My husband, Steve, and I have been married for 21 years. We have two daughters Kayla, who’s 31, and 20-year-old Lauren, and a 17-year-old son, Connor. I love helping everyone else, but I wasn’t doing much to support myself. My kids were involved in sports at school, and we ate a lot of fast food because we were always on the go. I’ve struggled with my weight for my whole life, I had high blood pressure, and I weighed 315 pounds.   

My turning point came when I turned 50 in January 2022. 

I decided it was time to take care of myself. It was now or never, so I could be there for me — and for my family. As a coach at my Walmart store, I’d talk to associates about how beneficial the Thrive Challenge is. And I finally decided to download the Thrive app myself and practice what I’d been preaching.

My first Microstep was drinking more water.

I used to drink a lot of Pepsi. I cut back every day and finally stopped drinking soda altogether. We started cooking more. We love grilling chicken, which we season with paprika and garlic salt. And we pair it with grilled vegetables sprinkled with parmesan. It’s a very flavorful and filling dinner. We eat more salad, and we’re eating low-carb wraps instead of bread. 

On my break at work, I’ll grab fruit instead of donuts.  

Sometimes I find myself picking up those donuts. But I’ll get to the register and have a conversation with the “old Kim” and tell her, “That’s not me anymore.” Then I’ll put them down! 

I’m going for walks with our dog, Teddy.

I take the time to just be quiet and enjoy God’s creations: the birds, the sky, and the trees. I’ve been focusing on gratitude and I’ve learned not to take the simple things in life for granted, like the nature all around us.

My husband and I are connecting more.

We say “I love you” on the phone. After work, Steve used to go into one room and I’d be in another room. Now we talk more and we take Teddy for walks together. We like to watch Hallmark movies in the evening and we try to stay off our phones.   

At work, I’m connecting with my team.

I’ve been the Front End Coach since December of 2022. At first, when I took the position, it wasn’t easy. But with Thrive, I’ve found I’ve been able to set high expectations about what needs to be done. I’m communicating with our associates and they’re all on board; they’re motivated to do their best and create a better working environment for everyone.

Another good thing that’s happened is that I’m connecting spiritually.

Growing up, we went to church regularly as a family, and now I’ve got back on track with my faith and I’m going to church again every Sunday. My relationship with God has grown. 

I’m saving money by not eating out and by spending less.

I used to do a lot of online shopping. Now I’ll put things in my cart and leave them for a few days and ask myself, “Do I really need them?” Usually I decide I really don’t, so I hit “Delete!” We’re saving to buy our first home! 

For years, I’ve been volunteering for the Girl Scouts with both my daughters.

People ask, “Are you still doing Girl Scouts? You don’t have a Girl Scout anymore.” But I love working with the girls. And I have much more energy for them now. I want to get involved, instead of making excuses like “I’m tired.” I’m the Girl Scouts Chair for my county and four surrounding counties. I’m the Cookie Chair and the Head Kitchen Help at Camp. And I volunteer with my son’s high school marching band. 

I’m proud to say I’ve lost 38 pounds.

My blood pressure and my A1C are lower, and my doctor is thrilled with my progress.

Thrive has given me my life back. 

It has motivated me to get up and go. No excuses. I tell myself daily that my late parents would be so proud of me. Thrive has been a life changer — at 51, I feel like I could do anything.

Kim Johnson, Walmart Supercenter #282, Franklin, KY; $5K Winner