Talking menopause, fitness and the future with Kaye Adams
Loose Women’s Kaye Adams opens up about menopause, mental health and more
Journalist and TV presenter Kaye Adams has spent three decades in the public eye and has always appeared on top of her health and fitness. Like many of us, Kaye has led a busy life as a working parent but finds it important to make time for self-care. Over the years she has also realised how much people can support one another by sharing their experiences, from mental health to the menopause.
Changing for good
Kaye is disarmingly honest about some of her fitness choices, including why she embraced vegetarianism.
“For most of my twenties, I gave in to junk food and socialising until [radio presenter] Shereen Nanjiani dragged me along to a step class and changed my ways. I had another lapse when I had the kids but probably for the past 10 years I have been pretty rigorous about being vigorous. I don’t see it as a chore." I love skiing and tennis and if I can’t exercise I get very twitchy.”
“It was quite unusual in those days to be veggie but one of my bosses at work was and she was as thin as a rake, so I thought I’d give it a go”.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t give up the booze and my idea of vegetarianism was lots of cake, baked potatoes and crisps so I put on weight rather than losing it. I eventually worked out where I was going wrong and adopted a much healthier veggie diet and began to feel much better as a result. I’ve never looked back.”
Juggling work, family and career
Kaye took action once realising that her daughters would avoid her kitchen creations, resulting in the release of her book ‘Disasterchef’, documenting her experience of learning to cook with friend Nadia Sawalha.
“I did get a lot better but my elder daughter is a much better cook than me and, much to my delight, she took over the kitchen last March during the first lockdown,” she says.
“It’s exhausting trying to work full time and look after small children, no doubt about it, but my parents were in good health then and there was so much joy and laughter in the mix. If you did hit a brick wall, you could usually organise a night out or a day with friends.”
A few years ago, Kaye and her family supported her parents in their final years. “It was an equally busy time but the experience was chalk and cheese,” she says.
“There was so much sadness attached to my parents’ illnesses. To see them deteriorate from the incredibly energetic and dynamic people they had been and, at the same time, to keep smiling for the sake of the kids was draining in a very different way. With kids you look forward and think ‘It’ll be okay when...’, whereas with elderly parents you can’t do that. You don’t want to think about what is coming down the track.”
Mood , menopause and mindfulness
Kaye’s latest book, Still Hot!, has some well-known names, such as Denise Welch, Kirsty Wark and Lorraine Kelly, sharing their experiences of menopause.
“I hope talking about it helps other women, though there are some people who think we should just shut up and get on with it,” says Kaye.
“If I’m entirely honest I was maybe one of them in the past, but where does that attitude get you? If we look at other so-called ‘taboo’ subjects – mental health is a good example – much of the shame and stigma has been removed just by talking. “
“The middle years are often very hectic for women and the tendency is to link low mood to immediate challenges around you rather than ascribe it to hormonal changes,” says Kaye.
Following the challenge of lockdown, Kaye decided to take the mindful approach.
“I’ve always been a planner who looks forward to things I’ll be doing in the future, so I’m working hard at finally trying to stay in the moment,” she says.
And, as ever, she ends on a giggle. When asked if her glass is usually half full or half empty. “Just trying not to trip over and smash it...”