Jill Burton proves busy moms can transform their bodies

September 28, 2013
Jill Burton lost 40 pounds, dropped her cholesterol by 35 points, and ran her first 5K all while transforming her body. BY CHRIS ANTONIO

Jill Burton’s biggest obstacle when trying to get in shape was finding the time to do the workouts. As a wife, mother and Little League dugout mom, there was enough to do without the challenge of finding time to exercise, but she knew something needed to change.

“I wasn’t happy; I didn’t feel comfortable in clothes. I needed someone to kick my butt."

So last February when I offered my corporate fitness challenge to her employer, Schell Brothers companies, Jill decided to make no excuses and give my 12-week body transformation her best shot.

At first I wasn’t sure if she was ready to commit. She had reached out to me in October and asked a lot of questions about my program but then disappeared, and I didn’t hear from her again until February when she joined the challenge. In her initial interview, she listed several lofty goals she intended to accomplish, including losing 40 pounds and running a 5K, and after we taught her the basics of healthy eating, we met in the gym and starting working out. Little did I know by the time she was finished my first impression would completely change.

We started her slow with basics, but also worked on time management, adapting her workout to suit her busy schedule.

“I made a sacrifice to get up at 5:30 a.m. and get my workout done. People would tell me I’m crazy, but I did it anyway,” she said.

When she only had a few minutes to work out, we made an express workout of body weight movements that she could do quickly in case she couldn’t get to the gym.

She began losing an average of two to three pounds per week, and it wasn’t long before her clothes began to get loose, and Jill started to notice a difference in the way she looked and felt. What struck me most about Jill was her commitment to be better. If she had a bad week and didn’t get all the workouts done, the next week she would work twice as hard to make up the difference. By the time the 12 weeks were over, she had completely changed her fitness level and overall appearance. As a bonus, she lost 28 pounds, dropped her cholesterol 35 points, ran her first 5K and placed second in the Schell Brothers Biggest Loser contest. But she wasn’t finished yet, and she began thinking of how she would complete the rest of her goals.

This past May, I again offered my program to Schell Bothers, and Jill quickly signed up. I was pleasantly surprised to find she has maintained her previous shape and was within a pound of where she left off. She had taken what she learned in the first transformation and used it to maintain her shape.

“This year, I wanted to finish my goal of losing 40 pounds, and since I already ran a 5K, I figured I’d work on getting faster,” she said.

At first Jill had a hard time getting into the routine because Little League was still in season and time was short, but it wasn’t long before she got back into a groove, and the results began to show again.

Jill finished this year’s contest with another great performance, and she reached all the original goals she set out to accomplish and more. She dropped a total of 40 pounds -  from 169 to a slim 129  -  reduced her body fat another 13 percent, dropped her 5K time by an amazing 12 minutes and was again reimbursed by her company for her excellent results. There is no doubt she deserved it for another job well done.

When asked where she will go from here, she said, “Working out and being in shape is like a drug. It gives me a natural high. I love how I fit in clothes again, and I’m proud of what I have accomplished. There’s no way I’ll stop now."

I too am proud of what Jill accomplished, but more than anything I wanted to share her story because she is the typical mom who has a family, full-time job and many other responsibilities. With the proper knowledge, hard work and time management, she was able to overcome the odds and take control of her own health through fitness. Jill is a great role model for anyone trying to get in shape, and her results are truly inspirational. Great job, Jill!

  • 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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