I was going to the gym, but I wasn’t seeing results. When I wasn’t at the gym or at work, I slept all the time. And when I’d spend time with my son, we’d sit on the couch and I’d feel depressed. I had come out of a bad relationship and I thought I had to accept my life as it was. I learned about the Challenge from my co-workers, Danna and CJ, and took a deeper look at myself. I knew I deserved better. I realized I had so much to offer — but I had to get up and do something about it. 

I had heard a lot about meal prepping, so I tried it out. 

I bought four containers with dividers and started cooking a combination of meat, veggies, and carbs. At first, I gave myself a larger portion of meat than veggies, but now I do the opposite. I love simple vegetables like broccoli. It didn’t take long to realize I had been overeating. This was a big challenge for me because I had quit smoking two years prior and whenever I craved a cigarette, I reached for something to eat. Now I’m using the same formula in a better way — if I’m craving food but I’m not truly hungry, I’ll drink some water instead.

I used to be so afraid of stepping outside my comfort zone.

There was a time I broke down and cried when I went for a walk because I was so self-conscious. I realized it was time to rip the Band-Aid off. So I started going for short walks that got longer and longer. Then, I started coaching my son’s soccer team. At first, I was nervous. I wasn’t sure what the other parents would think of me. But taking that risk opened up so many doors. Now, I get out there and run with the soccer group. I teach them, encourage them, and, most importantly, I lead them by example. I’m showing my son what it means to be a leader instead of a follower. And with a more active lifestyle and saying “yes” to things, I’ve lost 40 pounds!

Now that I’m volunteering as a coach, I have a more positive attitude. 

I find I want to volunteer even more! Getting out of my comfort zone and filling my time with coaching and other activities has also helped me save money. I fill my day with healthy distractions — like doing schoolwork, spending time with my son, going to the soccer games — instead of needlessly spending money. I plan out my days now and look forward to them. I’m saving toward a down payment on a house and I’m no longer stressed because I have a safety net. 

When things get tough, I sit outside for 30 minutes to breathe and think things through.I read a book, listen to the birds, and tap into my inner peace. I’m making the most of every day and working hard to provide a better life for my son. I know I can’t change the past, but what I can do is look to the future and make choices today for a better tomorrow.

—Jenny Prince, Supercenter #4200; Columbus, GA; $5K Winner

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