What inspired you to take the Challenge?
I’d taken a new position working overnight and I couldn’t adjust to sleeping in the daytime. I became depressed and irritable and I wanted to change my sleeping patterns naturally without taking sleep aids. Also, I’m 43, weighed 189 pounds, and wanted to lose weight. I was eating fast food and was always at the taco shop! At home, I’d fry chicken or make a big pot of spaghetti and eat it all, followed by brownies and ice cream.
How did you get started?
I used to drive everywhere and I started going for walks on the beach or at the park, sometimes with my neighbor. As I walk, I listen to uplifting music by Mary J. Blige or Rihanna. Exercising helps me sleep better. I never watch T.V. in the bedroom, I put my phone away when I go to bed, and if I’m having a difficult time getting to sleep, I’ll listen to soothing sounds from nature, like the ocean. I’m very spiritual and I meditate and pray, which also helps.
How did you change your diet?
Instead of making spaghetti sauce with ground beef, I use turkey and add veggies and whole wheat noodles. I stopped frying food. I’ll cook chicken or shrimp shish kebabs on the grill. And I switched from sodas to water infused with fruit for flavor. I don’t feel bloated anymore and that helps me sleep better. And the weight fell off me — I lost 21 pounds. I’m sleeping eight hours a day and go to work feeling refreshed.
What else has made a difference?
I wanted to get closer to my siblings without getting upset with them. As a kid, I had a lot of responsibilities helping to raise my younger sisters and I’ve always taken on their troubles. I’d get upset about the life choices they’d make. Now, I tell myself their problems are not my problems. I’m focusing on gratitude and being there for them, and our bond is stronger. I’m grateful for my partner, Steve, and our relationship, and I’m grateful for my 3-year-old niece who brings me joy. I started talking to myself in a positive way. I’ll say: “You can do this. Take it one day at a time.” I have more goals. I smoke five cigarettes a day and want to give up. That’s my next Challenge!
What’s life like now?
As a team lead, I’m able to listen to associates, understand where they’re coming from, and support them. I’m more approachable — I have a smile on my face. I’ve been with Walmart for 16 years and I’m inspiring people to care for their well-being and encouraging them to take the Challenge. I have more energy and I’m not sleepy. I’m more confident and positive, I’m well-rested, and I’m happy. I feel alive.
—Jacquill Lynch, Supercenter #2479; San Diego, CA; $5K Winner