My biggest struggle in life has been that I didn’t have any self-confidence. It’s hard not feeling comfortable in your own skin. I’m 43, I weighed 269 pounds, and felt so bad. I’ve never eaten well consistently. I’d have fast food like Taco Bell, and processed food. And I’ve had some health issues like a hyperactive thyroid and PCOS, a hormonal condition that made it hard to lose weight. I’d say to myself, “Why can’t you change?” I also wanted to focus on having more meaningful, quality time with my husband, Davel, and our two kids, Aliyah, who’s 10, and seven-year-old Bryce.
Recently, my father was diagnosed with blood cancer.
I have family members who are dealing with alcohol addiction and I was stressed. A co-worker, Susan Hampton, suggested that I download the Thrive app. She said, “If I can do it, anyone can do it.”
My first step was to really think about what I was eating.
Before I bought food or ate anything, I’d ask questions like “Do I actually want this? Is it good for me?” I cut out fast food and eat a lot of veggie stir-fries. I make roasted cauliflower “steaks” which are delicious and filling, and I’ll make salmon and salad. Davel is actually a chef. He’s from Jamaica and does a lot of great Caribbean cooking like chicken and rice with bok choy.
I signed up with beachbody.
It’s great because the kids saw me working out and they wanted to join in, so now we all do the beachbody family workouts together and have a lot of fun. I also use our elliptical machine and small weights. And Davel and I go for walks. I’ve lost 17 pounds so far and I feel much better. I’m proud of myself.
To help improve my confidence, I do daily affirmations.
I say, “Rose you are strong, you can do this.” And I say to myself, “I am beautiful on the inside and the outside.”
The Thrive Resets help to clear my mind.
There’s one I love about finding joy in the little things. And that’s what I’m doing. I’m noticing the beauty around me — the colors of the trees, the shapes of the clouds. I try to be present and take everything in.
The whole family is getting active together — we set up a basketball goal on our patio.
We play together and we’re also doing art projects like drawing and painting. My daughter draws cats because she loves them and she draws faces. I paint flowers like calla lilies and clematis. That’s my strong suit. But I’m not as good as my daughter.
My garden is my happy place. Gardening is my favorite way to relax.
I love to watch flowers grow and bloom, especially tulips because when you see them bloom, you know the other flowers are coming soon and it’s the start of spring. I’ve started to dabble in growing vegetables like squash, tomatoes, and lettuce. Davel will help, and he’s growing pepper plants and habañeros. He’s excited about using them to spice up his recipes.
Money is the only thing my husband and I argue about, but we’re getting better.
We’re spending less because we’re not eating out, and I started a savings account. I’m much more conscious about how I spend my money. For example, I’m not buying wasteful toys. We want to save to have great experiences instead of “things.” We’re planning a trip to Canada.
In the evening we’re putting limits on media time.
We’re getting the kids off their tablets and we’re all doing our best to experience the “now,” instead of just being in the same room doing different things. We’ll play games like UNO, and we’ve been teaching ourselves to play chess from YouTube videos. And because I’m less stressed, I’m sleeping better.
I feel happy and a little more confident.
We live on a lake and I was sitting outside the other day with my kids, watching them play basketball. None of us were on our phones. It was a clear day and I was just looking at the water. It was so beautiful and I felt joyful. I was at peace.
— Rose Maxwell, Walmart Supercenter #76; Berryville, AR; $5K Winner