At 5 feet, 7 inches, Marion’s mayor, Mary Olson, has maintained her goal weight of 150 pounds for 13 years.
“It’s a new lifestyle,” she said. “If you want to be healthy, you do it. It’s hard. You have to work at it.”
She doesn’t do anything different during the holidays than what she does all year long.
For one thing, she likes to bake, but instead of keeping the goodies around the house to tempt her, she shares them with neighbors. When she bakes for special community events or family dinners, she gives away any leftovers.
When she knows she will be eating out, she prepares herself mentally for how she will eat. She said she avoids “comfort” foods like potatoes and gravy and fills up on salads or lighter fare. She eats small portions of desserts and other sweets.
Olson maintains a walking routine and stays as active as possible.
“If I can’t exercise as much as usual, I cut the number of calories I eat,” she said.
She eats a good breakfast every day and after lunch, keeps herself busy all afternoon. She said the long evenings during the winter are a problem, but she keeps fresh fruit on hand for when she feels the need to eat something.
“It’s a new lifestyle,” she repeated.
She has belonged to a weight-loss support group, TOPS KS 0899, Marion, since 2000.
“The support is good,” she said, “but you have to do it yourself.”