25. Diabetes & Marriage with Luisa Morrone

December 8, 2021

In This Episode

Food was the soul of the relationship of Luisa and her husband, Vince. However, after getting their aha moments, they decided to change their diets and their lives. From Luisa’s experience of overcoming type 2 diabetes, she was able to create MWOE (My Way of Eating) to help others with the same disease, get rid of diabetes medication, and lose weight. Leading by example, her husband was also able to improve his health, and their marriage got stronger because they found more activities to bond over.

Highlights

00:55 Eight years ago, Luisa Morrone had type 2 diabetes. She turned her life around and is now the founder of MWOE, My Way of Eating, and she helps people reverse type 2 diabetes, get rid of medications, and lose weight.

03:33 Diabetes runs in the families of Luisa and her husband. Both their fathers had it but they were in denial that they would be affected by it. However, food was the soul of their marriage.

07:53 The best way to improve your marriage is by working on yourself. Luisa led by example to help herself and her husband.

09:17 Luisa gives impossible a new meaning after leading by example and compassion to lose 145 lbs. and get off her medication so that her husband could help himself.

11:50 Women and men handle circumstances differently, and these need to be taken into consideration so that they can be helped on their journeys.

17:09 For Luisa, there has to be an aha moment to change the trajectory of one’s marriage, diet, and life.

23:51 The Morrones have always had each other’s back and Luisa’s husband is very proud of what Luisa has accomplished.

27:50 This is a new stage for Luisa and her husband. They have found activities that they didn’t do before the diabetes that they can do now.

29:28 Nobody knows your spouse better than you. Luisa was able to compromise with her husband’s diet by trying new recipes.

31:50 It can be scary to change the activity that you and your spouse bond over, such as food for Luisa and her husband. However, they were able to discover other activities and create a stronger marriage after taking responsibility for themselves.

36:28 Commitment is the ability to see the future and being intentional about where you’re going.

36:58 Rebbetzin Bat-Chen shares that you don’t need to be woken up by a catastrophic aha moment because God knocks and sends messages before things get out of hand. Listen to God’s knocks.

Links

Luisa Morrone: Facebook | Facebook Page | Instagram | TikTok

5 Surprising Ways to Improve Your Marriage
Marriage Breakthrough Retreat

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REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Welcome to the Connected For Real Podcast! I’m Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman, a marriage coach for women in business, and my mission is to bring God’s presence into your life, into your marriage, and into your business. Let’s get started. The following is one of the many conversations I had with experts and professionals about real life and how it affects marriage. Let me know your takeaways on Instagram or Facebook, @connectedforreal. Enjoy. And we are live. Welcome everyone. I am Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman from connectedforreal.com. In the background, you hear my baby, who’s making cute noises. There you go, and this is Luisa. I’ll let you introduce yourself because you’re so awesome.

LUISA MORRONE

Sure, sure. So Luisa Morrone. I’m the founder of MWOE, which stands for My Way of Eating—can be your way of eating and so what I have do is I help people reverse type 2 diabetes, not type 1. There’re two different diseases. So I help people reverse two, type two diabetes and/or decrease the amount of medications they take. Actually, get rid of them altogether, and also I help them lose weight if that’s what they need. That’s because I did it myself. So, eight years ago, I weighed 315 pounds. I was obese. I needed hip surgery, so I walked with a cane but I was rejected for hip surgery because I was obese. I was in this cycle of being overweight. I used to go every year for my physical and my doctor, Dr. Rosen, would say to me, “Luisa, you have to lose weight in order to get that surgery, and you’re pre-diabetic so please watch yourself,” and she would always say at my yearly physical, “Come back 20 pounds lighter, and then we can you know perhaps get you qualified,” but what I would do is go back and gain 15 pounds so the next year, I arrive weighing more than I did the year before, and she would be like [mind-blown], you know? And then the pre-diabetes, which I kept being warned about, and I was a gestational, I had two babies. Both times, I had gestational diabetes so and my father had diabetes, my husband has dia—I’m surrounded. Okay, you think I know better, but eventually that last year, eight years ago, that was the aha moment that made me change my lifestyle—was when she sat there and said, “I’ve been warning you that you’re going to be a diabetic. You just gained 25 pounds this year, and I’m putting you on diabetic medications because now you’re a full-blown type 2,” and I was like, “How did I get here? What did I do wrong? What? Me?” and that’s the story. I turned my life around. I’ve lost 145 pounds. I’ve gotten off medication, seven years now. When I go see Dr. Rosen now, we high five. I walk in with my life lab report. I go through it like a doctor. We talk like two buddies. I know exactly what’s happening. I know the thing that’s come out of the urine sample the blood samples. We chat like we’re two doctors and she’s just so impressed.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Yeah, because you took control of your life.

LUISA MORRONE

Yeah, but it was hard.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Of course it’s hard but that’s why you’re here on my podcast because I go about that hard. You know, there are really a lot of things that fascinate me but the thing that fascinates me the most is how things affect marriage because my love is marriage. I believe that when you can help someone fix their marriage, improve their marriage, making it better than it is, that’s bringing God’s presence home. So that’s my goal in life and I want to hear how diabetes affected your marriage.

LUISA MORRONE

Well, yeah, of course. As I said, not only was I diabetic but my husband was a long time diabetic and he was on 18 pills a day. So, it’s in the family both of us had fathers—late. They passed away. Both ended up on dialysis at end of life, and both of us, we went through it with both our fathers, and both of us would be like, “Yeah, it’s not going to happen to me.” [Laughs]

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Why does that happen? Why are we in denial when we see something so in our face?

LUISA MORRONE

Well, I believe it’s because we always think, “Oh, it’s happening to the other person but it’s not happening to me.” You know, dad had to inject himself with insulin. I would prepare dad’s meals for him and help him but when I was warned that I was going to end up my dad, it was like, “Oh, that’s not gonna happen to me. I’m younger. God’s on my side. He’s not gonna allow that to happen. God will take care of me. He knows that I’m a good person and He’s not going to give me type 2 diabetes.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

 I’m really I’m really fascinated on how did how did it affect your marriage?

LUISA MORRONE

 It’s funny. There was there’s a picture of us— I just shudder from it because it is a picture of when we spent a family gathering—and we’re of Italian background. [We] live in Canada, so we still make a lot of lasagna, pasta, cannolis, and it’s a picture of us in a coma. We’re both in a carb-induced coma after having eaten probably two big slabs of lasagna, cannoli, potatoes, rice, bread, lots of bread. Bread is life. We don’t even throw bread out because it’s life. So it affected us because we had no energy. We were lethargic. We enabled each other. We would come home from a meal that I just described and then you go, “Babe, want to stop and grab a pizza? Grab a couple of spices?” Do you think that’s a good idea when we’re both—well, he’s a diabetic and I’m pre-diabetic? You think that’s a good idea? No—or, “Hey, let’s stop and get burger and fries”

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

That was the way that you were connecting, and so how could you give that up if this is the source the soul of your marriage?

LUISA MORRONE

It was the soul. As a matter of fact, he loved me so much he—well the obesity, it’s not his fault but he was the manager of a car dealership, which closed at nine. I have already eaten dinner with our kids but he would call me at nine o’clock and say, “Babe, I’m on my way home. Do you want me to stop and get burgers and fries?” That was the way we loved each other food and I’d be like, “Yeah, get me three cheeseburgers, three small fries, a milkshake, and a sundae.” I could eat all that. Now, both our families were horrified by this because the two of us are getting bigger and bigger. He’s lost 77 pounds since. I’ve lost 145, but it was the way in which we wallowed in denial. We wallowed in food was life and his mother would turn to him— she would look at our wedding picture, which hangs proudly on the wall and she’d say, “What happened? What happened? Look at her,” and he would protect me. He always said to me, “I thought you were beautiful.” He didn’t see me as big. That was the weird thing too for his family because they’d be like, “Look at her now, and he’s she’s the most beautiful woman in the world. Babe, here have some more mashed potatoes.” If they would say to me, “That’s your third helping of spaghetti,” and he would say, “If she wants it, she can eat it. Go ahead, baby.” So we were in this cocoon. We did back each other up on the eating but then we would have disagreements because I was more concerned about him. I wasn’t a diabetic. I wasn’t on medication, although I was happily on my way, but with I would say to him, “But Vince, you’re on pills. Do you think you should have a fourth cannoli or a third piece of cake?” “It’s okay. I’ll just take more pills, hon.”

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

That’s the thing. I’m going to ask on my Facebook Group: What is the best way to improve your marriage? Is it: (a) change your husband, (b) you change yourself, or (c) it only works if you both change, and the answer is—

LUISA MORRONE

In my case, I changed myself first. I led by example.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Bingo.

LUISA MORRONE

I led by example. Earlier, I said it’s hard but hard is not impossible. I prayed to God. I meditated. I said, “Because I’m so weak—” Well, I’m going to put it out there that carb addiction, addiction to rice, to potatoes, to bread is as severe as addiction to drugs and alcohol. Actually, try to take somebody’s bread away or slice of pizza or do you know what I mean? It’s very difficult because we’re so addicted to these foods, which are some of them part of our religious traditions and our religion. It’s religion. It’s culture. So, food is wrapped up also in family traditions, gathering together for the high feasts etc., and breaking bread—just the term— but eating carbohydrates, it is extremely addictive and most of the foods we eat are of the carb family so it’s very difficult and so what I said earlier was it was hard to lose 145 pounds and get myself off medication but that’s not impossible. The other day, a friend said, “Impossible—what does it mean? What’s the imp?” and I said, “Imp is I’m possible.” I reframed the word because I kept saying, “This is impossible. I can’t not eat my favorite food.” So first, I led by example and I also led with compassion because I’ve been in my husband’s shoes of the bread, the pasta—he is very much a carb eater. Ninety percent of his diet is carbs and type 2 diabetics have to understand that you’re eating foods that are slowly killing you. They’re killing you slowly. It’s known as a silent killer. There is absolutely no pain in eating bread, rice, potatoes, or pasta, the four largest high carb foods that are out there. They have the highest carbohydrates and when we have pills or the insulin given to us, the prescriptions, that’s basically the way I say it and I try to explain things in layman’s terms so that people get it—the drugs they give you, the medications allow you to eat something you’re allergic to. I tell diabetics you’re allergic to carbs. So if I told you that you were allergic to shellfish or peanuts, would you eat them? No, because we know if we eat peanuts we go into shock. The epipen you have— you’re gonna die. You don’t die from type 2 until way down the road the damage those foods are doing to you, it’s painless. You don’t go into shock, you don’t need the epipen, you just need a couple of pills here and there, maybe an injection, you’re good to go but the long-term damage is severe.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

I love that you said it’s hard but it’s not impossible, and the other option is it’s a business. It’s either you don’t have to do anything, you just click this button and people will start paying you money, and you’re like, “Yeah, no. It’s kind of hard. It’s going to take force. It’s going to take consistency. It’s going to take all these things but you’re going to get there. You have to know it’s hard and you’re gonna be so much more impressed with yourself that it was hard and you did it.

LUISA MORRONE

 You and I, we’re both online coaches, I with type 2 diabetes, you with marriage and faith. What we both bring to the table is helping the individual find that commitment within themselves to what we are helping them, the path we’re helping them on. I had to find commitment to myself. I helped my husband find commitment to himself.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Yeah, how’d you do that? Let’s talk about that.

LUISA MORRONE

First of all, let’s talk about the resistance that men put up because they are different. They think different from women. Women are all about let’s all sit together and tell each other our issues and help each other and want to go to therapy with me sure let’s go together we can benefit from therapy. Men are not like that. We have to really talk about the fact that their brain is wired very differently. Number one is the fact that they’ll say, “There’s nothing wrong with me.” because it’s their ego. “There’s nothing wrong with me. I take pills. I’m fine.” That was my husband and I said, “Well, if everything’s fine with you, why are you taking 18 of them? Well then, it’s a bit much.”

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

That way I can have 18 types of things I am allergic to. [Laughs]

LUISA MORRONE

And then it would be like, “Well, okay. I’m fine but we don’t need to see Dr. Rosen today.” He avoided going to see our physician, by the way. He tried to get around going to see her every year but she would call me and say, “I do need to see him because I just saw his blood work and it’s not so good.” Avoidance. also he would say, “I’m a man.” They think that they can fix them themselves but again I would say but if you fix yourself then you on 18 pills you could bring those down right our goal was to bring down the amount of medication because taking 18 pills over a long period of time, it’s going to hurt you. It’s the yin and yang. This pill helps with your diabetes but now you got to take another pill because it’s hurting this organ in your body. He got to 18 pills. He became a type 2 diabetic when I was pregnant with my first child, who’s now 23. He was diagnosed during my pregnancy, so 24 years ago. He only started with four pills. Two in the morning, two at night. So, what did I do? First, I led by example. I changed and I would look at him and I’d say, “Would you like to try some of what I’m eating?” and he would be like, “Pass me the bread.” [Laughs] “Okay, sure.” We eat together. The only thing I don’t eat is if we’re having roast chicken and vegetables. I don’t eat the potato. I still eat the chicken. I still eat the broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and the mushrooms. I just don’t eat the carbohydrate-rich food. I would say to him, “You just ate six slices of bread. You’re a diabetic,” so that doesn’t work because you’re showing them up. You do that to somebody and I did it myself when I was at family gathering gatherings. They’d say, “You’re having another—that’s your second portion and then I’d get up and go get a third one.” “Don’t tell me what to do.” We do that. All of us, including our men. “Don’t tell me what to do.”

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

That’s why I’m so the farthest away from getting a guy to therapy or telling him that he has to come and fix himself. Let him off the hook. Just tell him, “That’s it. Let me work on myself and I will fix it by myself,” and then the next thing is, “Why do I have to? Why do I always have to be the good one?” and the answer to that is because you want a better life. You want it? You work for it. You want the better life? You go get the better life So he’ll get a better life with you, great. Why not?

LUISA MORRONE

The thing is that men think they don’t need a therapist. “I can do it. I can do it.” So, slowly, he started to see my weight loss and God bless him, now that we’ve both lost weight—we were both obese. I weighed over 300 pounds. He didn’t. I weighed more than my husband. Now that we’ve lost the weight, he’s actually said, “ I thought you were beautiful even then. I never saw you as this big person. Mind you, now you look even better.” He does He says, “I thought you were really beautiful then,” and he says but what started to really resonate with him is that I got off the pills. I was put on metformin. That’s typically what you get put on when you’re first diagnosed as a diabetic, and typically it’s two in the morning, two at night. So, I was you know starting on that path. I was starting to go on that trajectory. He started with four. He’s on 18 at the height of his sickness. So, he came with me when I went in to see Dr. Rosen. It was the most proud moment of mine because I sat there and I had my lab report because in Canada, you can get your lab report. I went through it with a fine-tooth comb. I looked up every term. I went in and she’s like, “You’ve lost weight. Yeah! Finally.” She was so pleased and then we went through my lab report and she said, “Your blood sugars are amazing. The whole year is perfect. We’re taking you off metformin,” and he’s out there as he heard her say that, and I said, “You know what, Doc? I took myself off six months ago. I knew I didn’t need the pills,” because I kept pricking my finger and I knew that because I had lowered the amount of carbs I was eating, I didn’t need them. She was floored. She said, “These blood sugar numbers are without medication?” I said, “Yes. I’ve healed myself through eating proper food for a diabetic,” and she was floored. She said, “Wow,” then she turned to Vince and she said, “ This is wonderful. What have you been doing?” “She’s doing great, right? Oh, I’m so proud of her. Look at her. Wow,” We used gentleness in saying, “Well, perhaps you can start to do a few things that Luisa has done.” and then she said, “Luisa, you want to share with your husband a few things that that you’ve been doing?” and I said, “Yeah, I cut out potatoes, pasta, rice, and bread,” his four favorite foods. He was still in denial. He was still, “No, I want my bread. I want my pasta,” but you know, there always has to be an aha moment. In order for people to want change in their marriage, in their health, in changing the trajectory of their life, something has to happen. Something drastic sometimes has to shake you up. With me, it was when I was put on the medication. That shook me up. I thought, “Wow, being surrounded by diabetics, I got to this point where I had to be put on medication,” so that was my aha moment. For my husband it was the fact that I went with him to his kidney specialist because—he had our GP but we also had because he was a severe type 2 diabetic on 18 pills, we had to see a kidney specialist. I went with him and she said to him, “We’ve got a problem. Your kidney is failing.” Now, typically a diabetic will lose one percent of kidney function per year. One percent per year. Mine, by the way is at 99%. Not 100, but 99%. My husband’s kidney was dropping at a rate of one percent a month, not a year.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

That’s terrible.

LUISA MORRONE

Yeah, no kidding. One percent a month.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

That’s enough to give you an aha moment.

LUISA MORRONE

Yeah, and I’m sitting there and I’m like, “Oh my gosh,” and his kidney had fallen to 34% Type 2 diabetics are at risk of losing limbs, going blind, when you have a wound—let’s say you step on a nail and you get a cut under your foot, it can get into gangrene and you lose your foot. They don’t heal properly. Their blood doesn’t congeal. A wound can take months to heal, and so the kidney also is very much at risk as a Type 2 diabetic, and he had fallen to 34%. You go on dialysis when you’re at 15. So he was 15—well, he was about 20 EFGR away from going on dialysis and dialysis is permanent. It’s for life. You can’t go back once your kidney has stopped working, that’s it and dialysis is brutal. You have to go three times a week. It’s basically, the machine is cleaning your body. Your kidney has stopped and I saw my father go through it. I saw all the people that sat there with my dad, young people, older people, people all on dialysis. Horrible, horrible, and so that was our aha moment with his kidney failing in stage three of kidney disease a

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

What was his response to that?

LUISA MORRONE

Well, he didn’t want to talk. They have to process it. They don’t want to talk about it. They go into their cave because they’re like, “This is not supposed to be happening. I take my 18 pills…okay, a little bit more of this,” but not much more in their mind. It’s like the denial first, and having seen both our fathers because his father ended up on dialysis at end of life as well, and I said to him, “You’ve got to do something you’ve got to start doing a little bit of what I’m doing because otherwise I’m going to have to tell you, you’re going to drive yourself to these dialysis appointments. I won’t drive you. You put yourself in this pit hole. I said, “You have a wife who now even has clients that I’m helping,” so we sat with it for a bit. Listen, in our home, we still make carbohydrates because my mother lives with me—she’s Italian, she eats pasta—my kids, one of them is an athlete, my son has to eat his rice and his sweet potatoes and stuff but what I always do is I make sure that I made my foods that were suitable for me. There was always alternatives. I’m very good, even with my clients and saying, “You’re craving mashed potatoes? Here’s the alternative to mashed potatoes. You’re craving apple pie? Here’s the alternative to apple pie.” There’s always an alternative. For American thanksgiving, I’m running a little promo about my business and I’m giving away the recipe for low-carb pumpkin pie. It’s got five grams of sugar per slice as opposed to 41 grams of sugar, so I’m always giving people alternatives. If you love mashed potatoes, I have a recipe with cauliflower. I can turn cauliflower into mashed potato. So anything is possible, and I do have kosher. I have kosher clients, as well and I have halal clients. I can pretty well adapt any way of eating to my way of eating. I even have clients in Greece and Bali. I’m an expert now in Indonesian food, and the Indonesians they love adding sugar to everything, even savory dishes a cup of sugar goes in there. The peanut sauce that they use in Thai food? Full of sugar. Who knew, right? So, anyway getting back to my husband, he sat on it for a while but I did actually tell on him. I told the kids. [Laughs] I needed them as allies, and so a little bit of a intervention. We’re a funny family so my daughter walks around saying, “Hey, dead man walking. What’s going on?” We use humor to get our message across, and so we sat him down and we said, “We care about you and we know it’s hard. We know it’s hard. The addiction is hard. How do you give up bread? How do you give up rice? How do you give up these foods that we’ve grown up with?” and these food soothes us, right? When we’re upset, what do we do?

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

We eat.

LUISA MORRONE

We eat and we eat our favorites, a tub of ice cream we run to food. Comfort, right. Potatoes are comfort. All the foods that we love are comfort and then you know I always joke and say I forced him into the program and I gave him a discount. I can’t say it was easy but that was his aha moment. He started to sweat a little bit about, “Am I going to end up on kidney dialysis like my dad and your dad? That was not a pleasant experience watching them sit there for six hours as the machine did the work for their body.” I have to confess that no matter what—I am sure that you’ve encountered even when you’re counseling with respect to marriages, sometimes it takes the—what is it? The straw that broke the camel’s back. There is a moment, an aha moment, a serious moment—for me it was when Dr. Rosen said, “Here’s your prescription for metformin.” I’m like, “How did I get to this point was my own fault.”

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

You know, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is. If you could take responsibility for your life, that’s what we really care about, right?

LUISA MORRONE

Exactly.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Like in a marriage, “It’s his fault, it’s their fault, it’s everybody’s [fault].” Who cares? Who cares whose fault it is? You’re not living in the past. You’re living right now, in this present moment

LUISA MORRONE

We never faulted each other. He had my back when it came to eating and because we both loved it, right? We both love food. So we always had each other’s backs. “Leave him alone. He could have it,”

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

How is it now? How’s your marriage now around both being in the program?

LUISA MORRONE

He’s so proud of what I’ve accomplished, number one. I think what helped him is his pride in what I had succeeded in doing. When he started to lose weight, I had already lost 100 pounds and I had my hip surgery finally, by the way—the hip surgery I desperately needed. Nobody knew I walked with a cane for years. My son played hockey, I’m with young moms, I don’t want them to see me walking with a cane. It’s embarrassing. He’d say, “Babe, leave the cane in the car. Give me your arm.” He always had my back. We would walk into the arena and he would say, “Just tug on your ear if you have to go to the bathroom. I’ll walk you to the bathroom.” Yeah, that was how sweet he was because he knew that I was embarrassed to show people I walked with a cane, and I’m going to a sporting event. My son’s an athlete and his mother’s walking in with a cane. We’ve always had each other’s back that way— is that he was kind to me. I would go like this [tug his ear] and he’d go, “Okay,” and he’d come get me, “Oh, let’s go outside,” and then he would wait for me as I went to the bathroom and then he would walk me back. So sweet, but what has changed is that we still had our fights too. I’m making it sound it was all peachy keen and we had each other’s back but sometimes what he would say, “You really need that surgery. Maybe you should try—” and, I go, “Well, you try with me.” he was like, “Babe, you really need your hip surgery. I feel bad you’re in such pain,” and then, “Okay, so you want me to go get two for free?” We were in this awful cycle of knowing we had to do something —well, now he’s so proud of what I’m doing. He’s so proud. He comes into my retreats. He’s one of my guest speakers because his story is compelling because we got him off 18 pills. He’s only on eight now. We cut 10 pills out. Ten. This is the power of when you realize that food can hurt us. The wrong foods, when you eat the wrong foods for your disease, they can hurt you but when you actually eat right for your disease, food can heal. We’ve healed each other through food. He does fall sometimes. We always hang out with his sister and her husband. They’re our best friends. We go there every Saturday night and he will have a couple of pieces of bread but now he doesn’t eat an entire loaf of it. He could eat an entire loaf of bread himself, and so there’s pride and it was baby steps with him first. We got him to let go of potatoes. It was step-by-step it was like, “Well, let’s portion it now. You’re not going to have the heaping portion you used to.” So, with him we had to wean him off because he couldn’t go cold turkey. I did it cold turkey.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

You have to be comfortable with your speed and your rhythm. I love it how you said in the beginning that you were in denial even though it was all around you, and then you were succeeding and he was in denial and then he was like, “I’m so proud of you but I could never do that.” So, we have this thing where like, “That’s not gonna happen to me,” then we’re also [like] “That’s not gonna happen to me either. I’m nice and comfy in my comfort zone and nothing’s possible for me, not good, not bad. I’m just staying here.” It feels so real when you’re in this, “Oh, this isn’t changing,” but you see it’s changing. You see things aren’t going the way you want to go and you still [do]. It’s such a hard thing and then when you see something is actually possible, [the] biggest thing is, “Is this really possible? Is it really? Is it really for me? It’s good enough for her because she has power.” You can’t do that.

LUISA MORRONE

You just described the stages of what we went through. Both of us in denial, Luisa has her aha moment when she’s put on medication, plus she needs that surgery, so then it’s like, “I never thought it was possible for me.” I mean, we would both sit there going, “We should really do something about this,” and then we’d go and order a pizza or we’d order Chinese food and I’d order a whole— the one container of rice was just for me. I’d order my own rice just for me. He’d order his own, so we had two rices.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

I want to wrap it up with a beautiful bow. Obviously, you’re not at the end of your marriage. You’re just in the beginning of this amazing new stage but what does this new stage feel like and look like?

LUISA MORRONE

Well, through that whole evolution of both of us in denial, one of us finding the light, having success, shedding the light on him, he comes on board too taking the baby steps because he couldn’t go cold turkey like I did, now we’re so proud of each other, and the pride he gets too now when people say, “Wow, Vince. Look at you.” My husband, from when I married him, had a stomach. He had a pop. The men always get that belly. This is the first time in my life he doesn’t have a belly. He actually has a like a flat belly, and people can notice it on him. He’s so thin. My mother now, “Oh my God, we gotta fatten him up. Now, he’s too skinny.” It’s true.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

What are you able to do for fun now that doesn’t revolve around food because you’re both healthy?

LUISA MORRONE

So, oh well yeah now that now that we’re not sitting on our couches eating, we dance. We dance. We dance by ourselves. Sometimes, we’re in our underwear in the bathroom and we put on the iPhone and he twirls me around and he dips me, which could never have been possible with my hip. We exercise together. Oh, by the way I was very allergic to exercise. I didn’t do it until like the eighth year. I started last year exercising.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Baby steps. You know, I think what’s beautiful is that something that works for you, which was cold turkey, didn’t work for him and he had to do it his way and then maybe for him exercising is easier, but for you, it’s not and it’s really, really important to realize that every person is so unique.

LUISA MORRONE

He would not have gone cold turkey, so you have to take into consideration. Who knows your spouse better than you? No one else, right? So to make him give up cold turkey how I did, it was not going to work. I knew that. r It was baby steps for him. It was like instead of potato, let’s bake some radishes. By the way, baked radish tastes like potatoes.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Really?

LUISA MORRONE

Yes, it does. Yeah, baked radish tastes like baked potato. Red radishes.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

When we have radish, I don’t know what to do with it because I never liked radish.

LUISA MORRONE

Yeah. Well, I never knew what to do with it either because the only way I [had] ever eaten radished was sliced thinly into a salad.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Exactly.

LUISA MORRONE

So, yeah. So who knew that if you bake radishes in the oven with some olive oil and some salt pepper and whatever else you want to add, it’s baked potato, right? I would say to him, “Always indulge me. Try this dish and see if you like it,” and we went through a lot of trial and error. “No, I don’t like that.” “No, that doesn’t taste like it’s the real whatever,” so it was trial and error, and we started to discover what he liked and what he didn’t, and it would be, “Yay! Mikey likes it. We can we can replace the bread with this now,” but for him, he couldn’t go cold turkey was just not an option. So, you really need to get to know your spouse and plus, also we prayed together to give us the strength because some days I wake up and I want to eat a whole tray of lasagna. The addiction to the carbs doesn’t go away, folks. It’s recommitting every day. Just like an alcoholic has the 12 steps in the program of not to—I battle and I cook pasta for my kids and I’ll sit there watching my son like this, “How is it?” and he’ll be like, “Mom, you want some?” and I’m like, “No, no, no, no, no, no. I just want to know how it tastes.” It’s still a battle. It’s still a battle but what we do now is we work out together, and he’s so proud of me because he’ll come in—I’ve been learning Arabic dance now. Okay, so he comes in and he’s seeing me jiggy-ing and doing stuff, and he’s like, “Wow!” It’s just mind-blowing what we’re able to do now physically. I can run now if I want to but I hate running. The pride we have in each other too, has of course bonded us because we went through it together.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

I wanna really bring that home for you just so you notice it. In the beginning, the only way that you were able to really be intimate with each other, really heart to heart, deep conversation, was around food because there wasn’t anything else that was there for you to do. The activity was eating, was sitting, eating and sitting and eating, and snacking and eating, and snacking and sitting. There wasn’t much and the biggest fear is, “What do you mean? I’m gonna give up the only thing that connects me to my wife? I’m gonna give up the only way that I know how to show her love? Then what’s gonna happen to our marriage,” and then when you gave up, and you were able to finally say, “Wow, look! We could also dance, and we can also do this. We can also have conversations without food and we can really get deep and emotional and whatever. We could be ourselves our full selves and it’s not necessarily dependent on food.

LUISA MORRONE

Yeah, you hit it on the nose. He would wake up and say, “What are we having for dinner?” “What are you making for lunch?” Our whole life revolved around what do you want to eat next? We just finished a bag of chips. What you eating now? We would sit there and watch tv—

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Because that was love. Like you said, bread of life. The love language was food.

LUISA MORRONE

Oh, God. Yeah, well him bringing home not one burger but sometimes three at 9:30 at night was his way of showing his love to me. It also added to my obesity. [Laughs]

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Listen, that’s when you have to take responsibility for yourself and I’m so proud you did, and I think that it’s the hardest thing. It’s the hardest thing to actually say, “I am taking responsibility for myself,” is so hard and yet it is so powerful because then it just changes everything.

LUISA MORRONE

Now, we don’t bring food home. Food was—you’re right. We used food as a way of demonstrating love. His leaving the dealership and coming home at 9:30 and calling me and saying, “Hey dude. Do you want me to stop and get you anything?” “Oh, heck yeah.” That was his way of showing love through buying me food. You’re right. Yeah, yeah. We both enabled each other though. I would make him cakes.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Well, of course because it wasn’t only him. you were both bonding over the same thing, which is how we are as humans. Love and marriage is all about how do we get intimate in an emotional level, through something that we’re doing together and a joint effort and a project and a journey. So, you’re actually able to create that for yourself without having to pay the price, which is amazing.

LUISA MORRONE

I was listening I was listening to your replay. Day five talked about intimacy and the thing is that sometimes we didn’t have the energy for the sexual part of intimacy. You’re in a carb-induced coma.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

You were exhausted. It was just exhausting.

LUISA MORRONE

It’s exhausting. It is. Yeah, you’re like hug, “Okay, good night,” because I’m exhausted.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

You know what’s amazing? I’m so proud of you and I’m so happy that we have this discussion because it’s important for people to see what’s possible. I love what you said about I am possible, like I am the thing that’s possible, I can change my life, I can completely transform my life. Taking that step and believing in yourself more than you believe in that, whatever that is is so powerful.

LUISA MORRONE

 Yeah, but you got to go back to the denials. I didn’t think it was possible. If I go back 10 years ago or 8 years ago, and you got to take baby steps because it sounds like I lost a lot of weight, 145, but when I talk to clients because they think, “That’s impossible. How can I lose 150 pounds?” but when you break it down, I did it over—let’s say 140 over seven years. That’s 20 pounds a year. That’s 1.5 pounds a month. That is less than a pound a week. Anybody can lose a pound a week.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Well, only if you decide you want to.

LUISA MORRONE

If you want to. Right, but it’s the breaking it down because when people say, “Wow. 150 pounds.” s It’s unimaginable that you can achieve something like that and even when I was living it. The denial was—

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

We’re both in business and that’s the same with a million dollars. You’re gonna make a million dollars? Well, yeah, but I’m gonna do it step-by-step, slowly and truly. I’m not going to one day poof up some magic wand. I’m gonna work hard.

LUISA MORRONE

It is hard work.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

That’s the difference. That’s what commitment is. Commitment is the ability to see the future and foresee where I’m going and really be proactive about it, intentional about it.

LUISA MORRONE

Yeah, but again there has to be that aha moment. I don’t know if you’ve experienced it in what you’re doing in the marriage but something has to wake up that I got to commit to myself it’s self-love too.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

I want to address that. I do want to address that because you bring up a very important point. Most people in this world believe that you need something catastrophic or eye-opening in order to get you from here to there, and that’s why when somebody goes through something really difficult, they’re able to look back and say, “Thank God for that thing because if not, I would not be here,” but yeah it is possible to bypass that and not have to get to the point where you’re being woken up by listening to the little knock. God knocks before He smashes down the door. He does not just come in and be like, “Okay, wake up!” No. There’s a knock on the door. “Knock, knock. You need to listen. I think you need to listen,” and then you’re able to connect to those and if you’re able to listen when [it’s] actually light enough and calm enough to hear where God wants you to go, you can follow the crumbs that God will send you so that you can get there without having that.

LUISA MORRONE

Yeah, you’re right. Yep, yeah, and I got to tell you something though. I thank God every day that he gave me or that I got type 2 diabetes. I’ll tell you why. I wouldn’t have lost the weight and gotten my surgery. I would not have become the healthier version that I am today if I hadn’t gotten that disease. The disease brought me a gift and I think I’m gonna cry because I do thank God every day because now I know what I was put on this earth to do. Had I not gotten the the disease, I would still be wallowing—I would be about a three or maybe 400 pounds. The disease is what it was a gift to me and you know who I’ve heard say that once? An actress called Delta Burke. She was an actress and was on a one of those series that’s on every week. I remember her saying that because I remember she got diabetes. I was like, “Wow. She got diabetes like my dad.” She said the same thing. I couldn’t understand what she was saying. What do you mean you’re thanking God for giving you a disease? Now, I understand. I am the healthiest I have ever been because I got diabetes. It’s powerful.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

And I want to make it really clear that anybody listening who thinks, “Oh, I actually have to wait to get diabetes in order to catch myself,” No, you don’t. You need to just catch it now. This is just a decision. It’s just the commitment. Yeah, it’s listening to the knocks on the door and the messages that God is sending you and saying, “I’m ready. I’m ready.”

LUISA MORRONE

And I didn’t listen to the knocks. Remember what I said earlier. I was a gestational diabetic.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

You had all the knocks. I remember you saying—

LUISA MORRONE

God was knocking on my door and I was like, “Yeah, not opening it right now. Thanks God.” It was like pre-diabetic. I was gestational twice and my doctor told me, “ This is good this is an indicator that you’re gonna get diabetes later in life,” and it was like, “Yeah, it’s not gonna happen to me.” Then every year I went in “Luisa, you’re getting closer. You’re pre-diabetic. You’re pre-diabetic.” I was like, “Yeah, whatever.” God knocked and I didn’t listen.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Right. Yeah, but you know it happens in all the parts of our life. Whenever we need to hear something, there’s going to be messages that are going to come from all different places. People are watching this. I don’t know why but God wanted you to hear this and maybe it has nothing to do with diabetes, but it has to do with you being aware that God wants you to listen, wants you to hear, and that’s one of the things that I teach the ability to connect and listen before things go ballistic so that you can know what God wants from you.

LUISA MORRONE

Well, and I do work with pre-diabetics because we want to catch it before you become one, right? There is regret. I wish I had but it’s okay. I had to go through this journey.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

What are you gonna do? You can’t go back in time. You can only go forward.

LUISA MORRONE

I don’t live in the past. I’m so happy that I did it but you’re right. In certain people, the aha moment has to come. In others in others, I’m working with people who are pre-diabetic now who are like, “I don’t want to become diabetic.”

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

I think it’s a maturity thing when you can actually say, “Oh, yeah. Look. I’m saying something’s going on,” instead of waiting for things to explode Louisa, I want to know how people can find you, how they can get all your goodness.

LUISA MORRONE

 Sure. So, I guess the best way would be to perhaps email me and my email is mwayofeating@gmail.com. I forgot the y when I was creating. I was in such a rush to get my account going. Instead of my way of eating, it’s mwayofeating@gmail.com. They can email me, of course. They can always— through you—reach me. I do have a Facebook group, where I give tips. It’s a private group where people can enter in. Sometimes I’ll put up a halal recipe. Sometimes it’s a kosher one. I’m always giving recipes and I have a variety of clients from all cultures and all religions, so I’m always mindful of that too. I don’t just stick to one particular cuisine. They can look me up: Luisa Morrone. l-u-I-s-a m-o-r-r-o-n-e on Facebook. They can DM me, but I guess the email would be the best I think and Facebook just find me. Friend me It’s been an amazing journey for me from broken diabetic on medication, my husband was on his way to getting you know the dialysis. We’re like a rocky story. Everybody likes to see the underdog succeed but there was a lot of work in there and really getting to know your spouse because I really knew that my husband couldn’t do the cold turkey that I did, and I guess that’s something important too—is that you’ve got to know the right tactics to use. Once you want that transformation and you make that commitment to yourself, you have to recommit. You continually have to recommit to the commitment you make to yourself and God. It’s recommitting because we go into our old habits every so often too and you got to recommit again. It’s a journey. It’s not over yet.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Yes. I was gonna say it’s so beautiful because you guys got an entire lifetime now to really enjoy each other and it just keeps getting better and better with time. I’m so impressed.

LUISA MORRONE

 One of my clients keeps saying, “I always said I wanted to live to a hundred. Now, I think it’s possible because I joined your program,” and she’s getting better.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

 It’s so beautiful to see that and I’m really grateful that you blessed us with your presence, that you told us your story because and we’re friends so it’s not like I’m meeting you for the first time. It’s so fun. [Laughter] It’s so fun to see you growing and see you flourishing. It’s really amazing and I wanted to really tell you that.

LUISA MORRONE

If it’s one little nugget that I’m gonna drop choose that course. Choose that change. Stick to it. When you fall off, get back on it and never quit. Never quit because I have actually fallen a few times where I’ve fallen victim. I’ve eaten a whole bowl of pasta. You fall. Sometimes insanity takes over and you want it so badly, but the next day I say, “Okay, get back on track. Don’t quit. Don’t use it as an opportunity to go back to your old ways either.” So I just keep reminding myself, “You got to stay on track.” When you get off—because we all do we’re human. Get off track, get back on. Don’t quit and your success is inevitable, and that applies to our business as well.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

Yes, so if you guys want a freebie because we were talking about freebies before, you can have my free too it’s connectedforreal.com/free for the Five Surprising Ways to Improve your Marriage and you can enjoy that. It’s my gift to everyone. it’s one of those things that’s really powerful and they’re all surprising, so go and do that.

LUISA MORRONE

Oh, I’ll give the recipe for the radishes baked radishes. I have the recipe and my free offer is how to figure out if you’re a diabetic and what to do about it—some tips, a tip sheet. Okay, so the tip sheet and the radish recipe. Yeah, I only ever ate them raw.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN

And that’s it! Thank you for listening to the very end. I would love if you can leave a review and subscribe to the podcast. Those are things that tell the algorithm, this is a good podcast and make sure to suggest it to others. Wouldn’t it be amazing if more people became more connected for real? And now, take a moment and think of someone who might benefit from this episode. Can you share it with them? I am Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman from connectedforreal.com. Thank you so much for listening, and don’t forget, you can be connected for real. Exactly. Sometimes we just know what our parents did. Anyway, so thank you so much. We will close here and that was wonderful, everybody. Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day and we will see you next time.

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