A new season sees a change in direction for the Rude Health podcast, now aimed at helping women over 40 feel empowered to navigate the clusterfuck that is midlife!

I really want to help this population, including myself navigate this stage of our lives.

I’ve had quite a lot of significant changes go on in my life in the past 18 months that have made me realise that these are the people that I want to help.

I want to help you to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally, regardless of what the fuck your hormones are up to.

I want to show people that there’s still so much you can do to positively impact your health, whether you are pre peri or post menopausal.

In this episode I’m give you a bit of a background about why I chose to do that.

If you enjoyed this episode I would love it if you’d leave 5 star review!


[00:00:00] Hello, you are listening to the Rude Health podcast with me, Hayley Food Ninja.

[00:00:04] Me and my guests are here to help women over 40, who are sick of hearing you can't.

[00:00:08] You can't get fitter.

[00:00:10] You can't get stronger and you can't do anything about all the shit that's happening to you.

[00:00:14] We'll be bringing you plenty of tips, tools, and health advice, as well as lots of inspiring stories from women just like you, to help you navigate the clusterfuck that is midlife.

[00:00:24] Enjoy the episode!


[00:00:31] Hayley Food Ninja: Hello and welcome to season two of the Rude Health podcast with me Hayley Food Ninja.

[00:00:39] It's been a long time, hasn't it?

[00:00:40] Actually it's been fucking ages since i've done a podcast about a year.

[00:00:45] I was actually really missing it, but i've had a really full on year which i'm gonna tell you all about.

[00:00:51] Things have changed a little bit with the Rude Health podcast, but some things are still the same.

[00:00:56] So it is still a zero bullshit zone [00:01:00] for you to get some evidence based information about what works in the health and fitness industry.

[00:01:07] I'm also not here to tell you exactly what to do.

[00:01:10] I'm not here to make you a version of healthy that you don't want to be.

[00:01:15] I am just here to provide you with information and chat to some guests .

[00:01:19] So that's what's the same. What's changed?

[00:01:22] Rude Health is now a podcast exclusively aimed at women over 40.

[00:01:27] I really want to help this population, including myself navigate this stage of our lives.

[00:01:34] I've had quite a lot of significant changes go on in my life in the past 18 months that have made me realise that these are the people that I want to help.

[00:01:45] I want to help you to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally, regardless of what the fuck your hormones are up to.

[00:01:54] I want to show people that there's still so much you can do to positively [00:02:00] impact your health, whether you are pre peri or post menopausal.

[00:02:04] I'm going to give you a bit of a background in this introductory episode about why I chose to do that.

[00:02:10] I have always been lucky enough to look reasonably young for my age, right?

[00:02:17] If you're watching this on YouTube, I'm 48 years old.

[00:02:19] I will let you be the judge of that.

[00:02:23] I'm probably going to open myself up some really shitty comments now, but what the fuck who cares?

[00:02:28] Anyway, I've always looked relatively young for my age i've always been quite an independent person.

[00:02:34] I basically do what the fuck I like most of the time and I never really thought about aging and I definitely didn't give perimenopause a second thought.

[00:02:43] I just thought it was something that happened to older women.

[00:02:46] I feel like I'm a child trapped inside a woman's body because I always think oh yeah, older people.

[00:02:52] Maybe that's me now?

[00:02:53] I'm midlife.

[00:02:54] I don't really like that term.

[00:02:55] But yeah it was something that happened to older women.

[00:02:59] I [00:03:00] didn't really think it would affect me being healthy. How fucking naive is that?

[00:03:04] Also I think not helped by the fact that women of the generation above us, parents, grandparents, whatever, didn't talk about it.

[00:03:12] It was really vague wasn't it.

[00:03:13] All very cryptic terminology around it, bit scary.

[00:03:18] You didn't talk about it.

[00:03:20] So I just let it pass me by.

[00:03:22] I wasn't really that bothered about it.

[00:03:24] Then about 18 months ago some weird shit started happening to me.

[00:03:29] I would have been just 46, around about that.

[00:03:31] I started to behave a little bit like a fucking toddler.

[00:03:33] I started to get quite irritable, quite moody. I started napping in the day.

[00:03:39] I didn't really know what was happening, but I didn't think it was anything to worry about.

[00:03:45] I just thought maybe I'm training a bit too much or whatever.

[00:03:48] So yeah, that happened.

[00:03:50] Then I started getting these dips in energy.

[00:03:53] I started becoming a bit tearful. I'm not really a sort of overly tearful person.

[00:03:58] I started getting [00:04:00] weird, prickly skin, pins and needles.

[00:04:03] Shooting pains in my toes. That's fucking weird. Let me tell you.

[00:04:07] I really just started to think that someone changed the rules about how my body behaved and worked, but they forgot to fucking tell me.

[00:04:17] Is there some new parameters here I don't know about?

[00:04:19] What the fuck's going on?

[00:04:21] So yeah, it was a bit odd.

[00:04:22] Didn't really think about going to the doctor's.

[00:04:25] I didn't really know what it was.

[00:04:27] The symptoms started to get worse. So this extreme sensory overload.

[00:04:34] I would go in the lounge and the big light, as my nan used to call it, would be on and the TV would be on with the noise coming out of that.

[00:04:43] The family would be sat on the sofa, there's three of them and they've all got different phones, all different noise coming out of these phones.

[00:04:49] I would literally have a fucking meltdown because I could not stand all of this input.

[00:04:57] It felt someone was sticking pins in me [00:05:00] over and over again.

[00:05:01] That's really hard to explain to people isn't it?

[00:05:03] Fucking turn the light off literally having a meltdown about it.

[00:05:07] Then the insomnia came.

[00:05:10] I've talked about how I've suffered from insomnia before.

[00:05:15] I got really terrible insomnia because I had been medicating myself to sleep for years, and then I became addicted to sleeping tablets.

[00:05:23] Insomnia is something that really, if I get one or two bad nights of sleep, I am in full on fucking panic mode, right?

[00:05:31] That started to worry me and I thought maybe I should go to the doctors, but I don't want any tablets for it.

[00:05:36] But then, what happened that I actually recognised was, I started to get hot flushes.

[00:05:44] I know that, if you've ever had a hot flush, I don't need to describe this to you.

[00:05:48] But it's like getting hot from the inside, it's a really fucking weird sensation.

[00:05:56] Also, really scary because you there's nothing you can do to [00:06:00] cool yourself down.

[00:06:01] It was only when I had the hot flushes, that I thought, Oh shit How bad is this?

[00:06:08] How fucking naive is this? Ooh, maybe I am gonna get perimenopause.

[00:06:12] Of course you fucking are, love.

[00:06:13] I think what I meant was Oh, I'm going to be someone who has symptoms.

[00:06:17] I don't know why I thought I was going to be immune to it.

[00:06:20] Like looking younger than your age makes you immune to the symptoms or some shit.

[00:06:24] I've no idea, that's how naive I was about it being a fucking health coach as well.

[00:06:29] And worse still coaching people, Ooh, Oh, this sounds like they might be perimenopause symptoms to my clients, but not recognize them in myself. It might've been a denial thing. Who knows?

[00:06:40] Anyway, I went to the doctors.

[00:06:43] And I got M. H. T., Menopause Hormone Therapy and my physical symptoms literally disappeared overnight.

[00:06:50] It was fucking weird.

[00:06:52] If I didn't know better, I would say it's some kind of witch doctor fuckery that went on, but they just disappeared. [00:07:00]

[00:07:00] Completely. It was odd.

[00:07:02] So there's me, now, trotting along in life, thinking, Oh!

[00:07:06] Excellent!

[00:07:07] That's me.

[00:07:08] I've sailed through perimenopause.

[00:07:10] What's all the fuss about?

[00:07:12] Then the worst thing happened. I started to develop the worst internal trash talk you have ever heard, like worse than an 80s wrestler.

[00:07:26] Seriously, it was bad.

[00:07:28] As an overthinker, this is not a good thing because then I started to get anxiety.

[00:07:35] And I have never in my life had anxiety.

[00:07:38] I've had a colorful collection of other mental health conditions, but not anxiety.

[00:07:43] So this was weird. I'm not an anxious person.

[00:07:46] I am normally the sort of person who, if somebody says, Oh, do you fancy doing this batshit weird thing, I'll be like, yeah, I'm gonna have a go at that.

[00:07:56] I could not step foot outside the front door. [00:08:00]

[00:08:00] I could not think about going to the supermarket to do any shopping.

[00:08:04] I'd recently moved to a new town, and the thought of... Maybe I might go somewhere on the bus was just horrific.

[00:08:12] I would start sweating and just these horrible thoughts of I'll never be the way that I was before ever again.

[00:08:20] My personality is permanently changed.

[00:08:24] No one needs me anymore. My daughter's grown up.

[00:08:26] What's my role in life?

[00:08:29] I'll never do anything useful again.

[00:08:32] I will certainly never do anything extraordinary again.

[00:08:35] I'll never go anywhere.

[00:08:36] I'll never see anything new.

[00:08:38] I'll never experience anything else new.

[00:08:41] God, this sounds really fucking dramatic, doesn't it?

[00:08:43] Now I'm talking about it.

[00:08:45] But it was just so alien to me. So absolutely crippling.

[00:08:53] To have this fear that this is your personality now, this is your life.

[00:08:58] This is how you think about [00:09:00] everything. I stopped being able to communicate with people not just about how I felt, but just about anything at all.

[00:09:07] I started to withdraw into myself and it was just a really horrible time.

[00:09:13] The fact that I was on MHT but it hadn't improved those mental health symptoms, at this point, I was just thinking, wow, this is it.

[00:09:22] I didn't want to go to the doctors about those symptoms, because I have previously been medicated for a mental health condition, and it was horrific, and I didn't want to go down that route again.

[00:09:34] That's not to say that you shouldn't do that.

[00:09:36] Everyone's got their own choice to make about that, and their own history, and their own beliefs about that.

[00:09:41] But for me, it wasn't an option.

[00:09:45] So I was literally just what the fuck can I do about this? What the fuck can I do about it?

[00:09:51] I just thought I have to do something so extreme to make myself feel [00:10:00] differently because I can't carry on feeling like this.

[00:10:03] So I decided that I was going to make myself do a physical challenge because when I am inside my head in the way that I was, then it helps to do something. Do I want to say punishing?

[00:10:21] Maybe it's a little bit punishing on the body because the physical pain can sometimes be much more easy to deal with than the mental pain.

[00:10:31] So I thought, Oh, what should I do?

[00:10:34] I thought I'm going to do a long distance walk.

[00:10:37] Not a run. I'm not a fucking runner. That's never going to happen. Let me just put that out there.

[00:10:41] But I remembered the ultra challenges that I'd heard of before and I thought I am gonna do one of those.

[00:10:48] So I went onto the website and I was looking through the events. I didn't know which one to pick.

[00:10:55] Should I do a 50? I don't even know if I can walk a hundred kilometers.

[00:10:58] This is a bit of fucking ridiculous.

[00:10:59] I [00:11:00] started to hear all these excuses that I was making and you can't do this kind of thing.

[00:11:04] This internal trash talk got so fucking bitchy and horrible that I actually rebelled against it. I thought, really? Is that what we're saying now?

[00:11:15] Fuck it, I'm just gonna do all of them then.

[00:11:17] So there are 15 events in the year.

[00:11:20] Eight 100km, four 50km, one marathon, and two 25km. So I signed up to do the fucking lot.

[00:11:29] As of now I'm not sure when I'm going to put this episode out, but I have done 14 out of 15 of them.

[00:11:36] That really helped me in a lot of ways.

[00:11:40] A lot of people ask me why I did them and, I guess for me, the first reason I did it was to face a fear, a fear that this was my life now.

[00:11:51] This is how it's going to be, and your personality has changed, and you have changed, and you're not going to be the person that you used to be.

[00:11:59] I did it to face [00:12:00] that fear.

[00:12:01] I did it to find myself again. Fucking hell, this sounds really wanky, cliche shit, but I can't put it in any other words.

[00:12:09] To try and find myself again, because I felt so lost in terms of, how I felt on the inside.

[00:12:17] I guess to find meaning in my life.

[00:12:19] Again, another fucking dramatic term.

[00:12:22] I keep trotting them out, don't I?

[00:12:24] But when you feel like your useful life is over, which is something that a lot of women over 40 feel, because they are conditioned to feel this way.

[00:12:36] This is a whole other can of worms.

[00:12:37] I might not open that one today. I might save that for another episode.

[00:12:40] But yeah, to find some meaning in my life.

[00:12:43] I don't know if you have seen a documentary on Netflix about living to a hundred and they talk about blue zones, which are the zones that have the highest concentration of people over a hundred in them.

[00:12:56] One of the major reasons people [00:13:00] live to a hundred or more is because they have a purpose.

[00:13:04] They fulfill a role in their community.

[00:13:07] There's a reason for them to get up every morning.

[00:13:10] That totally came home to me when I was feeling like this because I didn't want to get up in the morning I thought what's the point?

[00:13:16] What's the point in me anymore?

[00:13:17] What am I here for?

[00:13:19] The walks gave me meaning in my life for sure.

[00:13:23] I guess another reason is, when those mental health symptoms started to subside, which they did and I'll do another episode about the walks when I finished them.

[00:13:34] But when they started to subside, I thought maybe now I'm doing it for another reason.

[00:13:38] Maybe I'm doing it to become a better version of myself.

[00:13:43] I think when women go through perimenopause and menopause.

[00:13:48] You almost have to have an acceptance that you won't be your old self when you come out the other side.

[00:13:54] You'll be someone different, but it doesn't mean that it can't be someone better because it could be.

[00:13:59] [00:14:00] That's something that I held on to and hoped might happen to me and I guess, as I got towards the end of the walks, it became more about encouraging other women who I know felt like me.

[00:14:12] I was chatting to quite a few women on these walks and someone said to me, I'll never forget this lady.

[00:14:18] I told her, the story of why I was doing the walks, and she said, please tell as many people as you can, because everyone feels like this, and no one feels like they should talk about it .

[00:14:29] She said please use your social media to tell people all of this because people need to hear it.

[00:14:35] That meaning that I was looking for, it changed the focus of my business.

[00:14:41] I decided that wow, this is so important that I actually need to use my skills and my qualifications and my knowledge to help this population of women who don't get the help that they need.

[00:14:55] I know everyone thinks that menopause is a fashionable thing now and there's so much awareness [00:15:00] about it, but something that I, noticed and became increasingly angry about is when all this shit was happening to me, I decided to start doing some research around menopause and bear in mind, right?

[00:15:16] I'm a health coach.

[00:15:17] I am literate in reading scientific papers.

[00:15:20] I understand about looking for evidence and a whole body of evidence.

[00:15:25] I know how to look for whether research is biased. I know all of this shit, but it was really hard for me to find information that helped me. Any useful information.

[00:15:38] Yes, there are things that are useful, like Dr. Louise Newsom, like the Balance app, but it doesn't talk about things that were happening to me in a way that I related to.

[00:15:53] If you follow me on social media, you'll know that one of the things that really gripped my shit when I was looking at all of this, it's the [00:16:00] fucking marketing, right?

[00:16:02] Bear in mind, I have been in this industry for over 10 years now.

[00:16:06] I've seen all of the bullshit about teas that make you shit yourself, like promises of losing 10 pound in 10 days and dropping a dress size and like worse shit than that, right?

[00:16:19] I have seen all of this, and I am aware of it, but holy shit when I started looking at the menopause stuff, I'm like, this is an industry that has pinpointed another vulnerable population and decided to fucking rinse them.

[00:16:35] Some of the shit out there.

[00:16:38] The thing that annoyed me most is if you look at fitness and diet industry marketing when it's marketed at women under 40, it's all people in their Gymshark leggings with pert little butts and perky boobs, all of this really positive and it's pink and it's fluffy and all that kind of stuff.

[00:16:58] If you are over [00:17:00] 40, we're talking about saggy tits and baggy vaginas and meno bellies.

[00:17:05] The pictures are women looking really old before their time.

[00:17:11] Just all of it is just fucking ridiculous, right?

[00:17:14] It's sorry, love, you're over 40, your life is over.

[00:17:17] You're in decline. Everything is wasting away, your muscle mass, your bones are getting brittle, your fucking vagina is shrinking.

[00:17:28] It's ridiculous, right?

[00:17:30] Everything is about how you may as well give up.

[00:17:34] That really annoyed me because like I said, I am 48 years old, but I feel a lot younger. I go to CrossFit. I enjoy working out. I enjoy walking.

[00:17:47] I enjoy doing lots of stuff that women half my age don't do.

[00:17:53] So why the fuck do you think I'm going to relate to this sort of marketing?

[00:17:57] It really started to make me [00:18:00] angry.

[00:18:00] The menopause information that's out there, it's great.

[00:18:03] But we need to talk about it in a different way, because it's not something that gelled with me, I didn't think, oh my god, this is amazing, this is exactly what I needed.

[00:18:12] It's very dry, isn't it? I guess they think we're drying up and the information needs to be dry or whatever.

[00:18:18] I don't fucking understand.

[00:18:20] We have to talk about it in a different way.

[00:18:22] In marketing it is either Cardigan, slippers, oh my god, she's let herself go. Or, if you don't do that, and you decide you are gonna wear what the fuck you like, and maybe have some Botox, wear false eyelashes, like me, maybe.

[00:18:38] Then, what are you?

[00:18:39] You're just a cougar, right?

[00:18:41] It's just one or the other.

[00:18:43] This is how these stupid products are marketed to us and this is how we're expected to be.

[00:18:50] That started to make me really angry, and I thought, there's not really anyone talking about menopause in a way that's relatable to [00:19:00] me and I can't be the only fucking weirdo out there.

[00:19:02] Do you know what I mean?

[00:19:03] Going through this period of my life has ultimately turned out to be a positive thing because it's giving me a purpose to relate to women like me.

[00:19:15] To give them information about what's happening to them, what's happening to their bodies, what's happening to their emotions, what's happening in their life, because we are more than our menopause, right?

[00:19:26] There's lots of other shit that's going on when we're over 40 .

[00:19:30] Teenagers. Aging relatives that we're having to take care of, maybe, you've got more responsibilities in your job, all this stuff being pulled in loads of different directions.

[00:19:40] So it's not just about menopause stuff.

[00:19:44] How do I know where to go for information, who to believe what to be, how to act, what to do, when there are no examples that are relatable to me?

[00:19:56] I wanted to create a community where [00:20:00] there are other people like me who are just a bit tired of this bullshit and tired of how things are marketed to us and want to have a different conversation about this stuff.

[00:20:11] So I decided to change my business focus to aim to serve only women over 40.

[00:20:18] I thought, excellent, I am going to now work on my messaging.

[00:20:22] I'm going to start thinking about how did I feel and what would I have wanted to know and what would I have wanted to listen to and how would I want that delivered to me, right?

[00:20:31] I'm going to put all these messages out there.

[00:20:34] I started to do it and I started to notice that I didn't get as much engagement.

[00:20:39] I thought, Oh, maybe I've got this wrong.

[00:20:41] Maybe other people don't feel like me.

[00:20:45] I've got the skills, knowledge, and experience and confidence in my abilities to know that I can help these women.

[00:20:51] I've got my own personal experience.

[00:20:54] I know that I could coach people with empathy and sensitivity.

[00:20:59] I've got the [00:21:00] messaging right.

[00:21:01] So why am I not getting any reaction?

[00:21:05] I noticed that I felt a real reluctance to show in my writing that I related to my intended audience and I thought what the fuck is going on?

[00:21:18] I really want to help these people but I don't seem to be putting myself out there in the same way as I would if it was anything else.

[00:21:29] Had a chat with my coach claire who is coming up in the next episode.

[00:21:35] Stay tuned for that one.

[00:21:36] To my shame I figured out why I was being like that.

[00:21:40] It was based on the marketing that i'd seen, the jokes that i'd heard let's face it the shit on my social media feed ,I actually didn't want to draw attention to the fact that I was a perimenopausal woman.

[00:21:58] I thought long and hard [00:22:00] about why that was and the only thing I can think of is this attitude and this stigma.

[00:22:06] I didn't want to be seen as difficult or making a fuss because maybe she's just being hormonal or to be bluntly honest, does that make me unattractive?

[00:22:18] Am I past my sell by date?

[00:22:20] Will people think that I'm not... desirable, anymore.

[00:22:24] I'm not proud of that, but that just shows you what a massive fucking problem this is.

[00:22:30] This is why women don't talk about it, because of the jokes and the stigma, which is still there.

[00:22:36] I don't care if people think menopause is fashionable at the moment, this shit is still there.

[00:22:41] I just had to get over myself about that, because I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

[00:22:48] So I've changed my focus of my business to coach women over 40.

[00:22:53] I do that with my one to one coaching, but I also have a membership group coaching that I do that with as well.

[00:22:59] What I'm [00:23:00] really excited about at the moment is I have set up a new Facebook group called Rude Health.

[00:23:05] Just same as the podcast.

[00:23:07] This is for women who are over 40, feeling a bit shit, feeling confused, feeling a bit lost, feeling a bit joyless unattractive, any and all of those things.

[00:23:21] You're way out of your comfort zone, but not in the right way and probably just fresh out of fucks, right?

[00:23:27] You've got zero fucks left to give about this shit and you just want to do something different.

[00:23:32] As well as the health coaching I'm also organizing events and meetups because one of the things that I feel very strongly about is what adventure did for me.

[00:23:45] What all of those ultra walks did for me and my self esteem and my confidence and how I dealt with my perimenopause symptoms.

[00:23:52] Because let's face it, perimenopause, menopause, postmenopause, is way outside your fucking comfort zone, right?

[00:23:58] If you've got to be [00:24:00] outside of your comfort zone, why not do it with something enjoyable that you've chosen, right?

[00:24:04] In the Facebook group, I give health advice. We talk about things that maybe you don't feel comfortable talking about.

[00:24:11] We have Taboo Tuesday where you can talk about any sort of weird fucking shit or any symptom or weird thing that's happening to you.

[00:24:19] But also we encourage people to get outside of their comfort zone.

[00:24:23] So if somebody says, Hey, do you know, I've always wanted to do X. But I just haven't got the balls or the ovaries to do it.

[00:24:31] We just pile straight in there and help them do the thing that they want.

[00:24:37] Case in point, actually this weekend one of my lovely clients, Katie wanted to do a 10k walk. She'd never done one before.

[00:24:45] I wrote her a training plan.

[00:24:47] I said, you know what, I'll do it with you.

[00:24:49] Rather than let anyone back out of it, if I've got to do something with you, I'll do it.

[00:24:54] If you want encouragement to get outside of your comfort zone, to do something that scares you, but [00:25:00] also be supported and given all the help and the advice and the support about how to manage this stage of your life, that is a great place to be.

[00:25:09] So yeah, that is how Rude Health has changed.

[00:25:12] We now have a Facebook group.

[00:25:13] You are welcome to join. I'm gonna put the link in the show notes.

[00:25:17] We are evidence based so I don't want anyone in there selling their fucking menopause mauve shit to me or my clients or anyone in that group.

[00:25:26] We are a solutions focused group.

[00:25:29] If you've been in any of the other menopause groups where you see that misery loves company and people are just in there to moan about their symptoms, my group is not like that.

[00:25:37] It's a place for you to come and have a moan about your symptoms and then accept some help and support and go and take action to mitigate them.

[00:25:46] Go and take action and do whatever you like to get outside of your comfort zone.

[00:25:49] Yes. Positive, evidence based, supportive, action takers.

[00:25:56] Those are the people that belong in our group.

[00:25:58] That is it for [00:26:00] this episode.

[00:26:01] I really hope you've enjoyed this change of direction.

[00:26:04] If you've enjoyed this episode, I would love for you to give us a five star rating.

[00:26:09] If you know a woman over 40 who would really benefit from this, please share it with them.

[00:26:14] That's it.

[00:26:14] I'll be back next week with episode two, which is with Claire Stevenson. I'll speak to you then.


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