It all started when my wife ordered a new couch. When it arrived at our house, the delivery man needed help, so I got on one side and after every 10 steps, I had to stop and take a breath. I was about 240 pounds at the time — the heaviest I’ve been. I got to thinking, “You know what? I have a treadmill downstairs. It doesn’t take much to get on a treadmill and start walking to build some cardio endurance.” One night after work, I decided to finally jump on the treadmill for 20 minutes. I remember feeling like I had been going for 18 minutes, meanwhile, only two minutes had passed. I thought to myself, this is going to be hard, but I made the decision to keep going. Heart problems run in my family; my grandpa died of a heart attack, and my father has been to the hospital numerous times for heart issues. I decided that getting on the treadmill for 20 minutes a day, three times a week, would help me make a healthy change and bring some longevity to my family. 

  • Since starting the Thrive Challenge, I’ve lost about 21 pounds. 
  • I’m running and walking for 30 minutes a day, several times a week.
  • My wife and I are holding each other accountable when it comes to exercising.
  • With Thrive, I’ve found and maintained my motivation.

I discovered the Thrive Challenge through my Fitbit. I started by exercising more. Now, I’ll run 20 minutes on the treadmill followed by a 10-minute cool down walk. At one point, my knees started bothering me, so I talked to a certified athletic trainer through my job. I followed her advice of wearing a knee brace and putting a minimum three-degree incline on the treadmill, and lo and behold — after a week, the knee pain was gone! I’m starting to pay more attention to how I eat, too. I’m trying to drink more water and eat more fruits and vegetables instead of snacks like Doritos. When grocery shopping, we make sure we get healthy options like carrots and cauliflower. If I do get takeout for lunch, I order a sandwich and get a small size instead of a medium. I’m breathing better when I sleep.  I’m also spending more time with my family — doing things like watching movies and working on family projects together. I come home from work with more energy, and my wife and I motivate each other to make healthier choices. She helps me stay on track with getting on the treadmill, and now I’m encouraging her to try it as well. Overall, I’m in a better mindset and have broken down mental barriers around exercise. Before, I had to force myself to run. Now, you’ll hear me saying, “Monday, run-day” — and I actually look forward to it! 

—Jeff Sellon, Sam’s Club Customer; Muskegon, MI; Thrive Challenge Muskegon $1K Winner

Through the Thrive Challenge, our community is making better, healthier choices, seeing big results, and winning big.Stories from past winners, such as Jeff Sellon, prove that every individual has the power to transform their life every day through a combination of small, healthier choices and peer-to-peer inspiration.