Before the Challenge, with COVID, I had gained a lot of weight and wasn’t as active anymore. Around Christmas, I wasn’t happy with where things were at, and I wanted to be more active, eat better, and be more present for my family. So I started the Challenge.
I liked that it wasn’t a restrictive program like the ones I’d tried before — where you can’t have this, and you’ve got to cut that out. I don’t do well with those, and it’s not sustainable for most people.
So I started planning out meals, cooking at home, and sticking to a calorie budget. At first, my family would say, “You want us to eat what?” I was substituting cauliflower and squash and vegetables they weren’t used to. But they’ve really come to love them. Some of my favorites are Buffalo cauliflower wings and cauliflower pizza crust. There are also some small things that have made a difference with my eating habits. One is just eating off of a smaller plate. It sounds crazy, but it works — you feel more full because you see a full plate.
I went down almost six sizes!
I’m also much more active. I go to the gym three times a week and go out for walks and outdoor activities in the evening instead of sitting in front of a screen all the time. I’m sleeping better, too — getting an extra one to three hours more per night. I feel much better, more confident, and get more done because I have a plan.
I’ve now lost about 40 pounds. The moment I realized it was paying off was about a month ago. We were getting ready for vacation, so I went to buy some clothes. I tried on my normal size and it was too big. So I went down a size and it was still too big. That’s when I realized I’d gone down almost six sizes! I can’t even remember the last time I wore this size.
The Challenge has also made us closer as a family.
They join me in cooking meals, walking and workouts. Before, I’d be tired when I came home from work and would just want to sit down and watch my shows. Now my daughter, who’s 15, has noticed me being more present for her when I come home. It’s really made us value time together more. I feel like this is better for all our futures.
The Challenge really helps you see the simple little things you can do every day. It doesn’t have to be totally earth-shattering or disruptive to your life. It really makes it easy. And if you do it repeatedly over several days and weeks, it becomes a habit. It’s about building habits that you can maintain.
Having the resources, the articles and the stories of people who have succeeded on the app makes a big difference. You learn you can also succeed and work through it. I have so much more confidence and realize I can make sustainable changes.
—Dave Ellis, Walmart Supercenter #5361; Omaha, NE; $5K Winner