My biggest struggle in my life is not having family around. I’m 46 and both my parents have passed away. My mom lived with me and she died of cancer four years ago, which has been very difficult for me. Recently, I was battling depression. Work was my whole life and I was working a lot to avoid being home alone. I was eating every meal out — a lot of fast food —  I weighed 350 pounds and my knees hurt. I was stressed and I wasn’t physically active outside work. After work I’d go directly to bed, but I was unable to sleep at night without prescription pills. I downloaded the Thrive app because I wanted to make a positive change in my life.

Sleep was the first thing I tackled. 

Now, I stop watching T.V. and disconnect from electronics two hours before bed time. I began journaling at night, spending time in personal reflection. I reflect on the day, the positives and negatives, and what I could have done differently or did well at work. I look at how I can be proactive in finding solutions to make life less stressful, like getting everything covered if we’re short-staffed. I also write down motivational quotes. Most importantly I remind myself that I can only control what is in my area of control.

I read in bed.

I like looking through Pioneer Woman cookbooks for recipes that I can adapt for one person. I stopped taking sleeping pills. I’m sleeping eight hours a night and wake up well-rested instead of feeling groggy from the pills.

I’m moving much more. 

When I get home from work, I walk up and down the stairs to my apartment four or five times. I bought a stationary bike which I ride for 30 minutes. I like listening to jazz music like Etta James. It motivates me and keeps me going.

My doctor’s supporting me in my weight loss journey. 

I would normally drink four or five cokes a day, but now I have nothing but water. Instead of eating donuts on my break, I have two bananas. For lunch, I have a salad or turkey with cucumbers and tomatoes and some fruit. And in the evening, I cook for myself. I’ll make spaghetti with chicken, and I love making chicken tacos with low fat cheese. I’ve developed a love for avocados and homemade guacamole. I’ve found that simple changes in my diet make a world of difference and I’ve lost 25 pounds. 

I sit at my kitchen island to eat.

I don’t have seconds, and I don’t watch T.V. I feel better than I have ever felt in my entire life and I have 100 percent more energy. I don’t get tired anymore.

I’m 100 percent about positivity.
I celebrate my successes. I’ve just had my 10-year anniversary with Walmart, and that’s an accomplishment. The store had a party for me and that was really great. The store manager said really nice things about me. She said she really appreciated me and couldn’t run the store without me. It was a real confidence booster — I know that this is my place and this is where I meant to be. Resets on the Thrive app help me to lower stress at work. I especially like the breathing exercises. They help me clear my mind and move on from a difficult situation.

Connecting with friends and giving back is rewarding and makes me feel good.

I’m involved in my civic community as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce. We volunteer throughout the year, and organize fundraisers like golf tournaments which I help to organize. At Thanksgiving I bought a turkey for an associate who was struggling, and I coordinated a canned food drive for a homeless shelter. I appreciate everyone more now and we’re socializing outside the group. We’ll have dinner and talk on the phone. 

I love to travel and I went on three cruises last year.

I’m going on a trip to Honduras and Mexico. Now I have more energy to socialize with other travelers and I feel more outgoing. I’m planning to learn how to scuba dive. 

My major goal is to live a better and healthier life. 

I want to help my family have a better life. So far, things are starting to feel really good. I’m happier and more confident. 

— Allen Webb, Walmart Supercenter #121, Okmulgee, OK; $5K Winner