Protein Sparing Modified Fast – Let’s Do This!

Let me start by saying that as of Day 1, I don’t recommend this. However, it’s Day 1 and I’m still bloated from overindulging over the weekend with friends. I am sure once I start to shed weight, I will be singing the praises. I heard about this on a podcast that I listen to and looked into it as an option. Using the https://www.psmfdiet.com/psmfcalculator/ to determine my calories and protein requirements, this is what I’m looking at:

PSMF Macro

Yep. Look at that. It sucks, right? But I’ll survive. This is what Day 1 looks like:

Breakfast: Sugar Free Energy Drink (don’t judge me!)

Lunch: Salad with romaine, 3 ounces of low sodium turkey breast, sprinkle of feta and a couple dried cranberries (don’t worry – it was all measured out to ensure I was tracking EVERY MACRO), and some Skinny Girl raspberry salad dressing

Snack: Nespresso coffee with a tablespoon of keto collagen and 4 ounces of caramel premier protein

Dinner: 1 cup of egg whites, 1 egg, 1 ounce of low sodium turkey breast, and some green tabasco.

“Dessert:” Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurt

Let’s finish up this day and see if we can continue to repeat this pattern for the next few days. My inchstones are the following goals:

  1. Make it to Sunday- track all foods, exercise at least 4 days this week, and keep on the plan
  2. Lose the initial water weight
  3. Continue on plan, adding in more variety in my protein through the end of February
  4. Work up to 5 days of working out a week
  5. Continue on plan through 30 days

So, let’s see how this goes! Wish me luck!

Yikes… (Dusts off the ol’ blog)

Remember that time when I used this to try to keep track of my running and my pregnancy… and even THEN couldn’t keep up? Yeah. That was a few years ago…. Before giving birth… before getting pregnant again with TWINS… before a global pandemic. But I’m back! And this is going to be my means to keep myself accountable and share all my stumbles along the way. So, let’s catch up, shall we?

I gave birth to my baby BOY on September 6th, 2018. We decided not to find out the sex until I gave birth and it was so amazing to be able to have that extra surprise. I gave birth two days before my due date (which had been finally decided as September 8th). Although I got fat (I don’t do pregnancy well…), I didn’t have any major complications. Ran/walked the morning of the 5th, went to work all day, got some Taco Bell (bad idea in hindsight), and then went into labor. Labored for a bit, got some pitocin to speed it up, and then gave birth in the early morning hours of September 6th. Easy peasy. I was able to breastfeed / pump for 8 months and then had to fully pull the plug to make weight for the Army (which is a whole separate issue that I likely will write about at length at a later date). I ran, did push ups, and wore enough saran wrap while doing cardio to make height weight and pass an Army Physical Fitness Test. From there, we decided to try again for our last baby (since I wasn’t getting any younger).

We were incredibly blessed to be able to get pregnant again relatively quickly. Went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy and the gestational age… and BOOM – our whole world was flipped upside down. There were two littles growing in there… which we later found out were a boy and a girl. We decided that it wasn’t worth it waiting for the sex- just HAVING twins was surprise enough! I blame the water in Michigan. Don’t drink it… you’ll get multiples!

The twin pregnancy went pretty well. I started doing Orange Theory prior to getting pregnant and was able to continue until about 28 weeks pregnant. I primarily walked and jogged a little after the 24 week mark. I joined a gym to swim to keep my cardio fitness up… then COVID hit. And then I developed pre-eclampsia. The twins were born at 36 weeks exactly and it was a very traumatic birth (which I might also write about later just to have a record of the event… not that I could ever really forget). Fast forward until today and we now have two teething 9+ month olds.

And I’m still fat. I was able to breastfeed until 9 months (and honestly probably could have breastfed until 1 year). I have enough milk stored to get them to a year on breastmilk. But I needed to cease to try to lose the rest of the weight and to allow the relaxin to flush out of my body.

So. What am I going to focus on now? Well, first of all, survival with three under 3 during an ongoing pandemic. THAT aside, my focus is rehabbing my postpartum body, building strength to pass the new Army Combat Fitness Test, and shedding the last large chunk of baby weight. And I’m a planner… so what is my plan?

  1. Jump start the (fat) loss with the protein sparing modified fast for at least 30 days. Yes, it is severe. Yes, it will suck. But I have to do it. I don’t have a choice at this point. I’ve tried keto, paleo, AIP, intermittent fasting, and macro counting since hitting 5 months postpartum. Nothing has worked or “stuck.” So, I’m hoping to jumpstart things with this PSMF protocol for a month and then ease back into clean keto / paleo (maybe) with calorie counting.
  2. Continue with physical therapy for at least another month or so. I’d like to see if I can improve my pelvic floor issues, back pain, and hip pain as the relaxin is flushing out and my hormones are regulating.
  3. Focus on strength training with minimal cardio. The plan is to run about 2 miles on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I’ll spin on Tuesday and Thursday. Weekends are just walks to and from the park with the kids (remember – we’re just surviving over here). We’re currently on week 3 of the Beachbody LIIFT 4 program, which seems to be helping the strength. I’ll keep doing that through the end of the program. I’ll also include some Leg Tuck training and my PT exercises throughout the week.

And that’s the plan. I’ll take some pictures today… and take some measurements. I need to try to convince myself to post it… but I might just hold onto those until I see some progress. I know, I know… not helpful with accountability at this point. But I’m also aware of how just blasting this on the internet would impact my already-high anxiety and body image issues. Just writing it out at this point should be a good push of motivation in the right direction. More to follow…

Second Trimester – Weeks 25-27

Baby: Size of a head of napa cabbage (25), butternut squash (26), bunch of bananas (27)

Fitness: I’m still keeping with the tradition of run/walking at least 1 mile per day. I’ve been able to up my running a bit, but have been lacking in the strength department.

Total miles for the week 25= 25.4, week 26= 24.2, week 27 = 20

Weight Gain: I’m now up about +33 pounds (with clothes on). When I went in for my checkup, the nurse had me stand on two different scales to make sure that the weight was correct. My OB wasn’t concerned, but I still am. She just reminded me to drink lots of water, reduce salt, and keep working out. The good news is that baby is already 2 pounds at 25 weeks, 3 days. So, I know at least 2 lbs of it is baby. The ultrasound tech also noted that I have a lot of amniotic fluid for baby, so maybe that accounts for it. I just want to keep a watch on the weight and hope it doesn’t spike up significantly over the next few months.

Food Cravings: Still on a slurpie kick after a run/walk. Other than that, there is nothing in particular that sounds good. I wouldn’t call it an aversion, but I also am not really craving anything. I just eat what I have in my fridge and what is healthy for baby. This means a lot of eggs, turkey bacon, salad, apples, pineapple, melon, grilled chicken, etc. I also ate some pizza this week when the movers were packing my belongings (no room or supplies to cook..).

Food Aversions: Not really any actual aversions. Just lack of an appetite lately.

Symptoms: The heartburn has commenced! I remember having terrible heartburn with P, so I assume it will continue from this point on. Also, I’ve been having some cramping in my lower pelvic region. I assume those are my practice contractions, but they seem a little more painful than expected. These pains could also be attributed to my increase in running lately and recent change of shoes (which I decided aren’t working for me and will go back to my Saucony Omni 16s).

Here’s a picture of our little nugget. I was impressed that technology allows a 3D picture already! I can’t wait for the full 3D “photo shoot” we have with baby in a couple weeks.

IMG_5486

Heart and Sole Classic (10K)

I recently participated in the Kansas Heart and Sole Classic 5k/10k race in Olathe, Kansas. I really enjoyed this race. It was a smaller race, with a lot of families and children involved in the 5k portion. Husband and I decided to run the 10k, which was two loops of the 5k route.

Packet Pickup: Race day packet pickup was smooth and uneventful. Husband wasn’t able to sign up online before the race, so we completed his race day registration without any issues. We grabbed the bibs and t-shirts and headed back to the car to enjoy a little downtime before the race. Pickup took a total of maaaaaybe 10 minutes. Easy peasey.

Pre-race: There were a lot of families with their children in the race and everyone seemed to know one another. There was a nice energy to the small race and there was even a mascot of some sort (I think from the local indoor soccer team?) there taking pictures with the kids. It was low key – not a lot of loud, pumping music. Just a lot of excited little kiddos!

The Goods: We received a standard cotton race t-shirt. There were no participation / finisher medals for this event but it was a really low cost race, so I didn’t mind too much.

This is a little look at the course (as per the website):

Heart and Sole Classic

Miles 1-2: This race wasn’t the most scenic, but it was pretty flat for a Kansas / Missouri race. The route looped through some shaded and quiet neighborhoods. I hung out towards the back of the pack, alternating walking and running by heart rate. I tried to keep my heart rate below 155 for most of the race.

Miles 3-4: The miles continued through the neighborhoods. The kids still had some spunk as they finished their 5k, which was nice to see. I continued with the walking and running, mostly walking at this point. The race thinned out significantly after the 5k split and there weren’t too many running the 10k… at least not too many in the back of the pack.

Miles 5-6.2: Continued through the second loop of the 5k route. I knew where the shady spots were and the minor hills, so that was helpful. Even with walking, husband and I still managed to pull ahead of a few and ended up not being last! Any race where I can keep my heart rate down and not finish last is considered a success for me!

This is what the race looked like, pace/HR/elevation wise:

IMG_5507IMG_5506IMG_5505

Garmin Results: 6.26 Miles, 1:20:18 Average Pace: 12:49, Average HR: 158

Actual Results: 6.2 Miles, 1:20:33 Average Pace: 12:57

Second Trimester- Weeks 23 and 24

Baby: Size of a bunch of grapes (23), garden eggplant (24)

Fitness: I’ve been focusing on doing a run / walk streak until I give birth. I want to run or walk at least 1 mile every day. I’ve been currently streaking since May 7th. Sometimes, it’s just a 1 mile walk at night after dinner, but I have been trying to increase my running.

Total miles for the week 23= 22.44, week 24= 18.36

Weight Gain: I’m now up about +30 pounds already. I guess I just need to throw in the towel at this point and just accept the fact that I will blow through the recommended 35 pound weight gain. I’m eating healthy, working out every day, and doing the best I can for my body and my baby. My body apparently just wants to cling onto every drop of water and keep a nice amount of fat stored… you know, just in case.

Food Cravings: SLURPIES. All of the slurpies. Every time I go for a run/walk, I CRAVE an ice cold (sugary) slurpie. So… We have had a lot of those. Mexican food continues to be favorite as well.

Food Aversions: Not really. I will pretty much tolerate (and eat) anything!

Symptoms: I still feel a lot of abdominal “ripping” pain in my upper abdomen (right under the sternum). Sometimes, I feel some relief when I wrap the area with an ace bandage. Other than that, not a lot of pain really at this point. The baby is ALWAYS moving and I love it! It does throw me off a bit when I am in class and I get a giant punch to the bladder, but other than that, I am thrilled to feel my little one wiggling around!

Lastly, added another 5k to the list of races while pregnant. Husband and I did the Sail Through the Shores St. Clair 5k in Michigan as a way to get to know the area around our new home. I LOVED how flat the course was, despite the heat (who the heck has a race at noon?!?)

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Second Trimester – Weeks 19, 20, 21 and 22

It’s been a while since I have written about my pregnancy journey… So I will roll the past few weeks into one big update. I have been so swamped with the final edits to my masters thesis and thesis defense, that I haven’t really been keeping track of how my body (and emotions, and everything else…) has been changing! Here is the latest:

Week 19-22:

Baby: Size of a zucchini (19), belgian endive (20), baby bok choy (21), an ear of corn on the cob(22)

Fitness: I focused on incorporating cross training and strength in my workouts over the four weeks. I did a total of 7 21 Day Fix workouts, 5 swims, and a handful of nightly walks along with my running. I ended up skipping two 5Ks that I signed up for. I just wasn’t feeling it and I’ve decided that running without my husband is just not as fun while I’m pregnant. I’m more focused on completing the run rather than any sort of PR. And if that’s what I’m doing, I want my husband there with me (mostly to distract me from my own mental shaming of how FREAKING SLOW I AM).

Total miles for the week 19= 12.45, week 20= 15.27, week 21= 17.1, week 22= 17.97.

Weight Gain: Weight jumped up a bit, but has stabilized again over the past week. I’m officially up +26 pounds. The doctor isn’t concerned.. but I am. I have been doing everything that the interwebs, pregnancy books, etc tell me to do to stabilize weight. I eat (mostly) healthy, work out a ton… and still gaining weight.

Food Cravings: Definitely mexican food still. And donuts. But I practice restraint and only allow myself one donut a week.

Food Aversions: Not really anything. I will eat pretty much anything.

Symptoms: I might be getting diastasis recti… It feels like my stomach is literally being ripped apart. And I have some piriformis pain after a run. But other than that (and feeling HUGE), I am doing pretty well!

I had my monthly check up on the little one. It was the full anatomy scan and everything looked pretty good. There was a soft marker for down syndrome (Echogenic intracardiac focus (EIF)), but coupled with my negative blood test, the perinatologist did not elevate my risk any higher than the previous risk factor. I’m still a little nervous about it, but my baby is healthy, growing, and “has muscular calves” – (says my husband… not a doctor). I will have another ultrasound at my next checkup – likely around the 25-26 week mark because I will be moving shortly after to Detroit. Here’s my little bebe trying to eat his or her hand:

profile hand in mouth

 

Second Trimester – Week 17 and 18

Week 17:

Baby: Size of a pomegranate

Fitness: Only did 1 day of strength training, but upped my running this week. I was even able to run at my friend Lauren’s house in Skagit County. It was a WONDERFUL run in the refreshing rain. Total miles for the week= 20.58

Weight Gain: Only gained a pound this week. Up +17 to date.

Food Cravings: Mexican food! Allllll of the mexican food!

Food Aversions: Anything overly fried – onion rings, etc.

Symptoms: Just a little hip and back soreness. But that may have been from traveling to Washington to see friends for the Anacortes Wine Festival. Designated driver for the win!

From the Wine Festival: Their shirts say “Shit’s about to get fancy,” and mine says “Shit already got fancy.” It was a hit with the crowd at the festival!

Wine Festival

Week 18:

Baby: Size of a sweet potato

Fitness: Totally flaked on strength this week. But I DID manage to keep my miles pretty consistent. I ran 5 out of 7 days this week. Total miles for the week: 18.88

Weight Gain: Up another 2 pounds this week. 😦 Total of +20 for the pregnancy. Not too happy, but I DID eat a lot of fast food this week (don’t judge…).

Food Cravings: Taco Bell. Popsicles. Cereal (Kix, specifically….)

Food Aversions: Nothing. I want to eat everything. 😦

Symptoms: My abdomen muscles feel like they’re tearing apart just below my sternum. Is this normal? I also have had a LOT of upper back pain… I am constantly uncomfortable and have to shift around from sitting to standing to laying down. And naps. I have taken a nap almost every day this week. Ooh, last one – I’m back to drooling! I know it’s gross, but I had the same symptom during my pregnancy with P.

Second Trimester- Week 16

Week 16:

Baby: Size of a dill pickle

Fitness: 4 runs (and one 3 mile walk with P) this week! I feel like I’m starting to get back into the groove of running again. I plan on trying to run 3 mi/ day on Monday-Friday, and swim 2-3 times a week. I want to do some light lifting at least twice a week as well. If my hip is feeling good, I will also try to do a “long” run on Saturdays – 5-6 miles. Total miles for the week- 17.5

Weight Gain: Weight at the OB appointment showed a gain of +16 pounds. That is with clothes on. Apparently I wore heavier clothing during my 12 week appointment, because my OB stated that my weight was stable and I had not gained any weight. I’m working really hard to get my diet in check starting next week to make sure I get the proper nutrients. Since P was here visiting… we splurged a little (think a doughnut, a happy meal, and popcorn at the movies).

Food Cravings: Fruit popsicles. I’m really loving the Outshine No Sugar Added Popsicles

Food Aversions: No real aversions this week. I will eat pretty much anything… Which isn’t a good thing!

Symptoms: I’m an emotional rollercoaster this week! Songs, old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Fuller House have made me cry all week! What the heck? Also, hip pain. I cannot lay on the couch for longer than 15 minutes and am constantly changing sides at night. I’m not sure if it is just from having so much weight pressing down on my hips or if it is from running.

Second Trimester – 14 and 15 Weeks

Week 14:

Baby: Size of a beet. Little one is growing!!

Fitness: Only 2 runs this week = 7.7 total miles. We had a lot going on at school / work so I was definitely slacking.

Weight Gain: I’m officially up 15 pounds. Already. Ugh. But the good news is that I’m less hungry. I honestly think it is mostly water weight but we will see. I bought a 24 hour urine test to see if I’m starting to become pre-eclamptic (not a word). I’m hoping for clear results.

Food Cravings: Nothing really. Except cheese. I could eat cheese all day (but I only allow myself 2 babybels a day…)

Food Aversions: Processed food. Specifically fast food. The only fast food item I can stand is fries and even that is not easy to finish.

Symptoms: Hip pain. Weight gain. Moodiness.

Week 15:

We were in spring break for the week and I decided to drive down to Huntsville, Alabama to help husband get settled in for his acquisition (new job) training. And to visit some old friends (they’re the best). I loved my time down there… but I do not recommend driving 10 hours while pregnant. My hips were so SO sore the next day. 20 hours total of driving (there and back a week later) = no fun for me.

Had some fancy soda in lieu of beer for St Patrick’s Day:

Baby: Size of an avocado

Fitness: 3 runs. Lots of boring treadmills runs but I’m just glad to be moving. 9.4 total miles

Weight Gain: Still sitting at 15 lbs up.

Food Cravings: Fruity, chewy candy. Sprees. Mike and Ikes. Zours.

Food Aversions: Fast food. Except fries

Symptoms: Mood swings. Hip pain. Backaches. And I SWEAR I felt the baby move once. It may have been gas… but I want to believe it was the baby!

Wrapping up the First Trimester- Week 13

Week 13:

Baby: Size of a jalapeno pepper / peach

Fitness: Been trying to run at least 2-3 times a week and do light weights at least twice a week. Ran a 10k this week and LOVED the run. Distance was challenging but I wasn’t as sore as I was following the half. 13.6 miles for the week

Weight Gain: Currently up +15 pounds. Not pleased with that but the dr isn’t concerned… I know it has a lot to do with eating out (salt, bloating, etc). Once husband goes off to school I will be able to get my diet back on track.

Food Cravings: Fruit, pickles, croissants from costco, and popsicles

Food Aversions: Rich foods, like pasta with cheese, fried foods, pizza.

Symptoms: I actually felt a little queasy this week for the first time. But other than that, the only real symptoms are back and hip pain (likely due to running).