Having a ‘down’ day? Feel useless? Depressed? Feel like hiding, crying, going back to bed….? Don’t worry you’re not alone, feeling better is a walk in the park.

pexels-photo-631986.jpegWomen are known to be ‘multi-taskers’. Thats a fairly big title to live up to. What if your starter motor fails one day? And all of your oomph has morphed into a bleurgh? You know what you should be doing, but you simply cannot get beyond staring into your empty mug of coffee. Having a duvet day is just not allowed. Resting and blobbing around eating chocolate and other rubbish is all you want to do, but you know its just PLAIN WRONG, so your blobbing, flopping, wrong day is severely tarnished with guilt and self-hatred; you’re a failure, you’re useless, you’re ugly, you’re fat…. you’re blah blah blurgh.

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Because women are natural carers, nurturers and people-pleasers – more so than men – we often set ourselves much higher standards, and when we undertake to do what may previously been considered a man’s job, we feel we have to do it way better, just to prove ourselves. So we’re extra thorough. We’re more diligent. We’re bloody killing ourselves.

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Of course it will eventually get to us. So how do we drag ourselves out of this exhausted rut? Other than reaching for the gin, chocolate, shopping, or all of them? From the age of 45 onwards we have the added struggle of free-wheeling, outta control hormones; many of us have children leaving the nest; some of us also have failed marriages and therefore sudden single-dom to also deal with.

It’s a fight ladies. It’s a fight with the truth. You have to look at your truth.

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Make time to both reflect on your achievements, and to look forward to your ambitions. Maybe the last thing you want is to think about is you. Don’t be scared, this is her – The Long Forgotten YOU. Say hello to her and make her happy.

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Who are you? What do you love to do? What makes you tick? The first thing you should do is take care of your health, both mentally and physically. The two are intrinsically intertwined and when you allow yourself to succumb to chocolate and gin, you will pay – the short-lived pleasures as the toxins engulf your senses are swiftly followed with the downers, the results of such indulgences.

Try and take yourself to a higher plane. Yoga is incredibly good for this. Not only does it encourage you to stretch and strengthen, it also encourages breathing correctly and getting into meditative state. Once in this place, devoid of angst, devoid of self-loathing, you will find that part of you that you somehow lost along the way. If yoga isn’t for you, then simple long walks in amongst nature can also remind you of your earth, your grounding and what a flowering blossom your life continues to be, despite what it may seem to be to you right now. Mindfulness is a big trend and not without reason.

Mindfulness: Getting Started

pexels-photo-906106.jpegFor the more financially blessed amongst us, you can’t do better than to indulge yourself at a retreat or a spa for a few days – you will come back a renewed and stronger person.

Vogue Spa Guide – Best Spa Breaks in UK 2018

Drink plenty of water. Eat plenty of greens. It’s so basic. It’s so obvious, but we all forget these things from time to time when we become awash with what seems like a ton of losses at once. Being alone with your thoughts can initially be terrifying, having time to reflect can make you tearful, but actually once you get there and you realise what life still has to offer you, and indeed, what you have to offer it, then you can being to feel worthwhile, complete and happy once more. Your happiness is solely up to you. Find your inner peace, it’s somewhere in there, you may have to search for a while, you may have to shake off a lot of negative feelings, but start with being proud of what you’ve achieved so far. I am sure its quite a lot.

 

My TOP, VERY BEST FINDS this year so far…are: Sri Lanka (yeh, lucky me, or is it just being 50+, & therefore a more urgent traveller?);a seemingly simple face cloth and finally, an incredible leg transformation kit.

I’ve discovered that once you hit 50, you are more aware of time running out, which, in a way, is a really good thing, as not only do you throw caution to the wind and do things like book an amazing holiday to Sri Lanka, (where I discovered all kinds of nature’s wonders, including natural beauty products, this will be in a future post, as there is way too much to tell you), but you also try your hardest to get the things you really like and want. So when something “wows” me, I want to share it, so if you can’t get to Sri Lanka just yet, you may well at least be able to get the following gems into your beauty regime

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I’ve discovered that once you hit 50, you are more aware of time running out, which, in a way, is a really good thing, as not only do you throw caution to the wind and do things like book an amazing holiday to Sri Lanka, (where I discovered all kinds of nature’s wonders, including natural beauty products, this will be in a future post, as there is way too much to tell you), but you also try your hardest to get the things you really like and want. So when something “wows” me, I want to share it, so if you can’t get to Sri Lanka just yet, you may well at least be able to get the following gems into your beauty regime.

THE WIPE OUT MICROFIBRE FACE CLOTH: I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of ‘beauty’ modelling for QVC UK, (a tv shopping channel), where I get to demonstrate a considerable amount of products. Whilst doing these demos, I obviously have to use the very products we are selling; so I get very good, real experiences of each and every one. Not many things really make me sit up and shout “wow”, but this face cloth made me thoroughly “wow”, and “wow” very aloud. I LOVE THIS SIMPLE FLANNEL. It literally GRABS tight onto every single bit of dirt, grime and make up; one that leaves your face INCREDIBLY clean and lovely, but without taking off an extra layer of skin. It’s much more brilliant than any normal flannel could ever even hope to be. Even with eye make up – this flannel removes it easily, with just water and nothing else. In my opinion, The Wipe Out , is The Face Cloth God: in a league of its own.

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My beautiful friend Susie and I (& our legs) many years ago

THE GAME CHANGING LEG COLLECTION: Again I have QVC to thank for introducing me to this next set of products. All by Margaret Dabbs. A podiatrist; a foot guru; a string of salons’ owner; an innovator and a general just amazing person. Some of you may well have experienced the luxury of a treatment at one of her many clinics. (London, Dubai, Doha, Gloucester..), others will have, like me, discovered her through QVC; and, for those of you who have not yet had the pleasure, I am delighted to introduce her (& her wonderful wares). She is mainly known for her incredible foot treatments, of which I myself am an avid fan (Foot Hygiene Cream) and use many of her other products, on a regular basis. She also has developed great products for the hands and nails, but her latest and biggest  ‘wow’, is a set of ENCROYABLE treatments for the legs.

I already do an all over body scrub on, almost, a daily basis. So that’s quite a lot. Plus I moisturise religiously après shower, with either pure coconut oil, SBC Collagen Gel, Flora Mare Body Lotion or Vaseline Intensive Care Body lotion, so I thought I was already doing my best. Little did I know. My leg-skin was in for a massive treat. We had under six minutes to demonstrate a whole leg treatment kit – beginning with an uplifting and thorough scrub; rinsing that off; then applying the (in my case) YELLOW (or you can chose BLACK) mask treatment all over all of the legs, then waiting 12 minutes (we had, at the most, 3mins) then rinsing that off; and finally moisturising with the firming leg serum. My legs looked like they’d been photoshopped. The skin was visibly much, much smoother and silkier, as did it feel. The thread veins seemed to have considerably diminished and there were no visible dry patches. It was literally incredible. I was gob-smacked. And that was only after a mere six minutes. What would happen after 12? I had to buy the kit and believe me, I have not been disappointed. My legs look ten years younger; healthier, silkier and generally just a lot, lot nicer. Plus they feel better, and my circulation has definitely improved. Genius products. Get your legs summer ready; impress yourself. Its a fabulous experience. I really want to literally SHOUT about this set, it is THAT AMAZING. (Unless your legs are already in mint, tippety-top condition, then I guess you wouldn’t notice that much of a dramatic change; but for all the rest of us…do NOT hold back).

 

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Susie, with her lovely legs

 

 

When your whore-moans get outta control. Menopause and them hormones.

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Hot flushes. Mood swings. Weight gain. Weakening bones. Ba ba bing. 

You’ve all experienced various levels of premenstrual tension. Maybe you were one of the lucky ones who just shed a dainty tear at a toilet roll TV advert featuring puppies, a day before you came on. Maybe you had furious migraines, got horribly bloated and HATED everything (except chocolate), for at least a week prior to hemorrhaging your pants off.  At both extremes, you were controlled, or at least ‘altered’ by them hormones.

Menopause = PMT x 1000

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Yet despite experiencing these periods, on average 450 times in our lifetime, we still find it extremely hard to step outside of ourselves and recognize that what is happening is not necessarily how we ‘normally’ feel.

We’re not normally so tearful, nor are we normally so angry, nor do we normally feel, in simple terms, quite so bloody shit. But it is real in that moment and we have to strive to control our tongues and/or our tears.

So when ‘normal’ leaves the building; when there is virtually zero control and when your whore is moaning BIGTIME, what do you do?

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Ask your mum?

I asked my mum (apparently we often meno very similarly to our mothers). She told me she was a complete bitch for a year; she couldn’t really recall anything about the hot flushes and/or sweats – she lived in a very hot country at the time, so there was no gauging it. That wasn’t amazingly helpful.

 

KNOW I am affected by this meno-bitch; simple logic tells me that. But I struggle to sieve out my normal truth from my whore-moaner. How can I tell if my despair, or my sudden anxiety, or my snappiness is unjustified or not? My hormones make everything feel so convincing and real, that I can’t.

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But what I can do, and what I suggest you do too, is to do everything possible to minimize these symptoms. Embrace this challenging time, grab this whore by the hair and ‘own’ her.

Help yourselves as much as you can with your mind, your diet and (for some) HRT. 

HOT FLASHES. I live in a (currently) cold country, so I absolutely DO notice my hot flashes. A very good, old friend of mine explained how she dealt with these infernos. She looked at them as empowering, she was in awe of what her body was capable of – going from 0-60 in seconds, furnace boiling, suddenly soaked in sweat, and then, just as quickly, it’s passed. It’s incredible; it’s something top magicians couldn’t do…okay it’s also embarrassing, inconvenient and causes way more laundry. But be little fascinated by it, because it is pretty amazing.

DIET: there are several foods and drinks you should avoid to minimize the flushes, as well as some foods that help to balance your hormones naturally. With balanced hormones, you are more likely to keep control of weight gain too.

Guide to managing menopause with diet

What NOT to eat and drink.

  • caffeine – one of the WORST for hot flashes, moodiness and sleep problems
  • alcohol – ditto
  • spicy foods – can contribute to more hot flashes, but they’re no where near as damaging as caffeine, alcohol and
  • sugar – cut out sugar and you’re fighting fatigue and weight gain
  • refined carbohydrates – high carb foods contribute to fatigue and moodiness

What TO eat and drink 

  • water, plenty of it – this helps; decrease bloating, vaginal dryness and dry skin
  • fresh fibrous fruits, nuts and vegetables – you need much more calcium now, so go for lentils, almonds, sardines and dark green leafy veg
  • whole grains – oatmeal, quinoa, barley, brown rice – all provide B vitamins which help boost energy, manage stress, and keep the digestive system functioning.
  • soy and flaxseed are thought to mimic estrogen, (this isn’t proven) which can help with mood swings.
  • vitamin D – if you don’t live in a sunny climate, and don’t eat a ton of mackerel or tuna every day, then get some Vitamin D supplements. You should take 1000-2000 international units daily. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption (which is essential for bone density) and helps with depression and anxiety.

So all in all, this whore-moaning meno is far more manageable if you DO accept what’s happening and help yourself as much as you can.

Roll with the punches girls and, hopefully, you won’t do the punching.

What to eat during menopause

 

 

What’s happened to my waist?! Time to sort yer waist out – let’s Get Waisted

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Did Father Christmas aka Santa give you more than you wanted this year? Has your spare tyre gone a little cray-cray? If you’re over 45 then your middle will be attempting to expand, regardless of the festive season, owing to those extreme hormonals doing their wild circus acts indoors. Add that to your alcohol intake (menopausal women are the biggest culprits) being higher than it was in your earlies* (see reference below) and your flab is having a party, possibly even complete with a bouncy castle, blobbing around where your waist used to be.

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It’s not pretty, it’s not clever and it’s certainly not healthy.

So what are you going to do about it?

Sadly, it’s not easy to shift. But it is possible. And the earlier you tackle it, the better you will feel. It’s that simple. It’s not difficult, if you can stay focussed on the end goal, and trust that these small changes will ALL help find that waist again.

 

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1. It’s glaringly obvious, but stop eating so much.

Especially so much rubbish. Why put things into your mouth that aren’t going to achieve anything? I know, I know – because they taste nice and you’re craving them and and and….BUT, the more you eat processed meats for example which are full of salt (SALT both dehydrating and a big contributor to high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, OBESITY, vascular dementia, diabetes, water retention….need I go on?) the more you will want. Salt is evil and addictive.

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Get rid of it. You’ll have to exercise some will power initially – avoid processed foods; stop adding salt to your fresh food – and you will soon find that your cravings for salt will diminish: thus freeing up your will power to use in another department.

Sugar is equally as bad and in foods that you wouldn’t necessarily have thought of. Read this for more info.

Alcohol is full of sugar  so do try and cut back there too, if you can.

 

Smoothies are also full of sugar if they’re too heavy with the fruit – be wary of these deceptive ‘health’ drinks.

Reduce your portion sizes. The healthier your diet, the easier this will be, as ’empty calories’, do more damage than good; they play havoc with your sugar levels, making you feel hungrier than before, within a very short space of time.

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I highly recommend snacking on pumpkin seeds, as they stave off your hunger; they contain zinc which helps regulate your insulin levels, (part of what controls your hunger levels); they help decrease blood pressure, hot flashes, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms. 9 Amazing Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

 

2. Stand up straight, hold it in and walk tall

Actually don’t just walk tall, WALK MORE. If you’re not doing more than 2000 steps a day, then up your step count somehow, this will definitely make a difference. Most phones have a pedometer on them somewhere; find it, or download a health app and start checking your step count. This will encourage you to walk more.

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Every time you are walking, try to be conscious of your posture. Walk as tall as you can, remembering to push your shoulders down and back, and to hold your head high. Pull your tummy button in to meet your spine as often as you can remember to do so. Try not to slouch when you’re at your desk or at the dining table. The more often you pull yourself in, whether standing, walking or sitting, the closer you’re getting to burning calories and redefining that waist. All without going to the gym.

3. Drink more water.

waterIt might sound so dumb to some of you, but yes, it does make a big difference. The more water you drink, the more hydrated you are and the better EVERYTHING works – including your circulation which is imperative for flushing out toxins and keeping the systems running smoothly.

 

Try drinking a large glass every time you get peckish, it will allay the hunger whilst also reminding you to drink more water. You’ll see an improvement in your skin as well.

4. Stretch and do some weights

I know this is now entering territory that some of you won’t want to go to, but if you can do these things too, then you’ll achieve your goal quicker. Getting into shape isn’t all about cardiovascular exercise. Menopausal women in particular should be doing some weights. Not only are weights one of the best things for toning the stomach, but they are crucial to keeping our bones strong which is imperative to avoid osteoporosis – an increasing problem in women aged 45+.

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If you can’t get to a gym then start doing the plank – only one to two minutes every day – you’ll soon see the benefits.

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Stretching is also great for helping the stomach recoil and get firmer. Yoga and pilates are brilliant for this. Find a class near you, it may help with your emotional well being too.

If you can’t implement all four of these tummy-changing suggestions, then at least try to implement one and you’ll begin to see a difference. But whatever you do, don’t tell yourself its impossible, because it isn’t.

You can GET WAISTED if you want to.

Let’s do this. corset

Continue reading “What’s happened to my waist?! Time to sort yer waist out – let’s Get Waisted”

Hands up if you’re over 45 and are having the best sex EVER? And hands up if you’re not (but you wouldn’t mind…)

Hands up if you’re over 45 and are having the best sex EVER? And hands up if you’re not (but you wouldn’t mind…) here’s how

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One of the best things about becoming older, is that fabulous confidence/lack of care as to what anyone thinks. By now, you know what you like in the bedroom. You know what you don’t like, and you love what you do like.

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It’s a known fact that women our age do seriously enjoy sex. We’ve lost our inhibitions that we may have had in our earlies, we’ve maybe worked out a few fave moves and we are less worried about what we’re doing wrong or what we are doing right. 

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So why aren’t we simply just doing it? 

Because we can’t find the right person to do it with.

Or maybe you’ve given up even thinking about it, as it’s either been unattainable, or so unenjoyable that you’re simply not interested. And that department is now closed. But you do still fancy some companionship.

Don’t worry you are not the only one.

So if you want sex with no strings; or sex with some strings; or just some strings and no sex, you need to let someone know. You need to find him, or he needs to be able to find you.

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV / Rex USA ( 666175AR ) Helen Mirren in ‘Prime Suspect VII’ – 2006 ITV Archive

The thought of internet dating freaks loads of people out. Its time to get over that. Its okay. Its just the way it is these days; if you can’t beat it, join it. It’s easier to date now than it ever has been. There are so many sites that for them to be successful, they have to make them really quite niche, which should (in theory) make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.

Who are you? And what do you want?

If you’re over 45, then you’re classified as mature (regardless of how childish you are).

“Mature Dating” sounds so very grown-up, sensible and safe: but is it though? Obviously there are always going to be the less than wholesome blokes lurking around in any given place, so be smart about where you meet up and don’t give out your address until you feel secure enough to. But that doesn’t mean its anymore dangerous than simply walking out your front door. And of course, there are some good guys too. The same has to be said for us women, some of us are fab and some of us can be pretty scary. No one is perfect, so don’t seek perfection, it’ll end in tears. But do be realistic, don’t lie about your age, don’t upload an overly retouched photo of yourself, and don’t be shy.

Get date-ready and get out there.

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So if you’re looking for companionship, that may well lead onto the best sex of your life (there’s always hope), or if you’re just looking for straight forward companionship then rather than looking on sites that have every testosterone-fuelled 24-40 year old on there, look on sites that are closer to home and closer to what you want. Here’s where ‘Mature Dating‘ can and does help.

Don’t shy away from sites that are trying to tell you in their domain names EXACTLY what you can expect, even if they do sound a little dull or dour.

Try one of these: Older dating Cornwall Dating Agency Aberdeen Dating Agency Edinburgh Dating Agency Cardiff Dating Agency

Or if you just want to have sex and nothing else, (not even a conversation), then you can go to Adult dating

Another great (and FREE) site for anyone ready to get out there and have some companionship…and maybe more, is We love dates

The rules: be safe, be yourself, be honest and DON’T talk about your past relationship. Its boring. Move on. Enjoy girls!

Just STOP being so emotional about it! It’s not funny, it’s not useful and it’s not clever…it’s often unnecessary, and it’s always fattening.

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No, no! I’m really fine!

So a lot might be happening with your emotions right now. You’re possibly hating everyone and everything, maybe even yourself. Well stop that, right now. Our hormones are on a big fat jolly, and, for many of us, we’re also going through some other significant, life-changing moment or other – whether it be the kids leaving home, a career ramp up or ramp down, or just Mrs Merry Menopause herself –  whatever it is, there’s no need to be STRESSING YOUR PANTS OFF.

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One of the advantages of being over 50, is that you really do not have the time to continue to put up with stuff that basically now just bores you stooopid. Yet you still react emotionally.

And it can make you fat. Stress causes you to release the hormone cortisol.

read here why cortisol is public enemy number 1

For example, maybe it drives you insane when your husband/son/dog/cleaner/whomever puts that chair/glass/bone/cushion/whatever back in the wrong place….you throw your head back in disgust, you feel rage, fire in your belly. You cry out “Why?” “Not again!” “Noo!!’ You put yourself through a tormented moment or two, just because someone has done something you don’t like. Again.

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Get over it.

Stop being so emotionally involved in things that don’t require emotional involvement.

Tips to help you deal better with stress

I was put to this exact task only this week. My beloved computer began to spin the whirly wheel of death, for longer and longer periods, until eventually it could barely be turned on for a minute before it froze. I had no choice, I had to take it in. And pray.

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I had a huge amount of unfinished work that I needed to complete. But I also have my entire life on this solitary machine….I was terrified I’d lose it all. I could feel my hair going grayer. I could feel the horrible angst in my belly and my wrinkles deepening at an insane rate.

Then I made a conscious decision. I decided to be ADULT about things. I decided to separate my emotional involvement with my computer potentially dying.

Instead, I took my computer/life to the fix-it guy on the high street, and I didn’t even cry. No. No tears. Words.

“You’ve done the only thing you can do, now you just have to wait. May as well wait with a smile on my face and make good use of the time in hand, rather than pacing around like a caged tiger, clawing at myself until I rip all my hair out.”

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SO give yourself a talking to whenever you catch yourself bleating off – either out aloud or inwardly – stop yourself in your tracks and ask yourself “why?”

“Do I need to feel quite so passionate about this comparatively small little thing?”

We all tend to worry way too much, often about totally insignificant material things. But with a little self-reasoning, we can lead much calmer lives, committing way less damage to ourselves as a bonus.

So LET IT GO.

 

Worrying is not pretty, or clever, or helpful; if you can talk yourself out of it, then do, it really worked for me.

Rule number 6: Empty Nest Syndrome. Dig deep, it’s gonna be okay: just find your inner Madonna.

Madonna. Madge. Maddie. Mad. Mary, mother of Jesus. Whatever you call her, one thing is for sure, Little Miss Madddiepants has successfully survived decades in the public eye. Love her or hate her: she certainly has got one thing totally right; she reinvents herself. All the time. Even through the menopause.

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He’s leaving.

My youngest, aged 18: off to uni. The last time I felt this type of anticipated pain, was when I drove my beloved border collie to the vets to be euthanized. That feeling of utter despair, (even though I knew I was doing the one and only right thing), I am reminded of now, in that I’m snatching every available second, to tidy his hair, stroke his back…get his food…knowing this will be one of my very, very last chances…end of an era….

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Perfect timing: menopause right alongside your nest getting thoroughly emptied.

Okay my son is not dying; I’m being over-dramatic. But him leaving is, for me, another painful, albeit inevitable, life-changing occurrence. It IS a rather big corner.

What else would I want, though? He’s been successful enough to get to go to uni: well done me. Good parenting. Wahoo. I didn’t even encourage him to have a gap year. I could have maybe got another year out of ‘what’s for dinner?‘ or ‘can I have some money please?

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But actually its not all about those duties you’re seemingly constantly harangued into doing….its way more than that….In my case..well…how the hell am I gonna cope without him?!

He looks after the (new) dog when I’m working; he helps me work my camera; he’s the sole, in-house (tremendous standard fyi) cake-baker; he even asks how I am. Okay, to be completely truthful, he has practically become my counsellor. I feel physical pain, in my gut, that he’s going.

My fluffy nest feels like its being turned inside out.

Read more about causes of Empty Nest Syndrome Depression

So why is Mary, Mother of Jesus (bet she was an incredibly proud mum) relevant to Empty Nest Syndrome?

Madonna is really interested in herself.

She takes time to work on her entire image. Sure, she has people to do stuff for her, but ultimately, she is the one asking for ideas on clothing, image and hair styles. She wants the best for herself. And why shouldn’t she? So she’s busy. With herself. And that help heaps, if you’re feeling that final severing of that strong, yet intangible, umbilical cord, as that ‘taking-to-uni’ day arrives. You need to pick yourself up and at least try and look good.

So, get your inner Madonna out and focus.

On you.

Its great that you’re not needed anymore. Come on; it is! You will now have a bit/a lot more time to consider some self-reinvention. Cause, if nothing else, it will stop you from wallowing in your own tears, and encourage you to rediscover YOU. Someone other than just his mum.

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Mary had a ball

Maybe, like me, you’re realizing that it’s much less how you’re defined by others, but more how you’ve inadvertently defined yourself – “my son”, “my angel”….”my co-dependent”….”my rock” ..”my ‘he-makes-me-feel-needed-and-useful-and-stuff'”…”my I can’t fucking cope without him!”

I can. You can. Once I stopped crying; I drank a bottle of vin rouge while watching shit tv, I then decided that I’d better get to bed and wake up in an altogether more acceptable mood.

Upon awakening, I dragged out my inner Madonna and decided to work from the outside in. So my personal reinvention began with a fabulous fake tan.

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It stops you from crying. Cry, and pay with streak marks down the face; therefore, keep it together bitch. This fab faux tan instructs to use at night, but it also works beautifully during the day – especially if you need to make yourself happy/slightly happier/less miserable. And its so easy to use, as long as you’re not balling your eyes out, you can’t go wrong.

Buy Sleep Mask Face Here

But I didn’t stop there. I then immersed myself in the fabulous melting coconut balm

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I took myself to a far off island and lovingly massaged beautiful, dreamy, coconut oil into my tired, dry, menopausal skin…..

James Read products are very user-friendly. I literally LOVE using the coconut melting balm. It is beautiful to massage in – the smell and texture takes you away from it all. This particular tanning brand understands that people are generally complete rubbish at applying their own fake tan, so it compensates in products that do the work for you. They moisturize as well as any luxury skin brand does, while giving you the tan you want – superbly natural.

More about James Read – tanning guru

However, if you do need more help, maybe from the inside out, then read Germaine Greer inspirational book The Change

Although arch feminist, Greer slates sex a bit much in this read; her general stance on how to deal with the change, for me also helps in how to deal with life when you’re facing up to the fact that you’re no longer as needed as you were before…

Come on girls: lets VOGUE

 

 

7. Sort yer hair out. Hair today, gone tomorrow. Hair care.

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Tressled


Nothing escapes the menopause; collagen loss; more flab and folds; hearing loss; sight loss; hormone blah and hormone blob; but – to top it all – our former crowning glory steadily dissolves into a dull and lifeless, frizzy, fuzz.

And it happens quick. Once barely able to get a large hair tie around my ponytail, I can now wrap a small tie around at least 3 times.


My ponytail  has become a punytail.

Obviously I blame my sons, but in fairness, its not all down to them. I would be on this dissipated, stringy strand now anyway: why? Because I’m on the chuffing meno-train.

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However, at least I am lucky enough to be working in the beauty industry and, as a result, have happened upon several hair-carers; all of whom promise thickening, strengthening and lustre.

And, oh how we love lustre (aka ‘youth’?) Almost as much as we love coffee, and that’s the key. Unfortunately its not drinking coffee that helps our tresses, but caffeine – applied topically.

coffee head

 

There are, of course, many brands that claim to help nurture the hair you have, make it stronger (therefore lasts longer), fuller, thicker, shinier etc; but there are some that are better than others and with ALL of them, you must be patient (we all know how long our hair takes to grow) and you MUST USE the products exactly as advised on the packaging.

Nothing works if you don’t persistently use it.

HIARFIX

HAIRFIX is a brand born to treat women exactly our age. It’s a clever recipe that includes time-release caffeine, which works throughout the night to really get down deep in those follicles. It’s a cost-effective serum (as you use only a small amount), which you rub into your scalp 3/4 times a week, at night, wherever your concerns with your thinning hair are.

Special offer here on Hairfix until end of September

But you also need to be a lot more clever and considerate than you were in your earlies, in order to get that lustre back (or near to it at any rate) and there are several other things you can do which all help.

Drink plenty of WATER (yes water even helps your hair)

Make sure you get enough Vitamin B12 (poultry, salmon, fortified cereal)

BIOTIN – also known as Vitamin H, a great supplement for the hair (and skin)

Take Viviscal – a supplement containing AminoMar C (shark and mollusk powder, an organic form of silica)

10 Tips to Naturally Regrow You Hair

conclusive research proving MPS can significantly improve hair

DON’T use HIGH HEAT tools on your hair (I’m guilty of this one) – no more than 150 degrees centigrade, if you can help it.

IMG_5394
Friday Flop, not enough goodness going on in my barnet

HRT Estrogen, estrogen, estrogen. You need it. Go and get some (via the Doctor), because your body stops producing it, (maybe because its banking on you dying at about 65; but that’s not necessarily the case these days) and, our hair needs it. (obvs consult your Dr on this one).

SILK PILLOWCASES – these have added benefit of less wrinkles on the face too, and believe me the difference they make to my hair is immeasurable. (I must get some more, my old ones have died)

SOFT WATER – If you live in a hard water area, see if you can invest in a filter even if its just one that you put in the shower (like this one)

Try not to wash your hair too often. I sometimes just brush my thoroughly through, let it get wet in the shower and then add conditioner. By doing this, you’re not stripping your hair of too many natural oils, whilst still giving it a lovely freshen up.

Hair Masks: use them. Whether you make your own (some great recipes here) or use shop-bought ones, they truly make a difference.

Treatments: DITTO. this is a great one easy to fit into any routine. Just apply onto damp hair for as long as possible before washing out

Likewise use a good leave in conditioner or at least use a primer that will help you achieve a fabulous shine.

make over
From frizzy mop to good on top

 

SO girls, don’t be defeated by bad hair. You can have a good hair day if you just take a little bit more time and give your hair some much needed TLC. Even if its just egg, honey, olive oil and avocado mushed together and slapped on for an hour or so once a week when no one is looking….just remember, you’re very much worth it.

 

Rule number 3: Find your sexy (yes, it’s up to you)

It starts with the undies, just because no one can see them doesn’t mean they’re not important, your bottoms shouldn’t be on the bottom of the list, and keep your tits at the top. Flirt with yourself first, and ditch those awful knicks.

Love your undies, cause that’s where it all starts. When did you last buy yourself a new  crossover, or underwired; triangle, balconette, halterneck, backless, strapless, Queen size, king-size; push-up, or squash-down; T-back, or light n lacy; comfy but sassy bra? And matching knickers? Briefs? G-string? Spanks? Pants? Anything?

WELL, WHY THE HECK NOT?

Modelling bras, (whilst telling myself ‘it’s just like wearing a bikini on a beach’), for a shoot for The Daily Mail…oddly.. all about bras…

 

Finding the right bra

So girls. Rule number 3: find your sexy.

It starts with the undies, just because no one can see them doesn’t mean they’re not important, your bottoms shouldn’t be on the bottom of the list, and keep your tits at the top. Flirt with yourself first, and ditch those awful knicks.

I don’t care if you’re happily single, unhappily married or vice versa; unhappy with your entire image, or all right with some bits of your body – YOUR BODY, the one you’ve had for ages now, the one that’s been with you through thick and thin – you’ve gotta love it. This body of yours is not going anywhere, so you’d better start fully appreciating ALL of it from now on in. Don’t “hate my feet” or “despise my tummy” or insult your tits, “they’re just empty tea-bags,” “pendulous and baggy”; or any other part of you, “my arse is keeping my ankles warm”, “the dimples on my knees have dimples”,”I have no neck”, “I’m just so scrawny” etc.

STOP IT. 

ENOUGH.

Your imperfections are what make you perfect. So love all of them, despite size, shape – lumpy and bumpy; skinny or bony; whatever non-conformist or haphazardly put together person you feel you are, you gotta love it

 

bless this mess
Happy with who I am

BLESS THIS MESS T-Shirt

You’re unique and wonderful, no mater how far along the spectrum you feel you’re away from the standard ‘expected’ sizes and assets, I think you are beautiful. Most of you reading this are over 45, you’ve therefore been here long enough to recognise that this is it. This is what you’ve got. There’s no point in hating it; or hating any little, bad or big, bits of it.

(I know & love that there are many of you out there who are already fully loving and appreciating your bodies for what they are: this isn’t really an article for you).

But for those of us who may have lost a bit of lust with ourselves…well, we need to rediscover and

find our sexy.

I’m not saying this in order for you to attract another – that may well be a by-product – but it all starts with you. The nurturing ‘my sexy’ is an easy thing to forget to do, especially as we get older, while we watch bits of our bodies slide towards the ground and other bits flourish outwards at a seemingly unstoppable rate.

No! Us fabulous 50s (& beyond) have all the more reason to make a proper conscientious effort to go buy some underwear that we love and feel fantastic in. You’re never too old to do this. When I make the effort (& it is indeed an effort) to wear lovely matching bra and knickers, I feel extra good.

I know my liddle secret.

Be in control with style control wear

It doesn’t matter if no one ever knows that on any particular day, I wore a stunning bra n’ knicks, because I got all the benefit myself. I do obviously appreciate that if I got run over… well, you know….same goes for hot date/non-private fitting rooms/wedding night/fire alarm drill at the gym etc.

But brilliant bras aren’t cheap. I HATE how much the really lovely ones cost. How dare they? For that tiny amount of triangle and elastic? Seriously? It’s the tailoring, I tell myself. Its the fit. Its the harmonious symphony of breast meeting brassiere. The prices are quite painful…but it’s okay, I say, buying yourself a beautiful bra tells you that you are worth it, every penny – which you absolutely are. I bought a few gorgeous bras and knicks, from the @ellemacpherson range, they still make me feel a million dollars, every time I wear them….but….shit, that was over 6 years ago now…..I need to take my own advice here…think I’ve def had my money’s worth now…time to refresh…

Elle gets it right….check this little puppy out, imagine wearing this bra whilst you’re walking around Sainsbury’s, your supermarket shopping would be so much more fun, just quietly inwardly knowing what you were wearing underneath….sooooo gorgeous beautiful bra

Another fabulous range is Intimissimi – lovely and reasonably affordable range…

But equally going to your nearest Primark or New Look and getting yourself a few new cheaper undies does the trick just as well – the result just doesn’t last as long (maybe one wash….5 if you’re lucky LOL) – but you still get a result. You know that you’ve got new underwear on and, oh boy, does that feel luxurious! Or am I the only one that doesn’t buy new underwear very often?? Oh lord….

I totally understand that this ‘loving your body’ biz, is no easy feat to achieve. After all, most of us, have spent a lifetime habitually hating at least one thing about ourselves. Yes, my hands could be a lot prettier; my skin a lot clearer, my waist a touch tauter etc etc, but they’re not, and they never will be what I see as perfect.

Accept what you have. What if I lost my hand in an accident? How much would I love it then? As a child, did you ever think to yourself, “what if I died? Then they’d be sorry!“? I have to admit, I’ve cried at my own imagined funeral a few times. Pathetic, I know. But true. Finally grew out of that one when I was about 16, thank god…although I admit, I’ve got my funeral music planned…so the funeral thoughts have never really totally gone away… I digress. Forget what others may think at your funeral! Think about how you feel now. If you’re feeling hot and gorgeous inside, then no one can take that away from you. Others may well also get the benefit of super sexy you, but YOU will get it the most.

So come on girls….I see you baby, shaking that arse…

 

Rule number 2: Cleanse. It sounds so boring, but its both essential and great.

HANDS UP IF YOU GO TO BED WITHOUT TAKING YOUR MAKE UP OFF?

6987-makeupremover

STOP IT NOW, IF YOU WANT GREAT SKIN, YOU GOTTA CLEANSE!

…..and I mean EVERY NIGHT, even if you’re a little bit tipsy, JUST DO IT!

Now you’re older, whether you’re 38 or 87, or anything in between, its time. Its TIME  to really take care of this cleansing routine. In fact great cleansing is imperative to get into your life regardless of age, so those of you in your ‘earlies’ get into a routine now and you’ll reap the benefits forever more.

bare faced
bare to face

However, for those who’ve been on the planet a while; not only have you undoubtedly acquired many ‘things’ such as old books, inherited artifacts, children (maybe); miss-matching towels; speeding fines; debt, a crap vacuum cleaner etc but you’ve also more than likely gained some worrying wrinkles; perhaps a smattering of pesky pigmentation; some screaming scars; open pores, flaky, dry patchy skin or just ruddy rosacea; whatever misdemeanors that now sully your once glowing, perky, vibrant, peachy skin can, in fact, be helped. A lot. Just by great cleansing.

So this is a two-pronged attack. I want to encourage you all to have a clear out; with everything – permanent complaints, excess clothing, dead skin cells, temperamental bowels, bulging cupboards, clutter, useless men: the lot.

EXFOLIATION IS KEY

Just as you wouldn’t wear the same pair of knickers for months on end, nor should you wear those skin cells. When we’re in our ‘earlies’ our skin naturally replenishes itself at an astonishing speed. By the time we’re 30, our skin has got less efficient and the dead cells are replaced more slowly. By the time we’re 40, its even slower. Once we’re 50 and beyond…well we need to get the big guns out to drag off those determined old cells that cling like glue to our faces and bodies, hanging on for as long as they possibly can in order to facilitate deeper, darker wrinkles; bigger, badder, more rotund pores and dull dull OH SO DULL skin.

NO THANK YOU. 

Here are some of my favorite products that REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Liquidgold_awardALPHAH.001

Buy Alpha H Liquid Gold here

Alpha H Liquid Gold is genius. First brand ever to recognize that exfoliation is key. Wipe this over cleansed (Alpha H Balancing Cleanser is FANTASTIC for ALL skin types) skin at night and you’ll feel a tingle – this is your skin being woken up, sent into the gym, as Liquid Gold forces your PH levels to rebalance. Do not moisturize. No need, Just go to bed and let the magic work. While you’re sleeping the AHA’s slowly munch away at your dead skin cells, revealing a fresh, hydrated face in the morning. Do use sun screen the following day. This product is brilliant for ALL SKIN COMPLAINTS.

As far as cleansing goes, this Flora Mare 4eversonic is a Great hygienic facial tool

4EVERSONICDIAMARE

If you don’t like the idea of an AHA exfoliator then a physical one can work just as well. I recommend the Flora Mare 4eversonic, in my opinion its better than any sonic brushes out there. Partly because bacteria can fester in brushes, no matter how frequently you clean or change the heads, but also because the 4eversonic is a joy to use, leaving your skin feeling like glass. For the older skin I highly recommend the Diamare range from Flora Mare, pictured above is their beautiful creamy cleanser, which again leaves the skin thoroughly clean and smooth.

 

ITS NOT ALL ABOUT THE FACE: YOU GOTTA BODY SCRUB TOO

I’m currently testing a couple of different body scrubs, so have none to recommend at the moment – but even if you just get a pair of exfoliating mitts and some body wash, add a little salt and olive oil and your skin will feel amazing.

BUT GOING BACK TO CLEANSING ALL OVER….

No one likes a mess. Not really. Some people say they don’t mind living in a mess, but I don’t believe them. It hurts your head. Its annoying not being able to find stuff. Cleansing your life is as beneficial as cleansing your skin. Have a clear out. Its incredible what it does for the soul. Your junk could be someone else’s…junk, or maybe they would have a use for it…either way, get rid. Don’t hang on to stuff that is just taking space. Head space. Space space. Every time you buy a new piece of clothing, make it a rule to either give a piece away or throw a piece away. Sort through that clutter on the side, it won’t take long and it will no longer irritate you slightly every time you see it. Likewise with friends – if they’re not bringing it, then drop them. Yeah that sounds mean,  but seriously, if you have certain friends who only ever have negative things to say about you and your life…..the dump ’em. Have a cabinet re-shuffle and nuture the good ones.

So please girls, you’ve got one skin, make the most of it. Treat it right and you’ll get rewards. Of course, skin health is not just about cleansing, its also down to stress, pollution, sun damage, sleep deprivation, smoking, drinking and men. Yes, men. If he’s dragging you down, putting you down, or never going down….there’s just one thing for it….you gotta….

wash that man right outta yer hair