My life before the Challenge felt like a roller coaster. I was focusing all my energy on other family members — and as a result, my physical and mental health suffered. I would get out of breath doing simple tasks, like bringing in the groceries. I was just run down. I even had thoughts about ending my life. At one point, I sent a text to my sister that scared her so much that she contacted our father and siblings right away. Through their support, I was able to overcome that crisis. 

I found out about the Challenge from an article on the Walmart website.

Now, I eat more fruits and vegetables, and I have made friends with my air fryer. My favorite food substitution is putting spaghetti sauce on a bed of spiral butternut squash instead of noodles. My husband and I plan menus together and I make small adjustments to fit my needs. For example, I will make him garlic bread and I will have whole wheat toast. 

To stay motivated, I tell myself I believe every day.

I now get up at the same time every day, step on the scale, and record my weight. I get dressed and make myself breakfast. I walk at least five miles a day, aiming for 10,000 steps, and I work out seven days a week. I can count on my hands the number of times I have missed a day since the beginning of my journey. I’ve lost 25 pounds to date. I am a lot happier, and I no longer hate having my picture taken.

I have the energy to do things I haven’t felt like in a long time. 

I’ve been taking my granddaughter to the park, going to the farmers market, and preparing meals with my husband. My goal is to be able to run one lap around the church parking lot. I started adding in short sprints during my power walks, adding a few more steps each time.

We are saving up for a trip to celebrate our 40th anniversary. 

We also have started a household fund and a Christmas fund. We put most of our tax refunds into a vacation piggy bank in my payroll account. I also set up an auto transfer every time I make a deposit over a set amount. It has made things a little easier, knowing that we have a backup in case of an emergency.

The Challenge has helped me get through those dark days. 

I am so thankful that my husband was concerned enough about my well-being that he helped me start this chapter. I am positive that this time is different from any other time I tried to lose weight because I believe in myself and my positive changes. I am so thankful for my sister’s phone call and my husband’s suggestion. It has helped me realize that I was already doing a lot of positive things to improve my attitude, and showed me other things I could be doing. I am learning to become the best person I can be.

—Cassandra Peck, Walmart Supercenter #0705; Mount Dora, FL; $5K Winner