Mettawee Community School
Brooke Burnham, a para-educator at Mettawee Community School, is on a mission to become healthier. ”This is the third time I have lost 100 pounds, but this time I am doing it for me, rather than for others,” Burnham said. “I have a genetic predisposition toward inflammation and have lived with pain most of my life. I’ve now cut out added sugars including pasta and bread. I could not have gotten to where I am today without the love and support of my children, Olivia and Owen, my husband Scott, my extended family and several friends.
According to Karen Stomski, her colleague and close friend, since her weight loss Brooke is now happier and has more energy. “I proud to work with her. Every time a new PATH adventures comes along, Brooke is ready to lead the pack. She volunteers for tons of things whether it is running our local free clothing drive each year or overseeing one of the water stations at the Susan B. Komen Race for a Cure. She is always willing to go the extra mile to help someone. She tries to motivate me and is not discouraged when it doesn’t work. I know I can count on her and she tells me that when I am ready to make a lifestyle change, she will be right there to support me.”
New to Burnham is giving herself permission to focus on herself and her personal growth. “I spent so much time giving to others that for many years I never took time for myself,” she said as she showed us her vision board. Prominent in big letters were the words “Just Breathe”. “I never thought I liked to read until I started to do so this past December,” Burnham said. “I have just finished my eighth book and realized I really like reading, I am also now practicing mindfulness; focusing on what I have control of and letting go of what I do not. Changing my mindset has significant reduced my stress.”
“I grew up a Jersey gal next to the shore,” she said. “My parents would bring us up to Vermont in the summers to vacation and as an adult I knew I wanted to find my way here. Eventually my husband and I moved here with a mortgage and no jobs. It has all worked out. I love our quality of life. We have 15 acres and I like being around all the mountains and the lakes.”