It’s World Menopause Day today, and I wanted to mark the occasion with a reflection on the past year and what has changed in terms of menopause awareness as a whole, changes to FitFreedom as well as my personal life. It's been a difficult year for many of us, with Coronavirus still impacting our lives, but there is so much to be thankful and grateful for, as well as very excited about.
Livia’s year in review
On a personal level the past year for me has been a whirlwind. I got engaged to my wonderful partner Martin, so wedding plans have featured heavily! In terms of my health I went on a bit of a journey with the return of my period! I then embarked on a journey of investigations including ultrasounds, bone density scans and meeting with specialists to find out what was going on with my body! I documented the journey, you can follow the ups and downs on my YouTube channel.
In this past year I also lost my father, which is incredibly painful no matter which stage of life you are in. I’m grateful to have my wonderful family and friends around me who are always there for me.
September was another big milestone for me as my two eldest children, the twins, embarked on their university careers. Anyone who has been through this knows what an exciting, proud but very emotional time this is, as my babies grow up and begin to find their place in the world.
FitFreedom - what a year!
There is a lot going on behind the scenes at FitFreedom. During coronavirus I made the decision to take FitFreedom fully online, conducting live zoom training sessions and began to re-imagine FitFreedom as a whole. We assembled a team of specialists from all over the world to develop a beautiful new brand and two new 90 day plans. I connected with incredible specialists such as Dr Olivia Hum, Dr Wendy Denning and Dr Mable Blades to develop the FitFreedom offering. We also connected with great organisations such as Gen M and Menopoised. The branding work is still ongoing - what a learning curve that has been - and I cannot wait to show you the results of a year’s hard work, dedication and patience! All good things come to those who wait...and 2022 is going to be a big year for FitFreedom. Ahead of the launch of the rebrand we put together two more 90 Day Plans; the intermediate and advanced which follow the existing beginner's plan. These carefully curated plans help women to gain control of their symptoms to live a happier, healthier menopause!
One of my favourite moments of the last year is getting together with all my amazing FitFreedom women who have worked so hard. We were all able to get together to celebrate all our hard work with a photoshoot with photographer Matt Marsh, and a general celebration of friendship and womanhood. We want to make this an annual event because there is nothing better than being with your tribe!
Menopause Awareness is louder, bigger, bolder than ever.
One of the things that fills me with the most joy is just how far menopause awareness has come in the last year. It finally feels like we are making progress and getting our voices heard! I am particularly proud of the work I have done with Nickie Aikin, MP who completed the 90 day plan. As well as my podcasts where I discuss menopause, the symptoms, the journey and the solutions available, there has been a surge in coverage in the media. Davina McCall highlighted the plight of the menopause in her Channel 4 documentary. Kate Muir spoke openly about menopause, hormones and feeling like she had fallen off a cliff in her article in The Guardian.
“We are witnessing a tipping point: the rise of Menopause Power: a growing activist movement which will change the Change in the same way that Period Power fought period poverty and stigma”
In June the powerhouse that is MP Carolyn Harris secured a private member's bill for menopause to be debated in parliament on 29th October 2021 - we will be keeping a close eye on that! Carolyn also launched her menopause revolution campaign, spoke to Lorraine Candy on Podcasts from Midlife about how to rethink your diet in the menopause, and in September appeared on Loose Women to further raise awareness and start changing attitudes around menopause.
In July it was announced that menopause would now be taught in secondary schools as part of the curriculum, and in August, the Telegraph published an article titled Why strength training is the secret to midlife weight loss, and The Guardian newspaper published an article that looked at the benefits of resistance training for menopausal women. And finally, the news that equality laws could be changed to protect women in menopause
"Caroline Nokes, chair of the women and equalities committee, said the inquiry had heard from women who have suffered discrimination in the workplace and have been forced to use disability legislation to seek redress in the courts."
To another year of growth, learning and raising awareness.
That is quite a remarkable amount to achieve in a year! We can’t wait to see what the next twelve months bring and look forward to discovering what we can accomplish by this time next year. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with me and FitFreedom.