Susannah hasn’t glossed over her feelings towards menopause (Picture: Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Susannah Constantine has shared her struggles with menopause, believing it left her ‘frumpy’ and the ‘kind of woman’ she used to transform on her TV show.
The presenter and former Strictly Come Dancing star, 59, said she lost ‘all my confidence and self-esteem in my early fifties’ and faced menopause-related chronic anxiety.
Mother of three Susannah – who co-hosted the popular BBC makeover show What Not To Wear with Trinny Woodall in the early noughties – added she felt ‘frumpy and middle-aged’, and didn’t suspect that her anxiety was related to the menopause.
Susannah explained, in an extract from Mariella Frostrup’s book Cracking The Menopause, obtained by MailOnline: ‘The icing on the cake came when I did a photoshoot for the publication of my first novel. It was a bit of a lifelong ambition and I should have felt amazing. Instead, I looked at the pictures and just thought, “Who is this woman?”‘
She added: ‘I’d let myself go and was the sort of woman Trinny and I used to help in our programme What Not To Wear. It was tempting to give in and say, “OK, I’ve had my time, don’t worry, it’s not about how I look.” But I chose to fight ageing.’
Susannah decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle, which included increasing how often she went running, competing in Strictly in 2018 (where she was the first to be voted off along with her partner, Anton Du Beke) and taking up cold-water swimming.
Trinny and Susannah hosted the makeover show What Not To Wear in the noughties (Picture: Simon James/WireImage)
She took on Strictly to regain her confidence (Picture: BBC)
It may have taken some time, but Susannah feels that she has ‘started to regain my confidence.’
She explained: ‘Now, I look in the mirror and see someone who has had a full life. It’s not about looks; it’s about feeling fit and well, bounding up the stairs without being out of breath. I look at my wrinkles and accept them.
‘I’m grateful that those photos gave me a kick and now I project joy and self-confidence and happiness. That’s far more appealing.’
It’s not the first time Susannah has opened up on her experience with menopause.
As well as the physical effects of it, Susannah found herself facing a ‘mental menopause,’ which she detailed to Lorraine Kelly in 2018.
She said: ‘As women of our age you start to lose so much; you stop getting your period, your children leave home, you’re maybe thinking about retiring. Your whole world is changing and it’s a really tough time for women’.
More: Susannah Constantine
Saying she took on the challenge of Strictly to regain her confidence, the star added: ‘It was to help me feel that I was relevant to myself, not anybody else, and to push myself and with age and wisdom and experience it didn’t matter so much that I had failed as long as I tried.
‘I really encourage women to go out and try something new, and give it a go and if it doesn’t work it doesn’t matter. That’s what we say to our children all the time.’
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