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Ms. Senior Georgia discusses health before pageant

VALLEY — Reigning Ms. Senior Georgia Sandra Komiskey has made more than 100 public appearances since winning her title this past August. She’s in the West Point area this week and plans to make an appearance in the Ms. Senior Southwest Georgia Pageant this Saturday at the New Horizon Theatre.

She’s had a busy week in the local area. On Monday, she was the guest speaker at a Lunch N Learn program at Bradshaw-Chambers County Library and on Wednesday was the speaker for the noon hour meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Valley.

She is bringing positive message about aging.

“Seniors want to be visible, to socialize and have fun,” she said. “They want to be independent and not be a burden for their children.”

Komiskey has visited senior centers, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and nursing homes throughout Georgia.

“I love to hear their stories,” she said. “I love to see them smile.”

She’s also been to day cares.

“They love the crown I wear,” she said.

Komiskey is a native of New Jersey, has lived in Colorado and has been in the Alpharetta, Ga. area since 1990. She retired as a financial analyst in 2015 and entered the Ms. Senior Georgia Pageant last year to socialize with women in the 60 and over age group and to do some of her baton routines on stage.

“I had no expectation of winning, especially after seeing the other 16 contestants. They were so amazing and so talented!’ she said. “When they announced me as the winner I thought, ‘Oh gosh! What do I do now?’”

Komiskey said that she has had a wonderful year thus far and has thoroughly enjoyed spreading a message about eating right, exercising and enjoying life. She’s learned much about staying healthy from her husband, who is a toxicologist.

She says it’s important for older people to stay as stress-free as possible, to drink clear water, to walk a lot and to be careful about what you eat.

Eating healthy food, she says, helps keep a healthy brain. “Everyone needs to get adequate sleep, and it’s a good idea to challenge your brain by doing different things. “I love to do ballroom dancing with my husband. It’s great exercise, and it challenges your mind to make the right moves. It really gets your brain going.”

Komiskey said that her mother is 91 and is still enjoying life. Younger people who make good choices today may live to enjoy it much later on.

“It will help you when you’re in your nineties,” she said.

Her advice on what to eat to stay in shape?

“Avocados, coconuts and coconut oil are good for you,” she said. “Green tea is good. Coffee will help your liver and your brain but is not good for your bones. Ginger tea is good for your stomach, Asian mushrooms can help you guard against cancer, and vitamin C is something you need every day. I don’t eat salt, I eat spices. The more wholesome your food, the less likely you will need supplements.

“Being Italian, I drink one glass of wine every night. I can’t turn that down.”

Komiskey said that she works out every day.

“I try hard to stay healthy,” she said.

It hasn’t always been that way. At one time she was heavily overweight and wore a size 16 dress. She disciplined herself to lose 70 pounds and now wears a size 4.

Being overweight was a factor in her first husband dying of a heart attack. She was heading down that same road and knew that she’s have to make some major lifestyle changes if she wanted to see her son grow into manhood.

“I feel so honored to represent seniors,” she said. “I love going to different places and meeting people.”

She said she has noticed one big difference between the generations.

“Kids and college aged students like to give me the thumbs up,” she said.

Older folks aren’t into that as much.