MEET GLORIA SMYTHE - THE MENOPAUSE STYLIST
My 1st Menopause Birthday - My Story
One minute I was cruising along, managing everything that life threw my way edgy, funky, bubbly and vibrant ..... then all hell broke loose. Hot sweats came out of nowhere, brain fog, weekly headaches .... what was happening to me?
Enter the Menopause, that was 4 years ago!
As I struggled with the menopause and the physical symptoms that came with it, I felt a sense of desperation and hopelessness. I was no longer in control of my own body and it was all happening at a pace that I never expected.
I ignored the initial signs of the menopause like the infrequent periods, neglecting my health and my wellbeing, whilst focusing on the outer rather than the inner because I wanted to ignore what was happening.
I remember feeling no longer relevant in the workplace and not owning up to being in the menopause, feeling ashamed. The shops no longer catered for my new body shape, which was extremely difficult and knocked my confidence, realising that my body had changed, and there was nothing I could do about it. My daughter would often ask me if I was feeling okay and that I had changed in appearance, as I started to wear dark colours, in the belief that I could hide the change that was going on.
This wasn't me at all. I had allowed the menopause to consume me on the inner and outer because I did not want to embrace this new phase in my life. My mother had never spoken to me about the menopause in-depth and I am not sure she ever took it all in herself. I remember her wearing HRT patches for a few months due to the hot sweats at night and her saying that she couldn't be bothered with all this nonsense, but that was it.
I decided that I had to find out more about the menopause, the symptoms and what help was available out there. I read books, articles and attended seminars to gain the knowledge I needed to help myself in this transition.
I am no expert but I know more now than I did 4 years ago, that is for sure.
I looked at some of the symptoms that related to myself which are predominantly insomnia, weight gain and hair loss. The weight gain has obviously changed my body shape, which in turn has changed what I now wear.
Fashion has played a major role in my life since I was a teenager. I understand the female body and what works well in term of clothing, including colours which change the way you look and feel. I have had to make several changes within myself and in my wardrobe.
I knew that I wanted to support other women who were on this journey. Help them to work on their inner self which in turn would be reflected on the outside to family and friends. To help women understand that the future is exciting and being present instead of living in the past is so pivotal in embracing the menopause.
I can help women bring back style confidence into their life by showing the key areas you need to focus on whilst supporting you drop the old style habits.
What has your journey been like in the menopause .... let's talk ...
Based in Notting Hill, London