Being a people lead can be challenging. I started to become overwhelmed, and finding a good work life balance was hard. I’m a single mom — my son, Carter, is seven. I was stressed and my blood pressure became so high that I ended up in the hospital. That was definitely not what I wanted! I wanted to give up in life. But I knew I needed to be here to raise Carter. It wouldn’t be fair to him to give up. There’ve been plenty of nights when he’s watched me cry on the edge of my bed. What mother wants their child to see that? I knew I had to get on track, and I started the Thrive Challenge.

Microsteps helped me change my eating habits. 

I gradually cut down on sugar and now I’ve completely cut out all sweets. Also, I no longer eat fast food. I’m enjoying cooking at home. My favorite meal is chicken breast salad. I love adding new vegetables to my salads, like bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes.

I work out every single day.

I always feel so much better after my workouts, whether it’s a 30 minute workout on the treadmill or a five mile walk around the pond. It’s very quiet and peaceful, and I like to listen to gospel music while I walk. It gives me inspiration. 

My confidence level is high because I’m able to fit in my clothes again! 

I have so many clothes in my closet I don’t need to buy new ones. I tried on a brown and black fitted sweater dress I haven’t been able to wear for four years, and it fit like a glove. I was really happy.  

The Challenge has changed my work life.

Being a people lead means dealing with everyone’s problems. And sometimes I wonder who will deal with mine, LOL! But my mood and attitude have gotten much better. I can sit and listen to my associates and calmly give them advice. I’m out on the sales floor instead of hiding in the office. I am also doing a lot more associate engagements with them. The last thing I did was a pumpkin contest which they really enjoyed.

At home I have the energy to do more with my son, like attending his sporting events. 

Carter just started playing basketball, and I play with him in the front yard. We see who can make it to 12 points first. Most of the time I let him win because if I don’t he wants us to start all over! It’s fun because he loves me to play with him and he’s also learning more about the sport. After basketball we plan to try soccer and boy scouts! And it’s a lot easier to get involved in his activities because I have more energy.

My relationship with my older sister, Tiawianna, is a whole lot better. 

We talk more and agree on how we’ll take care of our mom. We didn’t have a sisterly bond for a long time, but now we’re getting along. I can go and talk to her and she gives me great advice. We support each other. 

I’m taking care of myself.

I get pedicures every two weeks, and I go to the salon to get my hair braided. That’s my “me time” away from home. My stylist, Danielle, and I sit and talk about life — we’re friends. I have three best friends. We hang out and sometimes go out to eat or stay at home with our kids and grab some food. We all love seafood.

I’ve lost 34 pounds.

And I’m not done yet! This is the smallest I have been in years; I feel much, much better. My blood pressure has gone down a lot, and my doctor is very happy with my progress. 

One day I realized how far I’ve come.

Carter and I were standing in the kitchen and he said, “Mom you’re so pretty.” He’d noticed I’d lost weight, and that I looked happy. That’s when I knew I was on the right track. I’m a better mother to my son. I’m not overwhelmed anymore, and although life is a lifelong journey, I’m learning to take it one day at a time.

Tiffany Ervin, Walmart Supercenter #1011, Rincon, GA; $5K Winner