I had foot surgery back in September, which was my fourth surgery that year. I went from being a very independent woman to a dependent person. I couldn’t do anything for myself. I was in control of my life, working nine to 12 hours a day, and then suddenly, I couldn’t take a shower, I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t walk or drive. I had to rely on my husband and niece to take care of me, and I was fearful I’d become a burden and start feeling depressed. 

I received an email about the app and thought it could help me keep my spirits up after surgery.

My husband, Bob, is so kind and patient with me, and I make sure he knows how much I appreciate his help. I’ve started saying things I am grateful for aloud, which helps me stay aware of my blessings. I’m grateful I’m able to sew, which has been so soothing during my recovery. I’m grateful that I’m able to get on my stationary bike, even for just 15 minutes.

Right after surgery, I was at the highest weight of my life.

My doctor said it was a normal part of recovery, but I was still shocked and upset. Since then, I’ve been working with Bob to make healthier choices. He makes chicken on the griddle and I make homemade salad dressings so we know exactly what’s in them. I’ve cut out cheese, except for a slice of pizza every now and then, and I’m drinking water instead of soda. If I want something sweet, I’ll have tea with natural sweetener, like stevia, or a scoop of peanut butter with a few dark chocolate chips. A doctor once told me to drink a glass of water every time I go near the kitchen, so that’s what I do to stay hydrated. 

I’ve lost 13 pounds, which is a milestone for me.

I have Hashimoto’s disease, which makes it difficult to lose weight, and being inactive after surgery made things that much harder. But I put on some pants a few weeks ago and they weren’t tight, which was a great feeling. Doing the Challenge has been inspiring and has put me on a path where I look forward to the next day and live my life with a grateful heart. It’s truly been a mental shift. I hope I can show people who are disabled, whether from surgery, an accident, or health problems, that they have the power to feel better, and the app can help them do it.

—Patricia Decant, Supercenter #1469; Chattanooga, TN; $5K Winner

Through the Thrive Challenge, our community is making Better Choices, seeing big results, and winning big.