Your Crazy Post-40 Hormones: Fat Loss, Fitness & Staying Sane

by Belinda on May 28, 2015

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Occasionally I get an email that really grabs my attention:

“Belinda, HELP! I’ve always been really fit. I workout four times a week and eat healthy but recently I’ve started gaining weight, I’ve put on 10lbs in the last two months! I’m exhausted and forget about sex. What’s going on?”

Hello and welcome to your post-40 hormones!

No matter what your age – if you’re female, you need to read this blog.

Don’t make the same mistake I did and dismiss changing hormones as “something that happens to overly-sensitive women who just need to suck it up”.

OK, I’m exaggerating but you get my point.

If you’re a woman, this relates to YOU. Be informed. Be wise. Be proactive.

The reality is; your hormones will change as you get older.

Often it starts quietly with a few little signs and symptoms. Your period is less regular, longer or shorter. You seem to be losing more hair. You don’t quite feel yourself but can’t put your finger on it.

Then gradually, subtly yet surely the tempo picks up. A skipped period or unusually heavy bleeding. Your skin seems really dry. You notice more wrinkles. Your eyebrows seem thinner. You feel tired all the time.

Finally, the symphony of your hormones reaches it’s grand crescendo around age 50.

Apparently 20% of women sail through these changes.  The rest of us are in for a rude shock.

I ignorantly and arrogantly ignored all the signs and symptoms until the grand finale. How much easier my path would have been if I’d taken notice of the subtle changes sooner. That’s why I am sharing with you today, so you can benefit from my experience.

First, put aside your preconceived ideas, the myths and misinformation. And listen to my story.

This hasn’t been an easy blog to write and here’s why….

Imagine being at your peak physically, mentally and emotionally – feeling on top of the world. This was me at age 48 years after my mid-40’s transformation.

beforeafternew

But all this ground to a halt overnight.

  • I became constantly dizzy, 24/7.
  • I had trouble focusing, writing and problem solving.
  • I suffered from blurred vision (despite my eyesight being normal).
  • Every day noises became painful to my ears.
  • Flashing or fluorescent lights made me feel sick.
  • I felt disorientated in crowded places.

As someone who prided herself on being smart, sharp and successful, you can imagine how terrifying this was.

My life and my business ground to a halt as every ounce of my energy went to just surviving each day, one 24-hour period at a time.

This went on for almost two years.

Extensive tests, leading specialists, a neurologist and an MRI turned up nothing.

The only thing that was changing was my hormones.

Then came the biggest shock of all.

Fluctuating hormones aren’t just about mood swings, hot flashes and all the other embarrassing stereotypes that we’ve all heard about.

Hormonal changes affect our entire body; systemically.

  • Our body fat %.
  • Our energy, cell metabolism and renewal.
  • Our capacity to train and build lean muscle.
  • Our emotional health.
  • And our brain.

Very sobering.

For whatever reason (that the gods only know), my changing hormones severely affected my cognitive abilities.

As I’m sure you can imagine, it took every ounce of energy at this point not to escalate to sheer panic. The fear…that this was it. That I would never regain the sharp, focused, steel-trap like mind I once had.

And then I remembered all the stories of my clients I’d coached over the years….

“Belinda, I feel like crap. I’m irritable all the time, my stomach is bloated, I can’t lose weight despite eating all natural foods. I’m having trouble sleeping and feeling fatigued even if I do sleep. My sex life is non-existent and that’s stressing me out, I’m always craving sweets and carbs…”

“I’m drinking two glasses of wine a night just to cope with my stress-out emotions. I’ve always exercised but now instead of feeling energized I feel exhausted, I’ve put on 20 pounds.”  

“Ever since I turned 41 I just haven’t felt like myself – I feel run down and completely low energy. I struggle with gaining weight, achy joints. Just getting up in the morning is an effort.”

For my own sanity and the wellbeing of my clients, I had to dig deeper.

The Taboo and Stigma.

The first thing I discovered is that no one really wants to talk about this.

Admitting something is wrong may jeopardize careers fought hard for, relationships and reputations.

So everyone just tries to pretend things are OK, both in the work place, socially and at home.

The second rude shock was the massive gap between mainstream medical advice and alternative health options. A topic for another blog.

Then came the age and gender prejudice.

Symptoms brushed aside as “normal” while marriages go on the rocks, jobs are lost and in some cases lives are taken, as the inability to cope gets too much. Yes it’s that serious.

If you’re entering your 40’s, a heads up.

When you see the signs, take notice.

If your hormones are already in full flight and you’re struggling, lift your head up – you will get through this, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

This is a rite of passage, not a dead end.

So let’s start with the big picture stuff.

Crazy Hormones and Your Fat Loss

Ironically I’m known for being super-lean. For some photoshoots I was under 8% body fat which is crazy for a female. But suddenly all that changed.

I began with craving starchy carbohydrates.

I started loading up my plate like there was no tomorrow. Eating felt like a constant tug of war.

My body was desperately trying to GAIN WEIGHT!!

Why?

Quite simple really.

Estrogen is stored in your fat cells. And fat cells produce estrogen.

When ovarian estrogen levels drop, your body desperately tries to compensate by increasing body fat – which in turn increases your estrogen levels.

Oh and a double whammy…low estrogen increases your appetite (thought you’d love that little gem).

Crazy Hormones and Your Fitness

I love exercising. I like getting a good sweat on and feeling my muscles work.

But suddenly this changed too.

I lacked energy, motivation and worse, I felt strange twinges in my knees and hips and unusual muscle soreness.

What’s happening????

Quite simple really (again).

Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are all powerful natural anti-inflammatories. Once they start to drop, boom – you’re more prone to odd aches and pains and it takes longer to recover after working out.

And another lovely tidbit; estrogen is a powerful energy booster (a drop in estrogen means you just don’t feel up to working out as hard).

Crazy Hormones and Your Sanity

Now the fun stuff.

Hormones cross the blood-brain barrier and have a profound effect on the physiology of our brain.

The key areas affected are:

  • Moods: irrational swings and feeling blue.
  • Sleep: problems falling asleep or intermittent waking; feeling unrested.
  • Cognitive functions: issues with memory, focus, verbal skills and problem solving (and sometimes but thankfully rarely, hearing, eyesight and migraines).

Belinda, freakin’ give me the good news, like NOW!!

OK!

The good news is you don’t have to be held to ransom by your hormones. There are a myriad of things you can do to help ease yourself through this life transition.

Not only that, you can feel stronger, happier and more capable mid-life, than you did in your twenties.

Yes, it’s like puberty in reverse.

But you will come out the other side, feeling incredibly empowered, calm, on top and in control.

Remember how you felt at 12 years old – like you could take on the world and conquer anything? That’s how you’ll feel again once you get through this, I promise.

This is simply the last hurrah of your hormones and after that, you’ll never be at their whim again.

But how do you prepare, survive…and get through?

Here is some down-to-earth advice based on what’s worked for me.

1. No hormone should be approached in isolation.

It’s the very delicate balance between all your hormones that creates your sense of well-being. Don’t take supplements willy-nilly to boost individual hormones. Rather, investigate natural adaptogen supplements that will work with your body to restore the right homeostatic balance between all your hormones; red maca and evening primrose oil are great starters. If energy is an issue, take high dose methylated vitamin B (especially B6 and 12). For an all in one supplement check out: natural support for balancing female hormones.

2. Be vigilant.

Your body is now less forgiving. It can’t tolerate alcohol, late nights, stress and burning the candle at both ends like it used to. The price you will pay is weight gain and declining health.

Nurture and care for your body – not punish and push it.

Don’t think you can workout like a Trojan, drink like a fish and maintain your perfectionist standards without the wheels eventually falling off.

So cut out alcohol, eat smaller meals, reduce caffeine and sugar. Include more fiber, flax seed, coconut oil and green leafy vegetables.

Get more downtime. Go to bed earlier. Unplug and relax.

Do an exercise program that is gentle on your joints, ligaments and tendons. Choose routines that accelerate fat burning while building strong, lean, toned muscles – without wearing you out.

3. Don’t give up.

You’re entering the next phase of your wonderful life and this requires putting your health and wellbeing at the top of the list, for everyone’s benefit.

You may have some challenging, even dark times, but you are not alone.

If you need professional help, get it. Don’t procrastinate. The sooner you have the facts about what’s going on with your body, the better.

But be prepared. There isn’t a magic bullet.

This is about listening to your body, asking the right questions, not taking advice on face value and being prepared to test, try and experiment until you discover what works for you.

We need to stand up, speak up and support each other.

We need to stop pretending everything is OK, while things are falling apart on the inside.

If you think a friend may be struggling, reach out and ask if they’re OK. Don’t judge; be loving and supportive. Help them in practical ways. Karma will reward you.

No matter how bad you might be feeling today, take heart; you can regain spark and reclaim your body.

You will get your youthful mojo back!

Bel xo

P.S. Please share your thoughts, experiences and comments below. Let’s stick together, encourage and support each other – rather than judge and criticize.  We all deserve that!

P.P.S. If you’d love more guidance on how to lose weight and get in great shape (despite your changing hormones) please check out my personalized Get Lean Coaching Program. I’ll share what’s worked for me and my clients and take you step by step through losing weight, getting rid of cellulite and building lean, body toning muscle — in a healthy, hormonally-friendly and sustainable way.

90 Day Get Lean Program <<

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If you enjoyed this post then you’ll also like: 6 Life-Changing Transformational Secrets <<

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{ 135 comments… read them below or add one }

Emma April 22, 2017 at 3:35 am

It has taken me 2 years to convince my doctor I had started the journey of the menopause. She didn’t believe me saying I was too young! Even though there are 4 members of my family on my mums side that started early. What you have written makes total sense to me. I believe the menopause has made my IBS really bad as well so I have that on top everything else the menopause throws at me.

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Belinda April 23, 2017 at 12:20 am

HI Emma, sorry to hear about this but happy you’re on the right path now and that my blog has helped you. Things will get better step by step – the key is balance in eating and exercise. Doing enough but not too much, eating healthy but not going too low with your calories or carbs. Please check out my Get Lean Program if you need help with this. Big hug, Bel XO

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Carol Gray April 21, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Hi Bel

I’m a past client of your program and had great success! I’m now 53 and I’m peri menopausal . My weight seems to be increasing slowly over time, even though I eat healthy and exercise. Should I go back on your program or do you have a new one for heading into menopause?
Thanks
Carol

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Belinda April 21, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Hi Carol, great to hear from you :) I’d recommend you go back on my program however since you joined we’ve added a team of Get Lean Coaches that are trained to guide you with getting the best results – and we have a Private Get Lean Facebook Community. Message me via the Help Desk and I’ll send you the link and give you the info re our coaching :)

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Carol Gray April 21, 2017 at 7:23 pm

Thanks Bel! I’m excited to be back :)

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Lorrie January 26, 2017 at 11:40 pm

Hi Belinda

You have described me exactly! At 43 I changed careers and now work most days with horses hooves (like a farrier without the shoes!) I eat a high protein low carb diet with plenty of fats, get plenty of sleep but still feel all those things you mentioned above AND the weight still creeps on or flucuates. Thank you for letting me know it’s all normal and I am not going crazy…having said that it is time to fix those hormones! I am one step closer to getting your program and getting my health on track as I approach 44, I still have to much active life to live!

Lorrie

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Belinda January 27, 2017 at 12:15 am

Hi Lorrie! So wonderful to hear this has helped. Just a quick tip, I find if you go too low carb when your hormones are changing this can really affect your energy levels and even make you prone to gaining weight. It’s all about carb types and timing. Check this blog if you haven’t already: The Truth About Carbs. Would LOVE to have you on Get Lean!! Bel XO

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Tanya January 22, 2017 at 8:00 am

Thank you for this great info. I suffer from some of the symptoms you outlined and i will try harder to be more mindful of my health. At 46 years i would like to feel happy and healthly. I was fit but have gone down hill in last 6 months. Reading this has inspired me to make some changes 😄

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Belinda January 22, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Hi Tanya, so happy to hear this article has helped and your inspired to take better care of yourself :) Thanks for posting and letting me know! Bel XO

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Karyn December 1, 2016 at 7:46 am

I had a full hysterectomy 18 months ago at 42. My weight has spiralled upwards ever since. I guessed it was hormone related but really have no idea what to do to control it. I’ve always followed the 80/20 rule with healthy eating and exercise regularly. In fact I’m a fitness instructor, my fear is now that I’m going to lose clients because I don’t project the right image or inspire any more. You’re right about the dark moods, but worse still it’s the general lack of understanding. There is little guidance out there! I’m going to do a lot more research and try and find the best solution for me!

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Belinda December 1, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Hi Karyn, very happy my blog has inspired you to keep researching and testing to find the best solution. This is really important, taking ownership rather than let things “happen” to you. I agree there is not the awareness and guidance there should be, considering this affects all women….at some point!! Please keep me updated how you’re going! Big hug, Bel XO

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Heather December 11, 2016 at 9:17 pm

I feel your pain Karyn! I too had a total hysterectomy in august, was put on hrt and am gaining with every breath I swear. I am also a fitness instructor and feel exactly how you do. I know it is hormones but you can’t wear a shirt saying “I’m fit but have fat hormones”. Trying to ween off the prescribed estrogen and try a more bio identical approach. Who wants to be fat and depressed, I’d rather be slim and crazy haha.

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Tam R October 29, 2016 at 6:27 pm

A lightbulb moment! Thanks for your article. Have just turned 49 and have been saying for the last year that I just haven’t felt myself. Terrible mood swings. I lost 25kg this year but for the last four weeks have been secretly bingeing high sugar food. I know this is wrong but haven’t been able to stop. Having read your blog I realise I need to stop stressing, give myself a break and refocus on my goal -another 20kg to lose.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have given me hope.

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Belinda October 29, 2016 at 6:35 pm

Hi Tam, awesome to hear this and thank you so much for letting me know. I think you’ll also enjoy this Facebook Live Video as well :) Big hug, Bel Xo

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Maxine McInnes October 22, 2016 at 9:17 pm

Having just gone through a full hysterectomy and thrown into menopause at 44, this has been the most helpful and informative article I’ve come across. Thanks Belinda, you’ve given MeV hope and explained a lot!!

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Belinda October 22, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Hi Maxine, so happy to hear you’re feeling encouraged and informed – that’s made my day :) Hang in there…things will get better! Bel XO

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Christina August 31, 2016 at 5:51 am

Hi Belinda, Thankyou for all your facebook posts and blog posts! I have been reading and listening to you avidly and LOVE all the things you are talking about!! This article has been very interesting! As a 44yo woman, I’ve been struggling with hormonal issues and a 20lb weight gain (slowly accumulating over the last 10 years) recently diagnosed thyroid issues (hypothyroidism – although doctors say it is ‘only just outside the range’) and probably adrendal fatigue for the last 10 years. I have always been careful with my diet, eating clean as much as possible, supplementing with maca for several years now and limiting sugar consumption – both of which helped with most of my hormonal issues, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol for the last 20 years. About 5 months ago I started what was for me a more intense workout regime – 5 days a week of 45 minute workouts all consisting of things like TABATA, HIIT, Kettle bells, weights and body-weight exercises. (Prior to this I was doing an hour of hot yoga mostly once a week – sometimes twice a week and elliptical machine for 30mins a couple times a week max). After only 2 weeks of the new intense workout regime, I got what I thought was a cold, but it also came with intense fatigue and I had to stop all exercise…although I was still able to walk or ride my bicycle to work, I was extremely fatigued….this went on for 4 weeks until I went to the doctors to figure out why I was still not well….and thus the thyroid and adrenal issues were flagged. I was very hesitant to start exercise again (as this is what pushed my body into hypothyroidism), but after about 3 months I tried doing 10 minutes of HIIT and managed to do it once a week for a few weeks (I was too fatigued to do any more than that). I have now managed to do 10 minutes of HIIT 4 times a week for the last 3 weeks, but had to stop a few days ago when I started my menstrual cycle as my body is much more fatigued again, but I am hoping that I will be able to start exercise again in a few days. I am interested in your programme, but I am concerned as to whether it is able to cater to where I am am health-wise (trying to heal my body from hypothyroidism). Thankyou for all you do! Christina xx

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Belinda August 31, 2016 at 2:43 pm

Hi Christina, thank you! I understand re the exercise and fatigue issues. This is challenging and frustrating but you can improve your fitness and manage your weight. The key is staying within your “energy envelope” doing enough but not too much. And starting very gently and going step by step as you feel OK and building on your fitness levels gradually. Please send me a message via my Help Desk and I can explain more about how we can work together on this through my program. Bel XO

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Michelle August 29, 2016 at 2:22 am

I was a keen runner then last year something changed. I am a rare one and at the age of 44 have started with migraines. Anyone who suffers from this will know how truly debilitating it is so not only do I have all of the above but every few months by body mimics stroke like symptoms and it lasts a fee weeks, i am so glad I came across your blog. I know my diet is full of sugar and I rarely eat meals but its hard to change after all these years. I no longer get my buzz from running which is the sad part for me. Any tips for getting back my buzz!!!!

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Belinda August 31, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Hi Michelle, thank you and so happy to hear this blog helped you!! It’s really important to eat the right food types at the right intervals during the day to keep your blood sugar levels stable and energy up. Your exercise needs to be gentle and graded to help you feel good without overdoing it. I hope this helps and if you’d like more information about my Get Lean Program please contact me via my Help Desk. Big hug, Bel XO

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Sheralee August 17, 2016 at 5:44 pm

Wow. This is like you wrote my biography. Good to know that things upswing after a while, I was under the impression that most of these changes would be permanent. Thanks Belinda

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Belinda August 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm

Awesome to hear Sheralee and so happy this helped :) XO

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Clare Milner August 7, 2016 at 2:58 am

Hi Belinda
So refreshing to read your blog, Thank heavens I’m not going round the twist, I knew it was hormones! In short, 46 years old, overweight but always have done regular exercise, more weights & strengthening now. However regular injuries, up & down moods, disturbed sleep, massive sugar cravings, the list goes on. Currently though best workouts I think I have ever done, but belly fat especially, weight not shifting, diet pretty good & balanced, very low amount of alcohol. One problem which doesn’t help is I have Multiple Sclerosis, relapsing remitting. Lots of major relapses between 30-35, then learnt how to manage my MS, still day to day challenges but manageable, albeit frustrating sometimes. So 4 week PT session booked, but nutrition session as well, very interested in your program after reading your blog & website.
Wqould love to look at some further help after my 4 week course, please advise, knowledge is key.

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Belinda August 31, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Hi Clare, so happy to hear this helped. Please contact me via my Help Desk for more information about my Get Lean Program! XO

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Jenn July 25, 2016 at 4:18 am

Thank you for this article. My downfall started at 45 and now I am 47 and everything you said is so true! Glad to hear there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Biggest irritation is the scale, it won’t go down. I workout 6 days a week and eat good. Frustrating but I do feel fit which I didn’t a few years ago. Thanks again!
Jenn

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Belinda July 25, 2016 at 4:10 pm

Hi Jenn, my pleasure :)

Please test some of the eating tips in this article, if you need more help check out my Get Lean Program which has personalized support to help you get the scale moving! Hug, Bel XO

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Cheryl June 22, 2016 at 5:17 am

Hi Bel. I’m 49 and really struggling to get my weight under control…have been in a healthy weight range my whole life, eat pretty well and don’t smoke and rarely drink alcohol. In the past 18 months I’ve gained 15 kg s. I’ve also had to stop going to the gym due to migraines, which are being managed but still impact my ability to do cardio and weights. Also can’t have HRT medication. Do you know whether the supplement you are suggesting is OK for everyone? Have tried lots of different diets but nothing seems to be helping. Also, any other words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Cheryl

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Belinda June 22, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Hi Cheryl! I understand – this is quite common and frustrating! I am so sorry to hear about those migraines. It sounds like you’ve had everything checked out health wise which is the first step. In terms of natural supplements I would run those past your doctor to make sure there are no interactions with any drugs you may be taking and to get their OK. Good nutrition and exercise goes a long way to help the body cope with these hormonal changes. Feel free to message me via my Help Desk and I can help you :) Big hug and don’t give up! Bel xo

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Jane June 17, 2016 at 6:42 pm

Hi I’ve just read your article about hormonal changes and what it does to the female body. I’m 59 this year and you have no idea how much that pains me to say it! On the plus side most people have me down for mid 40’s so I can’t complain!! I have noticed that I’ve put on weight, been very tearful, been very ill tempered with just about everyone I know. As I have a coil fitted and haven’t had a period for nearly 10 years and been told that I was going to bypass the ‘M’ word, or rather it was going to bypass me, I think someone forgot to tell me that I would still get some hormonal imbalances. I realise now that this is what I must be going through. I’ve always excercised, never excessively but always kept fit. Now I can barely make it off the couch!! I’m not hugely overweight, just totally exhausted, not sleeping, crying alot and so unmotivated!!! Reading your article was a light bulb moment. I’ve dusted down my rowing machine and got back on the horse as it were!! Hopefully I’ll feel and look like my old (not old in that sense?) self in the near future. Thank you for the information and here’s looking forward to a brighter tomorrow now that I know what I’m dealing with.

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Jennie June 7, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Thank you so much for this article! I lost my job recently due to my inability to concentrate/focus and also due to my massive confusion (confused all the time by anything new). My family are confounded by the daft things I do, I’m forgetful and it’s hard to comprehend a lot of things that were easy before. I’ve always been a little ditzy but I’ve never lost a job before and this level of forgetfulness is a whole new ballgame! I’ve gained 20kg and am tired all the time. This article is like you reached into my head and pulled the information out of me! Thank you so much for writing it Bel. I thought I was getting early onset Alzheimer’s and was a bit scared. Now I feel like there’s another answer! Yippee! Have a great day…

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Belinda June 7, 2016 at 10:39 pm

Hi Jennie! My pleasure. So sorry to hear you just lost your job – my hormone specialist told me this is not that uncommon for women going through perimenopause, you are not alone. I know it’s scary but things will return to equilibrium step by step. You need to be gentle on yourself, plenty of rest and try to feed your body and brain the right nutrients. I would also make sure you get everything checked out and your hormone levels checked :)

Big hug, Bel XOXO

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Jennie June 8, 2016 at 11:19 pm

Thank you Belinda, I will! Thank you for the reassurance. I’ll go and see a doctor and get a referral for a hormone specialist.

Have a lovely day!

Jennie

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Nadine June 7, 2016 at 9:09 pm

Hi,

Im just into my 37th year. Over the past 4 years i have struggled with mental health. I was put on medication to stabalize myself however over the past year ive been seeing a considerable change with my body.
I struggle to get going everyday but also struggle to sleep at night. I have been missing my period for approximately 5-7 months and while im supposed to be ovulating i get terrible night sweats.
I have been very imbarrased as well to admit im getting terrible facial hair that i have never had before :(

I used to workout everyday anx enjoyed it very much…these days i struggle to get the modivation to work out and have been eating like a crazy person. I can feel myself growing and i am now heavier then ever!!!
Everytime i say to myself today is the day i fall short and let myself down. Im a mother of 4 teens and work full time. Im not sure where to go from here however i know i want change and even though im only 37 my dr has confirmed im starting the mid life stages

Thanks for letting me share

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Belinda June 17, 2016 at 12:29 am

Hi Nadine! Thanks for posting and sharing. I often find focusing on just one thing to change at a time works really well, something you feel doable. It may be just getting to bed a little earlier so you feel more refreshed in the morning and able to make better decision around food and exercise :)

The main thing is don’t give up! If you’d like more help please message me via my Help Desk. Big hug, Bel xo

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Josie June 4, 2016 at 8:56 pm

Hi Belinda
Thanks for a wonderful article. It’s so good to hear life is ‘not over’. At 51 I’ve ‘sailed through’ so far but over the last few months have struggled mentally with coming to terms with getting older. I have always been a ‘health and fitness’ frantic and am determined to ‘train’ my way through these changes bring even more conscious of my nutrition. Have never lacked motivation to train but have noticed the cravings for carbs as you have mentioned. Awareness is so empowering. Your attitude is so empowering. Thank you

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Belinda June 4, 2016 at 9:04 pm

Hi Josie! My pleasure and thanks for posting :) I totally get the mental aspects…and this is very important to get on top of. Time is no respecter of persons – in other words, it’s marches on for us all – so the sooner we make our peace with the aging process and resolve to turn it around to a positive, the happier and healthier we’ll be. At 52 I’ve found a new sense of self, calmness and confidence – and not worrying about what others think so much anymore. Quite liberating in fact. And like you said – empowering!! Big hug, Bel XOXO

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Janice May 24, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Like many of the people who have e mailed you I began suffering with my hormones when I was in my early 40’s but managed to cope with most of the symtoms on a day to day basis until however I got to the age of 48 when I was at my lowest, just when I thought they couldn’t get any worse I suffered bad panic attacks (not good when you have just started a new job) and I thought I was loosing my marbles as I couldn’t think straight and struggled to put a single sentence together without me having to correct myself all the time. The simplest of tasks became hard to do. I had to inform my work that I was having difficuty performing my daily tasks. I have tried different medications over the last 8 years (perscription and non perscription), far too many to list, none of them worked. I finally gave up last year and paid to see a lady doctor who solely dealt with women and their hormones. I have to say it’s the best £120 I spent. She not only understood what I was going through but knew how the symtoms felt as she herself was going through the exact same thing. As I still have my uterus and have a marina coil fitted she prescribed “Estradot” (HRT) which is a patch I wear twice a week which contains the female hormone oestrogen. Most if not all my symptoms have disappeared. I still can’t loose the half a stone I have put on over the last year but at least I can function and sleep and it only took me 8 years to find a solution that works (for now anyway).

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Belinda May 25, 2016 at 4:02 am

Hi Janice, I am so happy you finally got to the bottom of things and are feeling almost back to normal. This is great news – you’re a strong lady. The weight will gradually balance out too especially if you focus on the timing of your carbs and working out smart. Well done and thanks for sharing! Bel xo

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Diane keating July 6, 2016 at 12:39 am

How did you go about finding this lady doctor please?

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Belinda July 6, 2016 at 1:07 am

Hi Diane, could you please send me a message via my Help Desk re this? Thank you and talk soon! Bel xo

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Phaedra May 23, 2016 at 11:23 am

Wow. Just. WOW. This has been the story of my life for the last year. I just turned 45 and while I haven’t really gained much weight (roughly 3lbs), I’ve gotten a lot softer through my midsection and thighs. I’ve also struggled with incredibly irregular periods. I find I’m having a harder time dealing with stress, I’ve become more anxious as well as emotional. I also find I’m having a very hard time focusing and remembering things. VERY scary. The only time I can seem to remain completely focused is when I’m working out. I’ve spoken to my doctor and I had a bunch of tests done – she seems to think I’m too young to be periomenopausal but I would disagree. She’s suggested I see a gynaecologist so that will be my next step. I think I’ll also see a naturopath to see if there are supplements that can help balance things out. I will try the Red Maca. I used to use yellow Maca in my smoothies years ago.

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Belinda May 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Hi Phaedra, well done on taking control of your situation and seeking specialized help. At the end of that day it’s our responsibility to take ownership of our health and wellbeing. The medical professional and alternative health practitioners are there to serve us – the client/customer. They have a duty of care to provide an informed opinion and it is our responsibility evaluate it. The more information and various opinions we have, the better positioned we are the make the right choices and decisions. All the best and please keep me updated how you’re going! Bel XO

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Terese May 11, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Im so happy I found your Facebook and website. Im struggling with turning 48. Everything in this post was as if you were writing about me (except my dreaded “hangover headaches” every morning)… when I haven’t even drank :) I am a trainer. I am a smart trainer and have helped hundreds of woman lose a lot of weight. Yet, for some reason the last 4 years I can’t lose a pound or inch. My body % is now at 35%!!!!!! I used to be at 26% 4 years ago. Im so frustrated beyond words. People say embrace this time of your life…. I can’t seem to wrap my arms around it though. I am a Macro Girl. I do about 30% carbs, 35% protein, and 35% fat. Im usually about 90% on my plan.My carbs come from veggies, brown rice, quinoa, super foods made with chia, flax, etc. I do take a GLA, B’s,, Omega, Probiotic and Chromium. Would you suggest adding the Red Meca in also? I do HIIT training 2-3 x a week, I run, I do my strength workouts 3-4x a week. Not sure of any other tips you can give me but I would love any advice from one healthy trainer to another.

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Belinda May 11, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Hi Terese, thank you for this post and I am know there are tons of other trainers out there facing similar challenges. Yes I think the Red Maca would help (and would balance your lower carb intake which can be more difficult when estrogen drops) and the Women’s Premium which I’ve found excellent for energy and overall wellbeing. They key is to test and change one thing at a time, with both your eating, exercise and supplements. Although blood tests don’t always tell the full story if you haven’t had your hormone levels benchmarked that would be a good idea as well. I hope this helps, sending you a big hug and keep up the great work! Bel xo

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wendy pucek May 11, 2016 at 7:24 am

the same thing happen to me! after investigating what I can do,bio-identical hormones are to expensive, I cut out all grains & beans, basically eating paleo & 1 day a week I have a cheat day & eat everything I want, & also joined crossfit exercise class. after 2 months my belly disappeared & im in the best shape of my life!! so don’t give up :)

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Belinda May 11, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Hi Wendy and great to hear this! Thank you for sharing your encouraging experience. That’s totally awesome in you’re in the best shape of your life!

Bel XO

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Leigh May 5, 2016 at 4:55 am

Thank you for you blog, I so relate to what you have said, I love exercise, a year and a half ago I used to train regularly twice a day, I could eat what I want and was slim fit and healthy. Random weight started appearing almost immediately after turning forty, I trained harder but it would not go. Since then I have got pregnant and had my 4th baby, but my body didn’t go back like it did with the other 3, I’m tired, dizzy, seriously forgetful, I walk into things and my eyesight has declined at a rate of knots. My hips hurt my hands and wrists hurt. Carpal tunnel comes and goes the list goes on. I thought it was the aftermath of having a baby but I’m wondering if it is that and my crazy forty hormones that are to blame. I’ve literally gone to pieces and can’t function, they try to give me tablets but I won’t take them as I’m used to fixing myself with exercise. But at the moment it’s just not working for me. Like you I have been worried there is something far worse wrong with me as all these symptoms at the same time is crazy. But after reading this I’m of to the doctor :)

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Belinda May 5, 2016 at 4:17 pm

Hi Leigh, so sorry to hear this! But very happy you’re going to get everything checked out. It sometimes takes a bit of work to get to the bottom of things but is really worth it. Sending you a big hug of encouragement and keep me posted on how things are going! Bel xo

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Suvarna May 4, 2016 at 3:29 pm

Thank you for this WONDERFUL article! Just what I needed to hear! :)

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Belinda May 4, 2016 at 3:37 pm

My pleasure and thank you Suvarna! Bel xo

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Judy griffin April 30, 2016 at 2:50 pm

I really appreciate your heartfelt & informative post. You really described so the many ways women are challenged. I too help women struggling with hormones, peri & menopause and agree that there just isn’t enough support in the form of mainstream medicine. I learned a lot in my own research, read many informative books, and also got certified in the Hormone Cure. I have my own challenges with perimenopause & use my experience to help others while learning all that I can. I look forward to reading more of your articles on this topic. I really love the suggestions you have and complete agree. This is a time in our lives that we really need to love ourselves up so we can come out on the other side & flourish.

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Belinda April 30, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Thank you Judy, it sounds like you’re doing great work that’s very needed!! Thank you for sharing your encouraging words :) Bel xo

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Kim gunter April 30, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Hey Belinda I am in the same as the other women…. I exercise 3 days a week a lot of elip and treadmill and running, I need to know what you suggest…. I turn 49 tomorrow and work really hard to be healthy but can’t seem to get a handle on it…. Thank you for your advise

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Belinda April 30, 2016 at 4:24 pm

Hi Kim! Well done on exercising regularly. I find the cardio type exercise alone (elliptical and treadmill) doesn’t get the best results. I also find the timing type of carbs, protein and healthy fats is important – equally so as how much you’re eating. I think you’d get excellent results with my Get Lean Program….As the years go by it’s the little things that make a difference – eating your carbs at the right time of the day, the types of workouts you are doing, getting enough sleep and monitoring your alcohol. Because of this most women get better results with a plan to follow. Get Lean has a 90 Day Eating Plan so you can relax and lose weight without worrying if you’re eating the right foods. And a wide range of female specific at-home workout routines for all levels so you can burn fat and tone up your stubborn trouble spots. Many use just bodyweight some minimal equipment. I recommend 30 minutes 3 times a week to start. I’ll guide you with your eating and give you a customized weekly training plan based on your level, lifestyle and goals to help you get fitter and leaner. If you’d like to learn more just click here – or message me via my Help Desk. I’d love to coach you! Bel XO

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Lisa April 29, 2016 at 11:33 am

This article has helped me massively. Im a 42 year old personal trainer and fir the past couple of years I gave been suffering from hypersensitive skin, achy joints, headaches, increased facial hair and lots of other nasties. It feels better just knowing its not just me. My gp isnt interested in this and says im too young to contemplate any hormonal changes but i know my body well and i think it is deffo hormones. I feel great for the week before ovulation and after that feel shocking.
Thanks for the info in this article. I feel better about things now xx

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Belinda April 29, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Hi Lisa, I am so happy to hear this! Sometimes just knowing you’re not alone is massive. General Practitioners are often overworked and deal with such a wide range of issues that’s it’s not easy to provide the extra specialized knowledge that’s sometimes needed. If things continue and you don’t feel good, a doctor specializing in women’s health or an endocrinologist will be equipped to provide more insight. Big hug and keep up the great work with your clients :) Bel xo

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julie April 28, 2016 at 11:45 am

Thank you for the article,i am nearly 46 and have started experiencing the irregular periods, hot flushes which wake me up at night and headaches like a foggyness in my head. i thought it was stress related as its been a tough couple of years but i now think it could be my hormones.
My question is where do i start? healthy eating, exercise or supplements?
I have no motivation on my days off to do anything but eat
I am only half a stone overweight but always have a bloated stomach and want to get this under control now before the menopause.
Any advice greatly recieved

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Belinda April 28, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Hi Julie, great to hear from you and thanks for your message. Stress certainly doesn’t make things easier…I would take a closer look at your eating, check out this article: How to be a Fat Burner Not A Carb Craver: 12 Commonsense Eating & Exercise Tips Once that’s in place and you’re feel a bit better then look at some gentle full body workouts. Just short routines that will help to burn fat and tone without exhausting you. Please feel free to message me via my Help Desk for more advice. Hug, Bel xo

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Valarie April 17, 2016 at 3:10 pm

I turned 40 year old last year, nearly 1 month after having my first child. Kept really fit even during pregnancy, as I have been in great shape my whole life and enjoy working out. But following a traumatic birth, severe anemia post delivery, I’ve been so tired and weak. My anemia soon cleared but the fatigue and lack of motivation lingered. I was diagnosed with PPD. I never felt depressed it was just the only explanation my doctor could give. Nearly 9 months on and with a baby that has been a dream for her entire life, I’m still so tired. And I’m so dizzy… had a fall today. My mental focus is off. My ears ring really bad. My vision is blurred. My hands and feet tingle. I have very little drive to do things I used to enjoy. I’ve stopped my birth control pills. Your article may explain what’s happening to me. I was worried about MS or Vit B12 deficiency but doctor has done tests and says not to worry. Frustrated but now hopeful after reading your story.

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Belinda April 17, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Hi Valerie, sorry to hear about your difficult time – but very happy your wee one is an angel :)

You’re doing all the right things under your doctors supervision and guidance, so they can keep an eye on things. Keep following up with that and if you’re not satisfied consider a specialist who can look more deeply into your symptoms. I understand re feeling frustrated. I am hoping as your body recovers from the birth you will start feeling stronger and stronger and things will settle down. Sending you a big hug of encouragement! Bel XO

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Melanie April 16, 2016 at 2:15 pm

I am having all of these symptoms and I am 33. Is it possible it could be my hormones?
I have recently had a blood test for thyroid etc but all negative… I have health anxiety and the way I’m feeling with the tiredness, dizziness, weight gain etc I feel like so depressed.

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Belinda April 16, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Hi Melanie, sorry to hear this. There could be many reasons. Because the symptoms cover a wide gamut of possibilities it’s important to get all aspects of your health checked out thoroughly. Especially if you’re feeling anxious. I would try to find the best doctor or possibly a specialist who can help you get to the bottom of this quickly. I know it’s not easy but it will be worth the effort and you’ll be able to start feeling lot better once you know for sure what is the cause. I hope this helps and sending you a big hug of encouragement, Bel XO

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Alison Craig April 15, 2016 at 5:56 am

Interesting stuff here, Bel. I am 53, have always been fit and very active. Until a couple of years ago. Working 70 hours a week since my mid-40s undoubtedly hasn’t helped, but there is something else happening to my body. I am now constantly tired but cannot sleep at night, and I have gained probably a stone and a half. Meanwhile, I am eating 900 calories a day (low carb, a good amount of protein along with plenty of veg and limited fruit) along with a daily exercise/activity regime of an hour a half walk, a 15 minute cardio workout on my turbo trainer and a 15 minute high-intensity body-weight workout. And still gaining weight. This simply doesn’t compute. I find it extremely depressing.

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Belinda April 15, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Hi Alison, thank you! I understand how you’re feeling and many women have experienced the same myself included. Training harder and eating less doesn’t solve the equation. We need to adjust our thinking to coaxing not pushing our body. This isn’t easy especially after many years of pushing the envelope lol. But it can be done. Please feel free to private message me via my Help Desk so I can find out a little more and help you :)

Bel XO

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Louise April 13, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Hi Bel, I’m 52 and have everything that you described, but also have an under active thyroid! I grieve for the slim, energetic me! As I had a hysterectomy in 2008, I also take HRT, but have lowered the dose to 1mg as I’m almost through menopause thankfully!! Ant tips for this minefield of hormones!!! Thanks Louise.

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Belinda April 13, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Hi Louise! Sorry to hear this and I understand about the feelings of loss. You can look and feel great again – we just need to coax our body rather then pushing it! Please contact me via my Help Desk with a little more information about your current nutrition and exercise program and I will see how I can help. Big hug, Bel xo

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Monica April 10, 2016 at 5:25 am

Hi, this IS me! I want to learn more and possibly start your program but I was just diagnosed w/ hashimotos so I’m afraid to start or do anything else. I’ve tried so many programs and paid for so many things….. And I’m as confused now as I think my body is!

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Belinda April 10, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Hi Monica, great to meet you!

Sorry to hear about the Hashimotos but good to know you’ve got a diagnosis and can move forward. I’ve had several girls with Hashimotos on my program but each individual is different. You can read about Susan in this article. Could you please send me a message via my Help Desk and we can go through a few questions to see if the program is a good fit for you?

Looking forward to hearing from you soon :)

Bel

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Chris April 4, 2016 at 8:06 pm

Hi Belinda,
I am a man trying to help his girlfriend. Your article was great. I have a few questions. Did you use adaptogens, red maca, evening primrose, and the natural support supplement? Do you think one helped more than the other? I like your idea of working systemically rather than trying to isolate individual hormones.
Thanks,
Chris

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Belinda April 10, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Hi Chris, I found the natural support supplement the best for overall balancing. Thank you for your feedback and all the best with your girlfriend!

Bel

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Jackee Warry April 4, 2016 at 6:38 am

Thanks!!!
I thought it was just me. I am turning 42 this year and my body is hating me at the moment. I am stuck at one weight now, and cant seem to get below it. I am lucky that I have a husband that is willing to eat healthy (aka green stuff) with me. I use to be a bootcamp freak, I would run each day or bike. I swim laps when I could. But I just can’t seem to do it anymore. Thanks again for giving this information.

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Belinda April 4, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Hi Jackee, sorry to hear you’re going through a hard time. I’m very happy to hear this article helped and thanks for letting me know. It sounds like you’re onto it…please keep me updated on how you’re going! Big hug, Bel xo

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Leanne Morgan April 2, 2016 at 6:52 pm

You just made my day!!!!! I turned 41 2 days ago and lately I have been feeling….off would be the word. I became a single mother 3 years ago after16 years of an abusive marriage and finally feel whole in the respect of my mentality, but in the last year I feel like I am losing all the aspects of my life. I need to hold a book at arms length to read it, I can sleep for 4 or ten hours and still feel the same when I wake up. I have an 18 year old son who is causing some heart ache and two girls 15 and 11 who are suffering from the stress of their brother as well. I can’t seem to quit smoking or eating. I have gained over 20kgs and have been told it’s from stress. I have developed neurotic dermatitis and scratch myself raw regularly. I had to move up to where my parents live 3 years ago because the toll of my husband leaving with some else tore me apart and with the bills he left me with I couldn’t survive. So I now work for my Dad mowing and removing trees and lifting bags of grass that weigh almost as much as I do. Basically I work like a man and at the end of the day I am exhausted and then have to be a parent. For the first year or so it was good and felt fine but now I don’t cope. I love my Dad but he thinks women should suck up all of the period and hormone stuff because …well basically he thinks it is a load of nonsense. He is 64 and works like a Trojan and thinks that being younger I should be able to as well, although he has no kids at home and a wife that does all the taking care of him….the house, food, clothes, paying the bills and getting him things when he needs them, he forgets that these are all things I do as well as work. Lately, as I said, I just can’t cope when before I could. People just keep saying that I am old now and this is how it goes…..but REALLY??? Since when is 41 old????? Anyway this article has made me believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel when before I simply thought that I just had to survive til I died. Now I know better. I understand it won’t happen overnight, but the fact that I can again have control is awesome, because that is what I thought I had lost…CONTROL. I thought I was failing myself and constantly beat myself up for it, but now I see it wasn’t me but the mysteries of being a woman over 40. Thankyou for the peace of mind ….God bless you x
Lea

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Belinda April 2, 2016 at 7:59 pm

Hi Lea, thank you for sharing your story. You’re a lot stronger than what you realize despite what’s happened, how you’re feeling and what others may say. You’re going through a very tough time and that is not to be minimized or under estimated. I think you would benefit from talking to someone you trust like your doctor; just doing this will totally change your outlook and it’s important for you to get emotionally support. Sending you a big hug and so happy to hear my blog has helped you today. Don’t give up!! Bel XO

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Janey April 2, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Good to hear it isn’t just me. I’m 49 irregular periods and mood swings makes me realise I’m getting closer to the menopause. I used to be a fitness bod entering triathlons and looked and felt great. On and off exercise for the past 10 years. I recently decided I needed to get back on it I want to feel fabulous at 50 next January. Joined a great gym 6 weeks ago. I’m weight training 3 – 4 times a week with hiit on 2 of these days. Cut right down on alcohol, eating healthy carbs and protein. Watching I don’t exceed 1300 to 1400 calories a day. However it’s so slow. I’ve lost 3 pounds and lost initial inches but nothing for 3 weeks. I just want to tone up and get rid of the belly that’s appeared over the past 3 years. Yuck.. one bonus is my resting heart rate has gone down by over 10 beats per minute. I am in the uk would your programme help me? Thank you

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Belinda April 2, 2016 at 8:04 pm

Hi Janey! You’re text book for Get Lean lol :)

Many women find their body changing during their 40’s then suddenly what was working, doesn’t anymore. We need to be smart.

You don’t have to kill yourself in the gym with heavy weight or go to eating extremes.

This is about finding the right system for your body, now. With Get Lean you’ll receive personalized coaching so you know your plan is exactly targeted to getting results you need.

Please take a read of this article:

http://belindabennsblog.com/transforming-the-female-body-things-to-avoid-how-to-enjoy-and-what-to-do/

I’d love to coach you! XO

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Jane Dowdney April 10, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Just so you know I did join and have posted and Prue has started me with a few programmes.
Thanks
Jane

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Belinda April 10, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Hi Jane!!

Awesome and thank you so much for letting me know. That means so much to me that you came back to let me know on my blog!

Coach Prue is great, you’re in very good hands. I’ll make sure I check your forum thread later this afternoon to see how you’re going :)

Bel XO

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Janey April 10, 2016 at 4:14 pm

I’m loving it so far.. just got to maintain that motivation..

Michelle April 1, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Wow! Thank you for acknowledging this! It is so real and so emotionally hard to deal with. At 45 I have just had a full hysterectomy so am spiralling with hormone issues! I am fortunate to working closely with a hormone specialist trying to get my hormones balanced but it still doesnt help with the symptoms and the heartache of weight gain. I love that you are real in saying listen to your body, slow down when necessary and be kind to yourself. xx just thank you. Great read.

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Belinda April 1, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Hi Michelle! My pleasure and so happy to hear this helped, thank you for letting me know. You’re blessed to be working closely with that hormone specialist..and like you said, this process takes time – that’s why we need to go easy and not make things harder than they already are but putting unrealistic pressure and expectations on ourselves.

Big hug, Bel xo

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Michelle April 1, 2016 at 1:18 am

I needed to read this today! I’m turning 45 this year and my body is changing but I am ignoring it, even though I am soldiering on. I am the fittest I have been in my life but I feel like my body is betraying me. I was diagnosed recently with metabolic syndrome which is why weight has been a battle all my life and apparantly have a low LDH reading which effects how your body uses sugar for energy – or not! So again I have changed things up and am looking for some natural assistance, I have actually have Maca in the cupboard about time I start sprinkling it around and stop pretending I’m 27 and accept and start to work with who I am now. xo

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Belinda April 1, 2016 at 7:22 pm

Awesome to hear Michelle and thanks for posting. Well done on getting the Macca. I am proud of you for making this important mind-shift and making peace with the process of things changing. The sooner we can do this, the happier and healthier we can be :)

Take care and keep me updated!

Bel xo

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Anita March 31, 2016 at 6:24 am

Omg, I started reading this and was nodding as I was agreeing with alot of the info, I am just 41 but have inthe last 12mth started irregular periods after being like clockwork from day one. I am not a fan of hormone replacement even though I have had friends say”just go back on the pill”. I will be researching alternative treatments after reading this and I now feel quite normal after thinking I was to young for this change, Thanks heaps Belinda.

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Belinda March 31, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Hi Anita, thank you so much for letting me know and very happy to hear this helped! Many women are surprised to realize to discover hormone levels can start dropping from our late 30’s onwards. The speed of change and impact varies but just being aware and proactive makes a big difference to managing the transition. Please keep me updated how you’re going! Bel xo

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Jamie March 28, 2016 at 2:04 pm

This article perfectly sums up what I’ve felt for over 2 years. So glad to have found this!! THANK YOU for sharing & the work you do!!

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Belinda March 28, 2016 at 2:16 pm

My pleasure and thank you for letting me know Jamie – I am so glad this helped you!

Big Hug, Bel xo

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Sharon March 27, 2016 at 1:10 am

Hi Belinda,

Reading this blog is like reading my current life story. Thank you for sharing this as it all makes sense why I am feeling like I am. I’m 46 and have become a slug. I’ve always been fairly healthy and positive person. Overnight it all came crashing down – those hormones! So thank you for spelling it out, and giving some good tips on mental health, food and exercise.
I look forward to taking control back and making positive steps.

Sharon

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Belinda March 28, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Hi Sharon, my pleasure. I am so glad this helped – and just know you’re not alone helps take some of the anxiety away. As you start applying these tips you will feel better and better and better! Just stay consistent – that’s the key!

Bel xo

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Siobhn March 22, 2016 at 9:52 am

Hi Belinda, I love your blogs, thank you! I’m particularly interested In hormones as I’ve just recently turned 40 am still on the Yasmin OC. Put simply I just cannot lose weight. I struggle with cellulite and often feel sluggish. On the plus side, I exercise regularly and seem to have my appetite under control since engaging on a slightly higher (healthy) fat/lean protein way of eating however it is so disheartening when you just don’t see any response on the scales or on the thighs!!! I’ve purchased your goodbye cellulite plan and am looking forward to starting that but wonder how far I’m going to get considering the hormone challenge, I’ve been on OC’s for the best part of 20 years!! Any advice will be gratefully received. Many thanks xo

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Michelle March 19, 2016 at 6:38 pm

Hi Belinda,
It’s only by chance I came across your blog and totally surprised at the timing of it. What you wrote felt like you were writing about me. It’s like overnight all the symptoms you described is what I’m going through, I just didn’t know where to begin on what to do, thank you so much for sharing! I’m going to definitely check out your other posts as well as your program.
Thank you
Michelle

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Belinda March 19, 2016 at 6:42 pm

Hi Michelle, lovely to meet you and thank you! It sounds a little bit like providence that you discovered my blog today. I am so glad this article has helped. You’re going to fast track to feeling so much better, so much faster. You may also enjoy this article I just posted: How Successful Women Master Their Metabolism: 7 Steps To A Leaner Body – if so, please feel free to share and post me a comment there too :) If you have any question about Get Lean please feel free to contact me personally via my Help Desk. Big hug, Bel

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Tarri November 18, 2015 at 2:39 pm

Belinda,
You are indeed inspiring! I try not to use my age as an excuse for not being fit, but at times I feel like a hamster on a wheel… Running but not going anywhere or improving! I entered menopause very early due to chemotherapy that destroyed my ovaries. I got through it and even got in the best shape in my mid 40’s from crossfit and a paleo diet, however over the last year I continue to lose strength and muscle tone. I will be 50 in May, feeling fortunate to be alive, but hate feeling like I’m wasting away and becoming frail! Is there anything I can do????
Tarri K

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Belinda November 18, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Hi Tarri, lovely to meet you and thanks for posting. Sorry to hear about the early menopause and chemo….I admire your strength and courage. Especially with getting in your best shape after all that – amazing and inspiring. I wonder what’s happened over the past year for things to change? I have a few ideas re what you can do but if you could message me privately via my Help Desk that would be great. So we can have a more personalized and private conversation. Looking forward to hearing from you – and helping you! Bel Xo

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Andrea September 18, 2015 at 10:58 am

Thank you for the valuable information. I have been experiencing many of the same symptoms. However,the most bothersome of my symptoms are the dizziness and hot flashes. This time of my life has been the most difficult to deal with. It feels as though they will go on forever. I have begun using maca powder and evening primrose oil to try to alleviate the symptoms. I hope this will provide some relief. Thank you again for caring enough to post your blog.

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Belinda September 18, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Hi Andrea, thank you for posting and lovely to meet you. My pleasure. Yes the dizziness was the worst symptom for me too. Horrendous, no relief, 24/7. Like you said, it feels like it will never stop. Over time mine gradually eased, then step by step slowly disappeared. I still remind myself to be grateful every day for that. I hope the same for you!! Be encouraged and don’t give up – and reach out for professional support, it does make a difference. Hug, Bel XO PS. keep your eating really on track even if you can’t exercise.

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Tanya September 6, 2015 at 9:01 am

I’m so frustrated at the lack of knowledge in the country. After all things that have a wide public focus, this subject of menopause and all the symptoms up to and after is so taboo. And i think also need to know more about Andropause, maybe if males are involved it will gather more attention. There really is nothing to help families help out there Mum’s, Daughters, sisters, nieces,friends etc!

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Belinda September 6, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Hi Tanya, I hear you! Exactly re the taboo. It’s shameful. It’s a rude shock to arrive at this age and realize there is such a lack of informed help. That’s not to say there aren’t wonderful doctors and specialists our there but finding them take a tremendous amount of determination and self-belief that you deserve the expert support you need. Don’t give up. Hopefully as more women speak up the taboos will be removed and everyone will become better educated.. thanks for sharing! Bel xo

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Julie sugden August 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Hi

I’m 51 and last year I did really well and even did a 9 week insanity class every morning and felt the best I had in years, just couldn’t lift my apron stomach from 3 big pregnancies! I stopped all exercise when I was told I had a strangulated inguinal hernia! 6 months later and various scans showed there wasn’t in fact a hernia! All my motivation had gone and I took a break from exercise and the pressure of dieting. However I felt ready to get back into it and have struggled for a year just to stay in the same stone (13 stone 12 lbs). I have tried running 5k 3 times a week but the weight just hasn’t gone and my hips ached like crazy so much so I couldn’t sleep. I feel exhausted all the time and have signed up for a 4 week morning class of HITT in the hope of kick starting the weight loss. I was also going to do the 7 day juice to get my body cleansed!! I don’t know if I’m peri menopausal as no night sweats or definite signs other than fatigue but my age tells me I must be! I can’t shift the belly fat at all so am hoping you can advise. ?

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Belinda August 25, 2015 at 4:22 pm

Hi Julie, lovely to meet you and thanks for posting. I am 51 too :)

How frustrating re the misdiagnosis and then losing your mojo as a consequence. Never, mind – your zing is still there, we just need to unwrap the puzzle. You’re right, the running isn’t ideal for fat burning and it takes a big toll on your joints, ligaments and tendons. Being exhausted all the time isn’t good either. The morning HIIT could be a good option depending on what the circuits are like. Re peri-menopausal – not everyone gets hot flushes (I don’t) and as you read in this article there are a myriad of symptoms. Good idea to get your sex hormone blood levels done as a benchmark.

What to do going forward? I think you’d benefit from reading my latest blog, take a look and please let me know if this helps! Big hug of encouragement, Bel xoxo

Transforming The Female Body: Things to Avoid, How to Enjoy It and What to Do!

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alessandra August 4, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Hello. I am 53 years old and postmenopausal for two years. In the last six months my body has gone haywire; I’m gaining weight around my middle and no amount of exercize seems to help. Although I don’t look overweight, I have gained about 15 lbs and I feel it.
I am investigating your program in the hopes that it will turn out to be what I need. I have several food restrictions and was wondering if you can help people like me who cannot eat everything (dairy, gluten, cruciferous vegetables). Does your program allow for food substitutions? Thanks

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Belinda August 8, 2015 at 12:56 am

Hello Alessandra,

Sorry to hear about your body going haywire! The hormonal changes make you more prone to storing belly fat – but there are things you can do. I am also diary and gluten free at the moment – so I can help you with substitutions. We have many gluten free recipes as my assistant who helps me with recipe development and testing is celiac herself. I also have a food substitution chart you can use. I hope this helps and would love to coach you – at 51 I understand the challenges you are facing! Bel xo

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Liliane April 26, 2015 at 9:29 am

I’ve been dizzy for over a moth with blurred vision, feeling tired all the time : ( I’m 43 and normally I have a pretty normal monthly cycle, until my last one…My period is late 3 weeks, I have acne all over my forehead ( never had acne in 43 years or missed a period! )and this dizziness is driving me crazy! I feel so grateful to have read your blog, thank you!!! Already orderd Maca and will look for the Evening Primrose, I took a Vit B12 shot, my naturopathic doctor prescribed me for dizziness, I did a blood test (many!!) and everything is fine also my hormones besides FSH witch is too high… Bel, what did you do for your dizziness? Do you believe/aprove Bioidentical Hormone Therapy? Or using Isoflavones? Is there anything else that you recommend?
Thank you so much for being open, for sharing and being inspirational.

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Belinda April 26, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Hi Liliane! Lovely to hear from you. Sorry about your symptoms. Well done on getting some help and making positive changes. When my dizziness was at it’s worst all my hormone levels came back OK…which can happen at the beginning of peri-menopause. And blood levels do not always accurately represent the actual levels available to your body. This is why mainstream medicine currently treats menopausal “symptoms” as opposed to basing treatment on blood tests – rightly or wrongly. Dizziness is a debilitating thing and so hard to treat because there are tons of possible causes. For myself, I discovered my symptoms were similar to a non-pain migraine which can be triggered by mid life hormonal changes – so I started taking natural supplements that are documented to help like Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin B2 and similar (talk to your naturopath) and avoiding known foods that are triggers. Slowly things improved step by step. I am not against bio identical or prescription HRT when all other avenues have been exhausted and the benefits to your quality of life outweigh the side effects/risks. It’s a decision each individual must make and should not be judged for. I would encourage you to get some specialist advice re the dizziness to rule out all possibilities then you have peace of mind and have all the information you need to make informed decisions. I hope this helps, it’s my pleasure to be here for you and sending you a big hug of encouragement! Bel xo PS. please keep me updated on how things are going.

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Liliane April 26, 2015 at 8:25 am

I’ve been dizzy for over a month with blurred vision, feeling tired all the time : ( I’m 43 and normally I have a pretty normal monthly cicle, untill my last one… My period is late 3 weeks, I have acne all over my forehead( never had acne in 43 years or missed a period! )and this dizziness is driving me crazy! I feel so grateful to have read your blog, thank you!!! Already ordered Maca and will look for the Evening Primrose, I took a Vit12 shot, my naturothic doctor prescribed me for my dizziness, I did a blood test ( many!! )and eveything is fine also my hormones besides FSH witch is too high…Bel, what did you do for your dizziness? Do you believe/aprove Bioidentical Hormone Therapy? Or using Isoflavones? Is there anything else that you recommend?
Thank you so much for being open, sharing and inspirational.

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Elle J April 23, 2015 at 4:41 am

Three weeks ago I discovered this amazing and enlightening article. I had been suffering with migraines, cold sweats, hot sweats, blurry vision, struggling with sound, bloating, stiff joints, long recovery after training, extreme tiredness and weight gain directly on the waist line.
I spoke with my doctor, researched the science, changed my diet and three weeks on I’m already getting positive subtle results. What I’m doing may not work for someone else but …I have to thank you so so much. Your article has turned my life around, I even made podium on the weekend. Whoohoo!

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Belinda April 24, 2015 at 5:02 pm

Hi Elle, very happy to hear this and thanks so much for letting me know. If you’re already feeling positive subtle results then things can only keep improving – well done! And congratulations on the podium, awesome work. Thanks for sharing your inspiring experience so far and please keep me posted on how things are going! Hug, Bel xo

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Anneke April 8, 2015 at 2:33 am

Hi Bel,
Thank you so much for this blogpost! It really helped me to understand what is going on! Especially the cognitive functions and sleeping issues. I thought it was related to the last bits of my burnout. Not….Anyway, could you help me out with the word gelatinized maca. I’m trying to translate it into Dutch. Do you mean the capsules with maca powder ?
Thank you!
Groetjes,
Anneke

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Belinda April 8, 2015 at 6:54 pm

Hi Anneke, lovely to hear from you :)

With the gelatinized maca the roots of the plant are boiled and pressurized to remove all starch content to make easier to digest (due to the lack of starch). If you have a sensitive stomach or trouble digesting starch choose this one. It also has more concentrated nutrients. However, for hormone balancing purposes, either formulation is effective. Please let me know how it goes. I think you’ll notice quite a difference. Are you still doing the Super Sexy Skin Program?? :) Bel XOXO

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Suz April 7, 2015 at 11:19 am

Thanks for this Belinda! I’m pretty lucky in that my mom and my sister had nearly no symptoms and I haven’t had any other than always being sooo tired (I had a hysterectomy 4 years ago but kept one ovary). I wondered why I can’t pop out of bed and work out like a maniac these days. It takes me a little longer to get going. I’m looking forward to that passing for sure and moving into the next phase of my life with lots of energy! Hope all is well!

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Belinda April 7, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Hey Suz, great to hear from you! That’s a blessing you’ve sailed through with no major symptoms. The energy shift is amazing though – I’m always researching, refining and experimenting to uncover exactly why and put in place some better solutions. Incredible how hormones affect us at so many levels! All good here, my Mum has been visiting so enjoying some special time together – she’s in great health, high energy and full of life despite a rocky menopause so that’s inspiring! Bel xo

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Suz April 7, 2015 at 6:07 pm

Yes, so far! I’m keeping my fingers crossed! But if not I’m happy to have your article for sure. You always have so many pearls of wisdom. Enjoy your visit with your Mum and yes, that is really good news that she is doing so well. I knew this woman who, at the time we met, had been going through a very difficult menopause for TWELVE years! Needless to say she was not the happiest person I had ever met. Bless her. Be well!

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Liliana M April 5, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Thank you, thank you for this post. I, like Sandi, had hysterectomy at 41, had even cervix removed but kept the ovaries. Now I’m 43 and feeling lethargic and sore and moody all the time. I can’t sleep well due to getting hot then cold then hot..hard to have a full 7 1/2 hours of sleep cycle. I told my doctor this during my yearly physical a month ago and he said it could be I’m in the perimenopausal phase as I had hysterectomy a bit early. He did recommend to start taking care of myself aka eating better, having fun, having massages and meditate to relax and get magnesium supplements . This article gave me more clear instructions of what to do to mitigate this symptoms. Question: What should I look for when buying the vitamins B? I’m very hesitant to buy the brands sold at supermarkets. Any brand that uses more natural ingredients and no other additives will be better. Thanks Belinda for encourage women to speak out. We need to remain strong but sometimes we need to talk to someone else and get help. No one should fight alone. Thanks for writing and for listening! Bless you!

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Belinda April 5, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Hi Liliana! Great to hear you have a good doctor and some professional guidance. Everything he has recommend is excellent. Keeping stress levels down is important as that disrupts our hormones even more. Re the vitamin B, this is one I use: Liposomal Vitamin B. You want to find a methylated or liposomal formulation which is more readily absorbed. They cost a bit more but you’ll notice the difference. Of course, great nutrition is paramount (we just can’t indulge like we used to), very little or no alcohol and staying active with bodyweight workouts – this all contributes to feeling the best we can by maintaining our fat burning metabolism, quality sleep and high energy levels. Big hug and keep me updated! Bel xo

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Luisa April 5, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Hi Bel! Thanks for posting this! I’m 42 and still feeling the same as always in great fit and all but starting to think about menopause eith all hormonal changes and getting so scared about my future!! I dont want to panic! I dont want to enter in depression and I know I’ll need advice!!

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Belinda April 5, 2015 at 8:23 pm

Hi Luisa, my pleasure! No need to panic lol..you have this information early and can now be proactive (not like me who had my head in the clouds lol). Things like macca and evening primrose oil now will help ease the transition. My sister is 4 years younger than me and taking these and is feeling awesome. Stay on track with your fitness and nutrition with just having this information you are way ahead of the game! Hug, Bel xo

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Melissa moreno April 5, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Thank you for posting this I think we need to stick together and speak out we need support especially when you feel like you’re going crazy we need to help one another get through this, thank you for being brave and speaking about this!

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Belinda April 5, 2015 at 4:22 pm

Hi Melissa, thank you – yes it takes courage to speak out. But so many women are suffering in silence trying to “hold it together” I knew I had to share. Just knowing you’re not alone is massive! Bel xo

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Deborah April 5, 2015 at 8:56 am

Belinda,
If I had to write a story about myself I would just copy yours! I purchased your Get Lean program about 3 years ago and loved it. I was a size 4 @ 5’8 and 130-135 and loved my body. I have gained almost 25 pounds in the last year and hate even looking in the mirror. I have never looked my age but I just feel old right now. I started losing interest in working out, eating poorly because of cravings and I thought I was going crazy because I couldn’t remember things, follow conversations or mentally process .
I have always been proud of the fact I did not have belly fat (I am 58 yrs old) and went into medical menopause when I was 32 yrs old due to chemotherapy. I started getting the SotoPelle estrogen pellet that is inserted under the skin to balance out my hormones. I would get an immediate surge the first few weeks but then drop down in energy and all my symptoms returned, including acne which I never had.

I have completely dropped off the map with your program and just need some guidance and how to get started again. The nutrition guide I can work out but where to start with exercise again that will help me lose weight but I’m so unmotivated about exercise and don’t even know where to start. Do I do a cardio workout? Do I do a muscle tone? Every month there’s a new workout but I don’t know how to incorporate it. I sound so forlorn but this is not ME!!! I am a strong, smart confident woman and want to get her back!!!

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Karen April 5, 2015 at 2:59 am

Thank you for posting this, i can always trust your wisdom.

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Belinda April 5, 2015 at 3:52 pm

My pleasure Karen, thank you for letting me know this has helped!

Bel xo

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Karen June 12, 2015 at 7:32 am

Hi Belinda.
I am revisiting the get lean program, and see you have soy listed quite a bit… are you still using soy yourself? i trust it would be non-GMO/ organic… i have heard/read many stories on how soy is good & bad for us. i am not sure if i should start including it back in my diet… even my ‘blood type diet’ says it is a great benefit. I am trying to get back on track with my health. Over the past 2 years i have been hitting it hard at the gym, trying to balance work & family. i seemed to have burned myself out. As much as i would love to kill it in the gym every day, my body needs a change. Thanks for your time.

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Belinda June 12, 2015 at 3:23 pm

Hi Karen, lovely to hear from you again. Yes I use non-GMO/organic soy – always in balance with all the other micronutrients. It’s really important not to burn out from overtraining – and into our 40’s we do need more recovery time and quality sleep is important. Maybe a rest is a good idea for a few weeks then pick up a routine like my Get Lean Workouts that will build muscle and tone without wearing out your body. If you need more help please contract me via my Help Desk. Hug, Bel xo

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Karen June 12, 2015 at 6:05 pm

Thank you so much :)

Cindy April 2, 2015 at 8:44 pm

Have been struggling for four years with all the things you mention. Doctor has indicated it is most likely fibromyalgia. All my hormone tests have come back within limits. I am 49 and always exhausted, aches, dizzy and have dreadful brain fog. Loved your article.

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Sandi April 1, 2015 at 12:07 am

Wow,this article fits me to a T! I have just turned forty, but had to have a partial hysterectomy when was 34 ( I still have my ovaries,). I have always been active, played most sports in school and have coached sports for years too. I exercise almost every day, giving myself at least one or two rest days a week depending on how active my kids are. I run 20 to 30 miles a week for my cardio, and play competitive volleyball and cross training 3 to 4 days a week too. I have noticed my energy levels dropping quite a bit this past year. I feel achy and sore more easily than I used to, and some days , it’s hard for me to get out of bed. I don’t get as much sleep as I should, mostly do to the fact that my body hurts and I can’t get comfortable. I would like to lose about 6 to 8 pounds (I am 5’8″ 140 pounds) but for the life of me, I have been unable to. I even follow a pretty good clean eating diet, avoid gluten and dairy, and have good portion control. Your article really has given me hope and let’s me know that I’m not the only one out there that’s like this and it’s good to know that is is probably my hormones doing all of this to me. Haha! :) thanks for posting this! I’m gonna share it with my friends that are struggling with this too! :)

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Belinda April 1, 2015 at 1:09 am

Hi Sandi, lovely to meet you and thanks for posting! It is frustrating when you can’t lose that weight despite eating clean and managing your portions. My Get Lean Nutrition Plan actually deals with the lot of the hormonal issues around hunger and carb management so that’s something to consider. Get Lean also includes a range of fusion style bodyweight workouts that can be done at home that are joint-friendly (fat burning and lean muscle building) that would be a great compliment to your volleyball as well. If you’re not already there are some great supplements for the joints and if you haven’t had yourself checked out that might be a good idea as well as some modifications to your routines might payoff big time. Thanks for sharing with your friends and please keep me updated. If you have more questions you can message me privately on my Help Desk. Big hug, Bel xo

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Elle J March 31, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Wow what an eye opener…nearly 47, competive cyclist, single mum of three teenagers, working full time in a demanding execuitive roll, I have been struggling to find form, training goals and balance…
And all this time it has been my hormones… Now I have reasoning, bring on the challenge.
Thank you so much for putting it all into easy to read words. I could hug you!

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Belinda March 31, 2015 at 4:46 pm

Hi Elle, I’ll take the cyber-hug lol :)

It’s absolutely my pleasure to be sharing – it’s so rewarding to hear back from women like you. I wish someone had written this blog for me 3 years ago. My path would have been a lot easier.

One step at a time now, focus on improving things in a methodical manner, testing and trying different things to evaluate how they work for your specific body chemistry. Blood tests etc. can help to inform that process but they don’t reveal everything. I found the most useful approach is simply your own bio-feedback on what makes you feel better. Knowing what’s causing your issues and having a plan for going forward is massive! Please let me know how things go…Bel xo

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Carole March 31, 2015 at 8:02 am

I am 46, and maybe starting menopause? I like your story that it,s ok to be going through changes, I can relate. I have recently realised I have strong body odour, coming from my armpits, am horrified as I,ve never had this problem in my life! But am thinking maybe it’s the beginning of the change in life and maybe my hormones are responsible?!?! Not sure what to do about this

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Belinda March 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Hi Carole, lovely to hear from you :) Quite possibly, peri-menopause. Things start gradually so at first you may not even be aware of the changes. Re the body odour, the chemistry of your body has changed, there could be a few reasons why (new foods, hormones, climate, sleep/stress). A few ideas. Make sure you’re drinking enough water, maybe even some herbal teas to help cleanse. Exfoliate under your arms regularly with a body scrub. And this is the deodorant I use – it’s very gentle but effective: Fresca Australia.

I think hormonal changes are made easier when we can talk about this openly and remove the stigma. In fact, once we come out the other side we will feel very empowered, almost liberated – to be free from the hormonal ups and downs that started right back in puberty!

All the best, keep me posted! Bel xoxo

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Daniela Cook March 31, 2015 at 4:37 am

Thankyou so much. I started this process at 40. I am now 44 and am nearly out the otherwise. The mood swings, sleepless nights and sweats are gone and so have my regular periods. I am now lucky to have a period every 6 – 10 month. But I am still fighting the constant fatigue, food cravings, weight gain, dizziness, hearing problems and trouble mental focusing. Thanks for this it explains so much.

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Elke March 29, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Thank you SO much for clearing up some things for me, and making me feel sane again! Love your blogs and the passion you have about what you do. It is infectious! Bless you.

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Belinda March 29, 2015 at 8:09 pm

My pleasure Elke, thank you so much for posting and letting me know :)

Very happy to hear some things have been made clearer..YES you are sane, even when you don’t feel like it lol! I hope your journey is made a little easier from what you’ve read here today….

Blessings to you to, Bel xo

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Belinda April 28, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Hi Claire!

Sorry to hear about the breast cancer. Good question and I would recommend you double check with your doctor as each individual is a little different and recommendations vary. Please let me know what they say… Bel xo

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