Health and Fitness Part I: Commit Today to Getting Healthy

In Health, She's Enjoying the Journey by Heather Colicchio

Not that long ago, I was super-fit. I was practicing yoga several times a week, going for long walks and eating uber-healthy. Not for any reasons of vanity; it just felt good. I was on track to getting healthy and felt I had the goal in sight.

Then, life got in the way, as it often does. Inertia set in . . . an object at rest stays at rest. In my case, there was some movement. I mean, when I woke up each morning I rolled over to check email on my phone.

Awesome, right?

My husband would try to gently nudge me to get active again. I took it as an insult. “No,” he assured me, “I’m worried about you. You’re just not getting your blood moving. You’re putting yourself at risk of a heart attack or a stroke.”

So dramatic.

Then we attended a wedding and ran into a couple we hadn’t seen in a while. I asked the wife what was new. She shared with me that she had suffered a major heart attack. “Uh-oh,” I thought to myself, “maybe my husband was not being so dramatic after all.

Back to a Healthy Lifestyle

I realized at that moment that I needed to commit to getting back to a healthy lifestyle. Like many DeW’ers, I have so many people who count on me, who I am important to – and I am grateful for all of them. It’s the least I can do to be my best self for them, and for me.

I get the whole “put your own oxygen mask on first” thing. Really, I do. But I’d be a total hypocrite to tell you to do that, because I’m not doing it either. So rather, I’ll use this opportunity to commit to getting healthy again.

For inspiration to move forward, as with so many things, I really had to turn no farther than my AADOM (American Association of Dental Office Management) tribe who provide inspiration to me in a number of different aspects of my life.

I was truly inspired by some AADOM members in particular. As the president of an association that is more like a family, I get to know our members pretty well. They often tell me what an inspiration I am. Well, I’m happy to return the compliment.


First, to Danielle Dailey. Danielle is the Practice Administrator of The Dental Group in Riverdale, MD. A few years ago, after the birth of her second child, Danielle decided to make the commitment to getting healthy. She exercises daily – either running, weight lifting or cardio. Basically, anything to keep her moving!

I’ve followed her progress both on Instagram (you can follow her at @its_never_2_late) and in real life as I see her each year at the AADOM conference. Danielle is like a new person. Whereas she was probably always strong on the inside, she is also now strong on the outside. She walks with a confident body and a relaxed air.

Since Danielle’s commitment to getting healthy, she’s changed positions professionally and rid herself of some toxic people and situations in her life. As she says, “If it doesn’t directly affect me, I don’t need to entertain it.” She is setting an example of health for her young sons. Her commitment to getting healthy has not only helped her physically but as she says, “Just that 60-90 minutes of physical activity (even if it is at 4am) can get me in a positive mindset, and I feel it sets me up for a successful day. I feel I can better handle stressful situations both in my personal life and professional life.”


Next up is Shelly Otte. I was first made aware of Shelly’s transformation when I spent some time with her at the most recent AADOM conference this July. At dinner, Shelly talked about the year of transformation she had just personally experienced. It started with her commitment to take charge of her health, something she’d been somewhat neglectful of. “I helped everyone else but myself” she says (who can relate?).

Shelly said she figured out that if she gave herself the gift of health and happiness, she would be able to help many more people. As she said, “I wanted to be authentic in my smile.” She committed, she cleaned up her diet, and she got active. She lost weight, got off all medications and became a new person.

I think it is no coincidence that as Shelly took care of herself and put herself first, the world noticed. Within a year of her commitment to self-care, Shelly was ultimately chosen as a scholarship recipient to the AADOM Conference by Patterson Dental out of several hundred nominations. She became the President of the AADOM Kansas City Chapter, and most recently she’s accepted a new position within dentistry with Front Office Rocks! When you care for yourself, others take notice. It’s hard not to.

Invest in Yourself

There’s something else. It’s no coincidence to me that both Danielle and Shelly happen to  be Fellows of the American Association of Dental Office Management. Fellowship status is the highest distinction in dental office management one can achieve. They each achieved Fellowship status years apart, but both at the time they decided to commit to their health. They invested in themselves all the way around and wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, while I may not be running marathons any time soon like Danielle (go Danielle!) or cutting caffeine from my diet like Shelly (Mommy needs her coffee!), I am using this moment in time to tell the readers of DeW that it is indeed my responsibility to myself, my family, and my AADOM tribe to start taking care of myself again, starting today.

So if I don’t immediately reply to your phone call or email, I just may be out for a walk or at yoga class. Not to worry – I will reply to you shortly!

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