Spotlight on USACE Galveston District's Lisa Finn

Published Nov. 15, 2012

GALVESTON, Texas (November 2012) - Lisa Finn’s journey toward a healthy lifestyle began with a single moment while out to dinner with friends back in the spring of 2009.

“I looked around the restaurant and it occurred to me that I was the heaviest person in the room,” said Finn. “That thought stayed with me and bothered me tremendously. It was then that I became determined to lose weight.”

Finn, a physical scientist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District Environmental Branch, decided to begin using the district’s fitness center in 2009. Since then she has lost 67 pounds and is almost at her ideal weight.

“Every workday during my breaks I began to go to the fitness center and walk on the treadmill,” said Finn. “As my workouts became more active, I began to do my cardiovascular exercise outside of the building and used my work breaks for weight training.”

Located in the USACE Galveston District’s Jadwin Building, the fitness center provides Corps employees the opportunity to exercise during their breaks and lunchtime. The center’s equipment includes treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bicycles, a universal machine and free weights. The convenience of having a fitness center at work has had a positive impact on the health of many Corps employees.

“If the fitness center wasn’t in the building, I probably would not have started my weight loss program,” said Finn. “I really appreciate having the fitness center in the building. It’s a great resource that Corps employees shouldn’t take for granted.”

Hitting the gym during breaks isn’t always easy but Finn says she’s determined to maintain this healthy lifestyle.

“I always feel better after I exercise and I remember that on the days I’d rather not workout,” said Finn. “Additionally, since losing weight, I’ve invested in an entirely new wardrobe and it’s not an option to outgrow the clothes I’ve just bought.”

Waking up at 4:30 a.m. during the weekdays to run before work fulfills her cardio requirements, but she acknowledges that her weight training program wouldn’t be possible without the USACE Galveston District’s fitness center.

“My life is a balance between family, career and commuting,” said Finn. “I know I would be unable to successfully include exercising at a gym miles from my home. Therefore, the fitness center makes my weight training possible.”

During working hours, Finn can be found in the USACE Galveston District Environmental Branch conducting sediment and chemistry analysis of materials dredged out of Texas navigation channels. She is responsible for the environmental review of the district’s operations and maintenance projects conducted along the Texas coast.

“The Corps has a mission to accomplish while being environmental stewards,” said Finn. “It’s all about doing our due diligence to be environmentally sound while contributing to the economic health of the nation.”

Maintaining a balance is the lesson Finn learned while losing weight - one she is more than happy to pass along to others in need of encouragement.

“I don’t mind discussing my weight loss with others, it’s a part of who I am,” said Finn. “If I meet someone who is trying to lose weight, there is an immediate bond. Losing weight is not easy and it requires a lifetime of vigilance and support to keep it off.”

A native of Taylor, Texas, Finn earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries from Texas A&M at College Station in 2007. When she’s not at work or exercising, she enjoys reading, playing board games and spending time with her family.