Before the Challenge I was overweight, tired all the time, and didn’t want to do anything on my time off but rest. I didn’t have energy for my 13-year-old son. I’d also been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The app has forced me to look at what I do every day. It’s made me more well-rounded in my journey.
Everything about my diet has changed. I don’t eat fried foods. I don’t eat sugar. I eat green vegetables, berries, nuts, chicken, and turkey. I don’t eat red meat anymore. No processed foods. My favorite recipes are turkey sausage and sauerkraut, and stuffed Mexican chicken breast. And preparing my own meals at home is saving me about $18 a day.
I never thought I’d run again.
I went from not exercising at all to exercising six times a week — running, walking, resistance training, or riding a bike. I’ve had back surgery and two A.C.L. reconstructions and, to be honest, I never thought I’d run again. But I ran my first mile in 27 years. I’ve lost 50 pounds. After 90 days, I went to my doctor, and I’m now a diet-controlled diabetic. I got off of my medicine and my blood sugar is now in a healthy range. The doctor said, “I’ve never seen anyone do it that quickly!”
I appreciate life more.
I now have more energy for my son. We’re doing more outside activities together. I actually raced him the other day! I travel a lot, so it’s easy to feel far away from those at home. But the app has made me more intentional about making sure to have daily interactions with my son.
One of the things I love most is being able to share the positivity I feel and inspire others. Like me, my younger sister was a runner when she was younger. But she’s also had some health problems in the last few years. Now, hearing my story, she’s running again. My goal is to run a 5K with her and my best friend, who’s also now running. That’s on my bucket list. My landlord, who is in her 60s, now walks with me at 6 in the morning.
If I can do it, you can do it!
I feel like I’m in my 30s now, I have so much energy. People will say, “Man, you’re just radiating energy today!” I walked past one of the guys the other day and he said, “You know, Miss D., your smile makes my day, every day.”
I’m just a different person now. There are people I’ve worked with for three years who did not recognize me. And when they ask me what I did, I take the time to explain to them. And they’ll say, “Man, I wish I could do that.” And I’ll say, “Look, if I can do it, you can do it!” I’m trying to share my message of hope.
—D’Anna Ashalintubbi, Distribution Center #0648; Opelousas, LA; $5K Winner