CEO Newsletter – Shaping Your Healthy Future

When I visited Atlanta recently to meet with the management team, we exchanged ideas about how to stay active and in shape. Maintaining a healthy workforce benefits the company, as well as each employee. Danya has always given health insurance top priority as a benefit, paying the majority of the premium to keep it affordable for all employees, despite the year-after-year increases in premiums. We also support the health fairs, subsidize health club dues, and provide many other health-related benefits. However, ultimately, your health depends on you, and how you take care of yourself!

As you begin to ponder New Year’s resolutions for 2012, think about what you can do to improve your health—get in shape, exercise, cut down on unhealthy foods or drinks, or quit harmful habits such as smoking. I realize that I need a new health strategy. Simply wanting to lose 10 pounds is not enough. Fred and I have had an ongoing bet that one of us could lose more weight than the other. After 5 years, we both lost about 50 pounds—and we both gained about 50 pounds—for a net loss of zero!

I’m trying to figure out my next goal, such as a 10K race or maybe a sprint triathlon. I’m a decent swimmer, love to bike, and can run a pretty good 5K. I may be slow for a competition, but I might give that a try. Nikki Lovell and Sarah Preston ran and finished the Marine Corps Marathon last month—that was inspiring! Stacy Dietzler in Atlanta is a regular marathon runner, and she told me about an interesting and helpful website called, which provides information about all types of sports and competitive events.

There are also some events we could do together as a company, such as the Bright Beginnings 5K in DC in the spring and the AIDS Walk in Atlanta in the fall. We have had several participants in both of these events over the past few years, but we could step it up and present a larger Danya showing—what do you think? If you have health problems and can’t take on something as challenging as a long-distance run or a mountain climb, you might be able to work toward a walking goal or set your sights on another low-impact fitness routine.

Another great exercise is to dance—so I hope to see you all out on the dance floor at our high-energy Danya holiday parties coming up over the next couple of weeks! Give it some thought, but most importantly, just get out there and move!

Please share your ideas and suggestions in the comments. I wish you all the best with your families and friends during this holiday season.




7 thoughts on “CEO Newsletter – Shaping Your Healthy Future

  1. Hey, Jeff:
    I think personal fitness is a gift you give yourself, but also to those who love you. I finished my third Marine Corps Marathon in October in honor and memory of a friend of mine killed in Iraq in 2005. My husband joined me in training two years ago and since that time he’s lost 60 pounds and we are enjoying life on a whole new level now. We run together, bike together, and have refocused our free time on fitness – and it’s made a very big difference in our health and overall well being. Our oldest daughter also completed her first half marathon with us in Nashville this past April, and our youngest daughter and son-in-law are our biggest supporters, and amazing sign makers – so running has become a family affair! 🙂

    I’ve decided this was my last marathon, but plan on continuing with the MCM 10K each year as part of Team Beav – the running team named in honor of my friend, Major Gerald Bloomfield, II who looked a lot like the “Leave it to Beaver” star … “The Beav” was his call name as a Cobra pilot. Words of advice for anyone who wants to do a marathon? Train well, surround yourself with other runners (like Jen Hamlin, my inspiration) – and have fun! The journey is amazing, and the finish line a thing of beauty!

  2. Jeff, I really appreciate Danya’s commitment to health insurance. And I also love that you focus on movement in this message. Regarding weight loss goals, there is a lot of evidence that weight is not an accurate measure of health – that people can be fit and fat.

    I think what is most important is access to wellness care and healthy food and finding movement that you love and can incorporate into your day. I’m a dancer, a walker and a yoga practitioner and I feel so much better when I am doing them regularly. The energy infusion I get really helps me have the focus and resources I need to do my job too.

  3. Yes! It always helps to have support from those around you- whether at work, home, or in your social life. It would be great to get together as a team for a 5K walk or run. We could even organize a team-building sports event each year (e.g., kickball, softball, etc.) to get everyone outside and off their butts. Thanks for helping to keep us motivated!

  4. I ran in my first marathon this October, and was so inspired by the experience. It’s amazing to see so many people running in honor of loved ones and for their overall health, well-being and sense of accomplishment. As Bridget mentioned, surrounding myself with other runners in my everyday life helps keep me motivated, so thank you, Nikki, for sharing those experiences and battle stories! Everytime I run in a race, I run into people I know from other parts of my life, and it is always a welcome surprise. I look forward to running the MCM next year, and hope more people will join in the marathon and 10K!

  5. I’m loving the discussion so I thought I would chime in! On December 31, 2010, I sat down with my shiny new iPad and prepared a list of my 2011 goals. At the top of the list was to take charge of my health and pursue one of my new passions-Running! I got the running bug at the 2010 Atlanta AIDS 5K Run. I set a rather ambitious goal to run 4 5K and 2 10K events in 2011, including the Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest 10K. I am proud to say that I have exceeded my goals, having run 6 5K and 2 10K events and my very first Half Marathon! I sought out other runners for advice and support. I did a lot of reading and have even used Twitter and other social media such as Daily Mile. I’ve been able to maintain my weight loss-about 40 pounds-and have improved my mental focus and overall health. While I was training for my first half marathon, I made a commitment to actually follow through and complete the program. There were days when I felt like doing anything else, but I stayed focused and dedicated, and rewarded myself along the way. Those hours and miles became “me time” and I hold them sacred, so to speak. It’s taken some time but I finally have started calling myself a runner. I like what Bridget said, “Personal fitness is a gift you give yourself, but also to those who love you.” My partner, Jeff, and I run together when we can, so running has become a family affair for us as well. I’ve already started working on my 2012 goal to run a full marathon. We’ll see how it goes. Maybe I’ll head up to DC next year for the MCM. And yes, the journey is amazing, and the finish line is a thing of beauty.

    • Hi, Patrick! You are more than welcome to join Team Beav for the MCM next year – just let me know when you decided to do it, and I’ll be sure you get what you need to be successful! 🙂 The nice thing about the MCM is there are runners of all skill levels, and if you can maintain a 13-14 minute mile you can “Beat the Bridge” which is the only real obstacle to finishing in my opinion after doing three. I will be your biggest cheerleader if you decide to do this since I’m going to do the 10K next year.

      Congratulations on your accomplishments thus far, and keep running!!

      Best regards – Bridget

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