The Fit Student—Goldilocks Syndrome

Do you thumbs-down dumbbells, treadmills, and hula hoops?  Well, once autoimmune disease strikes, you’ll breathlessly tug on Lulu Lemons—like I did.

A year ago, I ate one too many Big Macs.  And my body shut down.  If I slept more than ten hours, I’d crash for twenty hours more.  But if I slept less than nine hours, I’d sweat, get chills, and wilt.  A sleep doctor proudly coined the name “Goldilocks Syndrome,” howling when he said, “not too much, not too little, but just right.”  He then blushed, saying Goldilocks Syndrome wasn’t in the textbook, and shooed me out the door.

So, to change my health, I gobbled ten fresh veggies and fruits each day.  And I sweat it out with dumbbells and cardio.  Soon, the sick spells died out.  Now, fifteen months later, I muscle two workouts a day and eat clean.

But yesterday, Goldilocks Syndrome slammed me again.  On that groggy day, training hurt.  My brain jarred with each jumping jack.  But after ten minutes, endorphins kicked in.  Later that day, I cut short my second workout.  I felt so woozy I snoozed twenty hours straight.

You’d think I spent the past year lifting not weights, but fistfuls of Tim’s.  (Have you ever tried to eat healthy at Tim’s?  Even Tim’s yogurt shocks the insulin.)

Outside of fitness, my biggest goal is to end inflammation forever.  If you eat the Western diet, you too run a risk of winding up sick.  So, curb disease with healthy nibbles, good gut bugs, gym-fun, and sleep-hygiene.  Gerard E.  Mullin shows how in his book The Gut Revolution: Boost Your Metabolism, Restore Your Inner Ecology, and Lose the Weight for Good!

  • Ward off disease with plants: “A diet rich in fruits and plants prevents many chronic diseases and cancers” (location 1561, 14%).
  • Halt sickness by eating more fruits and veggies: “There may be no easier way to improve your overall health than to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat each day” (location 2042, 19%).
  • How many veggies curb disease? “People who ate more than eight daily servings of vegetables were 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke” (location 2042, 19%).
  • Ban sugar and unhealthy fats to avoid disease: “Harmful microbes … in your gut love sugar. Plus, inflammatory fats … work as a partner in crime with sugar, creating even more disruptions in gut microbial balance” (location 1543, 14%).
  • Stop sickness and stay lean with superfoods: “Instead of eating inflammatory, sugary foods that lead to imbalance in your gut microbiome, you’ll focus on fat-burning superfoods (like blueberries, green tea, and chili peppers)” (location 1236, 11%).
  • Stay clear of refined carbs to battle disease: “Sugar isn’t the only dietary demon …. A close second is sugar’s cousin: refined starchy carbs.  This includes bread, bagels, pasta, cereal, crackers, cookies, and cakes ….  white potatoes … white rice … and just about any processed food in the middle aisles of your supermarket” (location 1647, 15%).
  • Boost your immunity with probiotics: “Increase your intake of fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and miso. These foods help seed your gut with good bugs that will rebalance your gut microbiome” (location 1294, 12%).
  • Ward of illness with fitness: “Movement reduces inflammation, makes you more insulin sensitive, improves your mood … and builds lean muscle mass …”. (location 5614, 53%).
  • And stop disease with proper sleep: “Disruptions in sleep, getting too little sleep, and having your circadian rhythms interrupted have all been implicated as contributing factors to type 2 diabetes and obesity” (location 5529, 52%).

This past year, I had only one bout of Goldilocks Syndrome.  Not three a week, like before.  So, to stamp out illness, do as I do: stay fit, stuff yourself with veggies, and sleep within the sweet spot.

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