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ACE Contest Winner Helps Self and Others Fight Obesity

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (February 23, 2011)—The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s leading authority on fitness and the largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization in the world, today announced Sandra Burton of Westfield, Ind., as the winner of its My Body, My Life Essay Contest.  Burton is one of 139 entrants that submitted an encouraging story of hope and motivation, sharing her reasons for embarking on a fitness and weight loss journey, as well as her efforts to live a healthier and more active life.  At the heart of her essay, Burton proved dedicated to making better choices for herself and those around her, including family, friends and coworkers. 

“The entries we received for the My Body, My Life Essay Contest were inspirational tales of people making positive changes in their lives,” said Scott Goudeseune, American Council on Exercise President and CEO.  “However, Sandra’s testimonial stood out to us because not only did she transform her life, an admirable feat in itself, but she has helped others take these same important steps while making a commitment to continue to pursue these healthier goals throughout her lifetime.”

Burton, greatly affected by her parents’ unhealthy choices that led to her mother’s diagnosis with type 2 diabetes and her father’s death, pledged to lead a healthier life for herself and her family—particularly her children.  While on the path to better living, she has offered her family nutritionally-sound food options and even designed and implemented a voluntary weight-loss program at her office, in which more than 30 percent of her coworkers now participate.

“After I realized that my daily choices were sending me to an early grave, I began making more balanced health decisions.  I stopped smoking, began to exercise and lost over 70 pounds, which led to increased energy levels and greater self-esteem,” explained Burton.  “The newfound resources I’ve gained through transforming my life inspired me to guide those around me in making smarter choices, so we can continue together on this lifelong journey toward leading healthier, stronger and longer lives.”

As the grand prize winner, Burton receives a $250 cash prize.  Her essay can be found on the American Council on Exercise website at and may also be used in ACE public service announcements geared toward motivating the general public to live more active, healthier lives as a part of the organization’s mission to eliminate the dangerous and prevalent obesity epidemic over the next 25 years by educating and inspiring communities all across the country.

To learn more about making positive fitness, diet and lifestyle choices, please visit the American Council on Exercise website for tips on safe and effective exercise practices, instructional workout videos, healthy nutritional selections, and a variety of tools, tips and calculators.

About the ACE
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s premier certification, education and training organization, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE website at


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Founded in 1985, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization committed to America's health and wellbeing. Over the past 30 years, we have become an established resource for health and fitness professionals, and the public, providing comprehensive, unbiased research and validating ourselves as the country's trusted authority on health and fitness.

Today, ACE is the largest nonprofit health and fitness certification, education and training organization in the world with more than 65,000 certified professionals who hold more than 72,000 ACE Certifications. With a long heritage in certification, education, training and public outreach, we are among the most respected organizations in the industry and a resource the public has come to trust for health and fitness education.