tanith@tanithlee.co.uk
What is menopause and midlife really about?

What is menopause and midlife really about?

Something happens around menopause and mid-life. A shift, a change in perspective, an awakening, a realisation….

Our mind, body, and spirit start to shout.

We’ve ignored this voice for all these years. We’ve been too busy.

Busy with growing family’s and/or careers.  Too busy doing ‘stuff’.

Too busy to listen to that voice, the voice that whispers in the dark “is this it?”

The childlike voice that screams in tantrum ‘it’s not fair, what about me?”

We hit our late 40s and early 50s and we start hitting those bigger birthdays.

As we dance through the decades faster and faster we can see the last curtain call is scarily closer than seems possible.

Our mortality becomes more tangible. We begin to lose friends and family along the way as they transition to another place.

Every loss makes us think “shit! I’m running out of time”. It reminds us of our fragility.

But even the loss of a loved one isn’t enough to take action and to live life more fully. Sure the initial shock makes us listen, question and look briefly at our own existence.

But as time marches on we slip back comfortably into our uncomfortable lives.

It’s not that we have a bad life and sure, we’re grateful for what we have (are we?).

But “what’s next?” our inner self-asks?

 

For me, the blessing of aging, maturing (?) and gaining life experience is that I don’t give so much of a shit (oh I still have doubts and wobbles).

I care less what people think and I’ve come to realise what is important. I’ve learned to sweat less about the small stuff as I gain a new perspective on my life.

 

“what really matters?”

 

At mid-life, in the interval of our show called life we get thrown reminders that life is for

LIVING.

 

All those horrible peri-menopause symptoms we hear about and feel are messages, signs and signals.

In the space between each heart beat we know something isn’t quite right!

 

We are out of balance, adrift, we feel a bit off.

Yes,  HRT and supplements, nutrition, exercise and meditation may help BUT….

There is a deeper yearning. Do you feel it? Hear it? Sense it?

This is YOUR time to shine, to grow, to love but…

FEAR

 

Fear stops us living wholeheartedly.

Fear of change.

Fear of the TRUTH.

 

Are you happy? Are you fulfilled? Are you living the best version of your life?

These questions, or rather the answers to these questions can be terrifying!

 

So we use alcohol, Facebook, food, {insert other addictive behaviors} to numb those callings, YOUR inner voice who is desperate to be heard.

 

And when those addictive behaviors cause more pain than joy we try and stop them by going cold turkey. We stop the very thing that we were using to help ‘fix’ us.

If I change the way I eat, stop smoking, stop drinking battle of wine a day THEN I will be happy and feel better?

Hmmmm…maybe…..for a while , if you believe that BS.

We have to tackle the deeper stuff…..

 

The ‘why’s’.

 

Why are we smoking, drinking, eating, Netflixing (numbing) our way through life?

What are we avoiding?

 

Our deeper calling, that bloody voice that keeps telling you ‘I’m not happy, I’m not fulfilled…… I don’t want a 9-5 job I want to be a self-employed gardener’

 

 

Damn!! That voice, that TRUTHFUL voice is terrifying!

 

It’s easier to turn that bitch down. STFU.

But at mid-life, that bitch gets MAD, she doesn’t like being ignored.

So she’ll make you listen……. Hot flushes, insomnia (nothing like being wide awake at 3am and full of fear to make you listen), night sweats, lower libido, anxiety, depression, fatigue…

 

ALL these symptoms are isolating and will STOP you living your life.

 

So maybe you need to start listening, really listen?

I say yes to healthier habits.

What you eat, how you eat.

Moving more (in a way you enjoy).

Finding some quiet time (and turn down the chattering, mind monkeys)

 

But there is more. You KNOW there is more.

Anyone who is over the age of 40 will tell you how it feels like life speeds up.

Time goes faster (where did the last year go? Is it Christmas again already?)

We are busier and busier than ever (doing what?)….so busy that we don’t acknowledge life, or live life.

 

Really live it.

 

How many times a day do you say “I’m too busy”, “I don’t have enough time”, “I wish I had more time”

Bull shit, I say…..we all have the same 24 hours a day.

It’s how we CHOOSE to use them that counts.

And don’t give me those “yes but’s…..”

‘Yes but’ always precedes an excuse.

 

That’s the truth.

 

So what is mid-life and menopause all about?

 

The more I talk and write about it the more I realise there is another story to be written.

YOUR STORY

Mid-life and menopause is the PERFECT time to assess YOU and the LIFE you are living.

 

It’s the perfect time to grab life by your tired ovaries and decide that tomorrow starts today.

TODAY. NOW. Now is all we have.

Don’t wait for tomorrow to really start living life.towar

It is completely in YOUR POWER to feel happy, fulfilled, healthy and confident as you head towards the ‘second act’ of life.

This ain’t no dress rehearsal.

Change can be big or small. You don’t have to walk away from your old life (unless you want to) you can start the momentum by making a small change.

Time passes anyway; whether you choose to sit in depression, wallow in your ailments and sit on your pity pot OR you DECIDE today that you can start to live, really LIVE, your life in a way that is meaningful for you.

 

One thing I have learned along the way is that we get to choose how we want to be every morning when we first wake up. How do you start your day?

 

 

Every day we can start again and if you having a crap day you can start your day again at any time.

 

Live intentionally, laugh more, don’t take yourself so seriously, do more of the stuff that brings you joy or don’t……it’s up to you.

 

The moment you begin living TRUTHFULLY is when you will begin to find harmony and flow.

 

(be warned though….others may not like your truth)

 

This may not be the blog you want to read, especially if you are experiencing menopause symptoms and not living the life you desire. You just want to feel better right?

 

I’ve been in the depths of depression and anxiety.

I’ve felt lost, hopeless and like a worthless bag of shit.

I’ve felt powerless and unable to make even the smallest decisions.

 

The ‘not enough mantra’ is well rehearsed in my mind.

 

Not young enough

Not good enough

Not rich enough

Not thin enough

 

ENOUGH already!

 

But I have never given up (I have surrendered and let go) but I’ve always sought a solution. I’ve always known deep down that there is more to this short time I have on planet earth.

 

Change for me has always come from being open, honest and truthful.

 

My wish and desire are to get under the layers of menopause and mid-life baggage.

 

Yes, I can and want to help women feel better about themselves and live an amazing life.

 

But that doesn’t just come from a few lifestyle changes (don’t get me wrong these really help and are part of the bigger picture)

 

I want to help women wake up and realise their potential, to refocus their life, to fall in LOVE with life again.

 

To love themselves (cliché I know). To shine in the world.

 

BUT I realise not every woman is ready for that. Not yet, not ever…and that’s ok.

 

Our mindset, thoughts and overthinking stand in our way. For a long-lasting change we need to work on what goes on between our ears. Get a little PMA (positive mental attitude) and acceptance around this stage in life.

 

Begin by questioning your beliefs and thoughts. Those familiar scripts that we play automatically.

 

Do you know what you want?

 

We can all list what we don’t want. But what do you WANT, DESIRE and WISH for?

 

Start to ask yourself those questions and watch the magic happen.

 

Big Love

 

T xx

 

If you want more help answering these questions and more click the link below

https://tanithleeschedule.as.me/letschat

 

My second Menopause

I know, I know….one menopause is enough right?

The last six months have been a massive struggle for me. It felt like my world came crashing down.

Depression

Anxiety

Zero energy

Apathetic

Sluggish and lethargic

On some days it was a struggle to get out of bed.

I’d given up…..I quit! Life seemed bleak. I felt so lonely.

I had brief glimpses of feeling better only to feel a day later like I was being sucked into a black hole.

I didn’t want to speak to anyone, see my friends or connect with the others.

Gah!

But this felt familiar…..I knew these signs……I had felt like this and worse 8 years ago when I was going through an early menopause.

I knew my hormones were talking to me!

I also had other ‘stuff’ going on like my ongoing gut issues. I know my gut is fundamental to my overall wellbeing. I knew what I should be doing and what I would recommend to a client with the same gut stuff.

But I the thought of planning and cooking meals was so overwhelming that I didn’t do it. It almost sounds ridiculous to write. Every decision felt too much. I was full of self-doubt and had lost any connection with myself and my intuition.

I was so exhausted that I couldn’t exercise apart from walk the dog. And exercise always makes me feel better. I felt hopeless and lost.

I was a walking bag of excuses…..I felt like I had failed. My inner dialogue as awful. Those mind monkeys weren’t just chattering they were screaming! I felt like I was losing my mind.

In the midst of all this, my fried brain reminded me that I had stopped using HRT nine months earlier.

Oh…….

I thought that being eight years post menopause at the age of 46 I didn’t need hormonal support. I felt a failure somehow…I was Mrs Menopause, a menopause expert, and nutritional therapist and I should be able to do this naturally. What a load of BS my ego was telling me. I am a human being doing the best I can.

My body was telling me loud and clear it needed help. So after a few more weeks wrestling with making a decision, I decided to see my GP.

I saw a new female GP (Dr. Burns) who was amazing. I felt listened to 🙂 We talked about my options and some new types of HRT to try. When I left the surgery I felt like a huge weight had been lifted.

Ah…..

I have been back on HRT since 12th July 2018 (now 6 weeks) and I’m feeling so much better.

I’m on an estrogen gel and oral progesterone at night ( I also have a secret stash of testosterone which I use occasionally). The GP suggested a Mirena coil but it didn’t feel right for me.

HRT is not a magic wand (but it feels like I’ve been sprinkled with fairy dust ;-)) but I feel it’s giving me hormonal support and a window to be able to look after other areas of my health.

This week I did a home yoga work out which my body thanked me for.✔️

I also planned my meals for the week, made a shopping list and went shopping.✔️

I have told the family they are cooking their own evening meals if they don’t want to eat what I’m eating.✔️

I have restarted my morning routine which always helps set the day off to a good start.✔️

I have moved into my new office (finally my own space to retreat into)✔️

And I have had a fluttering of creativity returning (hence why I writing this post)✔️

 

It feels good to be back 🙂  The rest of this year is focused on me and my health. I’ll be sharing my journey, the ups, and downs with my community as I know this helps others.

I know how great I can feel when I am in good health and I want that feeling back.

So my sister, don’t you give up! If you are in a hole there is a way out. It may not be HRT but there are other ways to support your body.

I beg you to put yourself at the top of the list. Your health and well-being are so important. Make a small change today that will benefit your wellbeing. Midlife, menopause or wherever you are is a time to take stock and reconnect to yourself on every level.

Health isn’t just about eating healthier and move more (for sure that plays apart). Your soul and spirit also need love and attention. Our emotions, feelings and our mental wellbeing are all part of the same conversation.

If you need help or someone to listen to you (really listening is what I’m good at) then feel free to jump on a free call with me. My invitation is without obligation, it’s not a ‘sales call’. It’s one woman listening to another and giving some advice if it’s asked for. Speaking and connecting with other woman fills my soul and it’s a gift that I love.

You can book that call here 

Big Love Txx

 

‘My Menopause’ – interview series with Katie Phillips

I was invited by my friend Katie Phillips from www.theschoolofself.love to join her in her ‘My Menopause’ interview series. You can watch my video below 🙂

In Katies own words…….

“I just LOVE how the Universe guides me.

Who knew that I would be called to host an expert interview series on Menopause! And it has blown me away how many experts want to be involved in this project. This information is SO NEEDED!

It’s time to bring menopause into mainstream conversation!

It’s time to acknowledge this life transition and get prepared for it to be an empowering, enriching and life enhancing rite of passage – because it CAN be and having spoken to many experts now, I believe it’s meant to be.

So, if you are determined to transform any conditioning that tells you your menopause means you are over the hill, un-sexy, at the end of your life and that you will suffer terribly…..I invite you to get informed and discover how you can make your experience of menopause (because you WILL go through it) the best it can be for you.

I am a 43 year old woman in Peri-Menopause and I am creating this interview series so that I may learn how to prepare for and positively experience the next few years. I am committed to making this a graceful and life affirming experience that will help me to more deeply know and love myself. ”

Will you join me?

You can get access to the interviews here: https://theschoolofself.love/my-menopause

A case study: Menopause, hormones and gut health

I have a new client, she is 46, had a premature menopause age 37 and she is struggling with low mood, low energy and feels she has lost her ‘oomph’ for live.

When her POI (premature Ovarian Insufficiency) was confirmed she went onto HRT which really helped for a while. She spent a few years finding the right HRT type and dose. Last year (October 2017) age 45 she decided to stop the HRT and see how her body reacted. At first she felt ok but over the last few months her energy has dropped and poor mental health symptoms have returned.

Is there link to gut health, menopause and hormonal imbalance?

At the same time she is dealing with long term pain and feels like she regularly has sore muscles and tendons.  On top of this she has had ongoing ‘gut issues’. About five years ago she had acute stomach pains and bloating and no one could give her a definitive answer what was going on. She has had digestive issues ever since. The pain has lessened but she gets extreme bloating and discomfort. This means she has to wear lycra most of the time to accommodate her expanding waistline. This and weight gain has had a negative impact on her self image and confidence.

Even though this client is feeling really crap (technical term!) she is resisting going back on HRT. She feels this may mask her gut problems and she wants to heal her gut so she has a better understanding of how her gut health is affecting her mental health. She has seen a herbalist who has given her a blend of herbs to help support her while she heals her gut.

I recommend that the client has a stool test ( I recommended the GI MAP + zonulin)

The results have shown she has:

C.difficile a bacterial pathogen
Giardia a parasitic pathogen
Low Escherichia spp. (species of gut bacteria)
High Firmicutes & Bacteroidetes (Phyla Microbiota)
Worms were detected (Trichuris trichiura)

Her secretory IgA is low which could indicate it’s struggling to cope.
Zonulin is high which indicates she has leaky gut

She has 6 strains of Antibiotic resistance genes.

What does that all mean? It means she has a lot going on in her gut and it’s no wonder she feels she is struggling along.

What is the answer? This client has had to invest in a big stack of supplements to help her gut to heal. This is not (and cannot be) fixed by taking some Anti-Biotics from the doctor.

It’s not going to be a ‘quick fix’, her gut has been out of balance for a long time and it will take a while to heal.

This client is me 🙂 I am my own client. I’m being looked after by my friend and functional medicine doctor Shania Lee (no relative ;-))

I’m going to share more about my journey back to health as we go along and as i learn more.

 

T x

BBC5 Live Menopause show

Last week I was invited to go to the BBC5 Live studio in Manchester to join a discussion about menopause.

Yesterday I jumped on a train excited to be given another opportunity to share my message about menopause and the positive and negative impact it can have on a women.

Meg Matthews (Meg’s Menopause) was the guest editor and the show was brilliantly hosted by the lovely  Nihal Arthanayake (who is now very educated about the menopause ;-))

The First hour was a discussion with Dr Louise Newson and Diane Danzebrink (http://menopausesupport.co.uk) with Professor Helen Stokes – Lampard, (pictured left) Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The second hour was with Dr Newman, Meg, myself, Bridget (WI), Jayne Harrison (Menopause cafe) and Ola Fagbohun (menopause cafe). This was a more relaxed, on the sofa, setting where we discussed the menopause and how it affects women. We heard some sad (yet typical) stories about how women are suffering. One women told us how she had been suffering for 20 years, this was heart breaking and unnecessary). A few men contacted the show to say thank you for discussing it on the radio as they didn’t know how to help their wives.

I had so much more I wanted to say on the show!  Dr Newman and Meg are very pro HRT but they were fairly dismissive of supplements and alternative therapies. I am also pro HRT as it saved my life but not all women can or want to use it. I felt it a little biased but then maybe i was just a bit sensitive to womans needs.

There wasn’t much discussion about nutrition and lifestyle changes to support women going through the transition.

I’m so pleased that the BBC are airing this topic so openly as the more we talk the more women will feel they can get help.

 

You can listen again on catch up here (expires 22nd May 2018) https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b01drn