I work nights and wasn’t sleeping well. I was tired all the time and just not happy. Halfway through my shift I’d be falling asleep. When I’d get home from work I would watch video games and snack continuously on sugary cereal, tacos, and ramen until I’d go to bed.
“I felt like a zombie and was never fully awake.”
I would dread going to work. I had no energy and was grouchy. I spent my days off trying to rest and recuperate and never had the time to do things I enjoy, like taking a walk along the beautiful river trail near my home, because I was always trying to catch up on sleep. I didn’t have a consistent bedtime or get a restful night’s sleep.
I didn’t have much of a social life. My friends work different shifts, and on my days off I was too tired to make plans. What made me decide to change? In the break room at work, I noticed the smiling faces on the poster for the Challenge and thought: “Just give it a shot.”
“First I set a regular bedtime — at noon.”
I have blackout curtains, which are important for shift workers. I decided to take it a step further and bought an eye mask, which really helps me get to sleep. Taking a hot shower before bed relaxes the muscles and makes me feel calm. I used to sleep five hours a night, now I average seven-and-a-half to eight.
“I wake up feeling refreshed.”
I used to lie in bed thinking of an excuse to not get up. Now I’m up with plenty of time to make breakfast and do tasks around the house before leaving for work. I’m not rushed or tired, so I don’t feel grumpy.
“I got out of the snacking habit.”
It was hard to break, but I’ve found out it’s important to stop eating two hours before bedtime. So I said to myself: “Let’s not eat before bed for X amount of days.” Now I’m used to it and feel much better. I also cut down on video games.
At work people are more open towards me, and I’ve become a lot friendlier. I’m smiling more and enjoy greeting the morning shift crew at the end of my day. I’ve mentioned the Challenge to my co-workers and told them it is super simple and that you can make your own plan.
Next I want to change my diet. I weigh 270 pounds and aim to get back to my high school weight. That means losing 50 pounds, stopping eating microwave meals, and preparing my own food.
“I am planning to take a martial arts class to get fit and meet new people.”
I used to do that in high school. Right now there are a lot of positive emotional changes. I have more energy, and I’m enjoying having more control over my life — it’s tremendous!
––Anthony Capizzo, Supercenter #2270; Durango, CO; $5K Winner