I started my Thrive Challenge in August. I wasn’t making decisions to benefit my future. I have chronic pancreatitis and was starting to grow cysts on my chest. This really worried me, and signaled that it was time to act for a change. One day, I was on the OneWalmart website for associates and came across the opportunity to make a change in myself and my community — that opportunity was the Thrive Challenge. 

“I wanted to step up my game.”

I’m making many Better Choices with food. I start my day with a big breakfast and eat smaller meals throughout the day. I’ve cut out foods that are high in fats and carbohydrates, and have started eating more greens, like cucumbers and avocados. I never used to eat salads or vegetables and was spending a lot of money on fast food. Now I’m finding recipes online, cooking at home on my skillet, and saving money because of it. More importantly, I haven’t had a pancreas attack in over a year. 

Fitness has always been a priority to me, but I wanted to step up my game. I get at least 10,000 steps at work and do 50 pushups and some stretching every morning. Afterward, I’ll go for a walk with my dogs. I’ve lost 25 pounds so far. Another accomplishment: I’ve saved $1,900 so far from keeping track of my bills, thinking twice about my purchases, and not going out to eat.  

“I have confidence in my ability to make better decisions for my health.”

I’ve been making more time for my family and rebuilding relationships, too. Before the Thrive Challenge, I hadn’t spoken to my grandma in 13 years, and also wanted to make things better with my mom. Now, my mom, grandma, and I have grown closer and are enjoying Bible study together. We cook and share meals together, whereas before, we would never sit at the table. I have a new appreciation for how they have supported me through the Thrive Challenge. I am grateful to simply have a family and to be able to connect with my roots. And my grandma and mom are proud of me, because they see me making changes and doing good things for myself and our family. 

I used to feel like my body was giving up on itself. If I had continued on my previous path, my pancreas would have been on a road to destruction. Now I have confidence in my ability to make better decisions for my health. I’ve learned that I am a leader. I realized it was time to stop following the crowd and start making decisions for myself. I am rubbing off on my friends and encouraging them to make Better Choices in their own lives. I’m also finding ways to serve as a positive influence on young people in my community. They see me living my passions — for writing, for dirt biking, for living a better lifestyle. I’m leading by example and showing them that pursuing your passions and good habits, instead of sitting on your phone all day, puts you on a road to success.

—Miguel Tercero, Supercenter #5717; El Paso, TX; $3K Winner

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