MOUNT VERNON — It was a very important promise she made to herself. Now, she has made good on it.
With little more than steadfast determination and a pair of comfortable walking shoes, Mount Vernon’s Olivia Frazee has endured a brutally hot summer to drop 42 pounds and walk her way to a slimmer, trimmer self.
“I walk up the hills to Kmart and Walmart,” said Frazee, who resides on Mount Vernon’s hilly, northeast side. “You name it, I’ve walked it. I just go around town three or four times.”
Hydration is very important, especially in the kind of heat that Knox County and the rest of the nation have endured this summer.
“I drink sugar-free lemonade.” said Frazee, who graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1969. “I drink water if I get hungry, but I don’t eat after five o’clock and that helps me too. If I eat after that, I gain pounds. No evening meals. No munchies. You can’t do that when you get to my age.”
Frazee has been playing it smart during the worst of the hot weather this year.
“I go in the morning and I try to get back by noon and stay home,” said Frazee. “If I go later on, I just take the shuttle back or wait a little bit and go back when it’s not so hot.”
Frazee is already making plans for the winter, when the combination of icy sidewalks and chilling winds will prevent her from going on her walks.
“This winter, I’ll have to get on my exercise bike,” said Frazee. “I don’t have a treadmill. I can’t afford to buy one. Maybe I could put on boots and go out in (the snow), but winter is going to be a hard time for me.
“When you get over 40 or 45 years old, you just have to keep moving around,” said Frazee, who has avoided problems like diabetes and high blood pressure because of her dedication. “If you don’t, some people gain weight. It must be when you are not as active as you used to be — like a kid. It can depend on what you do for a living. Sometimes, you sit and sit. If I watch what I’m doing, I lose pretty quick. If I make up my mind I’m going to do it, I do it.”
Now, at 148 pounds after weighing over 190, she has a new battle to fight.
“To keep (my weight) down, I’ve got to keep moving,” said Frazee. “I just go everyday.”