Sussex County-Barbara Ellicott is living proof that one can age gracefully. Having celebrated her 63rd birthday this past weekend, Ellicott, of Byram is now in the best shape of her life. Earlier this month, she completed a half marathon, and is currently training to run in a Canadian International Marathon scheduled for October. Once overweight and depressed, Ellicott credits her health to a regiment of diet and exercise. "Running has helped me mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially," said Ellicott. She also believes that her vegan diet has attributed to her newfound health. For Ellicott, success did not come easy. Ten years ago, she was attacked by a pit-bull. Injuries from the attack plagued Ellicott for months, which eventually left her in a state of depression. With both her weight and cholesterol over 200, Ellicott began to suffer from both hypertension and high blood pressure. Only after she visited the World Vegetarian Congress a few years ago, did Ellicott's life begin to change. Within six months of Ellicott changing her diet and exercise habits, her cholesterol dropped to 140. Although she chose running to be her exercise of choice, she believes that all forms of cardiovascular training help to strengthen the human body. She also believes that many Americans are misinformed when it comes to what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. "The SAD (Standard American Diet) is literally killing us," said Ellicott. She said that she has studied the ancient Chinese diet, and that the Chinese used to not suffer from illnesses like arthritis, diabetes, and high cholesterol. She claims that it was only after the Chinese adopted the SAD diet, that they too began to suffer from these types of conditions. Instead of winding down in her senior years, Ellicott now wants to share her new lease on life with others. She is currently writing a book that emphasizes the importance of diet, exercise, and spirituality in a person's life. Ellicott hopes to change the life of other people, the same way her life made such a positive turn. The book will highlight what Ellicott calls "the power of the subconscious mind."