I’ve been overweight my entire life. Over the years, I gained weight and I was worried about my health. I was eating too much of whatever — I’d have snacks in between meals, and I’d eat jelly beans watching TV. In Kentucky, we like fried chicken and cornbread — a lot of country cooking. In 2019, I weighed 262 pounds, I had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and I was on medications. I’ve also battled elevated liver enzymes, which is hereditary, and my gastroenterologist said I needed to control my weight.

I’m 58 and my wife, Teresa, and I have two sons and two grandchildren.

I want to be around to enjoy my grandkids, Coleman, who’s three, and seven-month-old Annabelle, and eventually to enjoy retirement. I started to lose weight a few years ago. I began the Thrive Challenge a year ago, for extra support, and to improve my overall well-being. Teresa found out her A1C was too high. So she’s on the journey with me. 

My first Microstep was drinking a glass of water as soon as I woke up.

I do intermittent fasting and I follow a high protein diet that’s low in sugar and carbs. I cut out sweets and snacks. I’ll have steak, broccoli, and salad instead of french fries. And I’ve introduced fish into my diet. Teresa makes baked tilapia or cod. Or we’ll have sauteed scallops cooked in a skillet and served with rice. I like Thrive because it’s all about making little changes. 

I exercise for an hour every single day with dumbbells and resistance bands.

And it’s become a habit. Some mornings I’ll think, oh my goodness I’d like to stay in bed, but I get up and get moving. Then I feel better throughout the day — I’m sharper. Since starting the Challenge, I’ve lost 20 pounds. I currently weigh 168 pounds, the right weight for me. So now it’s about maintaining. A big key for me has been working out.

We see our grandchildren every Sunday and I have more energy to play with them.

Coleman always wants me to turn him upside down and carry him around — that’s a work out in itself! He rides his little jeep around and around the yard and along the street, and I’m always running after him. 

Teresa and I do everything together, and we’re spending time together in nature. 

Just this weekend we went to her aunt and uncle’s cabin at Rough River Lake. We own a jetski and it used to be such a chore getting it in the water and pulling it out. Now jet skiing is fun. 

We go on vacation to Destin, Florida and stay at our friends’ house. 

We like playing pickleball, we swim, and we go for beach walks every morning.

At home, I’m outside gardening all the time. 

I love adding beauty to my home with flowers. Gardening gets me outside in the sun and gives me some alone time with my thoughts. We have a vegetable garden with lettuce, tomatoes, and eggplant. It’s great to watch vegetables grow and then be able to add them to a healthy diet. My wife makes a great eggplant parmesan. 

I really enjoy doing breathing exercises.

I’ve never meditated before, but I’m loving the Thrive Resets, watching a flower opening and closing while you inhale and exhale. We have a lot of meetings and I’m starting them with a Reset to get my team engaged. At work, my outlook has changed. I’m able to connect with folks and interact with them in a new way. 

I’m fitter than I’ve been since I was in my 20s. 

I’m feeling much better and my doctor is happy. My liver enzymes are lower than they’ve ever been. Everything else is in the normal range now.  

I know I’m going to be here for my grandkids, and that’s what makes it all worth it.

You never know what will happen in life, but I feel very blessed. Thrive has shown me that physical, mental, and emotional well-being go hand in hand. In the past, if I was happy, I ate, and if I was sad I ate. Now I never bury myself in a bag of potato chips. I feel more balanced. I have a lot more confidence and I know I’m capable of so much more. I’m excited about the future.

— Sam Revlett, Walmart Supercenter #3894, Lexington, KY; $5K Winner