It’s really about what you put in your body


I’m like many (but not all) women: part of why I’m active is about getting a little more wiggle room in what I can eat. Being vertically challenged and in my late 50s, weight management is an ongoing “exercise” in juggling food and activity.

Fairytales and Fitness

So what do I do when being active isn’t an option? Illness isn’t always the reason, there are many other reasons we can’t be as active as we’d like to (travel, work demands, taking care of others, injury, to name a few).

Weight management isn’t all about exercise, it’s much more about what we put in our bodies and how we treat ourselves.

Do what you can
Sometimes that means resting. The first day I was sick was a total rest day. No worrying about steps; not a whole of hunger, either. Whoever said feed a fever got it all wrong — when I have a fever I am so not hungry.

The next few days were still rest days, but I did do some gentle yoga. Yoga aimed specifically at colds/flu. When you’re still sick but you’re not completely wiped out, some gentle movement can be very helpful.

As I felt better, I also started to walk the dogs again. Not as long as I usually do, but it’s always good to get out in some sunshine and fresh air — if nothing else, it elevates your mood.

Be gentle with yourself
If you’ve had a fever, it’s a really bad idea to go hard the minute that fever breaks. Your body is fighting some sort of illness, and it needs all its energy directed to healing. Some movement is good, but getting right back into hard training can be a recipe for being down and out even longer.

Rest and you will heal quicker; push and you may get sick again.

Chicken soup really is a healing food (and comforting)

Be careful with the comfort foods
It’s so tempting to comfort ourselves with food. Some comfort foods can be healthy — but often they aren’t. A nice bowl of chicken noodle soup can definitely work wonders; #allthecookies are not your friend.

Everyone is different, but things that probably won’t be healing are:

  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Too much fruit. Yes, fruit is definitely healthy, but you can have too much of a good thing.
  • White foods (bagels, bread, for instance). White potatoes are the exception — they are not the devils they’ve been made out to be; it’s all about what you put on them and they are very easy to digest.
  • Processed foods.

Healing foods:

  • Soups
  • Garlic, Onions, Turmeric
  • Salmon
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Orange foods (carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes)

Neither of these lists are by any means complete, but they’re food for thought.

Eat a little less
If you’re not as active (or not active at all) your body just won’t be burning as many calories. You might not be as hungry . . . but you could be. If I’m sick and not active, I keep an eye on how much I’m eating and will typically eat a little less than normal. I was rewarded with a loss at the scale this week, despite very little activity.

You don’t want to severely restrict food — your body is still doing plenty of work just keeping you alive and healing itself, and eating too little food can as harmful as eating too much.

Do you go for comfort foods when you’re sick?

What foods on the healing foods list sound appealing to you?

What is the weirdest thing you eat when you’re sick (and why)?

I think most of us have come to realize that not all calories are created the same. It’s important to make your calories count when you’re feeling under the weather — you don’t have to gain weight just because you can’t be as active; what you put in your body will always trump activity in the long run. — Chocolaterunsjudy

24 thoughts on “It’s really about what you put in your body

  1. I’m struggling with the double whammy of business trips that leave me with less time for working out and limited options for healthy meals (and I can only resist those brownies on the table for so long). I am trying not to let myself spiral into a feeling of helplessness/self-pity that only makes it worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Travel is hard. Really, really hard. I can’t imagine what I’d weigh if I had to travel all the time for business — I almost always gain when I travel & it never comes off as quickly as it goes on, of course.

      Usually I bring my own stuff for breakfast — I find eating breakfast out can be a real landmine!


    1. I know that I will get better quicker if I don’t indulge when I’m sick. Now I just need to work on indulging because I’ve been active!

      It does get harder All the time. But it’s a fight worth fighting!


  2. Knock on wood. Not sure I’ve gotten a fever. Maybe thanks to flu shots.

    But being less active the last 5-6 weeks has been hard. Thank god I don’t have a scale. I am sure to have gained weight.

    The biggest problem is work travel. I bring my own breakfast but otherwise it’s eating out twice a day.

    Then there’s three days of wedding eating.

    This post is making me hungry lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Judy. That chicken soup looks so good! I have recently been diagnosed with very high cholesterol. I resisted being put on medication, so my doctor gave me 4 months to get my numbers down. I am now on a very low-fat diet. I am going to do my best to follow that diet. I do not want to start medication.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Do you go for comfort foods when you’re sick? Plain toast w/butter(just a tad)

    What foods on the healing foods list sound appealing to you? Leafy greens in the form of a smoothie.

    What is the weirdest thing you eat when you’re sick (and why)? Eating raw veggies w/hummus in the morning. Not a typical breakfast food. 🤒

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Toast is always soothing if your stomach is upset. I only lost my appetite for the one day I really had a fever.

      Ok, veggies & hummus would definitely be weird for me if I wasn’t feeling well! I tend not to crave veggies much if I’m sick — which is where the soups & green smoothies come in.


  5. Oh your chicken soup looks delicious! I grew up in an Italian household but by favorite cold “medicine” is matzoh ball soup. So much of it while going through root canal this past fall. I tend not to be hungry when sick whick helps with the comfort food, and I have some dairy sensitivities that manifest as congestion so easy to avoid when sick

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did have matzo ball soup, too. 🙂 I swear by it and I AM Jewish. 😉

      I was only super sick one day — that day I wasn’t very hungry. The rest of the time I still didn’t feel well, but it didn’t effect my appetite, unfortunately.


  6. Yep, yep, yep! It started in my 30s when my IBS really got going. I started identifying foods that really bothered me. After my diagnosis with RA, it was clear that those foods contributed to inflammation in my body. And now the menopot. I do still love chocolate, but I’ve got a handle on that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Despite my love of chocolate, I am actually able to control myself around that. Wasn’t always the case, but now just a little bit is fine.

      I keep trying to get through to my husband that some foods really cause inflammation. I know he understands it, but he also still just doesn’t think much about it.


  7. I do tend to give myself whatever I fancy if I truly want that particular taste or ingredient: as I’ve never been on a restrictive diet I seem to have quite a natural relationship to my food (wanting carbs or milk after a long run, protein after a hard workout, craving veg and fruit when working out a lot). I do however know I use sugar to pep myself up if fatigued and I need to work on that (by resting more). I always crave salty things if I have a cold and go off chocolate and tea and coffee, so I do have some low-fat crisps then, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

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