Charlena Mitchell

Before the Thrive Challenge, my life was upside down. I was trying to find a job, trying to keep a roof over my head. Nothing was working. Then I got a job at Walmart, which led to a conversation that changed my life. One day, when I was at a low point, a fellow associate named Joan Thomas saw how down I was and handed me a copy of  the Thrive Challenge book. “Take this home and read it, because somebody somewhere is going through some tougher things than you.” After reading about these amazing people I knew it was time for me to lift myself up.

I started by cutting down on sugary drinks.  

It was hard, but I started by skipping those sugary drinks. After about a month, I noticed my clothes had a little more room in them, and I said to myself, “Wow, this is working!” I began to cut down on sweets and fast food and eat more fruits and vegetables.

I also started walking. 

As I ate better, I had more energy. So when I felt really down I started walking around my neighborhood. I noticed that even more weight came off and I felt better. The walking helped me connect with my son and he became my support group. Now we walk around the neighborhood together and I feel great.

I’ve lost about 20 pounds since starting the Thrive Challenge.

Now I have more energy to run around and play with my grandkids. And the energy is contagious: I even got my sister to try the Thrive Challenge!

I find myself smiling and talking a lot more than I used to. 

Before the Thrive Challenge I was just shut off — I wouldn’t talk to anybody. I was full of self-doubt and was hard on myself. Now I have more confidence. I can walk up to somebody and hold a conversation. But more importantly, I believe in myself and appreciate life more. Now I just keep pushing. No matter what I’m going through, I just keep striving, just keep pushing. It’s been a life-changer.

—Charlena Mitchell, Walmart Supercenter #0839; Baton Rouge, LA; $5K Winner

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