A friend, let’s call her Toni, was telling me about somebody she knew who had been trying for years to shape-up and lose weight and then, after years of talking about it, she finally succeeded. Apparently this woman always looked lovely but she said that she’d put on a lot of weight going through the menopause and wanted to drop the excess pounds that she felt were making her feel sluggish and not as energetic as she wanted to be. Looking at her now super slim friend in awe, Toni asked her, “How did you do it?” Then, sat back, excitedly waiting for the secret to slimness to be spilt…”I ate less than I normally do and I started going to the gym 3 times a week,” replied Toni’s friend. “Yeah…and what else?” Toni asked. Well, there wasn’t anything else. The End…
Before I hit my late forties, I hadn’t really given the menopause a second thought. Well, why should I have? Like most of us, I’d been dealing with fluctuating hormones throughout my life – mostly making their mark during adolescence and pregnancy – spots, weight-gain, crazy PMT and haywire hair. That was just a few of the symptoms – annoying – yes – but dealable? I’d say so. Hormonal hiccups in my health – physical and mental. But not major problems, so I wasn’t expecting anything untoward from the menopause. Haha – cue bellowing laugh from Mother Nature who cruelly raised an eyebrow and said, “Hormonal hiccup? Ok, Little Miss Sunshine, let’s see how you fare with a hormonal hurricane!”
And that’s when I realised that the menopause was something bigger than I’d ever had to deal with when it came to how I felt – and to some extent – how I looked. I had to stop sticking my fingers in my ears, shaking my head shouting blah blah blah at symptoms that were coming thick and fast and finally own up to it. Things were about to change and I was going to have to face it. Seeing that I’m a lover not a fighter, I didn’t want to get involved in any violence with Mother Nature (or Mother F**k*r as I felt she really should be termed) even though she was behaving quite deplorable. Instead, I set about calming things down. Here’s what I discovered…
We are all in the is together. So, don’t be fooled – nobody is immune to the ravages of the menopause – even if you’re lucky enough to have mild symptoms, there WILL be some symptoms. So, when you’re among a group of friends who are discussing their experiences with the big M, please don’t be the kind of woman who smiles and says, “I hardly noticed it. It was just how I found giving birth really – quite simple if you took a few deep breaths every now and then and chanted OMM NOMM MAAAA a few times.” NO! Have a little sympathy for those beetroot faced women around you who are dripping buckets and stripping off mid-winter and panting ‘ooh, mild for this time of year isn’t it’ . Discuss, offer suggestions, sympathise and share. We can help each other more than you know!
You are not going mad – even though it feels like it. Have you ever looked up the symptoms of menopause. It’s long. And I didn’t realise until I started becoming embarrassingly forgetful and anxious, that menopause affects your mental and emotional wellbeing as well as your physical wellbeing. Don’t be ashamed or worried about going to your doctor if you feel that things are a bit out of synch – even if you can’t quite put your finger on what it is that feels out of kilter. Just having an understanding ear to listen to you can make you feel better. And if your doctor isn’t very clued up on the menopause, start searching the internet and book shelves at the library or on Amazon – there is a lot of help out there. I will list some great reads at the end of this post that are a great source of advice and menopause knowledge. Also, don’t be fobbed off with a GP that isn’t really interested and insists you’re just ‘a bit depressed’ if you don’t think that’s it. Get some blood tests done and see where you’re at with those levels and push for the help you need – you are not a nuisance you are deserving of help if you need it.
Your body shape may suddenly change. I noticed that even though I have a wide trunk (and tree trunk legs too – I am a tree!) No, seriously, even though my legs could hardly be called thin – my shape seems to have changed and my legs are actually looking slimmer than they did (it’s a bit of a lucky illusion) as most of my fat has collected around the middle. Even though I’ve never had much of a waist, a decline in oestrogen has just helped to add more bulges to my barrel as it causes cells in the stomach area to hang on to fat. Cruelly, it also reduces the body’s ability to burn fat and it is said that most women can expect to gain between 5 to 10 pounds during menopause. Fun. So, prepare for those body changes!
You can still feel good about yourself! I know the above may make if seem as if it’s all doom and gloom once you hit hormone hell but it really isn’t – well, it doesn’t have to be. You see, once you make a concerted effort to try and deal with how you are looking and feeling, you will start to feel better just by making inroads into looking after yourself. There are a lot of women out there of 40, 50 and beyond who are regulars at the gym and will pooh pooh the idea that menopause means weight gain – and I bow down to their determination, I really do. If hitting the gym a zillion times a week works for you and your body and wellbeing then go for it! It’s great and a real inspiration (I’m looking at you, fabulous Tracey at FaceUpBeauty) If you’re on Instagram, please head over to @FaceUpFitness and check out Tracey’s amazing workouts. I don’t choose to go mad at the gym but I really do know that keeping on top of my wellbeing, is more essential than ever. So do what I try to do and incorporate exercise into your life – whether walking, running, swimming, joining the gym or dancing. Do whatever activity you love as often as you can and it will help boost your mood, clear your mind and it’ll also go a long way to preventing brittle bones and osteoporosis – which menopause makes us more prone to. And if you find you love working out, who knows, you could get into better shape than you’ve ever been – it isn’t impossible. Have you seen the amount of strong, flexible over 50 bodies there are over on Instagram. Wow. Don’t let those images make you feel bad about yourself – you don’t have to look like that or want to look like that, but getting older is never an excuse to let yourself go. Just go for moderation in all things as much as you can 🙂
Talking of an expanding waist line, we’ve all heard the term ‘wine belt’ – that roll of fat around the middle that might just be caused by what you’ve been drinking as well as eating, If you’re a pint of Pinot girl (and I can’t lie, I’m with you on that one) then you might want to listen to some great advice from fellow ‘menopause and mid-life doesn’t have to suck’ supporter, Dr Louise Wiseman. Louise and I often banter back and forth on social media, offering our thoughts and advice about what can make us feel and look great as we age and I have been watching her progress as she vociferously researches some amazing health, beauty and wellbeing information for her upcoming book – so excited to read it! Louise believes if we really want to see improvements in the size of our stomachs, then we really need to think about cutting out – or drastically cutting down – on our alcohol intake (stop crying and grow up!). She says,
“Although alcohol speeds up metabolism of some enzymes in the liver, it can generally downgrade the metabolism in the days that follow a drinking session, so it is no good for weight loss and your general feeling of wellbeing.”
Louise also believes that apart from greatly contributing to weight gain, alcohol can increase many menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and anxiety as a result of vitamin and mineral deficiency that can arise indirectly from excess alcohol intake, and from its detrimental effect on sleep patterns and temperature regulation, recommending we cut out alcohol for 3-4 days a week to start seeing overall body and wellbeing improvements. Follow Louise on Instagram at @drlouisewrites and Twitter @drlouisewriting for amazing tips and informative health/beauty advice.
It’s a natural beginning in your life. Just as one part of your life might be coming to end with menopause – the childbirth years are over – now can be liberating and it is a brilliant time to start thinking of the future and what you want to do with all the vital years still ahead of you! Foggy brain, wobbly belly and hot flushes, mood swings etc…can be really scary when you’re not sure what exactly is happening with your body. But once you get informed, start researching ways you can help yourself – and there really are loads – then it can be exciting. I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be middle aged and even though I wouldn’t say no to wrinkle free skin and a firm, taut bum and thighs, I’m looking forward to the next 50 years!
As promised, click on the links below for information on menopause health, beauty and emotional and physical wellbeing. And let me know if there’s any brilliant tips you’ve come across too!
- Julie Dennis – The Menopause Coach
- Hot Flush – Love this fab blog!
- The Good Menopause Guide by Liz Earle – great insightful guide to keeping us naturally healthy
- My Menopause Doctor
- Meg’s Menopause – Meg Matthew’s fabulously frank account of her own menopause experience and lots of interesting features and research.
It’s Friiiiidaaaaaaay! And I am really looking forward to a weekend with not much in the way of plans. There will be sunshine, there will be fizzy and there will be playing around and finding out all about my new, latest love – VLOGGING! But more on that soon. Right now, I just want to reiterate my love for the Laura Geller Nude Kisses Lip Gloss and give you a more detailed review than that which I put on my vlog on Monday 🙂 You can read about it and watch the vlog HERE
So, why do I love these glosses so much? Well, as a woman who likes a no-fuss, natural look most of the time and one that won’t exaggerate lip wrinkles if possible, I LOVE a nude lip. It seems to work for me and I reckon it will for most over 40s. But, if you love to rock a red lip or something a little more vibrant, that’s great too and I admire a strong lip look, but it’s not something that, for me, is so easy to achieve.
I was over excited when I got the press release about these lip glosses – there were 16 – hear me people – SIXTEEN! – nude shades in the range. Now, some people might say, ‘well, why would you want 16 shades which are all very similar? ‘ Let me tell those people, you haven’t looked in my makeup bag and seen 100 shades of various textured lip products, that are all very similar but are NOT quite the same. So there! I’m a nudist – and I’m proud! Take that which way you want to (but being a nudist does actually only refer to my passion for lipstick hues – I don’t have a passion for flinging off my kit and flapping free in the wind!)
So, getting back to the Laura Geller glosses – they are ultra-creamy and comforting on the lips, the sponge tip has a little dent in it which fits on the curve of the lip and makes applying even easier – result! I mean, slicking on a nude gloss is easy for everyone – and it just got quicker and easier – what’s not to love?
The glosses are moisturising too – great for my lips that are definitely dryer in the summer rather than winter funnily enough – and the coverage is sheer to medium with a non-sticky shine. Perfect!
Another thing I think is amazing about the size of the range is that you will definitely find a shade to suit your skin tone and what I am wearing now with a tan, will no doubt change in the colder months when my skin is much paler.
And don’t forget those soft peachy, pinky tones really do give you a plumped up, fuller looking lip – truly like yours but better – a phrase the beauty world likes to tag on to every makeup product that comes onto the market. Take note brands – we’ve heard it all before – but, then again, is there a cleverer way to describe a product that makes you look like you, but a new improved version? Maybe not! So let’s go with it.
Let’s hear it for the nudists! Do you love a barely there lipstick? What’s your favourite shade?
I was having a little Monday morning chat with my friend Dorota from Hypoxi – you know I love it there – click HERE to find out why. And she said, ‘you’re so easy to talk to, why don’t you do YouTube.’ YouTube?! (insert horror face emoji here) me? 50 year old non-stop natterer who forgets what she was talking about mid-sentence (thanks menopause) and whose train of thought is as messy and disorganised as my kitchen cupboards (Stressed Husband will vouch for that as he’s always getting bonked on the head by a random falling can of beans or loaf of bread whenever he ventures near.) So, basically, with my level of forgetfulness and scatty-ness, I laughed at Dorota’s suggestion. Obviously…
Then I went and did it! I just made a really badly lit, badly scripted (there was no script) video all about my favourite beauty bits that I’m using at the moment. Basically, I came back from the dog walk and plonked my camera up on a shoebox at the dining room table aka my office and chatted a bit about why I love the products I’m using at the moment. So, what I’m trying to say is – I felt the fear and did it anyway!
Before I get trolled or laughed off the blogosphere and YouTube-sphere (eh?) please cut me some slack – I thought the best way to start even thinking about doing videos and making them look all sleek and professional is just to jump in and lose my vlog-ginity – so I did. Remember, be kind!
The products that I spoke about in this vid really are fabulous, so do check them out and click on the names below to see where you can find out more and purchase them.
Also, don’t be alarmed – if I decide to carry on vlogging I promise I will make it more pro-looking and I will comb my hair. Oh, and please subscribe to my YouTube Channel (never thought I’d hear me saying that!)
Just after my 50th birthday when I wondered what on earth was going on with me – my body seemed to be falling apart quicker than a Primark bikini and my brain forecast was foggy with more than a sprinkling of high level anxiety and forgetfulness – I decided to look at a menopause symptom checker. It didn’t make for particularly jolly reading, but it did set my mind at rest that what I was feeling was perfectly normal for a woman at my ‘time of life.’
As I went down ticking off almost every one of the symptoms on the menopause symptoms list, I vowed to take myself in hand and deal with the most debilitating of them. Hitting the HRT was the first step and within a couple of months the fog cleared, the energy soared and I began to feel a lot more like Lisa pre 45 years old – and it was great. With HRT I felt like I’d dealt with the major menopause symptoms that were bothering me in one fell swoop, but there were still the niggling aches and pains that hindered my workout attempts, making my walk-runs and zumba classes a little less joyful than they had been a few years back. So, I was delighted when I was contacted by one of the UK’s leading health and wellbeing brands, Neo-G, who asked whether I’d be interested in trialling their newly launched liquid vitamin supplement, Daily Defence. ‘Yes, yes I am’, I replied…
I went for the Daily Defence Joint Health with Extra Calcium which is specifically designed for 50 plus and was the ideal choice for me, but before embarking on my three month trial, I wanted to find out a bit more about the company. I was impressed with the calibre of their products – Neo-G designs and develops medical grade orthopaedic and sports supports which are supplied to medical professionals, therapists and various sport markets across the world, so their move into liquid nutrition to support healthy bodies and bones makes perfect sense. I was sold!So, how did it taste? Not gonna lie (as the young ‘uns say) it took some getting used to. A daily 20ml serving was recommended and on first swig it was just about palatable – it tasted a bit like thick toffee with a lemony/metal after taste. However, bear with me…once I took in the suggestion of drinking it ice-cold and diluted with fruit in a smoothie kind of way, things were a lot better – enjoyable even! I would spoon my serving into a glass with crushed ice and mixed berries and it was lovely and refreshing. Not only was I getting in a couple of my 5 a day, I was also boosting my joint and bone health with a whole heap of vitamin and mineral goodness.
Glucosamine Sulphate, Chondroitin Sulphate and Hyaluronic Acid.
So, how has it worked for me? Well, 2 months in and I’m getting less aches and pains than normal – this could be a combination of the supplement and the HRT plus the fact that I’m doing daily stretching exercises that I think are so important – especially when, like me, you’re as flexible as a plank of wood! But I am definitely going to carry on taking my special ‘joint and bone cocktail’ every morning as I’ve always believed in the power of a good nutritional supplement to complement a healthy diet and I feel that Neo G is a particularly well developed addition to my daily health and wellbeing. Plus if it can keep me on the dance floor for the next 50 years – which is what I’m intending – then that’s a definite bonus!
You can find Neo G Daily Defence Joint Health at Boots HERE and it’s £18.49 for 24 servings. Find out more about Neo-G and their health and wellbeing products, HERE.
*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used.
When I was thinking about what to write for Valentine’s Day, it wasn’t the couple-y, hearts and flowers relationship stuff I wanted to focus on – even though that’s lovely and I hope you’re getting plenty of loving today and everyday! I wanted to think about loving ourselves because I think my post about my second honeymoon (read it again, here) was as much lovey doveyness I could muster up for one month. So, when this fabulous little offer dropped into my inbox, I wanted to share it with you and share the joy of giving yourself a daily skin treat because Lumity Facial Oil is one of my favourite products ever!
I mentioned how Lumity Facial Oil was a major player in my skin support armoury when I was in South Africa on Instagram – and you can read about my holiday favourites by clicking here Of course, if you want to follow me on instagram too, I would be delighted…listen, share the love, it’s Valentine’s Day, after all! 😉
As you can see from the pic below, my facial oil is almost empty as it’s so well loved. It’s actually my second bottle- my first was gifted by the lovely glow-getters at Lumity but this one was purchased by me, as is my monthly prescription to Lumity Life Daily Supplements which I’ve been using and loving for years now. In fact I’ve got so many friends hooked on these health and mood boosting supplements that I’m feeling a bit like a dealer! Just the other day on my dog walk, a friend (nearing her fabulous fifties) stopped me to tell me that she was so pleased she’d purchased the supplements as she’s sleeping better and is much less moody. Ha! I love it when a plan comes together – just spreading the feel-good love makes me happy! 🙂
Back to the facial oil – it’s packed full of antioxidant rich plant oils such as Marula Oil which contains vitamins C and E, speeds healing and improves strength, suppleness and firmness. And I think Kukui Seed Oil is worth a mention too, as it’s a Hawaiian beauty secret prized for its skin-soothing properties which helps leave even the driest, troubled skin look radiant. But as well as these complexion wonder ingredients, I love it because it’s perfect for all skin types, smells delicious and feels super nourishing without being heavy. And I have to say, I use it everywhere! Neck, chest, hands and when I’m in a rush, after applying to the face, I often run the remnants through the ends of my hair to smooth down frizzies.
So, the special Valentine’s treat for my much loved readers is that from today until Sunday 18th, Lumity are are offering you 50% off your first delivery of Lumity Facial Oil when you start their subscription option. So it’s just £24 for your first bottle and then £48 per bottle – with complimentary shipping – for each order after that. (You can opt to receive your delivery every 4, 6 or 8 weeks).
Just use the following discount code: LOVE when you check out to benefit from this special offer! Click here for more information.
Let me know if you try it and what you think. This could be one Valentine’s love that your skin will never forget!
*Post contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.
I first got my mitts on this pretty pinky-gold round pot of skin goodness just before I went off to South Africa at the beginning of January. I was kindly sent it from the brand Caudalie, who were also generous enough to pop in a tube of sun protection for my trip to sunnier climes (oh, how I miss thee sunshine). At first, I wondered whether I should wait to try it when I returned home, after all, my skin was about to be sabotaged by sun, sea and excessive alcohol and carb consumption. Surely, I thought, any products were not going to shine when up against that gamut of complexion wreckers? Well. I thought wrong. So very, very wrong!
Well, the party is finally over for 2017 and it’s time to get into the groove of 2018 – a fresh, new and shiny year! I’ve never been one for setting New Year resolutions as I feel they put too much pressure on yourself to be unrealistically perfect and then make you feel crappy when you (invariably) break them. And all that dry January malarkey – why on earth would anybody do that to themselves in the coldest, gloomiest, most depressing month of the year? Surely a tipple or two is medicinal for us SAD sufferers – in moderation, of course. However, I do like to have a sort of fluid – very fluid – plan of action at the beginning of the year to ease me along the path to health and happiness. Here are my Top 3 Health Goals for 2018…
Batting my half century out of the park in August with a fabulous party/vow renewal and celebrations which seem to have happily gone on and on and on….my attention has definitely been diverted from ‘How do I look?’ to ‘How do I feel?’ It seems I’m not the only one. Scouring the blogosphere which is exploding with exciting and vital over 50 bloggers and reading features in magazines/newspapers and watching the gorgeous Angela Rippon in How to Stay Young, it’s clear to see that there’s a much needed revolution of us ‘oldies’ in society – in real life and in the media and on our screens. The Grey Army (or Rainbow Warriors I like to think because we are NOT fading into the background) are a force to be reckoned with and according to recent research from Superdrug, 7 in 10 women say they feel more confident now than they did in their twenties, proving that confidence comes with age and attitudes to ageing are-a-changing.
There’s definitely a time and place for long, relaxing treatments that encompass beauty and wellbeing, or for those slightly invasive techniques that delve a bit deeper into your skin concerns and may leave you with a day or two of downtime. And that’s all well and good, but with Christmas around the corner and not enough hours in the day, I want no-fuss, get-me-looking-good-right-now kind of help.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a summertime girl – flip flops, cocktails and beaches are up there on my list of favourite things and sunshine is always guaranteed to lift my mood. But when winter comes around, it can be a different story. As much as I enjoy parts of it, such as sparkly fairy lights, mulled wine and comfort foods, I really have to be ready for the bleaker days ahead, so I need to pull out the happy-makers to blast away the dark day doldrums!
Do you ever feel you just need a place to get away and restore the brain batteries? A place where you can grab a bit of peace and quiet, where you won’t being disrupted every 5 minutes by a slobbering labrador wanting food/walks or a teen that’s lost her college pass, homework, purse, mobile….? I do! Being freelance definitely has its advantages but there are a few downsides, so finding a hub of tranquility among busy London life is ideal…Well, I found it and it’s called Gazelli House!
That Indian Summer kept dipping its head in and out of the first days of autumn, didn’t it? Last week I did the dog walk in waterproof boots because it was muddy at the park, changed into flip flops for a meeting (gold, special ones ;-)) because the sun was out and because I’d just painted my toenails a lovely red/orange and then left the meeting a few hours later, squelching through puddles with a scarf wrapped around my head to shield off the wind and rain! Wow, do excuse me for that terribly British weather update but here’s what I’m getting at…
Who else tries to limit themselves to 10 minutes max on the Daily Mail Online? And who else fails miserably, winding up goggly eyed, scrolling through stories about which Z-list celebs have just secured a £10,000,000,000,000 contract to be the Face of Flatulence or whatever new perfume/makeup/clothing line is hoping to be the next Kardashian inspired money making hit? I really hope I’m not alone here! Now, apart from the reality TV tripe, there is often a story or two that catches my eye, like the recent one by extremely talented novelist, Raffaella Barker, where she writes about feeling invisible at times and imparts the ways she has helped overcome that. So, my question to you is: Do you ever feel invisible?
A few months ago, I was walking down Chiswick High Road feeling a bit fed up with myself. My workload was pretty heavy and I hadn’t made time to get to any exercise classes. Lack of workouts tend to send me into a downward spiral when it comes to my mood and what I eat. In fact, my diet has been pure pants…No, no, no…I haven’t been surviving on a strict diet of Y-fronts and boxers but ‘pants’ as in ‘rubbish’ i.e., pizza, crisps, chocolate, bread, and more chocolate. Really, there has been no holds barred when it comes to carbs and sugar.
2017 is not a bad time in which to be almost 50 or, in fact 60, 70 and beyond. Not only do we have amazing role models in the public eye like Susan Sarandon and Dame Helen Mirren who give the youngsters a run for their money on the red carpet – even overshadowing them sometimes – with their sheer sass and chutzpah. But the over 40s blogging scene is exploding with fabulous women celebrating their age and giving a two finger salute to anyone who dares tell them they ‘shouldn’t be doing this’…or ‘wearing that’ at ‘your age’….O.M.G. The very thought…excuse me while I take a moment!
Last October I visited one of my favourite non-surgical clinics, S-Thetics in Beaconsfield, to try out the new fat-zapping, body-sculpting technology, SculpSure by Cynosure. So, before you read on, you can catch up on the excitement and my experience here
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and a relaxing looooooooong weekend! I know I did. So busy
drinking cocktails relaxing was I that I barely bothered to check my Twitter and Instagram accounts and even Facebook only got a cursory daily scroll through. Putting FOMO (that’s Fear Of Missing Out, mother) aside, I found that I really liked my mini digital detox and have vowed to do it more often.
At the beginning of February I was invited in to see the lovely team at Bodyvie Medi-clinic in Richmond to talk about their latest treatment – the Bios Square Epil Laser which, I’m told, is the fastest permanent hair removal laser in the world and up to 3 times faster than standard hair removal lasers. I’d been in a slight panic about my woolly mammoth legs for some time – but seeing as the weather hasn’t exactly been leg-baring, I’d felt safe enough. However, the odd flash of furry ankles during fitness classes recently had me deciding I can’t hold off anymore – so, I began to think, ‘why not be fuzz-free forever?’