'I went through menopause 8 years ago. It changed my life for the better.'

As awareness of menopause and its impacts continue to rise, so too will the positive societal and workplace changes for women going through it – hopefully. 

The downside though, is that all that focus on the challenges of menopause can leave those on the cusp of it terrified. That’s something Tania Dalton wants to change. 

"There is an awful lot of doom and gloom about menopause. And, while it can be a really challenging transition, our minds and attitude can play a significant role in how we manage this time of life," Dalton says.

"When we see this time of life as a new beginning rather than an ending, we can look forward and utilise the experience we have from the past, rather than wishing that we could go back."

That’s not to say it was easy. 

"I have to admit that I was quite naïve about menopause. There really wasn’t a lot of information available or talk about it when I started my transition (eight years ago). 

"I considered myself fit and healthy and actually thought I wouldn’t experience any ‘menopause issues’. I thought I would just wake up one day and not have a period. I was completely wrong about that."

Dalton was 47 when her transition started, with the biggest issue being lack of sleep. 

“There was a lot of insomnia, which was especially bad just before a period, which were all over the place – literally full sleepless nights,” the former personal trainer explains. 


"I then began experiencing severe night sweats – having to get up sometime three times a night to change my clothes because I was literally dripping in sweat."

Then there were the mood swings, Dalton describes as ‘supermarket rage’.

"The poor kids working in the fruit and vegetable department at the supermarket must have tried to hide when I entered.”

Knowledge is power.

According to Dalton, her lack of understanding around menopause made the experience all the more confusing. 

"Why had no-one talked about this before? I had older friends who had obviously transitioned through menopause but no-one had said a word. I almost thought I was the only one experiencing any issues and perhaps I was ‘imagining’ them."

She hadn’t talked to her mum about it either. She’d experienced menopause around the same time as her husband - Dalton’s dad – had passed away. There were other symptoms too. She didn’t manage stress well and had sore joints. 

"I think the biggest issue for why I struggled was that I initially tried to ‘fight’ the changes that were happening to me. I probably thought that menopause meant getting old - which I think is a narrative that is still prevalent - and I was not about to get ‘old’. 

"Of course, the harder I fought the changes, the more this exacerbated any issues I was having. I think we can have very unrealistic expectations where we don’t want things to change. However, we will continue to change as we age – it’s just a part of life. Now that I’ve got my head around that, I feel that I’m so much more comfortable with the ageing process."


A new perspective.

Dalton opted against hormone treatment, instead choosing to focus on individual symptoms. She soon realised they were strongest in the areas she’d neglected the most throughout her life. 

"For example, I exercised and ate quite well but had never thought a lot about sleep and stress management,” she says. 

"I feel that during menopause and then post menopause our bodies are so much more sensitive to not being treated well – we need to be a little more particular with how we treat our body. 

"I worked really hard on my sleep hygiene and things improved so much. I explored stress management practices and started meditating."

The turning point

"I always say it was one of the most challenging but also life changing things to happen to me," she says.

"I feel that menopause was an opportunity for me to look at my life differently. When I started my menopause transition at 47, it was a time when I really realised that life was so short and that it was time to start doing all those things I had perhaps dreamt of but never either had the opportunity to do or had the courage to do as a younger woman. 

"I also feel that when your reproductive hormones have decreased in post menopause, then your more ‘nurturing/childbearing’ tendencies are reduced to some extent. That’s not to say that my children aren’t still the most important thing in my life. But I have found myself able to think more about what I want for this next chapter of my story. I’ve been able to be a little more selfish – it’s about time!"


Dalton says being forced to look at her health holistically meant life post menopause was a healthier one. 

"My menopause transition allowed me to consider all of the less healthy things I had done to my body as a younger woman and take a different approach."

An opportunity not a curse 

"I really did simply decide to see this life stage as an opportunity. I refused to believe that the best days of my life were over," says Dalton. 

"It wasn’t always easy. There have been many ups and downs throughout my transition and there will continue to be ups and downs with life going forward. 

Dalton says at 55, she is now the best version of herself. 

"I actually love the apparent ‘invisibility’ that this time of life has provided me with. Now that I don’t have to worry about what people think of me (did they ever?), I can just be me. I know this term is thrown around a lot but I really do believe that I am finally the most 'authentic' and real I’ve ever been."

She’s also started a new career – in the menopause space. Struggling with morning and evening work as a personal trainer, Dalton embarked on further training and education, creating a new business, Beautiful Midlife, that incorporates her personal training experience with her new skills, providing her with a career “so that I can continue working into my 90s”. 


"I’m co-hosting a Midlife Women’s Retreat in Crete in 2024. To think that I am able to combine my work passion with travel as a 55-year-old postmenopausal woman is just amazing. I was also approached earlier this year by a fabulous company, Menopause Friendly Australia, and am now working with them as a Workplace Menopause Trainer."

When Dalton’s menopause transition first began, she was the same age her dad was when he died of a heart attack. 

"I’d wanted to run a marathon for 30 years. I’d thought about it all that time but never thought it was possible for someone like me.”

Turns out, it was. Dalton spent three years training, ultimately completing an Ironman in 13 hours, 42 minutes, and  51 seconds. 

"During the event I had to draw on every ounce of determination and resilience – that I didn’t even know I possessed. This is when I realised that I was capable of so much more than I could ever imagine possible. I was 52 when I crossed that finish line in Cairns and I believe that was life changing for me.

Changing the menopause narrative.

"I truly believe that if we can change the narrative about menopause, then women won’t be scared of this transition and they won’t ‘fight’ it like I initially did. Knowledge is power."


It’s important to remember too, that everyone will experience menopause in a different way, and understanding that provides more freedom with how we go about managing any issues that do arise. 

"What worked for me, may not work for someone else. However, without doubt, when we see menopause as a time where we can truly step into our power as a woman, then we really can begin to flourish and thrive.

"Menopause can be tough at times but oh my goodness, women are so strong. We are capable and we are resilient. For me, I never could have imagined I would be living the life I am as a 55-year-old postmenopausal woman. I feel like I’m just getting started!

Now, I take risks every day. I step out of my comfort zone constantly. I chase my dreams. Midlife and menopause has been the impetus for me truly living life to the fullest.”

What can we do?

Dalton believes education is critical. 

"I believe when women are educated they can become more empowered to seek help and also help themselves. 

"GPs also need better education so that women who are struggling can be provided with good care. 

"Knowing that you are not alone during this transition is so important. Yes, there can be challenges but there is often support available. And there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel – if you are open to it."

Feature image: Supplied.

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