Try as we might, we can't help but make excuses for piling on the pounds. I'm certainly guilty of it. Any excuse for me to binge on junk food and lie vegetating on the couch is good enough for me. I've attributed my own pot belly to various different causes, such as a bad winter, a glorious summer, a vacation, and overwork. But 34-year-old Misé Coakley might just have the best excuse of all time: she ended up gaining a shocking eight stone because she was sleeping too much, sometimes snoozing for up to 22 hours a day.
Misé's habitual sleepiness wasn't down to laziness on her part however, but was in fact a bad case of narcolepsy which had been exacerbated by her numerous preexisting health concerns, such as meningitis, measles and glandular fever. She was so consistently exhausted that her family had to carry her from her bed to the sofa, and she quickly ballooned from a slim size 10 to a massive 24. It wasn't until a family trip to America, when she was alarmed by photographs of herself and her chafing legs, that she finally decided to get serious about her weight loss, and thus joined Slimming World.
Commenting on her sudden, and bizarre, weight gain, Misé stated: "I hadn’t been scoffing thousands of calories a day. I’d just been unconscious for so much of the time – unable to hardly move without falling asleep with exhaustion and eating unhealthy snacks when I could, that the weight had piled on as I slept ... I was busy all the time, working like crazy and not dealing with my grief,” she said. A friend offered me some work as a deckhand offshore and I took it, again grafting all the hours under the sun."
She added: "I’d sleep most of the day, for 22 hours sometimes. I just couldn’t get enough sleep. I would crawl around at home, as I wouldn’t even have the energy to walk. I couldn’t stay awake long enough to eat any proper, balanced meals. I was just eating small things, or snacking and then sleeping – burning none of the calories I’d consumed ... I didn’t have the energy to cook anything properly, and if I did try, I would have to stop and have several breaks even when eating the simplest of meals, like soup or cereal. If I tried to lean forward to pick up a snack or a drink, even that would tire me out so much I’d need to sleep."
Thankfully, Misé's story has a happy ending, and she was able to shed the weight and return to her original size. She now works full-time as a Slimming World consultant. So next time you decide to skip the gym session, don't blame it on your alarm clock. Instead, just admit that you've been taking it easy instead of working out.