DEAR ABBY: This is in reply to "Enjoying Life in Florida," who felt comfortable about her body even though she was heavy. I could have written that letter. When I was a bride, I was 5 feet tall and weighed 105 pounds. After 32 years of marriage, I was widowed, and within a year, my weight had doubled.

Now, here is where we part company. I would like to tell "Enjoying Life" how I took off weight. On my 80th birthday, I was a cripple. Arthritis was racking my knees and other joints, and I ached all over. In addition, I had high blood pressure, indigestion and all of the other problems that go with obesity. Then I decided to do something about it.Today, I'm 85; I wear a size 10 dress, and even more important, I am free of pain. I walk a mile in 20 minutes. (I can outwalk most people half my age!) People who know me are astonished that I did this without help from any organized group or special diet foods.

Here's my advice to people who want to do what I did. Remember, you didn't get fat overnight. Ease into your new habits. Never talk about what you are doing, just do it! Let others "discover" that you are losing weight.

First, cut down the size of your servings; then limit your meals to healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, lean meat and non-fat milk. Drink at least 10 glasses of liquids a day (most of it should be water). When you cut out the fats and sweets, you will be surprised at how good the other foods taste. Even a baked potato can be a treat.

Start exercising. Begin slowly, then gradually increase the time, but do it so regularly that it becomes a habit.

Moderation is the key to success. Substitute common sense for bad habits. Life for me didn't begin at 40. It began at 80. - HAPPY AT LAST IN OKLAHOMA

DEAR HAPPY: What an inspirational letter! Too bad we'll never know how many men and women over 50 got off their duffs and followed your lead. Thanks for the wake-up call.

DEAR ABBY: Can you stand one more letter about unannounced visits?

We had a guest minister from Florida several weeks ago, and from the pulpit, he announced that he intended to do some visitation while he was in the area.

Then he told the story of a pastor who decided to go visiting one afternoon. He knocked on the door several times, but no one answered. He could see through the curtains that the TV was on, so he took one of his name cards, wrote "Revelation 3:20" on it, and left it behind the door knocker. (Revelation 3:20 says, "Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone will open, I will come in.")

The following Sunday, as the parishioners were leaving the church, a lady handed him a card with her name and the following message written on it: "I heard thy voice and I was naked so I hid myself . . . Genesis 3:10." - A READER IN PENNSYLVANIA

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