STEPS Success Stories

Burke Elementary School Staff Team Up for STEPS Success

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Burke Elementary STEPS team (left to right): Kim Harris, Sagufa Khan, Cindy Brown,Joyce O'Guin

We four ladies at Burke have been doing the STEPS Challenge since day one. As we are four middle-aged ladies, health and fitness are very important to us. These challenges come at a time for us when we realize our bodies need a little help; not temporary help, but a real lifestyle change so we may enter the next phase of our lives healthy and fit.

We participate in the STEPS Challenge as a team. It motivates us when we know we’re accountable to one another. We especially liked the challenge where you get points for resting.

We’re looking forward to the next STEPS Challenge!

-Burke Elementary STEPS team
Hickman Mills C-1 School District


Filling Up on Fresh Fruit with STEPS

The September challenge, ‘Focus on Fruit’, was a great challenge. I found it rather interesting on how little of fruit I was eating before this challenge. It was expensive to do, as I tried to get a great variety of fresh fruit each day. But it was fun and I could tell my clothes were starting to get looser by the end of the month. I would say I lost around 3-4 lbs. with this challenge. My family liked all the choices too. I am trying to continue the push on the fresh fruits. My fridge is so much more colorful!

The October challenge will be a little harder challenge for me. I need to get motivated to exercise more. The older I get the lazier I become…I sit in the office all day at the computer and once home I get dinner started and then shortly after that, off to sleep. But I do appreciate this challenge from SNA. It really helps me think about my health and what I can do to improve it!

-Connie Hodges
New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp.

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Pembroke School District Members use STEPS for Motivation and Inspiration

Donna Roy, Denise Nedeau, and Robin Broadbent of the SAU #53 district in New Hampshire have lost more than 100 total pounds combined! The STEPS Challenge recipes and monthly challenges help them maintain their progress.

The STEPS challenge has been very helpful in providing us with information that can have a direct impact on our personal well-being.

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My personal history of eating and drinking anything and everything, whenever I wanted, and in whatever quantity, led me to become quite obese. I can recall clothes shopping for CNIC at Christopher Banks and trying outfits on labeled 3X. I remember thinking “this is the largest size in the store, what happens next?!?” One evening when celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, I overindulged and woke up convinced I was having a heart attack. (Fortunately it was just a bad case of indigestion.) These two factors set me on a new path. I joined Weight Watchers and Planet Fitness and I have lost 55 pounds to date. I also have used the STEPS resources to read about a healthy heart through ADA, find new healthy recipes, and have used my complimentary Jennie-O (The STEPS sponsor) coupons to purchase healthier items.

Denise Nedeau, my High School Manager, was on the same road to obesity. Denise was only 36 years old and was suffering from achy knees and plantafaceitious. Denise would return from her lunch break looking 30 years older because her feet ached so much. Having been a star soccer player in high school, she decided she wanted to reclaim her athletic ability and she joined the STEPS challenge to re-motivate herself. Denise joined the local Zumba class and attends 3 times a week. She has currently lost 30 pounds and her knees and feet are back to feeling like her actual age again.

Robin Broadbent, my Middle School Manager, serves as an example of success to all. As a mother of eight children, if she can make the time each day for her own wellness, then we certainly should be able to too. She has lost 50 pounds by making “good healthy choices everyday, even when I’m in a hurry” and has maintained a healthy weight for over 5 years. Robin is an ideal role model that it is absolutely possible to make lifelong changes that lead to better health – even if you have a busy schedule. She has used the STEPS website to research family friendly healthy recipes along with using the suggestions from the Fitness magazine to stay in shape.

Teamwork is not only effective in managing our school nutrition program each day, but teamwork is also an important piece in helping each other join forces and encourage one another to stay focused on our personal goals. With the implementation of the new NSLP regulations, along with our “all-you-can-eat fruit and veggie bars”, we are now “walking the walk” and demonstrating to our students how better choices lead to better results.

-Donna Roy
School Nutrition Director
Pembroke School District


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Robin before and after her 50-pound weight loss
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Denise lost 30 pounds with Zumba and healthy eating
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Donna has lost more than 50 pounds

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Making Healthier Choices Everyday

I have learned by working in the nutrition field and doing the STEPS challenge that it is almost like being on an airline. The flight attendant staff tells you that you must put your own oxygen mask first, before helping any children or people around you.

I have always wondered why that seemed so important. Well in doing the STEPS challenge (among other challenges I have done recently), I have realized that it is so important to take the time to take care of myself so that I can help and nurture not only my own children; but others as well.

During the STEPS challenge I have taken the time to add a point value to my daily activities and make HEALTHY choices for myself daily. I have realized that wellness is not just about eating, and working out. Wellness is about choices and valuing yourself to invest time and energy in making healthy choices daily!

The STEPS Challenge has been eye opening and educational as a motivational tool to track the different healthy choices that we all should be doing to take care of ourselves. It’s a well-rounded, FUN program that I appreciate. I’ve enjoyed challenging myself and other staff members to participate with me.

I look forward to completing the rest of the challenge and REALLY enjoy the recipes…the Cheesy Turkey Mushroom Caps are amazingly delicious!

Thank you so much!

-Shannon Solomon
Nutrition Services Coordinator, Aurora Public Schools

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Healthy Habits Means Long-Term Success

I’ve never participated in any of the SNA’s challenges before, but I really like the monthly challenges because they focus on changing lifestyles and not so much on losing weight. I’m a dietitian and I’ve always believed that diets usually don’t work for the long term and that healthy lifestyles last a lifetime.

Practicing healthy lifestyles helps with maintaining a healthy weight. I thought it was clever in October how the challenge was about buddying up for fitness (I know for me I like to exercise, but I need to be doing it with other people). I like how each month has a specific topic to focus on, because it takes approximately a month for something to stick. Each challenge lasts at least a month, and then you put your focus onto another area of wellness, and hopefully continue with the last month’s focus.

Humans are creatures of habit so developing the healthy habits outlined in the different months is essential to overall well-being.

-Janelle Brunswick
Mason City Schools, Mason OH

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