Life has been a struggle for the past ten years. I suffer from two auto-immune disorders; psoriatic arthritis and lichen sclerosus. They take a toll on my well-being and I’ve been in a lot of pain. I’m 57, and I was exhausted. I wasn’t eating enough to nourish my body, just one meal a day, and I wasn’t drinking enough water. I was losing weight and muscle. My swollen knees felt terrible and I cried a lot because I thought that I would have to quit my job.

My partner Denny and I have been together for 27 years. 

We’re very happy and we have a wonderful black lab, Gracie, but I felt depressed and couldn’t snap out of it. I made a choice to change my lifestyle and downloaded the Thrive app.

I started having breakfast every morning.

I’ll make oatmeal or fix myself a protein shake. Lunch is an apple with nuts and   turkey. Dinner’s my biggest meal and I’ll cook chicken in the air fryer. I always have a salad and I might have steamed broccoli or roasted brussels sprouts. I also eat fruit — apples, peaches, and berries.

Now that I’m eating better, I have more energy.

I can do a full workout in my home gym. I do squats and bench presses. I love Les Mills on-demand body combat classes. They make me feel strong. If I’m having a bad day, I can punch and kick myself into a good mood. I’ve also started doing yoga and deep stretching. I don’t want my joints to get tight and if I’m having a flare-up, stretching really helps.

My relationship has improved, we’re getting along better.  

Denny works offshore but when he’s home, we’ll have breakfast together and make dinner together. We take Gracie to the lake and I can walk further now without taking a break.

We enjoy getting out in the yard together.

We’ll be mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, and trimming bushes. We grow amarillos, purple irises, and daylilies, which are really pretty and only bloom for a single day! At the end of the day, we sit on our back porch with a glass of wine and enjoy the view — even when it’s cold. Then we’ll watch Yellowstone or cop shows.

A nice long Epsom salts soak puts me in a good mood at night.

I listen to calming music that helps me slow down and I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.  

I have a positive mindset at work.

Instead of panicking, I say to myself, “We’re going get through this.” I’m there to listen if someone needs to vent. We’re a small team and we help each other out. I was filling in for our manager recently and helping a new member of our team with something that had to be fixed on the computer. I pulled up a chair and walked him through the process and cheered him on, and he learned how to do it so he was happy. We all know how to do each other’s job so if someone calls in sick or is off on vacation we can all fill in.

Every day, I find things to be grateful for.

One day I was sitting on the back porch and I thought to myself: I’m grateful for the teeny teeny hummingbird on the feeder. Or I’ll look at Denny and feel grateful for him. I’m grateful that I’m feeling good and that I’m here to see another day. I’m choosing to deal with these health conditions on my own terms. I’m focusing on self-healing — I’m happy and positive and I wake up feeling loving. 

Our goal is to build our dream home from the ground up.

We want to grow our own vegetables. And I want to travel. My bucket list vacation is Alaska. I like the cold weather and hikes, and that’s going to be my milestone birthday present to myself when I turn 60.

— Linda Blankenship, Distribution Center #6056,Terrell, TX; $5K Winner

The Thrive Challenge is all about making small, better choices in your everyday life using the Thrive platform (on web or mobile) in whatever area you want to prioritize. Join the Thrive Challenge here and submit your story for a chance to win part of a $1,000,000 prize pool.