Posts

menopause mindset mastery

Menopause Mindset Mastery- 3 positive changes

Menopause Mindset Mastery – 3 positive changes

Menopause Mindset Mastery is incredibly helpful as you approach menopause and for many different reasons.

During my weekly shopping trip to the supermarket the other day, I overheard a conversation between two middle aged women that went like this: – “well I may as well eat whatever I want, I’m in menopause so it’s all downhill from here”.  To which the friend replied “oh yes, totally agree, I’ve gained so much weight, must be the hormones”.  Oh dear, a true example of a very negative menopause mindset!

Choices

I couldn’t help but take a little sneak peak into their shopping trolleys. No surprise there; crisps, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, boxed cereals, processed food, a few bottles of wine, and a lonely looking piece of broccoli.

Positive Mindset

 

menopause mindset mastery

Later in the day I had a Skype session with one of the Flourish Beyond 40 Programme participants who happily told me that she had dropped one dress size and never felt hungry!  She was happy, exuberant, and excited about life.  A great example of menopause mindset mastery.

I’m not saying that you won’t gain weight during menopause, or that your body won’t be extra efficient at converting excess calories into fat.  Unfortunately most of it landing it straight onto your tummy, otherwise knows as the  “menopot”.

We all know that menopause can be an extremely challenging time for many women, and not so challenging for others.  What is evident that a positive menopause mindset will likely improve your overall health and wellbeing in a big way.

menopause mindset mastery

When your  menopause mindset is focused in the right direction, you are far more likely to get the results you want.  As a result, you are more inclined to make healthier lifestyle choices to navigate this phase with more ease and comfort.

Are you a pessimist or an optimist?

Take a moment and think about these questions: are you an optimist or a pessimist?  Do you always find the negative in situations and people rather than the positive?

Are you focusing your attention on everything you don’t want rather than what you do?  Instead of thinking:

  • I don’t want to be fat and frumpy after menopause

Why not choose to think:

  • I choose to be fit, healthy, happy and well in menopause and beyond

Age is Lifestyle Not a Number

I get it ladies, I really do.  I too am travelling the menopause journey with you.  However, I know that the right  mindset works.

3 Steps to Menopause Mindset Mastery

menopause mindset mastery

How you too can develop a Menopause Mindset Mastery

  1. First of all, start to be aware of the stories you are telling yourself.  What are you choosing to believe about the menopause?  Beliefs such as “it’s all downhill from here”, “there is nothing to look forward to now”, “my partner will no longer find me attractive”, are all incredibly emotionally damaging.

How many times do you hear yourself speaking unkindly to yourself when you look in the mirror?  Would you talk to your best friend that way?  It may be time for you to show as much compassion to yourself as you do for others.

Life Expectancy

Do you know that the average life expectancy for a woman now is 86!  So ladies, how are you going to choose to live the rest of your life? If you are 50 now, then that’s more than 30 years.  What does your mindset say now?

No you don’t have to dress frumpily

No you don’t have to wear your hair short

No you don’t have to apologize for speaking your mind

No you don’t have to feel invisible

No you don’t need to stop taking care of yourself

No you don’t have to stop wearing make up

 

menopause mindset mastery

Why not take some time this week and write down the beliefs you currently hold and believe about yourself that are not necessarily helpful or useful to you?  Ask yourself why you are choosing to hold them?  This is the first step towards developing menopause mindset mastery.

Once you have this written down in front of you, decide what you want to choose to believe instead.  Embrace beliefs such as “I am wiser and have lots of juicy life experience to deal with life”, “I am in charge of my lifestyle choices”, “midlife can be totally liberating an empowering”.

The thing is, all of the above are actually true.  Think about all that you have achieved in your life so far.  In fact, why not write down all of your achievements and read it, acknowledge, accept it and celebrate all of those achievements no matter how small!

Maybe there have been times in your life where you discovered how much inner strength you have.  Knowing this is incredibly empowering.

Ladies you are not going downhill.  Quite the opposite in fact.  You are entering a new, exciting, liberating phase of your life.  Yes, your body may not behave as it did in your 20s, but you can work with what you have to be the best version of you possible. Of course you can’t keep the unhealthy choices and lifestyle you led in your 20s, because your body will let you know immediately.

menopause mindset mastery

You are entering a time of freedom from monthly periods.  A time where you may find that you have more time on your hands when children have left home.  A time where you can now focus on your wants, needs, and desires.  Time to take care of you!  How exciting is that?

Affirmations

  1. Write some great positive affirmations to help you develop new positive beliefs. Affirmations are a great way to change thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  Make sure you repeat your affirmations several times a day and that they are worded correctly. This is another great step towards menopause mindset mastery.

Affirmations also need to be realistic, believable, and achievable.  There is no point stating an affirmation such as “I will lose 10 kilos a week”.  This is highly unlikely and your mind will throw it out and dismiss it completely.  You could say “it is easy for me to let go of 1 to 2 pounds a week”.  Take some time this week to write some great powerful affirmations to create the changes you want.

  1. Have you thought about how grateful you are to your body for allowing you to be able to move, exercise and live? A great exercise is to write a letter to your body such as; Dear body, I am grateful that I am able to hear, see, move, feel …… (fill in the blanks).

Creating Change

Are you taking care of the inside as much as the outside?  How is your nutrition? Could you make any improvements? Are you exercising regularly? If not, why not?  Are you surrounding yourself with people that lift you up and inspire you?  Life is way too precious to be with negative draining people.

Reflect on these questions deeply ladies.  The answers will bring you the solutions you are seeking.

So there is no time like the present to create change, so why not start today?   Make a commitment to yourself to make the rest of your life, the best of your life.

If you have enjoyed this blog you may enjoy the Emotional Wellness blog, the Healthy Eating Blog and many others over at Flourish Beyond 40.

Have a wonderful day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

Midlife

Midlife Women – 5 healthy habits

Midlife Women – 5 healthy habits to implement straight away

Midlife can be challenging.  There are so many changes that take place internally and externally at midlife that may knock you off balance.  Some women manage to sail through the transition of midlife without so much as breaking a sweat.  While others suffer miserably.  How can this be?

Invisibility

Women report that they start to feel invisible as the glow of youthfulness begins to fade and the march of time begins to let itself be known both on the face and the body.

Aging

Skin aging and laxity are common and for some women this is really depressing. Their once pert breasts, and firm buttocks may have travelled a little further South, a speedier process especially when they have not been exercising.

Isolation

Midlife

 

This may also be a time when children marry or leave home for University and the house may become eerily silent.  This can leave a big gap and empty space in a woman’s life particularly if she has not kept up any outside interests or hobbies. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Getting older is guaranteed for everyone and unfortunately there are no eternal youth elixirs available to keep you looking young forever.

Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery can keep some tell tales signs of aging at bay, but does not address the internal aging process, and not everyone has the finances to fund the constant upkeep that cosmetic enhancements require.

Mindset

Our mindset, lifestyle choices and the actions we take have a huge impact on our overall wellness and how we feel in midlife.

Here are 5 habits that you may wish to implement into your life so that midlife doesn’t knock you off balance or catch you off guard.

Be prepared, be committed, be motivated.  Health is priceless but needs an investment of your time, energy and the correct life choices.

5 Habits of happy Midlife Women

Happy midlife women follow these principles:

 

1.

 Healthy eating habits

healthy eating habits

Eliminate or reduce alcohol, smoking, sugar, processed foods and junk food.  Alcohol and caffeine are stimulants which will exacerbate hormonal fluctuations.  If you are suffering from hot flushes, then spicy food may have to stay off the menu.  Drink plenty of water to flush the body of toxins and aid the digestive process.  Include flaxseed, chick peas, lentils, seeds, and plenty of vegetables into your diet, along with sauerkraut, natural live yogurt, aloe vera juice and apple cider vinegar.

2.

Managing stress levels

stress

High levels of stress may also affect weight in a very negative way due to the effects of cortisol.  If you are feeling highly stressed make sure you find a way to manage it through relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, self hypnosis, yoga or similar.  Discover what your stress triggers and find a way to reduce or eliminate them.  Holistic therapies such as reflexology, massage, Reiki may also promote stress relief and a sense of inner peace.

Make sure you have good quality sleep

sleep

During the day our hormones are busy and are used up.  In sleep we are rejuvenating and the endocrine system produces new hormones. Make sure that your room is completely dark and that you sleep around 10pm. Have a bedtime routine and that you have exercised during the day.  Avoid coffee, tea and alcohol before bedtime.  Switch off all electronic gadgets at least two hours before bed.

3.

Emotional Wellness

Hormonal fluctuations can affect your moods and cause you to feel irritated, annoyed and angry.  You may feel out of control on some days, but it doesn’t have to be this way.  Hypnotherapy is a great technique to work with the mind, journaling, and listening and responding to your own needs is also helpful.  This is a great time to reconnect with all of the things you used to love doing but are no longer doing so.  Make time to do what you enjoy.

4.

Supercharge your confidence

Now is the time to work on yourself and to do all that makes you feel self confident.  Making sure that you are doing what is necessary for you to feel happy with your self image.  Working on your personal development, dressing well and perhaps doing some inner work.  An image makeover can work wonders too.   Working with a hypnotherapist or coach may help you with self confidence issues.

5.

Exercise

exercise

It is never too late to start exercising. There are so many ways to exercise that you are spoilt for choice.  Make sure you choose something that you enjoy as you much more likely to stay motivated and continue.  If you don’t enjoy the gym, why not work out at home, or outside?  Do you love dance?  Why not try Zumba or another form of dance such as Salsa, Ceroc or Ballroom?

The important thing is to get moving.  Your body is not designed to sit still and be sedentary.  Even something as simple as walking for 20 minutes each day is better than doing nothing at all.  Exercise releases the feel good hormones endorphins which will help keep your moods uplifted.

Choices

We all have access to 24 hours a day, and a personal choice on on how we choose to spend our free time.

All of the habits above can be easily implemented into a busy lifestyle, and are so beneficial to overall wellness.  There is no time like the present, why not start today?

Why not pop over to the website and download your complimentary shopping list and exercise planner to help you on your journey to wellness.

We have some great programmes to help you through midlife and beyond.

Have a happy, healthy day!

 

Isobel McArthur

Founder of Flourish Beyond 40 Online Women’s Wellness Programme

 

 

 

 

 

 

perimenopause menopause libido intimacy hormones

Your Menopause Journey – A blog for the Partner In Your Life

PERIMENOPAUSE AND MENOPAUSE  – A Blog for the partner in your life

Many men do not realise the extent of how the symptoms of the perimenopause or menopause affect their partners.  Indeed some may feel that their partner has changed beyond all recognition and appear to be hijacked by hormonal fluctuations.

What do you do when your partner is happy one minute and in a pool of tears the next?  Maybe you find yourself wondering “where is the woman that I married”?  If any of the above resonates with you, then this blog is written especially for you.

Perhaps the tips in this blog can serve as a self-help guide to help you navigate what can be the turbulent ocean of the perimenopause/menopause.

What Can Men Expect?

So what can you expect from your partner at this time in her life (and yours)?  What can you do help her feel better?  Read on to get some helpful information to help both of you  come out the other side stronger than you were before.

The following are the most common symptoms of perimenopause (the phase before menopause) and the menopause.

Your partner may have one or two of these symptoms, or she may have all.  A great deal of how she experiences the perimenopause and menopause will depend on the diet and lifestyle she chooses to follow.

 Diet and Lifestyle

Healthy food 2

 

A diet full of processed foods, takeaways, cakes and biscuits is not going to do her any favours.  Unfortunately the body may become more efficient in gaining weight in the menopause years.

Maybe it is time to think carefully about what is going into the shopping trolley.   Junk food is likely to land directly on her body very quickly when excess calories are consumed.

Perimenopause and Menopause Symptoms

* Night sweats * Tearfulness * Weight gain

* Hot flushes * Anxiety * Loss of confidence

* Irritability * Loss of libido

* Mood swings * Loss of energy

Perhaps you have recognised some of the above in your partner?  So what can you do?

Five Ways to Help Your Partner

lovers for blog

1. Communicate

It is important to keep communication wide open at this time.  You are her life companion, and hopefully a partner she feels safe and loved enough to share her concerns with.

When she does her best to try to tell you how she feels, please don’t interrupt her, don’t offer your expert opinion on this subject as you do not truly know what she is going through.

Learn to be a “heart with ears” meaning; giving her the opportunity to tell you in her own way what she is feeling.  Please don’t look away from her when she is speaking either, respect her enough to give her the attention she needs. Learn to really listen and truly “hear what she is saying”.

2. Reassure

Your partner may be feeling many different types of emotions.   She may be feeling sad that her ability to conceive is coming to an end.  She may feel insecure if weight is redistributing itself, or not be at peace with the ageing process and the march of time on the face and body.

Gentlemen, it is not the time to start an affair because you are unable to relate fully to your partner at this time.  You may also want to think twice about criticising or belittling her.  This is a part of a woman’s journey, and with small changes and an adjustment of  mindset and lifestyle, this phase can also be viewed as a new beginning.

3. Maintain a Sense of Humour

It is a true saying that laughter is good medicine.  Remember that you have not “lost” your wife forever.  She is still there, and she will be back at the end of the menopause journey.

Do things together that your both really enjoy.  Go to the cinema and watch uplifting funny movies.  Be with people that are positive and happy.  Plan your future to include doing all the things you love.  Be happy.  Every day is blessing and life is precious.  Spend your time well as tomorrow is a promise not guaranteed for everyone.

4. Maintain intimacy and affection

There may be days when your partner looks in the mirror and does not like herself much at all. If she is feeling less than “sexy” she won’t be expecting you to find her sexy either.  She may even rebuke your sexual advances.

Please don’t think she is being cold or rejecting you.  Those hormones can do quite a dampening job on the libido.  Add in to the mix that she may not be sleeping well due to night sweats, and insomnia.

You may be blissfully unaware that all of this is happening while you snore happily beside her.  Give her what she needs.  If affection is needed be it in the way of a hug, or putting your arms  around her, then do it.

Maybe she isn’t in the mood for sex, but may be in the mood to lie together and be close.  Once again she is not rejecting you.  Be patient, kind and considerate.  Great things can happen when there are no expectations.

5. Give the space she needs

As your partner navigates this phase of her life she may also be handling a number of other issues. The responsibilities of work, family commitments may be weighing heavy on her mind and on her time.

If she asks for some “me” time, it is not because she does not want to be with you, it is because she wants to be with herself for a little while.  Why not surprise her once in a while with a Spa voucher, or run her a nice bubble bath, buy her favourite magazine, and close the door and leave her be for while.

I hope the above has helped you in some way.  If you have enjoyed this blog why not head over to the Sexuality and Relationships blog for more tips and information.

Have a love filled day!

Isobel McArthur – Founder of Flourish Beyond 40

healthy eating

Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy Food – Let Food be your Friend

It has been interesting to observe how my body changed when I “flourished” into my 40s.  All of a sudden what I could get away with eating in my 20s and 30s no longer applied and I realised the importance of eating healthy food.

My body began to redistribute weight differently and a muffin top started to present itself over my jeans.  As I sat in the bath contemplating this new part of myself,  I knew that I needed to address and embrace new eating habits that were better suited to a midlife woman, and fluctuating hormones.  A cavalier attitude with my diet was not cutting it at all. Perimenopause had arrived and menopause was knocking at the door.

There is much evidence to support the true fact that the amount of energy that we burn while resting, drops off by the age of 30 and then a further 7% each decade after that.

Common sense points to the fact that of course if we eat exactly the same in our 40s and beyond as we did in our 20s and 30s weight would start to creep on. Not eating healthy food was no longer an option.  Have you noticed your waist bands getting tighter? your bra bulges increasing?  It doesn’t happen overnight though it may seem that way when you finally notice these things.

Bottom line – you need fewer calories than you did when you were younger

With midlife comes other concerns and issues such as risk of heart disease, diabetes, that with increased cholesterol levels, sedentary lifestyles, poor eating choices is a recipe for disaster.

cholesterol

There is no need to feel deprived when you choose to eat healthy food there are many tasty substitutes out there for you.  Don’t focus on the things you can’t eat, but on all of the things you can.

Eating healthier is easier than you think.  How about adding some spinach to to your eggs, or enjoy raw carrots, cauliflower and celery with some hummus as a snack.  Fill your plate with lots of roasted delicious veggies. Raw unsalted almonds and walnuts make a great snack too.

What is a Healthy Diet?

In the younger years you may have followed various different diets or ways of eating in a desire to “look good”, however this attitude shifts in the 40s and beyond towards a necessity to be healthy and look good.

But what is a healthy diet?  What are you supposed to eat or indeed not eat in your midlife and beyond years?  There is so much conflicting information out there now that no wonder you don’t know what to believe any longer.

One of the biggest gifts you can give yourself is to give up or at least restrict sugar in your diet. Did you know that sugar is eight times addictive as cocaine?

Giving up Sugar

When you go shopping, check the food labels and avoid any that have sugar in the first three ingredients.  Giving up sugar may be difficult at first and you may experience cravings, however these generally disappear after a few weeks have passed.  During this time please do not try to substitute your sugar intake by using artificial sweeteners, you may wish to try Xylitol or Stevia (made of plants).

Supplementation is important at this time in your life and there are many excellent supplements out there that may help you. Chat with your local health store and ask them to recommend the best supplements for you. Sugar also causes your blood glucose levels to rise sharply and then to crash which will leave you feeling drained and tired.  Sugar certainly has negative effects on your overall wellbeing and impacts your life significantly.

Moving into Menopause

You may find that as you move into the menopause that hot flushes are making themselves known, generally at the most inconvenient times and it is no fun having a hot flush mid conversation at work or otherwise.  There are certain food groups that trigger or worsen hot flushes and now is the time to remove these from your diet as they are over stimulating:

Coffee

Spicy foods

Alcohol

alcohol

Don’t forget your bones! Eating good sources of protein that contains tryptophan is important.  Include cottage cheese, turkey, legumes and oats. Tryptophan helps to make serotonin which is very helpful in controlling moods, appetite and sleep.

Healthy Food Groups

There are some food groups that are excellent for you at this time in your life, one of them being oats.  Oats is good news for cholesterol and the heart as it contains beta-glucans that helps reduce the unwanted form of cholesterol.  Having oats in the diet also protects against the build of plaque on artery walls.  Are you ready to start eating your porridge now?

EVIDENCE

It has been concluded by researchers that eating just 3g of oats every day helps to reduce cholesterol by 5 to 10% and the risk of heart disease lowers.  Great news for midlife.

OILY FISH

healthy food fish oils

Full of Omega 3 fats and great in helping to lower blood pressure, heart rate and reducing the risk of irregular heartbeats.  Choose wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna and herring.  Be careful in your method of cooking as omega 3 fats are sensitive to high temperatures, so steam lightly or cook on a low temperature.

We have just scratched the surface of eating healthy food in your 40s and beyond.  If you want to learn more then why not visit the Flourish Beyond 40 Guidance and Support page and shop where you are able to browse various ways of helping yourself back to health, and the options of joining the Flourish Beyond 40 Programme and Facebook community.

You may also like to read about weight and exercise in midlife and beyond and managing stress.

 

 

 

 

 

Weight and Exercise in Mid-life and Beyond

Weight management and exercise is an issue for many women, not just those going through the menopause.  The feeling of frustration when the scales tip in the wrong direction can be very disheartening, particularly if you have been “good” with your diet and exercise regimen.  Unfortunately, in the middle years and beyond, the metabolism slows down and your body burns fewer calories than it once did.

exercise

 

“Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness” – Edward Stanley

For those of you in the menopausal years you may have found that you are gaining weight primarily in the tummy area, whereas pre-menopause you may have gained in the hips and thighs.  This is mainly due to oestrogen depletion, and beyond 50 there may be issues of insulin resistance which makes letting go of weight a challenge.

Many women find that by reducing the amount of carbohydrates they include into their diet helps them to stay in control of their weight.  After all, white bread, white rice, and white pasta have no real nutritional value, so why would you eat it when you can fill up on tasty natural vegetables?  This really is the time to clean up your diet.

Start by getting rid of the following:

  • Food additives
  • Processed foods
  • Boxed cereals
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Takeaways

exercise

 

Here are some tips to help you to let go of excess weight:

  • Don’t buy unhealthy food and bring it into the home; if it isn’t in the cupboard you cannot eat it
  • Eat mindfully and slowly, chew your food thoroughly and savour every bite
  • Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls
  • Eat from a smaller plate
  • Hypnotherapy may also help you to stay on track

You are an adult. Stop being controlled by cakes, biscuits or sweets.

Do your best to eat your food in as natural state as possible.  Go organic as much as you can.  Eat little and often and keep your diet healthy, natural and clean.

The menopausal years do bring changes such as a slower metabolism, hormonal fluctuations, and disrupted sleep patterns, but the thyroid may also become more sluggish too.

Think of your body like a high performance car.  You would take care of it, put good fuel and oil into it to ensure optimum performance, and you would put it into the garage to fix it if something went wrong.  The same applies to your body.  If you do not put the correct food into your body, or take care of it, it is likely to fall into a state of disrepair as a result of neglect.

Respect your body, it has served you well to this point.  Maybe it has carried and fed your babies, and it deserves love, attention and care, through diet, exercise, and good lifestyle choices.

You already know that your body is going through changes during the midlife years.  How you deal with those is a significant factor in how your overall health and wellness will be.  Will you sit back and accept that this is happening and do nothing to help yourself?  Or are you willing to make a commitment to the management of your weight, fitness and wellness goals?

It is a true saying, “if you keep doing the same thing, you will continue to get the same results”.  Now is the time to really pay attention to your diet and what you are choosing to put into your mouth.  Now is the time to ensure you incorporate exercise into your life.  This can be as simple as a 20 minute walk every day, or attending exercise classes.

The key to staying motivated with exercise is to do something that you really enjoy and look forward to doing.  If you really dislike going to the gym and working out with other people, then why not exercise at home? Instead of sitting on the sofa watching a movie in the evening, why not buy a small trampoline and jump up and down a little while watching TV? Simple, effective, fun and easy on the joints.

There are so many exercise options available and keeping it varied will help to keep you motivated and on track:

  • Yoga
  • Zumba
  • Spinning
  • Swimming
  • Bootcamp

These are only five of the many different types of exercise that you could do.  Aim for four times per week and maybe walking each day.  Remember that exercise burns calories, speeds up the metabolism and gives you that feel-good endorphin rush.  You may wish to ask yourself why you are not exercising.

Exercise is not about making the time to exercise, it is about creating the time.  It is a tiny percentage of your day.

 

If you have enjoyed this Blog and would like to know more, why not head over to the Flourish Beyond 40 Services and Shop to see how we can help support you in your journey towards health and wellness. We even have a Weight Management & Excercise Module along with a range of other programmes.

Have a fun filled day!

 

Isobel McArthur

Founder of Flourish Beyond 40

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 11.19.07