Meshel Laurie took a 15 minute test, and it changed how she thought about her health.

Like most parents, Meshel Laurie is a busy woman.

The 41 year-old is a single mum to twins, an author and television presenter and has the kind of timetable that means she has to multitask – she spoke to Mamamia while buying supplies from Bunnings.

However, this can also mean that sometimes she puts her health last – something that for her, and most people, was never a problem until she got older.

And now she has to fight for it.

In the past few years, the comedian, author and television and radio presenter has focused on her spiritual health incorporating elements of Buddhism, mindfulness and meditation, but now she’s tackling her physical wellbeing.

Currently a partner for Priceline’s Biggest Women’s Health Check, she says that her journey started with a simple health check up, which revealed that she had high cholesterol and blood pressure – something which shocked her at the time.

“That was really disappointing,” she recalls.

“They had never been a part of my life and I felt like I had actually been healthier than maybe ever before. I’ve certainly been a lot unhealthier,” she says.

Previously identifying as a workaholic, Meshel says that the discovery was made more disappointing considering she had taken steps to make more time for relaxation and her two eight-year-old twins, Louie and Dali.

“I found it frustrating, because I’ve sacrificed money for time, and while I’m not going to say that I’ve left it too late, I am going to say that I obviously still have a lot of things to do,” she said.

Meshel Laurie knows how to make you happier: The author and presenter shares her philosophy on parenting on This Glorious Mess. Post continues after audio.

However the Buddhism for the Unbelievably Busy and Buddhism for Breakups author has another more personal reason to reclaim her health, and its got to do with her father.

“My dad has type two diabetes and is 90 percent blind and all those things have added up over time because he never changed his habits.”

“He says he’d rather be dead than not drink beer and eat Chinese, and that’s his life – he can do whatever he wants, but that’s not what I want.

“I don’t want to go blind at 67,” she says.

Instead, Meshel is making active steps to tackle her health issues before they “chip away” at her.

And she’s starting with the tried and true basics, from lowering her salt intake, cutting out dairy (she says “it just doesn’t agree with me, and it’s got to be done”), to upping her exercise.

Speaking about her dietary changes, Meshel says her blood pressure and cholesterol have come down as a result.


“You know it definitely does work, and it helps you kind of reassess your lifestyle a bit,” she says.

Despite this, for her, increasing her exercise levels was a different story, an activity she describes as something she just never has time to do.

“I’ve never been a active person,” she says – which anybody that doesn’t love exercise can relate to.

Despite this, to those also struggling, Meshel found that getting an Apple Watch to measure her steps has been the smallest change that’s led to the biggest difference.

“I’ve got my Apple watch and I do six or seven thousand steps a day and I feel great about it, but then they’re like 20,000 [would be better] and I’m like ‘oh my God’.”

“Any kind of watch that tells you your steps is handy, because you can’t kid yourself that you’re active. They’re sheer numbers and you can’t fight with it.”

Ultimately when it comes to juggling your health, family, and work, Meshel has a message for women doing the same: “you have to fight for your health.

“You have to fight for yourself, which is what I realised writing my last book,” she says.

“No one is ever going to come into your life, and say ‘hey, you should have a rest, don’t worry about that thing you’re doing for me, have a rest instead’.

“It’s something I’ve definitely had to shift. I found being selfish very easy when I was younger, very easy to fight for my space, but as you get older you suddenly have kids and older parents and responsibilities and it gets harder,” she admits.

And it’s something she’s encouraging other women to start doing as soon as possible from saying ‘no’ and making time for yourself, to taking the 15 minutes to get a health check.

“It’s so true that time goes faster as you get older, a week flies by, then a month flies, then a year. You kind of wait for things to break down before dealing with them. A lot of us do it,” she says.

“Just get tested. There’s no appointments and it’s free at the moment. If you need to see a doctor you go, but it just gives you an idea of how you’re travelling.

“Women are the heart of the family – the mothers, the sisters and wives, and we have to take care of ourselves to take care of everyone else.”

Priceline’s Biggest Women’s Health Check will be running from the 13th April to the 7th of May and include tests for anaemia, cholesterol, and blood pressure, advice for conducting self-breast examinations plus lifestyle management sessions. Checkups only take 15 minutes and the intiative is completely free, with no bookings necessary.