Brutal truths about being 40

We aren’t going to sugar coat this shit show for you people. This is real life. I bought a coffee today from 2 young lads who could easily have been my teenage sons. For the first time, I thought to myself, I wonder what they think when they see me. Do they acknowledge me as a frumpy old ma, an older woman? What category am I now? It makes no difference to me whatsoever what they thought of me as I know I do my best to live my best life and I take as much care as I can of my body. But here are some brutal truths about the realities we are experiencing in our 4th decade. This is being 40.

  • You start becoming as blind as a bat. Reading the ingredients on food labels makes your eyes strain like a bear on the toilet.
  • A moment on the lips = a lifetime on the hips! Those days of wallowing in a bucket of Hagen Daaz are long gone. Your metabolism has just slowed down another 5% so trying to maintain your current weight just got 50% harder!
  • You’re closer to the M word than ever before. You constantly wonder whether this might be the year your body stops producing eggs and shrivels up.
  • You start losing the fight against wrinkles. But hey these are not wrinkles – they are survival lines right?
  • Hot Flashes! From head to toe and even in the roots of your hair ffs!
  • If your parents are still around you become acutely aware of how much longer they might have in them leaving you with an unhealthy obsession with mortality.
  • The epiphany that the buck stops with you always – and nobody can sort out your shit for you.
  • You can not hold in a fart even if your life – or the planet – depended on it.
  • Your brain is starting to feel like the biggest tangle, plagued with misremembering, forgetting words, names and being replaced with a load of mumbo jumbo.
  • Running home to the toilet becomes a regular occurrence as you fear the reality of wetting your knickers as your pelvic floor muscles aren’t what they used to be.
  • The younger generation might consider you a m.i.l.f (if you’re lucky). You may even have been lucky enough to be wolf whistled by a teenager (cringe!).
  • You’re no longer in the 18-35 category so jog on and tick the next box down please.
  • Being called ‘ Aunty’ by people in their thirties. Yup, you’re now the crazy aunt everyone!
  • When you consider work colleagues to be of a similar age but discover they were actually born in 2001 which WASN’T 10 years ago btw…..
  • Realising that you’re making groaning noise that only old people make when you get up from a chair or the floor.
  • When you’re explaining to teenagers about the Spice Girls and they ask ‘are they still alive?’
  • Not ever being asked to show your I.D when purchasing your daily gin.
  • Being so out of date with the lingo of the youth and having to ask what the abbreviation means!
  • You can no longer jump on a trampoline for the fear a bit of wee coming out. So happiness is…erm…NOT jumping on a trampoline!
  • Staying in, not going to the party, not leaving your house – your childhood punishments have now become your adult goals!
  • 9pm is pretty much equivalent to midnight. But hey you are still a rockstar, you whisper to yourself as you hunker down under the covers with your book of choice.
  • You remember the time before mobile phones, the internet and having to go to the library to look something up.
  • Your kids don’t know who Britney Spears is. Ugh! So toxic having to explain to them.

Anything to add to the list? What else do you expect you’ll encounter in your 40s? Get in touch by leaving a comment below or connect with us on Instagram here.

Will the menopause ruin your life? Here’s what you need to know

The menopause is big news at the moment, thanks to Davina’s candid account of her menopause experience over on Channel 4 a few months back. For those of us hitting our 40s, you might already wondering if the menopause will ruin your life.

It’s a harsh reality that the menopause descending on us one day becomes pretty much avoidable. No longer will we be laughing at women being attached to their wide open freezers trying to surpress the cruelty of hot flashes because one day – probably sooner than we think – those women will be us.

The truth is, I am actually completely bricking it at the prospect of the menopause wrecking my life. I am scared of being a foggy, dried up, manica whose life seems to be swung into complete calamity thanks to the change in hormones. I’m just not ready to go there yet, and I am beyond frightened.

And I am frightened because everyone’s experience seems to be so different! Some women I have spoken to seem to have breezed through it without so much as batting an eyelash. Others on the other hand have pretty much been falling apart at the seams. I hope and pray I will not be the latter, but knowing my luck with hormones I’m banking on becoming a wailing banshee, who can not sleep or basically function, drenched in menopause induced sweat. Please God don’t let it be so.

So will the menopause ruin your life? I’ve asked Teresa Townsend, Menopause and Mental Fitness Coach, to join forces with us in this little explainer – or should I say – spoiler about the menopause.

Menopause: The basics

Every woman will go through a menopause stage (unless her ovaries were surgically removed before puberty), some with little to no symptoms, and some with many.

Perimenopause can last upwards of 10 years. Hot flashes and night sweats on average last about seven and a half years and they can last upwards of 14 years. It’s variable and, of course, depends on factors like genetics and health.

It’s often misunderstood – even by healthcare professionals

Since perimenopause arrives at a time of life when many different events are at play – and because symptoms are so numerous – it can be misdiagnosed by GPs and other healthcare professionals. Often women “report suddenly getting panic attacks from nowhere”, are often thought to be depressed or suffering heart problems, when really it is their fluctuating hormones that are responsible. Another thing a lot of women are told is that it isn’t the menopause because they’re still having periods, again just misunderstanding what menopause actually is. Some women are put on anxiety medication instead of HRT and this is why this petition below is so important.

In the UK #MakeMenopauseMatter campaign is aiming for 150,000 signatures on a petition to parliament demanding mandatory menopause training for all GPs, and menopause policies in every workplace.

Only in September 2020 was the subject of Menopause added to the UK school curriculum.

During menopause, approximately 85% report experiencing symptoms of varying type and severity.

Premature menopause can happen in early teens or 20s – about one in 1000 women reach menopause before the age of 30.

Challenges at work

In a recent Chartered Institute of Personnel Development survey in the U.K. found that 59% of women experiencing menopausal symptoms said that it had a negative impact on their work and difficult to cope with their tasks. Another study of nearly 900 professional women found that lowered confidence, poor concentration and poor memory associated with menopause symptoms caused significant difficulties at work.

Your “bad” cholesterol may go up

Turns out estrogen does a lot more than help regulate our periods: It keeps LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) low and HDL cholesterol (the good kind) high. So, as estrogen decreases during menopause, LDL tends to rise and HDL stays the same. The good news, that if you lead a healthy lifestyle as you approach menopause you can prevent these fluctuations. What’s more, making sure you get plenty of exercise and that you’re eating a heart-healthy diet are two lifestyle changes that can go a long way toward countering these cholesterol changes during menopause.

You may feel less social

If you’ve always been an extrovert, you may be surprised when you suddenly feel like spending more time alone. “Menopause is an introspective period, which means you might experience an emotional shift that could affect your social life,” says Holly Lucille, ND, a naturopathic doctor in Los Angeles. “Don’t just jump to the assumption that you’re depressed. This newfound introspection should be honored.” At long last, this is often a time in a woman’s life when she starts to put herself first. “Prior to menopause, women are more likely to make sure that their kids, partner, parents, co-workers—you name it—get what they need, and only then does she take care of herself,” says Barb Dehn, RN, a nurse practitioner in Mountain View, Calif., and author of The Hot Guide to Cool Sexy Menopause. “During menopause, many women start prioritizing themselves and start thinking about what they want to do.”

The emotional symptoms can sometimes be worse than the physical symptoms

The emotions can be really horrible and take you by surprise! A lot of women find they get angry, irritable, short-tempered and apathetic. Be aware, for some women, the emotional side of it can be worse than the physical symptoms that you’re experiencing. 

menopause ruin your life

The following menopausal symptoms are not as common, but are also usually caused by the same hormonal shifts:

  • Forgetfulness, confusion, loss of focus, and difficulty concentrating: Decrease of estrogen and progesterone can provoke cortisol levels into becoming erratic, resulting in ‘brain fog’ and slower cognitive skill function.
  • Bloating: During perimenopause and early menopause, flagging hormones can create bloating. This often disappears when levels permanently stabilize.
  • Sleep problems: Dwindling hormones can trigger sleep disturbances such as interrupted rest, insomnia, waking up too early, or sleeping too long.
  • Burning tongue: This condition, simulates a fiery sensation in the mouth and tongue in about 40% of menopausal women. It can create a metallic taste, dryness, soreness, and tingling and is believed to be activated by a drop in estrogen.
  • Urinary and fecal incontinence or frequent urination: Significant changes to pelvic muscles damaged or weakened during childbirth, or waning estrogen can prompt more bathroom visits.
  • Thinning or loss of hair and brittle nails: Increase in androgens (male hormones) spur shrinkage in hair follicles. Bald patches, thinning, and undesirable ‘peach fuzz’ may develop, along with dry, brittle cracked nails.
  • Digestive problems: Constipation, indigestion, and gas can be attributed to cortisol levels affected by hormone reduction.
  • Headaches or migraines: If women experienced headaches before and during menstruation, this may continue throughout perimenopause and menopause. These often decrease or completely disappear after menopause.
  • Weight gain: Estrogen loss prompts fat redistribution to the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and hips, resulting in that dreaded ‘middle age spread’.
  • Dizziness: Hormone fluctuations can disrupt efficient body and organ function, including the inner ear’s ability to provide balance, accounting for menopausal dizzy spells.
  • Increase in allergies: Ebbing hormones during menopause can accelerate histamine production, introducing new allergies or magnifying old ones.
  • Itchy skin, rash: Lubrication lost through lowered estrogen can spread throughout the body, contributing to dry skin, chafing from fabrics, and unpleasant reactions to soap and perfumes.
  • Breast sensitivity and pain (mastalgia): Hormonal spikes cause fluid buildup in the breasts, resulting in tenderness, swelling, and
  • Arthritis, joint, bone, and muscle aches: Estrogen minimizes inflammation. Loss of it intensifies aches, pains, stiffness, and
  • Irregular heartbeat and palpitations: Precipitated by hot flashes, these frightening sensations cause many women concern that they may be getting heart disease. Usually, this is not the case
  • Electric shocks: Often, these precursors to hot flashes radiate from areas on the head or extremities. It is theorized that these mild to severe jolts of pain can be ascribed to hormonal imbalances affecting the hypothalamus, or to neurons misfiring in the nervous system. Medical intervention is often necessary.
  • Change in body odour: Urinary or fecal odors arising from incontinence, pungent perspiration scents from hot flashes and night sweats, hormonal fluctuations affecting the thyroid’s impact on vaginal PH, producing a ‘fishy’ odor which can cause noticeable, unpleasant smells.
  • Tingling sensation throughout the body (paresthesia): Sensations like prickling, stinging, ‘pins and needles’, ‘crawling’ feelings, or numbness are experienced and are linked to the lubrication lost through estrogen drop.
  • Voice changes: As estrogen and progesterone diminish and testosterone rises, hoarseness, lowered pitch, and vocal fatigue after speaking too long are often overlooked menopausal symptoms.

Hormonal changes during menopause can contribute to several serious conditions in women, including:

  • Diabetes: Uncontrolled diabetes can be life-threatening. Estrogen and progesterone dictate your cells’ insulin behavior. Disrupted hormonal balances weaken that message, leading to blood sugar level chaos, and then diabetes. Complications such as heart attack and stroke may follow.
  • High cholesterol: Waning estrogen boosts harmful LDL cholesterol and decreases good HDL cholesterol, inviting a fatty buildup in the arteries. This can lead to stroke and heart attack.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension): Plummeting hormones weaken the body’s resistance to several dangerous health risks, including those of salt and the rapid rise of a woman’s body mass index (BMI).
  • Irregular heartbeat (arterial fibrillation): Moderate symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, weakness, and shortness of breath. More severe cases can develop into blockages which can trigger stroke, heart disease, and even death.
  • Osteoporosis: Bones become thinner, fragile, and more brittle from lack of estrogen and can lead to fractures and breakage.
menopause ruin your life

Will the menopause ruin your life?

For some women the symptoms can be debilitating. It’s more challenging because it’s not a disease or illness as such but comes with so many symptoms that make you feel ill.

If you’re having hot flashes – it’s highly likely you’re worried it may happen in an important or when you’re out with family.

If you’re not sleeping well – it’s highly likely you’re going to feel tired, be more snappy and not performing at your best – then relationships/health/performance are all affected.

Constant headaches or feeling emotional – it’s highly likely you feel on the edge and more anxious – again adding a strain on health etc.

The combination of anxiety, sleep issues and hot flashes is going to be pushing you even harder.

Some people have a few symptoms, some people have lots and it can vary day to day. So knowing how to manage your emotions, self-care, slowing down, time management and having lots of support all will aid to making this time easier.

With all that said however, the menopause can actually be a great opportunity for women to look at their life differently.

Chances are you’ve not put herself first – you’ve been saying yes, when you should be saying no – you think you can do it all but you can’t. Looking after your own needs is not selfish – you’ve been rushing around and now it’s time to put yourself first and this is your chance to do so.

Coaching yourself through the menopause

A lady at the peak of her menopause was having panic attacks- feeling like she’s going crazy, having hot flashes and struggling to cope with her mood changes. Then on top of this she’s got a demanding job, three children, husband, house to manage and so on. All she wants to do is sleep and rest but she can’t.

Sound familiar? First of all it’s time to look at her self-care – very basic but it’s amazing how many women still don’t look after themselves. Water – healthy foods – exercise – sleep – rest – time for herself – general medical checkups. Make sure syou goes to your doctor to be checked out, as you may need HRT, vitamins, etc.

Then look at how you’re managing your day – you’re probably not, the day is running you. Find ways to slow down – do you need to delegate some work? Do you need a cleaner? Do you need to ask for help? You do not need to be a martyr. Do you need to say NO? Are you putting her energy into the right things?

All these questions and many more will help you to prioritise and streamline your day.

This basically means you’ll feel more in control and lighter, which is what you need with all your symptoms. This will ripple out to other areas of her life.

Will the menopause ruin your life? Then time to get your life sorted

The menopause stage is the perfect time to get other things in your life sorted, as your tolerance levels are too low to deal with BS. This time we look at habits/people/thoughts that are draining. Declutter inside and out. Maybe it’s time to let go of some relationships and thoughts that no longer serve you. Maybe you need to let go of doing everything for everyone. Maybe you need to start saying no and start saying yes to yourself. Maybe you don’t want to be the rescuer, giver anymore. Maybe you don’t want to follow the rules anymore and live your life your way. This time is like a new chapter beginning where you don’t have to conform anymore and you can be your authentic self. Menopause is the perfect catalyst to say no more, I’ve had enough and begin to live again.

Are you worried about the impact of the menopause on your life? Comment below with your thoughts or experiences and follow us on Instagram here where we’ll be keeping the conversation around the menopause going.

photo created by jcomp, wayhomestudio, benzoix, love photo created by freepik

40 things to do now that you’re 40

So now that you’re 40, what exactly does that change? Some might say nothing, but there is a feeling that perhaps we have less time to do what we wanted before – that time is becoming more precious. While it’s all too easy to have an existential or mid-life crisis at this point, instead of having a freak out, we say it’s to do what you’ve always wanted to do but have never done!

With that in mind- for your inspiration – we’ve put together this list of 40 things to do now that’s your 40. Because now is the time to live it baby!

40 things to do now that you are 40

1. Do something jaw-dropping

….that will have everyone in your family talking about you.

2. Embark on a really bizarre hobby

…along the lines of soap carving, making snow globes, beetle fighting or mooing (yes really it’s a thing!). More idea on weird hobbies here.

3. Drive your dream car

Can’t afford one? No shame, go and hire one for the day instead.

4. Try a watersport

…if you haven’t already – think windsurfing, kite surfing, wakeboarding or jet skiing for the ultimate in adrenaline rushes.

5. Take flight

Book a helicopter or hot air balloon trip.

now that you're 40

6. Woman-up

…and go on the scariest ride possible at a theme park

7. Unleash your inner dare devil

Do a sky-dive, bunjee jump or abseil if you’ve always wanted to but still not ticked it off your bucket list.

8. Sleep under the stars

Go camping/glamping, roast marshmellows over a fire, sing camp songs, make breakfast on a camping stove…I am always amazed at how many people say they have still never done so.

9. Rediscover where you live

Make like a tourist for the day where you live and see it with a pair of fresh eyes.

10. Sort your s*** out

Have therapy and sort out any unresolved issues you’ve dragged with you through life – or take them to the grave with you.

11. Feel the fear and do it anyway

Knock your biggest fears on the head – whether it’s a fear of heights, spiders, snakes with either exposure therapy or hypnotherapy.

12. Release your inner child

Do something ridiculous like sliding down the bannister, dressing up in fancy dress for no particular reason, play Twister, have a go on your child’s skateboard…..

13. Bring out the entertainer in you

Learn some good jokes and a party trick or two if you don’t have some up your sleeve already.

14. Love yourself

Have a date with yourself whether it be to an art gallery, bar or restaurant. Learn to love yourself. You need to live with her for the rest of your life.

15. Find joy in movement

Learn how to dance – I mean really dance! – whether it be ballroom, salsa, tango or belly! Even a bear can learn to dance, and so can you!

now that you're 40

16. Make history

Create a time capsule and bury it somewhere in your garden. Make a note to dig it up in five years time.

17. Reconnect with your younger self

Write a letter to your younger self telling her everything you would ever want to.

18. Discover your inner mixologist

Learn how to make a decent cocktail if you don’t know how to already.

19. Stop dreaming, start doing!

Push the button on whatever you’ve been dreaming about doing….and do it!

20. Be a hero

Let go of your ego, be heroic and initiate the change you want to see rather than just waxing lyrical about it.

21. Do what the f*** you want

Have a blank canvas day – leave the house with no plans in mind and see where the day takes you

22. Open your ears (and mind)

Listen to all the weird radio stations available on digital radio – you will be amazed at some of the things you’ll find on there!

23. Remember every good friend was once a stranger

Start talking to strangers – in the supermarket, on the train, on your next flight. Opening up is a beautiful thing. And who knows, maybe – just maybe – they could end up being a new friend.

24. Protest!

Stand up for something you believe in. Go on a protest march, start a petition, appeal to your local councillor.

25. Be naughty

Make sure you’ve gotten up to enough mischief in life. If not, don’t worry…there’s still time.

26. Look up to the skies

Go stargazing, visit an observatory, look for UFOS, planets, shooting stars and satellites.

27. Experiment!

Experiment with hair colour. Going grey is your chance to have fun and relive your teen years when you hair was every colour of the rainbow

28. Experience true decadence

Bath in a tub full of rose petals, dried citrus and oat bath milk – for the ultimate in luxurious experiences

29. Be your own doctor

Quit relying on your GP to solve your health problems. Try alternative medicines and therapies.

30. Meditate

Start a meditation practice. It’s the most amazing way of connecting with your inner self.

31. Do your Kegels

Do your pelvic floor exercises. Your bladder will be thanking you for it as you continue to age.

32. Reconnect with your wardrobe

Have a massive wardrobe detox. Book a personal stylist or shopper for the day create a little reinvention.

33. Get in the picture

Commission someone to paint a portrait of take some professional photos of you

34. Stay out of the sun

We all love the sun but who wants to look like a dried up pair of leather trousers?

35. Embrace the power of compliments

Start giving compliments to others more often and learn to receive compliments more graciously.

now that you're 40

36. Witness a miracle

Watch a sunrise from a mountain top and a sunset over the sea somewhere breathtaking.

37. Become a wordsmith

Try free writing or painting – grab a pen or paintbrush and just start writing or painting and see what comes out.

38. Hold the vision

Make a vision board of what you want your 40s to look like.

39. Silence your inner critic

It’s not nice to you and the only thing it’s good for is reaffirming untruths about yourself.

40. Organise a reunion

Whether it be old friends, colleagues, or families, resist the cringe and enjoy the chance to reminisce about your former glory days.

What else would you add to this list of 40 things to do now that you’re 40? Let us know in a comment below and connect with us on Instagram here where we love to chat all things about life in your 40s!

Photos by Julia AvamotiveSkitterphoto,  Tara Winstead,  Los Muertos Crew,  ThirdmanNataliya Vaitkevich, RF._.studio,  Eva Elijas,  Askar Abayev from Pexels

Spinster Chronicles: The one with the breakup text

Are you dating in your 40s? Have there been any unexpected challenges? Technology has advanced so much since our 20s that it’s not uncommon to have a text message relationship before even meeting each other. Well, imagine being sent a breakup text before you’ve even had your first date….Meet our favourite spinster, Jennifer Walters.

10th June 2021

Have you ever gotten a breakup text from someone you didn’t know you were dating, someone you’ve never even actually met in person?

Well, neither had I, until last week.

CfromTinder texted me to let me know he’s had enough of me not putting forth the proper investment into our budding relationship and he’s not interested in a woman who won’t make him a priority.

I told CfromTinder that I have two kids, two dogs, a job, and as of late I spend a ridiculous amount of time watching videos on the internet about fixing broken toilets because for the past several weeks, at least one of them in my house is out of order at all times.

I also told CfromTinder that he is right. It’s highly unlikely I would make him a priority because I’m not really interested in knowing someone that is hard work to know before I even actually know them, because I’ve never met them, in real life.

Two days later CfromTinder texted me to say that he thinks he jumped the gun and wants to give it another try. I told him we probably wouldn’t be a good match, but his persistence, combined with my sister’s insistence that his pics were really cute, and my having nothing to do that Thursday night, led me to agree to meet him for a glass of wine.

We met, at the wine bar down the street, where they always see me with a different dude. I have a feeling they may be starting to wonder if I’m some sort of lady of the night.

CfromTinder showed up in purse pants and spent maybe fifteen collective minutes, out of the hour and a half we were there, actually sitting down at the table. The rest of the time he was in the bathroom, at the bar, running to his car for something, or taking a call outside. I’m pretty sure that in truth he was either preoccupied with tending to what I suspect might be a nagging cocaine habit, or suffering from a severe case of untreated ADHD. Either way, my notion that we weren’t a good match was confirmed. 

Back to the swiping board. And no, CfromTinder, I’m not going to meet up with you to explain why I don’t want to see you again.

9th July 2021

I met B online. B is a Marine, but the true display of his bravery came when he agreed to meet me for the first time while I was out on a girls night. He survived the shenanigans and interrogations from my besties, so when he invited me out on a real date I accepted.

We went to my local wine bar (yes, that same one I go to on all my dates) and had a nice time. During our evening, we realized this was not the first time we’d met. Not only was it not the first time we’d met, he had been to my house before, been swimming in my pool, sampled my world famous guacamole, and maybe even pooped in my toilet. I don’t know if he actually pooped in my toilet, but I assume since he was there for several hours eating snacks, it’s very possible.

We also discovered we have a mutual nemesis. The same evil twat that wreaked havoc in my life wreaked havoc in his, during the same time period. Apparently she was so masterful at being an evil twat the it was no problem for her to fill this role for multiple people in parallel. We bonded over this hatred for TwatyMcHoebag and decided to go on another date.

As the week progressed, we discussed possible next date activities. I suggested maybe bowling, axe throwing, or painting. He said he didn’t want to do those things. I said, “okay,” because I’m a reasonable human being who doesn’t try to convince people they like to do things they don’t like to do. He suggested we go shoot guns. I told him I don’t like shooting guns, and rather than him simply saying, “okay,” B, who shall henceforth be referred to as Pushy McPusherton, spent several minutes too long explaining to me how he could change my mind about shooting guns, and that I should ignore the likelihood that I would have a trauma induced emotional breakdown if we shot guns on our second date.

I told him I’d think of some other ideas and call him back. I did not think of any other ideas, nor did I call him back.

Jennifer’s Top Tips for avoiding text messages

For those of you who love to complain that you get too many text messages that you’re too busy and too important to be bothered with, but can’t seem to figure out what to do about it:

1. Turn your alert off. You may not know, but you can turn both your audible and vibration alert off, unless you have a phone from 1994.
2. Turn your phone off. Although this may interfere with your ability to interact with others, you’re clearly in pursuit of less interaction, so, win!
3. Get a bag phone. They can’t receive text messages.
4. Give your phone to a toddler. Let them answer your texts. If you don’t have access to a toddler, give your phone to a dog. If neither of these options are at your fingertips, put it in the toilet.
5. Stop giving people your phone number.
6. Get a pager.
7. Activate the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone. You likely have this feature on your device, unless you have a bag phone, in which case, problem solved.
8. Build really thick walls in your house so the signal can’t get to your phone when you’re inside.
9. Fashion yourself track suit with signal blocking technology that you can wear around town. It is critical that your suit has a pocket to securely transport your device. I suggest a zipper closure as Velcro often losses it’s locking power with wear and tear.
10. Remove the battery.
11. Never, ever charge your battery.
12. Switch to walkie talkie technology.
13. Every time someone texts you, text them back a picture of you making a mean face.

You can catch up on Jennifer’s debacles here. Do you find dating in your 40s challenging? What are the most random messages you’ve been sent?

Leave a comment below and follow us on Instagram here where we’ll be keeping the conversation going.

How to keep calm and carry on in your 40s

Being in your 40s can be a funny old time. On the one hand you can feel mentally fierce and fabulous, on the other hand your body starts letting you know its age, and you are teetering on the brink of hormonal calamity otherwise known as the menopause. But hey! who are we to let all of that stop us from living our best life in your 40s?

But the thing is, in your 40s, you can no longer take for granted all the things you had done previously – especially when it comes to health (both mental and physical). The fact of the matter is, whether you like it or not, you are on a one way ticket towards perimenopause – a whole can of worms hormonally – as you edge close to the menopause (more on that in our upcoming article!).

Here, Kate Chaytor-Norris author of I Wish My Doctor Had Told Me This shares her top ten tip for keeping calm and carrying on in your 40s:

Be calm

Do anything that makes you feel calm – this helps the adrenal glands to work optimally – if we are running lots of stress, they then cannot take over the job of producing sex hormones to maintain a balance. 

Balance your blood sugar levels

This is so that the adrenals do not have to produce stress hormones when they are swinging up and down.  Try to avoid refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta rice etc) to reduce your sugar intake as much as possible and make sure that you have some source of protein with every meal or snack.

Breathe

This is probably the single most important thing that we can do for our health – breathing deep down into the diaphragm (fill the balloon in your abdomen) and practise exhaling more slowly.  This calms the body and so that everything works better.  If you extend the out breath this also helps to switch the body out of fight/flight.

Meditate

This for me is about stilling the mind so you can do this whilst walking, running or with any activity where you can switch your mind off. When I walk the dogs, I try to really focus on what the dogs are doing to bring me into that moment, instead of pounding along thinking about all the emails I need to send. It really helps.

Embrace nature

Be outside in nature and ideally with your bare feet on the earth/grass or if it is in the midst of winter, hug a tree.  This fills the body with free electrons which act as antioxidants helping to reduce the ageing of our body. Nature sounds help to switch off the fight/flight stress response.

Sleep

Sleep is a hugely undervalued activity – my rule of thumb is if you have to wake up to an alarm you are probably not getting enough sleep.  Try to be strict about bedtime, and as much as you can, go to bed at the same time each night.  If you struggle to get off to sleep watch your bedtime routine, keep it gentle and calm (no heart thumping thrillers or news at 10) with low lighting if possible.

Support your liver

Man-made toxins in our environment, such as pesticides and household detergents can overwork the liver. The liver is responsible for clearing out excess hormones, so to help it work better eat more cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts – as they help support the detox pathways in the liver. An optimally functioning liver can really help you through the menopause.

Drink more water

Try to make sure that you are hydrated every day as our bodies do not function properly if dehydrated. To work out how much water to drink, take your weight in kgs and multiply by 0.033 – this will give you the amount in litres that you should ideally be having daily.

Eat a rainbow

…of different coloured foods every day (think red pepper, broccoli, sweet potatoes, red cabbage, kale). Not only is it a joy to sit in front of a colourful plate but the antioxidants in the different coloured pigments help to reduce ageing and inflammation in the body.

Hug

…as much as you can and if you are on your own or self-isolating hug yourself- wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze tight.  This helps to increase levels of oxytocin, a hormone that lowers stress hormones, balances sex hormones, reduces cravings and helps with sleep.

How do you keep calm and carry on in your 40s? Share your tips with us in a comment below or keep the conversation going on Instagram here.

Reader offer: Get 20% off I Wish My Doctor Had Told Me This with the code KATECN20 at checkout here.

Kate Chaytor-Norris is a Nutritional Therapist who has made it her mission to empower people to heal themselves. She trained at the Institute of Optimum Nutrition and has been practising for the past ten years. Kate is also trained in Health Kinesiology, Nutrigenomics, counselling and PSYCH-K®. She lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children.

Photo by Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels

Finding happiness in your 40s – this summer and beyond

Life starts at 40….or does it? While some people might already living their best life in their 40s, others are feeling miserable as muck wondering what has become of their life. But wait for it…apparently being in our late 40s is the most miserable time in our lives. Now there’s something to look forward to…..NOT! Damn it, I thought I would be swinging by the chandeliers by then. So is finding happiness in your 40s a total pipe dream? Or can we still take life by the balls and throw a big two fingers up in the face of the midlife slump.

Well good news people because yes, happiness in your 40s feels as the scarlett pimpernell, here  Andy Cope and Paul McGee – authors of The Happiness Revolution – share their top tips for finding happiness in your 40s – this summer and beyond. Taken from the science of wellbeing, here’s how to have the best summer of your entire life that will help you feel fiendishly fantastic rather than flat as a pancake.

Going viral

Human beings are wired for emotional contagion. Your feelings and attitudes will spread. In holiday terms, if you have small children, they will be as happy in Margate as they are in Miami. So long as you are!

Similarly, one negative family member will lower the tone of the entire holiday party. Top tip: make sure it’s not you!

The $64,000 question

According to an esteemed researcher at the University of London’s Institute of Education, here are some monetary values of happiness:

  • Seeing friends and relatives is equivalent to a pay rise of £64k a year
  • Chatting to nice neighbours is worth £37k a year
  • Getting married is worth £50k a year
  • And the biggy? Excellent health is estimated to be worth £300k a year to you

Hopefully you can tick some of those boxes, in which case, you are enjoying ‘mental wealth’. Whatever the summer brings you, be grateful.

Happiness is Maximized at 57°F

Weird I know, but the American Meteorological Society found current temperature has a bigger effect on our happiness than variables like wind speed and humidity. It also found that happiness is maximized at 57 degrees (13.9°C), so, technically, point number 1 is bang on – you’re more likely to find happiness in Margate than Miami!

Stop musterbating

Musterbating’ is when you turn things you’d like to have into things you absolutely MUST have. Every advert on the TV is designed to make you unhappy with what you currently own, luring you to Amazon to spend money on products that will make you happy. Mr Postie’s next day delivery does indeed create a spike of happiness, for an hour or two, before you’re back online seeking another hit.

So here’s an interesting list to write… the top 10 happiest moments of your life. I’ll wager that most of your top 10 happiest moments are ‘experiences’ rather than ‘products’. So, to squeeze maximum happiness from your summer, throw yourself into experiences (picnics, BBQs, walks, swims, bike rides, pub lunches, sandcastles, hugs…)

‘Forest bathing’

The Japanese call it ‘shinrin-yoku’. We call it ‘going for a walk’. A study from the University of Sussex found that being outdoors made people happier: “Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments.”

To be fair, no University degree is required. The point is obvious; fresh air – lots of it – makes us feel fab. Top tip, while you’re out and about, walk with your sense open. Bathe yourself in mother nature.

Be the Pied Piper of Happiness

Your emotions are contagious – they leak out of you and ‘infect’ those around you. So, when you make the conscious choice to be positive and upbeat, other people will catch your good vibes. So, top tip, be enthusiastic for 4 minutes and everyone else will feel great too!

This is especially important if you’re camping in the rain. It only takes one idiot (you!) to be enthusiastically jumping in puddles and, before you know it, the entire campsite is doing the same. When you are old and prune-like, you will look back on your life and realise that these ‘little moments’ were, in fact, the best bits of your life.

So here’s to happiness in your 40s and saying no to being miserable and middle aged this summer and beyond!

***

Dr Andy Cope and Professor Paul McGee have combined forces to pen THE HAPPINESS REVOLUTION: A Manifesto For Living Your Best Life (published by Capstone, June 2021). It’s the perfect summer read. It won’t change the world, but it’ll certainly change yours.

About the Authors

DR ANDY COPE is the UK’s first ever Dr of Happiness. He has a passion for motivation and positive psychology and strives to influence people to think differently. He founded Art of Brilliance in 2004 to blaze a new trail – one that was non-academic, totally rooted in the real world and that would make a massive and immediate impact on individuals and organisations. Andy is a sought-after keynote speaker, bestselling author, and authority on happiness, motivation, and human flourishing

PROF PAUL MCGEE is a visiting professor at the University of Chester and is one of Europe’s leading speakers on the subject of change, resilience, wellbeing, and communication. His book SUMO became a Sunday Times best seller and his book on Self Confidence reached number one in the WHSmith’s business chart and remained there for a further 24 weeks. His books have sold over a quarter of a million copies worldwide. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast television and is a regular contributor on BBC Radio.

Photo by Julia Avamotive from Pexels

You know you were born in the 80s because….

If you’re just turning 40 then you were born in the 80s. I loved seeing my mum in shoulder pads and being a teenager in the 90s was totally awesome wasn’t it?

We’ve put together our ‘kids in the 80s’ top 10 memories. If you were born in the 80s, we hope you enjoy this little trip down memory lane.

When I was a kid….

We’re reached THAT age where we can say, well it wasn’t like that in my day. Because let’s face it, when we were kids, there was NO internet. Imagine the audacity of having to go to a (children block your ears….) library!

1. The Worldwide Web, dial-up, fax machines and rotary phones

If you wanted to make a phone call it had to either from your house or a reverse charge phone call. The rotary phones took FOREVER and if you got a number wrong, well it was anxiety inducing!

Who can forget the unmistakable sound of the dial-up Internet. You just never knew if it would work. Apparently, this sound is known to technicians as a ‘handshake.’ If you were born in the 80s, it’s a sound you’ll never forget.

I discovered Google for the first time when I was personal assistant to the Executive Producer on EastEnders. He had a hard back paper diary. I wrote all the meetings in pencil so I could rub out the changes. One day I realised I’d booked in a meeting, that was happening in an hour’s time, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember who this person was or why they were coming in. While I was panicking, sweating and trying to breathe, in walked one of the story producers who could see me twitching. ‘Google him,’ she said. I had NO idea was wizardry she spoke of and you can only imagine my utter delight when in under 2 minutes, my problem was solved.

2. Terry Towelling Fluorescent socks and Shell Suits

Incredibly dubious fashion statements. Not for the faint hearted. The neon pink, yellow, green or orange terry towelling sock. Colour clashes galore. I think sometimes I even wore odd socks just to really freak myself out! Shell suits, well, let’s face it, if you were born in the 80s, you’re lucky to be alive. One false move near a cigarette and you’d be charred remains. Talking of which – did anyone else have to go to the shop with a handwritten note from their mum asking the shop keeper for 20 B&H?

3. You recorded the chart show on a cassette tapes and saved your files onto floppy disks

The weekend was always about recording the chart show. You rarely listened to it again but it was super important to record it. And to have an HB pencil on stand by for an untangling emergency when your tape got stuck. Heart stopping stuff really.

Our parents’ important work was stored on floppy disks which always really confused me on the account of them not being at all floppy.

4. Questionable Desserts

Ice-cream came in blocks. We’d get Neapolitan slabs of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate. We’d all just eat the flavour that we liked so often they’d be huge chunks of one colour missing! My Dad told me a horrific story about the ice cream vans and how they mix the whippy so to this day I will only get a pre wrapped but my go-to then was a Screwball with the bubble gum at the bottom. Every time I risked chocking as I poured the last drip of melted ice cream to get the gumball. Saturday dessert was always a Viennetta and we felt well posh. If we had ice cream on its own, we’d smother it in Bird’s Ice Magic. How that stuff set so hard and fast, I’ll never know and it’s probably best I never do!

5. Timmy Mallet woke you up on a Saturday

The Wide Wide Awake Club was on our screens every Saturday morning between 1984 and 1989. Saturday mornings were all about TV in our house. We’d watch Going Live and I still remember the number to call, which I did every week was 081 811 8181! Who didn’t love Trevor and Simon and go to school on a Monday ‘swinging your pants!’ To this day, every time I change the sheets I hear myself saying…’I don’t dooooooo duvets!’

6. Hooch, Mad Dog 20/20, Ford Fiestas and Smoking

Retching at the thought. These days I have a very considered and refined alcoholic palette. Back then, I’d neck any old rubbish and would give myself explosive diarrhoea from cider straight from the litre bottle that was shared among 10 other kids, while driving to the park in a battered Ford Fiesta with a packet of Silk Cut that cost £1.11.

7. Charity Telethons and Childline

Who remembers being insanely excited about getting their fund raising packs and staying up all night long with Michael Aspel??

The fantastic Childline was founded by Esther Rantzen in 1986. 0800 11 11 was a number we would frequently threaten our parents with if we didn’t get ice magic on our ice-cream, much to my horror today.

8. Classic TV Shows

Favourites in our house were Bread, The Two of Us, Don’t Wait Up, Darling Buds of May, ‘Allo ‘Allo, Brush Strokes, Rentaghost, Rosanne, Watching, Just Good Friends, Some Mother’s do ‘Ave ‘Em and of course, Last of the Summer Wine. As soon as the theme tune came on, it was homework time and Sunday night dread. Can you believe there were after all only FOUR channels! And you had to walk up to the TV and press a button to change it while wiggling the coat hanger that was the temporary arial. If you fell asleep on the sofa, you’d have woken up to Test Card Girl with the scary clown doll. How fabulous!

9. Toys

We all bossed it on our original Nintendos playing Super Mario brothers and Black and white Tetris on the Game Boy. If you weren’t freaked out from being made to watch Child’s play, you probably had a Cabbage Patch Kid. The rest of us were terrified of it coming to life and finishing us off in the middle of the night.

10. Beauty Products

Hands up if you wore Rimmel Heather Shimmer? Wore Exclamation by Coty and fumigated yourself with Charlie Red. I know I did. I also had ginger hair from spraying wayyyyyy to much Sun-In in my hair before slathering it in L’Oreal Stu, Stu, Studio line hairgel!

If you were born in the 80s, We hope you enjoyed reminiscing. What are your favourite memories? Leave a comment below and follow us on Instagram here.

How to be body confident in your 40s

Remember in your 20s when you finally got that taste of sweet freedom and you felt invincible? Your body was probably a lithe machine of a vessel! No neither do I because quite frankly, it feels like another lifetime ago, and almost certainly a different person! Fast forward to now – your 4th decade – and urban legend tells us that you should be feeling confident in your 40s because of a whole list of reasons. The greatest reason is because we are allegdly supposed to no longer give a shit about anything (hmm debatable). But what about being body confident?

For many of us, our 40s are a time of great change in our bodies and this is exactly why it’s the perfect time to rewrite the narrative around our bodies and self-worth. But how do we do that?

Today we’re giving the floor over to Body Confidence Coach Sarah Lyons who having recently turned 40 herself shares her reflections and tips for feeling confident in both mind and body in your 40s – whatever the situation!

***

The fact that my body is now 40 years old is not something to be ashamed of, not something to hide or fix but it is a wonderful palace that I live in. My body is my home in this lifetime and I plan on enjoying it.

Having been around the block in regards to body confidence and finally made my peace I am truly looking forward to the next 40 year because it will not be filled with shame, self doubt or worry about  what anyone else thinks about me or my body. It is none of their business !

Being body confident means something totally different to me now  than even a few years ago. Body confidence to me was always about looking your best so people would think the best of you. It  was about trying to be a certain weight. Because being a teenager in the 90’s was all about being thin and thin ment being happy!

Body confidence now is about having an amazing connection with myself. I must be who I am regardless of how I look and regardless of what I weigh. Body confidence is about the relationship I have with myself and my body.

It has nothing to do with anyone else and I have stopped looking to outside sources for my validation and happiness. Yes I still love to wear my beautiful clothes but now I wear them for me to make me happy.

I can hear you asking how I got to this place of  body confidence. Well the answer is self acceptance and kindness.

Keys was to start being kind to yourself and accepting yourself are

  • To focus on your positive qualities
  • Say kind and positive words to yourself everyday
  • Avoid negative self talk
  • Set positive healthy goals and respect what your body can do.
  • Admire the beauty of others but do NOT compare yourself to them
  • Remind yourself that the media images we see are often unrealistic and unattainable .

Once I started to do these things they quickly became automatic, becoming body confidence is a change of mindset but it is something you have to work on daily. Putting in the work on yourself will lead to united rewards for you and the people around you. You deserve to live a fabulous life.

So how can we be body confident in different areas of our lives? As I said it starts with self acceptance and kindness. And here are some tips to get you started.

Social occasions

It is totally normal to feel some anxiety around social occasions , it is a new experience of meeting new people and being in a new place but try a few things to make it a little easier.

  1. Posture, you are a little bit older but there is no need to be slouching down. Stand tall with your shoulders back. Keep your head up and make eye contact.

2. Tone of voice -a friendly or gentle tone of voice is helpful in any kind of communication, especially an uncomfortable one. When you are mindful of how you say things, you will feel more confident. You will also make the people around you feel at ease.

3. Listen -becoming a good listener is always a good thing but especially in social situations. Don’t look at your phone all the time and use kind facial expressions to show you are listening.

4. Reality check -when we are in new situations like social ones our mind can run away with itself and we start to overthink or over analyze our existence and why we are there in the first place! Reconnect back to yourself with some deep breaths or box breathing .

5. Smile – my number one tip for loving yourself and feeling confident. Smiling is scientifically proven to make you feel better. Smiling at others will help you feel confident and make them feel great.

At work

Feeling confident at work can be hard if you don’t really love the job you are in – if it’s making you feel miserable and depressed then maybe consider moving on. Our work environment plays such a vital role in our wellbeing and confidence.

Here are my top tips for confidence at work:

  1. Cut out the negative self-talk. Try becoming your own best friend and use kinder, more reassuring words to and about yourself.By developing a positive mindset it will help you feel 100% more confident in yourself.

2. Focus on your own strengths not on your weaknesses, if anything needs some improvement don’t talk badly of yourself just work on it.

3. Ask for feedback, if you don’t ask for feedback you will never know how to improve and when its positive feedback just accept it and say thank you

4. Eliminate negative language – your body is always listening to you and if you are always talking to yourself in negative terms you will never feel confident.

5. Fake it till you make it, people may not agree with this one but it has always helped me out in a lot of situations. Acting like you are confident, speaking like you are confident is a sure way to start helping you feel more confident. The more you do it the easier it gets then you actually start to feel it for real !

Confidence as you get older

Our bodies change every day, none of us have the body we had 10 years ago let alone last year. Aging is part of life and it happens to us all no matter what expensive face cream we use! In order to start being confident at any age we have to accept where we are right now. Looking back and longing for the body we had in our 20’s is no good to us because we’ll never have that back . If we constantly measure ourselves against something in the past we are setting ourselves up for failure. Comparison is the thief of joy as the saying goes so whether you are comparing yourself to others or to your younger self it is not serving you . By doing this you will be chasing happiness that could be yours right now at this moment .

Here are my tips for being confident as we get older:

1. Write down all of your achievements – having done this myself I am blown away by how much I have achieved. You will be surprised when you start to really think how much stuff you have forgotten !

2. Develop and open mindset – when we have an open mindset we can start to learn new things and have new adventures. Life is for learning and you are never too old to learn.”Never stop learning because life never stops teaching”.

3. Update your image. Change up your look , change your hair or update your wardrobe this can give you an instant confidence boost.

4. Move your body. Our bodies love to move and find out how yours likes to move – is it dancing, pilates, yoga, or walking. Whatever it prefers, just keep moving.

5. Keep up the positive self talk, don’t join in when your friends start talking badly about thor bodies you steer the conversation to a more positive area.It very easy to get sucked in when others are talking but don’t let it. Stay with the positive !

6. Self care – looking after your well being inside and out will always help you feel confident and your body will thank you for it. Put yourself on top of the list.

7. Set some boundaries. This is also a form of self care. Get away from people who are draining your energy or making you feel bad. Think about the consequence of saying yes all the time.

Being confident at the beach or pool

For many this type of situation can cause a lot of anxiety. The thoughts of putting on swimwear can send people over the edge.

Again if you start to accept and be kind to your body this will be a lot easier .

  1. Buy a swimsuit that flatters your body shape.

2. Dont add any extra layers or skirts, this only adds bulk and may draw attention.

3. Remember having a beach body was made up by people in the fashion and weight loss industry to make you buy their product and feel bad about your body. Don’t let them win.

4. If you love the beach or love to swim don’t let the opinions of strangers stop you from doing what you love.

5. Remember fake it till you make it!

Having true body confidence comes from being our authentic self. When we are living as our true self everything starts to fall into place. It all starts with love and kindness towards you and your body. We only have one body in this lifetime and it’s our home so lets start loving and respecting it.

How confident are you feeling these days? Do you feel body confident? Share your thoughts in a comment below and keep the conversation going on our Instagram here.

Sarah Lyons is a body confidence and well-being coach for mums. Drawing from her own experience in motherhood she is passionate about helping mums develop a positive body image & reconnect to themselves. Get in touch through www.sarahlyonscoaching.com or www.instagram.com/themammycoach

Photo credits: Sunsetoned, Laura Tancredi,  Lisa from Pexels 

Afua Adom on turning 40

Fast becoming a household name, fabulous and feisty Afua Adom has earned her place as a respected and talented anchorperson, broadcast journalist and radio presenter. Afua is a passionate speaker and one of the leading voices on diversity in Britain, empowering and inspiring others across the country. 

Born and bred in Glasgow, encouraged by her parents who instilled in her a hard work ethic, Afua moved down London to study journalism at City University. She pursued a career in music publishing but followed her love of writing and became the Features Editor of Pride Magazine. After a year out having her gorgeous daughter, Naima, she turned to broadcast journalism and launched her own radio show. She now regularly appears on ITV’s This Morning, Good Morning Britain, and the Jeremy Vine show. 

Turning 40

Afua turns 40 later this year so I wanted to find out how she was feeling about it and what challenges she thinks might lie ahead. 

The word Afua used to describe turning 40 was……’Yikes!’

‘When I think of when my mum was 40,  40 back in 1980 feels a lot older than 40 now.’ 

But I bet my Mum would say the same thing about when my Nana was 40. I feel like I’m so much less mature than my Mum was when she was 40. When my mum was 40, she seemed like she was very together and she was this formidable woman and I feel like a giggly school girl. 40 is not old by any stretch of the imagination. That much we know but I feel like it’s younger than it was back then. 

In one sense of the word it feels old and in another sense, I spend a lot of time scrolling on the ASOS app looking for new things to wear that are wildly inappropriate. I’m “Yikes” because it feels older than I am and I feel like maybe I should start investing in stocks and shares!’

Enjoy the space you’re in

I asked Afua what advice she would give to her 20 year old self? She said, 

‘Enjoy your youth but know that it lasts longer than perhaps you think it does. Don’t worry about things like how you look or what job you’re going to do. I spent so much time worrying, am I thin enough?  Am I pretty enough? Just wasted energy on that. I wish I’d always known that I was always enough. I wish I hadn’t worried so much about where I would end up. About making my mum and dad proud of me. Because they were always proud, you know. I wish I hadn’t worried so much about where the next job was coming from and enjoy the present one. That even applies to now to be honest. Just chill out and enjoy the space that you’re in. Don’t rush to grow up and pay bills.

I asked Afua for her top tips for self preservation? 

‘Sometimes you have to believe your own hype.’ 

‘Remember the dance routines you used to make up in your bedroom when you were 10, remember how much you believed you could be the 2nd coming of Paula Abdul. Remember how that feels, bottle it and sometimes just sprinkle it over yourself. Believe your own hype.  Sometimes that’s the only way you can get up in the morning and keep going. Be the best version you can be.’

Dealing with racism

Afua recently shared a beautiful picture of her daughter on social media. She made a screenshot of a comment made by a troll using the N-word. 

I immediately got in touch to offer my support and I haven’t stopped thinking about it. She said it was supremely hurtful and unnecessary. ‘If you’re going to attack me, that’s one thing. If you’re going to attack my daughter, that’s another level of hate.’

Afua never really experienced racism until she moved to London. There’s now a large Ghanaian community in Scotland but when her parents first moved from Ghana in the 70s, they were subjected to sick racial abuse. Her parents have always reminded her who she is and where she’s from. It’s not hard to see where the fire in Afua’s belly came from and it’s promising to watch her presence grow.   

Having been on the receiving end of racial abuse, I asked Afua if her coping mechanisms had changed over the years?  

‘You become more resilient as you get older certainly. But things still do cut deep. What helps is support from friends. The support always helps there’s so many lovely voices out there to drown out the horrible voices. All you have to remember is that person has a massive problem which has nothing to do with me, nothing to do with my skin colour. It’s to do with the way S/he thinks. S/he isn’t wired correctly and you just keep on going.’ 

Racism. It’s a conversation that needs to happen over and over again until all humans are accepted in the same way. By highlighting it, talking about it, sharing our stories and creating awareness we, as the human race, will continue to seek a united respect for one another.

Catch up with the turning 40 interviews here with the fabulous Charlie Brooks and Rebecca Wilcox.

Comment below with your thoughts and follow us here on Instagram to keep the conversation going.

Rebecca Wilcox on turning 40

TV presenter and radio personality, Rebecca Wilcox is an inspirational and empowering role model. I wanted to find out how she was feeling and what expectations she has since turning 40 last year.

Rebecca Wilcox was a regular reporter on BBC1’s Watchdog and BBC Three’s Mischief series. As well as presenting, she’s been an undercover reporter and worked alongside Nicky Campbell on the prime time consumer series, Your Money Their Tricks.

Rebecca has hosted beauty segments on Channel 4‘s show How To Look Good Naked and was the consumer expert for ITV1’s This Morning. She got to drive a formula one racing car while presenting an one hour biography on F1 superstar Lewis Hamilton and after the experience she said, ‘I’m so tired and I’ve done nothing.’ Pretty much sums up how I feel these days!

Before becoming a presenter, Rebecca worked in television production on shows from Cops With Cameras to Hell’s Kitchen. In 2006 I had the absolute pleasure of working with her for 6 months on the Channel 5 series, Trust me I’m a Holiday Rep in Malia, Crete. The schedule was tough and intense but we made up for it with some very debauched nights out. I can specifically remember a rather raunchy dance off between Rebecca and I in a very empty, out of season, nightclub. I can’t tell you who won as I passed out drunk and pulled a muscle attempting to pole dance. Those are memories we both cherish forever although witnesses of that night can’t unsee what they saw. And we apologise for that.

‘It left me so starved I suffered blackouts.’

I imagine that with being in front of the camera comes a huge pressure to look your best at all times. After losing her father in 2000, Rebecca comfort ate her way through her grief and after going up a couple of dress sizes turned to the Tracy Anderson method which left her so hungry she suffered blackouts. Since then she attributes her health and happiness to a balanced diet and regular exercise.

‘The Queen of procrastination.’

Rebecca talked me through her typical day which includes a very early wake up call around 5.30am courtesy of her two lovely boys. After preparing breakfast for the family, she exercises and credits that for making her a nicer person. She spends an inordinate amount of time wiping kitchen surfaces having, like many of us, gotten obsessed with Mrs Hinch, even though she hates cleaning. Rebecca openly admits to being the Queen of procrastination. She writes and also preps her radio show but the fallout of lockdown made her realise how much she needs people and without them she’s anti productive. By 8pm, she’s in bed. 

I asked Rebecca what advice she’d give her 20 year old self. She would tell herself to stop giving a shit, eat the chocolate and take more naked pictures so we could look back and love ourselves more. Sweaty spanks were her wardrobe staple back then. These days, she doesn’t really care what she looks like as she’s more confident knowing she’s chosen to be there because she enjoys the work. She feels it freeing to say no to jobs. She says, ‘It’s got to be worth me not being with my kids.’

In her 40s she’s feeling fit, content and hopeful but anxious about what’s coming next. Likening it to being on a paddleboard, so easy to fall off but necessary just to maintain (a life) balance.  

Thoughts on self preservation

Rebecca’s top tips for self preservation are to get as much sleep as you can and to find clothes that fit you, not the fashion, buying fewer pieces that are better fits. 

We agree that finding clothes can be tricky as there just doesn’t seem to be consistent sizing across high street stores and you can often be left feeling really fat and bloated.

The most important belief Rebecca has is to ‘Be the person and the parent and the working Mum that you want to be and not letting other people’s opinions dictate anything you do.’ 

You can listen to Rebecca Wilcox and her Mum putting the world to rights on Sundays at 5pm on Boom radio.