It all started back in March. I was getting tests done in preparation for gastric bypass surgery and feeling frustrated with myself. I couldn’t believe how much weight I had put on. That same week, I received an email about Thrive and read the inspiring stories. In that moment I knew I had to make a change and start caring for myself. I had let myself go. While I was extremely focused and disciplined in my role as a driver for Walmart, I found I wasn’t disciplined on my days off and would make unhealthy choices. I also had no energy to do things with my family. After reading those stories, I called my wife over and said, “Cindy, I want my story to be on there. I’m going to show myself and my doctors that I can do this.” 

“I’m eating delicious, low-carb foods throughout the day.”

It all felt like destiny. I called my doctor’s office to cancel the surgery and started making changes right away. My wife had always prepared healthy meals to take with me when I was on the road, and I decided I would stay the course and eat healthy when I was home, too. I’m eating delicious, low-carb foods throughout the day, like stuffed bell peppers with no rice, salads with red wine vinegar as dressing, and celery and cauliflower as snacks. When I want something sweet, I’ll reach for strawberries with just a little whipped cream. I’ve also given up all types of alcohol and eating out at all restaurants while on the road, which saves me $700-$800 a month. Now that I’m eating better, I no longer suffer from acid reflux, which allows me to sleep through the night without waking up. And now that I’m sleeping better, I have sustained energy throughout the day.

“I’m a lot happier than I have been in a long time.”

As a driver, it can be challenging to fit movement into my day. Sometimes, I sit for 11 to 14 hours straight — but I still walk as much as possible in between stops. I also bring a portable bike on my truck, which I ride for at least 30 minutes a day. I’ll even call family members when I’m riding to check in and catch up. When I’m home, I’ll go for walks with my wife and our dogs. I’ve lost 25 pounds since September. My old hoodies are getting big on me, and I’ve noticed a huge change in my mood and behavior. I’m a lot happier than I have been in a long time. 

“I do my best every single day.”

Prior to starting my journey, I lost my mother. And while I was still grieving my mother, I lost my 21-year-old son in a car accident. But I have come a long way — and I know they would be proud of me. I am thankful for my life and eager to see what each day has to offer. I do my best every single day to stay humble and do good for those around me. I donate to charities each month, like Valley Children’s Hospital for Kids, and have a giving mindset everywhere I go. I’m all about my wife, my sons, my family, and spreading positivity. 

Jose Torres, Porterville, CA; $5K Winner

Small daily choices can lead to life-changing results. Download the Thrive App today to improve your well-being. For more inspiring stories, follow Thrive on Facebook and Instagram.