Just the Right Time

Several weeks ago, I happened upon a very interesting lady via her blog www.Susanafter60.com.  I certainly don't think it was by accident but rather by divine appointment.  

For the last several  years, I have gained way too much weight and as a result I have started to see the beginning of some serious health issues along with frustration of feeling frumpy in my clothes.  I am not a particularly fashion conscious person, but I do like to feel good in my clothes and I like to think I look appropriate for the occasion.  Due to my weight, I am having more and more trouble finding clothes that I like or don't make me feel like I am hundred years old.

When I started to read Susan's blog, I felt like I had met a kindred spirit.  She had dealt with many of the same issues I am dealing with and I was so encouraged after browsing her blog that now I too am making big changes in so many of my choices.  I am on my third week of eating more healthy food and I am purging my closet from all the items that either don't fit or don't look good on me.  I am riding my exercise bike and walking more consistently.  I am already beginning to see changes.  I would like to introduce you to Susan Street of Susanafter60...

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From her hospital bed, Susan Street began to change her life.

She was in her early 50s, overweight, prediabetic, hypertensive, arthritic, had high cholesterol, spots on her lungs, a fatty liver and had nodules on her thyroid.

Needless to say, she didn’t feel well physicallyAnd she certainly didn’t feel well emotionally. 

But when her doctor first unfurled this scroll of ailments, she was shocked.“I thought ‘I’m not ready to be this sick at this time in my life. I’m not ready to be over the hill".

After her divorce more than a decade earlier, she had lost herself in work — her focus completely on building her jewelry-making supply business.

She was seeking a means for security and self-sufficiency, her thoughts on the future, a future she was ironically shortening as she ignored the present.

With her head down and her life revolving around work, she had become someone she didn’t recognize and who looked far older than her years, right down to the hairs on her head“My friends would say I had a regular old-lady cut,” she said of her hairstyle then.

During that time, she had no desire to be social and so she stopped going out. She isolated herself more and more and thought nothing of what she was putting into her body. 

“When you’re younger you feel like you’re invincible,” she said. “(Eventually) I realized ‘I’m in bad shape. I better do something.’”

When Susan was recovering from surgery to remove her gallbladder five years ago, she picked up a book: “Eat to Live,” by Joel Fuhrman, a weight-loss guide that advocates for a nutrient-rich diet to reprogram the body. 

“It reversed my way of thinking,” she said. “I started making better choices.”

She switched to a mostly plant-based diet and within two weeks Street’s pain went away.

In six weeks, she had lost 20 pounds.

In six months, she was down 45. 

Friends and family members didn’t recognize her. 

And none of her clothes fit. 

Even her shoes were too big.

“People were astounded to see how much better I looked and how healthy,” she said.

Beyond looking great, she felt great. 

Specifically, she felt attractive again. She felt visible. She felt relevant.

Street had the opportunity to rewrite the script, to recast her image and rebuild her wardrobe with softer, more feminine clothes, something she felt was more true to her style than the crop pants and ratty old T-shirts she had been mindlessly covering herself up with for the past 10 years. 

Through much trial and error — and some tears of frustration in dressing rooms — she found a look that worked for her, that made her feel vibrant and that would accurately announce to those around her who she was.

Getting there, though, was rough and demoralizing at times.

“Everything was either too young or too old,” she said of the clothes she found. “I was not ready for polyester pull-on pants.”

The Internet is full of aspirational blogs for 20-something would-be fashionistas who are looking to get style ideas from their contemporaries. 

The bloggers on those sites are mostly photogenic young women who document their pristine lives, their on-trend outfits and the highly curated decorative touches that define their aesthetic. 

The world is their oyster.

For a 50-something-year-old woman, however, that world is more like an empty oyster shell.

There simply weren’t sites for them to get similar style advice or to get inspired.

So Street created one.

She is the lifestyle blogger behind FiftyNotFrumpy, where she posts photos and detailed information about the clothes and accessories she pairs together for various occasions. 

“The points I make here are intended to show you how I use these elements to put together looks that work for the event, the weather and my personality,” Street writes on the blog. “I am just using myself as an example to hopefully help you use these basic guidelines to figure out what works best for you.”

Her readers are like-minded women, not ready to reside in the pasture, who want to fully embrace this stage of their lives joyfully and with flair, starting with their health and ending with the perfect clutch.

“It’s something I do for my love of women,” Street said. “I remember what it feels like to get forgotten and be invisible. I’d walk in a room and no one would notice me at all.”

Through her weight loss and search for style she had rediscovered her confidence and a sense of comfort. She models, writes and travels to speak at women-centered events across the country, hoping to spark this same life-light in them.

“It’s made a world of difference,” she said of that initial decision to make a change.

The only problem is Street will be turning 62 soon, and “Sixty Not Frumpy” does not have the same ring to it.

But she has already thought of that.

“I started ,Susan After 60 Street said. “It redirects from FiftyNotFrumpy. And I started saying, ‘Celebrating our second 50 years.’  "The Island Packet"......

I am older than Susan and certainly will never be as polished or pretty as she is but she has been an inspiration for some big changes in my life.  I want to spend however many years I have left a happy, healthy, vibrant woman who encourages other women to be all they can be.  I choose to not have a rocking chair mentality but rather go out using all the gifts and talents God has given me.  Sometimes, one can be 'put' in the rocking chair through no fault of their own but I want to do everything I can do to make the 'mature' years ones with less emphasis on age and limitations and more on being healthy and a vibrant role model for the women who follow.

Please visit Susan and see if you don't feel encouraged after your time with her....

I hope to be sharing the stories of more inspirational women with you over time.  There are so many lovely mature ladies who so willingly share their time and talents and live life to the fullest regardless of limitations.

 

Hugs, and blessings,

Nanci

 

Finally...........

I can't believe it's been six months since I last posted.  Without realizing it, I had become tired of everything I was involved in, including photography and this blog.  So one day after the other passed and then it became easy to just ignore the blogging world for me and in general.  I am sorry I haven't kept up with my friends but hopefully that will change in the near future.

The Spring and Summer have been busy with a week of family time at the beach during Easter, then a Disney Cruise with my daughter's family in June and a week of family vacation at the beach in July.  We were happy to keep the 'little boys' a week in May and then our eight year old grandson spent a week with us in July.   Sweet Fisherman and I have enjoyed lots of three and four day visits to the mountains.  He was out of the country a couple of times leaving me the wonderful opportunity of spending the month of June at the beach.   I think the salt air and long walks on the beach helped clear my head and renewed my energy to attack all the endeavors I enjoy so much.

After dinner ice cream at St. Simons Island, Ga

We loved having this sweet kid for a week and it made him so happy that Papa gave him another set of lessons on fly fishing.

We loved having this sweet kid for a week and it made him so happy that Papa gave him another set of lessons on fly fishing.

Fly fishing is the man's happy place.  So glad the water was up enough in the creek that he was able to fish to his heart's content...

It's been a very restful and fun summer.  I've read several books I'll share with you later and knitted a few pieces as well as played in the flowers.  I have mainly been using my phone camera but looking forward to getting my 'big girl camera' out and returning to the photography I love.

This is a recap of my summer....can't wait to catch up with you and see what you've been up to...

Don't miss my post later in the week as it's a special one on a very inspiring woman I met recently...

Hugs and blessings,

Nanci

Spring Days at the Beach

"One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few."   Anne Morrow Lindbergh
 

"If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments"  Anne Morrow Lindberg

"Perhaps this is the most important thing for me to take back from beach living: simple the memory of each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave is valid; each cycle of a relationship is valid."  Anne Marrow Lindberg

"It is only in solitude that I ever find my own core"  Anne Morrow Lindberg

Hugs and blessings,

Nanci

Refreshing Mountain Stream...

   "The Mountain is calling and I must go"...John Muir

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

― John Muir

“No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied – it speaks in silence to the very core of your being.”

― Ansel Adam

Oh, the peace and calm of walking around in the mountains listening to the leaves crunch under each step and listening to the rush of the water as it cascades down the mountain.  It seems as though I have left any troubles behind and entered a sacred place of peace, calm, and true joy.  It always refreshing and renewing to spend time in the blue ridge mountains.

Thank you so much for dropping by.  I appreciate your visit and your comments....  Hugs and blessings, Nanci

Snow vs Sunshine

We usually have snow several times a year ranging from an inch to six to eight inches.  One of those times was last week and we got six inches.  I like it for a day or two.  Just long enough to cosy up in front of a fire while reading a book and sipping on a hot chocolate.  After that I want it to go away because we usually have some ice and it makes getting around difficult...(For those of us not used to it)....

Last week we got six inches just a day after we left on a planned trip to the beach.  Heading six and a half hours south to St. Simons Island Ga, we were met with 68 degree temps and lots of sunshine.  Perfect for long walks on the beach, exploring the island, and sitting on the porch reading while listening to the waves hit the shore....Pure heaven....

Tankers from all over the world come in to port at Brunswick and pass very close to the St. Simons shore line....I always wonder where they are from and what they are hauling....

Sunsets were magnificent....

All things must come to an end....We returned home yesterday relaxed and ready to start this new year with all it's adventures before us.

Hugs and blessings,

Nanci