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Emma Bardwell

Emma, 49, is a nutritionist, women's health specialist and co-author of the brilliant, recently-published The Perimenopause Solution. She lives in south-east London with her two daughters.

1. The best thing about the menopause is …

No longer taking sh*t from other people. There’s something about this time of life that makes me much less tolerant of nonsense and I (finally!) care less about what people think of me. God knows what took me so long but I got there in the end and many of my clients and friends say they feel the same. Menopause often gets a bad rap but it can actually be a time of immense change…a reawakening if you like. I love to see women absolutely bossing it in midlife: founding start-ups, changing careers, training for big sporting events, leaving unhappy relationships. We’re living so much longer now; there’s absolutely no reason the second half of your life can’t be more exciting and fulfilling than the first.

2. The hardest thing about the menopause is…

It can make you feel incredibly isolated. When my symptoms first struck around the age of 42 I was totally unprepared and no one I knew seemed to be going though anything similar. I distanced myself from friends as I just didn’t think they’d understand. Seven years on, things have changed massively. Not only are women much more open, we now have lots of community groups, social media pages and forums where women can connect and off-load. Talking about the transition into menopause is vital.

3. My lightbulb moment was…

Recognising that there were millions of women who needed no-nonsense, evidence based information about this time of life. I reframed my nutrition business to support midlife women and have just had my first book, The Perimenopause Solution, published. We’re making great strides in menopause but the private messages I get every day make me realise how much more work there is to be done. Women’s health is still woefully undervalued, under researched and under resourced. Things need to change.

4. My self-care superhero is…

Carving out regular quiet time for myself. I’m not that great at meditating but I do make sure I weave pockets of silence into my day to keep my mental health in check. A walk on my own in the park or a bath and a book are the best therapies for a frazzled brain.

5. I couldn’t live without…

  • Dyeing my eyebrows: I bought a kit online and now do them myself at home – the difference is astonishing.
  • Epsom salts: I buy them in 20 kg bags (delivery drivers hate me) and use 2 big cupfuls in a bath one or twice a week. They soothe aching muscles, calm restless legs and help me sleep.
  • Sweaty Betty Power Leggings: Unless I’m going out, you’ll find me in a pair of these… whether I’m working out or not. They’re long in the leg, sculpt your bum and high-waisted so you always feel streamlined and comfy. Not cheap but in terms of cost per wear they’re worth the investment!

For brilliant tips and tricks on managing mid-life, follow her at @Emma.bardwell or visit www.emmabardwell.com

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