I started the Challenge because I was feeling drained, sad, and I wasn’t eating well. I’d grab hamburgers or pizza on my way home from work and I ate lots of chips and candy. I also had health problems and had to have a hysterectomy. I’m 44 and weighed 220 pounds. It’s hard to stay positive when you feel weighed down — and I was tired of being tired. When we were out as a family, I was always the one dragging behind. And as a mother of six (including my stepkids), I wanted to be a good role model. My daughters wanted to lose weight too, and we’re getting fit together. It helps when you make it a fun competition and hold each other accountable.

We gradually changed the way we ate and cut out carbs.

If we wanted cake or candy, we’d say, “I’ll just have a bite,” and soon it became easier to walk away from it. My dad, who is into healthy eating, gave us great cooking tips. I substitute cauliflower rice for real rice. For burgers, instead of using buns, I make “chaffles” — waffles made with eggs and shredded cheese. I bake chicken in the oven with sauteed onions, peppers, and mushrooms. If I’m tempted to eat when I’m not hungry, I’ll occupy myself doing something I enjoy, like going for a walk with my daughters or reading the Bible, which is my quiet time and helps me feel peaceful.

My 14-year-old daughter, Kylee, and I practice volleyball in the yard.

She plays a lot of sports and it’s great to be able to join her now. I go to the gym and work out on the treadmill and elliptical machine. At first, I was discouraged because I didn’t see the scale moving, but soon I noticed my clothes were getting big on me, and that provided motivation to keep going. It was exciting!

My attitude at work has changed. I’ll stop and ask people how they’re doing.

I’ll tell them I’m here for them. I saw one young man who was looking down and asked him, “Can I do something to help you?” He was upset because he’d been asked to perform a task he wasn’t able to do, and I took care of the issue for him. I’m so grateful to my co-workers who encourage me all the time. I tell them to join me at the gym and start the Challenge! 

It’s fun having the energy to keep up with my grandchildren and play games with them. 

I can jump on the trampoline with them now. I’m also getting outside with my husband, Terrell. In the past he’d be doing yard work on his own; now I’m out there with him working on my flower beds and rose bushes. I’ve lost a lot of weight. Instead of being a ‘Negative Nancy,’ I’m in good spirits and I’m a much happier person.

—Terrace Mitchell, Supercenter #0280; Rockdale, TX; $5K Winner

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