“You just wait!” That’s what Sheree Burton has heard repeatedly over the years from people. “Wait for what exactly?” Sheree would ask. Over the years she has received various answers suggesting that it would be impossible for her to remain fit and active as time went on. She would hear, “Wait till you hit 30” (or 40) or “Wait until you have your first child” (or your second, or third), but Sheree eventually reframed her response from “Wait for what?” to “No, YOU just wait!”
Sheree Burton is a popular fitness and nutrition coach www.shereeburton.com and one of the founders of the family owned and operated Burton Nutrition Company. She is also the wife of Emmy winning actor and entrepreneur, Steve Burton, and together they have three children: Makena (16), Jack (13) and Brooklyn (5).
When did you first realize that you wanted to pursue a career in fitness?
I have always loved being active. I grew up doing gymnastics, ice-skating, cheerleading and swimming, but finding fitness as my passion for a career evolved over time. Funny enough, my first job was as a receptionist at a local gym, which I applied for solely so I could get the free gym membership! My career path took many turns after this first job that included riding show horses for many years and working as an intern on the set of ABC’s General Hospital. It was on the set of General Hospital where I met my now husband, actor Steve Burton (Jason Morgan), who was also passionate about maintaining a fit/active lifestyle. I started to learn all I could about fitness and nutrition and, as I found what worked best for me, friends and family began asking me for advice and help. It was a truly gratifying feeling to take what I had learned and see the impact it made in other people’s lives. Creating my own online platform for one-on-one coaching and group challenges developed from there.
What keeps you motivated?
Without question, the way my fitness and nutrition routines make me feel fuels my motivation. It is also important to me to enjoy a better quality of life for as long as possible and to remain active alongside my children. While you may not be able to control some health factors, how you nourish and physically care for yourself is something that you can influence. Since launching my own site and Burton Nutrition, I also try to live by example.
Tell me more about Burton Nutrition and how it came to be?
Protein powder and shakes were a staple for both me and for Steve. We were always trying different brands in search of one that tasted great and didn’t contain junky ingredients. We would joke to each other that we should just make our own. Eventually, we did just that! What started out as an effort to create something we would enjoy using eventually led to creating our own line of nutrition products, together with my brother, Jon Gustin, a personal trainer, and his wife, Jessica. We would try all kinds of concoctions and would even have our children help as taste testers!
What is a common mistake you see others make when they are trying to get in shape?
I see a lot of people dieting too much. Restricting your calorie intake dramatically can lead to burnout. You hear it all the time, but you need to develop habits and choices that are sustainable over time. Your nutrition should be balanced, whole food meals and shouldn’t leave you feeling starved. When I am coaching others or making suggestions for a group challenge, I focus on how important it is to build a healthy relationship with food.
What are some tips you would give someone just starting out to improve their fitness and wellness levels?
*I can’t stress enough how important drinking water is. So many people go around dehydrated and don’t even know it! I explain to my own children how vital water is to how their bodies and brains function optimally.
*Don’t cut corners on your sleep! Getting enough rest is a key piece of your overall wellness and provides the proper foundation to everything else.
*Consistency will pay off! Work on general habit creation and the results will come. When I am coaching, I try to teach that, when you develop discipline in one area of your life, you will find it spill into other areas as well.
How do you stay on track when life gets busy or when traveling?
I find it so important to be prepared. I make batches of my protein muffins so, when I’m traveling or out of the house, I always have a good choice with me. When I’m traveling, I always pack resistance bands with me, so that I can work in some fitness on the road. I also try to choose hotels that have a fitness facility. One of the things I find helpful is finding a grocery store when I travel, as you can always find some healthy options and you don’t end up getting junk food just because you’re away from home. Even when I’m not traveling, I aim for overall balance in my meal choices and getting my workouts in. Overall, I aim to shop for healthy food choices for myself and my family, but that’s not to say we don’t enjoy treats on occasion. One of my favorite splurges is Crème Brulee and, if Steve and I are dining out, we will often share one for dessert.
Can you share a bit more about the challenges and coaching you offer?
I began offering one-on-one coaching and wanted to offer detailed guidance. Most people who want to embark on a fitness or nutrition program may not know how to begin or may feel overwhelmed by the amount of conflicting advice and opinions that are out there. I make myself personally available to those I coach with daily check-ins, helping them in goal creations and fostering a sense of accountability. The group challenges allowed me a platform to do something similar and reach a larger audience. The challenges are through a private Instagram group and my goal is to offer a supportive community where I can help with workouts, nutritional guidance (teaching how to read labels and check ingredients in your food choices, for example), share recipes for meal and snack options, and share motivational posts that help with habit creation and inspiration. Everyone has a different “why” and, whether it’s that they want to feel well, defy aging, or impact how they age, even aesthetically, I try to support, foster and guide them along the way.
What is your own personal fitness mantra?
“What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve!” I realize how my thoughts influence my success. I concentrate on how I want to feel and what my goals ultimately are. When my children tell me that they think I’m “cool” or “strong” it’s certainly an added bonus!
So, what’s next for you?
I love how I’ve been able to redefine and continue to grow and challenge myself as I’ve gone through the different stages of my life. I’m more excited than ever for what lies ahead. There are so many possibilities I still want to explore. I can’t wait!
You can follow Sheree Burton on Instagram at @1ShereeBurton or learn more on her website at www.ShereeBurton.com