I’ve struggled with my weight all my life. I’m a breast cancer survivor, I also have epilepsy and I wasn’t taking care of myself. I’d eat a lot of processed food. At work, I‘d crave something salty and get a bag of chips from the vending machine and I’d drink sodas. Sometimes, for dinner, I’d just have a bowl of cereal. I weighed 199 pounds. I wasn’t confident and never felt good enough. I’m 42 and live with my mom and I was sad because I’d lost some relationships with people I’d been close to. 

I said to myself: “It’s time to start a whole new chapter.”

Stories in the Thrive Challenge Book about people who’d changed their lives inspired me to download the Thrive app. I started bringing my lunch into work and drinking more water. I’m cooking at home — I love making cod and roasted vegetables. I make my own hummus with pinto beans, fresh cilantro, and a dash of olive oil. And if I crave something sweet, I might have a granola bar.  

At work, I’m moving all the time and as soon as I get home, I jump on my treadmill. 

I’m doing around 14,000 steps in total a day. My mom is very supportive. She’ll sometimes give me a kick in the butt to get on the treadmill if I need it! I’ve become more confident. When I had breast cancer, I had a mastectomy, but now, I know I am beautiful just the way I am. 

At work, I get raves from customers who say what a great cashier I am.

I have a good attitude and everyone says I’m helpful and fast. Behind my mask I’m always smiling. I’m down to earth and treat people the way I want to be treated. 

To relax, I love to crochet — doing things with my hands makes me feel calm and focused.

I’m working on a blanket for my sister, Ashli. It’s awesome crocheting gifts for people I love. And they feel appreciated. I also love to read. The last book I enjoyed was The Shack. Since I’ve been on the Thrive Challenge, I’ve been spending less time on my laptop. I’ve noticed that by staying off the internet and social media, I feel less stressed. 

My mom’s my best friend — she’s always been there for me.

We like to play board games together like Aggravation. Then we might watch a bit of T.V., or she’ll do her knitting and I’ll work on Ashli’s blanket.

I’m feeling grateful — I’m thankful that I’ve been cancer-free for 13 years.

I am thankful that I can walk and talk because I had spinal meningitis as a baby and had brain surgery. I take one day at a time and I’m making plans. I’d like to move out of state, maybe to Florida, and I have a dream of going on a trip to Australia. And someday I hope I’ll meet a decent Christian man and have a relationship.

— Sara Berry, Supercenter #1936; Sault Sainte Marie, MI; $5K Winner