I am a 27 year old single mother. For months I was under stress and my career was out of balance. I was dissatisfied with myself and not eating well. I weighed 255 pounds. My 4 year old daughter, Jahajara and I ate lots of pizza – her favorite food. I was in a bad relationship, and the day I left I decided to change my life.
In July, I started the Thrive Challenge after reading an inspirational story really related.
It was a story on the Thrive app by Tia Williams-Flax, an African-American single mother who is even my age, 27. She has a son who was born prematurely and had a serious medical condition. Tia stopped eating fast food and started making food for her and her son. He also started saving money and was able to keep a down payment in a home. Reading her story, I felt blessed because my 1 year old daughter Zakia is healthy. I felt that if Tia could change her life, I could change my life too.
My first step was to sign up for a gym membership.
I do strength training with a personal trainer. And after work, I ran around the block. At home, I occasionally use 1 year old Zakia as a weight, squat. She likes it! Jahzara joins the push-ups and we all dance at Marun 5. I take the kids to the park and swing with them.
I cut out fast food and changed the way I cooked instead of frying.
My favorite recipes are beef and broccoli with brown rice. For dessert I get fruit – I like pineapple – or two pieces of dark chocolate. Because I’m not buying junk food, I’m saving up to $ 300 a month.
Sleep was a problem for me.
Now, I’m getting eight to nine hours a night. I take my kids to bed early and then read – I like spiritual books or investment books. I put my phone in “Do Not Disturb” and turned off the lights. I use the Thrive app to meditate calmly and wake up fresh.
I am concentrating on gratitude.
I have a degree in accounting, and I’m grateful to the companies that offered me college scholarships. We live with my mother, and I am grateful to her because she is always there for me and helps me with the kids when I need time alone. To get some peace and quiet, I would go to the beach and listen to the waves or do yoga.
I am very helpful when people try to find things in the store.
I saw a customer who was about to set foot on a shelf to reach for a cleaning spray, which could cause injury. We have a “Reaching Stick” in our car, so I helped him get it down and he was really grateful.
I lost 45 pounds last year.
And 20 of them since I started the Thrive Challenge. My kids have a happy mother, which means they are happy too. I’m telling people that if you take small steps, you can do big things in life. My goal is to work on human resources and buy a home for my family. My 4 year old wants a house of her own – and a dog!
—Kaynesha Briggs, Neighborhood Market # 7299; Port St. Lucy, FL; 5K winner