Throughout my life, I always focused on staying fit. My father passed away at 62 from a massive heart attack, and had two heart attacks prior to that. I knew I had to be proactive and that I wanted to lead a healthy life so I could have children down the road. After working in operations for quite some time, I went into Walmart Academy and found that I wasn’t as active there as I used to be. Instead of walking around the store, I was sitting in the classroom all the time. I reached a point where I had to purchase bigger pants, which was an eye-opening moment for me. I decided it was time to take ownership of my health so I could be there for my children — and myself. 

“I’ve been doing the Thrive Challenge for about three years.”

It was time to change: I have hypothyroidism. I felt inspired to get back on track. Now, I’ve been doing the Thrive Challenge for about three years. My old supervisor and previous Challenge winner, NaToya Champion, told me about how much her life improved from the Challenge. I thought it was simple enough, and liked that I could take it at my own pace, so I got started. 

“Green smoothies are my go-to.”

I began walking/running for one hour three to four times a week. I push myself to lace up my sneakers and go for it, even when I feel tired. I also started meal prepping. When I was still in the Academy, I made Sunday my meal prep day and would make two to three dishes for the week. I only eat starches twice a week and red meat once a week. I’m getting protein from chicken and seafood, and limiting myself to one sweet a week. Green smoothies are my go-to — when I was still traveling for work, I’d pack a portable blender so I could still make them! All of these choices are helping me control my cholesterol, blood pressure, and heartburn. I’ve lost 12 pounds, plus I’m saving $300-$400 each month from eating at home and planning my meals ahead of time.

“I’ve had a total mindset change.”

I have a new energy. I used to be grumpy and disappointed in myself. Now, I feel so good about myself. I’m getting eight hours of sleep a night (I used to only get five or six), and I’m building better relationships. I’m more calm and approachable. My kids have noticed it, too. I ran a 5K with my daughter last year, and the feeling of crossing the finish line was incredible. My daughter might have finished 20 minutes before I did, but it’s not about how long it took me to do it — it’s the fact that I did it. I’ve had a total mindset change and am excited for the future.

–– Linda Osborne, Supercenter #0677; Dyersburg, TN; $5K Winner