Middling Along
Angelika Buettner on aging and beauty ideals, and I AM - her book celebrating the perfect imperfect

Angelika Buettner on aging and beauty ideals, and I AM - her book celebrating the perfect imperfect

June 30, 2022

My guest this time is Angelika Buettner, a professional fashion and beauty photographer, who gradually became disillusioned with the lack of representation of older women in the shoots and campaigns she was working on, and decided to do something about it. The result, her seven-year labour of love, is the stunning book entitled 'I AM: Celebrating the Perfect Imperfect' which features the nude portraits and stories of 121 women over 40, redefining our ideas of age and beauty.

Having started off shooting her close friends, she gradually won over the trust of each of her subjects, finding the right locations and giving the women an opportunity to tell their own stories in their own words alongside these stunning images. Most of her subjects had never posed for nude photos before and many found the process transformational in accepting and appreciating their bodies.  Each of these stunning images is a love letter to the female form in all it's many shapes, colours and textures...

Her latest project will be interviewing mothers and daughters, exploring the impact of social media on body image, and we talk a little about that too. In a world that profits from making us feel bad about our bodies, our appearance and our age, loving ourselves exactly as we are is a radical act!

You can find Angelika's work, and buy her book, over at https://www.iam-themovement.com/the-book and on Instagram @iam_by_angelikabuettner

Don't forget to follow us over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/middlingalong_podcast/ or find out more/join our newsletter at https://middlingalong.com  

Sam Evans on the (mid)life-changing magic of a great lube!

Sam Evans on the (mid)life-changing magic of a great lube!

June 16, 2022

Join me this time as I talk to Sam Evans, co-owner, with her husband Paul, of Jo Divine - an online store selling skin-safe sex toys and irritant-free lubricants. (Content warning, there will be sex chat!) From the earliest days of Jo Divine (featuring the Trolley of Love, tune in to find out about that...) to her starring appearance in the famed Davina documentary on menopause (and the subsequent 'Davina-effect' of a sell-out on the toy that featured in said documentary...) we cover a LOT.

For Sam herself, using the products they stock led to the discovery that ingredients in the lubes she had been using were the cause of her recurrent thrush and other infections, which cleared up within a week of using 'skin-safe' products. Tune in to find out why glycerin, parabens, and polypropylene glycol are all things you do NOT want on your lady parts...  I mean, most of us are pretty choosy about what we slap on our faces, so why wouldn't we be equally discerning about what we apply to one of the most  sensitive (and absorbent) parts of our bodies?? 

As a trained nurse, and now writer on sexual health and pleasure, Sam dispenses advice not just on her Instagram account, but daily through the Jo Divine email and phone line. With happy customers well into their 90s, Jo Divine is proof that the fun doesn't have to stop, if you have the right tools!

We also talk about 'Honest', the new book that Sam and Paul's daughter Millie Evans has written for teens and young adults, covering the kind of inclusive, frank, open and honest sex-ed that we wish we all could have had in our formative years.

Oh, and Sam has kindly offered our listeners a 10% discount code: MIDDLINGPOD  (£5 minimum spend on full priced products not including P&P) ends 16/7/22 at midnight  

You can find Sam on Instagram @samtalkssex and @jo.divine and the website is https://www.jodivine.com/

Heather Jackson on Gen M and why brands are sitting up and taking notice of us at long last

Heather Jackson on Gen M and why brands are sitting up and taking notice of us at long last

June 10, 2022

Join me this time as I chat to Heather Jackson, one of the co-founders of GenM (the menopause partner for brands). Heather talks us through her own perimenopause experience, including a scary episode where she genuinely thought she was having a heart attack, she reveals how utterly unprepared she was for perimenopause and why that in turn inspired her and Sam Simister to create GenM.

As Heather rightly points out, we wouldn't enter a marathon without the right kit and preparation, and yet every year millions of women enter perimenopause totally unprepared. GenM is helping to move the needle, by engaging with brands (large and small) to both support their own employees, but also to ensure that they are catering appropriately to what is effectively 20% of their market share (when you look at it like that, it's a no-brainer).

Brands, Heather tells me, are taking notice and adapting, but it takes time, and campaigns are planned a long way in advance so visible change is slow to bloom.

But there's also action we can take ourselves - we don't have to wait for the companies we work for to wake up to this: as Heather says, we can Be The Change and be the catalyst for those conversations to happen! 

You can find Gen M at https://gen-m.com/mission/  and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/genm_official

Don't forget to follow us over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/middlingalong_podcast/ or find out more/join our newsletter at https://middlingalong.com  

 

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Bethan Thomas on building a business and how tea can help us manage perimenopause symptoms

Bethan Thomas on building a business and how tea can help us manage perimenopause symptoms

April 19, 2022

Join me this time as I chat to Bethan Thomas (no relation!) - who is one half of Hot Tea Mama - we talk about founding and growing the company with good friend Kate, initially with teas to support pregnancy and nursing mamas, but then more recently expanding the range to support those experiencing perimenopausal symptoms.

We cover Bethan's fascinating journey to become the first non-Chinese person to get a degree in Tea Science from the University of Agriculture and Forestry in Fujian, after more than 15 years of working as a tea buyer and blender. We look at the active ingredients in the Take a Pause tea (green tea, raspberry leaf, gingko biloba, ginseng, valerian, sage and liquorice, if you're curious) and how each of those can help as part of a 'Perimenopause Toolkit'.

Hot Tea Mama is also working with Gen M on changing the way brands think, talk and act about menopause, and we discuss the wider societal changes impacting on how products for those of us going through this life stage are marketed and sold.

 

You can find Hot Tea Mama at https://www.hotteamama.com/  and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hotteamama/

 

Don't forget to follow us over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/middlingalong_podcast/ or find out more/join our newsletter at https://middlingalong.com  

 

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Dr Katie Barber on menopause myths and misconceptions

Dr Katie Barber on menopause myths and misconceptions

April 4, 2022

In this episode I'm joined by menopause specialist and founder of Oxford Menopause, Dr Katie Barber, to bust some menopause myths and misconceptions. Join me as Katie walks us though some of the most common of them: including being told we're 'too young' to be in perimenopause, that we can't be in perimenopause because we 'still have periods' or 'the blood tests seem fine'...we also talk about understanding risks (eg for breast cancer), why testosterone is generally prescribed in addition to HRT and not on its own (and why it's such an important hormone for women), as well as what to expect if you decide to stop taking HRT later in life, (and why you might want to stay on it for longer than you might think).

 

You can find out more about the services offered by Oxford Menopause clinic here: https://www.oxfordmenopause.com/ 

 

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Louise Lewis on how to beat burnout and manage stress

Louise Lewis on how to beat burnout and manage stress

March 9, 2022

In this episode, I chat to Louise Lewis, whose own experiences of stress and burnout earlier in her career now inform her approach to helping stressed out, frazzled women (I'm sure many of us can identify with that!) reclaim their energy and restore calm through nutrition and lifestyle changes. We cover the effects of stress and the stress hormones on our bodies, the impact of the last two years of the pandemic - aka collective trauma - and how a permanent "doing vs being" mode with no downtime prevents our bodies from recovering. The good news is, even small pockets of calm in our busy lifestyles can help us to get back on an even keel. Tune in to find out more - and if you find it helpful, why not share with a frazzled friend?!

 

You can find Louise at https://louise-lewis.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/louiselewisnutrition/

 

Don't forget to follow us over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/middlingalong_podcast/ or find out more/join our newsletter at https://middlingalong.com  

 

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Mona Eltahawy on shame and shamelessness, why the patriarchy hates it when we stop giving a f*ck, and diversifying menopause stories

Mona Eltahawy on shame and shamelessness, why the patriarchy hates it when we stop giving a f*ck, and diversifying menopause stories

February 17, 2022

Join me as I talk to Mona Eltahawy, journalist, activist and author. (Note that there is liberal use of the F word throughout - as Mona herself proclaims, profanity is one of the ways she claims her power!)  We discuss her last book "The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls" - including why it is so critical we stop teaching girls to express anger. Here's one of my favourite quotes from the book: “What if we nurtured and encouraged the expression of anger in girls the same way we encourage reading skills: as necessary for their navigation of the world? What if we believed that, just as reading and writing help a girl to understand the world around her and to express herself within it, expressing her anger was also a necessary tool for a girl making her way through life.”

We then move on to talk about the anthology she is currently working on entitled "Bloody Hell! And Other Stories: Adventures in Menopause from Across the Personal and Political Spectrum" a much needed lens on a subject where many of the voices we hear are White, Western, and straight. We cover Mona's own disbelief at how unprepared she was for perimenopause, why global, and gender-expansive voices and stories are so important, and why the patriarchy really (really) hates it when older women discover their power and become shameless...and how it tries to silence and shame us all the more. Oh...and why we all talk about moisturising our faces...but heaven forbid we should talk about moisturising our v@ginas!

Mona's anthology will be published by crowdfunding publisher Unbound and you can find out more and pre-order a copy at https://unbound.com/books/bloody-hell-and-other-stories/

You can find Mona on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/monaeltahawy/

Don't forget to follow us over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/middlingalong_podcast/ or find out more/join our newsletter at https://middlingalong.com  

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Sam Rice on food hacks and developing a positive relationship with food in midlife

Sam Rice on food hacks and developing a positive relationship with food in midlife

December 21, 2021

Join me this time as I chat to Sam Rice, author of The Midlife Cookbook and The Midlife Method as we talk all things food and nutrition. We discuss food strategies for dealing with 'nutritional "shoulds" overwhelm', how meal planning is one of the best things you can do to help set yourself up for success, and her favourite 'food hacks' for those of us who feel like we struggle to find the time to eat a healthy balanced diet - particularly pertinent as we approach the Christmas festivities and all the opportunities that presents to over-indulge! 

You can find Sam on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/midlifekitchen/ where she posts load of enticing recipe ideas! 

 

Don't forget to follow us over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/middlingalong_podcast/ or find out more/join our newsletter at https://middlingalong.com  

 

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Rachel Hope on coming unstuck, and finding your path forward

Rachel Hope on coming unstuck, and finding your path forward

December 19, 2021

My guest this time is Rachel Hope, who walked away from the high life in Dubai, her job, and her marriage, to start over at 50. Unfortunately for her, her initial false start - combined with the surprise appearance of a menopause she decribes as "hell on wheels" - meant that her glorious reinvention took some time coming. Her experiences however did lead her to setting up Soul Sisters Community, and she now runs retreats for women feeling 'stuck', just as she was, and helping them find a clearer path through to their new chapters. Join us to find out how journalling her way out of a bleak time helped Rachel, and can help us too, and why tarot might not be entirely what you thought it was...

 

You can find out more about Rachel's retreats at https://www.soulsisterscommunity.com/

Don't forget to follow us over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/middlingalong_podcast/ or find out more/join our newsletter at https://middlingalong.com  

 

Please subscribe, rate, and review us on Apple Podcasts to share the love!

 

Don't forget to follow us over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/middlingalong_podcast/ or find our more/join our newsletter at https://middlingalong.com  

 

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Diane Danzebrink on why we all need to #MakeMenopauseMatter

Diane Danzebrink on why we all need to #MakeMenopauseMatter

December 8, 2021

My guest on this episode is a well-known voice in the UK menopause community and a hero to many (though she'd be far too humble to accept the accolade I'm sure): Diane Danzebrink. Her campaign, #MakeMenopauseMatter has over 170,000 supporters at the latest count and she has been instrumental in changing the dialogue around menopause, and campaigning for better education - in schools, in workplaces, and yes, for our GPs too.  She talks about how her own surgical menopause brought her to the darkest of places, and how her experience - and her rage at how many other women were suffering needlessly - led her to start the non-profit organisation Menopause Support from her kitchen table. We talk about how much has changed since she started out in 2015 as a lone (and often lonely) voice speaking out about her experience and campaigning for change, the recent successes, her plans for the future and what she hopes the menopause landscape will look like in 2027...

Diane's non-profit Menopause Support can be found here https://menopausesupport.co.uk/

Don't forget to follow us over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/middlingalong_podcast/ or find out more/join our newsletter at https://middlingalong.com  

 

Please subscribe, rate, and review us on Apple Podcasts to share the love!

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