Monday, December 17, 2012

Exercising a “Spirit” of Excellence…..

What does it mean to have a “spirit” of excellence? Well, I believe it’s doing what’s right even when no one is looking. It defines our character. Not only does it apply to things that have been asked of us, such as on our jobs or in school, but it also applies to the things that will bring us success on a personal level. For the most part, I can lay claim to the fact that I do follow this credence. However, I’m confessing right here, right now, in front of the entire World Wide Web that for the past 20+ years, I have not been practicing that spirit of excellence in the area of my health. It was not until I lost my father in 2008 of heart disease and diabetes that I got serious about a healthy lifestyle. Even then, it took a few years for me to commit to a plan of action. VERY RELUCTANTLY, I am posting this picture of me. It is not to show you that I’m proud of how I look, promise you that! No, it’s to hold myself accountable for the journey I’m on and hopefully, encourage someone out there to begin to change their lifestyle, too.

Race to Save Hearts 5K - Nov. 17, 2012
North Myrtle Beach, SC 

Long story, short….I have always realized how important diet and exercise are. I have read the books, the many articles and watched Dr. Oz. Heck, I could write a book on the subject. But it is now….NOW….that I’ve reached the point where I believe know I have to do something about it. And I hope that somewhere along this path to fitness and healthfulness, I can encourage or inspire one of you to join me in this journey.

So today, I am writing this blog to say….I’ve turned over a new leaf. I’m practicing a spirit of excellence. Don’t confuse this with I think I’m excellent. Ha! No way! Just that I choose to eat right and exercise, even when no one is looking.

In case you’re wondering who, what, where or how…..I mean that’s the nuts and bolts of the whole thing, right. Well here it is….

Nov 2011:
-adopted a vegetarian lifestyle (went cold turkey)
-lost 4 lbs right away
-gained a ton of energy
-brought my slightly increasing blood pressure back down to normal

June 2012
-began running (walk/run about a mile at first)

July 2012:
-able to run 2-3 miles

Aug 2012:
-able to run 3 miles consistently and even ran up to 5 miles

Sept 2012
-able to run 3-4 miles and even ran up to 7 miles

Oct 2012:
-ran my first 5K race

Nov 2012:
-able to run 4-5 miles consistently
-ran my 2nd and 3rd 5Ks (pace improving each time)

Dec 2012:
-running 5 miles consistently
-weight lost since I began running in June - 10 lbs.

For now, the diet is healthy. The weight-loss is slow. The running is consistent. Finding the right balance is tricky. By all accounts, I should be losing lots of weight. I don’t know why, exactly, that it’s coming off so slowly. But I have a long list of it’s “probably this”. I will continue to figure it out. I will continue to eat vegetarian (although at times, I just have to have some shrimp or piece of salmon) and I will continue to run.

My diet and exercise goals for 2013:
-run a couple more 5Ks
-run a couple of 10Ks
-run a half marathon
-begin swimming
-ride bike more
-continue to eat vegetarian
-continue to lose weight and get as healthy and fit as can be

Follow me….not by just reading my blog. But follow me in eating right, exercising and getting fit. Take it one day at time, one month at a time and then you can look back on your year and say….look what I’ve accomplished. You owe it to yourself. Practice that spirit of excellence……do it even when no one is looking.

Until next time,


  1. WEll, what a timely post. I have a post scheduled for January 31 - starting my own change of behavior on February 1st - AGAIN - I am nothing if not persistent. I am happy to follow your journey. I sure it will help me as well.

    1. I'm glad to know you're on board. We can do this....together. I've been nursing a knee problem, but it's much better. I started back running yesterday. Ran 2.5 miles and the goal is 2-3 every other day for a week or so and then back up to my 5 and 6 miles. I am running a 10K in March, so I need for this knee problem to be gone.