When I was heavier, I was always tired and had medical problems, like high blood pressure. The spark that got me to act was when my husband and I came down with COVID-19 in November 2020. It was a really scary time, especially around day nine of quarantine, when my husband developed breathing problems. Although it was really hard, that quarantine period brought us closer and reminded me how precious family, faith, and health really are. I had known about the Challenge for quite some time — when I was HR manager, I was the one to place the Challenge booklets in the break room — and wanted to get my associates to join as well. I had been doing it for roughly five years, but after COVID, I decided to really commit myself to the Challenge.
The experience of having COVID was a game-changer.
I felt reconnected with my faith and gratitude because I knew God, my loved ones, neighbors, and co-workers were the ones who helped us get through it. During that time, I wasn’t spending as much money with the economy shut down, and I wanted to keep saving. I’ve started thinking before I buy, “Is this a want or a need?” When I get paid, I give God my first 10% by donating to my church and pay myself the next 10% by putting it in my savings account and 401k. I’m stressing less about money and it feels great to build my emergency fund as I head toward retirement.
I’m finding simple ways to move more.
I park far away when I get to work so I get more steps in and make an effort to walk around the store as much as possible. I take my dog out for walks and find ways to work out at home. I signed up for the Walton Life Fitness Pass through Walmart that I’m hoping to use more after the pandemic.
I’ve been broadening my diet.
I’ve cut back on meat and tend to only eat it at dinnertime. I’m eating more salads and drinking a gallon of water each day. I used to be a big soda drinker but I realized how much sugar was in it, so I’ve gradually cut it out. My downfall: chips. I have not met a chip I didn’t like! I love the salt and the crunch but I’ve cut down on snacking and try not to eat after 7 o’clock. If I have chips, I’ll opt for the baked kind, and generally try to bake my food instead of frying it.
We all take things for granted.
That’s why I’m making the conscious choice to spend more time with my family. And I’m not taking for granted how good I feel. I’ve lost over 20 pounds and as I head into my 58th year, I’m feeling lighter and more energetic than ever before. I’m sleeping better too!
The defining moment for me is when I put my belt on.
I used to put it on the second hole — now I have to put it on the fifth! I feel great and hope I can encourage and empower my associates to make changes in their own lives.
—Martha Robinson, Supercenter #5196; Memphis, TN; $5K Winner