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Melanie Berry

Melanie Berry is co-founder of Her Spirit, the wellbeing and fitness platform and community for women. Here she describes how she's thriving not just surviving midlife and how exercise has helped her navigate the menopause. Mel is 54 and lives in Nottingham with her partner Holly and cats Halle and Logan.

1. The best thing about the menopause is…

Where do I start!! It made me realise that I’m in control of my life. At the beginning of the menopause I felt quite the opposite – I just didn’t know what was wrong with me. When I got myself back on track it was like an epiphany, like I’d been given a second chance and was back in the driving seat. I’ve always lived life at 100 miles an hour and taking back control has given me the ability to carry on doing that while feeling even more appreciative and grateful. The other best thing? Not having so many periods – ha-ha!!

2. The hardest thing about the menopause is…

Not realising it’s the menopause. I’ve always been active and strong but for three years I felt terrible – I had really low energy, felt really weak. I just put it down to a bad day, too much wine, a bad night’s sleep. I started to lose my identity through those years but just didn’t connect the two.

3. My lightbulb moment was…

I would say more a sledgehammer moment!! I tried it all from iron tablets to banging my head against an emotional brick wall. My lightbulb moment was realising nothing was going to change unless I changed and by that I mean taking action and going to a GP who gave me HRT!! Oh wow…. What me? Yes me…. My doctor was my lightbulb!!

4. My self-care superhero is…

Me…. It has to come from within through the support and help of others. Exercise is also my self-care superhero. I’ve worked hard at improving my health and wellbeing and feel a million dollars again. So being aware of what has an impact on my energy like coffee, wine and sugar – all very relatable I am sure. Also taking the time for yoga, turning the very cluttered garage into a gym with a few weights and indoor bike. I love the peace it brings. I also make more time to potter outside, I love my annual sunflowers!

5. I couldn’t live without…

My friends who power me up every day…and my swimming costume!! Ha-ha… those who know me, know I love the water and its healing powers. I am sure I am half human, half dolphin!

Head here to read more about why exercise in menopause matters plus Mel’s advice on getting started

Read about how self care helped this midlifer

Here menopause champion Deborah Garlick shares her top tips for thriving in midlife


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