Chatting to Andrea McLean is like speaking to an old friend – she’s warm, friendly and refreshingly honest. It’s this personality that makes her such a popular panellist on Loose Women and you’d never guess that she has been suffering with menopausal symptoms on live TV. While the menopause is certainly persistent in making its visiting rounds there are ways in which we can manage its symptoms better. So we’ve caught up with her to discuss her new book, Confessions of a Menopausal Woman, her daily menu and why she thinks it’s time we’re allowed to be more open about women’s health.
On the menopause
“For me, it started with awful night sweats – I woke up feeling like I was in a furnace,” she says. “In fact, this was the worst bit because I could mask everything else while I was at work, and focusing on the job took my mind off other symptoms, but your body doesn’t care where you are – if it’s going to get hot, it will, even if you’re on live TV in front of millions of people! I couldn’t do anything about it, so I had to sit there with sweat running down my back. In the end, the wardrobe lady said that she puts pantyliners in men’s shirts to hide damp patches when they’re on TV, so we started doing that for me.”
On her fitness regime
“I’ve always gone to the gym but never in an excessive way. I just like how I feel afterwards,” she says. “I’m stiff and inflexible, and I get pain in my hips and back if I don’t stretch and do yoga at least three times a week – I’d be like the tin man with no oil!”
“We all know what makes us feel better but most of us don’t do it – me included. For me, I know it’s exercising, eating well, meditation, yoga, and limiting caffeine and alcohol. But I’ve fallen off the wagon at present because I’ve been drinking wine, I didn’t have time to meditate this morning and I haven’t done any yoga. Life is like that and it’s really hard to keep on top of it all.”
To read the full interview (and discover Andrea’s three step plan to an easier menopause), pick up the September issue of Health & Wellbeing with Andrea McLean, on sale on the 2nd August.