What led you to the Challenge?
Right out of school I got a great job with Walmart as a pharmacy manager. But at the time I weighed 220 pounds and wasn’t living the life I wanted to live, or being the husband I wanted to be for my wife, Ashlyn. I was drinking, smoking, eating cake in the middle of the night, and I wasn’t sleeping. The stress was too much: I quit my job and hit rock bottom. I was out of work for six months and we found out my wife was pregnant. I realized I needed to change my life because I wanted to be a better husband and a great dad — just like my own father.
What did you set about doing?
I was lucky that the manager who’d originally hired me took me back as a pharmacist. She could see I really wanted to change. I started the Challenge and began by turning the T.V. off at 8:30 p.m. instead of 1 or 2 a.m. I also started going to bed at 9 p.m., the same time as my wife, which got me on a great sleep schedule. I started running, which I’d always enjoyed.
Beginning with baby steps, I’d run for just half a mile and I’d have to stop a few times — then I gradually ran for longer. Getting out of the house for “me time” helps me de-stress. Our baby, Lyla, is now 18-months-old, and sometimes I push her in the stroller while I run, which she loves. It’s a great way for us to be together. I also run on the treadmill at the gym and do weight training.
What other changes have you made?
Until the Challenge, I had never dieted. Now I follow a low-carb, keto diet, I’ve lost 40 pounds, and feel amazing. I prepare meals with Ashlyn, which is great for our relationship. Every week we go to the grocery store together — something we’d never done before. We buy meat and green veggies. My favorite dinner: grilled steak with zucchini and broccoli. Because I’m not buying chips, beer, or wine, and I’m taking lunch into work, I’m saving $1,000 a month and I’ve paid off a lot of debt. I also spend time with my dad, who has dementia, which gives my mom a break.
What’s life like now?
I have a lot more energy. I went from running half a mile to 25 miles a week and my goal is to run a half marathon next year. I know I can inspire people at work because I am a better leader. Several co-workers, my mother, and my wife are now doing the Challenge. I’ve never felt this good before. I can’t even explain how grateful I am for my job and my family. Our daughter brings me so much joy. We’re a team and my wife and I are working on baby number two. It’s exciting.
—Rodney Floyd, Supercenter #2772; Southport, N.C.; $5K Winner