Three years ago I lost my mom to suicide. My parents had been married for 41 years and it was shocking. I had a hard time, I started drinking and eating too much. I weighed 225 pounds. I’m 36 and when I was younger I’d been into fitness. I wanted to get healthy again, to feel good and have more energy. Also, my wife, Karrah, and I were focusing so much on our careers that we weren’t spending enough time together.

I downloaded the Thrive app and changed my diet.

I stopped eating fast food and fried food and started drinking lots of water. Karrah and I make a shopping list before we go to the grocery store, and we plan meals. I’ll cook chicken with vegetables, or we’ll have grilled chicken salad with a light balsamic vinaigrette. I’m enjoying using my smoker. I made smoked salmon that turned out really good. We’re eating mashed cauliflower which has almost the same consistency as mashed potatoes if you blend it with salt and pepper. We sit down for dinner together, and then take our dogs, Shadow and Rosie for a walk.

We’re making a point of taking our days off together. 

We’ll go to a baseball game when we have family coming into town. We just had our eight year wedding anniversary, and we rented a boat and went out on Lake Murray. We love it out there — it’s very peaceful and relaxing. Then we went for a nice dinner. 

I’m working out again at the gym — I go three times a week. 

I’ll do cardio and endurance training with a little weight training as I gradually get my stamina back up, and get that weight off. Exercising feels good. I’ve lost 15 pounds and I have more energy.

There’s always stuff to do around the house, and I have the energy to do it.

We’ll spend time outside and do yard work, and the dogs will be running around. We have a large pool, and I swim all the time now it’s warm. It’s relaxing and helps me wind down.

Karrah and I are focusing on finances.

There are great tips on the Thrive app. We’re paying extra on our mortgage and plan to pay it off in 15 years. We’re aiming to achieve financial freedom. We’re also saving for vacations. We’re going on a Caribbean cruise later this year. And we’d love to travel to Italy, to learn about the history and see the amazing architecture. 

I go to see my dad. 

He’s getting older, so I want to spend as much time with him as possible. He lives in Myrtle Beach, a couple of hours away. We really enjoy each other’s company. We play top golf, or go out on the ocean in a boat.

Motorcycling makes me happy.

I bought a Harley — I love it. Going for a ride is like meditation for me. It gives me a feeling of freedom and calm that’s hard to describe. My wife loves to ride on the back! I like to go for rides in the mountains with my brother, Travis. 

Thrive Resets help me relax. 

I tend to hold my breath a lot and grind my teeth when I sleep, so I watch them to wind down. I like the ones with the night sky, and the desert landscapes. They bring back happy memories with my mom, because when we were young we used to look up at the sky with a telescope.

I have a better outlook, and I’m more positive.

I don’t want to waste a day, I want to get something out of it, and give something back too. At work, I’m building relationships with my team. I’ve been able to talk to an associate who’s been going through a tough time, and tell him I’m there for him. He feels he has some purpose at work, even if he doesn’t have it right now at home. 

I miss my mom. I know I’ll never be fully healed — it’s a process.

And Thrive is helping me continue that healing process. I’m happy my mom isn’t struggling anymore. I have goals again, I’m feeling better about myself. My mom was always really proud of me, and I know she’s proud of me now. I was raised to believe there’s an afterlife; I believe she’s somewhere thinking of me, and that gives me comfort. 

— Tyler Williams, Distribution Center #6014, Laurens, SC; $5K Winner