Before the Thrive Challenge, I was working 15 hours a day and I was never turning off at home. I would come home and answer emails, and I always felt drained and tired. On top of that, I wasn’t eating right. I would skip meals, drink six or eight cans of Diet Coke each day, and I was getting constant chest pains. 

There was one moment that pushed me to make a change. 

It happened a few months back, when I was having terrible chest pains and was rushed to the hospital. I had tried the Thrive Challenge once before, but this was my wakeup call to try again and to take it seriously. I first heard about the Thrive Challenge from Thrive Chief Training Officer, Joey Hubbard. He was the best speaker I’ve heard in years. I decided to give it another try. I had seen so many of my associates getting serious about it, and I knew as a leader I needed to set an example.

My first step was slowly reducing my diet soda intake. 

I get up at 4:00 a.m., and usually I would reach for my first Diet Coke, but now, I start the day with water. I also don’t look at my phone right away anymore. I take 30 minutes of “me time” to pray and think about how grateful I am. 

I started really thinking about everything I ate.

I started asking, “Will this fuel my body?” Thinking this way makes me feel so much better. Now I eat regularly instead of skipping meals, and I don’t feel so dragged down all day. I also pack lunch for myself now. I’ll pack carrots and dip, sliced apples, or salads. It’s even saving me money. I’m saving $300 a month. Now, before I buy something, I ask, “Do I really need this?”

I began to put my phone down when I got home from work.

It was hard at first. In the past, I was thinking about work 24/7 and I was always connected. Now, my husband, Bill, notices I’m not always on my phone when I’m with him. He definitely sees the change. We talk and laugh more. We are closer than ever.

Three hours before bed, I put my phone away for the night.

I then use that time to write down what I’m grateful for. I used to wake up every hour during the night, and now I’m sleeping straight through for five hours. I feel more rested, more calm, and I’m more thankful for everything during the day.

The Thrive Challenge has made me think about all the things I’m thankful for. 

I’m down to one Diet Coke a day, and I’m staying motivated by checking the Thrive app and reading the little things that keep me going. I’ve now started thinking, “What can I do to impact my community? Or to help someone in need?” The Thrive Challenge has helped me stay on track, stay committed, and think about what’s important in life.

— Laureen Belliveau, Walmart Supercentre #3056; Dieppe, NB; $2K Winner