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KICKING THE ARSE OF MENOPAUSE

Sara Southey puts her symptoms through bootcamp...


Lifestyle and fitness coach, Sara Southey

"You may go into early menopause." These were the doc’s parting words as I was discharged from hospital after an emergency operation to remove one of my ovaries. It took a few days to register the importance of this casual statement. And then a few more to realise the implications.


This was six years ago. Since then, I have played the Am I? Aren’t I? game. As someone who has had hot flushes, struggled with hormonal headaches and wildly unpredictable mood swings since puberty, how would I know?


Cue Google and asking searching questions of all my female family and friends. If I’m honest, I haven’t learned much more than some women have a terrible time of it and some seem to sail through, and that it’s a bit like childbirth, in that nobody talks the real talk before the event. Unlike childbirth though, we don’t have a choice about whether we go through the big M.


By exercising, I take control of my moods and emotions, as well as staying in physical shape by maintaining my heart, muscle, and bone health.

Even when I went for a blood test a couple of years ago to check if I was Peri-M, it was as if I’d asked for nothing more significant than a spot cream. So, I’ve given up trying to decide if I am or if I’m not.


I’ve had symptoms of perimenopause by the bucketload, but many of those symptoms are the same for other conditions such as fatigue, depression, and stress. We are often misdiagnosed as menopausal because of our age but even so, there is a simple thing we can do to help alleviate most all of these symptoms. Exercise.


And this is how I have decided to manage whatever it is I have.


So, I am more than surviving my symptoms by taking regular self-care and kicking the arse of whatever workout I do. By exercising, I take control of my moods and emotions, as well as staying in physical shape by maintaining my heart, muscle, and bone health. And with the added benefit of endorphins - the happy hormones triggered by exercise - I can kick a foul mood to the kerb fast!


Through exercise I have learned how to stay mentally and physically strong. Through exercise I have taken back control. Through exercise I can empower myself and make great choices, and cope better when the raging hormones kick in.


And the bonus of getting hot and sweaty exercising?... you don’t realise when it’s a hot flush!


Sara Southey is a fitness and lifestyle coach based in Oxfordshire. If you want to find out more, visit her website, The Southey Way



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