I lost both my parents in 2021, and I spiraled into a depression. I was literally falling apart. My marriage was suffering, and I couldn’t seem to keep a clear thought about anything. I’m 49, I was overweight, and my blood pressure was super high. I’d been working in HR for years, and I was the one helping others, but I couldn’t seem to help myself. 

One of my biggest challenges was money.

Everything has escalated in price. Also, after my mom died of ovarian cancer, I found out that her mother and grandmother died from the same disease. So I had to get cancer screenings, which were costly, even with insurance. I was newly single after 22 years, which was a huge strain on my purse as well. I needed help — and fast! I could hear my mom’s words ringing in my ears: “Althea, get a handle on your health, and everything else will follow.” I felt like the Thrive app would be very positive for me, so I got started, and I was right.

I started with Microsteps like swapping sugary drinks for water.

I make my meals for the week ahead on my day off. I stopped eating at restaurants altogether. They were costly, and now I’m saving money. I love making crock pot wonders, because you can make food stretch further that way. 

My son, Nathan, and I love eating meals together.

He’s 27 and also works at Walmart. We’re a Walmart family. Some nights he cooks, and some nights I cook. Our favorite meal is his grilled steak. And we love making different soups. 

I have never been a fan of vegetables, but I started incorporating them into my diet.

I found out I even love eating salad. I’m only 4-foot-11 and when I started Thrive, I weighed 219 pounds. I’ve lost a lot of weight and I feel great. 

I walk after supper every day, which gives me a feel-good vibe! 

It’s also helped with my depression. I had slumped into a habit of wallowing in my sadness all day. I replaced that wallowing time with riding my bicycle. I listen to music and sing along.

Music makes me happy.

Lately my favorite musician is Jelly Roll, and it is surprising to my son that I know the words to the songs. We love to sing together, that’s the best fun we have together — truly connecting!  And for me, music heals a whole heap of issues, and it’s very calming.  

I’ve found that I love being out in my yard in the sunshine.

Yard work is great exercise — and it’s free. It feels good when my neighbors stop to say “Hello,” and compliment me on how good my yard looks.

Connecting with friends is important, and lately I’ve been saying “yes” to friends’ invites.  

I went tubing and floating down the river. I also went to a Wizard of Oz event in the mountains. I love music, and luckily I was able to go to a Sammy Kershaw concert. 

I’m finally starting to heal from grief.

My mom’s passing was hard on me and on Nathan. My Mom was truly my best friend. I felt lost in so many ways after her death. Nathan and I finally talked about her death recently and spent most of the day expressing our thoughts. Then we both tried to find ways to help each other heal.  

Volunteering helps with everything.

I donate time to the local nursing home and I’ve recently done a lot of yard work for a retired disabled veteran. I find joy in giving to others. I get that from my mom.

The Thrive Challenge has helped me to cope with my new life of being single.
With Thrive Resets, I helped retrain my mind to calm down and think with clarity. My mood and my appearance improved. I’ve started wearing my dress clothes again, and my jewelry — and my smile. I  accepted a date after a year of declining.  

I’ve reduced my blood pressure. 

My blood pressure’s lower, and my pain has decreased. I can truly say that Thrive has given me the push to get back on track and regain my life.

Althea Latham, Walmart Supercenter #593, Douglas, GA; $5K Winner