Turning the tables on the menopause

Welcome to our first blog

This is a great step forward as we start to turn the tables on the menopause and open a conversation about what it is all about.
But first, a little about Phoenix Wellness Coaching and my story.
I’m Jeanette Forder, the founder and CEO of Phoenix Wellness Coaching, a women-only online wellness and life coaching service specialising in helping women to thrive through the menopause. I am absolutely passionate about this being a midlife woman myself.
I set up Phoenix Wellness in October 2020, in the middle of the global pandemic. Yes it was scary, but it was something I knew I wanted to do and, given my own experience, believed was much needed. I entered the menopause “officially” at around 54 when I finally got fed up of feeling fed up!
I didn’t sail through the menopause at all! I suffered sleepless nights – one minute I was in a full-on hot sweat, throwing the covers off, pushing my husband away and refusing cuddles. Then no sooner had I got comfortable, than I’d be freezing cold. The restless nights made my busy day job even harder. It became all too much. I was anxious about everything, crying at the slightest thing and often for no reason! I couldn’t function at work – I was unhappy, unfocused, made mistakes, couldn’t concentrate and kept forgetting the simplest of things! I was starting to question and doubt myself at every turn.

Then don’t get me started on how I felt about me! I put on weight. All my clothes felt uncomfortable and yet I continued to comfort eat. I wouldn’t look in the mirror – I disliked everything I saw from my hair which always seemed frizzy and thin to my growing waistline. And as we know when we feel low about the way we look, then our confidence and self-esteem take a nose dive. And of course, my relationship started to suffer.
Not only did I push my amazing and supportive husband away because I was burning up with night sweats, I also started to avoid sex. The thought of sex horrified me – how on earth could he still fancy me when I’d put on so much weight and was a wreck all the time? And on those rare occasions when I did feel sexy, it just wasn’t fun anymore. That old saying of “it takes me all night to do what I used to do all night” hit home – sex was suddenly hard work and not much fun which made me avoid it even more.
BUT all was not and is not lost. I’ve found ways to manage my symptoms and change the way I feel about me. I want to share these lifestyle hacks and mindset switches with women everywhere. I feel passionate about starting a different conversation about the menopause – it’s time now to turn the tables on everything we’ve known about it. The menopause isn’t the end of our lives, it’s just a milestone where our bodies start to change and, of course, we will feel different about ourselves, but, we have the chance to grasp new opportunities and fun once we discover who we are becoming.
So what does that mean?
The menopause, alongside puberty, is one of the most natural life changes that we experience. Let’s talk about it as a “rite of passage” as we do for puberty. We all celebrate when our daughters become women, so why not celebrate when we enter what can be the most abundant stage of our fantastic lives?
The menopause is natural. It’s not an illness. Let’s stop thinking of it as an illness. In the UK, women report suffering more menopausal symptoms than any other country. Why? Because it is viewed as an illness, an almost endless ordeal, something to get over and not to be enjoyed. Granted the symptoms make it hard, but we can do something about that and help our bodies’ natural rhythms.
The menopause is a time of growth and transformation. We are no longer ruled by our biological clocks but are free to life our lives to the full, no longer worrying about whether we are pregnant or fretting about becoming pregnant.
The menopause is the gateway to the rest of our lives, when we fully come into our own. We have built up so much life experience, we now have a chance to make a massive contribution to our families and our communities.

We want to spread the word that the menopause is a time for great celebration, for great freedom and a time when women can redefine themselves and their lives. I will bring you stories of inspiring women and how they embraced this time of their lives; simple hacks and tricks for thriving the menopause and becoming the woman you’ve always wanted to be.

My call to action – get out there ladies, shout from the rafters just how amazing and magnificent a midlife woman is, learn a new skill and explore those areas of your life and career you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time.

This is our time – let’s make it count!