Success Story

Ronda Netzke

Many of the things she changed a year and a half ago are now firmly in place as part of her daily life


Read here below Ronda's story and watch her video.
Goal: Lose weight and improve heart health
Success: Despite her original thoughts about exercise (she hated it), she now gets to the gym 4-5 times a week with a smile.
Late in 2010, the Heart of New Ulm Project encouraged members of the community to apply to be the next “Face of New Ulm.” In 2011, we will follow the winners who are publicly setting out to improve their lifestyles, root for them to overcome barriers they are sure to face along the way, and celebrate their successes on the road to improved heart health. Ronda is one of the four winners of the casting call.
Last year, Ronda Netzke received a call from The Heart of New Ulm Project’s HeartBeat Connections (HBC) program. HBC is a telephonic coaching program for New Ulm residents at high-risk for having a heart attack. Ronda’s first response upon being contacted was, “I hate to exercise.” However, she made a decision to change her mind and behavior. One of her goals is to get to the gym at least four times a week because she loves how great she feels when she is done with her workouts. Ronda works at New Ulm Medical Center and uses "", a free website to help track the calories she eats and activity she does each day. The website also provides nutrition information and workout ideas to keep Ronda motivated. This year she hopes to continue her exercise routine and increase her daily servings of fruits and vegetables, both for herself and her family.
April 2012 Update
Ronda Netzke knows that life can be a rollercoaster.
The Heart of New Ulm Project casting call winner is a mom, a wife and an employee. She also plays all those roles that can add stressors to a woman’s daily life: grocery shopper, housekeeper, laundress, etc., etc.
Take all that, throw in a little extra stress here and there, and it’s easy to see how maintaining a healthy eating plan and exercising regularly can be a challenge for anyone.
When Ronda started down her journey to better health in November 2010, one of the first things she did was to monitor her portion sizes. Today, that’s become such an ingrained habit that she rarely thinks about it anymore, she said. So, despite having difficulty with keeping up an exercise routine in recent months, she has managed to keep off the 45 pounds that she’s lost.
Many of the things she changed a year and a half ago are now firmly in place as part of her daily life, Ronda said.
“For example, the way you cook things is important. We adore fish at our house, but I always used to fry it,” she said. “I’ve found some really good fish recipes that don’t include frying that even Megan (her 10-year-old daughter) likes.”
And her daughter’s endorsement is important, Ronda said. “I’ve noticed a little ripple effect in some of the choices that Megan makes. I know that my positive choices affect her.”
Other things that have become habit for Ronda are simple choices like choosing a lettuce salad instead of a potato salad or French fries as a side dish. “That’s the easy part for me. I always make a vegetable with every meal. That makes it easy to remember to get enough vegetables every day.”
The part she struggles with is the motivation to exercise each day, she said. But now that spring has sprung and summer is around the corner, she’s confident that it will be easier to at least get out and walk on a regular basis.
“I feel awesome,” said Ronda. “People have commented on old pictures of me that it doesn’t even look like me anymore. That’s motivational for me. I know I’m heading in the right direction.”
And that motivation breeds enthusiasm for new goals and recognition of all those she’s already reached.