I knew I had to change my lifestyle when I went to the doctor and found out I was borderline diabetic, and I had high cholesterol. I’d have sugary drinks like Big Red sodas all day. I was eating fast food, chocolate and chips. I wasn’t sleeping well and I had no energy.

It was hard because life was stressful.

I got divorced eight years ago after a 28-year marriage. After being alone for a long time, I met someone new, Angela. We fell in love and got married in June 2020. We’re very happy together, but there’s been a lot of sadness in our lives. My stepdaughter, Nikki, passed away in 2020 which was hard, and we’re currently raising her son, my 15 year-old grandson Kedrick. I also have a son, and a 23-year-old foster daughter, Alexis. I wasn’t exercising so I didn’t feel good, and I wanted to change. I noticed a co-worker, Gabino Suarez, was looking really healthy and asked him what he was doing. He told me about Thrive, and I downloaded the Thrive app.

My first Microstep was swapping sugary drinks for water, 

I still crave sodas, but Thrive helps me with discipline, and I stay away from them. My next Microstep was food prepping. I take healthy snacks to work like apples and bananas instead of buying candy and chips from vending machines. I cut down on red meat, potatoes, and fried food. Now, I mostly eat tuna or baked chicken with salad. Soon, I noticed I started to lose belly fat and had more energy.

Moving makes me feel great.

I go to the gym and walk on the treadmill. I started lifting weights, and gradually increased my exercise. I make sure I get sunlight every day —  I’ll  take a break and go outside. I also go for a walk every evening. 

Angela and I spend more time together. 

We’re always looking for things that will bring us joy. We play dominoes, we listen to music, old school R&B, like The Temptations, and we watch old westerns. We also love going for rides together on my Harley Davidson. I’m connecting more with my mother, helping her out around her house, or I’ll just visit  her and we’ll watch T.V. together.

I’m sleeping well. 

Each night before I go to bed, I get rid of unwanted noise in the bedroom. I turn off the T.V. and cut off my phone notifications. Sometimes I check out a Thrive Reset — they’re very calming. And after my evening walk, before bedtime, I take a long, hot shower, which makes me feel so relaxed.

My stepson, Kedrick, and I are bonding.

His father isn’t in his life, so I support him as much as I can. We’ll go fishing and I watch his football and basketball games. Sometimes he cries and has bad days, when he’s missing his mom, and Angela and I do our best to comfort him.

Everything in my life has changed. 

I’ve lost 10 pounds. But my journey actually isn’t about losing weight, it’s about having a healthy and happy life. I no longer feel sleepy all the time. I can watch a two hour movie without falling asleep. My blood pressure and sugar are in the normal range now.

With a little discipline, and by taking Microsteps, I’ve learned I can do anything.

In the morning, I want to get up and do things again, instead of sitting around. I don’t feel nearly 60 at all, I feel great. My energy is back and I’m excited about the future.

Lewis Bryant, Distribution Center #9153, Waco, TX; $5K Winner