A year ago, life was difficult. My husband, Ken, and I were arguing all the time. We were just working and working. Then at home, we’d both be on our phones all evening. There was no bonding. My 20-year-old daughter, Arrelya, lives with us, but I was lonely. Also, I wasn’t eating well. I’d pick up pizza or burgers for dinner, and at work I’d eat chips and cookies. I’m 45 and I weighed 200 pounds.
The turning point was when I was diagnosed with diabetes.
My doctor put me on insulin. My co-worker, Ahmed Al Sammarraie, told me that when he moved to America from Iraq with his family, he was under a lot of pressure and had gained weight. And the Thrive Challenge helped him lose the weight. His story really touched me and made me want to try the Thrive Challenge for myself.
My first step was to stop eating out and start cooking.
We still eat what we love, but we’ve cut back on portions. I’ll bake chicken or fish like tilapia in the oven. I add lemon to everything — it’s great for flavor. I’ve lost 14 pounds in the last six months and feel great.
Ken and I are doing the Thrive Challenge together.
We started by making time to talk to each other. We turn off the T.V. before we go to bed and listen to meditations on the Thrive app, with calming music and nature sounds. We’re bonding by doing DIY projects together. We built a deck in the backyard, which was great fun. And we’re going through couples counseling, which has been tremendous for our relationship. We’ve learned to be kind and say affectionate things to each other like: “I appreciate you. I love you. Thank you.”
We’re closer as a family.
Now, we sit down for dinner together. We bought bikes and we go for rides with our kids — Ken has an 11-year-old son. I also try to have “me time” when I can — I’ll get a manicure or a massage. I began picking helpful Microsteps on the Thrive app, like taking a hot bath before going to bed, which helps me relax.
I’m more compassionate at work.
It’s important as a leader and people appreciate it. They tell me: “Ms. Keisha, you’re one of our best managers!” One of my team leads has been going through a lot in her marriage, so I take the time to listen to her. I’ll reach out and say: “How are you doing?”
One of my biggest inspirations to get strong and healthy is my 25-year-old son.
He is serving 15 years in prison. He’s changed and learned a lot in prison, and I want to be there to support him when he gets out. Maybe he’ll do the Thrive Challenge, too.
The Thrive Challenge has helped save my marriage.
It’s helped me turn my life around. My husband and I are happy. I’m healthier and more energetic, and I am not on insulin anymore. I’m excited about the future.
—Lakreisha (Keisha) Staples, #5823 Supercenter; Dallas, TX; $5K Winner