Update on Fighting Butt-In-Chair Syndrome

So I’ve been at my BIC Syndrome makeover challenge for almost two months now, and I thought it was about time I give you the promised update. To be honest, I’ve been putting off doing so, because it has been way more of a challenge than I anticipated…and frankly, I’m not impressed with my results so far.

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But — and that’s an important but — I’m not giving up. In fact, I’m more determined than ever (turns out there’s a useful side to my stubbornness after all, lol!). I am also, however, substantially tweaking my approach. Here’s why.

After six weeks on a diet of 1200-1400 calories a day, I found myself fatigued, cranky, sleep-deprived, and generally miserable. The insomnia that had plagued me these last couple of years (related to hormonal changes, I’m told) had become unrelenting; I wanted a nap every day and was ready for bed at 7:00 every night; my exercise efforts were slowly falling by the wayside as my energy levels spiralled ever downward; and I was hungry. All. The. Time. (I suspect that’s what was making me cranky, and yes, I’ve apologized to my husband. 😉 )

I might have been willing to tolerate feeling that way if I’d seen results, but to add insult to injury, the scale had barely budged. Clearly, I was doing something my body wasn’t on board with. So off to Google I went…and I came up with a two-pronged plan that I’m going to try for the next 30 days.

  1. First, I’ve started taking thyroid and adrenal support supplements. According to the research I did (and a blood test done by my doctor), I suspect I have a slugglish thyroid. What does this mean? In a nutshell, my thyroid test results fall within “normal” as dictated by doctors, but I still have all of the symptoms of a low thyroid (and I’m not willing to accept the medical verdict that this is all just a part of getting older). Canadian health and nutrition researcher Lorna Vanderhaeghe has written several excellent articles on the topic, one of which you can find at Vista Magazine.
  2. Second, I’m a huge proponent of using nutrition to improve health, and so I’ve taken on the Whole 30 challenge for eating. Whole 30 is basically an extreme version of clean eating, and it promises a wealth of benefits, including improved sleep, less joint/muscle pain, more energy, and much more. So now, instead of starving myself, I’m eating huge quantities of fresh vegetables, lots of quality proteins, healthy fats, and some fruit. No sugar, no additives, no dairy, no grains, and no legumes (beans, peas, peanuts). While this may sound tough, I’m actually adapting very well to it for three reasons: (1) I was already eating grain-free, low dairy, and mostly sugar-free; (2) it’s a sheer joy to eat something other than salads and zero-fat yogurt; and (3) amazing bloggers such as Melissa Joulwan make it easy to get started by posting things like a weekly whole-meal plan.

Now, I know I can’t realize my fitter, healthier-me goals without the exercise component, but I’ve had to admit that launching myself into too many things all at the same time may not have been the smartest way to go about things. So until my energy levels improve through diet and supplements, I’m willing to compromise…and to exercise smarter rather than harder. To this end, I’m keeping my daily walks with Giant Dog (he’d never forgive me if I gave those up!), and I’m trying the 30-30-30, a negative resistance training plan designed by Ellington Darden that requires me to do my weight training just twice a week. I’m also keeping some yoga in my routine, because that just feels plain good. 🙂

So there you have it: the BIC Syndrome Challenge, take 2. Now, who’s with me? Because we can totally do this, right? Right?? 😀

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14 responses to “Update on Fighting Butt-In-Chair Syndrome”

  1. lvaliquette Avatar
    lvaliquette

    Hey:

    Kudos on the healthy changes. I do caution, though, that you must engage in exercise while losing weight, otherwise you are going to lose valuable lean muscle mass as well as fat. If you have any history in your family of osteoporosis, the added risk too is reduced bone density. I suggest some kind of resistance training to at least maintain the muscle mass you have. And when you work muscle, it burns more calories and accelerates your results.

    Sixteen months ago, my percentage body fat was 27.5, my cholesterol was borderline and I was on “gateway” blood pressure drugs. Then I took a 10-week fitness challenge at a personal training gym. This included nutrition and exercise. After that, I reached a deal with the owner to exchange services instead of cash to produce content for the gym’s newsletter and blog. I’ve been going three times a week ever since, and following a nutrition plan similar to yours.

    Today, my body fat is around 16 per cent, and my cholesterol and blood pressure are near optimal, without any medication. Makes a huge difference in my energy level and focus … and how I look in a pair of swim shorts 🙂

    Cheers
    Leo

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      Hi, Leo, and congrats on all the great progress!!! Thank you for the caution regarding exercise, too. I did mention my exercise plans in the last paragraph of the post, and yes, they do include resistance training (or in this case, negative resistance). Between that, yoga, and giant-dog walking, I think I’ve got it covered. 😉

  2. lvaliquette Avatar
    lvaliquette

    And of course, if I read your post closer, I would have seen that you ARE doing resistance training — duh!

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      Lol! No worries. I’m a skimmer of articles, too. 😉

  3. Nicole Avatar

    Holy crap. There’s a potential link between the thyroid and endometriosis and cysts? Ya, gonna have to do more research into that.
    Good luck with the new improved plan.

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      Thanks, Nicole, and yes, more research is always a good thing!

    2. Nicole Avatar

      There’s a group of people at my work who do an afternoon planking session now everyday around 2:30/3pm. It’s become a cult almost (there’s also a top secret yoga class). I actually joined them this afternoon. I should really make a habit of this.

      1. Linda Avatar
        Linda

        Yeah…planks…very effective, but OW. 😉

  4. Sandy Williams Avatar

    I need to combat the BIC syndrome too. My energy levels the last few months stink, and it’s not like I’m doing anything to make myself tired. I’m not having any sleeping issues, fortunately; I just can’t make myself get up and do anything, and I feel like I eat junk food All. The. Time.

    I think my biggest problem is working from home. I send my boys to daycare, so I have a solid seven hours to myself. The fridge is always right there! Plus, I don’t have to pretty myself up in the mornings. Honestly, I think being home alone all day affects my mood, even though I totally love being home all day by myself. (I’m such an introvert.)

    I’m interested in trying something like the Whole30, but my family doesn’t eat vegetables hardly at all, and I think we’d seriously starve to death without bread and pasta. Take those two items off the menu, and I have no idea would I’d cook. I already stress about the whole what-to-cook issue to begin with.

    *sigh*

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      One step at a time, Sandy…maybe start with including one new veggie with each dinner? Or a plate of fresh veggies with dip as a pre-dinner snack when the boys get home from daycare? Even something as simple as including alfalfa sprouts in sandwiches (I used to tell my girls it was monster hair that I shaved off the monsters in our back yard every night…they loved it, and spent hours looking for the monsters outside, too! 😀 ). And for exercise, how about a 15-minute walk when you get back from dropping them off? You’re already up and out, and it’s not TOO much…just a start. Are you with me? We really CAN do this, you know! 🙂

    2. Sandy Williams Avatar

      I was doing pretty well at running until summer really hit. If it’s after 7:30, I can’t survive the Texas sun. I *could* still do a 15 minute walk, though. I’d still be hot and sweaty and stinky, but I wouldn’t get lightheaded and nauseous. 🙂 I’ve thought about doing the veggies and dip thing. I’ll have to make a run to a different grocery store, though. My normal grocery store has expensive, but poor quality veggies.
      Love the monster hair idea! I’m shocked they ate it and didn’t say ewww, gross! lol Thanks for the tips!

      1. Linda Avatar
        Linda

        You’re most welcome…and I think kids take great delight in the idea of “gross”, lol…especially when they can shock their friends with it. 😀

  5. Margaret Boling Mullin Avatar

    You didn’t mention coffee?

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      You’re right, I didn’t — and great news!!! Allowed!!! 🙂

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