Monday, March 9, 2015

Small Changes for a Happy Healthy Life

I have spent the past few weeks making some small changes in my
life to feel healthier and happier.   The past years of care taking
really took it's toll and my formerly energetic and positive self.
 One morning I woke up and looked closely at myself in the
 mirror and knew I needed to make some changes fast.

The first thing on my list of changes was this ….

No nightly glass of wine.  That was a tough one.  I had 
relied on that nightly glass of red wine to get through the
stressful days.  Once the stress had passed, I was still reaching
for that glass on wine each evening out of habit.  Now I know that
red wine is supposed to be good for one's heart, but I think it
was also interfering with my sleep.

Trust me ~ I did not sleep much at all!

Everyone can get by without some sleep once in a while, but when it becomes
nightly, the effects will show up.  Boy did they.  I was nervous all the time. 
I was like a taut wire about to snap at any minor annoyance.  

So for the entire month of January I quit drinking wine.  And to my surprise,
it was easy.  I didn't miss it much at all.  I would take out a pretty glass, fill it
with ice, a couple slices of lemon or lime or both and top with water.  It was

Once the month was over I returned to having a glass of wine on Friday
and Saturday nights only.  Just one, and sometimes not at all.  

After a few short days being wine free, I started sleeping better at night.
Not every night at first, but better.  I reminded myself to not stress out if I was
not sleeping well at first and eventually I started making it through the night.

I know that it will take a while for my sleep bank to fill up, but the
important thing is that it is filling up.  I am actually starting to feel rested
in the morning and that feeling is so very good indeed!

Then came the diet.  I wanted to be healthy once again.  
I was not focusing on losing weight as much as feeling good
and compliment the return of sleep.  So I cut out all the junk.
No diet coke or diet Dr Pepper.  No chips.  No cookies or
those little tiny red velvet cupcakes I so dearly love.  

I built my daily diet around healthy grains, lots of fruits and
veggies.  Limiting the meats like beef and pork and substituting
fish and chicken.  Two cups of green tea daily and lots of
water.  It took a few weeks to start noticing the change but
when I did it was a fabulous feeling.

The next thing I added was regular exercise.  I focused on
toning muscles first so I started with daily Pilates.  I eventually
worked up to 45 minutes of Pilates toning for abs, chest, arms,
butt and thighs ~ every day ~ no excuses.

After a couple of weeks of that routine I dropped the Pilates
back to 45 minutes 3 times per week and added 30 minutes of
aerobics on the other 3 days with Sundays off.

Wow!   Really starting to feel and see great results now!!!

My next step is to add some yoga to my routine.  However, the most 
important thing I have added is an attitude adjustment.  No matter what
happens, I just count to ten, breathe and let the tension go.  Nothing is
worth getting stressed out about.  

So now I am two months and nine days into my new routine.  For any
of you who are thinking of making some changes to improve your health
and outlook, here is my advice.  Change comes slowly and steadily when
you stick to a program.  Don't expect miracles in one day and don't be
disappointed when you don't see fast results.  Stay focused, stay
committed to healthy changes and you will reap the rewards.  I am
feeling better, happier, more relaxed and rested.  There is so much of
life to embrace and enjoy and I don't want to miss a minute of it.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


  1. Good for you. Some really great suggestions. I need to take better care of myself as well. I have sleep problems as well. I have been drinking the Sleepy Time Tea Extra. I do think it works. Not only sleep but my immune system. I use honey to sweeten it. I usually stay up an hour or so after my husband and dogs go to bed. That helps as well. I am always tired and always have been. I nap in the afternoon for 30 minutes or so when I need to. But my diet and exercise needs to be improved.

  2. Good for you! I'm so proud of you! Keep up the good work.


  3. What a great post! You have offered some wonderful suggestions. Thank you.

  4. Loved this post!!
    I did something similar over a year ago when I was told that I needed a knee replacement but I was too young for it and if I wanted to hold it off a bit then I needed to lose weight and get an exercise bike to maintian joint function. I did both , losing over 50 pounds in a year. But last year, due to back problems causing pain when on the bike and gaining 10 pounds over Christmas this year, I went off track but I am now trying to get back on track.
    The only type of exercise I can do is the bike because of my knee and past abdominal surgery for 4 hernias. I can not eat fruits or veggies because of IBS so I do Calorie counting. We do not drink so that is not an issue but lack of sleep is and there is nothing that I can do about that because I work full time night shift!! I normally only get aobut 5-6 hours of split sleep.....
    I hope to go part time ( 7 days in a 2 week pay period) at the end of this year, so that will help as I will be sleeping normal at least half of the time.....
    I was hoping to see a photo of the new you!!

  5. I am not sleeping and it is eating me up. It has been a long cold winter here in New England and I ate my way through it. I am now walking after work and watching what I eat. but sleep can't come soon enough.

  6. Congratulations on your positive changes and attitude!! Inspirational!

  7. Good for you, Susan! I'm glad it's paying off and that you feel happier and healthier!


  8. You have given me encouragement!

  9. Enjoy your life ! Good for you to make healthy choices for yourself! It's hard! Hang in there!Cindy


Bentley and I LOVE and read every comment.


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