Podcast

Episode 119: Healing yourself through nutrition with Louise Carr (Re-release)

Meet Louise Carr who healed her own midlife trauma through retraining as a nutrition consultant. She has a fascinating story to tell about how to improve our health through nutrition, but also how health issues can be changed by eliminating trauma from our lives. All driven by her own experience. Listen in for so much value about how to accept our issues, deal with them and thrive beyond them.

We talk about:

  • How Louise retrained in nutrition in midlife to cope with her own health issues
  • Not accepting the doctor’s narrative that health issues were age-related (at 46!)
  • How learning about nutrition can transform our lives
  • The importance of supporting our adrenal glands with nutrition
  • Replenishing our bodies and minds with downtime and self-care
  • Mixing with other age groups when retraining in midlife
  • How one big change can lead to many others – the domino effect
  • Learning to trust your gut
  • Coping with overwhelm and depression
  • Recognizing the true sources of one’s stress
  • Realizing when one’s relationship is no longer viable
  • The power of food and nutrition in transforming our lives
  • The damaging effect stress has on our health
  • How walking away from the wrong relationship can be very good for our health
  • Breaking free of abusive behavior
  • How IBS is a tell for trauma in our lives
  • How midlife is the perfect time to re-evaluate how we nurture ourselves
  • How inflammation and fighting our menopausal experience will make our experience of menopause worse
  • The empowering effect of stepping out of the victim mindset
  • Not accepting what we’re told if our gut tells us otherwise
  • The importance of a holistic approach to health especially in midlife
  • Dealing with PTSD as a midlife woman
  • Re-engaging with your body after trauma
  • How trauma effects short term memory – it may not be menopause!
  • Stress and hormonal health
  • Is it a mood swing or a food swing?
  • Keeping blood sugar levels stable
  • Weight-gain around the middle in midlife and its connection to stress and metabolism
  • Cortisol driving weight to the center of our bodies in midlife
  • Mineral dense foods
  • Calories don’t count – nutrition does
  • Learning to value ourselves more especially with food

And more!

Find out more about Louise:

Louise’s website: louisecarrnutrition.com

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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Podcast

Episode 118: The magic of menopause with Darcey Steinke (Re-Release)

This interview was transformational for me! I was so excited to interview Darcey Steinke, author of Flash Count Diary. I loved her book and so many of her thoughts about menopause are similar to mine. It was wonderful to find a kindred spirit whose overall impression of menopause is so positive. Darcey was the first guest to make me cry!

We talk about:

  • Darcey’s fascination with her hot flashes
  • How the book is about so many different things about midlife and menopause
  • How menopause can be a struggle but there is lots of richness to gain
  • Darcey’s startling realizations about the menopausal transition
  • How Darcey managed her own menopause symptoms and what helped most
  • How we may be more like our pre-pubescent selves post menopause
  • How we may live more of our lives being infertile than fertile
  • The tyranny of estrogen and what it’s like to finally be free of it
  • Fertility, menopause and the patriarchy
  • Appearance, visibility and the power of female friends
  • Calling out ageism especially at work
  • Anger and the lifting of the complicity veil
  • The marvels of whales and menopause
  • The evolutionary reason for menopause
  • How misogyny has lots to answer for on how we view menopause
  • How rethinking menopause and ageing can re-frame our experience of both

And more!

Find out more about Darcey:

Darcey’s website: darcey-steinke.com | Instagram

Darcey’s book: Flash Count Diary: A New Story About the Menopause 

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Podcast

Episode 116: How to have great midlife sex with Dr Sonia Wright (Re-Release)

Meet Dr Sonia Wright, the Midlife Sex Coach. She’s also a medical doctor, radiologist and life coach, and tremendous fun. This is a brilliant interview all about midlife sex. If you have any issues at all, even tiny ones, in this department, or just want to make your sex life even better, this interview will get you feeling inspired and empowered to take excellent care of yourself and your partner. Let’s all have more fun!

We talk about:

  • How Sonia went from being a radiologist to becoming a sex coach.
  • Understanding the pleasure gap between men and women
  • Moving beyond penis in vagina (PIV) sex
  • The importance of clitoral stimulation
  • How our libido changes as we age
  • Thinking about the many factors that may impact our libido
  • Our biggest sexual organ is the brain
  • Staying curious and exploring different ways to be sexual
  • Self-pleasure to maintain the blood supply to the vulval area
  • Feeling comfortable using lubricants
  • Your best sexual partner is yourself
  • The wonders of the clitoris and how much of is not visible
  • Why Sonia worked in a sex toy shop
  • The fun and pleasure you can get with sex toys
  • Sonia’s toy recommendations
  • Taking the pressure off men by bringing toys into the bedroom
  • Bringing sexual intimacy back when it’s completely slipped off the agenda
  • You can’t have great sex if there are relationship issues
  • A man can still have good sex and an orgasm without an erection
  • How society’s narratives impact our own concept of what is sexy
  • The importance of body image as we age

And more!

Click here to read a summary transcription of this podcast.

Find out more about Sonia:

Sonia’s website: themidlifesexcoach.com

Instagram and  Linkedin

Resources:

Clitoris diagram here.  

Dr Sonia’s Free Intimacy Guide

Book your FREE Consultation with Dr Sonia here.

Sh! Emporium

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Podcast

Episode 114: Embracing silver hair and a new career with Rachel Peru (Re-Release)

Another platinum gem from the podcast archives. Meet the very lovely Rachel Peru who went from nursery school teacher to successful curve and silver-haired model in her 40s. Rachel’s waving the flag for older, more diverse women in the media. She’s going from strength to strength since embracing her authentic self and stepping forward to shine.

We talk about:

  • How the decision to go grey kick-started Rachel’s modelling career
  • The stigma that still remains about older women going grey
  • How she never would have had the confidence to do what she does now when younger
  • The importance of being body positive as we age
  • The pressures on younger women in terms of looks
  • How things are changing when it comes to talking about menopause
  • How Rachel controls the anxiety that has come on especially when travelling to modelling jobs
  • The importance of getting exercise outside
  • How words are powerful and what we say to ourselves matters
  • Rachel’s first front cover for Goldie magazine
  • How beauty is about confidence
  • Rachel’s own Out of the bubble podcast
  • How to not feel invisible
  • How reinvention can help bring energy in midlife and beyond
  • How Rachel nearly had a breast reduction because of lack of confidence

And more!

Find out more about Rachel:

Rachel’s website: Liberté Free To Be

Listen to Rachel’s podcast: Liberte Free To Be With Rachel Peru

Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

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Podcast

Episode 113: How to end ageism with Ashton Applewhite (Re-Release)

Here’s another gem from the podcast archives in our summer season. Ashton Applewhite is an author, speaker and anti-ageism activist. I discovered her work about six years ago and have been quoting her daily ever since. Ashton got a standing ovation when she did a main stage Ted talk called Let’s end ageism. She was invited to speak at the UN. Her book is amazing: This Chair Rocks, A Manifesto Against Ageism. She’s my ultimate mentor when it comes to everything I now believe about ageing and gendered ageism.

In this amazing interview we talk about:

  • How Ashton never had a life plan or knew what she wanted to be
  • Why we worship youth in Anglo-Saxon cultures
  • The lack of products and services for older people
  • How we often don’t like to identify as being in midlife or older
  • How facing the ageing monsters is useful
  • How fears about ageing are totally out of proportion to reality
  • Our attitudes towards ageing affect how we age
  • The U-Curve of Happiness
  • How midlife is a time of reckoning
  • How ageism starts between our ears
  • How we need to be more generous towards each other and ourselves
  • When we compete to stay young we reinforce ageism, sexism and the patriarchy
  • How raising consciousness about ageing and ageism is key
  • Why we should be able to compete for 100% of the seats at any table
  • How to stop reinforcing the shame associated with ageing
  • Being aware of intersectionality when considering prejudice
  • The importance of language relating to age
  • Ashton’s knees and not blaming non-age-related issues on age
  • Continuing the movement

And more!

Find out more about Ashton:

Ashton’s website: thischairrocks.com

Ashton’s book: This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism

Watch Ashton’s Ted Talk:

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Linkedin

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Blog

How To Embrace Middle Age

Middle age is a stage of life that can strike fear into the hearts of millions. Many of us dread reaching middle age because we equate it with being old. But middle age is exactly that, the middle of life. But what age is middle age? When does it start? How long does it last?

How do we define middle age?

I think that depends on how old you are as well as where you live in the world. Younger people seem to think middle age starts and ends earlier. Older people tend to think middle age starts later and ends later. Different cultures have different ideas of youth, middle age and older age. I’ve also noticed that middle age seems to start and end earlier in the UK, for example, than in the US. I’ve noticed that women in the US still consider themselves middle-aged in their 60s.

(I should have got more clarity before on this and also the extent to which women especially do not want to admit they are middle aged. I’ve spent the last six years trying to market services to women in a stage of life with which they have no desire to identify!)

How does the dictionary define middle age?

Most dictionaries reckon middle age is the stage of life from 45 to 65. I was rather surprised by that. I’d always thought it was from 40 to 60 and that 60 demarcated the beginning of my third or older age, or as I like to say elderhood. A British survey found that Britons saw middle age starting at the age of 55. If that’s the case, I’ve only just begun to be middle-aged rather than already approaching the youth of my elderhood as I actually believe.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines middle age as the period of life from about 45 to about 64 years of age. So according to that, I have another eight years to go… The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines middle age as being between the ages of 40 and 60, but also that it immediately precedes the onset of old age. So by 61, in 5 years’ time, I will be old aged. Not sure about that! There seems to be a lot of flexing of boundaries going on…

Why are we so binary when it comes to age?

Here’s where I really struggle with terminology and the binary nature of how we talk about age. There’s more on that in my elderhood article, but I question why, when we are moving away from the binary in other areas of our lives, we are still so binary when it comes to talking about age?

We go from young, often straight to old. Middle age is a kind of wasteland in the middle. But if the Encyclopaedia Britannica has me as old at 61, what am I going to be at 91, another 40 years hence? 61 might have been old 200 years ago. It certainly is no longer that now. When we classify everyone from 60 to death as old, it’s a really lazy age categorization to be doing. Someone of 61 is a whole lifetime younger than someone of 101!

What about the generations?

But we love to label people, especially when it comes to age. How about the generations? We dump loads of people together who may have so little in common, other than that they happen to be born within a certain time period. But at least this shows there is a little more variety in population ages, than simply young, then old.

Here are the generations I found:

  • Gen Alpha: born after 2012 (roughly)
  • Gen Z: born between 1997–2012
  • Millennials: born between 1981 and 1996
  • Gen X: born between 1965–1980 – that’s me but I’m a positively ancient Gen x-er
  • Baby Boomers I: born between 1955–1964
  • Baby Boomers II: born between 1946–1954
  • The Silent Generation (Post War): 1928 to 1945
  • The Greatest Generation: born between 1901–1927

I’d never heard of the Alpha, Silent and Greatest generations before doing my research for this article! The boomers sometimes get split into two because the span is so large – another example of lazy age categorization after a certain age!

Does midlife always mean a crisis?

Middle age is often referred to these days as midlife. I created a business called Magnificent Midlife because I wanted to redress some of the negative connotations associated with this stage of life, especially for women. The world has a terrible problem with ageism, but gendered ageism makes that far worse for women.

Midlife sounds a bit better than middle age to me. But I think, if I’m honest, that’s just me not liking the term because I’m being ageist against the phrase middle age!  Would middle adulthood be any better? There are so many terms around and so many labels with which to put ourselves in boxes. But the older we get, the more unhelpful those labels become.

Whether or not we work with middle age or midlife, there’s no doubt that when you search in Google on these terms, it’s not long before crisis comes up, especially for midlife. It seems impossible to have midlife without a crisis. We’re still so wedded to the silly notion that it’s a downward slope from midlife on. In fact, we get better with age not worse!

The crisis seems to hit both men and women but the added bonus of menopause does make midlife rather more challenging/difficult/exciting/infuriating/empowering for women. I’ve written extensively about how I actually see menopause as a catalyst for a new and very magnificent next chapter for women – I wrote a whole book about it – Magnificent Midlife: Transform Your Middle Years, Menopause and Beyond.

Moving beyond the crisis

Brené Brown describes midlife less as a crisis and more of an unravelling. Like Brené, I believe that rather than being a crisis, midlife is much more a time of reckoning and re-evaluation. It’s when we need to take time to reflect, unpack who we are now, and re-connect with who we’re becoming.

Big birthdays can add to the inclination towards introspection in midlife. We reassess what we’ve done with our life so far, and ponder where to go next.  Midlife is the ultimate reckoning point for many, but it can be an opportunity, rather than a crisis.

There’s also the U-curve of happiness – it’s been scientifically proven that we’re happiest at the beginnings and ends of our lives with a big dip in the middle like a letter U. Research shows that 47 is our unhappiest age, the depths of midlife malaise. There may be nothing in particular making you unhappy; it’s just a natural phase of life. Hoorah!

It’s the middle that can get us down simply because it’s the middle. If your 40s are a bit gloomy, there’s every chance that around 50, the fog will begin to lift. There are clearly other factors that may prevent that outcome, but all things being equal, that’s the normal trajectory of life. The U-curve holds.

Feeling good about middle age (and what’s to come)

Ultimately, the better we feel about ageing, the more healthily we will age. There’s scientific proof for that. It may just be that if we feel better about ageing, we take better care of ourselves, but ultimately the less we fear getting middle-aged or older-aged, the better will be our experience of both.

That’s not to say age is just a number and that denial is a good idea. I believe age is a very important number and I celebrate every year I’ve been on this planet. Each year makes me more magnificent! The more we can embrace the gifts that age brings, the less we will be consumed by the negative narratives and ageist stereotypes that dominate our youth-obsessed Western culture.

So let’s embrace middle age, midlife, elderhood, older age, all these rich stages of life that come after youth. And never let a label stop you living the very best life you can, in any one particular moment.

Listen to Dr Louann Brizendine talking about how women’s brains get stronger and better with age on the Magnificent Midlife Podcast

You may also like: Beauty Is Ageless and Are You Feeling Sad About Getting Older? Don’t!

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Podcast

Episode 112: How to travel solo with Deborah Ives (Re-Release)

Dipping into the archives again for another gem of an interview with Deborah Ives, the solo traveler behind the travel blog, Solo in Style, who’s passionate about helping women, particularly in midlife and beyond, travel solo. She’s determined to show women there’s no need to be scared of solo travel and she has loads of great tips to share. Since we recorded this, Deborah has grown her wonderful Facebook group for women over 50 who like or dream of travelling solo to over 100k women!

We talk about:

  • How Deborah first started travelling solo and why
  • How to travel solo without going on a tour
  • How great things can come out of bad stuff
  • The importance of a bit of courage and also having a plan
  • That there’s no shame in travelling solo – it’s all about confidence and doing what you want
  • How there’s no need to abandon your adventurous spirit just because you’re a little older
  • That it’s easier to be adventurous when you’re away from home
  • Moving beyond couple pricing
  • Eating alone when on holiday
  • Forcing yourself to keep getting out there to limit isolation
  • The importance of friendship
  • Why we can benefit from slowing down and not rushing around too much

And more!

Find out more about Deborah:

Deborah’s website: deborahives.com

Facebook | Instagram

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Podcast

Episode 111: The secrets of alternative aging with Suzi Grant (Re-Release)

Welcome to our summer season where I’m dipping into the archives to share some of the gems from the vault. We start by going all the way back to the beginning, to my very first guest, the wonderful Suzi Grant, author of Alternative Ageing, blogger at alternativeageing.net, YouTube and Instagram star. If anyone can inspire you to age like a badass, this woman can. Suzi is the very best example of an older woman determined to squeeze the very last drop out of life, on her own terms.

We talk about:

  • How Suzi came to set up Alternative Ageing and became an Instagram star
  • How she was featured in the New York Times Style Section
  • How she got 700,000 likes on Instagram
  • The importance of staying authentic
  • How blogging (and learning in general) helps to exercise your brain
  • The wonders of being creative
  • Being proactive about ageing
  • Fasting and why it’s so good for us
  • How chronic diseases can be helped by lifestyle change
  • Being outrageous

And more!

Find out more about Suzi:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Pinterest

Suzi’s book: Alternative Ageing: How To Stay Looking and Feeling Younger For Longer

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Youtube | Tiktok

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Podcast

Episode 107: The power of older women with Jennifer Arthurton

Jennifer Arthurton is the creator and founder of Old Chicks Know Sh*t, a community and podcast (of the same name) designed to inspire and support midlife women in chasing their dreams and creating a kick-ass next chapter. Having made her midlife course corrections, she’s a passionate advocate of the inherent power and knowledge that women possess, at a time when they often feel overlooked and doubt themselves most.

We talk about:

  • How Jennifer got so passionate about changing midlife narratives
  • Jennifer’s own menopause and midlife experience
  • How she reinvented herself after reaching rock bottom
  • How so much of what we believe about midlife, menopause and aging is wrong
  • What makes Jennifer angry about what women are told/believe about getting older
  • How women can get very stuck in midlife and how to get unstuck
  • How women can step up to lead more
  • What Jennifer has learnt from doing her own podcast
  • How Jennifer has changed the perception of midlife for her own daughter
  • What Jennifer most wants women to know about midlife and beyond

And more!

Find more about Jennifer:

Jennifer’s website: oldchicksknowshit.com

Instagram

Listen to her podcast: Old Chicks Know Sh*T Podcast

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Podcast

Episode 106: How to embrace your second spring with Kate Codrington

Kate Codrington is the author of Second Spring: the self-care guide to menopause, which is a rather lovely and revolutionary new book. She’s a menstrual and menopause mentor, speaker, workshop facilitator, writer, podcaster and a therapist for nearly 30 years. She’s passionate about bringing a more holistic approach to the menopause transition and to enabling women to embrace fully this powerful stage of life.

We talk about:

  • Where Kate is in her menopause journey
  • How the book is very different to other books on menopause
  • How Kate sees menopause as something very positive
  • How cyclicality is core to the book and how this impacts women throughout life
  • The earthiness of the book and the power that comes from that
  • Yoga Nidra and its role in the book and in our menopause transition
  • The importance of going inward in menopause
  • Embracing the change rather than fighting it
  • Menopause as a spiritual journey
  • Things that annoy us both about the prevailing menopause narratives
  • What Kate learnt from her own menopause transition

And more!

Kate kindly shared this diagram from her book. She talks about it in the podcast and suggests printing it out so your entire family can keep track of which season they’re in week to week and year to year!

Find more about Kate:

Kate’s website: katecodrington.co.uk

Facebook | Youtube | Linkedin | Instagram

Kate’s book: Second Spring: the self-care guide to menopause

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Episode 104: Breaking down taboos with Elizabeth Joseph

Elizabeth Joseph describes herself as a social media menopause guinea pig. She’s on a journey of perimenopausal transformation. We dig into exactly what that means. Elizabeth is so much fun and I know you’re going to be entertained by her perimenopausal antics!

We talk about:

  • What Elizabeth means by being a social media menopause guinea pig
  • How her Instagram feed has grown and what it’s about
  • Why she does what she does
  • Ending the taboo about menopause
  • The funny remedies she’s tried in her perimenopausal journey
  • The importance of being prepared and talking about menopause
  • Going back to her dramatic, entertainment roots
  • Building a community on social media
  • Getting kids involved in menopause conversations
  • What Elizabeth has learnt through her menopause journey
  • What she wants other midlife women to know

And more!

Find out more about Elizabeth Joseph:

Elizabeth’s Instagram

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Podcast

Episode 102: Why women stay after betrayal with Anne Michaud

Anne Michaud is a veteran political journalist who reported for the Wall Street Journal and Newsday. She was named columnist of the year by the New York News Publishers Association. She recently published a new edition of her book Why They Stay: Sex scandals, deals, and hidden agendas of eight political wives. It’s a riveting read! It’s fascinating to explore the similarities and differences between how political wives behave and the rest of us!

We talk about:

  • Why Anne chose to update her book
  • The common traits of women who stay in marriages after husbands have cheated 
  • Why Elizabeth Woodville is the perfect embodiment of these common traits
  • The British couple Anne included in the book and why she specifically included them
  • How the behaviors of these wives have changed over the years
  • How the Trumps are different to everybody that Anne had previously researched
  • Who most surprised Anne amongst the couples she researched 
  • What motivated Anne to write this book
  • The parallels and differences between political and non-political wives

And more!

Find more about Anne:

Anne’s website: annemichaud.com

Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin | Instagram

Anne’s latest book: Why They Stay

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