My Wellness Story: Sue Burtch

Product Marketing Specialist Sue Burtch is happy to be a stronger, leaner version of herself these days. Here she shares what motivated her to take action, how she juggles work and family to stay on track and how it feels to weigh 35 pounds less.

What do you do to take care of your health and overall well-being? Why is it important to you?

I had knee surgery in 2012 for an arthritic knee, and after that healed I realized that I wasn’t getting any younger. I needed to take charge of my body so that I could be a fit mom and a good example for my kids, and I wanted to keep active to work around my knee arthritis pain as much as I possibly could. “A body in motion stays in motion!” I’ve also had essential hypertension since I was 20, and I was finally able to switch to a much lower dose of medicine this year.

How do you balance family time, a busy work schedule and taking care of your health?

I fit in exercise classes and personal training three days a week at lunchtime with Milwaukee Fitness Coordinator Kayla Coppernoll. I also swim at my health club on Thursdays while my daughter is at swim team practice. She recently trained for a triathlon, so we also rode bikes and ran on weekends. Exercise has become a family activity! My family has also started eating healthier with smaller meals, healthier snacks and more fruits and vegetables.

Describe in one sentence how you are feeling as a result of the changes you’ve made. Include how it has impacted your daily life.

I’m so much stronger and find that with my new muscles and 35 pounds (and counting) off, I am able to keep up with my kids and everyday tasks are so much easier. Now I don’t mind parking in a spot that’s far from the door, and no more panting after climbing one flight of stairs! I have also found that I have been able to translate my determination to improve myself to other areas of my life.

What tools or resources (e.g., an app, pedometer or Take Action activity) do you use to help support your health goals?

I started out in fall of 2012 with the Choose to Lose weight-loss program at Rockwell Automation. I also take advantage of lunchtime fitness classes and personal training offered in the Milwaukee fitness center. I use the Lose It! app to track my food and exercise, and I wear a Fitbit activity tracker every day. My Fitbit automatically synchronizes with our Step It Up challenge, so I don’t have to manually log my steps.

What is the last red vegetable or fruit you ate? Why?

Red peppers in some chicken fajitas. Why? Because they’re delicious!

What inspired you to share your story?

Kayla says I’m one of her favorite success stories! She taught me how important it is to include weight training in your workouts, and that has made all the difference for me. Having the fitness resources at Rockwell Automation has been so valuable for me, and I want others to know that they’re available. [Editor’s note: If you don’t have a fitness coordinator at your location, consider working with a health coach.]

What message do you have for someone looking to make healthy living a part of his or her daily life?

It’s a long road, and there are no shortcuts that will work in the long term. I try to do something active at least six days a week, and I have to remember never to stop doing that. At the same time, with my high level of activity, I’m able to enjoy treats like pizza and frozen yogurt without worrying—as long as it’s occasional. It’s really about the long-term, day-to-day choices. If I make good choices and exercise most of the time, there is room for fun and indulgences—that’s a good balance!

Your Turn!
Thanks to Sue for sharing her story. Now we want to hear from you! What are you doing to stay active, eat better or relax more? Let us know by completing this form. (Don’t worry. You don’t have to answer every question.) Just tell us what motivated you to take action, what you’re doing now to keep it up and any outcomes you’ve seen so far.

Published: May 9, 2014