A Magical Life: Health, Wealth, and Weight Loss

Menopause Tips and Secrets to a Happy Transition with Sheryl Carroll

January 03, 2024 Sheryl Carroll Season 1 Episode 238
A Magical Life: Health, Wealth, and Weight Loss
Menopause Tips and Secrets to a Happy Transition with Sheryl Carroll
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Show Notes Transcript

Today I'm visiting with Sheryl Carroll, an ex-banking professional turned integrative health practitioner and health coach. We'll discuss menopause, its misconceptions, and how to navigate the transition with a positive mindset and focus on health and well-being. Sheryl shares her personal journey and provides tips and advice for women going through perimenopause and menopause. The conversation covers topics such as prioritizing self-care, building wealth in various aspects of life, managing weight, and the different phases of perimenopause. Sheryl also emphasizes the importance of education, self-tracking, and building a supportive team.

Connect with Sheryl online at https://www.ytvhealthcoaching.com/ and learn more about her work.

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Magic Barclay:

Welcome back to a magical life. I'm your host, magic Barclay. Today, Cheryl Carroll joins us now. She is an ex banking professional turned integrative health practitioner and health coach. After experiencing burnout. And turning her own health around, she decided to follow her passion for health and wellbeing and making this her career. She loves connecting deeply with people and using the strong investigative skills that she has to help people identify and resolve the things that are holding them back from feeling strong, energetic and engaged in life. She spends most of her time supporting women in PERI and Menopause and loves changing the narrative as it relates to this life phase. Welcome, Cheryl.

Sheryl Carroll:

Thank you so much. Awesome to be here.

Magic Barclay:

Awesome to have you here. And I love your bio because my story is quite similar. And it's just. Yeah. Let's just put this word out there, menopause. It's not a

Sheryl Carroll:

disaster, is it? I know, but there are so many, like negative connotations, associations. And to be perfectly honest, I had that myself, and you know, so the reason I actually ended up. getting very interested in the space and actually really focusing my, my coaching, my work in the space is that, when I was 41, one of my fellow health practitioners, asked me if I wanted to run a Healy scan, you know, bioresonance scan. And so she did it for me and. I popped the word menopause on my report and that really freaked me out because I was like, wait, I'm 41. Like, why is the word menopause popping up on my report? So I asked her to redo the scan. And of course the word popped up again. So I started to go deep in this. Space to try and understand why this was something that had, come into my, world, you know, given that, you know, in my mind, menopause was much later in life meant you were on the shelf, like meant that it was the loss of your sexuality. So I was, it was really freaking me out. You know, and then I just started investigating and then realized that I was in the phase called perimenopause, which, you know, even through my in depth training, perimenopause wasn't covered. So, and then I kind of started to make sense of some of these symptoms that I was experiencing, like much more sleep disruption and feeling more overwhelmed. Life. because, you know, my life had become very crazy with trying to work a full-time job in three days with two young kids who didn't sleep. So the stress had just started to Mount and with my changing hormones, which I didn't actually realize were changing, I just wasn't as resilient. So through my deep research into the space, I've completely flipped my perspective of menopause, transition, what it means, it certainly does not mean that you're on the shelf. It certainly doesn't mean that it's the end of your life. And it's actually an incredible opportunity to turn inward and to actually have the most phenomenal second half of life. So that is my mission to do that for myself and to educate women to do that for themselves as well.

Magic Barclay:

I love that. So in honor of that mission, let's get into our standard three questions and then we'll open up to everything Perry and. Post menopause. So the first question is, what can your expertise do to accelerate health? Not just the physical, but also emotional or spiritual. We know at this change of life that we sometimes have a loss of self, maybe our roles have changed. So what can you suggest here?

Sheryl Carroll:

and that's exactly right. I think that a lot of women. you can no longer buffer in this phase. I think what the hormones do for us, like when we are in a reproductive years is they they allow us to be more resilient, to just keep busy, busy, busy, busy, and to maybe not turn to and focus on the things that we need to. And then with the loss of our hormones, We no longer have this extra kind of layer of protection. And I think that women are often quite surprised when the symptoms they start experiencing are actually linked to the menopausal shift and transition, because our hormones do so much more for us than just allowing us. To procreate it's, it's phenomenal when you see, you know, like the, the impact on our mental health, the clarity of our thinking, you know, the brain fog that I think women start to experience, you know, that's all linked to the loss of our hormones. So I think, you know, what's so important. And my number one thing for women is. To start to prioritize themselves, to really work on their boundaries and to actually learn to say no, which which is quite difficult for women when. You know, we, we take on so many roles. We wear a number of hats. We want to be everything for everyone. And then what that means is we become like very low on the list of priorities and that actually starts to manifest in some of these physical symptoms. So I think the starting point is really to acknowledge that there needs to be an investment in themselves and their health. And that doesn't mean that it's selfish. And it doesn't mean that you letting somebody down by putting up a firm boundary. because when you say no to somebody, it actually gives them opportunity to step up. As well. So it's not, you know, it's not selfish to do that. So I think, you know, they're all of the lifestyle factors that I coach women on. And, you know, so the three pillars that I really focus on are. Nutrition movement and stress management. And on the stress management side that covers physical stress or things like sleep circadian disruption, toxins, gut issues, as well. And then obviously there's all the, the mental and emotional stress that, you know, we experience on a day to day basis. But I think, you can educate people on all of the. What you must do, but until they learn to prioritize themselves, it's very difficult to get them to truly implement all of the, the various lifestyle factors that are necessary for them to really shine in this life phase.

Magic Barclay:

Very much so. And look, we talk about wealth here as well, not just financial, but personal and emotional wealth. Now at a time of the change of life, menopause, you know, becoming a different person, metamorphosis, metamorphosis. Whatever you want to see it as, we can often be in a bit of a financial hole because these days divorce is common, you know, lifestyles have changed, but we can also be in a personal and emotional hole. We don't know who we are anymore, or, you know, our purpose has changed. We're no longer the giver of life. So what are your top three tips to creating wealth, any kind of wealth?

Sheryl Carroll:

Yeah. So actually the, the first thing is really to. Prioritize yourself as number one, because if you don't do that, you're not going to have the space and the time to actually reconnect back to who you are, like, unfortunately, like there actually needs to be a bit of. Avoid and a bit of space for the nervous system to recalibrate properly, and then to be able to reconnect to the things in your life that bring you joy to what it is that you want to bring in. Because when we're so busy and we just doing, doing, doing, doing, there's actually no space to really. Like feel the feelings and feel we got to feel the highs and the lows and everything. And I think because we buffer so much, we don't allow ourselves to do that. So I would say number one is prioritizing yourself and allowing yourself space to do some of these. To do some of the internal work, you know, and I think the, the way to really do that and to start to allow space in a way that sits well with somebody who's used to doing, doing, doing is to actually create some very nourishing routines. So you know, morning routines and evening routines that involve things like journaling, visualization, affirmations. You know, really thinking and connecting to your desires, because that's really the way when you kind of let the creative juices flow, you can then start to tap into the things that you've probably pushed down, the things that bring you joy that you've disconnected. To, because we disconnect when we're very busy. So it's really creating the space in our day, you know, through the morning routines and the evening routines. And even sometime during the day, just to reconnect to the breath, to calm the nervous system is really what allows us to recalibrate. So I'd say that's another one. And then the third one is to really take action on bringing more joy and fun into our lives, like things just for us. You know, like, okay, I actually, I really love dancing. I haven't danced for ages because I don't know, my husband doesn't like dancing. You know, I don't have any time, you know, dance in the morning, put your favorite song on, have that part of your morning routine. And I think it's that really like starting to enjoy life again, that then ignites the fire of, you know, it's kind of what you, focus on and you bring in more of. So it's really focusing on what are the things you want to bring in more into your life, starting to do that. And then you'll, you'll kind of more, more and more of that will start to come and you'll feel comfortable with expressing your own desires and starting to bring that more into your life. I love

Magic Barclay:

it. Some great tips there. And our final standard question is around weight. You know, many people look at health coaches and go, well, you've never battled your weight. What would you know? So have you ever battled your weight? If so. How did you win the battle and what can you offer the listeners who might be on that journey?

Sheryl Carroll:

Yeah. So I would say, I mean, you know, you know what it's like with these in these years of, there was a time when I was very uncomfortable in my own body and when I was, it was when I was, Younger in life. So, you know, I'd always been super skinny. And then I went to university and started living on peanut butter and jam dinner, lunch and breakfast. So, you know, and drinking lots of alcohol. I went on the pill. I was All over the place. And I, didn't feel like I'd recognized myself and then, actually went to the U S to work on a ski resort and I was worked in the food court and all the people used to like make us food and stuff for the people who were working at the cashier's desk. And I came back from the U S and I'd put on so much weight and I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. Um, and that's when I started to, I guess, become more aware And, you know, started to exercise and try to reduce the amount that I was eating, but then that became an almost unhealthy relationship. So I would say that it's probably been, quite a few years that it took me to fall into a more healthy relationship with food and exercise and my own body, because, you know, particularly. The older we get, I think it's like that old, you know, mindset of exercise, more eat less. You'll achieve your body goals, but it's so much more than that, you know, and like a lot of the women that I coach now is that, you know, weight loss can actually be one of the last things to fall into place. And that we, we tracking the, the energy, the sleep, the mood. Et cetera, to get to weight loss goal, the weight loss comes when your body's in a balanced state. So what I did back in the day when I was highly uneducated and, you know, it was just feeling uncomfortable in my skin was just what, you know, the media says, just exercise more and eat less. But that is not a healthy way for anybody to achieve sustainable weight loss. Like your body needs to fall to a natural set point that is healthy for you. And that comes through balanced eating, the fundamentals of health. you know, hydration and good nutrition, and then the goalie locks of exercise, which is not too much and not too little, and then really managing all of the stress that that we're exposed to on an everyday basis, you know, physical, mental, and emotional. so it's getting these various lifestyle pillars optimized for you. Because we all have different tolerance levels around, you know, how much we can push our bodies. you know, I ran marathons for many years in London and that was too much for my body so much so that I stopped having my period. you know, but I wasn't informed then, and I was quite disconnected. So, you know, my journey has really been about reconnecting to my body and to the signals that my body is giving me and honoring the female physiology and the cycle. so I'd say for women listening to it, it's about really honoring Our infradian rhythm, which is the cycle that we have because our hormones change every month. all the way through the month. And then also, you know, for men, it's about honoring our circadian rhythm. If we really want to optimize our health as well.

Magic Barclay:

So we've covered a fair bit today and there's a whole lot more we need to investigate. What are some things that you feel the listeners need to hear about perian postmenopause?

Sheryl Carroll:

Okay. So my, my, my very first thing is Like I'd encourage women or even in men, you know, every single woman is going to be going through menopause regardless of, you know, whether they've had kids, they haven't had kids. It's, it's something that we all going to go through. So I think it's about spending a bit of time thinking about your own, thought patterns around this life phase. seeing how you feel about it, where, where you sit in relation to it, you know, as I've shared previously, my initial reaction was like, Oh my gosh, no, this means you old and on the shelf and you know, all of these negative, negative words. Um, so I encourage people just to investigate their own relationship to menopause and then To become the CEO of their own health, which is educating themselves around the transition. Like what does it mean? there are some amazing books that have recently been written all around, Perimenopause menopause, the transition from both, a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual perspective. So there is so much that you can, you know, you don't have to be retrained or anything like that. I think it's, The whole point is that you have lived in your body your whole life that you note the best and you cannot be outsourcing your health outcomes through this life phase to another practitioner or a doctor. you know, it's about taking ownership of your health and being able to drive to your health outcomes, through understanding what. Lifestyle changes work, you know, what lifestyle habits potentially don't work. And then what your options are around supplementary therapies, you know, whether that's hormone therapy or herbs, adaptogens, anything like that, so that you can then have an informed conversation and really figure out what is going to support you to be your best self through this life phase and then through to menopause, which is where we're going to stay for the rest of our lives. And we want the rest of our lives to be, you know, vibrant and strong and active and still being able to do all of the things. That we love to do. And I think that's, you know, that's the whole point of really, investing in this kind of exploratory phase. And the other part of that is around tracking your lifestyle habits, your cycle and your symptoms so that you can. Have a clear record of the things that are working for you or not working for you. And, you know, I think that our lives are so busy that we forget what we've done yesterday. We forget what we had for breakfast yesterday. So unless you're really tracking, particularly where our cycles start going or wonky and maybe symptoms start to get worse that you've got some real data points to then work on to. Either, investigate yourself or try different things or take to a health practitioner to help you work through. So I think that's the starting point is kind of taking ownership for your own health outcomes. And then the other kind of high level tip that I always give to people is to really start building their support team. So You know, the health practitioners. So whether you want to, you realize that your GP doesn't really listen to you. you actually don't have a good connection with them. Find somebody else you want people in your, in your inner circle, who listen to you, who you feel supported by, who are there to go through this journey with you, because it's a bit of a wild ride, you know, from the various. of perimenopause, which I can touch on in a little bit, if you'd like. so it's really, is, you know, working with your lifestyle in a way that's quite flexible so that you can, um, adapt things to help to manage any symptoms that may pop up with for you as your hormones. Start to fluctuate. and then the other part, I'm

Magic Barclay:

just going to stop you there. I think we do need to explore those phases, just going back to something you said about tracking periods. I know there'll be percentage of the listeners that are thinking, well, that's fine, but I haven't had a period for a while because I had a hysterectomy or, you know, something. So. For those that can't track their periods, how do they embrace this move forward?

Sheryl Carroll:

Yeah. Yeah. So if you don't have a cycle, what I would say that it is, you know, potentially those people have already gone onto, depending on the type of hysterectomy that they have, then they may have already gone onto hormone therapy as well. And then what I would say for those people who don't have a cycle, it's about tracking your symptoms. So how are you feeling? Day to day because maybe it means that your hormones need to change a bit, or they're not working as well, or that you need to do a detox because your body isn't detoxifying and metabolizing all of the excess hormones that your body isn't using. So I think it's still tracking how you feel, like, what are your lifestyle factors? How do you feel day to day? You know, maybe your process carbs have slipped back in and actually that's really tanking your energy levels or, you know, the alcohol that you're having is giving you hot flashes. you know, I think it's, it's just, it's still really important to be tracking your symptoms as well as your lifestyle factors.

Magic Barclay:

Great. Now let's touch on these, phases of perimenopause because, you know, many women are led to believe that everything's all in their head and, you know, they're bringing things on themselves and then wham, you've got menopause and that's not the case. So let's look at the trajectory of perimenopause.

Sheryl Carroll:

Yeah. So it can start as early as, uh, mid thirties. So, particularly because we live in quite stressful times. So the first hormone that is going to start diminishing is progesterone. And progesterone that is produced after ovulation. And that is to hold our lining in place in the anticipation of us carrying a baby. So from about the age of 35 for some women, I think, I definitely think that I had that experience, progesterone starts to decline. And what that means is that. In the second half of our cycle, in terms of the hormone pattern, we want progesterone to be higher than estrogen in the second half of your cycle. And where it's not, if, if our progesterone levels are super low, estrogen levels, even if they're not that high, can still be higher than progesterone. And then we end up in a situation that we are estrogen dominant. And I'm sure, you know, there's a lot of talk around estrogen dominance at the moment because that can exacerbate your PMS symptoms, and it can make you feel very inflamed, achy, heavy periods, et cetera. So that's what you can start experiencing sleep disturbances, just really ratty before your period. And then really the first sign of perimenopause is when your cycle starts to, reduce in length by a day or two days. So it's a very short, gradual shortening of the cycle. So we talk about a 28 day cycle, but some women have always had a 26 day cycle. We've always had a 33 day cycle that's normal for them. So it's when their cycle length starts to shorten consistently. Then you would say that you're in phase one of perimenopause and that is called luteal phase insufficiency, where that luteal phase starts to shorten. Then we move on into phase two, and this is when the ovaries are starting to say, uh, I don't want to be doing this. It's heavy work anymore. And with the view to be handing over the hormone producing responsibilities to the adrenal glands, but the brain's not happy about this. So there's this brain ovary connection going, going, going, going. So sometimes the brain is like just shouting at the ovaries to push out more estrogen. So if there's like a massive estrogen surge. And then sometimes the ovaries just don't listen and then estrogen is quite low. So we have this like up down wild swings of estrogen in the second phase of, our cycle. And that can actually continue closer to menopause, which is when estrogen really drops back down. And so then in this phase two, what you will start to see is because our egg quality and our egg amount is, decreasing, we weren't always ovulate, which means that we can either have an ovulatory cycles or we end up missing a cycle or missing two cycles. And then our period comes back again. So that would be phase two. And then phase three is when we get these very long breaks between cycles. So you may miss a period for like four months and then it comes back again. And then it. disappears again for five months and then comes back again. And then phase four is what we call, which is horrendous, but it's where you're in the waiting room for the menopause badge, which is when, you know, you've been waiting for 10, 11 months and you haven't had a period but you have to wait till you haven't for 12 months to officially be in menopause. So menopause, once you hit menopause, you haven't had a period for 12 months. That is the phase that you stay in for the rest of your life. And when your hormone levels will be at that much lower level, your adrenal glands, your fat cells, et cetera, will then pick up the hormone making, responsibilities unless you are going to be supplementing with hormone therapy.

Magic Barclay:

You mentioned fat cells there. We often have that menopause. Lower abdomen spread and so I know from my work in functional health that your adipose tissue or your fat can be the maker of your hormones. Many women You know, they, they sail through life without a weight issue. And all of a sudden they get this lower muffin top happening as we call it here in Australia. So can you explain to the listeners why that is?

Sheryl Carroll:

So that can actually start to develop and generally starts to develop in perimenopause so there are actually a few contributors to that muffin top situation. So number one, with our loss of estrogen, we become less insulin sensitive, which means that we aren't as able to utilize glucose for fuels. So our body starts to produce more insulin to try and shuttle the glucose into our cells. And then more of it to try and shut all the glucose into our cells and insulin is an anabolic hormone and can actually cause us to then hold on to excess weight. So that's the first thing. The second one is stress. So I mentioned, you know, that the adrenal glands will be taking over the responsibilities from the ovaries. So we, we become naturally less resilient to stress. And when we are stressed, there is a shoot. Up of our stress hormones, which is accompanied by a release of glucose. So it's almost like you're getting as much glucose as a candy bar. Every time our stress response, comes into effect. So it's just constant. If we are constantly stressed from either physical stress, so personally high toxic load, GI issues, or the mental and emotional stress, we constantly getting this glucose shoved into our system. And, you know, we don't, we don't move as much. So that, then gets laid down as body fat. So there's the predisposition to insulin resistance. There is the high stress levels, which increases the glucose around our system, which ends up settling down as, as fat. And then to your point, fat becomes a hot. Commodity because as our ovaries no longer are producing the estrogen, some of our fat cells actually have the ability to produce a weaker form of estrogen. So our body's like, Oh, we need this to increase our estrogen levels. So it's really a, there's like a multi pronged, attack to create the muffin top. which is why the way we eat. And how we exercise and how we manage stress is so important. If we want to get rid of that belly fat, you know, and obviously from a, you know, an aesthetic standpoint, nobody wants it, but it's also a sign of our body being out of balanced and that's, you know, what I encourage my clients to, think about that. It's not body shaming. If they're like, I want to get rid of my, belly fat, it's actually a sign that things are out of balance if you are carrying. That's sort of weight around your middle.

Magic Barclay:

Fantastic. Now, before we wrap up, is there something we haven't covered that you feel the listeners might need to hear?

Sheryl Carroll:

So I think we've, pretty much covered everything, but just in kind of a whistle stop to, I guess, number one, I would encourage women to do some work to change their perspective of this life change. and, and not even women, men as well to really, embrace. I love the Japanese have this concept, and they refer to menopause as the, as the second spring. So it's really a time to be celebrated. And, you know, if you've got this, mindset that menopause means you. You're going to put on weight, you're going to feel from P you're going to have low energy. You can't do the things that you love. You're going to create your reality as opposed to realizing that actually this is an incredible phase, a transformational phase to, And you achieve a body that you love and that you're comfortable in. And it's going to support you to show up in life with the things that you really enjoy and are passionate about, whether that's your family, whether it's horse riding, dancing, whatever that may be. All of these things are still possible for you in the second half of life. So that's number one, it's changing your perspective on menopause and what it means. Um, number two, educate yourself or, you know, just find a book, find however you like to consume information. There are, you know, so many people on social media, amazing books, um, but I'd say just on social media, just make sure you, you vet the people to make sure that you're following somebody who is highly credible because you don't want to get, let on. Down the garden path by somebody who's not really well educated in the space and track your cycle and your symptoms, build your support team, and then start to focus on the lifestyle factors that you can optimize. To be able to achieve this radiant health and perimenopause and menopause, because I just like to say that, you know, I'm fully supportive of bioidentical hormone therapy, particularly if it's It's done in a way that really matches where your hormone levels are. And it's done alongside a well educated doctor in the space so that you can keep on working to optimize the levels for you. Like, I think it's an amazing way to reduce our risk of Alzheimer's, osteoporosis. there's so many things that our hormones do for us that if, you know, if you're open to using bio identical hormone Um, really add, value to your life, but can't be done in isolation. So, you know, getting your nutrition dialed in your movement, really focusing on strength training. I know you've, you've had another. session on this in your podcast, but really focusing on building your strength, functional movement, mobility is really important. And then the stress management side of things, we are exposed to toxins on an everyday basis. So doing daily detox practices or a quarterly. Uh, liver detox protocol. These are all amazing things that you can add into your life that are only going to make you feel better, look better, be stronger, more resilient, which is what we want in the second half of life.

Magic Barclay:

In the second spring. Yes, exactly. I love it. Now, before I let you go, we love freebies here. What can you offer the listeners and where can they find that?

Sheryl Carroll:

Yes. Amazing. So I work with women and men. One on one. And I also run group coaching programs, three month coaching programs for women in perimenopause and menopause. And I've also recently partnered with an exercise physiologist to create a four week. Program educating on the lifestyle fundamentals for perimenopause and menopause. And that's called shape shifters. So for your listeners offering, you know, 10 percent off any of my programs and also I do offer free discovery calls. So if anybody is interested in having a chat about the health, you know, no, no strings attached. I love to give people a different perspective on their health. Because I feel that we often normalize our own experience. So we start to live with things that we tolerating, whether that's joint pain, whether that's, you know, always feeling bloated and gassy or, brain fog, whatever it may be just to kind of give a bit of objective viewpoint on whether. Their experience is normal or not and how they can optimize their health.

Magic Barclay:

Fantastic. People can find you on Instagram at your tiny voice. You're on Facebook at YTV health coaching, and your website is www dot. ytvhealthcoaching. com Cheryl, thank you so much for joining us. I've really enjoyed this episode and I'm sure many of the listeners have been busy jotting down lots of information. So definitely listeners check out our show notes. All of this information is there for you get in touch with Cheryl and you know, menopause is part of your magical life. It's your second spring.

Sheryl Carroll:

Amazing. Thank you so much for having me.

Magic Barclay:

Pleasure listeners. We have some more great guests coming up in the next episodes. Don't forget to check our library of episodes. If you want to know more about anything that we've discussed, jump in there, share our podcast and episodes with the people that you care about and go forth and create your magical life.