My family has a history of diabetes. It seems like right after someone in my family turns 50 years old, they get the diagnosis. I’m 55 and realized I needed to get serious about my health last year when my father, who was diabetic, had his legs amputated and passed away. I had heard about the Thrive Challenge from some associates when I worked at Walmart and decided to get serious about refined sugars. We love sweets in my family, so it was a difficult journey, but I started doing research and found sugar alternatives like stevia. I’ve also gone low carb and have incorporated foods into my diet that I wasn’t eating before, like avocado, fruit smoothies, and fresh fish. I’ve swapped out oils with lots of saturated fats and use olive, avocado, or coconut oil instead. I’ve cut out soda completely and instead, I’m drinking Hint waters and regular water with some lemon and lime mixed in. My complexion is clearer and brighter, and my energy is up, too. When I started the 21-day Challenge, I also became more aware of my money habits. I realized I was wasting so much money on the lottery. Now, I’m using Acorns to invest money instead.

  • Since cutting back on sugar and carbs, I’ve lost 20 pounds. 
  • My goal is to drink 60 ounces of water every day. 
  • I’m sleeping and breathing better now that I’ve lost weight. 
  • I’m saving about $500 a month since I stopped spending money on the lottery. 

Taking charge of my fitness has been my best achievement. I started with the goal of being able to walk three miles. I used to think walking was boring, but now I listen to music and have increased my goal to five miles every time I walk. I’ve connected with people over Facebook and FitBit to do walking challenges and encourage each other. When I go to the park to work out, I park my car on the opposite side of the lot to get extra steps in. For a while, I started to get aches in my knees and shin splints, which was challenging. I started using natural remedies to ease the pain, like Epsom salt baths and stretching. Now I’m feeling good. I’ve been dedicated and diligent, going for walks four to six times a week. Some days, I even do seven or eight miles. I’m proud of myself for that.

Dawn Vincent; Walmart Customer, Union City, GA; Thrive Challenge Georgia $3K Winner

Through the Thrive Challenge, our community is making better, healthier choices, seeing big results, and winning big. Stories from past winners, such as Dawn Vincent, prove that every individual has the power to transform their life every day through a combination of small, healthier choices and peer-to-peer inspiration.