Elaine Reynolds is a master personal trainer and yoga teacher. She teaches women over 50 to not give up or give in with the crazy things happening to our bodies. She had an epiphany at 50 and bought a one way ticket to Bali, where she lives now.
We talk about:
What’s it like being an expat in Bali and what she loves most about it
Elaine’s passion of helping older women stay fit
Issues that older women are grappling with in midlife
Menopause, aging and fitness
The importance of strengthening and stabilising muscles around joints to support aging bodies and improve recovery from injuries
Incorporating dynamic movements like yoga, barre, pilates, functional strength training, and low-impact cardio into workouts to lengthen the body and improve overall fitness
The importance of changing exercise habits after 50 to prioritize how one feels
Pain management and exercise for women in their 50s and beyond
The importance of glute strength
Knee problems and fascial release
The importance of holistic healing, including mental well-being, and how it can help alleviate physical ailments
Sherry Sidoti is an author and a yogi. She recently published her first book, a memoir about her own healing journey, A Smoke and a Song. This is such a powerful and moving story highlighting how we can heal ourselves by exploring and accepting our experiences, and coming to terms with the past.
We talk about:
What inspired Sherry to write her book
Sherry’s journey to writing a memoir
Sherry’s experience as a yoga teacher and how it has helped her learn to use language sparingly and effectively
Writing a memoir with a focus on self-expression and ethical considerations
How Sherry was able to write about trauma without triggering trauma
Motherhood and healing generational trauma
Using meditation and sensory awareness (five sense awareness) to access memories
Dr Sola Togun-Butler is a psychotherapist and transformative life coach. She’s the founder of Butterfly Counseling Services and speaks regularly on the importance of mental health and wellness, while offering solutions to minimize stress, prevent burnout and achieve balance.
We talk about:
The importance of addressing societal expectations that lead to burnout in women, particularly in midlife
The guilt that arises from cultural and gender expectations that women should prioritize their children and family over their own needs
How changing thought patterns through cognitive restructuring and reframing can help reduce feelings of guilt
How Dr Sola’s Nigerian cultural background influenced her upbringing
Polarization in the menopause discourse
Finding it easier to listen to different perspectives as you get older
The importance of curiosity and seeking diverse viewpoints in midlife
How Dr Sola helps midlife women come to terms with or move on from trauma
Why women fear embracing their authentic selves due to fear of rejection from others
How women can make changes despite potential conflict with loved ones
The power of butterflies as a symbol of transformation
Some effective strategies for preventing burnout
How Dr Sola helps women practice self compassion
Differences between US and Nigerian culture in regards to the status of women as they get older
Emily Kenway is the author of the groundbreaking book, “Who Cares: the Hidden Crisis of Caregiving and How We Solve It”, written after the painful experience of caring for her cancer stricken mother. Who Cares is an intimate and deeply researched account of the experiences of unpaid carers, and a call for us all to put care at the center of our lives. Emily researches, writes and speaks about thought-provoking social issues, shedding light on the crucial forces shaping our lives and communities.
We talk about:
How Emily found the strength to write such a book out of her own deep grief
Emily’s personal experience with caregiving
The importance of recognizing care as a continuous condition of life
The need for more practical support for carers
Reducing the stigma surrounding care work
How older people can refuse outside help due to vulnerability concerns
How women are often expected to prioritize care work over paid work
Disparities in labor rights and opportunities between men and women
Gender roles in caregiving for elderly relatives
Age, vulnerability, and acceptance of care
How practising reciprocal support can help create a culture that values vulnerability and mutual aid
The care commons idea – sharing care responsibilities in a community
The need for government action on workplace regulations to enable care
Reducing working hours to improve productivity and work-life balance
Josephine Pembroke is a performer and founder of Radio Gorgeous. She trained at Drama Studio and has been in many bands, cabaret and theatre productions. She decided to get back on stage in her 60s and is currently starring in her own show, The Working Girls of Soho, which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival. Josephine is a hoot! Prepare to giggle and be inspired that anything is possible!
We talk about:
Why Josephine is back on the stage after all these years
What the show, The Working Girls of Soho, is all about
The history and culture of Soho
Life in London in the 80s and 90s
Josephine’s experience in the London’s club scene
What’s it like for Josephine to actually be doing cabaret on the stage
The all-girl band, Pussies Galore and their performances in London and abroad
Josephine’s struggle with needing attention
The importance of discipline and creativity in Josephine’s life
What Josephine has learned about herself by going back on the stage
Amanda O’ Brien became a full-time digital publisher in midlife, with four successful websites focusing on travel, pets and information. She’s a former marketing director at big corporations and an Australian who’s made London her home. She’s a boutique adventurer, and she’s visited over 70 countries on her travels.
We talk about:
What it was like for Amanda to switch from marketing director to digital publisher in midlife
How advertising network Mediavine works and its impact on website traffic and SEO
Transitioning from marketing to digital publishing
Amanda’s solo travel experiences and her advice for women
Amanda’s experience of climbing Kilimanjaro
The experience of feeling uncomfortable in traveling solo, but finding comfort in realizing that nobody notices or cares.
What Amanda likes about being an Aussie in London
Cultural difference between Australia and the UK
Bhutan culture, tourism, and aging society
Travel blogging, social media, and influencer marketing
Midlife transitions, online presence, and networking
Would you like to gift a book to someone special? Books are always welcome gifts in my house! They can be entertaining, inspiring and useful! I love to be entertained and to learn at the same time. Here’s my pick of books I’ve read recently which are sure to be enjoyed and to inspire!
Rich with the combination of myth, landscape and eco-feminism that took her earlier work If Women Rose Rooted to cult status, Hagitude reclaims the mid years as a liberating, alchemical moment – from which to shift into your chosen, authentic and fulfilling future. Drawing inspiration from mythic figures and archetypes ranging from the Wise Woman and the Creatrix to the Henwife and the Trickster, as well as modern mentors, Sharon Blackie radically rewrites the future for women in their mid and elder years. This was such a new way of looking at our elderhood for me. I loved it!
Marina Cantacuzino seeks to investigate, unpick and debate the limits and possibilities of forgiveness – in our relationships, for our physical and mental wellbeing, how it plays out in international politics and within the criminal justice system, and where it intersects with religious faith. Cantacuzino speaks to people across the globe who have considered forgiveness in different forms and circumstances. She talks to a survivor of Auschwitz; to someone who accidentally killed a friend; to people who have lost loved ones in acts of violence; to a former combatant in The Troubles as well as to the daughter of someone he murdered.
I couldn’t not include my book! This is certain to inspire any woman in midlife (and beyond). I unpick the accepted status quo and negative stereotypes associated with women’s midlife and aging. I offer a radical research-based rebranding of midlife and menopause, highlighting the possibilities inherent in this transformational time in a woman’s life.
In this ground-breaking history Elinor Cleghorn unpacks the roots of the perpetual misunderstanding, mystification and misdiagnosis of women’s bodies, illness and pain. From the ‘wandering womb’ of ancient Greece to today’s shifting understanding of hormones, menstruation and menopause, Unwell Women is the revolutionary story of women who have suffered, challenged and rewritten medical misogyny. This a powerful and timely exposé of the medical world and woman’s place within it. This book is fascinating and really makes it plain how women have been short-changed when it comes to their health.
I discovered this book because I interviewed the author Alice on my podcast and I’m so glad I did! Accompanied only by three Amazigh Muslim men and their camels, Scottish explorer Alice Morrison set off to find a hidden world. During her journey along the Draa river, she encountered dinosaur footprints and discovered a lost city, as well as what looked like a map of an ancient spaceship, all the while trying to avoid landmines, quicksand and the deadly horned viper. For armchair and real adventurers everywhere!
For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal. So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality – about what it’s like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this and how it hasn’t, where our ideas about death have gone wrong. This book was recommended to me and I was transformed by it. We’ve got getting older and death wrong in so many ways in modern Western society especially. This is an attempt to rethink how we can age and die well. This book is remarkably uplifting considering the topic!
Another book from a podcast guest and how great is this! Dálvi is the story of Laura’s time in a reindeer-herding village in the Arctic, forging a solitary existence as she struggled to learn the language and make her way in a remote community for which there were no guidebooks or manuals for how to fit in. Her time in the North opened her to a new world. And it brought something else as well: reconciliation and peace with the traumatic events that had previously defined her – the sudden death of her mother when she was three, a difficult childhood and her lifelong search for connection and a sense of home. This book is profound, moving and beautiful.
Another great book from Sharon Blackie (soon to be a podcast guest). If Women Rose Rooted has been described as both transformative and essential. Sharon Blackie leads the reader on a quest to find their place in the world, drawing inspiration from the wise and powerful women in native mythology, and guidance from contemporary role models who have re-rooted themselves in land and community and taken responsibility for shaping the future.
Second Spring is the more earthy and grounded version of my book, I reckon. It’s wonderful! It offers a new vision for menopause, mapping the psychological phases and showing how this period in your life can be a time of personal growth. Whether you choose a natural route, HRT or a combination of both, there’s a wealth of self-care practices available here to soothe your symptoms, and soulful enquiries to find real-life solutions for managing symptoms with kindness, helping you to become the person you always longed to be. Listen to Kate on my podcast here.
Celebrating episode 150 of the podcast with a very special guest. Ann Marie McQueen is a journalist on the world stage, focused on menopause and on a mission to cut through misleading narratives and dodgy data. She founded HotFlash Inc in 2020 to cover the latest clinical studies, treatments, products, guidance and more via a weekly research letter, podcast and across social media. She’s also one of the founder members of MenoClarity.
We talk about:
Why and how menopause became Ann Marie’s focus
Living in the Middle East as a Canadian expat
Cultural differences around menopause narratives
What annoys and concerns her about how menopause is portrayed
Issues around the impact of social media on menopause narratives
The oversimplification of menopause messages
Ann Marie’s struggles with ill health and separating that out from hormonal change
The impact of belief systems and trauma on menopause
The impact of early parental bereavement
How her view of menopause has changed
Understanding research and what it’s really saying
Being sceptical about big promises that make people money
Something very different for this podcast – five guests on one show! Five of my fellow founders of MenoClarity, the knowledge hub for menopause set up in 2023. I’m talking to Pat Duckworth, Prof Joyce Harper, Clarissa Kristjansson, Kate Codrington and Ann Marie McQueen about why we’ve come together and what we hope to achieve with MenoClarity. This is a wild and at times hilarious conversation!
We talk about:
The menopause myths we’re hoping to bust
Bringing some positivity to menopause without being Pollyannaish about it
Establishing a middle reliable ground in the currently very polarized menopause world
Bringing clarity to what symptoms are really due to menopause and what might not be
Cherry picking research findings to suit certain narratives
The dangers of getting information from social media
Providing trusted sources of information
The three stages of womanhood – none should be the default, they all matter
How we’re not broken in midlife and we don’t need fixing
Our inaugural online summit on Friday 29 September – MenoClarity Live: Menopause Without The Hype
Dr. Cathleen Brown is a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist who has spent much of her career caring for female soldiers and their dependents. She was honorably discharged from the US Army after 12 years of meritorious service. She now provides gynecology services specifically for women at midlife during the menopause transition.
We talk about:
What was it like being an army doctor
How service women manage their periods when they’re on active service
The transition from military to civilian life
The difference between the medical system in America and the UK
How the US healthcare system needs an overhaul
What Cathleen likes about helping women in midlife and experiencing menopause
How women can help themselves in menopause
How women can access better food in America
How menopause can impact women’s health
Optimizing sleep and brain health
You can find Dr Cathleen on the Winona website: bywinona.com
Julia Brewer Daily wrote her first novel, No Names To Be Given, when she was over 50. This book was inspired by her own experience as an adopted child from a maternity home hospital in New Orleans. She’s also the host of the Authors Over 50 podcast. Her mission is to encourage those in mid-life and beyond to live their best lives in what she calls Life’s Sweetest Third. This is a fascinating conversation about what happened when Julia went looking for and started writing her story.
We talk about:
The personal story behind Julia’s first book
Julia’s experience of being adopted
Why it took so long for Julia to write her book
What it was like finding her birth family
Learning about and beginning to understand her birth mother’s experience
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