At the end of 2018, I was eating a lot and wasn’t as active as I wanted to be. I was raised to finish everything on my plate, even if I was full. I knew this mentality would catch up to me. Then came 2019; I was going through a divorce and lost a lot of weight due to stress and lack of sleep. I didn’t feel good about dropping the weight because I knew I hadn’t done it in a safe, healthy way. I’m 29 now, and knew if I didn’t make changes, my habits were only going to get worse. I heard about the Thrive Challenge through work and decided to download the app in September. From that point forward, it was game on. I treated the Challenge like homework, which kept me focused on my goals. 

“I’m a firm believer in getting better every single day.”

I’ve grown so much from where I was last year. I used to be the kind of person who would put limits on myself. Now, I’m a firm believer in getting better every single day. I’ve always used exercise as a way to relieve stress, and now that I’m working out consistently again, I’m feeling so much better. I head to the gym after work five to six days a week. I work different muscle groups on different days, which helps my mindset because I know what my intention is every time I work out. I’ve lost 17 pounds so far. I used to be the type of person who would only work out by themselves because I was self-conscious. Though I still feel self-conscious from time to time, I’ve started working out with some of my friends from work. My friend and co-worker Lewis Wilder has been especially helpful. He’s pushed me to get outside my comfort zone and try new things.

“My body has adapted and I’ve seen big changes.”

I’ve also picked up intermittent fasting, using the 16/8 method where I eat within an eight-hour window and fast in the other 16. It was very hard at first, but my body has adapted and I’ve seen big changes. I limit my carb and sugar intake in my eight-hour window and am working on eating smaller portions. I’m eating a lot of salads for lunch, which are full of fiber and help to regulate my digestive system and curb my appetite.

“There’s no better place to enjoy each other’s company than at the dinner table.”

I couldn’t have started this journey without the help of my girlfriend, Diamond. I go on walks with her and her son almost every day, and she helps me with planning and making healthy dinners, so that way I don’t reach into the cabinet and snack on something that isn’t good for me. We’re also having meals together at the table. We used to eat dinner in front of the T.V. Now, we use that time for family bonding. There’s no better place to enjoy each other’s company than at the dinner table. 

“I am capable of more than I ever thought possible.”

I’m most proud of the progress I’ve made with money. I really pay attention to what I pick up at the supermarket, and have saved money from not buying sweets. My goal is to buy a house one day, so I’ve been working hard to pay off debt and boost my credit score. So far, I’ve increased my score by over 50 points. I’m constantly setting new goals and not allowing myself to get complacent. I’ve learned that I am capable of more than I ever thought possible. I still have bad days — it’s not all sunshine all the time. But I remind myself: “It’s a new day. Don’t look back at the bad things from yesterday, look at the positive things and get back on track today.” 

Craig Medeck, Statesboro, GA; $5K Winner

Small daily choices can lead to life-changing results. Download the Thrive App today to improve your well-being. For more inspiring stories, follow Thrive on Facebook and Instagram.