I’ve always put everyone else first and I put myself on the backburner because I was so busy working. I didn’t feel good about myself or the way I looked so I didn’t want to go out and see anyone — I had no self-esteem. And oh my goodness I wasn’t eating right, I lived on fast food. I weighed 180 pounds and I’m very short so for me that was a lot. I’m 59 and my son, Tyler, and his wife, Kami, have a three-year-old boy, Denver. My husband, Garry, and I watch him on the weekend. Denver wanted me to run around with him and to tell you the truth I didn’t have the energy. I felt like a failure as a grandma.
One day it hit me that it was time to make time for myself.
I downloaded the Thrive app and I stopped eating fast food. Now, Garry and I make dinner together. We love chicken and fix it different ways — we’ll make lemon pepper chicken or barbecued chicken and have it with brussels sprouts, broccoli, or asparagus. One of us is cooking and the other is seasoning, and we’re cleaning as we go. Sometimes Garry will smoke brisket for hours and that will last for the week. Oh my goodness, it’s very good!
I thought to myself, I’ve got to get moving.
So now I wake up and put my exercise clothes in my car. I cut down my hours at work so I have time to exercise. After work, instead of going home and watching T.V, I take my gym bag to the community center where I meet my sister, Betty. We walk around the track and we use the equipment in the gym.
Betty is my accountability buddy.
We’ll text each other and encourage each other. Once in a while she’ll say her day was stressful and she doesn’t want to work out and I’ll say, “This is just what you need to get you out of your funk!” And it’s true — once we get moving, we always feel better.
My husband has turned the garage into a gym.
We have an elliptical machine, weights, and other equipment. I love listening to old-school 90s country music while I exercise like Aaron Tippin or Sammy Kershaw. I forget about time. Another song comes on and I’ll be like, “Hey, I’ve just got to finish this song and I’ll keep going.”
I’m helping Garry with DIY projects.
He’s building a spaceship bed for our grandson. We’re spending more time together and we’re bonding more.
Betty and I go to see shows on the weekend.
We go to a theater in Branson, a tourist town nearby, where we know the owner. They have great country music with local talent. We have so much fun. Afterwards there’s karaoke and we get up there and dance — I guess you’d call it dancing! We’re kind of swaying to the music. We’ll go out to eat, and instead of junk food, we’ll have a grilled chicken salad.
Doing something for myself makes me feel so much better..
I never used to spend money on myself, but now that I’ve lost weight, I’m buying clothes without going, “ugh.” I bought a pink halter sundress that’s tight on top with a flowing skirt, and a pair of Western boots. I just feel happy and confident.
I have energy for my grandson.
I bought Denver a bike and I’m teaching him to ride it. We go to the park and run around and chase each other and he shouts, “C’mon Memaw!” He wants to go go go. We also go for walks with his family’s three dogs. He keeps me running and I tell him he keeps me young!
I take at least 10 minutes of my lunch hour to sit down by myself and mentally detox.
I unwind, I do deep breathing, and I pray. I’ve been with Walmart for 41 years and I think about how thankful I am for my job, my family, my friends, and my life — because I have a good life.
The Thrive Challenge has changed my whole life.
I’ve lost 20 pounds and I feel like a totally new person. I’m more outgoing and I have tons more energy. I feel like a 20-year-old versus a 60-year-old. I know I’m going to be around for my grandson, and hopefully for his children too!
— Kathy Murphy, Walmart Supercenter #76, Berryville, AR; $5K Winner