When I founded the New Zealand personal training industry in the early 1990’s, I never imagined that I would, one day, be guiding some of New Zealand’s leading Personal Trainers through menopause. Nor did I ever imagine that I would be advising exercise professionals to reduce their exercise and for those who are leaner and have more muscle density like Julie, I would be telling them to eat more food as they navigate their menopause transition!
Very little research has been undertaken on women who are exercising regularly and their menopause symptoms. But understanding hormonal health and the effect of over-training symptoms in female athletes led me towards un-tangling the effect of too much exercise on women who aren’t sleeping and who are losing oestrogen.
The major issue for many of women who love their exercise and have made it part of their career, such as Julie from Hamilton in New Zealand, is that when they are doing higher intensity exercise (which includes resistance training and they are well-conditioned to do), then many have learnt to ‘push themselves through the pain’ – as many athletes do too. However, when we lose oestrogen, our muscles also lose the effectiveness of the muscle fibres that generates power – the Type 2B fibres. This means that recovery from exercise is delayed. Especially when women don’t sleep. They often experience aching joints, sore muscles and are often diagnosed with immune-health changes and thyroid dysfunction too.
That’s why I’m pleased Julie got hold of me. When you have spent years training as a Personal Trainer and getting your home studio established, you don’t want to give this up …. too many people need you to help them. It’s been a bit of a journey for Julie and I’m thankful for her sharing it with you.
This is her story:
“I first heard about Wendy’s program in 2019. At the time I was experiencing a huge amount of fatigue and muscle and joint aches and pains. I felt stressed-out and anxious.
This was so unlike me. I’m normally always super organised and an expert at juggling everything! I am a 54 year young wife, Mum of 3 teenagers, self employed Personal Trainer and the family taxi driving the kids around.
My symptoms started to get even more out of control after I had a short notice hysterectomy in May 2018 due to a family history of Cancer. Whilst I wasn’t placed on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), I struggled to understand how I was feeling.
Like most women, I took a little while to think that maybe I was in menopause and thought I would breeze through it. I read up on what I could about menopause but I was beginning to notice that my mid-life clients seemed to be coping better than I was.
I felt confused, frustrated and was beginning to feel like a fraud in the industry that I love. I know my clients expected me to have the answers for them, but I didn’t have the answers for me! I ate healthy food, took some vitamin supplements, exercised often and watched my weight.
When I continued to feel sore, aching and I wasn’t able to figure out my ongoing fatigue, I realised I needed some help from someone else more qualified than me. I loved how Wendy had the experience of having been there as well as her knowledge from many hours of research, but also because she also knew the industry I worked in and my role as a Personal Trainer.
This was everything Wendy had. I took the plunge and joined Wendy’s program and wished I had done this earlier.
I was in denial about a lot of things I was doing for myself and realise that I could not see myself from the outside. I was “burnt out” having been overdoing everything for many years and with Wendy’s help I was able to see where I was going wrong and turn it around. I’m so thankful that through the MyMT programme and Wendy’s online coaching, I began to understand that I was one of the ladies doing too much exercise and not getting enough rest in the day. I could also see where I needed to swap some of the food types I was eating to help with the liver and gut. It was her constant fast email replies, support and wisdom that helped me change things at my pace and when I was ready.
Wendy’s Face-Book postings in her private coaching community and the programme content are all so well researched enabling me to understand that so much of what I knew and had been putting into place via the fitness industry, was not targeted towards menopause! Her interesting weekly Newsletters also served to consolidate everything I was hearing on her videos and webinars and helped me to keep on track.
I finally feel I am moving forward in the right direction to a good place. It’s funny that Wendy also mentioned that I wasn’t eating enough. I was before because I was doing less, unmotivated and eating some not so good things. But over the 8 weeks, I have lost the tummy weight, lost 5kgs that I gained and now weigh about 55 kg. Wendy pointed out that as my body fat is lower than most women, my weight includes more muscle as well. So I am lean and needed more food as my exercise increased.
As someone in the Fitness Industry for many years, I would like to say the MyMT programme is presented so well. The information is so valuable, that the cost does not really reflect the true in-depth information available.
I enjoyed hiding myself away once a week, as Wendy suggests, and just immersing myself in the different modules. Having them opened progressively was fundamental to being able to easily practice putting her suggestions into action.
Everything is backed up from many years of her research, so it is easy to understand “why” we all need to change our habits at this time of life. I do not think I could have found anyone better to guide me this year and “on line” and from the comfort of my own home.
The Health and Wellness Industry is full of people wanting to make quick money these days, without the individual, personal service and expertise that Wendy provides. It’s so reassuring to know that Wendy’s programme is readily available to women everywhere. I can’t recommend it enough to any woman who wants to learn more and enjoy the menopause journey.
Julie Baines, New Zealand
“If you haven’t listened to my Masterclass on Menopause, then join me when you can. Now that I can’t travel with the Covid-chaos, I have put it into an online version for you which you can listen to anywhere, anytime and pause it when you like as well. I explain what it’s about in the short video below. At only NZ$15, it has the information that you need if you are struggling with your symptoms, or weight as you move into menopause or you are in post-menopause. ”