Before deciding to make lifestyle changes, I wasn’t as happy as I could be. I was sort of miserable. I was a full-time student and was also trying to work full-time. I would make horrible eating decisions because I didn’t have time to cook. In January, I weighed 235 pounds and didn’t have energy or feel my prettiest. I’m Type 2 diabetic, and my sugar levels were elevated and my blood pressure had increased. I knew I had to take action and take control of my life, but I didn’t know how.

“He made me believe that it’s never too late.”

I had seen magazines in the break room at work that featured the Challenge, but I didn’t really pay attention to them. It wasn’t until a co-worker won a Challenge and started educating others about it that I joined in. I was inspired by his story of losing weight and becoming healthier, even at an older age. He made me believe that it’s never too late to go after what you want to accomplish. So one day, just laying in bed, I said to myself, “I can’t do this anymore.” I felt like I was wasting my life instead of living it. With the help of the Challenge, I started exercising, putting money away for retirement, eating smaller portions, being friendlier, and just being thankful for life.

Don’t keep food that you don’t want to have in your home.”

The first category I focused on was food. I cut back on carbs like soda, breads, rice, and pastas. Those are some of my favorite foods, but they make me gain weight so I don’t purchase them for the house. That’s my best tip: Don’t keep food that you don’t want to have in your home. I incorporate more vegetables in my meals, and I try not to eat too late in the evening. Water has been my best friend! I try to drink half my body weight in ounces of water. In terms of movement, my daughter plays exercise videos every day, and I try to join her. My kids motivate me. I want to live to see them grow up. 

“I’m ready to take on anything that comes my way.”

Ever since I decided to make lifestyle changes, my sugar levels have decreased. I feel revived and have more energy than I’ve had in a long time. I’ve lost a lot of weight. My clothes fit loosely, and it feels good to finally feel comfortable with myself again. I’m more motivated and I’m ready to take on anything that comes my way. I feel like I’ll be able to keep making Better Choices.

—Monica Sweat, Supercenter #2754; Waynesboro, GA; $5K Winner

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

Stories from past winners, such as Monica Sweat, 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.