Wrapping up 2021 & looking ahead to 2022

Strolling along the quai on a wet day in Paris.

I’m SO grateful that we were able to travel again this year! We do have more travel planned in 2022; fingers crossed we’ll be able to make it happen.

Here are a few more of my favorite images from our travels in Italy and Paris:

Red autumn foliage and vineyards in background, Piedmont, Italy.
Enjoying an espresso in Bologna, Italy.
Hillside town with rolling hills in background in Piedmont, Italy.
Grapevines with ripe grapes, Piedmont, Italy.
Dramatic sunset in the hills of Tuscany, Italy.
Ile de la Cité Paris in Autumn. Green benches, golden leaves.
L'heure bleu in St Germain, Paris.

For a strong & healthy 2022

One of the best things I’ve done for myself in the last couple of years was to join (and stick with!) the Faster Way to Fat Loss program. If you can, try not to let the name put you off. It’s not a “quick weight loss” program or fad diet. It’s a sound program that combines nutrition and targeted exercise to build lean body mass and give your metabolism a boost.

Underneath the Duomo dome in Florence.

One of the top benefits of having done this program these last 18 months was the increased strength and stamina I enjoyed during our travels. I was able to hoist a bag into the overhead bin with ease, and walk all day with no back pain. When we visited Florence, we climbed to the top of the famous Duomo, all 463 steps! In the past, my knees would have been complaining halfway up (and all the way down!). Thanks to the strength training workouts included in the program, I was able to get up and down without any joint pain.

My friend and coach Karen Karlsen has a new round starting January 3. If you’ve been thinking about getting stronger and fitter in 2022, I encourage you to try this program. I’m still a paying client, and think it’s worth every penny!

If you missed our LIVE yesterday, you can watch here:

Don’t forget…I’d love to hear from you

I’ll be keeping my Reader Survey open for a few more days for the folks who were traveling or offline over the holidays. You can fill out this short survey HERE. I appreciate your time and feedback!

Happy New Year! I hope 2022 is a healthy and happy one for you and your loved ones!

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  1. Looking toward to travel again, but just seems like too much of a hassle right now. Test before leaving, test upon arriving. Quarantine if something happens in between. Ports or destinations closed when you get there, that is if you’re allowed to go in the first place. With possibly more viral mutations, peoples refusal of vaccinations I’ll be postponing travel, especially overseas, for now. Living vicariously through your pictures for now. Thanks for posting.
    Here’s to a healthier 2022 !

  2. I can attest to the effectiveness of the faster way program. It is the healthiest, most common sense balanced program I’ve ever tried. And the results are real.
    Lovely photographs Susan! You have a good eye…I really felt refreshed looking at these….thank you for sharing them!

  3. As Nancy mentions travel seems like a distant dream – a distant plan. Right here abd right now our community is witnessing a huge surge in positive cases and no let up in sight. Pretty frightening! We have our booster now but our mayor ( vaccines and boostered) has COVID along with his wife. Scary. Hopefully things are better where you are, Susan. Cheers and hope for 2022!

  4. Your photographs were beautiful! We have a river barge cruise scheduled for September 2022…I can’t wait to see Paris again!

    1. Hi Ellen, I have not yet. It seemed like we no sooner got home than both the holidays and Omicron hit, so I decided to push my travel recaps back to early 2022. I’ll be working on these in the next few weeks.

  5. Thank you Susan for all the beautiful images from your travels. You have such a wonderful eye for lovely photographs. I’ve asked this in the past but lost the information, would you share the type of camera you use? Also, is your camera one you can comfortably carry when you’re traveling?
    I have shoulder issues and having anything too heavy becomes a problem.

    1. Somehow my post did not go through:
      The photos of Tuscany, in particular, are evocative and lovely. It reminds me of the best of my cooking school visit there, 10 years ago.

      Susan, I did look into the FWTFL program at their website, but nothing was explained about the diet / eating component of the plan. I would not even try a program for a month without more information about what one eats and when / how / what that large portion of a health program actually entails. I am confident of the fitness aspect, but incorporating an eating plan into one’s life is much more of a question. If you can elaborate on the way one cooks and eats, # of times a day, etc., it would be helpful.

      1. Hi Joan, my friend Karen can better address specifics, but this plan doesn’t require any special supplements or packaged food. It emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods. For example, my lunch is usually some kind of large green/vegetable salad with perhaps chopped chicken breast and beans, quinoa, or legumes. I often just throw in whatever’s leftover in the fridge. Finish up with fruit, maybe some bread, rice or gluten free crackers, and a square of dark chocolate.

        1. Thank you, Susan.

          So one fasts / skips breakfast, but has lunch and dinner? Or is it small, frequent meals? I already eat healthily, but how one eats those foods and quantities and when are important.

          I did not think it entailed purchased foods like older subscription health plans, but I do want to know how it would change things from how I currently feed my husband, how easy it is to incorporate the changes in one’s day.

          Is there a way to address questions to Karen before deciding if one wants to enroll?
          Thank you.

          1. Hi Joan, if you’re on Instagram you can always contact her with a direct message. Her account is @karenmkarlsen

          2. Hi Joan! Thank you for your questions. We eat whole food nutrition, with a focus on protein (for muscle retention), lots of healthy fats and healthy carbs like oats and sweet potatoes. We intermittent fast, usually starting with an 8 hour eating window. You start with a large break-fast, with lots of satisfying protein. We track macronutrients each day to check that we are in balance— that’s the sweet spot for fat loss and energy. If you use Susans provided link, it will take you to my web page and you can read more. If you can navigate an app and be ina Facebook group for your education and accountability, you’re a good candidate for the FASTer Way! Karen

  6. I can highly recommend the FWTFL program and Karen as a coach. I am 73 years old and joined in August 2020. Love the workouts and meal guides and feel great! Karen is a wonderful and very helpful coach! Have had very positive health reports from my doctor so plan on continuing my journey for as long as possible. Thanks Karen!

    1. Linda you are such a champ. You understood that this was not a short term assignment and LOOK where you have brought yourself! You know that it takes consistency and dedication to your “why” — yours was clearly a “lifestyle” why and it has served you and your family so well! Karen

  7. Beautiful pictures! I love Italy. We have a river cruise booked for August (already postponed it twice) & are planning to go to Venice at the end of it, as one of our small travel group has never been to that elegantly spooky city. IF we get to go this time.

  8. I really don’t like hearing about Faster Way to Fat Loss. It’s got some MLM overtones that I’m not comfortable with and it keeps me from clicking on more of your links when they come up in my feed.

    I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you, but promoting paying for a coaching program that essentially tells you to download MyFitnessPal to track your food doesn’t sit well with me.

    I’ve been following you for years now and like your content a lot in general, but the more subtle ads I see for this coaching program, the more likely I am to avoid your site. I hesitated to write this, but I figure that since it’s the time of year where you’re looking for reader feedback via your survey that I should speak up.

    1. I agree, Sarah, that the not-so-subtle marketing is off-putting. Very true! But as a 78-year-old who has measurably improved health after 6 month on the FW program, I just have to say…IT WORKS! The program, the positive coaching, the community, the nutrition guidelines….all the component parts work for me. I am doing all I can for my future wellness.
      **I highly recommend the program** ((and just try to look past the promotional marketing techniques)).

      1. Thank you Marilyn for your reply. You have done the work and it shows. You have committed to your health and longevity for the sake of your family and you really see the value in programmed health content. I am so so grateful for you and all my clients that truly have benefitted from The FASTer Way. You realize this is no scam and that the FASTER Way mission is to help end obesity and disease in our country. The FASTer Way is not an MLM business model, but it does depend on spreading the word socially. That’s the way we help people live better, fitter lives, filled with energy and purpose! You get that!! ❤️Karen

    2. Hi Sarah, understood, but it’s not really an MLM program. And they’ve now created their own app to track food, so MFP is no longer required. I’m sharing my experience for those who may be interested. I realize not everything will appeal to everyone and you’re always welcome to skip over content that doesn’t appeal to you.

  9. Susan—
    Partly because of your recommendation I joined FWTFL last August. It’s been amazing (although maybe not quite as easy as the interview suggests—I was a confirmed morning toast eater and bedtime snacker). But I am also a vegan and I’d like to hear more about how the program addresses this.

    I started reading your blog during the lockdown and it’s remained a real pleasure during this difficult time.

    1. Hi Deborah! Losing weight period is NOT easy. It takes time, consistency and accountability to make your habits become a sustainable lifestyle for the long haul. I would never tell a client that losing weight is easy. It takes focus and dedication to develop lasting health habits. In hope you are in our Vegan lifestyle group and that you are thriving in your journey! We love plants and we love good plant protein. Karen

  10. BONNE ET HEUREUSE ANNÉE ” 2022 “, Susan!
    La belle France me manque également!….Thanks for your fascinating Blog, always there for us.

  11. I have been doing FW for awhile, and I agree the name is horrible. When I tell people about the program, I always say the name is stupid, but the program is not.

    I love the 30 min exercise program, the variety, and I really do feel stronger. I have been less faithful about the eating portion, (intermittent fasting) but the focus on Whole Foods, looking at sugar, is all very healthy. I love that they have a vegan/ regular menus. I rarely cook off the menus but get ideas.

    I joined, when I could visibly see the difference in you!

    Again , I wish the name was more about healthy lifestyle and not weight loss.

    1. I am so glad you realized the FASTer Way was a comprehensive wellness plan designed to prevent disease and end obesity in America. There are many still out there who would love to lose weight, and when you implement our overall health strategies, that is a desired side effect. We focus on energy, nonscale wins, and how we FEEL first and foremost. That said, for women looking to control fat gain in midlife, this WORKS. I loved it so much I became a coach!

  12. Hi, Susan,
    I joined FW after reading your comments and have been nothing but completely pleased! For the woman who is worried about the food part of the program, I would say, there is nothing to worry about. As you said, whole, natural food IS the program. I have been pretty faithful to the intermittent fasting and it has made a huge difference in how I feel, no acid reflux, no bloated feeling, I just feel good and proud of myself for following through. The exercise program is awesome, but is the part I have the easiest time neglecting! However, I have jumped back on it so I can get going in the right direction for the new year. I so hope we can get back into our travel routine in 2022. I agree with the comments about it feeling like such a hassle. I just need to DO IT, jump back in, like the exercise!

    1. I am so glad you realized the FASTer Way was a comprehensive wellness plan designed to prevent disease and end obesity in America. There are many still out there who would love to lose weight, and when you implement our overall health strategies, that is a desired side effect. We focus on energy, nonscale wins, and how we FEEL first and foremost. That said, for women looking to control fat gain in midlife, this WORKS. I loved it so much I became a coach!

  13. Looking back over past posts the FWTFL program is working for Susan.. There is lots of info on the FWTFL ( agree that name and the word FAT is SO passé) site about the program and certainly many folks who have found success attesting. I know some people really need coaching to reach success and to have someone to be accountable to. The reality is IF is as simple as it gets. You eat at noon and supper then close the window and don’t eat for 16/18 hours. When you eat choose more fruits and vegetables and include some type of protein with each meal. There is no magic in weight loss. If you are already moving a lot then dial in your intake really look at what you are eating. If you are eating healthy ( be honest with your self) then maybe you need to get the derrière in gear and move. Throw in some weight work and you’re good. You can do it on your own but sometimes a good coach helps you break it down and makes the journey a little easier. Older women often have body dysmorphia, a good coach can help free you of that and.get you on the road to health. Try IF on your own, it is not for everybody BUT after awhile it is second nature to close up shop after the evening meal and not open until noon. We have to get over our entrenched belief in the ‘three squares’ model.

    1. I think the word FAT is a medical one, really: visceral fat is the fat over the belly area that is so unhealthy and that we add as we age if we don’t work to counter it. When I had a myomectomy, the surgeon said he was grateful that I did not have a lot of visceral fat, as it makes surgery much more difficult.

  14. These photos are lovely; you really do have a good eye. I am still #Envious about your travels but working on simply being happy for those that are able to travel. Look forward to your recap.