For every woman, mid-life can be an intimidating period. Menopause and Perimenopause cause hormone disruption, bringing about migraines, mood swings, and weight gain. From these feelings come depression, anxiety, and self-loathing. However, with health practitioner Lynne Wadsworth’s natural counseling and diets, taking control of your life has never been easier.
At certain points in our lives, our mind and body can transform into an uncomfortable state due to natural changes. From weight fluctuation to depression and anxiety, while these problems may seem separate from one another, they’re actually connected — which, depending on how you proceed, can be a positive or negative situation.
Indeed, having a lost and melancholy mindset can have grave impacts on your health and eating habits. Vice-versa, eating disorders and weight gain can cause damaging feelings of shame and disgust. Certainly, honing both these human components can feel like an insurmountable challenge, but for holistic health practitioner Lynne Wadsworth — the founder of Holistic Health and Wellness — this kind of life altering task has become the main focus of her program.
“The brain controls so much and helps us to balance in so many areas, and its main role is controlling digestion from things like swallowing to digestive enzymes,” Wadsworth explained. “If things are not right in that brain when it’s sending signals, then it very often will trigger emotional shifts that would cause people to have [problems] like irritable bowl, constipation, diarrhea, or different digestive issues.”
For Wadsworth, she knows this extremely well from experience. “I can only say I found this in my own life. The more I’ve eaten better and taken care of stress, relationships, and emotions, the gut hormones and the microbiome just become more cohesive, and you find yourself feeling better and you find yourself being where you should be. It’s just a fascinating link.”
While Wadsworth admitted that there are still plenty of answers left to uncover, she noted institutions like John Hopkins and Harvard are continuing research into this connection. “I really do think a lot of this starts with what’s going on in our gut, and it can often be something that is a key piece that’s missing when we look at the whole aspect of somebody’s health.”
“If you learn those healthy lifestyle portions of it, you’ll normally shorten that span of time because you’re living the healthy life that’s making you feel better all the way through menopause.”
Wadsworth first began on the path of holistic health when she had trouble finding the right state of mind due to a myriad of struggles like chronic migraines, up and down weight gain, yo-yo dieting, anxiety, and high blood pressure and cholesterol. At one point, she would find herself tired constantly, resulting in instances like falling asleep at her desk at three in the afternoon.
“I just felt so bad all the time. I knew this just could not be the way we were meant to live. So I started doing some research [to see] if there was some kind of program or some kind of education, and that led me to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.” There, Wadsworth would become board certified with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, as well as going on to be a certified wellness cooking instructor, graduating from the Wellness Cooking Academy.
Thanks to that education and personal journey, Wadsworth has found plenty of opportunities to help others with similar challenges by offering one-on-one monthly mentorship coaching that is tailored to a client’s needs. In the program, Wadsworth focuses on a multitude of areas including mindset training, shopping makeovers, and health habit creations. In addition to her coaching — which also comes in group sessions — she teaches her audience about various topics with highly informative guests on her “Living Life Naturally” podcast.
Wadsworth understands the struggles women can have in their mid-lives, which can include changes in their hormones and suffering extreme mood swings, migraines, weight gain, a lack of motivation, stomach bloating, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating from menopause and perimenopause. “[Perimenopause] is when our hormones are just going all out of whack and affecting our mood, weight, energy levels, and confidence. [We begin] to question what life is all about. It’s just a huge toxin that affects women in so many ways.” She admitted she wasn’t fully aware of the impacts when she entered those stages herself.
“I didn’t realize living a healthy lifestyle would really make a difference. For some women, [perimenopause and menopause] can go on for years and years.” That crucial realization is why the result based and proven solutions she offers help to develop positivity and confidence within womens’ outlooks, ensuring bodies and minds — now fitter and stronger, respectively — don’t hold back someone from living their life freely and without subconscious guilt or embarrassment.
“Once you’ve had that accountability and you put in these healthy lifestyle changes and they become a habit, then [it] isn’t so important.”
When working on mindset training, Wadsworth first begins by explaining just how important the right mind can be in the first place. “Some people don’t even realize mindset is an issue for them. If you’re trying to get healthy, you might not even have thought that your mind’s not in the right place, so it’s important to make people aware first that they have to work on their mindset.”
“An example of that might be, we might know that exercising brings about better health, but we’re not doing it. So why aren’t we doing it? How can we then change the mindset so that you have a better mindset around the whole exercise [routine]?”
As it turns out, keeping our brains active and focused is a great way of maintaining a desired mindset, which is why Wadsworth stressed the importance of setting goals for yourself. You certainly don’t need to start out with a hefty one, but something small to get the ball rolling. “For me, my number one goal is my health. So I always keep on the top of my mind, ‘Okay, if I don’t exercise today, is that going to have an effect on my health?’ If you can start setting goals for yourself — small goals, medium goals, large goals — and then keep that uppermost in your mind while you’re doing this, it can really help shift that from a negative thing to a positive thing.”
Of course, setting goals is just one of the countless activities you can utilize. Another is being grateful for the possessions and people we have around us. “I use gratitude to help the mindset. In my women’s group this month, we’re focusing on positive living, and it’s all about that mindset that even if you have stress, how can you shift your mind so that you can bring that stress into a good management place and have a more positive outlook on life.”
In addition to the positive outlook, affirmation, and newfound confidence, there are also further benefits. Wadsworth said that more negative people tend to get more sick, which is due to their digestive system experiencing slowness, decreasing the immune system’s ability to fight inflammation in the process. That means the healthier mindset will keep you physically better.
Still, the client needs to be able to step up themselves in order to achieve those fruits of labor, which is why Wadsworth offers coping support. “I personally work best with accountability,” she explained, “so for people who are starting the journey, or they’ve got an end goal, it’s teaching them the skills and giving them accountability to begin.”
Wadsworth also offers her full support for clients even after that stage of learning to hold themselves to a higher standard. “I’m available to them if they need to text me or chat, [like] ‘Hey, I’m having a bad day and I can’t get motivated to do this.'”
“A big part of what I’m doing with people is teaching them, ‘How can I make the most of my time, and have certain parts of my meal made ahead of time so that I can spend less time in the kitchen but still eat healthy.'”
How well a person deals with responsibility is just one of the many ways each client of Wadsworth is unique, which is why her services — and how long they need to last — can vary. “Coaching can be short-term because some people go on and do it themselves, for others it’s more long term because they need that accountability.”
No one should ever be ashamed of how much they need help with accountability, as even professionals like Wadsworth continue to receive help from time to time. “I was struggling after being in lockout during the pandemic, and that’s [the kind of] accountability that can motivate a person forward and get them to where they need to be.”
Even with a better mindset, there’s still another challenge that needs battling in order to fully achieve the healthy lifestyle: eating right. Luckily, Wadsworth has plenty of experience with diets and preferred recipes, whether it’s greek pita pockets, black bean taco salad, or veggie fried cauliflower rice. “For me, I’m all about what I call ‘clean eating.’ The Mediterranean diet is a great one for that,” she said. “I have such a large library full of clean eating recipes that I can always put together some recipe for the month, or a recipe ebook that goes along with some suggested meals.”
It’s not just the meals Wadsworth educates on, however — it’s how to best plan ahead with them as well. “I’ll teach people how they can meal prep or plan their meals. I think that if we prepare our meals ahead of time, it’s a more winnable outcome because let’s face it, we come home from work in the afternoon. I might’ve sent you some super recipes but you’re going to think, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m too tired, I can’t be bothered to cook that right now.'”
Because most people might resort to fast food when they’re exhausted and have limited time — filling up on unnecessary carbs, sodium, and fat in the process — meal prep is a great way of ensuring that healthy food is still an option. Not only are her clients saving time, but they’re getting rid of the “processed foods that are so damaging to our health and to our weight.”
“If you are not filling up your body with [the] nourishment and self-care it needs, you’re not going to be able to give out to other people. That’s a huge key that people have to learn and really have it sink deep inside of them.”
In the midst of your busy life, you may forget to dedicate time to ourselves to clear our minds, prepare meals, and experience an overall refresh. Or, perhaps you simply refuse to do those, instead promoting work and other obligations ahead of your own mental and physical health. Wadsworth understands why you may have that tendency of disregarding self-care time, but assured that it’s okay to reward yourself with it.
“We’ve been brought up in a society that teaches us that we should be taking care of other people, that we should be [doing things] for other people. The biggest thing you need to realize is, it is okay to take care of yourself. In fact, if you don’t take care of yourself, it’s going to affect your health, it’s going to affect your emotions, it’s going to affect everything about you.”
Wadsworth stuck to this advice even during the pandemic, which put people in a vulnerable and foreign position. “Obviously during the pandemic I couldn’t say to women, ‘Go out and get your nails done, have a manicure, have a pedicure.’ That wasn’t something we could do, but there were other things we could do. We could still go out in nature and walk, we could still go find a safe place [where] we could take time for ourselves to practice some gratitude. It can be done in four to five minute portions at a time throughout the day.”
While that isolation period of the pandemic is far gone, those simple — yet highly effective — methods of finding self-care can be extremely relevant, as can all of Wadsworth’s tips and methods for transforming yourself into the person you should be, even when facing all the stress and pressure the world has to offer. To learn more about Wadsworth’s services, resources, recipes, and podcast, you can visit Holistic Health and Wellness’ website by clicking here.
Andrew Rhoades is a Contributing Reporter at The National Digest based in New York. A Saint Joseph’s University graduate, Rhoades’ reporting includes sports, U.S., and entertainment. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.