Muskegon’s Paris Stewart: “I Feel More Hopeful and Confident About the Future”

By making better choices, she's been able to set new goals, better connect with her loved ones, and create an amazing community.

I first heard about Thrive ZP Challenge from an email. I got started by integrating Thrive ZP into “Girls on the Run,” a volunteer organization I work with that aims to inspire young girls to make good decisions. I talked to some coworkers, and they thought Thrive ZP would encourage the girls to be more active. I thought Thrive ZP would also help me change and make healthier decisions. All my life, I’ve turned to food for comfort. With Thrive ZP, I started meal planning and tracking my food.  Now, my husband and I control which foods we bring into the house when we go grocery shopping. I’ve become more responsible for my decisions. If I make a mistake for breakfast, I am intentional about making a better decision for lunch. When I lose weight, I don’t reward myself with a cheat meal. It’s cheaper to meal plan and eat at home versus going out to eat. I’ve been able to save a lot, and I have so much more energy. I’m training for a 5K race! In the morning, I’ll hit the treadmill or go for walks. 

  • Since starting Thrive ZP, I’ve lost 15 pounds and I’m able to do more in the day.
  • I’m saving almost $150 per week by meal prepping.
  • My husband and I are much more active and communicative with each other.
  • Instead of reaching for comfort food, I go for a walk or check in with friends or family.

I eat granola and yogurt for breakfast. I make a salad for lunch and measure it out. I log my choices in myfitnesspal, which also tracks my steps. Doing this stops me from impulsive eating. For dinners, I’ll have something healthy like broccoli, baked fish, and mashed or baked potatoes. I really like popcorn, and I’ve started making it without butter or extra salt. I eat no chips, and no candy. The girls I work with are seeing me be a better me, and that matters to them. I am not looking back — only forward to the next thing I can take on.

Muskegonites are making better, healthier choices, seeing big results, and winning big. Stories from Muskegonite winners, such as Paris Stewart, 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. 
The Thrive ZP Challenge has returned to Muskegon County, which was chosen as the first community in the country to participate. This second Thrive ZP Challenge opened for entries on June 1, 2020 and will end on August 31, 2020, with another prize pool of $45,000. Anyone that lives within Muskegon County is encouraged to participate and can enter by visiting https://www.muskegonchallenge.com.

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