I started working at Walmart in April 2020 and learned about the Thrive Challenge from a flyer in the breakroom. Seeing other peoples’ stories inspired me and has helped me stay motivated to create a healthier lifestyle. 

I was always down

Before, I wasn’t drinking any water, only soda and sugary things. I had no energy. I wasn’t eating healthy foods, which made my anemia worse. I was always down and wasn’t making enough time for my family, which had a lot to do with my depression. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for them. 

I never used to be able to do that

Now I’m all about working and making my life better. I started drinking more water and gave up sugary drinks. This was really hard because I drank soda and juice my entire life. I really had to push myself to make that choice, and now I find myself picking water over soda. 

I’m eating salads at lunch instead of fatty foods. I started paying more attention to how much I was eating, too, and began adding more fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens to my diet, since they are high in iron. Since starting my Thrive Challenge, I’ve lost 50 pounds. I’m feeling more energized. I walk a lot at work, and I’m also taking walks through my neighborhood in the morning and when I get home from work. I never used to be able to do that. I’d go up the road and be done. Now I look forward to my walks. I’m working on saving toward a bigger house. Saving money has been a huge accomplishment for me because it’s showing me that my goal is attainable. I use the Even app to put money away from every paycheck, and I’ve saved over $1,000 so far. 

Hey, this is my time

When I have a day off, I am making an effort to be off my phone. I tell my kids we’re putting our devices down and we’re going to have a good time together. I think, “Hey, this is my time. I’m home, I’m not at work, so this is time to spend together.” We’ve been going to the beach and spending more time outdoors. But I’m also taking “mommy time” where I have an hour to myself, so I can relax and ease stress. I try to bring that practice to everyone; my kids will go to their room, play, do whatever they please. It helps everybody relax and lessen stress. 

Before, there was no excitement in my voice. I didn’t have the energy to motivate myself. Now I have a pep in my step, and I’m able to get my family to have that, too. I have more confidence in myself, so it’s easier to make healthy choices. I’m stronger than I thought I was. To others who are considering the Thrive Challenge and trying Better Choices, I say, never think twice. Make a decision and go for it. You’ll never be wrong if you keep trying, and get back up when you fall.

—Amanda Howell, Supercenter #0960; Dunnellon, FL; $5K Winner

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

Stories from past winners, such as Amanda Howell, prove that every individual has the power to transform their life every day through a combination of small, sustainable changes and peer-to-peer inspiration.