Gabrielle O’Hare, 51, said the New Year is a perfect time to put health and well-being first and get fit with her simple tips.
The mother of one, of Didsbury, Greater Manchester, has written a book looking at why middle-aged women struggle to lose weight.
Gabrielle said losing her job and learning about her father’s terminal cancer in 2020 led to a near-breakdown – but also sparked a change of career.
She said: “I had no job, my dad was dying, we were going into lockdown. My diet was terrible, I was too exhausted to exercise.
“It dawned on me that I was probably menopausal too, although with all the other stress in my life I’d overlooked it. I had to prioritise my health, but I found it harder than ever to lose weight and stick to a diet.
“Menopause does make things harder. Hormone changes can lead to weight gain, they make it harder to cope with stress, and leave us with powerful cravings.
“I couldn’t find any advice aimed at women in my situation, so I decided to retrain as a personal trainer and find the answers myself. By the time lockdown finished, I had built a gym in my garden and was fully booked by women over 40 needing help.”
Gabrielle’s book, Why Women Over 40 Can’t Lose Weight, says many struggle after going through a period of intense stress. She has compiled a list of ideas to help those trying to shed pounds, and insisted having the correct mindset is the most important change. She said: “We have to decide to prioritise our own health.
“Unless we make this the most important thing on our to do list, we’ll let other people’s demands take over our time. Motivation is another big issue. We must find something that really motivates us to change our habits. A lot of women are surprised to realise losing weight isn’t a big enough motivator. Planning a change of career, learning something new, having an active retirement or being able to keep up with grandchildren are examples.
“Whatever is most important for the next stage of your life, you’ll need more energy, drive and self-confidence. Eating a better diet and getting fitter will give you that, and the weight loss will be a very welcome side effect.”
She added: “It’s not easy to change your diet. To stay motivated, look for as many benefits as you can. When things don’t go to plan, instead of writing the day off, ask yourself what’s caused you to go off track. Play the long game.
“I really want this book to help empower women to take back control of their lives.”
- Buy a copy of Why Women Over 40 Can’t Lose Weight on Amazon.