My wife, Lynn, and I are looking forward to the birth of our first child, and I want to be the best dad I can be. I’m 34 and I wasn’t taking care of myself. I’d eat frozen and packaged meals, and I didn’t do much exercise. I want to be able to move freely and play with my daughter. I was also stressed because I’m working on my degree in cybersecurity with Walmart’s Live Better U program, and I have a lot of homework.

I downloaded the Thrive app and began with a Microstep: checking food labels to make sure there’s no added sugar. Our goal is to raise our daughter, who we plan to name Stella, to have a good relationship with food. We talked to a nutritionist to get a better understanding of what it means to have a balanced diet, with the right amount of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.  

I started cooking and I’m enjoying researching new recipes. Recently, I made penne with meatballs in a mushroom sauce. I’m adding veggies to all our meals, like broccoli, cabbage, and spinach. For snacks, we have apples, grapes, and strawberries or peanut butter and crackers. I feel better and I’ve actually lost 10 pounds. Lynn and I are much more active, too. After dinner, we go for walks with our dog, Axel. There’s a beautiful trail behind our apartment. I’m already envisioning putting the baby in her stroller and going for walks with Axel. 

And watching Thrive Resets helps me to stay calm so I don’t get as stressed about my studies and homework.

As we prepare for our new arrival, I’ve been attending parenting classes with Lynn and we’ve learned so much about everything from breastfeeding and nutrition to first aid. We’ve learned about CPR and what we need in our nursery, and I’ve  also joined a local community group for new fathers. 

When our daughter’s older, I plan to teach her to play soccer, which I used to play in school, and take her snowboarding. I’m excited — I know I’m going to be an energetic, active dad for little Stella. 

— Daniel Santiago, Fulfillment Center #7559, Bethlehem, PA; $5K Winner