Finding happiness is key to discovering fit lifestyle


Fitness is a big part of Dr. Ellen Hancock’s life and she aims to share that passion with her patients as a surgeon at Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery.

August will be two years since Hancock and her husband moved to the area from Galveston, Texas, where she was very familiar with, having grown up in Austin, Texas.

However, it was the endless beautiful weather and outdoor activities potential that led the couple to Nocatee, where they now call home.

“My favorite things to do are to run, hike or being out on the bike trails in the Guana Preserve,” Hancock said. “We’re mountain biking pretty much every weekend, and you never know what kind of animals you’ll see, from bobcats to birds.”

According to Hancock, being fit and having a body that feels good is all about the choices one makes, and those choices become part of a larger healthy lifestyle.

“Surgery is one thing, but if you don’t maintain a healthy lifestyle, it won’t help like you want it to,” Hancock said. “I’ve really come to know how much what we eat can affect our bodies and the role it can have on how we age. It’s really impactful as a plastic surgeon to walk the walk, in order for patients to trust you and the advice you give them.”

However, she also understands how it can be difficult for some people but also knows that there are many paths to discovering a healthy lifestyle and what works for one person may not be the best approach for another.

“I’ve never been one to count calories and I don’t own a scale, but I still feel like I live a healthy lifestyle, but I just do it on my terms,” Hancock said.

For her, being outdoors and running or working out is a very meditative process, and it allows her to have an outlet to relax and decompress from the busy times of life.

Part of her outdoor activities also include gardening, which gives another aspect and although it may not be as demanding from a physical fitness standpoint, she enjoys growing her own healthy options to eat.

Hancock is also part of a Nocatee women’s running group, who all share a passion for running.

“It’s all about finding the activities that make you happy, whatever that may be,” Hancock said. “For me, it’s running and mountain biking, but for someone else it might be swimming or pickleball. It really doesn’t matter, as long as it’s something you enjoy, and it keeps you active.”

Having her husband by her side through much of her fitness lifestyle is something Hancock is thankful for, because she knows how having someone to share the lifestyle with can go a long way in keeping it going.

That could even be owning dogs, as she walks her dogs routinely and it serves as a measure of accountability for her.

“If I haven’t taken them on a walk for a while, I’ll know it’s time by the way they look at me,” Hancock chuckled. “They definitely help hold me accountable and make sure I’m keeping up with it. You need that in your life.” 

Fitness, healthy lifestyle