I had ovarian cancer six years ago. And after a couple years of being cancer-free, I let go of some of the better habits that I had taken on at the time. I started feeling stressed and stopped making time for myself. I needed something to motivate me.

I came across the Thrive Challenge by seeing an ad on the Walmart homepage. 

I remember thinking that I was already looking for a way to make better choices and set new goals for myself. I knew I needed the motivation to get started, so I decided to sign up. Once I signed up, I immediately loved logging the choices I was making. 

I started by paying attention to what I was eating. 

The first change happened once I decided to eat better at every meal and eat things that would provide the most nutrients. Now I eat with the purpose of fueling my body, and not just stuffing myself with no thought behind it. It is a huge change. I’ve found a love for cauliflower and twice-baked cauliflower. It’s a wonderful substitute for twice-baked potatoes. 

Every day, I try to take a 15-minute walk or dance around the house to my favorite song. 

I wake up with a routine now and work out every day. I’m staying motivated by changing up my routines so I don’t get bored. It’s hot here, but I try to take my exercise outside during the coolest parts of the day so I can enjoy myself. Sometimes, I’ll just put on music and dance around the house for 30 minutes, jumping and dancing around.

I have more energy to play basketball with my daughter, or go for a jog around the lake with her. 

We exercise together, cook together, and she’s joined the Thrive Challenge too. I have lost 27 pounds so far, and my goal is to lose 25 more. Changing my diet has given me a new perspective on what I need to fuel my body. It’s not only had an impact on my life, but also on my daughter’s. 

I now set an alarm to make sure I get eight hours of sleep. 

I used to only get five hours each night. I set an alarm on my phone now at 8:30 p.m. each night, reminding me to go to sleep. It reminds me to turn off the T.V., put the phone away, and just go to sleep. I feel more alert in the morning and I don’t feel grouchy or groggy anymore.

I pay attention to my budget like I never used to. 

I had a lot of debt from medical bills and from moving to North Carolina from California. I started putting money away from each paycheck, even if it’s $20 in the bank. My daughter lives with me but my son lives in California with his father, and I actually saved enough last month to go visit him. And when I went out to California, I didn’t feel sluggish. We did things like walking and bike riding that we hadn’t done for a while because I didn’t have the energy before.

The Thrive Challenge has helped my stress levels in every way. The stress of worrying about the cancer coming back, the stress of not having enough money –– all of it. I’ve finally found the tools to help me get through it.

—Kat Miranda, Walmart Supercenter #1664; Wilson, N.C.; $5K Winner

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