She's 78 pounds lighter and feeling great

June 23, 2012
Sue Raeuber after

Sue Raeuber watched from afar as participants from Schell Brothers competed in my corporate fitness challenge and lost weight while competing for prize money. At the time, she was working for Ocean Atlantic - a sister company of Schell Brothers - but the program was not yet offered to her company. However, the idea of losing weight and getting in shape was firmly planted in her mind, and she hoped that next year she would have a chance to join the action.

In the meantime, Sue began to try to lose weight on her own. “I didn’t exercise at all; I just made changes to my diet. Every once in a while I’d go to the gym with my daughter, but nothing consistent,” she said. Sue was able to lose 23 pounds on her own, but eventually her progress hit a brick wall. “I had no direction on what to do, so everything slowed down and the weight loss stopped.”

The following year it was announced that all employees would get a chance to compete, including Ocean Atlantic, and to add incentive, anyone who lost 7 percent of his or her body weight would be reimbursed for half the cost of my services. Those who lost 15 percent of their body weight would be reimbursed in full. Not to mention the winner, the person who lost the largest percentage of body weight, could possibly win a $9,000 bonus, and that was all it took for Sue to commit.

“Something in me just clicked. I’m a very competitive person, and there had never been a female winner, and I decided at that moment that I was going to win,” she said. “I had spent most of my life raising my two daughters, working and trying to take care of everything at home, but had lost myself in the process. Now that my daughters were getting older, I had a chance to focus on me, and this program was exactly what I needed.”

Sue joined the program and promptly began training with me, and it became obvious from the very beginning that she was going to be a serious contender. She was always the first to do everything that I asked, and she immediately started getting results. By the time the contest ended, she had lost 33 more pounds and became the first female winner of the Schell Brothers biggest loser contest.

After she won last year’s contest, Sue’s 12-week body transformation was paid for by Schell Brothers, and in addition, she began receiving a bonus check of $500 per month to be continued for 18 months as long as she could keep the weight off. “For a mom with two kids, that’s a lot of money; I was very thankful,” she said. But she still had a goal to reach, and by the time this year’s contest rolled round she was ready to take her fitness to the next level.

Sue knew that this year she would not be allowed to win, but she was just as motivated as before and in the end lost another 22 pounds to make a grand total of 78 pounds. “I know that sounds like a lot of weight, but for women, dress size is everything, and I went from a 14-16 to a 4-6, and that makes me very happy. I am very appreciative for the opportunity Schell Brothers has given me. They not only offered cash incentive to lose the weight but were also willing to pay for my program if I reached my goals. Who’s ever heard of anything like that?” Sue said.

When asked where she plans on going from here and if she had any advice for others who would like to get in shape, she said, “My goal is to continue to tone up, be happy, healthy and continue to buy lots of new clothes. You can do everything in life for your kids, but don’t lose yourself in the process. I want to be around for a long time to see my future grandkids, and taking control of my health is a great insurance policy."

  • Chris Antonio is a personal trainer and former world-class weightlifter. He has been lifting for more than 20 years and has trained a wide variety of clients ranging from All-American athletes to the average person trying to get into shape. To send a question to the Ask the Trainer column, email Chris at or check out

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