So here in the UK Menopause conversations are beginning to happen. Thankfully, there seems to be a shift and the feeling of shame and isolation that has been attached to this milestone is finally being removed. When I had my first hot flush twenty years ago, I asked my girlfriends if they had anything similar but not one of my friends admitted to anything, it was a shamefully unsexy stage to be entering and the more we kept it hidden the better it was. Menopause has somehow got a bad reputation and I think the time now has arrived for a re-brand.
Peri-menopause is a time in our lives when are hormones are on the move again and it can take 10 years or so from the first sign to having achieved a whole year with-out periods at which stage it is called menopause. Throughout these 10 years there are many twists and turns, symptoms and cravings. Some good and some not so.
Menopause used to be called The Change and for me that is exactly what it is, a massive change and with that we need to change everything. With every new symptom and craving, we need to be like a detective and ensure that we don’t suffer. There is no need to suffer during this time but there is every need to look at every aspect of life and make some shifts.
Part of this re-branding needs to tell every breathing woman that this stage is as nature intended. As a breathing woman it is inevitable, sadly some do suffer with premature menopause due to chemotherapy or unknown issues, but generally it seems to be anytime from 40 years onwards.
This time needs to be celebrated, our fertility hormones are leaving us and with that perhaps some of our maternal instincts. This is the time where potentially, we are still only 50-60% of the way through our life, we need to ask ourselves. Who am I? What do I want? How am I going to get it? We need to ensure that we have purpose and connection and that we do not hold ourselves hostage to who we were or have become. This is our time to have a mid-life transformation and that can mean sometimes choosing courage over comfort.
Many women who have reached this tremendous milestone, the kids have grown and flown and suddenly remembered their childhood dreams and ambitions of being writers, dancers or artist’s. It doesn’t particularly matter if you do decide to have a big transformation and go and build an orphanage somewhere, but what does matter is that you give yourself the time and space to know that you could if you wantedt.
There are many women who are very happy to stay at home and enjoy the garden and the grandkids, but there are many women who realise that that have spent a good percentage of their lives over delivering to the children, the husbands, at work and running the home and now it is time for adventure.
I was lucky that I discovered yoga at 49 and that took me down a yellow brick road of personal discovery and passion. I became a yoga teacher at 51 and have spent the last 8 years teaching, travelling, learning, growing and developing. With the passion, desire and energy to do more and more. With my yogi lifestyle came about a huge change in my life. I naturally started to eat healthier and cleaner and with that, I realised that alcohol no longer served me. It made me feel anxious, my sleep became disturbed and I really started to notice a haze of brain fog. These, of course, are all symptom of menopause.
On closer investigation into myself I realised that because of menopause, alcohol was now affecting me differently. It was no longer lifting me up, the reality was, it was actually suppressing me and once I had decided to give it up, I noticed I found strength and courage that I had forgotten about. In fact, I began to feel like the ME that I had lost in my marriage. Just to clarify, I wasn’t a big drinker, but I was a regular drinker maybe having a glass of wine or two, 5 nights out of 7. I now realise that this is an epidemic problem and one that isn’t often discussed as it is a difficult subject especially here in the UK as we live in a culture of drinkers.
The message that I want to pass on to you as you read this piece, is that there is no ‘over the hill’ unless you choose there to be. You do not need to suffer with any symptoms that are brought on by this mid-life change, but you do need to investigate and find your way forward. There is an HRT for every type of DNA so don’t believe everything you read about the dangers. The thought leaders in HRT now say that there is more risk in not taking some form of HRT.
I want to help and empower you, so that you know and feel, that this is the beginning. Your wings are ready for you to fly into this wonderful time of your life. You need to find your purpose and passions and live your best life; however, it looks to you. If you need any help with that, then I am here to help, it is my passion and purpose to help woman who feel stuck in their weight, life, work, exercise routine etc… do not live in the haunted house of familiarly because of anxiety, fear or menopause. Just contact me and allow me to be your cheerleader and guide.
Lucy B X