“To be the very best version of myself” is the catchphrase synonymous with every ageing woman in the 21st century as she passes into the next decade, whether it be her 40’s, 50’s or beyond. It is no longer about simply “ageing gracefully” but “ageing well” and for my next Fabulous Female Dr Louise Wiseman the concept of “ageing well” is quite literally her passion.
After a 15 year career in the NHS, Louise is now harnessing all her expertise and supplementing it with information gathered from specialists around the world, as well as tips from real women to write a book about female health and well-being.
Entitled “Your Best Life – A Doctor’s Secret Guide To Radiant Health Over 40” the book is completely evidence based and is intended not only as a reference point, but also as a go to resource that women will continue to return to time and again, as their ageing journey progresses.
Now settled comfortably into midlife myself, I recall the lifestyle focus that the big 50 gave me early last year, but of course there is no quick fix to ageing, it is a process, a way of life and it is this which Louise is responding to. She hopes that she will motivate women whatever decade they are in, to make changes to achieve a healthier, more radiant and potentially longer life and who doesn’t want that?
Writing a book is no small feat and I am delighted that Louise has found time in her busy schedule to share her motivations and to give a glimpse of the real woman that lies behind the curious doctor. I hope you enjoy reading what she has to say.
- Who is or was your role model?
My mother and to this day I discuss everything in my life with her. We are similar in many ways and she worked hard and sacrificed to give me the opportunities that enabled me to follow my dream career to become a doctor. She never made me feel there were limits to what I could achieve and often tried to stop me working so hard and to have a rest! We became even closer the minute I had my first child as I understood immediately what it really was to become a mother myself. I hope to always share the same honest and open relationship and dialogue with my own children.
- What motivates you?
I am very self motivated and determined. I would say I am a ‘completer finisher’ and do not like leaving a task unfinished, although I may create some chaos on the journey in my creativity! I am determined to complete my book and have it published, not just for my sense of academic attainment. I genuinely believe that there is a gap in ‘proper evidence based knowledge’ that most women from 40 upwards can access, in an easy to understand, motivational format. It saddens me that women are not informed about their health, their choices and their potential. The more I interact with real women in interviewing them or via social media and talking events, the more I am convinced they are crying out for information and someone to listen and address their concerns. This totally excites me that my writing and gathering of information from experts in all fields could make a real difference to someone’s life. I want my book to be a comprehensive reference guide for women of our era and in creating that I am a perfectionist and do not like to leave a stone unturned! That all motivates me immensely.
- What are the values you hold dearest in life?
The health of my family and friends, as well as love and kindness. This in turn creates happiness. Never taking anything for granted and keeping life and its daily challenges in perspective. You have one life so you must live it to the full.
- What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
Challenges are what stretch us and keep us alive, so in terms of my career much of what has provoked a challenge has in fact made me who I am today and expanded my horizon. Believing that I could create this career after a traditional path within the NHS was a phenomenally challenging step in many ways, but I honestly did not anticipate the female support that I now have to make sure I reach the goal line, and in doing so grow as a person.
- What is your proudest moment?
Probably like most mothers, my proudest moment has to be having my children, hands down.
- What motto do you live by?
Give it your best, what more can you do?
- What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Do not concern yourself about what other people think. Have self awareness but never to the point that it will inhibit you in your happiness. Ignore the bullies, they are reflecting their own problems in their behaviour, not yours.
- Who gave you the best advice and what was it?
When I was a medical student studying Paediatrics I shadowed an amazing health visitor and she took me on a home visit to a patient in dire straits. The situation was stressful for all concerned and once we were alone again she took my hand and said ‘whatever job you end up doing as a Doctor Louise, make sure you look after yourself and take time for you, even if it is just applying hand cream in the middle of a stressful day’. Her words and what they truly symbolised deep down in that moment, when we had witnessed a horrific event, stayed with me through my adult life. I often reminded myself of this when I was dealing with intense trauma and illness as an Anaesthetist and then as a General Practitioner. Doctors and Nurses are often the last to look after themselves and their own physical and mental wellbeing. I wish I could find her to thank her now.
- How would your friends describe you?
Hopefully happy, joking and passionate about life! Hopefully not bored by hearing about my book! They motivate me every day and they see the change in me as I achieve more with my work. Those that know me well also know I am a great worrier but seemingly I hide this well. I cherish my friends and hold them dear.
- What makes you laugh out loud?
My children, husband and friends. The irony of life. Everyday coincidences. My girlfriends when we relate our bizarre stories of motherhood and ‘winging it’.
- What would your autobiography be called?
She did her best and then some.
- What does being a modern woman mean to you?
Juggling being the ultimate mother with fitting in a stimulating career and time for the occasional hot bath undisturbed.
- What would be your desert island essential?
Aside from family and friends it would have to be appropriate sunglasses and sunblock after all my research into eyes and ageing amongst the myriad of subjects I have studied! Personally though, if essentials were covered, a never ending great book.
- What makes you feel fabulous?
My children being happy, fitting exercise into a hectic day and sitting down at the end of it with my darling husband to recount the funny amazing things that happen.
- In your own words…A fabulous female is
A fabulous female is loving to those she cares for, inspiring to those she meets and at the end of the day can laugh at all of this weird state we call life.