I was a security guard at a military base in Nevada after Sept. 11. I was stationed at that base for 10 years. During that time, I went from 205 pounds to 330. There’s not much exercise on the graveyard shift. I decided to start the Thrive Challenge because I had gained tons of weight, had early diabetes, and high blood pressure. My wife and I have been married 46 years, and at the end of the day, I want to live a long life and be there for her.

The first step I took was walking just a little more.

The first night I tried it, I made it one block in one hour. It was actually more of a waddle than a walk at first. I began with baby steps, but I kept going. Now I walk every day. The most I’ve walked in one day is 44 miles! I wanted to see what I could do in a day. On workdays, I walk to the station to catch the train, and then from the other train station to the Sam’s Club where I work. I’ll be 70 in October, so old dogs really can learn new tricks!

I’m eating less sugar and completely cut out soda. 

I used to eat a huge bowl of ice cream every night after I got off work. It’s easy to pack on the pounds that way, and I sure did. Making the change is not easy, but if you can keep at it, you will succeed and it can change your life forever. My favorite meals now are salads, fruit bowls, and lean meat sandwiches. I’ve also been eating more chicken, fish, vegetables, and fruit. I only eat red meat twice a month.

I’m spending more time with my wife. 

We’ve been gardening, doing puzzles, and going on walks. We have five adopted fur babies and we take care of the animals together. My wife and I have always had a close relationship, and I’ve been blessed to have found my soulmate. We’re also saving each month, and our goal is to build a deck off the sliding glass door so it’s level and there’s no danger stepping down to the patio. We also hope to save enough so we can donate to local animal shelters.

I’ve left pre-diabetes behind and I feel great. 

My goal at the moment is just staying fit. I’ve lost weight and kept the weight off. Because of the changes I’ve now made, I have a much better chance of living a longer, healthier life with all my loved ones — especially my wife.

—Randy Lane, Sam’s Club #6682, Layton, UT; $5K Winner

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