Last year my wife, Katie, and I adopted a newborn baby girl, Serenity. Starting a family was something we had wanted for a long time, and it was the best decision we’ve ever made. But I realized I was not going to be the father I wanted to be, because I’m 36 and weighed almost 300 pounds. When I came home from work, my knee and ankle would hurt, and I had no energy.

“I felt down and depressed.”

When Serenity started walking, I couldn’t get up off the couch fast enough to keep up with her because I was in pain. I was eating fast food and snacks like chips and candy and drinking soda and we’d eat out every weekend. I want to be around for a long time for my daughter, and I was motivated to start the Challenge by co-workers. 

“I started cooking at home and I love being in the kitchen.” 

Everything tastes better than going out because I know I made it. Breakfast is scrambled eggs and turkey sausage, and for dinner I’ll make baked chicken with rice and broccoli. What helped is we bought an air fryer to cook chicken and fish and make healthy French fries. On cheat days, once a week, I’ll make pasta. I’m happy that my daughter will grow up eating well.  

“My daughter and I love dancing together in front of the T.V.”

It’s great exercise, and Serenity loves watching me dance — it makes her laugh! Her favorite music videos: “Baby Shark” and country music singer Kane Brown. I never used to exercise before, now I can run around after Serenity. I take her for walks and I’ve started running. My goal is to run for an hour without stopping.  

“I’ve lost 30 pounds so far, I’m not in pain anymore and I don’t get down and tired.” 

I’ve encouraged my wife to start the Challenge because she has Crohn’s disease, so it will help her health. And I’ve inspired people at work to get healthy. My advice: If I can do it, anybody  can do it. Don’t say “no,” just give it a shot.  

“We do more things together as a family.”

We bought year passes to the zoo. Serenity loves it, especially the tiger! And the good thing is that you have fun while also walking around getting exercise. My relationship with my wife is a lot better because we spend more time with each other, like going to the store together, going for walks, and watching movies. We are also saving $200 a month by not eating out, and I’ve been putting the money we’ve saved in our daughter’s piggy bank.

“I am more positive and happy and that rubs off on other people.”

My wife and I are volunteering at a local charity for single moms, which feels great. I am very hopeful about the future, and I know I will be here to walk my daughter down the aisle someday.  

—Kevin Adams, Neighborhood Market #5255; Tampa, FL; $5K Winner

Through the Thrive Challenge, our community is making Better Choices, seeing big results, and winning big.

Stories from past winners, such as Kevin Adams, prove that every individual has the power to transform their life every day through a combination of small, sustainable changes and peer-to-peer inspiration.