I went through a painful divorce and it was a rough few years. I weighed 192 pounds and was diagnosed with prediabetes, and I had pain in my ankles and knees. I was stressed, and I saw food as my “happy place,” but I didn’t feel happy. I felt tired; I didn’t have any energy, and I wanted to achieve more in my life. I have two kids, 22-year-old Arianna and 17-year-old Terry, and I wanted to set a positive example for them.

I downloaded the Thrive app and I started substituting one sugary drink, like Dr. Pepper, for water. I used to cook fried chicken and I wasn’t eating veggies, and now a typical dinner will be chicken or shrimp cooked in the air fryer with steamed broccoli or asparagus. I focus on eating lean and green! My weakness was eating ice cream before bed, but now I spread Greek yogurt and fresh fruit onto a baking sheet on wax paper and keep it in the freezer. I break off a piece for a healthy treat. My favorite Microstep is pausing before grabbing food on autopilot and asking myself, “Are you just eating out of boredom?”

I’m moving more, too. I’ve found that my way of working out is not going to the gym; it’s being outside enjoying nature. I take my dogs on nature walks, and take walks during my breaks.My ankles and knees don’t hurt as much. I’ve lost 15 pounds in the past five months and I’m proud of myself. I feel successful, which I haven’t felt for a long time. My A1C has gone down, and my doctor said I’m on the right path.

Now I have energy for everything else I want to achieve. At 40 years old, I decided to go to college, something I never thought would be possible for me. I discovered it’s never too late to learn new things. I just got my certificate in medical billing and coding, and I’m taking office technology classes. I have a newfound confidence in myself and in my abilities. I know I’m being a good role model for my kids. My hope is that they realize anything is possible.

— Joanna Galindo, Distribution Center #9153, Waco, TX; $5K Winner