Why I Started A Blog

A few years ago, I was in a downward spiral. My health was declining rapidly, and I had lost my way regarding fashion. I wanted a more refined wardrobe but shopped for it blindly. I wasted lots of money on clothing that wasn’t a reflection of my personality and didn’t flatter me.

In 2009 I weighed about a hundred and seventy pounds. My weight continued to rise during the following year as my pain increased.

As I struggled to walk across my yard wearing my most comfortable tennis shoes one afternoon, I remember thinking, “This must be how aging feels.” My physician often told me, “As we age, (fill in the blank with almost any ailment) happens.”

After an emergency gall bladder surgery, I started researching nutrition. I read “Eat to Live” by Joel Fuhrman. Later I read “Clean” by Alejandro Junger. Then I read “The Plant Paradox” by Steven Gundry.

Using what I learned, I lost more than forty-five pounds, but more importantly, I healed my digestive issues, chronic pain caused by inflammation, multi-focal sinus disease, and weekly migraines. I don’t need any medications now. What and how much we eat determines the quality of our health. Mass marketed processed foods were very detrimental to my health.

After regaining good health, my struggle with style choices continued for the next few years. I wasted a substantial amount of money buying things that weren’t right for me because I let the fashion industry influence me. Mass marketing again!

I began new research to help me make positive changes. For a couple of years, I took classes, read many books, studied image consulting and color theory. Applying this new knowledge, I used color, texture, and proportion to make well-planned classic purchases that will continue to serve me well for years.

My investments have paid off handsomely with better health, no debt, and a wardrobe that serves all my needs. I always have something appropriate and comfortable to wear, but I rarely shop now, and I haven’t even had a cold since 2011.

I share inspiration, outfit examples, and all that I’ve learned about nutrition and building a wardrobe here without a subscription fee. I believe that every woman deserves to look and feel her best every day. These are my reasons for starting and continuing to blog.

272 Comments
  1. Thank you. You are a constant inspiration. While my location and circumstances are very different to yours, I have been able to apply so much of your shared wisdom and it has really made a difference.

  2. I am exactly where you were. Your fb page is my daily inspiration now. When i felt better about myself, the style of clothes you wear, were what I am attracted to too. Classic casual, i call it. Thank you for sharing

  3. I’m so glad I found your blog. I always look forward to your posts, because you always inspire me to do better. Thank you, Susan!

  4. Thank you for your input. That’s where I feel I am. At a crossroads. I’m 60 next year. I don’t feel it. I don’t act it, but think I’m starting to look like it haha. Tired. Aching. Exhausted. Yet am addicted to eating crap, especially chocolate. You look fantastic xx

  5. That is admirable of you to make the necessary changes for a healthier, better lifestyle for the aging years. You look great now and like your style. Yes we can age beautifully!

  6. Gracias
    Ayudas a muchas personas a sentirse mejor
    Espero con ilusión tus consejos
    Yo estoy aprendiendo a pulir mi armario
    He copiado tu corte de pelo, ¡ me encanta !
    Sigo queriendo nos hables sobre zapatos de verano

  7. This truly sounds like every women’s story. Such a great journey and that you share it.
    So what do you eat in a day?
    Are you Vegan? You look like you have a social life so are you able to drink alcohol.
    Thank you and keep it up!

    1. I eat two small meals per day, mostly vegetables and a little fresh fruit, and drink a gallon of filtered water daily. I have a glass of wine with dinner a couple of times per week.

  8. I want to thank you for your blog. You are an inspiration to me and many others on how to live well. We all have control to some degree to live life to its fullest, I lost 75 pounds and have kept it off for two years. It was confusing on how to dress after decades of carrying so much extra weight. You were a big help in guiding toward where I am now…buying less and more deliberately and dressing to reflect who I am. I just retired so more change is in the works but thank you so much for sharing your philosophy on life!

  9. i thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and I hope you will continue to share with us for years to come. Enjoy your day!

  10. I love how our mindset can change regarding style but more importantly health. We don’t have to subscribe to the notion that with age comes all of these maladies. Thank you for sharing your story. It is truly inspirational.

  11. I am very grateful you blog. Your story is inspirational and you embody positive aging. A wonderful example for all.

  12. Your story has inspired me to strive for better health. My issues are related to inflammation and unhealthy life choices. On the mend physically. Look for joy in all sutuations

  13. You were my inspiration when I discovered your blog a year and a half ago. Since then I’ve lost 20 pounds and exercise daily. I’m still working on a cleaner diet and appreciate recipes you might share. Thank you for your blog! I always enjoy it.

  14. Thank you for inspiring women to be a healthier version of themselves. Your style is simple and classic. You look wonderful.

  15. Like all your blogs but especially love this one! Reminds me what can happen with changes. Have the Doctor book and follow many of his recommendations, now have two more to read. Thank you! You look healthy, lovely and younger.

  16. I too am so grateful I found your blog. I have learned so much from you sharing your life story and style. You are an inspiration!!

  17. Hi Susan. I enjoy your blog so much. Would you be willing to share if you take any supplements as part of your health routine?

  18. Thank you for sharing your story! You are an inspiration. Did you have to have any surgery (breast reduction) or anything to tighten skin to get things in proportion after weight loss? And I admire you for limiting alcohol. Some other blogs seem to be turning into lush Central. Moderation in all things is to be admired!

  19. Hi Susan
    I am a newer subscriber and love your authenticity. Can u share in a general way how u support yourself; i.e., do u make money from the commissioned links?, etc.

    I just learned about the French Kande jewelry—I love this line..

    You are lovely!
    Ruth.

    1. I make a small commission when you click on links I share with you, including Beautycounter. (I have been a manager with them for more than four years.) There is never an additional cost to you. I sold my business a couple of years ago (Vintage Jewelry Supplies Co.). I now earn my living solely from blogging. I don’t accept gifts in exchange for a review. I only share the items I buy and appreciate.

  20. You are such an inspiration! I am your “before” picture and am working to become strong and healthy as we head toward our retirement years. Thanks for sharing your story!

  21. I feel just like you did before changing your life. For past few years I have gained a lot of ailments.
    I did lose 40 lbs 17 years ago and have only gained 10-12 lbs back. But I do not eat right.
    One dr did say that if I’d leave off all kinds of sugar, my ailments would probably go away
    Would love to know how you eat. I just joined your page a few days ago

  22. Some of us wonder what our role is in life and I would say your role is encouragement and education. I will echo the gratitude of your readers…thank you for blogging!

  23. Thank you so much for sharing. I have learned a lot from your blog. Understated elegance. Always the look I want.

  24. Hi Susan. I am now where you were before. I am overweight having gained 40+ pounds after menopause and over stressed as the caregiver for my mom, who lives with us, and for an elderly aunt who lives alone. I am armed with health and nutritional information but don’t know where to start. How did you begin your journey to good health? Did you work on one habit at a time (for example, drinking only water)? I don’t know how or where to start.

    1. I stopped eating any food that comes from a factory. Most of what I eat is plant-based, in season and local when possible. I concentrate on drinking only filtered water and going for a walk each day. It takes about a month to break the sugar, fat, and salt addictions, but when you do, you will feel so much better.

  25. Thank you Susan for sharing your knowledge. I have learned a great deal from you and appreciate your blog. I enjoy going on your weekend jaunts as well. Please keep blogging. I have put together so many outfits from my existing closet it is amazing.

  26. The question would be how did you even know how to begin? Seriously? Did you just find a company to start typing on – or pay to utilize their web services? I want to have a blog – for a totally different purpose but don’t know how to even begin. I read of people wanting to sell me their knowledge of the web and blogging but I don’t trust that. How to get started? BTW – I’ve followed you for years – love reading and seeing your adventures.

    1. I started blogging on Blogger.com. It is a free service from Google. You don’t own the content after you publish it, so I hired a great web designer and paid him $20,000 to create my secure site for SusanAfter60.com and the shopping site I used to have. This means I own the site and have full control of it. The Webhosting, secure servers and maintenance are all handled by my web designer, Steven Taylor, owner of Trajan Studio. You can contact him through his website. I’m sure he will be happy to help you.

    2. Carolyn, google how to start a blog. It can be done very inexpensively, although there are ongoing costs. I have gone through the process.

  27. Susan, you are a beautiful woman. Your beauty also shows through your honest generosity to share the low points in your life and to share advice that is so applicable to many women. I admire your ability to “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.”
    I really appreciate not having to buy a subscription to your blog. As well, I am SO thankful that your blog text is free of ads jumping out between sentences and flashing garishly. In addition to your blog, I used to follow two other American blogs, both very good. The irritating ads popping out of the blog texts was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so I stopped following one blogger. Now that the other blogger has started with ads, I’m seriously considering unsubscribing from that blog, too.

  28. Thank you, Susan! You have helped me define and refine my style. I’ve changed my shopping habits and look and feel so much better. I ordered some scarves from you some time ago and they are such classics and high quality. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and look forward to each day’s post. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and tips with me. Please know that you are very much appreciated!

  29. When I read your introduction to why you started your blog… it sounds just like me. I am looking forward to reading your blog in hope I too can be healthy again. I write this as I sit in the doctors office

  30. I love your style. I am a plus size woman with neutral coloring. Everything you show gives me great ideas and works perfectly for me, without the belt. Thank you for your videos. I have learned so much

  31. Thank you, Susan for sharing your wisdom. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. There is always something to learn from your efforts.

  32. Susan, your 2009 photo is a perfect example of the cliche “older woman who has given up trying.” The contrast between then and now is an inspiration. Your regular presentations and encouragement mean that your blog (unlike too many others) is not merely all about you. It is about all of us, too. Thank you!

  33. Susan, I love your style and look forward to each post. I rarely need to dress up but enjoy looking at your dressier outfits and how you “got there“. You provide inspiration for me to look more pulled together, even if I dress more casually. You say you aren’t as comfortable putting together your more casual looks, but you do a great job! Thank you!

  34. I so appreciate your blog and the many things that you’ve taught me. I realized one day that the beautiful print on the pants that I bought, but never wore, would have been much more suitable as a scarf! I only have solid colored slacks and jeans now.
    After purging my closet of trendy items, I found that I have far less clothes, but they are classic styles that I enjoy wearing more. I might have never have taken such a drastic step without viewing your blog.

    Thank you, Susan for your continued inspiration as your share your wisdom and experiences. I wish you the very best!’ M. James

  35. Thank you for sharing! I too lost about 45 pounds before my daughter’s wedding in 2012. While I never had health issues like you describe, I was unhappy with my weight. I read a book called How Not To Look Old and realized that some things needed to be changed. Long story short I am doing well at 65 and am enjoying putting outfits together with my all time favorite, shoes! I wear makeup everyday even if I am staying in and always dress in a well put together outfit regardless of whether it’s just jeans and a tee. I am glad there is someone out there who seems to feel like I do! In these crazy times we’re living in it’s nice to at least find comfort in the little things!

  36. Thank you for what you do. I need to follow your advice regarding a well planned wardrobe. I have a tendency to buy something because it is on sale. That doesn’t always work out well.

  37. Thank you so much for sharing this, Susan. I am sixty years old and, especially through the quarantine, have found myself on a downward spiral. Overeating, anxiety, depression, etc. Could you share some of the courses and reading material you pursued? Thanking you in advance,
    Melissa

      1. Hello Susan! These ‘reads’ you recommend will definitely be on my list of summer books., I noticed you referred to Tonya Leigh’s French kiss Life. I have been following her for a few years but have hesitated to do the course that is offered. Did you take the course and if so , did you find it beneficial for your self personally? You have related your journey and it is very inspiring and definitely motivational to continue to grow and stay healthy during these golden years. I too look forward to your blogs each week. Thank you!

  38. Susan, Thank You!!! Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned with us. I love that you don’t let fashion “influencers” determine what you buy and what you wear. Your choices are beautiful and your clothing is “timeless” and the epitome of class.

    I’ve followed your blog for a long time because you’re the only person that I trust in terms of fashion and beauty. Also, we’re close in age. I’m a bit older at 64.

    Thank you again for sharing the things you have learned with us.

  39. Great inspirational blog post. So important to eat clean.

    I, for one, just finished reading The Fatburn Fix by Catherine Shanahan, MD. It’s about the seed oils used in all processed foods we eat — very toxic to our systems. Messes with our metabolism.

  40. Your article was really interesting and it’s comforting to know that lots of people have or have had health and/or health issues. The trick is learning how to overcome them, and you have certainly done that. It is so easy to continue on a downward spiral and accept a situation that is changeable with effort.
    Thank you for sharing your story, and it gives hope to so many, me included, that as we get older, we can all try to be the best we can.

  41. I have never had much money to put into clothes and usually bought items because they were needed for work or vacation. After reading your blog for a few years now, I put more thought into what I actually need and how I will wear it. Recently I realized I could really use a white jean jacket and came across one that has been worn twice already this week in two very different outfits. It was a wise purchase and not money wasted. Thank you for your help stretching my pennies into fabulous fashion looks !

  42. I have been following your fifties blog and now your sixties blog, we are the same age. I have always wondered exactly what you are referring to when you say you drink “filtered water”. Do you use a Brita filter, a Berkey water filtration system or something else?

  43. I’m looking at your 2009 picture, and I don’t see anything wrong with the outfit. I don’t see anything wonderful about it, but it certainly wouldn’t qualify you for What Not to Wear. The real difference is your weight. Which is why, no matter how well dressed I am (and I am very well dressed) I will always look like a before picture. No clothing is so chic it can cover for overweight. I really commend you for the upgrade.

  44. …and, you’re so appreciated, Susan, for sharing your knowledge with us! Your motivation and dedication to ‘making over’ your inner and outer self is certainly inspiring…please keep up your wonderful blog! It’s always a most welcomed email!!

  45. Thank you so much for letting me join. My diet is plant based. I lost my mojo two years ago after moving home, then breast cancer treatment. After chemo my weight plummeted. My husband was then diagnosed with liver cancer which has returned. I feel like I’ve lost my old self. I haven’t had hair regrowth and my nails still fall out. We’ve managed to put on weight. I feel very old. My bones and muscles ache probably due to anti cancer meds. This is not like me. I’m a cheery positive person at heart. I need inspiration to pull myself together.

    1. Please consider what you are eating. It makes more of a difference than we ever dreamed. I’ve had skin cancer, and my physician has breast cancer. We both agree that food is the first line of defense. She shares my story with her clients all the time. We’ve proven that food can heal you.

  46. I have so greatly appreciated everything you share. Thank you for doing the work that I didn’t know where to start. Looking forward to your continued posts as we continue down this path we call life.

  47. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I am 64 years old and have suddenly been ‘stricken with age’. LOL Even though I exercise and eat healthy, my mobility has become an issue. My doctor diagnosed me with osteo-arthritis and fybromyalgia, but NO tests were taken. Put me on medication that added 30 lbs.! I’m buying these books in hopes that this will help me rebuild my life. You are an inspiration!

    1. My physician (who I adore!) wanted to prescribe seven (seven!) drugs for me when I was at my heaviest. I told her I would be back in six months. When I returned forty pounds thinner and much healthier, she wanted to know a lot more about what I had been doing. My test results showed I didn’t need ANY medications. What we eat makes a significant difference.

  48. Thank you for telling your story. I have similar circumstances. Would you tell me if you take any of Dr. Gundry supplements? I started taking his Total Restore recently.

    Love your fashion journey! I had a ton of clothes, only a slight exaggeration, and I have slowly determined what is enough and how to pare down the rest.

  49. Hi Susan, some time back you wrote an article about what you have for meals etc and it looked like you prepare for the week ahead by putting prepared food in small containers in the refrigerator. Could you write an article what you do as far as food prep goes please. Do you think its easier eating the way you do living on your own!?

    1. I often saute sweet onion, mushrooms, and garlic to warm up later with other meals. I have frozen wild-caught salmon, broccoli, peas, and carrots in my freezer, and there is usually a baked sweet potato or two in my fridge. That’s about all the prepping I do for my meals. A can of Eden organic beans might last for three meals. I also have hummus, celery, leafy greens, and avocados if I need something more. I have lived alone for more than twenty years, so I don’t remember any other way.

  50. Thank you so much Susan. You are inspirational. I have been trying to lose middle aged weight in fits and starts lately. I have managed to take about 10 pounds off so far. I find the biggest challenges are when I go out for lunch or go away and you can’t just easily eat the same diet as you do at home. This time though, I am determined to get my weight back down so that I can fit in some of my lovely clothes and go back to just having one size of clothes and not an enormous wardrobe of two or three sizes. Thanks again. Yours is my go to blog.

  51. Thanks For Sharing & All Your Good Ideas! I’m on a similar journey! I read all that I can on nutrition & health. Now for the fashion! You Look Great!

  52. Thank you for sharing your story. You are truly my inspiration. Also the reason I stopped coloring my hair. I am in my seventies, but, of course, I still don’t know how that happened! I have learned so much from you. I appreciate every blog and look forward to them so much. It’s never to late to “upgrade” ourselves!

  53. You go, Girl!
    I cannot thank you enough for your blog. First, you and your blog are in inspiration for creating a life and a style that is truly one’s own.
    Second, as an East Tennessean (born and raised in Oak Ridge to parents from Campbell county, graduated from UT Knoxville), who now lives in the DC area, I look forward to your accounts of your travels in the area. As one of my friends said, east Tennessee is “achingly beautiful.” I have especially missed it since coronavirus came on the scene and I have not been able to go “home.”

  54. Susan, although I enjoy every email from you, I really love the ones where you give recipes and tell us how you eat and how you keep your weight down. I have learned a lot from you—especially how to dress. Thank you!

    P.S. I ordered a couple of the books you recommended in this email.

  55. Thank you for your honesty Susan…..I enjoy following you (and Mr. Mickey). The only thing I wish I could do is stop buying clothes. I don’t need them, it’s just impulse and keeping up with a few trends. UGH

    Blessings

  56. I am so happy you did start writing and continue to do so today! It’s a real pleasure to follow your blog – I enjoy everything about it; from fashion, to career, to Mr. Mickey, to slices of daily life, and more…..
    Many, many thanks!

  57. You are a true inspiration to all of us over “50+” women. I found your blog as I searched for attractive ways to dress as I turned 70 years old. I’ve been following you for 3 years now and continue to be inspired by you even though you’re 10 years my junior. Your style and taste is timeless. Thank you for your commitment to your “Sisters” everywhere.

  58. Hi Susan,
    Thank’s for sharing your story again for all your new subscribers. I’ve been following you for awhile now and you are still my favorite blogger. I look forward to see in your post in my mailbox.
    I really like that you know where you’re been and where you are going. You do not follow every trend and you are true to yourself.

  59. Your story is so inspirational! So many of my friends share your past health issues. It is difficult to watch them age and feel so badly. But they refuse to change their diet. I think they don’t believe they can take control of their health. Thank you for being a voice to so many who listen. You look fabulous!

  60. Susan, I’ve been a follower now for a few years, and all I can say is that your blog is a gift to so many women. I always appreciate your honesty and love the photos.

  61. Susan: Thanks for all of this background info. I very much enjoy your BLOG because you are so honest and down to earth. I do share your fashion philosophy, as I strongly lean toward the classics — in color and design. I’m still wearing clothes that I purchased twenty or so years ago — I kept some favorites, even though I had gained weight and could not wear them. Now, I have lost a bit more than thirty pounds — I’m 5. 5.5 inches tall, and weigh 138, and I’m wearing a size 8. I’ve had to donate many, many items that are now too large for me. Although I’ve lived in Michigan for fifty-nine years, I’m originally from Memphis, TN. and I still consider myself a Southern girl. Like you, I stay away from trendy items and, as a result, I always have something appropriate to wear. I do love to wear skirts in warmer weather — and I enjoy a few “midi” skirts sometimes, usually with a classic shirt, which I sometimes tie around my waist, or a classic tee shirt. I get in good walking at least five days a week, going three or 3.5 miles with each walk, and I love every stop I day. I’m older than you, Susan, as I turn eighty-four this coming August, and I am extremely thankful for excellent physical and mental health. Here’s hoping that you’ll continue your blog for years to come. I always look forward to reading what you’ve written and seeing your photos. All the best to you.

  62. Good reasons, Susan, and certainly an inspiration to others who don’t want to
    accept “getting older” as an excuse for poor health.

    You’re an inspiration to me and I appreciate what you’re offering.

  63. You look fabulous! I can only hope to look and feel as good as you as the years go by. I love the healthiness of the meals that you share. Combinations that never have crossed my mind. Thank you!

  64. I so so thank you Susan for your generous giving of experience & knowledge!
    I read your posts and think how kind you are to offer all this to us 🙂
    Thank you again; I so enjoy seeing your blog notice in my in box!
    Hugs, virtually of course,
    Sharon Coolidge

  65. Well done! Thank you for sharing this valuable information. I find myself in the same spot you were in 11 years ago and am trying to make my way back to normal weight. Your reading list and personal story inspire me. So grateful for your help!!!

  66. Susan, you’ve come a long way baby!!!
    I’ve been on that journey myself, I am 76 years old and I feel 20years younger. I joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) this spring and I’m having so much fun trying out new vegetables straight from the farm.
    Love you Susan, you are an inspiration!
    Patricia

  67. Thank you so much for sharing your private journey. Gives a lot of hope to all of us who struggle be it with weight or clothing selections. Mine is clothing more than weight although 10 pounds could leave and that would be good
    BUT the clothes. How much money I would have if the choices had been better. That new Lexus might be mine
    I am learning. It is slow. Wish I was in Asheville. Thank you again

  68. What an inspiring story! From your other blogs, I know sort of what you eat, but could you send out a list – things that helped you lose weight and improve your health? Just a general recommendation? I really enjoy all of your blogs along with photos. Your ideas have been a big help. And I love seeing parts of your house in some of the pictures- I think we have the same taste in home decor. Thank you for all your info – I always enjoy turning on my phone and seeing your latest message, especially with having to stay home nearly all the time! I get all excited when we can go to the grocery store, with our masks of course!

    1. The foods I eat most often are broccoli, sweet potatoes, baby peas, avocado, sweet onion sauteed with mushrooms, Eden Organics beans, leafy greens, and about twice a month I have sauteed wild-caught salmon.

  69. Thank you Susan. I really enjoy reading your posts. I love seeing the places you visit and where you go to dinner. I liked seeing your stack of books you were reading too. Thanks for giving me a fun and inspiring read when you post. Keep up the good work! I am learning a lot.

  70. Thank you for sharing your story. You inspire with sensible ideas about health and becoming who you were meant to be. I will look for the books to learn even more about choosing health and long life. I read your blog daily and find positive ideas and inspiration to guide my choices in retirement living. May God continue to bless you with good health and continuing happiness.

  71. Susan, I write it again, you are like a sister for me.
    Thank you so much ,I am grateful for your help in so many fields :
    style , beauty, healthy diet and exercise ,pictures of nature , life philosophy .

  72. Dear Susan, Thank you for sharing your story. It’s inspirational. I’ve had a similar experience and sometimes when I look at old photos of myself I cringe, other times I just laugh out loud.

  73. Wow! You are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story that is way too familiar to so many of us. You are proof that knowledge and desire motivate us to put ourselves on the path to beauty inside and out. Your experience is a real encouragement.

  74. Love the blog, I am about to turn 60, I have had joint pain and weight gain that it seems no matter what I do the weight does not come off. I am curious to what you actually did, I feel desperate to make a change, I feel once I lose the weight I will feel like dressing more fashionable.

    1. Your priority should be to eliminate processed foods from your life forever. Avoid sugar, alcohol, and meat. Wait until you are truly hungry to eat, not because others are eating, or you are conditioned to eat at a specific time or even three meals a day. I eat two meals per day, and I never feel hungry.

  75. A SINCERE THANK YOU!! If we help one other person each day “WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD THIS WOULD BE!” (Also my favorite song)

  76. You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story! I , also, follow Mark Hyman…”Food Fix”……I enjoy your meal pics….your grocery shopping, etc. The best to you!!

  77. Susan,
    Inspiring story. I admire your journey and I find some comfort or relief in learning that you too have fallen for the same marketing traps that the rest of us have. You did the work, the investigation and the research and decided what is best for you.. It is easy to fall into “oh well, I’m just getting older” While we must accept some aging ‘insults’, we can also look to improve and then celebrate what we can. Hooray for you. You’re an inspiration.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Nancy

  78. Good morning Susan, you are so inspiring. So classy. Thank you for the book info. I’m so glad you continue to blog! Be Blessed

  79. Thank you for sharing your story. I enjoy your blog and adore your classic styles and the fact that your clothes continue to look wonderful for many years. You are a lovely woman!

    1. That list would be different for every woman. Your lifestyle, where you live, and your personality will determine which are the must-have pieces for you. I need a good white blouse that doesn’t pull at the bust, great fitting black pants, comfortable jeans, a few smooth fitting tops to wear under blazers, and some v-neck cashmere sweaters. (I am cold for about nine months out of the year.)

  80. Hello Susan,

    Thank you for your blogs. They are inspirational and I have improved my fashion sense as a result. I have difficulty throwing away my vast collection of clothes as they are in good condition, however, am trying to wear them whenever I can and I find having good basics has made it easier to utilise those items which were purchased just because they were on sale or I liked at the time, with no thought of whether they would go with the rest of my clothes. Because of your influence I am trying to only buy what I need and ensure it is of good quality and will go with everything else.
    However, as to diet, I still haven’t got that right. Am 10 pounds overweight and struggle to shift the weight. Have read “Eat to Live” and found it very good but my husband does not like a lot of the food, which makes it difficult. Still, that is no excuse, I will battle on and hopefully get my brain into gear and succeed.
    You are very kind, selfless and strong. I admire your achievements, especially as you have done it all yourself.
    Kind regards,
    Halina

  81. Thank you for the inspirational and informative blog. As a result of being quarantined alone, I have been dealing with depression. Now, I have a new focus. Thank you.

  82. Dear Susan,
    I am fairly new to your blog, but you truly inspire me. I am exactly where your describe yourself as being in 2009. I am about to turn 60 and I don’t want to go through my 60’s fat and frumpy like I have my 50’s. I am currently reading books on nutrition and have lost 19.5 pounds (every half pound is a struggle). I am also in need of a wardrobe overhaul and fashion advice, but I’m waiting until I have lost more weight to invest heavily in clothing. I am attracted to your style and appreciate your posts tremendously. Please keep it up!

  83. Your style suggestions are so helpful and I’ve incorporated many of them – thank you. Could you write about posture? As we get older, there’s a tendency to get into bad posture habits. Do you have any suggestions? Your posture is great and it makes your clothes look their best.

    1. When I was young, I had lots of reminders not to slump from my mom and aunts. I served in the US Navy for four years, and I was in a few pageants, so elongated posture and smooth carriage are deeply ingrained in me.

  84. Hi Susan,

    Thank you for sharing your journey, to much better health and creating balance in your life. Woman often
    sabotage themselves. I have The Plant Paradox and The Plant Paradox Cookbook, also did check out the Joel Fuhrman
    Eat to Live by the recommendation of a friend many years ago that has chronic health issues as well. I get e mails often from Joel Fuhrman. I have never heard of “Clean” by Alejando Junger. Doctors in medical school should be trained in nutrition, however they aren’t, especially into more plant based eating. I had elective gall bladder surgery back in 1981. Those were the days when it was major surgery, I was in the hospital recovering for a week, it took
    me six months to start up my hiking and running again.
    When you have a successful business, which we did, and it takes all your energy and time it takes a toll on your body on so many levels. My down fall was having a sweet tooth. I knew how to eat healthy. “BALANCE” is the key in life, however it’s not always easy, especially when you have stress in your life. The “time thief” was a constant.
    I LOVE this chapter in your life, being good to yourself, and making yourself first is so important.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing all the good stuff that you do on all your blogs. I always look
    forward to hearing it all. I am off to bake my Honey Bear’s living favorite cookies for Papa’s day as one of his gifts. Blessings, Katherine in Arizona

  85. Susan, you are truly inspiring. I am approaching 70 and struggling with almost the exact same weight and issues you had struggled with. I really appreciate everything you do to inspire those of us who are not nearly so disciplined. Keep up the good work. We need your advise and encouragement. Congrats to you for being so healthy!

  86. Good morning Susan I just ran across your fb snd blog How do you remove sugar from your diet Are you also dairy free? I have a hard time removing cheese Such a crutch I’m 68, 5’2,154# too much trying desperately to lose the weight Was your transition to plant base food difficult? Sorry for so many questions you inspire me Thank you in advance for your suggestions

    1. The less sugar and salt you eat, the less you crave it. Keep the fruit and the desserts to a minimum. Don’t put sugar or sweeteners in your coffee or tea. You can do this!

  87. Thank you for all you do, It is very encouraging. I’m where you were in 2009 but am now on the road to better health and clothing style choices. Thanks for being an inspiration to so many.

  88. Thank you for sharing your story Susan. You will never know how many women you influence. I am one of them. Although I am 84 yrs old and you are still young, I feel it is never too late to start making improvements in your diet, exercise and social life. I look forward to your email coming in and always look forward to what you have to say and also enjoy your comments and pictures.

    Have a wonderful day and stay safe.

    Pat Perkins

  89. I enjoy your article every day and relate to the wardrobe mistakes so much. I have learned very much from you regarding building a wardrobe with planning and thoughtful buying and I feel better about what I wear since I don’t need to buy so much but instead have a nicely coordinated collection of things that really work well together and make me feel good. I also love scarves and enjoy your tips for wearing them to elongate our looks. Thanks so much. Bonnie

  90. I appreciate all you have learned and and all you share with us. We are always learning, never too old! I am transforming my ways of eating and dressing myself too. Thanks to your blog I have picked up so many useful things for the betterment of my life! Thank you, Susan!

  91. Thank you for starting to write your blog and continuing it to this day. I enjoy seeing your outfit choices and it brightens my day. Thank you again.

  92. You halve been an inspiration to all women of a certain age! Thank you for continuing to share your beautiful fashion sense and advice. It’s much appreciated.
    Maria

  93. Susan,
    Thank you for creating and posting on this blog. I will be 71 next month and am in need of relearning how to dress. In the last two years, I have spent thousands of dollars on clothes that just didn’t work for me. I felt I never had anything appropriate to wear. I have spent several days reading all of your past blogs. Many of the tips you shared are things that I learned in my twenties but due to the fashion industry, I had lost my way. I appreciate you posting where we can buy similar items.

    Please continue to post because you are a big help to ladies that have lost their way. Now, I going through and cleaning out my closet and the new items I purchase will be good for years to come.

    Thank you so much for helping me and many others find our way.

    I forgot to mention the food and diet thing. About ten years ago I was in terrible health. I went to a seminar that explained about the processed food including sugar and the effect it has on our health. I now eat much healthier. I also find that eating salads and fish is much easier to cook so I’m spending less time in the kitchen.

    Thank you again for your help.

  94. You are an inspiration.
    ….and definitely has made a difference in how I view my fashion choices.
    Obviously, how you changed your life for the better is a lesson for us all on many levels.
    We are the grateful beneficiaries.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  95. I am 61 (yesterday), and this is so inspiring. You look beautiful. I love to visit your page. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  96. I love your story and how you “saved” yourself with proper nutrition. Likewise, I weighed about 168, high A1C, and pre-diabetes. My blood pressure was high but not high enough for meds. Now I am at my goal 144 and feeling so much better. Blood work is now great.
    I look forward to your blog every week. Your insight on color and particularly length of tops and jackets is spot on. At 5″7″ the length of pants, even shorts, is difficult as some are too short, never too long. Thank you for all you do for all us ladies that benefit greatly from your blog.

  97. Susan, thank you for the before & after pics. I am 56 years old & 170 lbs and its a struggle to get dressed.
    Thank you for the motivation. I love your blog!
    Jennie P

  98. Thank you for the before & after pics. I am 56 years old & 170 lbs and its a struggle to get dressed.
    Thank you for the motivation. I love your blog!
    Jennie P

  99. Thanks for sharing your story and what you’ve learned with all of us! I enjoy every blog post and am so glad you found your way to health, love and a beautiful life!

  100. You certainly have used your personal experience and knowledge to help a lot of women. And you inspired me to attempt this Instagram Influencer thing ! LOL

  101. Your testimony and the new you inspires us. Please continue to blog with your beautifully elegant wardrobe selections. I think we all try to be our best selves. Sometimes we don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. With our new accessory of facial masks, I still project kind eyes to the world. Thank you again for inspiring us to look our best.

  102. Very inspiring and you still have that beautiful smile!
    Thanks for sharing. . and keeping us positive during this very wacky year!
    Aloha

  103. Thank you!! I look forward to reading your blog every day, and you have influenced me in many ways with better food choices and better wardrobe choices. I have learned to “shop my own closet,” and be more mindful when purchasing any new clothing, jewelry or shoes. Your blog has also given me permission to let go of items that are not flattering, or looking worn and tired.
    All the best to you and Mr. Mickey…..keep blogging!!

  104. This was an inspirational read. Love your blog and all the information you share.

    Your follower in Canada….Helen

  105. I appreciate your candor and willingness to share the hard fought success of of your journey. Your style guidance for creating a timeless, classic wardrobe is very helpful. Also, I think your example of living a gratitude focused life may inspire those who have not yet found the peaceful power of that lifestyle. Thank you for your continued work. Sheryl (65 Yrs)

  106. Thank you for sharing your experiences in this way. I came upon your blog about a year ago, and have been following it ever since. I appreciate your style advice, because it confirms what I’ve found in my search for ways to look ‘put together’ on a budget.

  107. What an inspirational testimony! Please continue to blog! I look forward to your posts.
    You look better than ever! Love your style!

  108. You have certainly changed your life and appearance around. Bravo! I am a fan of Dr. Steven Gundry too.

  109. This is such an inspiration to so many women who find themselves in the same boat at this stage of life. I’ve really e joyed following you for 2 years now, have learned SO much , and incorporated your principles into my own life. You’re also one of the inspirations for starting a blog myself this year, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. As I turn 60 in 2 months, I look forward to watching how you navigate the coming years with style and grace.
    Love from a HUGE fan!

  110. Thank you for sharing your story. I have been following you for a while. I believe I have read this before but it is a testament. You always look fashionable and age appropriate. Warm regards

  111. I think your the best Susan,of all the ladies who blog about what to wear.Apart from being beautiful, . ( you always remind me of MM, yes that MM,its the smile) it’s the warmth that comes from you,the absolute naturalnest of you.Its not just about what you wear ,which you do to perfection,its also when you and Mr Mickey take a trip and you invite us along,and we get to see parts of America we would never see.I love it,the whole kit and kaboodle of it. (English saying here in Manchester.). What your eating,where you may be staying for the night.Its fabulous ,love it . Long may it continue.xx

  112. Your reason for starting a blog really spoke to me. I just turned 66 and over the past nine months I’ve shed 35 lbs. Obviously I needed to build a new wardrobe and find your suggestions for shopping quality timeless pieces spot on for me. While I wasn’t planning on retiring just yet, COVID-19 may have made the decision for me. Without working in the corporate world, my wardrobe needs are completely different from what I’ve worn for most of my life. I look forward to your blog each day. I’m also looking forward to the next chapter of my life. I have always enjoyed making jewelry and I’m going to devote more time to what’s really a passion for me. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Gail – Tucson AZ

  113. You look great, and I admire your desire to be healthy and attractive.
    Who says being a senior, makes you old….
    I enjoy your blog and the tips on travel and packing , along with accessories and wardrobe capsules.
    I too, have a similar background and have always decided to age gracefully and look good doing it.
    In these times its important to be healthy and it all starts with your diet.
    Take care and enjoy life! I look forward to the next blog…

  114. You look fantastic!!! What an amazing change. Thanks for the tips on healthy living and nutrition. Your outfits are always classic and flattering.

  115. Well, you’ve certainly found your way again! It’s nice to know age doesn’t have to defeat you!

  116. Bless you for your sharing . You are an inspiration to all of us especially as we try to age with grace and dignity.

  117. Well done for taking your life back.

    Nobody feels great when they are overweight.

    Absolutely loooooove ALL of your outfits and you have inspired me so much. My daughter is a model and has a wonderful sense of fashion, and I agree with almost every one of your outfits. Even when you are casually dressed, you look lovely. There is no excuse for anyone to look drab or untidy, even if you are home.

    Well done again and keep up the good work and advice.

    Much appreciated.

    NATALIE HOBBS
    GEORGE, WESTERN CAPE
    SOUTH AFRICA

  118. Thank you for sharing your journey. Reading it has definitely given me plenty to consider in changing my diet.

  119. Thank you for sharing your substantial knowledge on fashion and how to easily live a healthy life with your readers. But I must admit my favorite part of your blog are the photos documenting your and Mr Mickey’s travels. Y’all live in a beautiful area!

  120. Susan, Thank you for starting and continuing your blog. I enjoy hearing your adventures and appreciate the research you have done to put this all together. Hats off to you for making an enormous change in your life. Congratulations!

  121. i look forward to your blog–I admire your drive to become a healthier person by studying science-backed information and committing to a more harmonious lifestyle. Your wardrobe is chic and flattering. Thanks for all your insight.

  122. I am 64 this week and I need to lose 15 pounds. I have lost 30 pounds in 2016. My body seems stuck. What is your advise? I am copying your style in clothes.

    1. It may be that you are still eating more food than you need. That was my issue. When I started eating smaller meals, I found that I felt better and had more energy.

  123. HI Susan,

    I really enjoy your blog. Recently, I identified with something you said about going gray – I too struggle with no matter what the hair color put on my hair it always looks brassy. Now I have not been to a hair salon in 4 months due to the pandemic ( I have an appt on June 22) and I am thinking of going gray. This is a big step.

    I also struggle with my weight and your info about nutrition is inspiring. I know what to do I just lack discipline.

    Your fashion sense is superb – you always look fabulous!!. Keep sharing.

    Sharon Burkhardt

  124. Thank you for sharing. Regular follower here! I too have pain from mysterious inflammation and plan to read the books you did. What is the most important thing you learned about your diet? Processed foods? Meat? Thank you!

    1. The most important thing I learned is how processed foods cause us to gain weight because there is so little nutrition but a lot of sugar and other additives. You feel hungry in a couple of hours because your body still didn’t get the vitamins and minerals you needed, so you eat more, and the fat gets stored.

  125. Inspiring story! I am working on my wellness reboot after breast cancer surgery and weight gain from hormone blocking meds.

    I enjoy your blog!

  126. Dear Susan,
    In the past I would go to TJ Maxx or the mall and buy whatever struck my fancy at the moment. Ended up with a closet full of mismatched items. You helped me realize that was a huge mistake. I’m now focused on a better, leaner wardrobe. Thanks for sharing what you learned.
    Now the hard part – I weigh what you did in 2009. Trying to get to a slimmer version of my old self.
    Keep up the good work.

  127. Hi Susan…I can really relate and your particulars really got my attention as we have the same name and same starting weight. I will be 63 next month. My challenge is activity level and just getting moving. Thank you for book suggestions. Can you suggest one in particular for getting moving?

    Thank you for sharing!!

    1. “Looking Good … every day” by Nancy Nix-Rice and “color me confident” from Veronique Handerson & Pat Henshaw are two of the best I’ve read. The styles shown are a bit dated, but the information still applies.

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  128. I have seen you on Pinterest. You always look so pulled together. I’m trying to do the same thing. Not spend so much on things that don’t work or are just a trend. I’m retired and live in Florida. So I need to focus on two seasons. Looking to find some basic items to build on. Thank you for sharing. Vicki Brand

    1. Welcome, Vicki! I visit Florida often, and I used to live near New Orleans, so I know what you mean about two seasons. I miss that beautiful sunshine! I’ll try to come up with some tips to help you lucky ladies who live in a much warmer climate than in East Tennessee.

  129. We are all so fortunate that you made the decision to do this. I am a recent subscriber, having found you during the COVID-19 lockdown. Thank you for sharing your journey and teaching others. You have already influenced how and where I shop, my makeup application, and I am saving up to start my French Kande collection soon (I can tell that one piece will not be enough).

  130. Susan, I have followed your blog for many years and you are an inspiration. I thank you for your fashion lessons and dietary input. I have, several times, sent you messages with questions and you always replied. Quickly!. Keep up the great work. Thank you!
    Kate

  131. Hi Susan, I love this comeback story. I too know the importance of good health mostly through good eating. I very rarely eat out( only at high quality restaurants), never eat fast food, and pretty much prepare my own foods from scratch. I mostly choose organic and have not eaten meat ( only chicken and turkey and fish) since 1977. My wardrobe too has gone back to the basics after having a closet full of clothes with tags still on them. I am 70 years old and do not take any medication or supplements. I am healthy, active and continue to enjoy life with my 4 year old twin grandsons who keep me active. I love your blog because it is down to earth. Nothing frilly or fancy to keep up with the times. Your timeless approach to what you wear and living your life is inspirational. Thank you for sharing.

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  132. I have been struggling with personal style for the last year and a half. My husband passed away in October, 2018, and it’s hard to believe how much of your personal identity disappears when you are wife, and mother, then suddenly you wake up and the kids are gone and your husband passed away. You don’t know who you are to the point that none of your clothes feel “right.” The rooms in your house don’t feel “right”. Thank you for this blog, maybe it will help.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Your words ring true for many of us, as our lives change. Keep looking for the things that give you joy. Focus on those until you always have something to look forward to each day.

  133. Thanks Susan. You look amazing and dress in lovely clothes that are very age appropriate but never frumpy. You use colour well and are a person that you would look at when you are out. You also have kept your good looks and have lovely hair. Well done, you are an inspiration.

  134. I spent several hours the other day reading all your blogs and am so impressed. I too have suffered from a myriad of health issues. I now try to focus on better eating and living a healthy lifestyle. My dilemma these past few months has been online shopping. I’ve been going crazy making purchases that really have no rhyme or reason. I am on a limited income and would love to know what Basics I should have in my wardrobe. I really don’t know my style, perhaps that is my problem. Any advice? Thank you so much for any advice Susan.
    Christine in California

    1. I wrote about my basics here. I have a classic style personality, so looking at what I consider basics may help you to narrow down what you need. I avoid impulse buying and try to create new looks using what I already have in my closet. I hope this helps.

  135. Wow! You look way younger in the 2020 photo. Isn’t it amazing how a healthy diet and exercise make all the difference as we age?

    I hope you are feeling better. You look great!

  136. How did you lose all your weight ? You look great. I’m 60 in 2 months and really want to loose just 10 lbs but it seems impossible !!! Did you go on a specific diet ?

  137. Stumbled on your blog–well done! Glad you are enjoying good health and made the connection of food and health. I’m a functional medicine practitioner and work with women who struggle with health issues and help them achieve optimal health naturally. You’re a good example of how making changes in your lifestyle and diet can lead to amazing results.

  138. Fight the good fight! Keep fighting! I’ve also had health issues that caused me to research and learn how to care for my body and what foods to eat. I’m the process I lost 10 pounds. Most people have no clue to understand. I probably eat a little more of an alkaline diet. 3 years ago I saw the way things were headed, with my health, and didn’t like it at all. I know I’m aging (61), but I’m determined to be a good steward with what God has blessed me with! Keep it up! Maybe your Covid bout would have been more serious if you hadn’t made the improvements in your life!

  139. Those of us who are blessed with more birthdays need more help and encouragement to handle life gracefully. Your blog is illuminating my life. Thank you, lovely lady!
    And now…Katie is 80! How did that happen ?. Lol lol lol

  140. GRACIAS INFINITAS POR SUS CONOCIMIENTOS. SON MUY IMPORTANTES PARA NUESTRO CRECIMIENTO EN SALUD, BELLEZA, MODA, ME ENCANTARÍA TAMBIÉN ME INGRESE A SU CORREO ELECTRÓNICO. SALUDOS CORDIALES.

  141. Susan you are such an inspiration to me. I also benefitted so much from the plant paradox and I am inflammation free and only 4kg away from my goal weight.
    My dress style has changed so much during the wellness journey I have been on since 2015. Your outfit pictures have helped me a lot. I have lost 27kg.

  142. Hi Susan,
    I just read your blog – my first – and believe you will be most helpful. i am 86 years old, but receive compliments that I don’t look my age. I have arthritis and that is keeping me less active than I would like tbe. I have exercises I’m working on. I am 5 ft. 4 in. tall and weigh 164 lbs. I use most of the tips you give us, like v-veck etc. Have just discovered the joy of scarves ! Will continue to enjoy your web-site!

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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