“My key take out would be to let every woman know she can thrive at this time. That despite the downs, you can work out what you need to get back on track and enjoy this next chapter.”
First, tell us a little bit about you and how Owning Your Menopause came to life. What motivated you to create it? What moments, life experiences and perspectives got you to ‘here’? What principles drive its evolution?
Owning Your Menopause was created because I didn’t want other women (or future generations) to experience what many women seem to have been through, or are currently experiencing. Having suffered from panic attacks, crippling anxiety, breathlessness, night sweats, joint aches and debilitating feelings of loneliness at the age of 42, I was told that I was most likely depressed. I would never be ashamed of a diagnosis of depression but I knew it wasn’t. And so I went about 'self diagnosing' until I came across Dr Rebecca Lewis at Newson Health Clinic. After watching a couple of Instagram Lives, it dawned on me that I was in fact perimenopausal, so I booked an appointment to explore this further. Despite taking HRT I found that I was still not feeling like myself and set about working out what it is I could change to get back to being me. Little did I know that what I discovered meant I could thrive at this time and this is what drives me. I want every woman to know that with the right support and information, midlife and menopause can be a new, exciting opportunity.
OYM has been built with five pillars in mind: movement, nutrition, community, mindfulness and support - as I know firsthand how instrumental these elements are in managing menopause holistically.
How do you define success for what you do and also yourself individually?
Success for me is the numerous messages I receive from women. Women who have managed to turn their own menopause journey around by following the advice I've given them and the support they are offered on the app, which encourages them every step of the way. For me individually, it’s about learning more and working out how I can keep growing in order to support more women. It’s my head hitting the pillow at night and feeling truly grateful to be in this space with so many other incredible advocates - like yourselves.
Has your definition of success changed over time as an individual?
Most definitely. I think I used to define success by what other people could see and measure, and that it was more about the recognition. Now, I know (and perhaps this is one of those wonderful things we learn as we age), that I get to determine what success is for me and it doesn’t really matter if people see it or don’t. As long as I know in my heart I am doing my best, and that my kids are well and kind, that’s all I can ask for.
What correlation, if any, do you see between age and ambition?
I think we can become more determined as we learn to shed the drama that we can often surround ourselves with when we are younger.
Your community is designed to provide support for those navigating midlife and menopause. What conversations do you find them wanting to have? What bothers them most? What are they looking for?
I find for the most part the conversations are very focused on how to eat well and make sustainable changes when it comes to managing diet. We have 10 chat groups that are monitored daily, so all worries and queries are answered within 12 hours, this includes medical advice from a trained and qualified menopause GP. Mostly by the time they have joined and started working out and understanding what it is they need, the conversations are on how to go to the next level to improve further. We also do regular challenges, so we all share tips and meal ideas which is such a lovely experience and so heartwarming to see all the community championing each other.
What are your aspirations for your business over the next 24 months?
I have a book coming out in December which I hope will give more exposure to the app and the business. I would love to see more firms subscribing to the app for their employees, as I feel that would take any current menopause policy to the next level. Its great to say you have a policy, but I would love to know how they help their women move and eat well, which is fundamental to managing many of the symptoms.
What do you wish your younger self had known about:
Life - is a rollercoaster you’ve just got to ride it… yes the words of Ronan Keating run deep, but seriously I have faced and conquered many challenges, some of which I never thought I would get past but I have. I use each experience to drive me for change both personally and professionally.
Love - comes in many different ways. The love you have for your family, friends and job are all different strains of love but they all fill your heart in different ways. Make sure you tell those you love that you love them often, and show them with random acts of kindness, as actions always speak louder than words.
Health - never ever take your health for granted and work hard to keep it and stay healthy.
Work - it’s never too late to do something you love. Take the risk.
What would be your key advice to women transitioning through menopause today? What practical steps could they take to better support their bodies and minds?
My key take out would be to let every woman know she can thrive at this time. That despite the downs, you can work out what you need to get back on track and enjoy this next chapter. My top tips would be to give up or cut back on alcohol and sugary foods. To lift weights and move everyday - this can be simply walking, but move. Move for your mind as much as your body.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the MPowder community about our second spring?
Remember your own journey is unique. Don’t be afraid to share it with others and always ask the questions you are too afraid to ask because they are never as bad as you think.
Finally, we all know that stress can exacerbate menopause symptoms and we’re all living with a constant underlying anxiety - from the pandemic, from the disproportionate impact it has had on women, from political upheaval, from the cost of living crisis…from unprecedented job insecurity. What have you done to better support yourself in the last 12 months? What have you learned?
I have to be completely transparent and say I am still working this out. I have ADHD and so I find it hard to switch off and I love the buzz of being busy - it is as far as I am concerned a superpower. It wasn’t growing up but it is now. I love cold water swimming which was a new thing for me and I took this up in September 2020 when my dad was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and it has been my absolute saviour in times of high anxiety.
A big thank you to you Kate, for your vulnerability and ability to share your wonderful story with our incredible community.
Kate has also been kind enough to share a unique discount code with us, especially for you. So why not learn more about her 'September Reset + Refocus Challenge' which will be taking place Monday 4.09.23 – 17.09.23 HERE and enter code MPOWDER40 for 40% off their annual membership.
We hope you enjoyed reading this journal as much as we did creating it.
With love from, the MPowder Team.
Share Twitter Facebook Pinterest