My number one struggle has been my health and my weight. For a long time, I wasn’t feeling good. I had hypertension and high blood pressure. I’m 49 and I weighed 220 pounds, I was on medication, and I wasn’t taking care of myself. My beautiful wife, Tracy and I have been married for 21 years and counting. And we have two awesome children. Allyson is 15 and our son, J.T., is 19 and at college. 

Heart disease runs in my family on both sides.

My dad’s had multiple heart attacks. And I knew I needed to change. Tracy, who works for Walmart like me, has been doing the Thrive Challenge for a long time. She’s super committed and inspiring — she works out every day and eats well. She was always encouraging me to start and I finally decided to download the Thrive app! I never realized how great it would be. And having Tracy’s support is great. We’re helping each other along the way.

We used to eat a bunch of fast food, but now Tracy and I sit down for dinner together.

The kids have sports, see friends or work in the evening, but we make sure to have about four family meals a month. I cook jerk chicken on the grill and add it to salads. And we like grilled zucchini with a little olive oil. I’ve cut back on snacks. I used to eat bags of chips. I started making cinnamon almonds, a much healthier choice. The whole family seems to love them — we go through about two to three pounds a week! I’m also eating more fruit, like plums, grapes, and blueberries.

On my days off, I take a walk with my dog, Sam.

I cut the grass and find other things to do outside to get my steps in. I also use my weight bench several times a week. 

Tracy and I go for hikes together at our local state parks.

We walk through the woods and enjoy the scenery. Sometimes I’ll take my camera and get some pictures of wildlife. J.T. and I love to hunt and fish together. Tracy and I like to go to trivia nights with friends once in a while. We’re getting ready to go on our family vacation to Ocean City, Maryland where we go every year. We’ll spend the whole week together going to the beach, walking the boardwalk, eating, riding go-carts, and just having fun. 

At work, I am definitely connecting more with my team.

I’m listening to them. I’m doing my best to give them good advice and let them know about Walmart’s great benefits. I was shocked to find out how few people know how the 401k works, so I’ve explained it to them. And I’ve already inspired multiple people to sign up for the Thrive Challenge. 

I really like the Microstep about complimenting a colleague at work.

Seeing someone’s reaction when you give them genuine praise and they feel appreciated is great. I really enjoy celebrating my team members and recognizing good work. Thrive is helping me build a better relationship with my team.

We’re saving money by not eating out as much. 

We also did comparison shopping and switched our internet and phone service, which means we’re saving $200 a month. 

The best thing that’s happened is that I’m healthier.

I’ve lost 10 pounds and I feel much better; my cholesterol is lower, which my doctor is pleased about. I still take medication, but all my test results look great. Those little reminders on the Thrive app, and the Microsteps are helping me form great habits. I’m a more active person, I feel happier, and I know I’ll be around for my family.

— Joseph Wysocki, Walmart Supercenter #2024, Tunkhannock, PA; $5K Winner