Breaking Addictions




This was my easy going Sunday look. The top is from Express. The ankle jeans are from Chico’s last year. The bag is a couple of years old from Finley House Couture in Blowing Rock. The shoes are by Vince Camuto about five years ago. The sunglasses are by Dolce & Gabbana. Makeup and skin care by Beautycounter.


Today’s post is not the usual travel or wardrobe scoop, so grab your readers and a cup of tea.



Neither my sister nor I have children, which means there is no one to pass along all the hard learned lessons of my life, so I blog. I want to save you fifty years of research, trial, and errors (lots of them!) as well as thousands of wasted dollars by sharing some of the most important things I have learned.

Food
Because it is so important, I have often shared posts about what I eat and why in hopes that it will inspire others to seek a healthier way of eating.

First: Only eat regular meals at appointed times. Do not graze or snack. Sit down and reward yourself with a meal of highly nutritious mostly plant based foods. Include seeds, nuts, grains, fruits or vegetables in every meal so that you give your body what it needs. If seeds are a problem for you, try grinding them in a coffee grinder which you use only for that purpose. You can sprinkle them on oatmeal, salads, and vegetables. (Always consult with your physician before embarking upon any significant changes to your diet.)

Second: You may be much more thirsty than hungry. Drink lots of filtered water from a glass all day long. (You would be wise to avoid plastic and microwave ovens.)

Third: Avoid fast foods or those that come from a factory. They are full of preservatives and chemicals which your body stores as fat and after an hour, it sends you another signal that you are hungry. You can eat all day and still be starving. It will take about three weeks to break your addiction to sugar, fat, and salt. These elements are in almost every manufactured food in massive quantities. When you think about it, that’s a great business model: create foods that people become highly addicted to, and that they can never get enough of. Cha-ching!

Go for a walk, read a book, write a letter, clean your house, watch an old movie, plan your new core basics wardrobe, do anything other than eat to keep your mind off the addiction. In about three weeks you will stop craving the toxins, and in about six to eight months you will be free of lots of excess weight and your addiction. Do not think of this way of eating as a diet. You are resetting your body to eat what is most healthful and natural instead of toxic manufactured foods that are not doing your body any favors at all.

After struggling with thirty or more excess pounds for my entire adult life, I have maintained a healthy weight for the past six years. I have not even had a cold for the whole time. My lab results are perfect each time I go for a yearly physical, and I no longer require any medications. That was most certainly not the case before I corrected my poor eating habits. When we eat nutritious foods, our bodies develop an amazing ability to heal and to fight off illness.

Shopping
Does it give you pleasure each time you look at it, wear it or use it? If not, don’t buy it, don’t keep it. I had a dear friend whom I loved like a sister. When she passed away, her sisters and I cleaned out her home. There were countless things still in the bag with the tags still attached. Since we were the best of friends for many years, I knew that she bought something every single day, but even I had no idea to what extent. She would get dressed up on her day off and go shopping instead of preparing meals, cleaning her house or learning something new. She had a full on addiction to shopping.

You will not find lists of must have items in my blog posts. When I show you something new, it is because I have determined a need for that item, planned the purchase and know that it will fit in with what I already own. You may see me wearing new things that I did not buy, but I will always tell you what was a gift. I have many friends in the fashion industry who send me gifts occasionally.

My wardrobe is like a well-choreographed dance. Each performer must support the other players so that the dance as a whole is a highly functioning performance that flows easily from one season to another. (This is in addition to being like a river. Things flow in; things flow out. If it does not perform well or serve me effortlessly, out, it goes.) This practice of careful editing extends throughout my home. Being surrounded by clutter and unnecessary items makes me feel stress and the need to endlessly clean.

Inside Voice
Using your inside voice is always more elegant and lady like whether you are dining with friends or speaking to your husband from another part of the house. That is not the inside voice I want to talk with you about today. Hopefully, you have mastered that one already.

How do you speak to yourself? Are you gentle, kind, supportive and uplifting with your internal dialog? When you catch a glimpse of yourself as you pass a mirror, do you say, “That top looks so good on you” or are your words much less kind? When you do something clumsy, does the voice in your head say something to make you feel even worse? Be your own best friend. Be kind to yourself. Use only positive words and thoughts to elevate the way you think of yourself. Happiness is an inside job. There are very few things in this life that we have total control over. What you eat, how you conduct and carry yourself, and how you present yourself to the world are all things we can control. You can be the gracious ruler of you. Be the queen of the day, every day!

I wish you a long and healthy life, at peace with your body and your daily life.

Susan Street

Blogger for SusanAfter60.com

115 Comments
  1. What a blessing you are to all of your readers! Thank you for sharing these wise words. We all need gentle reminders about the choices we make each day.

  2. Thank you for sharing. So, so true!!!!! I read and enjoy your blog regularly. Love your fashion tips and advice. Enjoy your day!

  3. Susan, I am fairly new to your blog and have found it very helpful. I am in my 60’s as well and have found direction here. Please keep the info coming, we are all in this journey together, its nice to share our experiences. I too am in Tennessee, west of Knoxville. Thank you for what you are doing!

  4. I read your blog every day but do not comment often. Your words hit so close to home as I am just starting my nutrition journey because of you and your words. Thank you.

  5. What a lovely blog post. Your last point resonated with me — talk to yourself like a dear friend. Thank you!

  6. Thank you for this. It is very helpful as these are issues I continue to work on and struggle with on a daily basis. It is good to know I am not alone. Your insight and encouragement is appreciated.

  7. I needed to be reminded of all of this today. Am falling into lazy sloppy habits in so many areas of life and it shows! My inner voice is full of negatives. Time to turn things around.

  8. susan I can under stand every thing but to write i found it hard to express my self but I find your blog very interesting but i can say for my self I like dresses and jackets even trowsers with jacket i like to wear elegant smart

    1. It is good that you know what works for you. The correct proportion for a dress on me would be mid-thigh which is not at all appropriate, so pants are a much more flattering option.

  9. You are an inspiration. I’ve only found you this year but thoroughly enjoy your posts, and your appearance. I don’t do heels anymore but am striving to eat, and dress better for me! Thanks for continually encouraging us.

  10. Thank you for a lovely and compelling post. I agree with Miss Cathryn…we need to talk to ourselves like a dear friend. Now on to more closet purging! Susan, you are a very gracious lady and I value your advice.

  11. Sweet Susan, thank you for your encouraging blog post today and reminding me to take care of me as well as I do others.
    Have a blessed day!

  12. Thanks you, Susan. I have read several blogs over the years, but yours is one of the few that I stay with, and this article is why. In many ways we are opposite (I live a very casual lifestyle, I have a different body type, different coloring), but your blogs and videos help me remember to live and give new thing a try and enjoy my life–to make the effort. And in such a nice, nonjudgmental way! As someone who is just beginning to be a caregiver in my 60s, these things are really helpful to me. Thank you!

  13. Susan, you are so right about your inner voice. If you are not kind to yourself how can you be kind to others? At this age we are so quick to believe that we don’t matter. It is very easy to fall into bad habits. I have found since reading your post I care a little bit more about how I look, even to myself. Thank you. Looking forword to more post!

  14. This was a wonderful post for today. I am transitioning from working life to retirement and will be focusing on healthier relationship with food, increasing movement, and decluttering home and closet.
    Every word today resonated with me! Thank you,Susan.

    ps. If you ever start a service where one could send you a picture and find best proportions, I’m in. Perhaps you and some fashion blogger friends of different sizes could work together one in joint blog.

  15. Bravo, Susan! A great read for first thing in the morning! Thanks to you always for having our back and for passing on your well meaning and thought out wisdom. The sentence about not having children and therefore, using your blog to pass along your wisdom resonated with me. Maybe even presented a light bulb moment! Thanks and have an awesome day.!

  16. Thank you so much. I love your blog and look forward to it daily. I have been cleaning closets and you sure are right about so many things. You are such an inspiration to me and I am sure so many. Keep on filling us with great ideas or reminding us what we already know.

  17. I am 57 and just recently discovered your blog. It is so encouraging to see that we don’t have to just give up and “get old”. I appreciate you sharing what you have learned.

  18. Thank you for this wonderful advice and wisdom. I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and this is one of my favorite posts.

  19. Thank you for this post Susan, I needed to hear to be kind to myself! Although I have changed my diet to include more plant-based foods I have a guilt complex when I eat something I really don’t need. You inspire me with every post!

  20. What a inspiring and thoughtful post!!! I really enjoyed this while having my tea. You have spoken wise words for all of us to take in…..

    thank you

    Kris

  21. Hello Susan
    I have read your blog daily for a few years now – thank you for your elegance, your leadership, your vulnerability and your wisdom. I am entering my sixties this year and because of your guidance, am looking forward to my best years of classic elegance! Your advice about food and its healthful place in our lives has really struck me – like most of us, I know what I should be doing, but often don’t. Your explanation about being addicted to unhealthy fats, sugars and chemicals makes me feel like it’s less of a personal failing and more of taking charge of my health and becoming un-addicted to food that is not healthy (is it still called food then?). I consider you a personal mentor on how to conduct ourselves with kindness, not only for others but first of all for ourselves. Thank you so very much and please keep doing what you’re doing!
    Best of Everything, Ann

  22. As usual, you hit the nail on the great big head with a huge hammer! I still struggle daily with Inside Voices and off and on with food. I’ve got shopping under control in my head and I rarely go into stores. However, from time to time, I do handle the computer clicks a bit loosely. Reminders are always welcome and appreciated. Love, love, love your words and online presence in my life as I have for around 4 years. Enjoy the rest of your summer. XO

  23. I know we have all heard the above information, but it was a great overall synopsis of overall healthy living and the importance of taking care of and being good to yourself. thanks jos

  24. Susan, thank you for being the inspiration you are. I have been following your blog for a long time and have learned so much from you.

  25. I have only been reading your blog for about a year. I am 63 and all last year I was loosing weight with Weight Watchers. I lost 78 lbs and have been maintaining all this year (hopefully forever). Many things you say follow what we are encouraged to do and think with WW. Have you been told that? Thank you for helping to reinforce being good to myself

  26. Terrific post Susan! I love visiting your blog and these posts always make me think. I know I have a few areas I still need to work on particularly the “things I tell myself”.
    Btw, I love this top and would never have even tried something like that on. I also have bigger chest and slimmer hips and I just love this look on you.

  27. Thank you, Susan!
    I really enjoyed this post and I value your opinions. And long life to you, my friend!
    Sincerely
    Marie

  28. This is full of good information we all can learn from. I too like to have my core item to plan my wardrobe around. The important thing is to know your color season. I am a winter and I use a lot of black and white. Then I add the bright fun colors I feel the best in. If your items all work together, you wont need a lot of clothes. Love to read your blogs. I follow you every day. You are a classy lady. Thanks. Brenda Jones.

  29. Such beautiful words of wisdom and encouragement. After all, we only get this one life to live and you inspire all of us to make the most of our journey. Thank you for setting such an excellent example of elegance and grace in a difficult world. You, my dear Susan, are a hard act to follow but we, I, have learn so much from your blog. Thank you for sharing your heart with your readers. May God’s richest blessings be upon your life.

  30. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge & experiece. You are an inspiration and I love reading your blogs. I feel like you are my special friend.

  31. Thank you for this insightful and interesting blog post today. I really needed to read this…Especially on this day! You are an inspiration to so many, many readers, and I appreciate your candor and supportive ideas with extreme gratitude!

  32. A very deep comment, an experience based upon life…
    I read you every day, Susan, since more one year, and I continue to enjoy to discover all your advices, and thougts.
    Your blog is one of the richer I know about clothes subjects…which can be very near of other subjects, as this one, the addiction…
    Thank you very much, and congratulation.

  33. Do you have any idea of how many times I have asked myself, “What would Susan do?” What a wonderful person you are! Thank you!!!

  34. you have made such a difference in my life….so happy I found you when i was looking up, “How to Pack”

  35. This post was exactly what I needed to read today. I so enjoy your blog, and I am encouraged by your advice & optimism. Thank you, Susan. You’ve given me practical tips, as well as issues to consider.

  36. I’m still working on mine 🙂 When I worked with a great doctor on weight loss, he told me that often we think we are hungary when we are really thirsty! So drink that water! Also, a friend I met along the way who lost over 150 pounds (and keeps it off) told me to never give up what I want the most for what I want right now. And another fellow traveler told me, when I bemoaned missing a glass of wine, “ok, drink it, if you are content to not lose any weight today!” She was right. No matter how little or how well I eat, even one alcoholic beverage (even that skinny margarita) prevents any loss that day, and maybe even that week. That’s a heavy price, no pun intended.

  37. Thank you for the inspiration to be our best selves. I can attest to cleaning up the diet and especially eliminating sugar is the key to good health. Last year, we began eating a paleo diet and I lost fifteen pounds from my 119 pound frame. My pants were falling off me. Since the holidays last year, I reintroduced sugar and have slowly added back thirteen of those pounds right around my middle. Sugar is the problem!

  38. Hi Susan,
    Thank you so much for today post today I found it very uplifting. I’m going to try my best to follow your lessons and guidelines for a new healthy lifestyle. It plain common sense and it’s a lifestyle not a diet. We stop everything to help a friend or family member but we put our own health last. I just retired now it all about putting myself first. Thank you , thank you.
    Willette

  39. Thanks so much Susan for today’s blog. Words to live by. I forwarded today’s blog to my three sister’s. We have all started to eat a more healthy diet.

    With appreciation!

  40. Thank you for continuing to encourage and inform. I’ve been reading your blog for several years and have appreciated all I have learned. I am certainly a more attractive, healthy and happy gal!

  41. Great post, Susan. I’ve become a pain in the neck to all who know me (& many who don’t!) about drinking water. Medical studies I trust have shown repeatedly that there is a causal link between dehydration in older people & a decrease in mental functions, extending right to dementia/senility. And that it can be reversed! Many of us older people deliberately limit our water intake, especially in the evening, to avoid having our sleep disturbed by having to get up during the night to pee. Yes, it’s an annoyance (especially if you have cats, who take great delight in meandering underfoot when you’re more sleep than awake), but as I tell anyone who’ll listen: better to lose some sleep than lose your mind! I’ve even read horror stories of staff in nursing homes holding back liquids from their residents to avoid having them call for help during the night, or wetting the bed. That’s criminal negligence, in my opinion, & is actually contributing to the very problems they’re trying to avoid dealing with. So drink your water, make sure those you love are drinking theirs — & then take a moment to spread the word to everyone around you.

  42. I adore you, Susan! So kind, generous, poised and wise. You are like an older sister with your knowledge and insight. All the very best to you and your Mr Micky! Thank you.

  43. Hi. I have followed you for years. Your advice is terrific. Power porridge is now my go to breakfast! This post hit home for me in every way. I’ve printed it to put in my closet to remind me every day to be more content with what I have and ditch the things that really don’t work. Consigning or donating lightens my load and gives someone else a chance to use something that suits them. The less I have the happier I’m feeling. Truly, when your wardrobe starts working together, fewer items make “more” to wear. I’m paring down my clothes to the items that work for my lifestyle, not the life I thought I would have. After retiring and moving to a new town, my new life and friends are far more casual than I expected. My former life wardrobe just didn’t work. It’s been trial and error trying to find the new me. I’ve recently decided to base my clothes on only the colors I LOVE. So my new spectrum will be easier to work with and make me happy. However, it’s a challenge when the fashion industry offers little in the colors I wish to wear. The most profound section of this post hit me between the eyes. I don’t treat myself well enough. I tend to harp on my negative side. So, I’m going to be more kind to myself, starting today. Thank you for sharing your journey!

    Warm regards, Gail

    1. Hello, Susan. I really enjoyed reading your post this morning. Everything you say is true and now I am more motivated than ever to start my personal “renovation”: eat wisely by preparing meals ahead of time, clean my house and I am going to learn something new instead of shopping, and I really need to talk to myself better. I actually walk out the door looking better to start my day because of your advice. Have a wonderful day.

  44. Hi,
    I read your blog often, and it I find your thoughts on life and style spot on. I bought the reversal tops at Chico’s and have on my list to purchase some Chico’s girlfriend jeans this year.

    I am also in my 60’s and have decided to only keep in my closet the things that I love. Today’s blog entry could be my mantra, repeat after me, “you are a good friend, be kind”.

  45. Wow! Such wisdom, I love it! All great advice like you were talking to me! Thank you for this, I’m going to share it with my daughter. What an inspiration!

  46. Nicely said! I am going to eat plant based Thai food for lunch, which is both good for me and being kind to myself! LOL. I always look forward to your posts Susan, keep up the wonderful pictures and thoughts!

  47. Thank you for this post! You are an inspiration, and I always look forward to reading your blog. This post was especially uplifting. I feel as if you wrote it to me personally, because it hit so close to home. Bless you! Keep up the good work!

  48. What a beautiful post! I actually had this very same conversation with my granddaughter who is entering middle school. Listening to her inside voice and paying attention to how she carries herself and communicates.

    Susan, you are beautiful inside and out.

  49. I am new to your blog Susan. I am about to turn 50 and you’ve inspired me in several ways…Thank you!

    My husband and I have been enjoying the power porridge for breakfast this past week. We absolutely love it! I am enjoying your clothing, streamlining one’s life and fashion tips! Thank you for the thoughtful post on that inner voice- I need to remind it to me kinder to me sometimes. I am now looking at the French Kande website too…oh my they are lovely! I hope to save up for one soon!

  50. Thak you, for that lovely piece. We often forget to be our own booster. My husband told me tonight that he thinks I so cute! Well, at 65 that is quite a compliment!
    We live in northern Michigan; a beautiful place of lakes and forests, wonderful little towns and warm, caring people. The winters here can be rough on your skin, on your foot wear, and your wardrobe. Could you do a take on winter when it comes? There are a lot of gals who follow you in the cool weather who know there is more to life than baggy sweaters!
    We have been reading and following Joel Furhman for a few months now, with great success. We are lighter (12 for me, 25 for hubby) and better fed than ever. As you know he is a cardiologist and has some very sick patients. We are pretty healthy. But we did need a tune up! Thanks for the push.
    I’ve told lots of folks about your blog and the Furhman books.
    Keep up your lovely self,
    Betsy

  51. Thank you Susan! That was one of the best posts from you that I’ve read! And I love that you remain “transparent” and clear and to the point! Thank you for your guidance, expertise and advice. I am so much better off because of you! I love you!

  52. A quick question on food, what can you tweak in the power porridge if lentils are not eaten much ? Or just leave it out?
    Otherwise I eat oat porridge with fresh fruit and a spoon or two of plain Greek yoghurt on other days I eat no added sugar muesli for breakfast.
    I eat this before gym or aqua aerobics class and also walk on the exercise front.
    Do you make soda bread? It is a yeast free bread made with bicarbonate of soda, sometimes baking powder.

    You are so kind to give us all you guidance and have helped advise me directly too, which is so generous, especially as you are so busy yourself. Make sure you smell the roses with Mr Mickey as much as you can too!
    Sending a hug to say thank you.
    From the UK….
    .

    1. Lentils are one of the best sources of protein. I never leave them out. I rarely eat any bread, but when I do, I look for the heartiest whole grain nut and seed loaded type available.

  53. Dear Susan,
    I have been following your blog for sometime now and I really enjoyed this post. I have learned many things from you especially regarding diet. I have tried to diet repeatedly to lose 20 menopausal pounds and have found that I simply need to nourish my body. Keep writing because you are truly touching lives. I also love your posts regarding fashion and style as well.
    Thank you!

  54. A friend of mine told me about you and your blog. So happy she did! I can’t wait to dive in for fashion, as well as health inspiration!

    Your transformation is amazing! Thank you for sharing!!

  55. I’ve only recently discovered your blog and I have enjoyed it so much. You are a true inspiration. You have mentioned what you eat for breakfast several times but I haven’t actually seen the recipe. Could you post that again?

  56. Just came across your blog this morning in my search for sanity for those of us who have racked up a whole lot of Laps-Around-the-Sun! There isn’t a lot out there that I can relate to. After reading this particular post, I believe I will stick around to see what else you have to say! Mirrors much of my own experience and attitude. Thanks for taking the time to share your well-earned Wisdom!

  57. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! Words I really needed to hear right now!! Be my own best friend! Yes! Even after being retired several years, I still feel like I’m adjusting. Your blog helps give me a perspective about how I can choose to live my life! I’ve tackeked my clothes closet and shop more objectively, thanks to you Susan! Now to really focus on healthier eating (I do well for weeks and then relapse)! And to be happy and positive with myself! A day reading your blog is always sunny!

  58. I’ve been catching up on my e mail after having family all weekend. This is a beautiful heart felt blog. Thank You for sharing the things you have learned. I have lost 60 pounds in the last year. I have substituted fresh fruit and vegetables fro all the processed items. Stopped drinking soft drinks and lots of water. I realized the other day I haven’t gotten sick since I made these lifestyle changes. I feel so much better.

  59. Dear Susan:

    I love reading your blogs. You bring so much joy into my life and many others, I’m sure. I forget to be kind to myself. I work long hours, take care of my disabled son, and have no family living in my state. My son’s father died many years ago and after getting married again to an abusive and unfaithful man, I divorced him 14 years ago. I’ve been single since then and other than being lonely sometimes, I enjoy the peace of my little apartment.

    After reading your post, I cleaned out my closet (boxes of clothes and 26 pairs of shoes) and it’s all going to Goodwill. I’ve began cleaning out cabinets, and next will be the garage. I’m also getting rid of ‘stuff’ sitting around the house that I really don’t need. I’m only keeping things that mean something to me.

    I struggle to eat whole foods. I don’t miss meat but catch myself wanting carbs like pretzels and crackers. I keep them out of my house but still crave them. So, I’m slowly working on change because I want to be healthy like you. I’m about the size you were before you lost weight and in my dreams I’d love to be your size.

    Can I be personal and ask why you never married again? You are so beautiful and I know you have Mr. Mickey. I think of myself when I get older. (I’m 67 now) and want to be able to live on my own and not be put in a nursing home. I believe what you have shared with us is the key to being that kind of woman.

    Thank you so much Susan. I feel like I’ve known you for a long time. ♥

    1. Mr. Mickey is a wonderful partner in life. I am thankful for our relationship every day, but I enjoy my private time and having my own space. I think I am a much better partner because of the time we spend apart. I wish peace and happiness and good health to you, Linda.

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am sixty, I am honoring this new decade with a great new website SusanAfter60.com

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