skin grip podcast episode 1

Episode 001 - Welcome & Let's Talk an Adult Diagnosis with T1D

October 04, 2021

Hi! My name is Lissie Poyner. Type one diabetic, Integrative Health Coach and founder of Needles and Spoons Health & Wellness. At the age of 19 my life changed forever when I was diagnosed with T1D and to be frank, I was exhausted with how much my care was sugarcoated (excuse the pun).

So here we are. Let’s get this thing started! Welcome to Keeping it 100 Radio. This podcast was created in collaboration with Skin Grip (my favorite patch company) to give you the real & raw conversations around type one diabetes. We know there’s a lot left uncovered in our doctor’s office and we’re here to fill that gap. In this podcast you’ll hear personal experiences from me, strategies from all of the experts I know, and everything you need to help you create an empowered life with diabetes.

This episode will set the foundation. I'm inviting you into my personal journey with type one diabetes and inside my diagnosis as a young adult.

Inside the episode we'll talk all about:

  1. Who the heck is Lissie Poyner and what we do around here as Needles and Spoons Health & Wellness
  2. College life and a diagnosis of type one diabetes
  3. How my family's reaction impacted my experience around my diagnosis
  4. Life after college, a second diagnosis and the bigger impact it has.
  5. How I shifted to a holistic approach and how transformed everything

Thank you to Skin Grip for sponsoring this podcast! Check out my absolute favorite patches and save 10% at check out by using the code "LISSIE"!

Hit the play button and let's get started!



Lissie Poyner

Certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer & Founder of Needles and Spoons

Integrative Diabetes Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, owner of Needles and Spoons Health & Wellness, and creator Keeping It 100. I help overwhelmed people with Type One Diabetes just like you gain more predictability in their blood sugars so they can finally take their life plans off hold. 

I was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 19, and to say that I was lost would be an understatement. In the years that followed my diagnosis, through trial, (a lot of) error, and education, I took my own A1C from a 7.1 to a consistent 5.7 and learned what it really takes to achieve predictability in my blood sugars. I also brought my Ulcerative Colitis into remission! 


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Welcome to Keeping It 100 radio. I'm your host, Lissie Poyner. Type one diabetic, certified health coach, personal trainer and founder of Needles and Spoons Health and Wellness. Inside this podcast you'll find the real and raw conversations around diabetes management, including lessons we don't learn in our endo's office, my best tips and trainings and conversations from experts, I trust inside the community, so you can create more predictability in your diabetes management and feel empowered while doing so. Let's dive in.  And before we get into this episode, I want to let you know that this episode is sponsored by Skin Grip. This is the only patch company that I trust with my diabetes devices. Before Skin Grip my Dexcom would last maybe four or five days before falling off. And it was making it so hard to lift weights, hike with my pups, or just wanting to do the everyday things that I love. Now, I feel confident traveling, working out and navigating life with diabetes without having to worry about dealing with insurance more than I have to, begging for replacements and resorting to fingerpricks. Because we all know that that sucks. You can check out Skin Grip by going to and save 10% on your order by using the code Lissie L-I-S-S-I-E at checkout What is up friends? If you are listening to this, then you are officially listening to the very first episode of Keeping It 100 radio. So welcome, we are so excited to have you! We have been hinting at this podcast for a few weeks now. And honestly, we're just very, very excited to finally get it out there. To be honest, like I have never really considered myself much of a podcast person, I always thought that I was the best at showing up on Instagram or on Facebook or I tried YouTube for a little bit. But that was not really my thing. And I just thought that having a podcast was really the best place for people to get information, to get education where maybe they normally wouldn't be able to  much get much on Instagram, because everything is kind of confined to like 10 second clips on stories and you know, a few, just like a short caption on everybody's post. So I wanted to create this podcast to be something where you can find information that you know is credible in integrity, and you know, from guests and experts that are qualified to teach what they're teaching. Because we know that obviously, on social media and with the use of the internet, as amazing as it is, there's a lot of misinformation that can go around. So one of the things that my team and I have really been in, you know, emphasizing this past year is, you know, putting information out there, that is in integrity that is qualified, you know, within our scopes, and just really important information from a holistic lens that can support you in your diabetes journey. So I want this to be the place that you know that you can turn to to, to listen to those unconventional conversations, you know, this is going to be so much more than just, you know, this is how you count carbs, or this is how you take an injection or anything like that this is so much more than that. And we're gonna have a lot of conversations around, you know, those almost like those censored topics that you don't necessarily want to bring to your endo. Because maybe you feel like there's a little bit of judgment there. Or maybe you don't really have the friends in the diabetes community that really, you feel like close enough to talk to and you know that your friends without diabetes just don't really fully understand. So this is your place to turn to, we've got you. We completely understand everything that you're going through, and you're never alone. Right? So I was diagnosed, you know, almost seven years ago now. And I always felt that way. I felt really, really alone. And we're gonna get into that a little bit in this episode. But I just want you to know that this podcast was created with you in mind. And, you know, with you as, I'm talking to you. So anything that you might be hearing is something that I needed to hear at one point. So I figured if even this can support one person in their journey, then we are off to a good start. So I figured you know what better place to start with this episode, then, you know, learning about who who's taught, you know who's behind this podcast? So obviously you want to know who is who is recording these episodes? Who's maybe giving you these strategies? And who's interviewing these other experts? So if you don't know me, if you've maybe found you know, this episode, coincidentally scrolling through Spotify, scrolling through Apple podcasts, you know any of those apps then Welcome! My name is Lissie Poyner. I am at the moment 26 years old, I'll be 27 next month, and I have been diabetic now for the past seven years. I was diagnosed February 2014. of my, this was my freshman year of college. So I went to Penn State, you know, Penn State University, going for energy engineering, and I was just, you know, I was one of those people, I was really excited to get away, I couldn't get away fast enough. I'm from New Jersey. And, you know, Penn State was this huge school where there's just unlimited potential. And there's so much going on all the time. So there's always something to do. So my freshman year, I was excited by that. I was excited to have all these friends on our freshmen floor, and really be close with my roommate, I had the most perfect roommate. And spring semester, I came down with the flu. And you know, this was not a surprise, I didn't get my flu vaccine that year. Because you know, being independent, not being under mom and dad's roof. Nobody was really there to hold me accountable to get that vaccine. And whether you're pro vax or anti vax, whatever your choice is. I did not get it that year, and I ended up getting the flu because I went to school with 40,000 people. And when you're on the bus around campus, you're basically in a sardine can, like you were very, very close to other people. So it's really no surprise that I got sick. This was in about January. So it was right after, you know, winter break. And you know, I spent like a week and a half pretty sick, nothing really unexpected. And we all know the story, right? So I spent the next few weeks kind of feeling like I was recovering, I was like, really, really thirsty. So I'm like this is you know, this can be explained by recovering from the flu, I was thirsty, I was like, maybe my body just needs to rehydrate. I was going to the bathroom a lot, which could be explained by needing the hydration, right? And, you know, all those, I could kind of justify all those symptoms. And my parents could too. They're like, your body's just getting back to normal. You were just sick for a pretty long time. And you know, your body's recovering. But one morning I woke up and you know, Penn State dorms, they're they're basically a shoe box, right? Like you're it's a very, very small dorm, especially for freshmen. So I know my bed versus like, across from my roommates bed, there's only maybe like four or five feet in between us. So one morning, I woke up and I lifted my head. And I remember it very vividly, I went to look at my roommate and say good morning, or, you know, I forgot what we were doing. And I couldn't see her. Like, I really could not see her. Everything was so blurry. And I've always had a little bit of a problem with distance vision. I've always like needed glasses to see the board at school or you know, driving, I always needed them. But it was never that that and that to me was really alarming that my vision kind of switched that quickly. And, you know, that week also, I was taking a physics exam. And I remember looking at the page, looking at the the test and being able to see it but really not see it. I had so much brain fog, I couldn't focus. And I just felt like I, you know, I felt like throwing up the entire time. I knew something was very off. I ended up scoring a 19% on that exam, which really goes to show just like I mean, I was never good at physics. But it just goes to show it how much that brain fog affected me at that time. So I figured that was the kind of like the key sign to figure out what this was. And I went to Google, which everybody says, like do not go on Google, do not search on Google. But I did, because why not? So I started searching my symptoms and everything came up as Type One Diabetes. And immediately, you know, I call my parents and explain to them like what I'm reading. And you know, everybody's, you know, every parent's response. And if you're a parent, this is no judgment. This is just its first instinct, you know, there. There's no history of diabetes in our family. This you know, I really don't think that's it. But you know, all the excuses of maybe you're still recovering maybe  your visions just getting worse, because they believe that they really believed that was the case and I don't blame them at all. But, you know, something in my gut told me let's call an overnight nurse because at that point, it was like 8pm so I called the nurse on campus, and I told them everything that I was feeling. And you know, I went to a school again, like over 40,000 people on campus, it was almost impossible to get an appointment with the health services, so I called them and they said, Do not eat or drink anything for the rest of the night, come in right when we open, do not even make an appointment and just show up. And that to me was like, okay, something's very, very wrong, because they would never just let me show up without an appointment and expect to be seen. So that was kind of like my red flag. I don't think I slept at all that night. Because, you know, there's that gut instinct, or that gut feeling of like, my life is about to change. And it did, I went into the office, and you know, right off the bat, you know, they tested my blood, they tested my urine, and within 15 minutes, the nurse poked her head into the door and said, plus you know, positive for ketones and blood sugar, I believe was about 483. So I saw my doctor simply give her a nod. And she turned over to me, and she said, I think it's safe to say that you have type one diabetes, and nothing really registered then. Because, you know, I had in my mind already, I already kind of figured, right, like, I read about this, this makes sense. And I was just like, okay, okay, right. Alright, cool. So I'll come back tomorrow, she gave me the option, you know, you can go to the ER, and you can, you can start insulin, or you can come back to the morning, just eat very low carb for the night. And of course, me being a college kid, I didn't want to miss out on time with my friends. So I said, I'll see you tomorrow morning. So and then, of course, you know, I call my parents and they say like, I don't know, Lissie, like, I think you should be retested. This doesn't seem right. I call my brother who's nine years older than me. And he said, Lissie, like, this doesn't seem right either. Like, I've I've heard about this, like, don't let them give you insulin, because once your body needs insulin, like you'll beat him dependent on it. Just cut out wheat and gluten and you'll be fine. And keep in mind, like my family. They're not bad people they are they just didn't understand what diabetes meant. And they didn't understand the autoimmune concept of it, which who does? Right? Before you're before you're faced with that situation. So do not blame that on them at all. But that left me honestly, in a very confused place. So I go to the office, and it's morning and the CDE is, you know, showing me how to take an injection. And she kind of like, helps me do it myself. And I go to see my doctor and I asked her, I'm like, Can this be wrong? Like my parents told me I should be retested, my brother's telling me this like that it can be cured. And she just looked at me with such empathy in her eyes. And she just shook her head, and she said, I'm so sorry, but this is not reversible, this is chronic, and you'll be insulin dependent for the rest of your life. And from there on out, I don't remember anything that she said. This was kind of the moment where it really hit me. Before, you know, there was that hope there is that hope that my life wouldn't change forever. There was that hope that maybe something was wrong, maybe they just didn't test enough. And it wasn't the case. You know, so I remember just crying in front of her in the office. And I I'm not a crier. I don't get emotional. But that was a very, you know, a low point in in what I in that time, but I do really believe that that's where things changed. Because if you are somebody that was maybe diagnosed as an adult like myself, then you remember that shift that this diagnosis has to your mindset around life. It really changes how you think about things, how you think about your future, the different experiences that you want to enjoy. And that's exactly what it did to me, I grieved a lot of my past of feeling strong, of being a gymnast, of not having to worry about these things, and I grieved a future that I wasn't really sure what it would turn into. So it just, it changes everything. And that's okay to acknowledge and it's okay to talk about too.  And on this podcast, I am going to be completely transparent in my experiences in things that happened. And I'm not going to hold anything back. So just moving into this next kind of chapter of the episode. I want to preface with that. So like I talked about in college, you know, I kind of got through the day to day, we're kind of given the tools to manage but first of all, we're not given the opportunity to grieve that diagnosis and not expectation for the future like I talked about. We're not really given many strategies on how to make it work for our life rather than just given the tools to manage and kind of go about your day and kind of go into that survival mode. So when I had graduated school, I was lucky enough to have graduated with a full time job lined up. I wasn't really expecting this, my GPA was not great. Because of that diagnosis, because of the stress that added that added on to, you know, navigating how to study again, I feel that's something that not a lot of people talk about, but let's talk about it, right? Like diabetes and blood sugar management changes, how we learn, it changes, like it adds more interruptions to our learning styles. And it just adds that emotional stress that I think as a college student, I wasn't really mentally prepared to handle, which again, okay to acknowledge, but I did walk away with a job lined up. Luckily, this company really understood, they were supportive of the diagnosis. And it's something that they just, you know, thought added to my character, I guess, so we'll call it that. But the the, the thing about this job was that it required spontaneity that I wasn't really comfortable with yet. So they basically said, like, you can have this job. But keep in mind, if you want to keep the job, you have to be willing to move to wherever we tell you, wherever you're placed. It was a consulting job. And so my very first assignment was actually in Miami, I'm from New Jersey, I'm a northern girl, I'm used to the seasons, I enjoy summer, spring, fall and winter. So this was a huge adjustment. And at the time, I had just found out that we were expecting my first niece. So I think adding this stress on to that experience, it was something that was just very, very new to me. So I ended up moving from New Jersey to Miami. And you know, that's 1000 miles away, it's very different. I moved into a studio apartment, I didn't know a single person. I knew like, you know, I met people through my job, but it was very isolating, to be honest. So that was a lot of stress added on to that experience. And so that was in about late September of 2017. Wow, throwback. And by February, I think I had accumulated, this is my theory, at least, I had accumulated so much stress throughout the years, from studying, from diabetes, from lack of sleep, from too much caffeine, from alcohol, from not fueling my body properly, from not exercising properly. And I think all of that accumulated into like adding on top of this new big move and being away from my family and feeling socially isolated in a career that I did not enjoy. And it all spiraled. And when you know, come February 2018. That's actually funny because it was three days before my diaversary. So like, all in one week, in February, I have these like huge life events that happened, even though they're separated by four years. But on February 14 of 2018, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which they actually now formally diagnosed as Crohn's disease. So that's changed a little bit. But this was another huge, huge life moment that really stopped me in my tracks, you know, being diagnosed with diabetes, I can almost pass it off and say, like, all right, this happens, this is my new life now, take it and run with it, make the best out of it. Being diagnosed with the colitis. Whew that was a rough one, because it was a completely different experience of experiencing pain. And honestly, it made me miss so much of one, it was just I say, like, I miss when it was just diabetes and me, which never in those four years, did I think I would say that I missed when it was just diabetes. But that was a huge like, that stopped me in my tracks. It really, really changed my perception on food, because then I associated food with pain. It changed my outlook on living in Miami, even though I didn't really enjoy it beforehand, I now associated it with this experience. And it made it very, very difficult to trust my body. I think we can all kind of resonate with that. So that was a huge kind of turn of events again, and like I will be completely open and honest and say that I went through a pretty like depressive phase. I had a lot of anxiety about around like going to work, eating food, exercising again, taking my medication, figuring out how to navigate like my insulin needs with food and kind of making them work together. So like that was a pretty dark time in my life. But again, like it was very, very difficult to see the silver lining from then. But looking back, I really do believe that it changed my life for the better, because that's how I kind of shifted into this holistic approach. And at the time, what I didn't really realize was that the holistic approach is so much more than just food and exercise, it is your environment. So me moving 1000 miles away from my home, that was a part that's a part of the holistic experience. At the time, I was actually also in a pretty verbally emotionally abusive relationship. So that was another thing that added to the stress of everything. And I recognize now that like, our relationships are a part of the holistic experience. Our mindset is part of the holistic experience. Our spirituality, all of these other areas that we don't really think about as "health" are so drastically, like, they make a difference on our health. And that's kind of what we do inside of our coaching now. But that was kind of the first turn of events where I realized, ooh, there's a bigger picture to this. So fast forward to September of 2018. Going back to kind of that, like relationship that I was in, that had ended and I was for the lack of better words, kind of like left homeless, we decided to live together, which, okay, I know, I understand, we did not date for a long time, hindsight is 20/20. But we had moved in to a gether together in an apartment, and essentially he moved out and, you know, kind of left me like to, hey, you can pay for this apartment by yourself. Or we can break ties and, you know, go our separate ways and break the lease. So at that point, I really had to consider, do I want to stay here? Is this the best environment for me? Like is this best environment? And do I like my career enough to stay here for longer? Like to sign a new lease and stay here another year? Is it worth it being away from my family and my niece who like I barely got to know at that point? Was it all worth it? And I ultimately decided, after a lot of crying and a lot of hard decisions and talking with my family, that it was best to move home. So I moved home to New Jersey, it was not an easy thing. I think I talk about it. like I just decided to move home. And that was it. But you know, that was a very difficult part of my life, too. My mom flew out from New Jersey and drove back home with me my two dogs, I packed my car with as little as possible, and just kind of like left everything behind there. So it's kind of this like, it felt traumatic. But I do think that it was a huge turning point again in my life that allowed me to move, move on. It was really a new beginning. I feel like I have like several new beginnings. And I think, sorry if you hear my dog. I think we all have those experiences in our lives. So I think it's important to talk about, but I moved home that September. And luckily enough my job was like pretty understanding. They assigned me a new client in in New Jersey, so I got to like work from home. I commuted here and there it was like an hour commute. So that sucked. I didn't really love what I was doing still, but I'm like, Okay, I have the benefit of living at home. That was huge. I had started dating. I met a amazing man that we are still dating today. For almost the past, we're going on three years. So I got to learn what it was like to live at home with these diagnosis, I learned what it was like to be in a healthier relationship. I learned what it was like to fuel my body with foods that made me feel good. I started working out again, doing activities that I loved and like made me feel strong. And like those things started adding up. I saw my A1C start to go down. So I think I was at a 7.1 when I left Miami. When I moved home, it was kind of it started going down to a 6.6. And then from there a few months later, I think the following April, I had gotten it down to a 5.9 for the first time ever. And since then, I have been in the 5s most most of the time, I think I had maybe two in the low 6s. But my A1C has been turned down in the 5s. And that's not for comparison's sake. It's just to say, that was the wake up call, of saying, Oh my goodness, all of these things that are going on in my life that added stress before, now they're in alignment, now they feel good, now like I'm in this healthy place. And it's making all the difference in my blood sugars and my management and not only that, but I was in remission with my colitis, which I'm actually still in remission, as we were recording this on in August of 2021. So it's been about 3 years of being in remission. Not having any pain, which is like, I could cry talking about it, because that was pivotal, I thought, being diagnosed with colitis, that I was gonna have a life of high and low blood sugars, I was gonna have a life of pain. And that to me was, oh my gosh, it was it hurt, even thinking about that. So, again, that was kind of a wake up call of like, these things matter, they make a difference in my entire health and my life. And I'm, I can be happy and I can be strong and I can be healthy. That was a word that I completely took out of my dictionary was health. So I decided that I wanted to learn more about this approach. So I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. That was to be honest, like, I know that college is a big investment, especially Penn State and out of state tuition, that is a big investment. But the Institute Institute for Integrative Nutrition, that health coaching program, was the first investment that I really cared about and felt aligned in. I loved my experience at Penn State. But I did not love my learning experience there. I just, I think I would have liked it more if I liked what I was learning. But yeah, that was my first big investment that I was like, I can do this, I can put my I can put this invest in investment into myself. At that point, I wasn't even really thinking about coaching, I just wanted to learn more about like health and wellness and the holistic approach. So I did their 6 month accelerated program. And it was amazing, I learned so much about this approach, I learned so much about the circle of life, which is essentially those different areas that I was talking about that impact impact our whole well-being and not just physical health, but in turn, they actually do affect our physical health. And I Wow, like what, again, another complete turning point, kind of an eye opener, that this is something like this is something untapped that like I need to learn more about. So I kept learning. And I kind of gave myself that, like timeline of, you know, this is something I want to turn into a career like I I've been wanting to learn about this for so long, I just didn't really know how to identify and pinpoint what it was. So I actually left my job in that September of 2019. And to this day, have not gone back. I love what I do. But that was kind of my turning point saying like, okay, I want to be a holisic health coach, I believe that this is something that is not really talked about in the Type One Diabetes community. Because of course, we need our insulin, of course, we need to count carbs, but there's this whole other side of, you know, our lifestyle and what we're aligned in and our routine. And like this is something that I can bring to the community and really support other people living with us in and help them lower their A1C and feel healthier in a way that feels good. Without the low carb diets, without the crazy extremes and all or nothing mindset. Like this is so important. So that just like a completely untapped this whole other side of my experience. If you want another episode on how I made the decision to go from my full time tech career to health coaching and personal training, and mindset coaching, like I can definitely make another episode talking about that. And that that its journey because that's like, we'll, we'll be on it'll be a whole nother hour of an episode. But I wanted to really just create this episode and take you through my journey just so like again, like you know who's talking to you, and you know why they're doing it. And I just think it's important to like get to know each other. So if you listen to this episode, and you're here, I would love for you to take a screenshot of the whatever you're listening on, whether it's Spotify, or Apple or anything, just take a screenshot, upload it to your stories on Instagram and tag me @needlesandspoons_ and just tell me a little bit about your journey or private message me, DM me, I'd love to know more about the people listening to this podcast and know about know more about your journey. I think it's really, really important that we we share these. So thank you so much for listening and I cannot wait for the future episodes. We are going to dive in deep into some strategies and trainings and amazing, amazing episodes with other guest experts that are giving you credible and credible information and strategies that can support you in your type one journey. So if you like this episode, go ahead take that screenshot, tag me, send me a DM on Instagram, whatever feels good and we will catch you next time.


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