Why exercise might not be the secret to my weight loss success after all

I lost 3 pounds this week. And I only went to the gym once. 

Previous weeks found me visiting the gym twice or three times a week, spinning vigorously on a stationary bike, running laps on the track or making tracks on the cross-trainer.

This week found me lying on the couch, succumbing to a mucus invasion of historic proportions. The uncommon cold, as I’m calling it, has struck all four of us, but my husband and I have taken the worst beating. Between us, we’ve consumed almost three boxes of cold medicine, and our house is littered with tissue box carcasses, at least 10 that I know of.

So I was fully expecting, after my husband weighed in and had lost only a pound, to have made no progress or gained weight this week.

Three pounds lost was a pleasant surprise but not a reason for me to advocate a monstrous head cold as a weight-loss method.

What I did discover, though, was some principles that will help me on my journey to a new pair of jeans. (Five more pounds to lose and I can go spend the Kohl’s gift card I got for Christmas. Unless I decide to save it for a bigger goal.)

1. Sleep. A lot. Twice during this sickness, I went to bed earlier than normal. One night, I was in bed before my 3-year-old. A majority of the days, I’ve taken naps. Long ones. I’ve heard that sleep deprivation can make you gain weight. Now I see the converse. More sleep can lead to less weight.

2. Eat. A little. This wasn’t a stomach-flu kind of sickness so it’s not like I lost weight because my stomach wouldn’t keep food down. But, because my nose has been plugged, my taste buds aren’t functioning right, and therefore, nothing really tastes good. My husband and I love food, sometimes to excess, but he has much more self-control than I do. What I’ve learned this week is that I don’t have to eat a lot to get through the day. And, I can always eat it again tomorrow.

3. Skip. Seconds, that is. My gluttony with food starts with taste. When I go back for seconds, it’s usually because I like how something tastes, not because I’m hungry for more. I’m no anatomy expert but I know the nose and sense of smell are linked to taste buds somehow. Because I can’t smell much of anything, I’m not interested in seconds.

4. Drink. Water. Water and tea have become my staples during this sickness. This usually isn’t a problem for me, but once I stopped breast-feeding, I got a little lax on the water intake. More water in, more weight off.

5. Snack. But not at night. Earlier bed times have also meant less TV and less eating while watching TV. Late-night snacking is another of my food vices. I haven’t had a bowl of ice cream in 10 days. I still like ice cream, but maybe it’ll be more of a treat if I don’t eat it EVERY night while watching my favorite shows.

If I practice these tips AND exercise, maybe I won’t have to be secretly jealous of my husband’s weight loss.

Melt away, pounds! Melt away!

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