Celebrity MasterChef champion, TV personality, model and radio host, Lisa Snowdon is a much-loved household name. The 50-year-old – who lives in Essex – has been at the forefront of many a campaign to help women cope with their menopause journey – by sharing her own. Here, the presenter opens up to Suzanne Baum about her experience.
You’ve spoken openly about the health battles you have faced whilst going through the menopause. Has this been a difficult thing for you to open up about, as someone who is in the public eye?
Lisa Snowdon: ‘Not at all. I have struggled with a lot of horrible symptoms and found ways to overcome them. So, if I can help women facing similar issues, then I just want to help.
‘I have always believed sharing is caring and that communication can be such a powerful tool. So many women don’t want to talk about the menopause, because there has always been a stigma attached to it, when honestly it is just part and parcel of a woman’s life.
‘By talking about my own problems, being here for my social media community, my friends and everyone else, I hope I can encourage the narrative to change.’
As someone who has been at their lowest ebb, what helped you cope during the difficult days when your menopause made you feel rock bottom?
Lisa Snowdon: ‘I cannot stress enough how important talking is. I was lucky enough that my partner George was a sounding board for me, and that I have a strong network of friends. If you can’t talk to those close to you, there are so many places to turn to, like support groups. Knowledge is power – if you open up to someone, they may be going through the same as you or know someone who can offer advice.’
What about fitness? You always seem to have so much energy and zest for life, it is hard to believe there were days when you couldn’t face getting out of bed.
Lisa Snowdon: ‘Fitness is incredibly beneficial when you are going through the menopause. Even if you don’t feel like doing anything, movement is so important. As we get older, it is imperative to get our bodies moving. Perhaps try walking and getting 10,000 daily steps in if you are not a gym person.
‘I love working out as the endorphin high is worth it and makes me feel better for the rest of the day. I also am a believer that boosting our happy hormones can benefit us in the long term. I worry about osteoporosis, which is something we can get as we age, so for me strength conditioning is something I swear by. It can help build muscle mass, burn fat and get our metabolism ticking over nicely.
‘For anyone new to fitness, I recommend joining an exercise class. I love being part of a group sweating it out together – you are learning new skills, meeting new people and again, it can open the art of conversation. So, if you are having a bad day, and suffering from menopausal symptoms, there is likely to always be someone in the same boat as you.’
And what about nutrition? With your work alongside the Symprove supplement range, why do you believe in it enough to put your name to the brand?
Lisa Snowdon: ‘I have always been interested in gut health as I believe if you have a happy tummy, it really does connect to brain happiness too. It is totally part of my daily routine: just like I brush my teeth, I don’t go a day without taking Symprove. It tastes delicious!
‘The phrase gut health been around a good few years and Symprove helps feed your body with lots of nutrients to get you on the straight and narrow. Also, menopause can often change your skin or affect you in different ways, so if you are experiencing bloating or bad skin for example, Symprove can help to rebalance the whole body.’
When it comes to confidence, you have spoken about how menopause knocked you sideways. How difficult is it when you are such a familiar face, to always appear camera ready?
Lisa Snowdon: ‘Confidence is everything. I have days when I am far more confident than others. But at the end of the day, I am human. I get really scared before most jobs I do, be it taking part in Masterchef or hosting a live event. However, I believe having a mixture of nerves and excitement is the same emotional journey for a lot of people, whatever their job.
‘For me, as I have got older, I have learnt to own it more and empower myself. And I do that through a lot of breathwork, which helps me reset my system, balance my brain, become more focussed and gain more clarity. Breathwork does not require a lot of time: just enough to breathe in a quiet space, focus on it and in some ways zone out a bit.’
How are you feeling these days?
Lisa Snowdon: ‘Gosh, I am so happy – much better than ever before. I feel strong when it comes to my health, I sleep well and for me, movement is my best medicine. If I am not working out, I very rarely sit still for long and you’ll find me in a Pilates or yoga class, which I find so powerful. The serotonin levels in my brain make me feel so alive. Fitness helps me to improve my posture, hold my head up high and feel I am ready to take on whatever work I am in the throes of doing.’
Lisa Snowdon is working with Symprove to highlight the importance of gut health. For more details, visit symprove.com.