I’ve been overweight all my life. I’ve tried to lose weight since I was in junior high. I used to play football and had my coach come up to me to say, “If you lose 40 pounds, you’ll be fighting for a starting position on the varsity team.” I ended up losing that weight during my junior year, only to tear my ACL in the last game of the play-offs. It was an eight-month process of healing from surgery. I fell into a depression and got up to 350 pounds. My aunt has always tried to get me to make Better Choices. She’s a manager at a Walmart nearby and told me about the Thrive ZP Challenge. She’s one of four family members who have won Thrive ZP Challenges. So, I started eating healthier things like baked chicken and apples. I cut out all bread, juice, milk, Gatorade, and soda. Before I lost weight, I was the most unhealthy person. I was the type of person who didn’t eat fruits or vegetables. I could eat a large pizza by myself. Now, if I ate that again, my stomach would hurt.
- Over the course of eight months, I’ve lost 100 pounds.
- Since starting my Thrive ZP Challenge, I’m going to the gym twice a day.
- I carry around a jug of water with me and drink a gallon each day.
- Each night, I aim to get eight hours of sleep so my body can rebuild itself.
My family has battled diabetes and cancer. That’s another reason why I wanted to lose weight and help my family do it, too. I created a group chat with my grandma and mom so we can share our meals with each other. Now we are closer and talking every day. They are proud of me because I was always saying “All right, I’m going to lose the weight this year.” And I always failed. I struggled with insecurities. But now I’ve cut out negative things that were holding me back. My dad will be getting out of jail in a year, and I can’t wait to say to him, “Do you see me now?” I’m stronger than I thought I was. If you would’ve told me I could make this progress a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed it.
—Mark Bennett, Walmart Customer; Austell, GA; National Thrive ZP Challenge $10K Grand Champion
Through the Thrive ZP Challenge, our community is making better, healthier choices, seeing big results, and winning big.
Stories from past winners, such as Mark Bennett prove that every individual has the power to transform their life every day through a combination of small, healthier choices and peer-to-peer inspiration.