15 October 2018

Meet type 1 diabetic Fitness Coach, Christel Oerum

Christel Oerum has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1997. She is a public speaker, author of the book Fit With Diabetes, and a fitness coach for people with ...

hi everybody dr. Jody Stanislaw here and

today I have a fabulous person to introduce you to christelle is not only a type 1 diabetic herself has created a business for helping other people with insulin dependent diabetes to get fit and healthy and obviously that's can be a huge barrier so many people have fear around having lows with exercise and we all know or at least you'll know but in this video that being a super fit person that has diabetes is absolutely doable I'm I'm I'm somebody that does that and so ask ourselves so Microsoft so glad to have you I thank you for having me I really appreciate it yeah yeah well I am excited to just have a chat here for the next 15 minutes or so first I always like to make sure that people know who you are when did you get diabetes you know a little bit of your background into the how you came into the diabetes world for sure yeah so well I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 19 years old so that is half of my life I've been delivering the diabetes it's like gives you my age anyway my diagnosis was not super dramatic in the sense that I did not end up in the ER anything like that I was tired all the time I was drink he

said all the like hostile symptoms and I was I was wonder it's called that my family was like you should go to dr. B sleep a lot my dog was like you're 19 you should stop partying so much you should be better you know what can you say so he took a lot sure he's like oh you need to go see a specialist because you have diabetes and this I was living in Denver right back then that's where I grew up and I biked home on my bicycle because that's what everybody does I remember biking home thinking oh my god I'm gonna die I did not know what that was so that was a dramatic part in the sunset you know I actually thought of the handing a death sentence so I saw the specialist a few days later and she was just that was an amazing experience in the sense that this was a nurse and she sat me down she's like you know what this sucks but there's nothing you can't do at this disease we're gonna give you the tools in here I know she can't really set the scene for you know what you can live with this I was I had a back honey backpacking trip plan so India huh and then then next year and she's like you're going for sure and I did a lot of

stuff going wrong insulin like bad and all that but I survived and still have you know great memories so fast-forward to 2011 and I moved to Santa Monica California and I was working in the diabetes industry at that point working with devices having this corporate career and I moved to now Monica which is kind of like the mecca of exercise and I always been actively you know I biked and stuff like that but I've never been an athlete and I came here and also miss all these people and I was like oh my gosh I want this it had nothing to do with my diabetes I just saw fit people where I was like oh my gosh I want that so I started that journey and I'm very structured structured so I try it I was like okay this is my eating this is my exercise now I need to figure out how to do all this was diabetes and I want my life and I start to search and you weren't there that time I think nobody was really there and I came up like empty handed yeah and all I had was a pamphlet saying eat 15 grams of carbohydrates not helpful it's just not helpful right is it so much more nuanced than that um so

I started well it really is I say documenting everything I started talking about my own journey I track everything I tracked what I eat what I ate what happened when I did this kind of exercise that kind of exercise I started put it on a little blog on the Internet and that one grew and it grew and grew it grew and that ended up being what it is today diabetes strong calm which is not my full-time job and I do that together with my husband Tobias and basically what we do is it's a free website the goal is tell that people can go there find information so that they can happy healthy active life with diabetes because we can know it's my baby just learn and nurse it set back then you can do whatever you want if you have the right information and tools so that's basically what I do in a nutshell I try to provide information and tools for people to do what I really want yeah so say your website again Gaia be be strong calm yeah great name yeah of course we also on Facebook on Instagram etc but the website is so hard that's where you can find everything and like you have a lot

of recipes as well of that those are always a hit who doesn't like food well I love how focused you are diet nutrition you know like so clear and that you know what I offer is you know diabetes training in general from a holistic perspective and I love how clearly you've met your focus which is so helpful so hopefully may not give your articles I think you write great articles by mobis saving your articles by the way thank you thank you and that's a cool thing about you know becoming an alert your website it's not just my voice anymore because well first of all not everybody can relate to me I like resistance training and I do over to cardio I prefer resistance right not everybody's into that right so we have other voices there as well that describe well how about running with diabetes how about you know yoga with diabetes sure and some of those things and it's everything is written by people with diabetes for people with diabetes we also have diabetes educators on there who do not necessarily have diabetes but you know it's always with the person with diabetes angle because I don't want

any content to be talking at me I'm talking at anybody I want it to be inclusive I want to be you know I've been through this this is my experience pleased to know that yours might be different but this is my experience and this is the takeaway so you can sort of try out for yourself it's so powerful for a type one to speak to another type one it's just there's no there's no replacement for it you know and your clients get that benefit Mike to get that benefit and I know that there are some great non-diabetic you know endows out there but my experiences there's there's not very many now I'm very lucky to have one though but I think it's a different mindset and also just peer support is it's something and I you can't necessarily get that with your medical team you can have a great medical team yeah you know just hanging out with others even if it's online having conversation about you know I started our chat out before we started recording telling you how my blood Sugar's have been kind of sucky today yeah that's not conversation but we can have and you get it right yeah it's not

necessary where I need to call up my doctor and say hey I'm having a little go away tomorrow that'll be fine but yeah and I see that so we also have a closed Facebook group where people can interact that's actually both Taiwan tattoos 1.5 care gamers it's big it's pretty cool a big mix of people and they're all super supportive and you can go on there and say hey what I just told you my my Sugar's been messy today it impacts me in this in that away and people can give you a pat on the shoulder if you need that or if you need the advice they can do that so I think that is incredibly powerful I love that you bring that community piece into your work I do as well I do group calls twice a month and I have a little online forum outside of Facebook for my patients interact and then I know both you've done we both done retreats to do you do an annual retreat oh I don't I did one and yeah I did one it's a lot of a lot of what I do is online okay pretty much all of you know I do some presentations here and there on again you might have got and speak but in general I can't be the clone myself

unfortunately good so what I'm focusing on is how to get up to as many people as possible and that's predominantly been through the online yeah absolutely yeah it's a great it's an address yeah it really is we're gonna let's say I think we've been on for you know about I don't know I forgot to set the timer but I know we both touched on wanting to talk about like your opinion about food I mean it's all right because it's such a simple topic but go ahead finish complex and it's it's so into something that we I mean we we have to eat right we eat every day but it's super complex and what I my my little you know um so bucks is always there's not one diet that fits all my men yeah so people come to me go like I follow this and everybody else has evolved isn't like it's great that works for you yeah yep just keep doing that and if you find out one day doesn't work for you anymore don't be afraid to do something else I agree I do have I'm sure you agree with me though my my kind of hard and fast rule is the majority of what we eat if not 80% needs to be food prefer that yes it came from the earth yes so it's also just it's easier I mean

this is no label you know I mean I know they put labels on like nuts but these labels on sweet potatoes now helps with carconi up but yeah I mean the way that my approach to food is that yes eighty percent but I also don't want meal plans to be so restrictive that people feel trapped in them exactly because then you want to break out yeah I've had people reach out saying what do I do about cravings and like well you have cravings for reason and most often it's because you're not eating enough and you're hungry and when you're hungry you start craving food to get you hungry also it's often because it's too restrictive saying I can never have cake again or something like that unlike a lot of people come to me and say I can't we can people with diabetes we can't have bread why I mean that would be my first question why can we not have bread I eat it I like steal bread this is one of my favorites I eat that every morning and I don't have an issue so it's it's more there's a lot I feel like there's a lot of misconceptions what up we can't and we have to as people living with diabetes and I think that's a real shame I mean obviously there's food that's

easier to manage from blood sugar perspective than others and if I choose to eat donuts every day or you know high fat high carb eat things it will become harder for me it doesn't I'm not saying I can do it you can you can't if you if you choose and that's the thing I always say let's let's change it to say I choose to do yeah I can't do but I choose to do this and that if I have specific fitness or health or body goals I might choose a different kind of diet absolutely so that's kind of conversation I'm still having that conversation with myself because it's it's a change of mindset I really think it is and a lot of us have been brought up whether it's didn't abuse fault or not where there's things that are bad food and good foods whenever I have that conversation people in like well food doesn't have a feelings yeah and food it doesn't have a personality it's not good or bad you know it's not evil so let's first chant change that and then talk about what works for your body and what not only works for your you know against physical goals if people have no but also what

works for your sanity I completely agree I think so many people will come to me and they said well I read this diet book I read that diet book and I'm like mom does any of them excite you hey I have to be in a good mood when you're eating because then that brings a whole nother stress hormone piece that you don't need yeah you know I like to find the balance between healthy wholesome good for blood sugar levels and enjoyable like as has always forgotten like do you enjoy that like why are you like oh but so-and-so told me I'm like well you know but you're right about the whole restriction thing too I mean I got diagnosed in 1980 and I was you know the exchange diet where I had to weigh and measure and then by the time I was 10 or 12 I had eating disorder behaviors because I was sneaking sugar and sneaking food and I headed up an eating disorder rehab center and it's taken many many years for me to finally be like I am at peace with food I eat what I want I don't feel like I need to inhale a plate of cookies when I see it because now I see it and I just see a headache and it can be a long

time to get there you know yeah and that's the thing it's I don't think it's easy I really don't I mean it's one of those things that behavior change that really takes a long time well everybody today eating wise is way in their head and then you add a little diabetes in there really I mean first you get mentally punished for eating those 1r5 cookies and then you love your blood sugar and then or getting punished for a banana or banana yeah and then you look at your blood sugar readings and they get punished again because I mean you might have hit the first wave right but maybe not the second or you haven't I mean it's one of those things where it's hard to also look at our numbers and not feel judged and that's the other conversation right it's it's readings on our meter it's not judgment of your behavior or your ability to deal with life as somebody with diabetes make sure that we include a lot of compassion compassion I always say that one would you say this what you're telling yourself would you tell your best friend or your sister you know would you talk to them in that way that you talk to yourself I think those those are

powerful yeah but yeah overall it's it's just comes down to there's nothing we can't do again there's nothing we can't eat but there's we can make choices and I also just want to leave people with just being inspired that you know a super healthy life and a healthy relationship with food is absolutely possible you know christelle and I have both been through that and we're in a place that we really I mean I'm making putting words in your mouth but I feel you know most of the time pretty darn good about what we're eating in our house yes that's after 19 years of diabetes 38 years with IVs so you know it's totally possible so why don't we tell everybody how they can learn more about working with you oh for sure well if you go to diabetes strong calm um you will see well you'll see my face on there there is a section about coaching if that's something you're interested in you also welcome to use browse around the site and use it as I said it's free always welcome to send me an email at contact at Tybee be strong calm so you can find me there maybe we can convince you to put my info

underneath there's a little video so that people can see it sure I just I mean also just for questions just reach out for nothing else I can most likely you know direct you to a video or a article on this site that can help you with whatever well I literally thanks you're wondering I just had a patient this morning say do you have any articles on intermittent fasting with type 1 so that article as soon as we hang up here and send that to her excellent yeah great okay well crystal I'm so glad that you're out help you type ones and it was super fun to connect with you so thanks so much Oh likewise thank you okay