Have you ever heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” We all want to put our best selves on display and not share what may be really happening behind the scenes. This was true for me, until I finally reached a point where I was putting others before my own health, and it backfired. In one year, I had graduated, gained two industry certifications, and was promoted to a corporate position. It all sounds great and looks fantastic on paper, but while I was chasing corporate ambitions and lifelong goals, I ended up in the emergency room. My blood sugar was at 400 and I was having trouble seeing. There were so many things going wrong. The doctors said my body was shutting down. I was told that I had Type II Diabetes, and the worst part was that it had happened because of how I was treating myself.
Once I learned that I had the ability to control my health and reverse my diagnosis, I decided I wanted to take small steps to really make a change. That’s when a coworker of mine recommended the Thrive app to me. I had noticed she was using a treadmill at her desk in a Zoom meeting, and it blew my mind. Once I downloaded the Thrive app and saw all the well-being material, I knew I was going to love it. There is so much advice and so many tips! Other applications charge a monthly subscription fee to get all the information that Thrive provides. By looking through the app, I was able to find different ways to enjoy exercise. I literally had to learn how to take care of myself and remind myself that I matter. The accomplishments I had achieved were great, but I knew my health needed to come first if I was going to enjoy what I was achieving.
I use the Thrive app every day now to motivate myself and as a form of accountability. Using the app has opened my eyes to other areas I can focus on, depending on what is happening or how I am feeling that day. One big mindset shift for me was seeing that exercise can be fun and it can be done anywhere. No gym membership needed! The hardest part is getting out the door or taking time to stand up and stretch, but I’ve learned that starting small is key. I now have neighbors who have said I have inspired them too and they now walk to better their health. This has been an amazing journey.
Looking back, I remember that around Christmas in 2021, I weighed 232 pounds. I am very happy to say that at Christmas of 2022, I weighed 174 pounds. I had completely reversed my Diabetes and I now manage it through exercising daily and eating healthy, clean foods. And not only have I reversed my Diabetes, but I have also taken on other Microsteps. I now make smarter choices about my money, and I have a significant savings account. I have also learned that it is important to bring your authentic self to work. I learned that it is okay for me to be more open about my struggles and talk about what I am working on to bring my best self to work every day. I have had the privilege of having discussions with coworkers about my weight loss, for example, because they noticed it during Zoom meetings. I’ve made lifelong friends and supporters because I made the choice to open up and share my journey. We are a stronger team because of it, and we’re able to motivate one another to stay on track.
Today, I’m so proud of my wins and I’m staying consistent with my habits. I have a treadmill at home, and I walk during Zoom meetings. I take time to de-stress and focus on my breathing because I tend to hold my breath for long periods of time without realizing it. I take time for the things that bring me joy, like tap dancing! I have joined a dance company and tap once a week with other adults, and we have a blast. If I could give my younger self one piece of advice, I would say, “Learn how to celebrate your wins.” I used to tackle one goal and move straight to the next one. I didn’t give myself credit or take any time to simply be my own cheerleader. Now, I make time for myself, and I know that my small wins matter.