What if being happy uses up more calories than being miserable?

I got weighed today just to see if my dining out and new exercises have had an impact on my progress and I was shocked to see that I’ve lost 5lbs this week! So there you have it, either dining out and Tai Chi are the way to go or cocktails and champagne have a secret weight loss ingredient we didn’t know about.

I joked with Nick this morning that I’ve found a brand new weight loss plan which I’m going to sell and make millions from… the Be Happy diet. I concluded that being happy just uses up more calories than being miserable and even though it was a joke at first, we realised that there actually might be something in that. If you feel happy you are more likely to engage in living, get out and move more and even laughter has to use up more calories than sitting watching TV with a blank expression right?  Of course if you’re an emotional eater then if you’re happy, you may eat less and lose weight anyway, but  I’m a true emotional eater and eat when I’m happy too! I mourn my sadness with food and celebrate my happiness with it so I don’t think that’s true for me but could be true for other people. 

I really think that this loss is probably because I’ve eaten less than usual because someone else has been in control of portion sizes and because I was determined not to step away from my healthy lifestyle I over compensated for eating out by only having one course and bulking that up with salad and veggies most of the time or swapping a dessert for a cocktail. 

Whatever, I’ve proven that you can dine out, date, have a holiday, be away from home and still manage to stick to a healthy lifestyle, even throw in a few treats and still lose weight. I’ve done it once, I can do it again and again.

And those naughty smutty people out there who are thinking I’ve been ‘exercising’ more than usual just in ways I really ought not to share on here (come on hands up who’s thinking it) … stop it, go clean out your filthy minds with soap and water, for I am a paragon of virtue as we all know 😉 

I’ll update my stats page later but this means I’m now at a total weight loss of 62 pounds! No change to Tracey and not yet under 20 stones but getting there and as I’ve gushed about non stop lately, emotionally, physically and mentally I’m a whole tonne lighter.

So, now it’s out with one house guest and in with the next. this is great timing really for my closest girl friend (apart from my daughter) to arrive as I have lots of juicy stuff to spend hours giggling about as girls do. Also it’s going to be wonderful to have a little one around, I have my kids’ ‘creation trunk’ all ready, stocked with glitter and fluff and feathers and paints and glue and all manner of wonderful stuff to cover my dining table in. I’ve vacuumed and washed all the soft toys and filled the little ones bed with them and dragged boxes of Barbies and Polly Pockets out of hiding, the Lego chest is ready and waiting and the box of percussion instruments has been placed on the floor in the music room just waiting for little hands to make a racket with. Nick filled the sand pit this morning for me while I was at the hairdresser so we’re all ready. I’ve bought a little bike for her to use and also we bought a lovely kite when we were out the other day for good old fashioned outdoor fun. I was going to get her bucket and spades for the beach but thought she’d like to choose her own. I’m so excited, I adore kids.

Nick’s going back to London later today 😦 You know I’ve had a great time and he’s enjoyed himself too by all accounts. After he was asleep last night I crept back downstairs for a while, I was feeling a little restless and realised that I was a bit sad to think that he was leaving. Anyone who knows me will know that is so not like me. I’m not a clingy person and I don’t get sad about goodbyes and I like being on my own so this was quite unusual for me to be bothered by that thought. But anyway, I’m over it now and just feeling lucky to have had this fabulous opportunity to have a catch up and some fun.

We didn’t talk about the future, as in ‘us’ I’ve kind of changed the subject if it’s headed in that direction, I want to just go with the flow and not make anything contrived. He asked if I’d consider going on a holiday with him somewhere nice and relaxing and after consulting with the kids I’ve agreed to do that. It will be lovely to spend some more time with him. The kids were positively squealing with delight at the thought of me living again which reassured me about leaving them behind. My son’s signing up for a week long outward bound training camp near my daughter so they’ve taken care of themselves really.

So Nick’s currently holed up in my office trying to plan a surprise that ticks the two boxes I was allowed to have. My daughter evidently told him to only let me have two conditions related to the holiday so that I didn’t make it too difficult for him to find somewhere suitable (she knows me too well). My two conditions were: I’m not wearing a bathing suit in front of anyone but him but I want to swim and I want to be able to do some outdoor exercise besides swimming.  We’ve got to go before the end of the month and I have a few commitments regarding work but other than that it’s up to him, all of the when’s, where’s and what have yous and for once in my life I’m happy to relinquish control and let someone else make the arrangements. I’m becoming so much more laid back in my new state.

Can’t wait to find out where we will be going and this will sound pathetic but even though he’s still here it will be good to see him again. Neither of us are sure why we’ve left this so long but well, it’s happened now and that’s a good thing.

My son’s having a lovely time with his sister, they’ve been very active by the sounds of it he will come back a shadow of his former self at this rate. Can’t wait to see them both on Saturday.

Next test is coming up for me, can I survive a few days with kids’ treats in the house? I know my friend is currently on a healthy eating plan herself as is her daughter so they are looking forward to some healthy eating and exercise but the little one does eat a lot of rubbish and am I going to be able to survive packets of crisps, biscuits and choc bars lying around? I’m ready for this challenge, it’s going to be the hardest one yet but I’m up for it.



13 thoughts on “What if being happy uses up more calories than being miserable?”

  1. Wow!! Congratulations on your 5 pound loss! It sounds like you have some fun adventures ahead with your friend visiting. That’s one lucky little girl she has, as you’ve done everything to make her stay really fun! You can also avoid the treats that are in the house–you have the strength–I can tell in your writing. I think that happiness burns more calories, too! 🙂


    1. I love having kids around because I’m a big one myself and I miss the days when mine were little and everything filled them with wonder, I’m ready to be a grandma I guess but that will be a long time happening. My kids still indulge me in the odd creative crafts session and my daughter will still build with Lego for hours, but don’t tell any of her cool mates that. I really wanted to do baking I love throwing flour around and making a mess but I daren’t go there as I will eat for sure. Nobody can resist the grubby baked offerings of tiny hands.


      1. I completely understand! I’m the same way. I really miss my kids being little, too. My daughters are 24 and 26 and are still at home for a bit. (The oldest is doing her medical school rotations and waiting for her residency contract so she can buy a home, The youngest just graduated from college in December and is working and saving money to get married next summer.) I love having them here, and we often cook and craft together. We also have really fun dancing/exercise sessions several times a week.
        Baking is a no-no at my house right now, too. The aromas would be too much for me!


  2. Congratulations on more weight loss! You are right about the happy/miserable thing. When I’m feeling depressed, it’s just too hard to do the healthy things and of course there’s always the feeling of not being worth it. But it goes the other way too- the weight loss, healthy eating and fitness make me feel happy and make it easier to do them!


    1. Thank you and so true. There is nothing like a downer to make you reach for the chocolate or anything come to that. I’m going to have to maintain my high.. that’s not going to be easy but we’ll see how it goes 😀


    1. I know! It’s amazing and I have hardly felt any pain at all 😀 I hate that I put it off so long BUT now was my time and that’s why it’s working, at least that’s what the fatalist in me is saying


  3. Michelle, can I put my hand down now? phettt-att, that soap tastes foul! Seriously, well done. Being sensible with your food choices, plus all that exercise and the bubbling over has been positive for you. I am at a loss why the little one visiting will be allowed to eats junk when mum is on a healthy food path. If you don’t bring any of those naughty things into the house, she will have to go without. I’m a meanie. 😀


    1. Haha Christine, I knew there’d be one 😀 I was of the same opinion re the little one. I asked my friend if there was anything I needed to have in, I know how fussy kids can be with cereal and white/brown bread and all that and she said “she mostly eats rubbish”. I thought “Oh” 😦 Even though I was an out of control glutton I was always mindful of my kids not going the same way and although they had treats they had to eat good stuff too. I used to binge eat my rubbish when they were not around. I said I was surprised if her and her daughter were healthy eating that they’d not passed on some of that to the little one and she said that her mother’s opinion (the daughter of my friend) is that she’s only a child she should be able to eat whatever she wants and worry about it later. As someone who has weight and health issues herself I was surprised by that approach but will have to bite my tongue, who am I to interfere in the way someone parents.

      Although I do confess that I have all of the tricks ready, kids and bowls of chopped up fruit go really well together and getting them involved in cooking as well as imaginative plate decorating helps, we all know about the broccoli trees… I just made a big fat and sugar free trifle for dessert after dinner tonight and it’s packed with fresh berries. I shall subtly exert my influence.

      Her daughter is only 4 and she is very overweight, my kids were chunky little ones (my daughter was skinny as a railing by the time she was 3 though, my son stores it up, he eats like a horse, gains weight, stops eating and grows taller and thinner, he is just having his latest spurt, probably the biggest one as he approaches 15, he’s nearly bankrupt me with the amount of protein and calcium he has consumed over the past 6 months, but now his appetite has calmed and in the past month he has grown almost in front of my eyes and he has notched up six holes on his favourite jeans belt so he’s back to slender and getting very tall.

      I’d hate to see history repeat itself although I do think there is something genetic going on as my daughter has to work at being slim, she’s very careful of what she eats and exercises a lot to stay in shape and has a tendency to gain weight very quickly but she is aware of that and stays on top of it which is a good habit I taught her (although not by example).

      From somewhere she was gifted with a beautiful hourglass figure (not from my side of the family) and she did inherit my very straight shoulders and good posture so she wears clothes beautifully. I would have hated to see her end up like me and I think I’ve been so honest about my struggle and she has experienced so much of it that she will do all she can to keep a tight rein on herself. She loves healthy foods and she’s very active anyway so that’s a bonus. My son’s built like my father so he has no worries, he’s developing a very athletic physique. My husband, their father is very tall and effortlessly slim, quite willowy but neither of them have his build.

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