Dear Friends,

Greetings from Breathing Better, Living Well!

Boy, we're into the second half of January already. Time is flying by and today in Holland, Michigan, so is the snow. For me, mid-January is the time to stop and take stock of how I'm doing on those New Year's resolutions. Now, maybe you're doing just great with the ways you resolved to make yourself a better you. But, like many of us (myself included) you might be struggling with goals that were just too big to take on. You might be saying, "Ugh! I've already blown it – I give up. Forget it. I don't need to feel even worse about it than I already do." Well, my friends, before you throw in the towel, take a minute and read on.

First of all, no blame game here. At BBLW, we don't do guilt! The year is still young and we all still have time to make a change.

When I was participating in Weight Watchers, one wise leader knew that sometimes it was simply too much to take on several changes at a time. So, at the close of our meetings she would suggest that we each decide on one small and very do-able thing to move toward weight loss in the coming week. She didn't say, "You have to lose two pounds this week, or you have to exercise for 30 minutes every day." So, even if we went home and did something like…cut out just one really bad food, drank more water, or used the steps instead of the elevator, we'd feel better and lose weight. And you know what? It worked… every time!

Today I'm challenging each of you to make one small, but positive –very do-able – change this week and to stick with it. How about skipping every other cigarette? How about smoking only outside? How about doing arm curls with soup cans or small water bottles during television commercials? How about walking more, even if it is around the house? How about eating less salt and drinking more water if you don't have a doctor's restriction on those? How about stopping in at our BBLW community just once a day to say a friendly hello to folks at the Oxygen Bar? Little things like this add up to a healthier and happier you. They really do! And they brighten the day of others. It’s all about taking little steps that add up to a big difference.

Here are some ideas… and I challenge you to choose one, or be creative and find something yourself. It's never too late to get started, and as you’ll see in our featured story, little steps add up to big changes.

Think you can’t exercise? Well, think again! Read The Queen of Pulmonary Rehab, the story of Betty Roemer, a lady who recently celebrated her 20th year – yes that’s 20 years – in pulmonary rehab! I know you’ll be amazed learning how this brave lady changed her life by taking one little step at a time! Thanks to Betty, and to rehab director Darlene Watkins at St. John Macomb Hospital for sharing this inspiring story.

If you need to quit smoking, there are several things you can do to start. Visit our Quit Smoking page. “No Butts About It” and you will find the information you need to start quitting, even if you can only think about “Getting Ready to Quit.” Do you need to talk to someone about quitting? Hosted by former smokers and quitters, BBLW has three quit chats a week. Monday at 8pm, Wednesday at 1pm, and Saturday at 8pm. These are all Eastern Standard Time. Regular chat is Friday night at 9pm and Newbie chat on Tuesday at 8pm. Just click on “Chat” at the top of our community page.

Visit Lori Palermo’s website, Love your Lungs, Breathe for Life for additional quit information. Lori will soon be posting more stories and also helpful information on quit aids.

Looking to eat healthier this year? Watching your salt intake is a start. Sit down and visit with nurse Sandra Parkington, as she talks about Your Heart and Salt in an interview on our BBLW website. You can also visit Sandra’s brand new website for more information and recipes.

Eileen, one of our moderators, has started back in pulmonary rehab and she’s posting on Kasey’s blog for now until Kasey begins rehab again. Click here to view Eileen’s latest post, ask questions — and cheer her on! Yeah, Eileen!

Thanks for stopping in at our Breathing Better Living Well Bookstore to browse our expanded selection. We’re reviewing new books all the time, so stay tuned for additions!

Finally – and I realize this is totally self-indulgent – but I wanted to share with you this picture of me and my daughter, Corinne, at her recent wedding celebration. Ah, young love!

The last thing our Weight Watchers leader would say as we were leaving the meeting was, "Good-bye – I'll see less of you next week." Well, right now I'll say, "Good bye, and I'll see you all – the BBLW one-change, one step wonders – just a bit healthier and happier in a few weeks.

Remember, little steps add up to going a long way. Start today…you never know where it might lead.

Have a good breathing day, my friends.


“Many strokes overthrow the tallest oaks.”
~~~ John Luly