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Gratitude: Chicago couple Pam, Ron and their kids, Kristina and RJ, were so plugged into technology that they disconnected from one another.

Since the challenge, the family appreciates one another more than ever. RJ even started a gratitude journal—and his video games aren't on the list. "If you have family like the family I have," Ron says, "nothing else really matters."

Love Doesn't Cost a Thing: Michelle wanted to buy her kids everything their hearts desired, but that meant working overtime and missing family dinners. Cutting back made Michelle realize what her kids really want is time together. Now, eating dinner as a family is a priority.

"All of the time that I had without all the distractions ... made me consider that I needed less technology and more time with my family," Michelle says.

You Are Enough: In 1997, Candice's husband died saving one of their two sons from drowning. Candice admits that shopping became a form of therapy since his tragic death. "My husband was taken away from me, but nobody can take away my stuff," she says.

On the first day of Oprah's challenge, Candice says she had an aha! moment. "No TV allowed me to sit down with my children and just have a conversation about their day, my day," she says. "I don't need the stuff. I know my children don't need the stuff. All I ever needed was them, and all they ever needed was me. And that's been the most amazing feeling."

Living with Less Is Not a Punishment: Fifteen years ago, Kay Jean was happy to fit everything she owned into two suitcases. Now, this wife and mother of two can't stop shopping. She stockpiles food as if a natural disaster is looming. When confronted with Oprah's challenge, her children cried at the thought of living with less.

Now, life revolves around family, not things. "I think the first day or two, it's a shock," she says. "But we really have adjusted, and I think as long as you don't treat this as a punishment ... it really is a better life."

Start Oprah's challenge—get the rules!

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FROM: Oprah's "What Can You Live Without?" Experiment, Part 2
Published on August 26, 2009

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