I wasn’t feeling good about myself before I started the Thrive Challenge. I’m 43 and life was just about working, going home and sitting in front of the TV — I was too tired to play with my kids. I weighed 246 pounds and didn’t eat well; I’d have pizza, burgers and fries. My doctor said I needed to lose weight because I had high cholesterol and I was diabetic. I looked her in the eye and said: “Doctor, I can do this!”

My first step was to make an action plan.

I wanted to get healthy, not just for me, but to be there for my family, and began with my diet. I wrote down: “No eating after 7 p.m. — no more late-night snacking! More salads.” We started cooking at home. My wife, Charlette, makes a delicious cauliflower “macaroni and cheese” — the cauliflower replaces the noodles, and we cook low-carb veggie spaghetti with a ground turkey sauce. We have family dinners instead of sitting on the couch to eat. We’ll ask the kids about school and talk about what we’re grateful for.  

I bought a bicycle, and instead of driving, I cycle to the grocery store.

I’ve become really involved in the cycling world. Our 11-year-old son, Aiden, and I go mountain biking together, which is fun and much better for him than playing video games, and I’m teaching my 4-year-old son, Ashton, to ride a bicycle. We all have water balloon fights in the backyard and walk along the trails near our home, spending time in nature. I have more energy for my baby granddaughter, Khalani. I’ll be down on the floor playing with her.

I’ve lost 46 pounds and I have much more confidence.  

I’m not diabetic anymore and my cholesterol is perfect. My doctor said: “Wow, you’ve really been working hard.” I’ve inspired co-workers to get healthy, and my wife has downloaded the Thrive app, too.

By cutting out junk food, we’re saving $100 a week. 

It feels great to have a cushion for emergencies. And I can be more generous. When kids are having bake sales, I’ll donate $20 to support them, even though I don’t want the cake because I’m not going to eat it. And at work I’m helping out more. I’m an “all-around” person, so when we’re short-staffed in another area, like stocking, I am willing and able to take up the slack.

I’m connecting daily with my mom and siblings.

We used to go for months without talking to one another. So I started a group text one day and wrote: “I love you, how are you doing?” Now we take turns to write something positive.

I’ve found that by making small changes and sticking to them, I get great results.  

And there’s a snowball effect because as you feel better, you want to do more and keep moving forward. I feel in control of my life now.

—Robert Prince, Distribution Center #6094; Bentonville, AR; $5K Winner

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