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by Carole Carson, AARP, September 18, 2008
How ironic that Dorothy Volker, at 70, is heading into the fittest part of her life. "Finally!" she said with a sigh. "As a child, I was never big on fitness, developing my creativity early by excusing myself from whatever physical exercise was expected of me."
"Lazy?" asks Volker, of Grass Valley, Calif. "I don't think so. I was good at reading, writing, sewing, and making things. I did what I was good at and shunned those things that made me feel less able.
"After my children were born, I had to start paying attention to diet,” Dorothy said. “And diet I did . . . and did . . . and did!" After successful struggles (without lasting effects) and many more unsuccessful struggles to control her weight, she finally found the right tools and understands the importance of keeping fit.
Three components work for her—food, exercise, and attitude. She is careful about what she eats and the quality of her food. She avoids sugar and white flour and limits her fats to healthful oils. She also exercises daily, based on advice she took from a presentation at a community "Meltdown" meeting.
Dorothy keeps her exercise and eating regimen going with the support of the "'We Can Do It' Rosies" team, a group of seven women who give tremendous support to each other. Dorothy admitted, "I tend to be independent [read 'stubborn'] and think I can do everything myself, not always giving others the opportunity to enrich my life. But I graciously accept their help and encouragement."
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