Before starting the Thrive Challenge, I was always tired. I had migraines, high blood pressure, and knee pain. I get up at 3:00 in the morning to go to work, and I work 10-hour shifts with two 20-minute breaks. My weight gain was getting worse, I was exhausted, and I wasn’t sleeping enough. 

I’m 43 years old, and I’ve been at a standstill for years. 

I learned about the Thrive Challenge from work, when they were posting about it online. I have two daughters who are 22 and 25, and my attitude toward my family was getting really bad, so I knew I needed to change something. I’ve listened to different podcasts and YouTube videos in the past to try to eat better, but I needed to make that first change. 

My very first step was trying to get away from some old habits.

I used to run to the vending machine during my breaks to grab whatever I could find to get me by –– cakes, cookies, honeybuns, soda –– anything really. Then, I would get home and be tired from work, and would just grab fast food for myself and my daughters. I started slowly removing fast food and making little changes, like prepping oatmeal for the morning instead of grabbing a piece of cake.

I picked up a new hobby of couponing to save money.

My daughter is in college without any scholarships, and I’ve been trying to help her get out of debt. I want her to stay in school. I heard someone on a podcast raving about couponing, so I looked into it and started collecting coupons for groceries and household items. I found an app that gives coupons and I cut them out of the newspaper over the weekends. It is saving me money, and it has changed my mindset and taught me to be more strategic.

I bought a huge water bottle to drink more water, and an Apple Watch to track my steps.

The water jug gives you times where you have to drink a certain amount in each hour. That kind of gave me a push to try to finish it up before work was done. My Apple Watch gives me challenges and tells me, “Do this many steps within this timeframe.” I try to keep walking until I hit my goal for the day. 

I’m finally getting enough sleep!

When I was sleep deprived, it changed my mood and I was not doing my best at work. It also made it easier for me to pick up fast food because I was too tired to cook anything. I have started setting a bedtime for myself so I can get more sleep. And now that I have more energy, I’m able to help more people at work.

I’ve lost 20 pounds since starting the Thrive Challenge in June. 

I still want to continue trying to lose more weight, but the Thrive Challenge has also helped me in so many other ways. My headaches aren’t as bad now, and as far as my knee, it’s not in as much pain as I was in. I’ve been more organized, less stressed, and have so much more energy. I feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally.

— Sherry Williams, Walmart Distribution Center #2076; Laurens, SC; $5K Winner

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