All of us have been there...
We visit our healthcare team and leave their rooms 30-60 minutes later with a plan on paper. Whether it's your GP, Dietitian, or Physio....
But research shows that those plans are MOSTLY unsuccessful and that we as healthcare providers have been doing it wrong all along.
When I discovered this, I completely changed the way I serve my clients and I think it's important for you to understand why...
If you wanna learn how to understand what perimenopause is (if you're over 35, you're in peri!), and how to care for yourself throughout this normal reproductive phase, you need a healthcare provider that will be willing to compromise their comfort in care and shift their focus to giving you WHAT YOU REALLY NEED and what would ensure your best possible outcomes.
Well hello there and welcome back to The Perimenopause Podcast!
You know, I absolutely love my job and I can talk about perimonpause and hormones to a brick wall for 24 hours non stop. But the fact that you show up here every week to listen to my talking is truly so humbling and I feel incredibly grateful that you’re trusting me with this significant reproductive phase of your life.
If you’re new around here, I’m Vandghie and I’m a qualified women’s health dietitian.
I started focusing my expertise on women’s health after a health challenge that lasted about 5 years. During this time I visited my GP probably 2-3 times a year, I was referred to specialists, went of prescription drugs and nothing could explain or solve the symptoms that I was experiencing.
The incredibly frustrating thing was, although I was a medical professional, I had no idea what was going on with my body and I felt absolutely desperate for some answers and solutions. Solutions that did not involve prescription drugs.
My symptoms included allergy-like symptoms around my mouth and eyes, eczema, acne, fatigue, irritability, weight gain, inflammation in my joints, poor sleep, loss of drive and motivation, painful lumps in my breasts, heavy and painful periods and low libido.
And the only solutions that were offered to me was hormonal contraceptives, Acutane prescription drugs for my acne, cortisone creams for the eczema and encouragement to settle in for the hormonal ride that I was about to embark on.
I felt absolutely hopeless and had NO idea that perimenopause and hormonal imbalance was the cause of every single symptoms that I lived with for about 5 years.
And by God’s incredible grace, I discovered all of this and then started to dig into the research. And to say that my mind was blown is an absolute understatement.
I had no idea, as a healthcare professional, of all of these new developments in terms of women’s health.
I started implementing the principles I discovered in the clinical studies and in only 7 weeks, every single symptom cleared and I lost 7kgs, which is about 18 pounds.
And as other women in my world started noticing these changes that I was going through, they started asking and I realised that the majority of women, post having babies, was going through these same struggles but most of us didn’t have the language to describe what we were going through, but also, it was like nobody is listening to what we are saying, and therefore we keep quiet and learn to live with it.
So that’s exactly how this podcast was born almost 2 years ago.
Now I wanna share today on one of the massive changes that I’ve made in my practice as a medical professional, and that is that I’ve shifted my care from one-off consultations and follow-ups, to coaching programs.
And the reason for this, is as I digged through the research in my attempt to find what we as healthcare professionals have been missing, I stumbled upon the research that is proving that the current consultation-based format of care is ineffective and unhelpful.
Research shows that people who receive ongoing health coaching and support and much more likely to have better health outcomes and success in their care than those that receive prescription-based care.
I took an oath when I qualified and I take it incredible serious.
The first oath was to do no harm, and secondly to always do good.
That means, if I know that research is saying one thing, and I do the opposite, I’m not putting my clients first.
So I stopped doing clinic based consultations and shifted my focus to doing small, ongoing group coaching.
And I’ve set my programs to a specific amount of time, because I know that will ensure the best possible outcomes for those women that I work with.
For some of you listening, this might be a foreign concept.
For hundreds of years, we’ve known one model, and that is prescription based care.
You walk into a health professional’s office, get instructions and leave the office to implement the instructions. The responsibility shifts from the provider to the client at that point. It leads to lazy care and clients that are set up for failure.
For many years, this was exactly how I ran my practice, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that 90% of my clients did not reach the outcomes that they hoped for. And I don’t feel proud about sharing this with you.
But things have changed since if you choose to work with me, and I’m incredibly grateful to say that those stats is now inverse. 90% of the women that I work with receive the outcomes that they set out to achieve. And that is probably not because I’ve got a special gift. It’s because I choose to respect the research, and then take the responsibility incredibly seriously to come alongside my clients and support them on this journey.
So let me share with you x reasons why I believe that every single woman, going through perimenopause, should enrol in a coaching program with a women’s health expert who takes education serious and wants to empower women to thrive through this normal reproductive phase. A.k.a, somebody like me.
X reasons why I believe it is important to invest time and money into our health. I’ve seen how this can be truly life changing.
Firstly, the healthcare system (or sick care system as I like to call it) will make you feel that there is nothing wrong with you and you just need to learn to live with the symptoms. What you’re going through is normal. And if you don’t want to go with this option, your next best option is prescription drugs like hormonal contraceptives or anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs. In my experience, and that of the many women that i work with, doctors don’t understand perimenopause, and secondly, they want to fix everything with drugs. Now don’t get me wrong, I truly appreciate the doctors and the incredible role that they play when we really need them. But we’ve put the responsibility of our wellness onto them and they are not trained to do this. On top of this, the massive research gap lead to them not knowing what to do with their female patients and the significant changes that we go through. If you would like to learn more about this, you can go back to last week’s episode to learn why your doctor doesn’t know what to do with you.
Secondly, the health and wellness industry has conditioned us to firstly perceive health to look a certain way and also, that females are small males and therefore we need the same exercise routines and nutrition plans as males.
I get so incredibly worked up when I see the fitness gurus, including females, that encourage women to train harder, eat less, cut out food groups, use supplements and all of that stuff that is so incredibly unnecessary. You’ll never ever see me share before and after photos. Most of the women that work with me lose weight, but I’ll never share photos. Because I don’t believe the way that we look is a good measure of how healthy we are. How we feel is a way better indicator. Weight is just one of the symptoms of hormones that are either healthy or imbalanced, and by putting that out there as the golden standard causes a lot of harm for many women.
I find that there are so many harmful and wrong thought patterns for women and it takes a long time of hearing the right stuff for those to shift. Things like we need to cut out carbs, we shouldn’t be eating before bedtime, we should cut out all fat, fruit sugars are bad, etc. , etc.
I think the fitness industry is causing so much harm for women and our body image and I’m on a mission to change that for the women that I work with.
We should feel good in our own skin. We shouldn’t look like a 20-year old model when we’re approaching our 40s or 50s and we should enjoy food and feel great about how we show up for our spouses, children and in our business or career.
The third reason why I believe every woman going through perimenopause should enrol in a coaching program at least once in their life, which is specifically aimed at women’s health, is because we have no idea how to look after ourselves.
We are great at looking after others, but when it comes to ourselves, we have no idea.
We run our bodies on an empty fuel tank and we have no idea what the fuel or gas looks like that we need to put back in…
We spend money and time to learn how to be great mothers, great at our job, have a wonderful fulfilling marriage, but we neglect the knowledge of how to look after ourselves.
I see this so often.
Women are unknowingly slowly killing their bodies through bad habits and non-nutritious food and then wonder why they really struggle to show up as the best version of themselves.
They would rather google for free advice than pay to get expert trustworthy advice.
And if you’ve tried this before, you’ll know that the advice on google can be incredible contradicting, confusing and overwhelming.
We know that there is a lot of misinformation out there so it can be so hard to distinguish between what is truly science based information and what is nto.
In this information age, every wannabe health expert with no solid qualifications can position themselves as experts and it can be incredibly hard to distinguish between who are truly experts and who gained their advice on google and are now selling ti to you as expert advice.
So it can be absolutely life changing if you take the time and invest the resources to truly learn from an expert.
But also, apart from knowing the information, you really need an expert to come alongside you to implement.
Sometimes we know all of the right things, but we feel overwhelmed with the implementation thereof.
So having somebody there that can guide you step by step is incredibly valuable.
I also know that coaching is more beneficial because it allows somebody else to uncover the belief systems and thought patterns that we hold onto and don’t even know about. Somebody else, that has the expertise, to uncover our blind spots and support us through that.
I see this all the time inside of my programs. Because of all the years of misinformation, we have no idea how deeply those false truths are ingrained in everything that we do. So it’s incredibly helpful to have somebody that can help us uncover those thought patterns and somebody who knows what to do and how to move forward from that.
I truly believe with my whole heart that prescription style medical care is not what we as women need to help us understand our bodies and how to support it. It is proved to be highly ineffective, frustrating and actually can cause more harm than good.
And I also believe with my whole heart that doctors should not be our first port of call. We should be looking to health experts that teaches health. In other words a preventative strategy rather that a quick fix cure strategy.
And I do the same… i look to other health experts to help me understand my body better, for example pelvic health.
And here’s the thing. As women, we are not good at investing in ourselves. But investing the time and resources into a program that will teach you all of these things will not only help you to heal your body and thrive through this normal reproductive phase, but it will impact all aspects of your life, including your marriage, your parenting and also your career or business.
And for me, it is a total no brainer to invest in this before you buy another single supplement or consultation fee.
Ultimately, this is what we want as women. We want to have a fulfilling and meaningful career or business, we want to have an intimate and fun marriage and we want to show up every day as the best possible mother that we can be. And one day, we want to look back on all of this with gratitude and joy, not regret.
And right now, the lack of knowledge around how to care for your body through perimenopause is potentially the single biggest thing holding you back from this. Trust me, I’ve been there and I’ve seen dozens of other women come unstuck here too.
So make a commitment to yourself today that you’ll press the pause button on life, and consider what your next steps should be to thrive.
If you’ve enjoyed this episode, I would love for you to place a rating or review where you’re listening to your podcasts, so that more women can find the guidance and information that they need.
Thank you for being here again today, please feel free to get in touch with me, I would love to hear from you.
Until next week my friend,
Bye for now