I am single with two grown kids and six wonderful, rambunctious grandchildren, but I didn’t have the energy for them. I felt drained and sluggish. I’m 56 and I work from home and it’s just me, the walls, and the computer! I was eating anything and everything, like fried food and bread, and I weighed 210 pounds. The light bulb moment came when I found out I have borderline high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I didn’t want to end up on a lot of medications, like many people in my family, and I decided to change my lifestyle. 

My friend, Florice, a Thrive Challenge winner, inspired me to download the Thrive App. 

She looks radiant and has so much passion for the Thrive Challenge. As she’s always said: it’s not about conquering the world, it’s about doable Microsteps. And finally I said, “I’m ready!”

I start the day by thanking God.

I read the Bible and inspirational quotes on the Thrive app. I walk three or four miles, and then I’ll do 50 jumping jacks. Jump-starting my day feels good. Sometimes I ride my bike by the James River which is close to my house. It’s peaceful and calm and I love it.

My go-to breakfast is overnight oatmeal made with oat milk and cinnamon. 

I leave it in the fridge and in the morning, I’ll add banana and walnuts. I’ve cut back on red meat and eat more veggies. One of my favorite recipes is homemade tomato-based soup with chicken. I’ve stopped buying candy — if it’s not in the house I don’t eat it. I love Oreo cookies, but if I do buy a pack, I’ll take a few out and bag them, and put the rest out of reach. I’ve lost 10 pounds so far, feel better in my clothes, and I’m on track to lose more.

After work, I shutdown my computer and put my phone away. 

I love my quiet time listening to meditations or reading. I might do some self-care and pampering, like giving myself a manicure and pedicure.  

I’m saving money by spending less. 

I still shop and treat myself, I just go to the sale rack and I do more looking than buying. My pastor suggested putting a dollar or even a quarter a day into a jar. As he says, “You’ll be surprised how it adds up!”

I love being with my grandchildren and tire them out, running around the park with them! 

I’m spending more time with my mother who has mild dementia; I took her to a high school basketball game, which we both enjoyed. I have more patience with her because I feel better about myself.  

I’m excited about my Thrive Challenge journey.

I love the simple Microsteps like doing squats while you’re brushing your teeth. I’m forever grateful to Florice for her encouragement, and I’m feeling positive. My goal: To have enough money to retire so I can spend my time volunteering with the elderly.

— Beverly Mason, Walmart Customer; Newport News, VA; $5K Winner