Gemma (09:06):
Exactly. Yeah. And just sort of like thinking, Oh my God, right? Yeah. That happened today. Which possibly could have thrown me a bit, which has made me feel maybe a bit sad, a bit depressed. So I'm just going to go straight for the biscuits or the cakes or, you know, so I am, it, it doesn't happen every time, but the majority of the time that I, I feel like I want to have a binge, I'm thinking more and a lot of the time I'm stopping myself. So it is, it is all helping at the moment when you do really think about why you're doing something.

Charlotte (09:41):
Yeah. And I think a lot of people can probably relate to that because you know, emotional eating is a real thing, you know, and almost sometimes it's, it's enough to just stop and go, actually, am I hungry? And that's, that's kind of the first step in asking yourself why you're about to why you're about to have a binge. Cause you might tell yourself you're hungry, but when you stop and go, actually if I think about it and you kind of tune in with your body, but you think I'm not hungry, I just want to start for some reason.

Gemma (10:13):
And the majority of the time when I do binge number one, it's sometimes I use it as an excuse when I'm having a hypo or I can eat what I like just to get my sugars back up and then I'll have a bench, which I've sort of, I'm getting to grips with not doing that. Um, but a lot of the time I am just eating for the sheer hell of it. Not because I'm hungry. Yeah. So yeah, it's just working out why I turned to food and what emotions are going through me at the time when I'm turning to have a binge or, or have you say yeah. Um, yeah. It's, it's work in progress.

Charlotte (10:52):
Yeah. No, that's good though. It's really good. It's, it's good that you're talking to someone about it because you know, a lot of people go years and years and never, well, for one thing, don't acknowledge that it's actually an issue. That's just, Oh yeah. I like to binge when I'm a bit sad, but you know, you've taken that step to find out, find out why, you know, why it, some people gamble, some people go shopping, some, you know, it's, um, I think it is doing something that, that cheers us up or so we think, and now at that time, but long-term, it's not, not always the, uh, the best answer. No, no. So those is, is that over the phone, you have those videos that can continue free lockdown.

Gemma (11:37):
Yep. Yeah. It's continuing to lock down weekly. So

Charlotte (11:40):
That's cool. Is there anything you kind of learnt in lockdown last time that you would do differently differently this time? For example, what diabetes

Gemma (11:54):
Concerned or just in life in general in general, it's taught me to slow down. Yeah. So, and, and, and make more time for me. Um, because I was always just working really stupid hours, but not paying any attention to me or my health or, or anything like that. So I am setting aside times to go to the gym. Um, I do know, I need to start thinking more about meal times and preparation with meals because I'm rubbish with that. And I tend to stick to the same things because I know it's safe. I know exactly how much I need to inject for that. Just, just to sort of make life easier. Yeah. Um, but no, definitely to just take a bit more time out and, uh, not to put too much pressure on myself to work myself to the bone because it hasn't made me any happier. Yeah.

Charlotte (12:50):
Yeah. Yeah. And I I've actually heard that a lot from people who, um, especially people who are self-employed, um, you know, being self-employed myself and my partner, self employed and know what it's like. It's very hard to say no to work when you're self-employed because you feel like you should take the work while it's there. Um, but yeah, it's very easy to end up working silly hours and not making time for yourself, but the amount of people that I've spoken to that have said exactly that from last lockdown now, like I'm not going to work the hours that I did before, because I realized I need to sleep.

Gemma (13:21):
That's it? Yeah. And a lot of my, cause I know a lot of like other nail techs and so many people hairdressers, they've all said the same that they just want a bit more time to themselves and not to work themselves to the bone because

Charlotte (13:35):
That's that that's a positive that it's come up. But at least your mental health,

Gemma (13:39):
It does become affected if you're totally, you're working so hard and you don't get time for yourself, you do it, it can drag you down and make you feel really low.

Charlotte (13:49):
Oh. And especially with diabetes. Cause you're not, you're probably not giving it via tension, but it needs, especially like in your job, if you've got, you know, kind of back to back clients, you probably don't have the opportunity to stop and check your blood sugar and eat properly and all the rest of it. So, um, you said about your you're really getting into lifting. Yes. You notice much difference with your blood sugar control. When you're doing that.

Gemma (14:17):
After every session, my, my blood sugars do go high, but then they do fall. I don't ever like correct my doses or anything because I know they, yeah. They just come down on their own. Um, other than that, I've been a bit hit and miss with my Libris being out of stock and things like that. So, um, yeah, it's been a bit harder to monitor my blood sugars for fingerprints, with finger prick. Yeah. I have been doing them, which is another bit of progress

Charlotte (14:45):
Because before the Libra, they've

Gemma (14:48):
Never, never tested, but I always, before I exercise now, if I don't have my Libris on, I will always finger prick. Um, because I don't want to get halfway through a workout and end up having a hypo or I don't want to be running that high. That pointless. Yeah.

Charlotte (15:06):
And you would feel that probably in your work as well. I know if I've ever gone into a workout a bit too high I'm like I can feel, but it's counter productive. It's not. Yeah.

Gemma (15:14):
Yeah. There have been times where I have been sort of like maybe running it 11 or 12 before a workout. I've not been able to lift what I've lifted before, when, when they've been a bit, bit lower. It's it's really weird when you look into these things, just how your blood sugars can affect you, you know, everything. It's just, it's quite an eye-opener. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Cause I never knew any of this before, so you're always learning.

Charlotte (15:42):
We've obviously discussed, uh, the fact that you're doing the couch to 5k. Have you set yourself any other goals for lockdown?

Gemma (15:51):
The only thing I really want to do is just, I'm not going to put any pressure on myself. I just want to do this. See how far I get with the couch to 5k. You know, I don't think it can be done in a month. I think it's quite a long day of work. Yeah. So just see how far I get with that. But as long as I do the daily, the daily, like not challenge, but what it tells you to do on it. And they did say like yesterday that tomorrow you've just got to have a day of rest. So I am actually going to do that. And I do, it's really weird that I, because I'm going to the gym like three or four times a week, I didn't expect to ache after like from yesterday doing the couch to 5k. Cause it was only like 25 minutes work out, maybe half an hour. But today I feel stiff as a board, like everywhere from head to toe, I literally feel so stiff. And I, I was quite shocked at that. Cause I, I thought, yeah, I go to the gym and I lift these weights

Charlotte (16:55):
Completely different

Gemma (16:56):
Kind of work, different muscles that I'm using. So yeah, I am not, I'm not going to do anything today, but then I'll get back on it tomorrow. Cause that will be day two tomorrow. So yeah. And I just, I'm not going to put any pressure on myself because the amount of guilt I feel when so many aspects of my life, I'm not going to feel guilty throughout lockdown if I don't or if I miss a day or because I know that I'm not going to be giving up on it, but if I do miss a day then so be it, get back on it the next day.

Charlotte (17:26):
Yeah, absolutely. And again, something that I've heard a few people say about vegan to put less pressure on themselves in this lockdown. Cause some people, um, you know, it's great to have goals. I, you know, I always set myself goals because I, I work well with goals, but yeah, they're not designed to make you feel bad. Like they're not designed to give you a lady guilt, if you, um, you know, they don't achieve more danger to you and when you want to achieve. Um, and I know a lot of people did that last locked down. They felt like had to achieve something. You know, they had to use that time to achieve something. And do you know what it's been a tough year for everyone. And if you decide, you're going to use for next month to sit around in your pajamas and watch movies and yeah. So be it I think.

Gemma (18:11):
Yeah, no, I totally agree with that. And I do want a couple of movie days just to say that I've done it.

Charlotte (18:19):
[inaudible]

Gemma (18:19):
Not got him. Cause, cause I've always got people coming around to the house for, you know, to get their nails done and stuff. So I'm always, I always have to be up and dressed regardless. And even on a weekend it's never um, no, because it's, there's the kids football and things like that going on. So yeah. I am actually going to treat myself to a pajama day.

Charlotte (18:42):
Yeah. Do it might even have one myself or my mind slightly different with a toddler. It's not quite as sad. Uh, well thank you so much for talking to us again and giving us a little insight into what's going on with you and you're welcome down. Um, hopefully we can catch up review once we're out of locked down and uh, yeah. See how you got on with your couch 5k and see how you get on when you can get back in the gym.

Gemma (19:16):
I'm looking forward to that already.

Charlotte (19:17):
Cool. Well thank you so much as always to everyone for listening, please do hit subscribe, leave a review and let me know if you've enjoyed this episode until next time stay safe. Stay [inaudible].

Intro (19:37):
This episode has ended, but your journey towards a healthy and happy life continues head on over to diabetic and healthy.com and join the conversation with other diabetics and their families. All the information in this episode is not designed to replace the advice from the health professional team. Looking after you and your diabetes before making any significant lifestyle changes, do consult them with your doctor.

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