I work full-time for the State of Maryland and I work part-time at Walmart. It’s easy to eat poorly when you’re tired from working two jobs, and it can be difficult to exercise when you have to be at one job and then go straight into the next one. 

I joined a walking group a couple years ago. 

The group is called Girl Tracks, and there are three or four of us that walk three miles every morning at 6. I came across the Thrive Challenge by reading the Thrive Challenge book displayed in the break room, and I thought, “I think I could do this because I’m already walking.” The first step I took was simply making the decision to do it. 

I’ve been using the Reset feature in the Thrive app.

At first, downloading the Thrive app felt like another chore. But once I downloaded it and started looking at it, I realized I could create my own Reset with my own pictures and music. I chose one with outdoor pictures of nature. I love the outdoors.  

I started planning out my meals for the week and packing my lunch. 

I’ve been preparing meals at night and packing something healthy when I work instead of grabbing a candy bar and a bag of chips. I’ve been loving carrots and fruit to snack on. When you cook your lunch and pack it yourself, it makes a difference and you know what you’re eating. I also prepare a batch of oatmeal for the whole week and separate it into containers so I have that ready for breakfast for the week.

I started walking with my son on Sundays.

When my walking group stopped meeting up during COVID, I would get my 12-year-old son to walk with me. I needed some motivation, and it was a great way for us to talk and connect. He was right there with me, and he loved it. 

Getting more sleep has made me feel better and less tired.

Many nights I don’t get home until 11:00 p.m. I used to get home and not feel ready for bed, and the next thing I knew, it was 12:30 a.m. Now I start winding down on the ride home. I start thinking positively, put on calming music, get my thoughts together, and leave my work at work. When I get home, I feel ready to go to bed. And even on the nights I don’t work, I make sure to stop what I’m doing at a certain time to get ready for bed. 

I’m feeling thankful, positive, and hopeful. 

It took me about a year to lose 35 pounds, and I’m proud that I started something and finished it. It makes me want to get up every morning, even when I don’t feel like it. I know what the results can be now, and I’m excited.

—Alexzine Jackson Slaughter, Walmart Store #1715, Easton, MD; $5K Winner

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