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Resolution 2011: Area seniors say it's never too late to be healthy and happy

January 01, 2011|By MARIE GILBERT | marieg@herald-mail.com
  • What's on your resolution list? Weight loss? Being healthy? Well, it seems you're not alone
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A new year has arrived and with it those pesky resolutions.

Some people vow to conquer bad eating habits, others have good intentions of starting an exercise program.

It's all part of setting off on yet another road to self-improvement.

Despite research by the University of Minnesota that shows about 80 percent of people who make resolutions in January fall off the wagon by February, many older adults in the Tri-State area say they are making an attempt in 2011 to make positive changes.

Here's a look at what some people are planning.

While shopping for post-Christmas bargains recently, Rosemary Winfrey of Hagerstown said she started early on her resolutions for the new year.

"I've been wanting to lose weight for a long time," she said. "So I decided if I had the willpower to avoid holiday foods, I would be even more committed after the first of the year."

Winfrey, 65, said she has made the same resolutions "for more years than I can count. But this is the year."

While many people attempt to change their eating habits, others resolve to live better lives in others ways, including doing volunteer work or helping the environment by going green.

Alan Greifen of Greencastle, Pa., said he wants to become involved in a youth program at his church.

The 70-year-old said it's often difficult for churches and organizations to find people willing to devote time to helping others.

"But I'm retired, I live alone, so there really is no excuse," he said. 

Greifen said he has never been a person to make resolutions when January rolls around.

"I think it's hard for most people to stay committed to certain life changes," he said. "Instead of resolutions, it might be better to have hopes or goals."

Karen-Anne Jones of Hagerstown said she has made a pledge to do more recycling.

"I tend to throw everything in the same trash bag," the 60-year-old said.

"It doesn't take that much effort to separate plastic and paper."

She also plans on using more green products to help protect the environment.

"Little things can make a big difference," she said.

Lorraine Henry of Waynesboro, Pa., said she wants to spend more time relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.

"I've always loved being active," the 58-year-old said. "But over the past few years, I've had a job that has been very demanding. In 2011, I'm determined to take time to de-stress. I want to do some cross-country skiing and maybe learn to play tennis."

Dave Proll, 62, of Martinsburg, W.Va., said he wants to stop procrastinating.

"I tend to put things off," he said. "I have a ton of home projects that I keep pushing into the background. In 2011, no excuses."

He also wants to eat more healthful, which means giving up his favorite fried foods.

"And it wouldn't hurt to hit the gym more often," he said.

With a number of resolutions, Proll said he is hopeful one will actually stick.

"I tend to be a repeat offender," he said.

That's something Darla Jacobs of Hagerstown has never had to admit.

"I don't do resolutions, never have in my 75 years," she said. 

Instead, she has stumbled across a more realistic form of change for 2011: self-acceptance.

"I am who I am," she said. "I try to be a good person, I try to stay healthy and I try to incorporate civility in everything I say and do. Respect yourself, respect others and you'd have a better world."

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