My husband Jeff and I were just getting by. We were eating a lot of fast food and we weren’t really thinking about whether it was good for us. We were gaining weight and feeling like we’d been beat, emotionally and physically. 

Then I was introduced to the Challenge and I told my husband, “We should do this.”

I said, “Let’s start eating healthy food and exercising, and see how we feel.” He agreed, so we cut down on carbs and added plenty of protein-rich food and lots of veggies to our meals. It was like night and day. We started to feel so much better. We use several Microsteps throughout the day, like drinking water and paying attention to how food looks, smells, and tastes. Now, we can always tell when we’ve had something that isn’t good for us. It makes you feel sluggish and in a kind of a brain fog, so we make sure we eat good food. We make a great low carb lasagna with noodles made of cheese and eggs. And for dessert, we make delicious low carb, sugar-free peanut butter fudge.

Jeff and I enjoy each other’s company — we’ve been together for 38 years.

We go for long walks and we ride our bikes. Jeff encourages me to keep going. He says, “You can do it!” I love our bike rides because they help to clear my mind. We get great exercise, and it’s also time for us to learn about the other person’s day and to de-stress. It makes us both feel special. When it’s too cold to ride our bikes, we go to the gym together. I also sometimes do a 20 minute exercise routine on YouTube. I’ve found that it really makes a big difference taking the Challenge with my best friend — my husband.

I’ve lost 20 pounds since January and I have much more energy at work.

The girls at work are encouraging. They let me know I’m doing a good job with my weight loss journey, and I encourage them, too. Checking into the Thrive app helps me get through my hectic workday.

My husband and I have a nighttime routine and wind down in the evening.

At bedtime, we turn off the phones and we do one or two breathing exercises, which relaxes us and helps us sleep. We also love watching nature Resets. 

At work, I’m less stressed.

I’m a certified pharmacy technician, and when I’m up front waiting on our customers and the pickup line gets hectic and long, I just breathe for a couple of seconds and think about something that makes me happy, like my family, sunsets, or sunrises. Then I move on to the next person in line and I don’t get upset with customers. If I feel overwhelmed I do a quick stretch routine. I’ve improved my focus by not getting upset. I say to myself: just breathe and relax.

Connection Microsteps are motivating me to stay in touch with my loved ones.

I’m bonding with two grown kids, David and Austin, and all my family. Austin lives in Denver, my mom and dad and brother are in Kansas City, and I’m in Decatur, so we FaceTime regularly. I have a 54-year-old brother, Rich, who’s mentally challenged. He lives in a group home in Richmond, Missouri, and we’re very close. He calls me on the phone early every morning and we talk over FaceTime. He enjoys talking to me and finding out how we’re all doing. 

For self-care, I like to keep things simple. I spend time reading and doing puzzles.

I also enjoy getting my nails done and playing board games with my family. It’s all about relaxing and enjoying those little moments in life. I also enjoy giving back to the community. For example, I pick up garbage that people have thrown on the ground, whether it’s in a Walmart parking lot or on the street.

The Challenge has made me a better person.

And I’m going to continue. I’m more attentive to my coworkers and my family. I don’t sweat the small stuff. I tell everyone: start off doing little things and soon you’ll build up to making big changes that will over time improve your well-being.

— Tina Roddy, Walmart Supercenter #1690, Decatur, IL; $5K Winner