One of the reasons , I decided to talk more about menopause, to share my journey and to start to focus my business in this area, was due to my experience of perimenopause.
To get information out there, and to get women talking about it so we can recognise as we start to go through perimenopause and be informed so that we can make the right choices for our body, and not get stuck in beliefs that are myths incorrect.
Looking back I realise I started my perimenopause in my early 40s, but at the time I had recently got divorced, was living by myself, and having to work more, so the symptoms I was having I put down to the changes in my life. I am normally a very positive person, always laughing, but I felt very low, would burst into tears for no reason, had very low self esteem and self doubt, as my weight started to increase, without any real changes in my diet ,my anxiety at having to get up in front of people to teach classes , was awful. Being a trainer everyone expects you to be a certain size, and to know that people stopped coming to my classes because of my increased size, just added to my feelings of depression and anxiety. But I also am very good at hiding behind my wall, so I carried on.
It was not until my periods started to change and I had some hot flushes that a friend suggested I get in touch with Tanith Lee who was "Mrs Menopause". I then realised what I was going through, but I still thought it was more about the physical symptoms, and did not attribute the mental feelings with it.
I also as a Yoga Teacher thought I should go through it naturally, as HRT was really bad. So I spent a fortune on supplements and treatments , I even brought a magnet you wore in your pants which was supposed to stop hot flushes. I was desperate, my sleep was almost non existent, waking up , up to 10 times a night, feeling “uncomfortably hot & restless” , so to get through a busy day of work, my appetite increased, so continued to put weight on.
I had stopped caffeine, as this was a major flush trigger, and I went through long periods of not drinking anything as I could not cope with the flushes , or the depression that followed the day after, even just from 1 glass of wine ! I have for a long time cut out gluten, and have very little sugar & dairy.
But nothing I did really helped.
And then one day when I just could not cope with the sleep deprivation, lack of energy & lack of motivation I went to the Dr to talk about HRT. At this point I had not had a period from over a year, so was officially “menopausal”
Within a few days of taking it, the flushes had stopped, the sleep was much better, my energy started to return and then the weight started to come off, as I started to sleep , and my body was generally more balanced. I could not believe the difference and I also could not believe that I could have been on this years ago , and HRT is not “the last resort” and really bad for us. It is very individual , but the HRT scares that have been around for the last 10-20 years are unfounded , and I was amazed to find out that a glass of wine a day can be worse for breast cancer incidence than HRT.
These days there are some amazing websites that provide factual information, so that women can go to their Drs armed with information to help them to make the right decision for them.