“I am 50 years old , a Personal Trainer/Pilates instructor and I’ve always been fit and healthy. But when my world changed I had no idea how to get my life back on track …” [Stephnee, Dunedin, New Zealand]
How wonderful to see Stephnee last night in Dunedin. We even managed a catch-up beforehand over a coffee. As the owner of Ambitions Pilates Studio in Mosgiel, Stephnee’s world collapsed over 4 years ago when she lost her husband and best friend suddenly. Her world was rocked and then menopause symptoms over-whelmed her. It’s not surprising that her sleep, anxiety, energy and motivation went out the door then as well.
With three beautiful teenagers to get through the crisis and be “their rock” too, Stephanie put her own needs aside. But as time went on, she realised that she needed her energy levels and sleep back. As she said to everyone attending last night, “I thought I knew how to manage myself as I went into menopause, but I didn’t. Then the emotional turmoil over-whelmed me. Medications helped for a while, but I needed a plan to sort out my symptoms and pull myself through my ordeal. That’s when I remembered Wendy’s talk about menopause at a health and fitness conference I had attended. I knew I had to get hold of her and follow her programme. So I did and slowly I built my life, health and zest for living up again.”
It was a gift and a privilege to see Stephnee again. She kindly shares her story with you all ….
“Maybe my journey began 4 years ago when my best friend and husband of 25 years passed away suddenly. My world was blown into a million pieces. Looking back I am very thankful I had the strength, courage and resilience to get out of bed every morning and keep moving, but whilst my body was willing, my mind wasn’t. However, I had my 3 young adult children to help through their own grieving process and so I think I put a lot of my own grieving on hold for a later date when my children seemed to accept that our world had changed (actually maybe we still haven’t but we continue to move through the process).
From the day my husband died I stopped menstruating which was understandable. I was in shock, grieving and very stressed, which meant my body weight dropped from my normal 62kg down to 57kg in a month.
Six months later I was able to get my weight back to 60kg and my cycle kick-started again. It had always been very regular. But hormones aside, life was still a ‘forced, pull back the covers every morning’ and put my feet on the floor to spend the day at my PT studio. My studio was my safe haven – my escape from the reality of my home that would never be the same again.
It seemed that overnight I started to not sleep. Waking 4-5 times a night with night sweats, hot flushes occasional during the day. i had no idea that I was entering peri-menopause.
Life seemed cruel to throw this onto me as well. With little or no sleep I went on for a few months, and being a personal training, health coach for over 15 years, I thought I knew all there was to know about looking after myself! The right eating, the right exercise, everything in balance – but I still couldn’t sleep and I was awake, feeling hot, sweaty and uncomfortable.
I then remembered seeing Wendy’s Menopause Transformation Programme information from a conference I had attended and decided to join up. The strength of the programme was having someone else guide me through it. The the on-line webinars and emails to Wendy and her responses, got me on track for my own personal journey. It also pushed me into getting a full check out from my Doctor too.
With the supplements Wendy recommended based on these tests (which had nothing to do with the menopause ones on the market!), I was feeling better within a week. Now that I’ve completed her ‘Circuit Breaker’ programme , I sleep through the night. Night sweats are gone and my energy levels are back. I loved how Wendy helped to re-focus me on my mornings. I enjoy my gentle run around the block which is almost a mediation thing. It’s when I plan my day and put my mind into order and de-stress. Armed with the strategies that Wendy teaches, I also strengthened my own ‘yoga-lates classes’ at work with some of the skills I was learning. Two of my children have now left home, so an empty nest syndrome hit me hard. I was supposed to be going through this process with my husband not on my own.
I fell off the rails a bit, falling into a few old bad habits but after a few restless nights sleep and hot flushes, this actually reinforced the need for me to get back on track again. Lesson learnt!
Life doesn’t come with a magic wand, does it?
I discovered through this MyMT programme that routines matter for our hormonal health and we don’t need to ‘deny’ ourselves with crazy regimes at this stage of life – many of us still have a lot going on. I know that I’ve been incredibly stressed and this has affected my symptoms perhaps more than other women, but I cannot believe that now I sleep all night and I love the feeling of having energy the next day. This is important to me so I can put my own energy into my clients as well as my family and the next journey of my life … whatever that may be. So a big thank you to Wendy for helping women take control of their life! There are different plans of attack, as we don’t all fit in the same little box .
What I loved most though, is that Wendy has been through menopause and as a Personal Trainer it was important to me that her strategies were all evidenced scientifically. What I learnt wasn’t in any course that I had ever done, yet as she herself knows, we are the first generation of women to have had so much influence on how we manage our lives in the context of the modern fitness and dieting industries. Because many of these messages don’t suit our hormonal health at this time of life, it’s important that we change how we manage ourselves. The tools and support are all on-line to help women like me, move forward again. It was so great to give her a big ‘thank-you hug’.”
Stephnee Jenkins, Ambitions Personal Training Pilates Studio, Mosgiel, New Zealand