New Year's resolutions: Weight loss and exercisingA retired ranch wife and teacher, Mary Ann Unruh, 73, of Dickinson likes to keep busy — be it attending her grandchildren’s events or exercising at West River Community Center.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
A retired ranch wife and teacher, Mary Ann Unruh, 73, of Dickinson likes to keep busy — be it attending her grandchildren’s events or exercising at West River Community Center.
She knows about New Year’s resolutions, having achieved last year’s goal of losing weight, exercising and improving her health.
“With my weight loss, I’ve been able to lower my cholesterol numbers as an added bonus,” she said.
Daughter Kathy Meyer described Unruh as being a go-getter — getting up at 5 a.m. to go swim or to walk.
“She’s a very active person — she’s very health conscious,” she said. “We’re very proud of her for having reached her goal.”
Daughter Kim Dressler said her mother has become stronger for going through the hardships in life.
“She’s a tough gal — no matter what she does, we’re proud of her,” she said.
Unruh was teaching school in Beulah when she met her husband, Clarence. They ranched 15 miles north of Hebron.
Her life has had its share of personal losses and medical challenges.
As a post-polio survivor, she experiences achiness and believes exercise is essential to preserving muscle function.
“With post-polio, you have to be careful not to overdo it — it’s touchy,” she said. “I feel so much better when I exercise and keeping my resolution wasn’t difficult.”
She also was diagnosed with an aneurism, and the doctor said to stop any heavy lifting. With the need to slow down, Unruh struggled with her weight and wanted to lose 20 pounds. She started walking and using the weight machines at the community center. Other days, she participated in water aerobics.
Unruh joined the TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) support group in Dickinson.
“Going to TOPS every week, I was mindful of weighing in — that helped,” she said.
Unruh was encouraged to keep a food journal, exercise and eat healthy.
“One thing, I don’t eat as much flour anymore — that was my biggest thing,” she said.
She things white flour seems to stimulate her allergies.
“If I eat a hamburger at a restaurant, my nose always itches,” she said.
Unruh’s 2013 resolution is to stay at her weight goal and continue walking.
“Walking not only helps my body, but also my spirit,” she said. “If I stayed at home and not walk, I’d be sunk and get depressed.”
Unruh encourages others to set a goal for themselves — to exercise more or to become healthier than the year before.
“I can see how weight loss has really helped me,” she said. “It affects your quality of life. As soon as you start lugging that extra 20 pounds around, your quality of life goes down.”