“I still win.”
Before the Challenge, my main problem was accountability. I have three jobs, so I was scrambling to manage my money, eat healthy, and exercise. I was like, “What do I do?” Then one day I was sitting in the employee lounge and I saw the Thrive ZP Challenge pamphlet. I was curious and read about it. I thought, “So basically, all I have to do is be healthy, manage my finances, spend time with the ones I love, and there’s a possibility that I could win money?” And even if I don’t win money, I still win because I’m healthier, I budget better, and I spend more time with my family. It’s a win-win.
So that’s what I do: I now cook when I can, I budget,I’m saving money, and every opportunity I get, I sit down and eat a meal with my mom, my niece, or my girlfriend.
“Two birds, one stone.”
My favorite recipe is one I got from a co-worker: Okinawan sweet potato Thai curry. There’s no meat in there, no animal products; it’s just coconut milk, water, vegetable stock, sweet potatoes, with tofu, and Thai curry on top. All of that’s healthy. My drink of choice is water. I carry a Hydro Flask with me everywhere I go. The only time I drink soda is when my auntie puts it on the table and says, “Drink it” — and that’s because I don’t tell my auntie no.
I go jogging on Saturdays in the morning. I do push-ups and sit-ups either before I go to bed or when I get up in the morning. Whenever I have a chance, I do five minutes of an activity, maybe more. During my one-hour break at work, I’m walking and FaceTiming my girlfriend at the same time — two birds, one stone, I guess you could say. And I prioritize my sleep more than anything else.
For family time, my parents and I will spend time doing things with my niece, like coloring, playing with her, or walking.
For my budget, when I get my paycheck, I start by paying myself $100 to save. Then I do a break-even plan. I’ll budget my student loans, meals, gas, utilities, and rent. I calculate all of that. Whatever I have left can go toward fun.
“Success starts with gratitude.”
The Challenge helps you see things a little differently. It puts a value on what’s important in your life. I value sleep, I value the time that I spend with my family and my girlfriend. And it makes you realize the unnecessary things that you want to cut out.
My ultimate goal is to inspire the people around me by being a good example. If people ask why I walk in the parking lot, I tell them, “I’m doing this for the Thrive ZP Challenge — you do one good thing for 21 days, and you’re entered in this lottery to win some cash. If you don’t win, you’re still healthier. Why not try it?” That’s my elevator pitch.
I’m always grateful for the things that I have. I’ve learned that success starts with gratitude. If you ask me what I’m grateful for, the first thing that’s on the list is being able to wake up every morning.
––Logan Gonzaga, Waipahu, HI; $5K Winner