Why am I telling you this??? Because I am 51 and that is the average age women in the UK hit menopause (actually ages 38 – 56 are not uncommon).  I wish 10 years ago I knew what I know now.

Sooooooo how did my younger self envisage the menopause … well TBF I really didn’t give it much thought. For someone who’s been in health and fitness for a majority of my adult life it’s remarkable how out of tune with my body I’ve really been. I truly thought I’d get to about 50 the periods would fizzle out .. and I might find it harder to maintain my weight, have the odd hot flush for a year or so and then would have gone through ‘the change’!!!!!!!

I started taking the contraceptive pill when I was 17 years old … and kept going … and going … and going .. until I was persuaded to switch to a safer pill in my early 40’s that also would mean no monthly period.

When I switched it was a physically unpleasant 3 months … I was persuaded to stick with it and sure enough all good and no problems at all for another 3-4 years period free …..

I took a holiday and for reasons too long to go into didn’t take my pill … and then thought … mmmm well I’ll stay off it and see what happens??? And what did happen …. nothing …. no period … nada … zip … ‘Oh my god’ I thought ‘could I be pregnant’? I took a test … phew not pregnant … chat with doctor … thought process “the pill will take a while to work out of your system” (gp’s words not mine).  

Long story short still no period .. I started doing a lot of reading (no menopause systems at this point apart from being a bit more cross at the news and thoughtless drivers and the odd weep over a tv program when I didn’t even feel sad).

So after a year of no period and now some signs starting to show … fatigue … more cross .. more weepy … I went back to the same doc stating the obvious and asked the question about HRT???? Her response … you’re too young … your symptoms are mild  … and with lots of risk factors related to HRT (most of which I refute now but that debate is for another day) I should exercise (er yep I was doing 27 classes a week at this point) and eat well (again a given for me) and try some supplements.

Over the next few years my symptoms did get worse .. poor sleep … brain fog … sweaaaaaaaatyyyyyyyy at night … mooooore cross ….. mooooore tired, I went all out … more supplements, very little booze, no refined sugar, no caffeine, early nights, only ever eating complex carbs, switched up my working schedule and BINGO nailed it.  Manageable for another 2 years and then wham … Just when I thought I’d got as good a life balance as one could have a tidal wave of symptoms hit me (this coincided with covid … I’m not sure if there was a co-relation).  

Drenched at night … literally would soak clothes and sheets, weight up and down, no sleep, extreme fatigue … some days after filming and teaching the fatigue would wipe me out for a whole day.

This came to a head while I was in Lanzarote winter 2020.  After doing more reading and more research, at this point my choice, my decision my conclusion was that HRT would possibly be an option.  

I visited a different GP in a different practice … explained my situation and her conclusion was exactly the same as mine … HRT it was.

The first couple of months were physically unpleasant (sound familiar) however 3 months in I started to feel good and 6 months down the line …. Nailed it. 

Here’s my caveat … I’m an all or nothing person so I have learned to pull back a tiny bit work wise, still can’t do caffeine, refined sugar is a no no … I still pay for days if I have alcohol … but it doesn’t stop me having the odd ‘blow out’ from time to time.

I have learned so much over the last 10 years … not only this I’m in the middle of my “menopause specific training & nutrition courses” and I can’t wait to share all the information and knowledge I’ve gleaned with you in the hope that you’ll be armed with all the knowledge I didn’t have all those years ago, which in turn will hopefully help you with some of the questions you may have right now or in the future.

Please don’t think I’m anti or pro HRT … there are 34 official menopause symptoms and what works for one gal certainly won’t work for the next. 

I feel great now (long may this continue) … If you’re interested in learning how you can manage your symptoms through nutrition & exercise or would like to just share or hear the experience of like minded women then please feel free to join my closed Facebook Group. Here is the Link:- https://www.facebook.com/groups/4171772932925210/ …. I would love to have you join me.

Jayne 💚💚💚