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Episode 014 - Real Talk...The Four Biggest Lessons I Learned (the Hard Way) in 2021

Episode 014 - Real Talk...The Four Biggest Lessons I Learned (the Hard Way) in 2021

January 03, 2022

2021.. was... an interesting one to say the least. I think we can all agree on that. New Years Eve calls for a lot of reflecting on 2021 - the good, the bad and the ugly and intention setting for what's to come in 2022. I can't say 2021 was "my year" but I am very grateful for all of the lessons, growth and experiences from it all. 

Inside today's episode, I share the four biggest lessons I learned this year - and how you can learn from them too for your own journey. I'm a hard believer that when we share our experiences, others can beat the learning curve. 



  • The four biggest lessons I learned the hard way
  • Asking for help
  • Someone else will always have what you want
  • Accessibility & transparency
  • Being alone is hard
  • Good things that happened in 2021

Thank you to Skin Grip for sponsoring this episode! 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!



Elisabeth Poyner  00:00

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 the lessons that we don't learn in our endo's office, my best tips and trainings, and conversations from the experts that I trust inside the community so that you can create more predictability in your diabetes management and feel empowered while doing so. Let's dive in. 


Elisabeth Poyner  00:26

Keeping it 100 Radio is brought to you in collaboration with Skin Grip, the only patch company that I trust with my diabetes devices. I started using  Skin Grip about two years ago and before I found them my Dexcom would last maybe four or five days before falling off, making it really hard to lift weights, hike with my dogs, or just wanting to do the everyday things that I love. But now I can confidently travel, workout and navigate life with diabetes without having to worry about dealing with insurance more than I have to, begging for replacements and resorting to finger pricks. Plus I'm in love with their mission to help us live fearlessly with diabetes. You can check out  Skin Grip at and save 10% on your order by using the code Lissie. L-I-S-S-I-E at checkout. 


Elisabeth Poyner  01:05

What is up everybody? Welcome back to another episode of Keeping It 100 Radio. I'm super pumped to be here. At the time of recording it is New Year's Eve and I might if I can edit this episode in time, I might drop it tonight, a little bit early than on Monday. But we'll see. But I'm one of those people that like New Year's Eve is just not really my holiday to celebrate, like even without COVID involved, I just do not really like going out for New Year's Eve. I'd much rather spend it with like a small group of friends or my family or honestly even just like cuddling up on my couch with my dogs and my boyfriend and like watching movies. I'm just not one of those people who like, will usually even make it until the ball drops, like I fall asleep before midnight, and everybody made fun of me for it. But like growing up, my mom would literally watch Twilight Zone, every single New Year's Eve. And I can guarantee you that she's probably gonna be doing that tonight too. So hey, Mom, if you're listening to this. But yeah, just one of those people who like to keep New Year's Eve super low key. So I decided to record a podcast, do a lot of reflecting today. And honestly, I'm just gonna spend the night with my dogs, Jordan's at work. He's at the fire department tonight. So I'm just hanging out. And I mean, I think that's for the best considering that COVID is insane right now. Um I'm from New Jersey, so heavily populated state. So just keeping it safe, and honestly wouldn't want to have it any other way regardless. But I wanted to come on this episode and talk about the four biggest lessons that I have learned the hard way in 2021. And the reason for doing this is because I am a firm, firm believer that other people's experiences and journeys can accelerate our own growth. So with that being said, we can skip a lot of the learning curve that maybe we would have experienced from learning from other people. Granted, there are times that we do need to learn the hard way, we need to experience for ourselves. But my goal with this podcast episode is that maybe it can shift your perspective just a little bit in one way or another before moving into 2022 that will actually allow you to accelerate your own growth and accomplish whatever goals that you have set out maybe a little bit faster. So if I can do that in one way or another today, then I am happy. So let me just say that if 2021 was not your year. That is okay. You are not alone there. There have been a lot of moments this year that I firmly believe that 2021 was not my year. And a lot of ways it wasn't, but then in a lot of ways, there has still been so much growth that like I would have missed out on if I let my mindset shift there. So I'm going to take the year for what it is and celebrate the growth and accept what maybe didn't go my way. And I hope that you can go into the new year also doing the same. So going into the first lesson that I learned the hard way. Number one, and please, if there's any point that you take away from this episode, let it be this one. So number one, asking for help should always, always be at the top of our list. I cannot express how much shame and guilt, and just like minimizing there is around the concept of asking for help both on the media and social media. And within the ways that we like within the things that we hear from our friends and families and our experiences growing up. It's never been a good thing, quote unquote, to ask for help. But I am here to tell you that the best thing that you can do is ask for help. And let me just say that this has been something that I had to learn the hard way this year. So for some reference, I'm A Virgo. So with that being said, I can be pretty hard headed sometimes. I like to do all the deep work myself, I don't really love asking for help or acknowledging that maybe even I need help. But there comes a point where it all kind of hits me at once, and I get really overwhelmed, and really stressed. And I'm not the best at handling that stress, I cry a lot, I get really overwhelmed. And it's really hard for me to shut off. So this year, I have really, really stepped into asking for help, not only for my own mental health, but for other people, right? Because like, sometimes when we're overwhelmed, or we're stressed, or like we can't handle our own stuff, it can take a big toll on the people around us who love us deeply. And like that we want to share a relationship with, whether it's our partner or our friends or our family members. And so that's something that I really needed to accept this year, was that if it's not fair to me, it's also not fair to other people. So if nothing more gets you motivated to ask for help, think of the other people who need you to ask for help. So I did this in a few different ways this year. So the beginning, I actually can't remember if it was the beginning of 2021, or the end of 2020, but I did hire a personal trainer. And like, let me start by saying that I didn't hire a personal trainer for any kind of like aesthetic goals, like I don't really have any goals of like wanting to make myself smaller or losing weight or anything, I don't really believe in much of that, or I'm just like, not that kind of coach. But I do have physical goals in the sense of I wanted to feel stronger, I wanted to challenge my body in a different way. And to me, instead of trying to figure that out for myself, which like I easily could have, I'm also a personal trainer. And I think this is also where it was a little hard to accept help was that like, even if we have the knowledge and the expertise ourselves, sometimes, like it's the accountability, and sometimes it's the way of getting there faster, and moving the needle forward faster, that needs to be done. And that's exactly what happened in this situation is that like, I knew I could put a program together. But would I hold myself accountable? Would I be asking myself the right questions? Would I be checking in with myself every single week? Probably not. So I made the decision to hire Anthony, who is my personal trainer, and also actually Jordan's personal trainer. And it was just a huge perspective shift in that, like, I didn't need to think about it. I could just show up for myself, he could help me with like figuring out my programming, and you know how to actually gain that strength. He was able to give me a different perspective. So sometimes we're doing these things. Like for me, it was lifting, I'm doing all these lifts, but I was actually doing them the wrong way. So the way that I was doing them, my form wasn't bettering my strength, it was actually hurting me. It was hurting my back, it was working the wrong muscles. And that was like huge and getting a different perspective and saying, Hey, like you're, the way that you're doing things, they may have worked for a while. And you know, maybe it didn't hurt you for a while, but it might be hurting you now. So let's try this a different way. Let's try to relearn the skill and grow the muscles in a brand new way. And in a way, that's actually exactly what we do for our Keeping it 100 clients as well, because we did a lot of people who have had diabetes for about like 20, 30, 15 years, like a long time. And in that time, we grow these defaults. So whether it's like guesstimating our carb counts, or guess guessing the bolus or just bolusing at the beginning or after our meals, these habits that maybe we learned were okay at one time. And maybe they worked for us at one time, but they may not be serving us now. So that was an interesting perspective shift for me to get from hiring a personal trainer, and just a different way of understanding my body. So that was definitely huge. But that wasn't the only way that I got support this year. So for those of you who know, back in May, I got my certification for Neuro Linguistic Programming. And if you're not aware of what that is, it's basically a lot of like subconscious mindset coaching support. So I was certified in it. I went through a four four month program to become certified and learn these modalities and techniques to support our clients. But in that time, I actually was being coached myself. So all these things that I'm doing with our clients, I have also gone through. So there was a lot of processing in that time. A lot of understanding why my previous experiences may not be supporting me now and how they may actually be impacting my behaviors now. How that internal dialogue that I have in my head, that we all have in our head, how that may be influencing some of the choices that I'm making, and how to redirect those behaviors and redirect those thought patterns to something that may be more beneficial to us and honor us better and serve us and our bodies better. So, you know, I got mindset support from Jenna, she was my NLP trainer. Um I also recently enrolled into therapy, I know that that is not something that's always accessible to everybody. But luckily, it's something that's covered by my insurance. So I'm really at the beginning of that journey. But it's been something that I've been wanting to do for a long, long time, and just kind of kept passing it off as like, Oh, my problems aren't, aren't as like, big as other people's. And I feel so silly even saying that now and admitting that out loud, but I feel like it's something that we all think a lot. But in one way or another, we all have, again, these behavioral defaults, or these inner dialogues, or just some things that we need to process that that are have been lingering for years. And that's okay. So, therapy has been a huge one that, so therapy has definitely been a huge one. And lastly, this is gonna sound ridiculous, but like we hired a dog trainer this year, and that was huge. So that was another thing that was like I kept passing off of like, well, our dog, like he technically isn't the worst dog. Does he have some, you know, improper manners? Does he jump? Yes, but he's not a bad dog. Like, we pass that off all the time with our diabetes management too, like, I manage all the time, do I have some highs and lows? Yeah, but like, it's not bad. I can get by for now. And that's kind of what was happening with my dog. But Jordan and I got to this point where, you know, we're, we had a roommate at the time. And just like we were thinking about our future, and that, like, you know, at some point, we want to have kids and like, this is something that we want to train our dog with now of learning these manners and kind of understanding our dynamic with him better, so that we, you know, can just help him feel more confident, in general, be less reactive with other dogs. Those kind of things. So we hired a dog trainer. And again, just allowing other people to teach us and to understand our dog. And to basically, like, tell us what we needed to do to help him, took so much pressure off of ourselves. We didn't have to go on YouTube and look things up and try to, you know, do the messy work of figuring out what could work or what we needed. We didn't need to recreate the wheel or anything like that. We were able to do just a quick like made this quick investment of working with a trainer for a few weeks and learning the skills for ourselves and doing the work with him on our own. So it sounds so silly, like we hired a dog trainer. But that really was a huge proud moment in our year, or at least in my year. I don't know what Jordan thinks. But that was a big, a big thing, because that's been something that I had been sitting on for a while that was like, I don't know, but it's really made the biggest difference not only in his quality of life as a as a dog, but like in our confidence in him moving forward in our future. So wow, that one, that one took a while. Okay, lesson number two. And sometimes this one is really hard to acknowledge out loud and say out loud, but there's always going to be somebody who has what you want. That one like it's so triggering for me in this past year. But it's true, there's always going to be somebody else, especially in the presence of social media, with everybody sharing every part of their lives, there's always gonna be somebody who has what you want. So think about it, there's probably going to be somebody who has the financial freedom that you want, there's somebody that might have the career that you want, or the friendships, or the relationship, or the house, or the family, I'm not sure if I said that one already. And especially in the diabetes space, there might be somebody who has the diabetes management that you want. A lot of people share their A11Cs, their time in range, their blood sugar graphs, and that can get really, really triggering sometimes. And sometimes when we see these things, we have this inner dialogue that prevents us from thinking that we deserve that too. So think of things like imposter syndrome, or like roadblocks of accessibility and privilege and just things like that, that can stop us from saying I deserve that too. Or I'm capable of getting that for myself too. That was one of the biggest roadblocks in actually choosing a different career path that I went to school for. So a lot of you know, I went to school for engineering and then now I'm a health coach, but a huge roadblock in getting there was that I, I went into a lot of debt for my engineering degree. I went to Penn State and I'm from New Jersey so that out of state tuition is hefty and I do not come from a family that like paid for my college tuition. So let's just get that out there. So I had a big mental roadblock for a long time of, oh, I can't switch careers, I spent way too much money getting that degree. So I can't switch. We all are victim of having those thoughts and just kind of wondering like, why not me? Or there are reasons why it can't be me. And when it comes down to it, is our responsibility to one - create opportunities that allow us to get the things that we want. And number two - set the boundaries. So with all this being said, too, I want to keep it I want you to keep in mind that just because you want something that other people have, does not mean that you are not grateful for what you do have. But naturally, as humans, we all have a desire to level up. So once we hit one goal, we usually want to hit another goal. Like it's not that nothing is good enough. But we always have that desire to keep wanting to improve ourselves or get the things that we had set out to. So like I mentioned, like it's our job to create these opportunities and set these boundaries to get there. So I can guarantee you that when I said that statement of somebody else has what you want, you immediately thought of somebody, somebody immediately popped in your head. So what I want you to do right now is open up your Instagram app, search their name, and unfollow them. Because right now there's nothing that's benefiting you of watching their journey online. If it gives you some kind of negative feeling every time you see their name pop up on your screen, then please, please unfollow them. And then on top of that, we need to do the deep work on understanding why this is so triggering. So this is something that I did, again, with my mindset coach of understanding why other people's success, or just what they have was so triggering to me. And what part of me wanted that so bad or what part of me didn't believe that I could get there and make it. So that's something that I would highly encourage - you either hire a coach for, or see a therapist for, or even just like do a few journal prompts. Sometimes you'll be amazed at what comes out when you put a pen to paper. And with that being said, give yourself one opportunity that can set you up to hit your own personal goals. Sometimes that's enrolling in a new certification, or a coaching program, or even just creating a checklist for like a breakdown of how exactly you're going to hit that goal. Whatever that is, you will never regret taking action. All right, number three is a big one. And it's kind of a hard conversation to have. And I'm sure that we've all been kind of seeing this conversation happening around Instagram, and maybe you haven't and that's okay, because now I'm going to bring it to light. But number three is that we are going into the year 2022. Transparency and accessibility in the diabetes space is no longer an option. Accessibility in the diabetes space is particularly important because we are a community that is dealing with insulin costs, health insurance costs, health premiums, constant deductibles, seeing you know, like our doctors, there's so many ways that we are constantly at a disadvantage when it comes to this subject. And some people don't want to acknowledge that because of privilege or because it's an uncomfortable conversation. But it's a necessary one to have. And this is something that I've personally been advocating for, for years. I've been talking about this on my account, if you go to my Instagram, I have a highlight that's literally labeled accessibility. Because I believe it's such an important conversation. I believe that it's important to pull people into this conversation as well. And I've been that person where I've tried to talk to other coaches about it. I've tried to reach out to different brands about it, and I have been that person who has been ignored. But with that being said, that is what leadership needs to look like. So there are brands and there are people doing the work. If you listen to my previous episode with Skin Grip, Isaac Parkinson, the founder is a perfect example of somebody who's doing the work. And that is something that we are trying to emulate inside of Needles and Spoons as well. So we've done a lot of work this year to make our coaching as accessible as possible within Needles and Spoons. So we do this in a lot of ways. The first one being and offering free resources. So if you go to our website,, you'll see the Resources tab and in there we have a complete like you can enroll for our Resource Vault in there that's a complete portal full of free resources for your journey, from blood sugar strategy to workouts, to nutrition, everything is inside that vault. All of our webinars, literally everything. We also have our free Facebook group where we are constantly giving free trainings, free support, and everything in between in there. And then you know, even this podcast is 100% free for everybody, always will be. But we also prioritize accessibility in our own coaching programs in themselves. So when somebody enrolls into coaching, we never just like ask you to pay up, like we never ask you to get creative with your funds or take out a credit card or take out a loan. That to me is like completely unethical when you're working with the diabetes community. But instead, we made sure to make it as accessible and flexible as possible. So with that being said, we offer installment plans up to a year, a lot of people think that we're really crazy for doing that. But again, we want to make sure that this can fit into everybody's budget as easily as possible. Yes, it's an investment. But we want to make sure that, you know, you're not going into debt to join a coaching program. But with that, our installment plans are always penalty free. So you might find some people that, you know, if you pay in full, it's one price. And then if you need an installment plan, it's actually there's additional fees tacked on. And that's just not how we roll, like our investment is our investment. No matter what installment plan you choose, like, we don't think that you should be penalized just for needing more time to make this affordable in your budget. But with that, for those of you who maybe like even installment plan doesn't work out, we also offer an accessibility pricing model. So we acknowledge that there are people who are paying out of pocket for their medications, they're paying very high premiums for their health insurance, they are maybe a single income household, there's a lot of different scenarios that can be a part of that. So we offer an accessibility pricing model that actually lowers the complete cost of our programs, depending on your scenario. But as we know, accessibility goes a lot farther than just pricing. It goes in working with companies who also prioritize accessibility and transparency. That's a number one reason why we work so heavily with Skin Grip, who's also the sponsor of this podcast. We also do this by adding captions to all of our video modules inside of all of our trainings, we offer audio recordings to all of our modules and replays inside of Keeping it 100. So if somebody doesn't have access to a computer, they can still listen in. And then in the future, we'd like to start offering translations to other languages. So accessibility isn't just about making things affordable, it's actually about making them truly accessible to other people. And this is something that we're actively trying to always improve in. So if you have any ideas of how we can do better, and where we can improve, please feel free to send me an email, because we want to hear how we can do better at that. Alright, last lesson of the year. Number four, being alone is hard. But it is so important. So like I mentioned earlier in the episode, like I'm somebody who just generally like does not mind being alone, like I'd rather hang out on my couch and go to a party. And that's a part of myself that I really love. But sometimes I also really hate and it can be uncomfortable sometimes. And I'm not gonna lie, like I spent a lot of time alone this year. So between like quarantines from COVID. You know, my boyfriend's schedule, I live with Jordan, and he is a firefighter. So he has two 24 hour shifts a week. And he's also a drummer. So he is usually out like gigging at a bar, those kinds of things. So between his schedule and quarantines and my work schedule, and all those things, I'm just naturally more of, I'm just alone more. And I'm not one of those people who makes friends easily. And nor do I have like a lot of friends. So I do have close friends. But like, we're not the kinds of friends who like hang out all the time, or do everything together, like just go grab coffee, or go shopping or anything like that. So a lot of my time is spent alone. And again, that is okay. Because that's a time where I have learned the most about myself. I hate admitting that because it's been some of the most uncomfortable time, but it's been the most like definitely the necessary time. So if you're somebody who's also kind of in this position, just like naturally, you're alone more or like you're not like you're not somebody who gravitates towards people, then I want to say that like this is a time where I encourage you to find activities that make you whole, or that you get to learn something new about yourself, or just really like embrace that time. So I've been doing this a few ways this year. So number one has actually been, so I bought a pair of rollerskates which sounds kind of ridiculous. But sometimes just going to the park and using my roller skates and using that as an outlet as something that I want to get better at. I'm not a roller skater, like I'm not good at it. Like I still can barely skate in a straight line. So I'm like definitely somebody who's like holding on to, holding on to the side rails and things, and and everything. So it's definitely not something I'm good at but I want to be good at it and I want that to be a release. So I bought a pair of rollerskates. So whatever allows you to get creative and get active like do that. I've also now made Saturdays my yoga day. So every Saturday I go, about eight minutes down the road, there is a hot yoga studio that I absolutely love. There's not a lot of people, there's about like maybe 8 to 10 people per class. And I absolutely love it. Because that is my knee time. I get to spend an hour and a half moving my body in a way that is relaxing, in a way that I like. And then I usually get a smoothie or a coffee after. And that is just a way that I get to embrace the alone time. Therapy, also really, really, I will advocate for therapy as much as I can. But another really great way to spend that time alone. And also just like dating yourself. As as important it is to build relationships with your friends and your family. It's also really important to build that relationship with yourself. So I do this in a few ways too, usually when Jordan's out the fire department, I mean, I am lazy, I don't love cooking. But I'll usually like order food for myself. So like I'll usually get like sushi or pad thai are something that I just enjoy. And I'll take that time to eat dinner by myself that's not in front of the TV or in front of my laptop doing work. I just sit in my kitchen alone, with food that I enjoy. And I spend that time alone. It sounds sounds so depressing, but I promise it's actually very like, it's really nice. Light a candle too, it's the best. Alright, so those were the four biggest lessons that I have learned in 2021. To recap, number one, asking for help should always be at the top of your list. Number two, somebody else will always have what you want. Number three, transparency and accessibility aren't an option in 2022. And number four, being alone is hard. But it's important. I know that those all sound like pretty hard lessons. But there's actually been like a lot of good things in 2021 also. So as a company Needles and Spoons, we've been able to support over 1200 people in our free resources. So between webinars and guides, and our Facebook group and all these different things, we've been able to support almost 1300 of you through free resources. We started this podcast and we've reached over 1000 downloads in less than three months. We added two new team members onto our team and we have two more joining us in 2022. We went through a rebrand. We've hosted our first live event in New Jersey. We added two new resources onto our site. We hit 10k followers on Instagram. All just really amazing things. On a personal level, I started therapy. I've moved apartments with Jordan again for the second time in a year. My childhood home sold. The house I lived in for 26 years. I became a godparent, that was super cool. I spent another year in remission with my Crohn's and I saw my dad spent another year cancer free. Hell yeah! So however you feel about 2021, whether it was your year or not your year, those feelings are completely valid. But I still want you to choose two or three things that you can celebrate about this year. Whether it was something that happened or growth that you went through, all of it can be put on the table, but write them down or go ahead and send me a message on Instagram @needlesandspoons_ and I will celebrate them with you. Thank you so much for hopping in today's episode with me. I know its a long one, but I think it was pretty worth it. And we will see you in the new year in 2022. Have a great New Year guys!

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