I love this photo of Ragni – not only is it the first time that I have seen what she looks like, but she tells me that she is so excited because not only is she fitting into the clothes that she had outgrown as the belly-fat stacked on in menopause, but she is now sleeping all night and her hot flushes are virtually gone. I’m so excited for her. But there’s another reason for my excitement too. The blood tests that Ragni was having monitored by her Doctor, have improved too. With both parents struggling from Type 2 Diabetes as they aged, Ragni was concerned that her increasing weight in menopause might just send her health down that path too.
Ragni and I have shared numerous emails over the past few months. When she came on board she acknowledged that she might need heaps of coaching and guidance. But she didn’t! All we did was to adjust some of the nutrition changes to ensure that the MyMT™ way of eating for menopause, continued to meet her cultural needs as an Indian woman. We left in the curry and roti bread as well – as she reminded me:
“We Indians when we go to prayers there is roti and curry served. I can’t say no, because it’s the offering to God.”
I also got her to get her Vitamin D levels checked, because as an Indian woman going into menopause, the oestrogen changes in her skin as well as having increased melanin levels with her darker skin, can make it more difficult for her to absorb Vitamin D. I am so proud of her because everything I have asked her to do to manage herself during her menopause transition, she has embraced willingly and openly. And I’m so pleased she came on board, because she was worried about her own changing weight and health in menopause and it reminded her of her mother …
“I have tried so many ways to lose weight but was not successful and it really frustrated me. Then I saw your advert in FB, read it, didn’t sign up, but then read it again. I have seen my own mum and dad suffer from diabetes. My mum’s legs were amputated. I saw it all. They didn’t have this advice available for them, but I have, therefore I will do all my best to achieve the changes that I need to make.”
Over the weeks, Ragni began to put into place the small changes I suggest in my menopause weight loss programme called ‘Transform Me’. These made a world of difference to how she felt. I’ve researched every one of these lifestyle changes through the ‘lens of menopause’ and our changing hormonal environment as we age.
I wanted her to understand how to manage a condition called oestrogen dominance, which she now knows was the cause of her increasing weight gain. As she knew from her mother’s experience, the weight increase can lead to Type 2 diabetes and other health risks.
One of the strategies I encourage women to put into place, is to do with their protein intake. Because our liver structure changes as we lose oestrogen and because menopause is the gateway into our biological ageing, then we don’t metabolise proteins and fats as well as we used to. I also change the timing of these macro-nutrients to better suit our liver and gut health in mid-life. The other thing I explained to Ragni, was that because she was working in an office job, then she wasn’t expending the amount of energy that she used to and because she was losing muscle tone and gaining fat, then we not only need to adjust both fat and protein intake, but she also needed to change her exercise to help with fat-burning in a body that was rapidly losing muscle tone! We don’t need the high intensity exercise that is so prevalent in the fitness industry whilst we aren’t sleeping. When we don’t sleep, our fat-burning mechanisms don’t work so well overnight. So, the priority is always sleep!
As the weeks went on, I loved how Ragni emailed me most weekends. They became more and more positive …
“I really like doing this menopause programme. It’s now nearly 3 weeks I am following your programme and I am loving it. It is really great. I was good sleeper but was waking up when I was having hot flushes. Now I am sleeping straight for 7-8 hrs, waking up on time, not feeling tired and I’m not getting hot flushes any more. I am feeling really good and following your eating plan and sleep plan every day. I am following exactly what is required from your guide. Every Sunday I top up my supplies and prepare my lunch, dinner the night before. In the past 3 weeks I have lost 4 kg and my energy is returning.”
With work keeping Ragni busy and going through a lot of changes in her busy office environment, it was only in the past couple of days that Ragni and I caught up with each other. She has now commenced the ‘Re-Build My Fitness’ programme too and I love how she is making positive changes in her life around exercise, especially with the familial health risk she has for Type 2 diabetes.
It’s such a privilege to be able to support and coach women to make the specific changes they need to make for menopause. No matter our ethnicity, we all have the same biology! Ragni has been so generous sharing this story with you and I thank her because ‘the change’ is not readily spoken about in any culture. But as I have discovered too, it’s the time of our life when we need to change our lifestyle and take control of our health and wellbeing.
“I have lost inches in my waist, hip, arms, thighs and bust. I am able to now wear the clothes which I couldn’t fit in last 8-9 months and feeling really excited about it. I can now fit a Sari which I haven’t worn for 7 years! Thank you for guiding and coaching me. I am doing really well and have now lost more weight. Lost about 1.5 inches in waist, arm, hips. The inspirations and positive comments that I am getting from you enabled me to do all these things. My thinking is money will not buy your happiness or your health – we have to take care of it ourselves. I have seen my parents pass away so young. They didn’t have enough money or a proper health system to help them overcome their sickness. That’s why I’m so pleased that I found your programme.”
“I’m pleased you did too Ragni. It’s been my privilege to guide you so you thrive in mid-life and beyond!”
If you feel like you don’t have the energy, sleep and weight management that you used to enjoy now that you are transitioning into or through menopause or you are in your post-menopause years, then it’s within your reach. Each programme, (weight loss or symptom reduction) which includes my personalised coaching, costs $99 per month for 3 months. If you get behind, then don’t worry. You just stay on doing the programme on a month by month basis for a small admin fee. There is no pressure – I know we all get busy and life gets in the way. When you come on board, what I do is put you into your own learning hub in your private member’s area and over the weeks, you discover how all the pieces of the ‘menopause-symptom and weight management puzzle’ fit together. It changed my life once I knew what to do to look after myself during menopause without sleepless nights, hot flushes and weight gain. I know it will change your life too. Just ask Ragni!
Wendy Sweet, B.PhEd/ PhD, MyMT Creator & Coach.