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8 WEEKS TO SUMMER – WEEK 2 & 3 UPDATE – NEW DIRECTION


Week 2 Macros:

Date:  4/10/17

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 142.5 (Beginning Weight 142.2) = gain of +0.3lbs

Macros: Last Week  – 130C/130P/120F (2120 cals)

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Week 3 Macros:

Date:  4/17/17

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 142.8 (Beginning Weight 142.2) = gain of +0.6lbs

Macros: 130C/100P/100F (1820 cals)

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This Morning:

Date:  4/17/17

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 142.3 (Beginning Weight 142.2) = gain of +0.1lbs

Macros: Intuitive eating

Sometimes we need to learn to recognize when all signs are pointing you toward a different path.  I ask my clients to trust me when it’s time to place our focus elsewhere and I am doing the same with myself right now.

I have been in a caloric deficit for three weeks now (I cut calories by another 300 a day last week) and I literally haven’t lost any weight or seen an appreciable change in body composition…in fact I weigh more…not by much, but it’s more nonetheless.  It’s no fun to be REALLY hungry and see the scale go up!

Why didn’t my body respond?  There are several reasons:

  1.  I am in the middle of treatment for a candida overgrowth (and will be for several more months)
  2. I am on week 10 of a major kitchen/family room renovation (I am cooking for the family in our laundry room)
  3. I haven’t been sleeping well

Those are not prime conditions for going on a diet.  When you are under stress your body does NOT want to drop any fat.  Its funny…if I client came to me and told me that they had items 1-3 above going on in their life right now I would have told them that this wasn’t a good time to attempt a cut.  Somehow I didn’t think through that one for myself.

My plan from now through the end of my candida treatment and kitchen renovations (hopefully just a few more weeks) is to eat intuitively and continue to train.  I know how to eat and what to eat to best fuel my body and that is what I am going to do.  Eat when I am hungry and eat until I am full.  I plan on eating three square meals a day and will continue eating along the principles of the Autoimmune Paleo Diet.  I have successfully reintroduced tomatoes, several seed and nightshade spices, and eggs, so those will be a part of my diet in addition to the AIP.

I am very comfortable with my current physique, so this cut wasn’t something I needed in order to feel comfortable in a swimsuit for the summer…it was more a fun way to document a cut.  Fortunately I have already done so.  For those of you interested in seeing what the process is like to go through a cut, click HERE.

 

If you would like me to help you get ready for summer, please click HERE to learn more about my programs.

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Filed under 8 Weeks to Summer 2017, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition

8 WEEKS TO SUMMER – WEEK 1 RECAP

 

Here is where I am as of this morning:

Date:  4/3/17

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 142.5 (Beginning Weight 142.2) = gain of +0.3lbs

Macros:

Last Week  – 130C/130P/120F

This Week – Same

 

So…you’ve gotta love going into a deficit for the week and GAINING weight.  My weight actually got as high as 143.4lbs this week.

I have been battling a candida overgrowth for the past few months and have been cycling treatments.  This past Monday I began using grapefruit seed extract and have been experiencing intestinal issues as a result.  I am guessing this is the blame for the weight gain.  You should’ve heard my stomach last night.  It was so loud my husband could hear all the gurgling and wars going on in there!

I was also REALLY hungry last week.  Again, I am guessing that is a result of the candida not wanting to give up.  I know that I am not even close to starving on a 2000+ calorie per day day, so I know logically that it must be the candida as well as my body adjusting to all of the changes.

As for my macros, I did allow myself a refeed on Friday (I hadn’t planned on one) because I was really hungry and it felt like my body needed it.  I woke-up the next morning 0.6lbs less which reinforced the fact that having the refeed was the right call.  This week my plan is to keep the same macros and see what happens.  I actually “feel” leaner despite the weight gain and don’t want to reduce macros at this point.

 

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions as I document this process.  If you would like me to help you get ready for summer, please click HERE to learn more about my programs.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ MY DAY 1 RECAP

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Filed under 8 Weeks to Summer 2017, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition

8 WEEKS TO SUMMER

It’s been about two years since I did my first macro-based cut/diet  (click HERE for details).  Since then I have focused my attention on building-up my metabolic capacity as well as trying to add as much muscle as possible…easier said than done.  Click HERE for details on the Reverse Diet I completed after my cut two years ago.

I thought it would be fun to do another cut and document it for all of you to show that I am now able to diet-down on much higher macros than before.  My goal is not to lose much weight, but rather to lean-down a bit right in time for swimsuit season.

I am currently following the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol Diet with a few successful reintroductions added back in (eggs, tomatoes, peppers).  This diet has been SUCH a big help in my attempts to control my autoimmune diseases.  I have also been battling a pretty significant candida overgrowth with the help of my functional medicine practitioner.  Next month I should have an update on that since I just sent my latest tests into the lab.

Here is where I was prior to my original cut back in 2015:

Gretchen Tseng FitQuestMom 8 Weeks to 40 years oldDate:  9/7/15

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 143.8

Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1515 calories 120C / 135P / 55F

Friday 1736 calories 180C / 146P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

 

Here is where I am as of this morning (my weight is pretty darn similar in both pictures):

Date:  4/3/17

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 142.2

Macros:

Daily – 130C/130P/120F

As you can see my macros are pretty consistent now versus the carb cycling I did before.  My current macros are also MUCH higher in fat.  I find that I feel better eating higher fat and stay more satiated.  I will most likely add in a refeed day, but will keep my macros as is for this first week.

It is exciting for me to see that in two years I have been able to increase my cutting macros from an average 1553 calories a day to 2120 calories a day…that’s huge.  I am proud of that 567 calorie increase PER DAY!

My workouts are also less intense and shorter in duration than they used to be.  I used to average 90 minutes a day 6 days a week and now I lift between 45-60 minutes 5 days a week and walk at about 3.5-4.0 mph for 45 minutes to an hour twice a week.

 

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions as I document this process.  If you would like me to help you get ready for summer, please click HERE to learn more about my programs.

 

Click HERE to read about my Week 1 Recap

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Filed under 8 Weeks to Summer 2017, Education, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Uncategorized

REVERSE DIET – WEEK 7 RECAP

Week 7 12.14.15 Reverse Diet FitquestmomWeek 1 11.2.15 FitQuestAt the very top you will see my Week 7 Reverse Diet progress pictures as compared to Week 1 (directly below that set of pictures).

Date:  12/14/15

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 130.6 this morning (127.4 at my week 6 recap / 134.8lb at end of cut).

My weight has normalized more this week.  We had Thai food last night, so I don;t feel like 130.6 isn’t my true weight…there is a bit of water retention going on from the meal.  I am definitely lacking the muscle tone I had before, but that will come back now that I am working out again.  I explain below that I finally had my hunger return and I discuss how I added in some extra food as my body felt it needed it.

This week I will be back to following the plan with increased macros and my refeed on my normally specified day (Friday).

Week 7Last Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Week 7’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1836 calories 185C / 130P / 64F

Friday 2046 calories 255C / 135P / 54F (Refeed day)

  • Ended-up eating a bunch on Tuesday because I was FINALLY hungry.  Used that as my refeed day and skipped the scheduled Friday refeed.
  • Also was very hungry Saturday night and ate my normal macros + 1 homemade protein bar which put me 219cal/16C/14P/11F over.

Sunday 1810 calories 165C / 130P / 70F (Rest day)

Week 8’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1885 calories 195C / 130P / 65F

Friday 2095 calories 265C / 135P / 55F (Refeed day)

Sunday 1859 calories 175C / 130P / 71F (Rest day)

TOTAL MACRO INCREASES TO DATE:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday +347 calories +70C / -10P / +1F

Friday +303 calories +75C / -15P / +7F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday +297 calories +61C / -15P / +9F (rest day)

Week 7 12.14.15 Reverse Diet Fitquestmom (1)Workout Plan:

I finished all of my antibiotics and am hoping for a return to normalcy this week.

I am RE-STARTING Jessie Hilgenberg’s Muscle Building program and will adjust my weights to my current level.  I lost A LOT of muscle throughout all of this (my booty is so much smaller now and my abs are less defined) and am excited to work on putting it back.  It is always fun to have new goals.

It has been a month since I have done regular workouts, so it is totally normal that I would lose some definition.

The increased food from my Reverse Diet should do a great job fueling awesome workouts.

Comments:

We had a great week as a family.  The kids and I worked on holiday baking in our PJs while my husband got the decorations down (I am so behind) and my daughter performed in the nutcracker.

fitquestmom holiday bakingWe also went to the MythBusters show and that was a lot of fun!  Jaime H. came and sat right behind us during the show which was exciting for the kids.

Week 7 Mythbusters FitQuestmomHere’s to a great week!

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Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 1 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 2 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 3 & 4 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 5 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 6 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 8 of my Reverse Diet

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Filed under Education, Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Weight Issues, Weight Lifting

REVERSE DIET – WEEK 6 RECAP

Week 6 Collage Reverse Diet FitquestmomWeek 1 11.2.15 FitQuestAt the very top you will see my Week 6 Reverse Diet progress pictures (nice tan, huh?) as compared to Week 1 (directly below that set of pictures).

Date:  12/7/15

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 127.4 this morning (129.4 at my week 5 recap / 134.8lb at end of cut).

Gosh darn-it, my weight is down.  When I got back from Mexico I was 129.6 and then…I was back in the ER on Saturday for an IV and another slew of tests.  The good news is that my Serum CK is now 68 and totally normal, so I am over the Rhabdo, but I now have a kidney infection and another infection (It’s a girl thing…awesome).  I hate taking antibiotics and try to do everything I can to stay off of them, but I am sure glad they exist when I truly NEED them and this is one of those times.

I definitely do not want to lose any more weight, which is why I have increased my calories at a faster rate than I usually do…again.

Week 6Last Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Week 6’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1778 calories 175C / 130P / 62F

Friday 1986 calories 240C / 135P / 54F (Refeed day)

Sunday 1752 calories 155C / 130P / 68F (Rest day)

Week 7’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1836 calories 185C / 130P / 64F

Friday 2046 calories 255C / 135P / 54F (Refeed day)

Sunday 1810 calories 165C / 130P / 70F (Rest day)

TOTAL MACRO INCREASES TO DATE:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday +281 calories +60C / -10P / +9F

Friday +254 calories +65C / -15P / +6F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday +248 calories +61C / -15P / +8F (rest day)

Week 6 12.7.15 reverse Diet Fitquestmom (1)Workout Plan:

I was able to workout at our resort gym 4 of the days when we were in Mexico.  I took it REALLY easy and did about 30 minutes of walking at an incline and followed that by 30 minutes of light weights or band work.  Nothing strenuous.

I will not be working out until I am well.

Comments:

We had a great time in Cabo, Mexico.  It was fun for my husband and I to go on vacation with just the two of us (though I LOVE going on vacation with our kiddos).  He had some great rounds of golf and I was able to relax.

Mexico Cabo Reverse Diet Fitquestmom (2)I even managed to win a jump rope contest!  I won a round of margaritas for our table, so that was fun.  The man pictured with me won the push-up contest.  You’ve gotta love the fact that the oldest woman (me) and the oldest man (him) won both competitions!!!

The day before we left I went on a long walk on the beach and that was just what I needed.  You can’t take the California out of the girl…the beach will always have a huge place in my heart.

Mexico Cabo Reverse Diet Fitquestmom (1)

Now we are home and I am ready to let these two antibiotics keep doing their thing.  I think I am about DONE being sick.  Hopefully I just got it all out of the way for a very long time.

______________________________

Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 1 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 2 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 3 & 4 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 5 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 7 of my Reverse Diet

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Filed under Education, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Vacation, Weight Issues

REVERSE DIET – WEEK 5 RECAP

Reverse Diet Week 5 FitQuestMomWeek 1 11.2.15 FitQuestAt the very top you will see my Week 5 Reverse Diet progress pictures as compared to Week 1 (directly below that set of pictures).

My weekly update is coming to you a bit early because my schedule next week may not permit my normal Monday check-in.

Date:  11/28/15

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 129.4 this morning (130.7 at my week 4 recap / 134.8lb at end of cut).

Below is my weight log for the past week and a half.  Despite adding calories in on Monday I continued to lose weight each and every day, so I added in MORE calories on Thursday…that’s two increases this past week (Monday and Thursday).  Thankfully my increase on Thursday and my refeed yesterday resulted in me not losing any more weight this morning.

I definitely do not want to lose any more weight, which is why I keep increasing my calories.

Week 5 weight Reverse Diet

Last Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Week 4’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1682 calories 165C / 125P / 58F

Friday 1919 calories 230C / 135P / 51F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1665 calories 145C / 125P / 65F (rest day)

Week 5’s Macros (Monday’s Increase):

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1740 calories 170C / 130P / 60F

Friday 1948 calories 235C / 135P / 52F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday 1714 calories 150C / 130P / 66F (rest day)

Week 5’s Macros (Thursday’s Increase):

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1778 calories 175C / 130P / 62F

Friday 1986 calories 240C / 135P / 54F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday 1752 calories 155C / 130P / 68F (rest day)

NEXT Week’s Macros:

If I continue to lose weight this coming week I will do ANOTHER increase on Monday.  I may not have access to a scale for the next week, so I will have to go by how I feel and how my clothes are fitting.

TOTAL MACRO INCREASES TO DATE:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday +223 calories +50C / -10P / +7F

Friday +194 calories +50C / -15P / +6F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday +190 calories +51C / -15P / +6F (rest day)

Week 5 Abs Reverse Diet FitQuest Balanced Grettie (1)Workout Plan:

I have been staying active by doing a lot of cooking and having people in town, but haven’t technically exercised since my walk last weekend.  This coming week I MAY do some light weight training depending upon how I feel, but I do plan on doing at least 5 days of some easy cardio.

My body has been getting very stiff from the lack of exercise.

Comments:

This was a wonderful holiday week for me.  ALL of my immediate family came and stayed at my house (15 of us) and it was so nice to be together.  My kiddos and their cousins have so much fun together.  Earlier in the week I cooked a Chinese meal for everyone and it was so yummy.  When it is just the four of us I usually only cook 1 dish, so it is nice to be able to do a banquet and get a taste of many different dishes when there are a lot of people around.

Chinese Food Prep (2) Chinese Food Prep (1)

Our Thanksgiving was another great feast with ham, and two different turkeys.  One turkey was brined and smoked and the other was brined, cooked sous vide, and then fried (OMG!!!).

Thanksgiving FitQuestMomI am feeling better each day and look forward to another week of healing.

______________________________

Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 1 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 2 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 3 & 4 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 6 of my Reverse Diet

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Filed under Education, Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Rhabdomyolysis, Weight Issues, Weight Lifting

REVERSE DIET – WEEK 3 & 4 RECAP

Week 4 Reverse Diet Collage FitQuest

Week 1 11.2.15 FitQuestAt the very top you will see my Week 4 Reverse Diet progress pictures (that face!  Can you tell I was tired???) as compared to Week 1 (directly below that set of pictures).

Date:  11/23/15

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 130.7 this morning (134.5 at my week 2 recap / 134.8lb at end of cut).

Below is my weight log for the past week and a half.  I am not sure what I weighed 11/16/15 since I was in the hospital (click HERE for details).  My weight was climbing prior to my admission to the hospital due to water retention and swelling (I was following my macros perfectly).  It was 136.3 on Sunday 11/15/15 and that was one of the clues to me that something was up…I felt majorly bloated.  I KNOW how my body reacts to macros and knew that this was weird.

As a Fitness Nutrition Specialist I know how important nutrition is to recovery which is why I continued to eat ALL of my macros while in the hospital.  Despite the fact that I wasn’t training, my body was working very hard to repair the damage and that takes calories.

I did make a few alterations to my macros while in the hospital in an attempt to ease the burden on my kidneys.  Each day I reduced my protein macros by 20g and increased my carb macros by 20g to make-up the difference calorically.

Despite eating all of my macros, I have list weight and that means it is time to increase and a little faster than usual.

Week 4 Weight

Last Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Week 3’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1682 calories 145C / 145P / 58F

Friday 1919 calories 210C / 155P / 51F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1665 calories 125C / 145P / 65F (rest day)

Week 4’s Macros (with protein and carb adjustment):

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1682 calories 165C / 125P / 58F

Friday 1919 calories 230C / 135P / 51F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1665 calories 145C / 125P / 65F (rest day)

This Week’s Macros:

Time to increase again...

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1740 calories 170C / 130P / 60F

Friday 1948 calories 235C / 135P / 52F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday 1714 calories 150C / 130P / 66F (rest day)

TOTAL MACRO INCREASES TO DATE:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday +185 calories +45C / -10P / +5F

Friday +156 calories +45C / -15P / +4F (Refeed day.  Not lifting now, but keeping this higher cal day.)

Sunday +152 calories +46C / -15P / +4F (rest day)

Week 4 AbsWorkout Plan:

Yesterday was the first day I went back to doing any exercise since my hospitalization and it was a nice leisurely walk.  I plan on taking the next week off of weights and then SLOWLY getting back into a routine before beginning Jessie Hilgenberg’s 14 week  Muscle Building e-book again.

Rhabdo Walk Cardio

Comments:

 

It has been an interesting couple of weeks for sure!  Never forget how important nutrition is and how much you need good nutrition when your body isn’t operating as well as it should.  You may be tired, but do what you can to get the food in.

My husband has been amazing throughout this hospital / Rhabdo ordeal, but it was also one of the busiest times for work for him.  I knew I didn’t have the energy to cook so I stopped in to Dickey’s BBQ here and bought meat by the pound all ready to eat.  I purchased chicken breasts, a rack of ribs, and beef brisket.  Was it organic and pastured? No.  This is what I mean by balance…it was not the meat I would normally prepare, but it was FAR better than stopping off at a fast food restaurant.  I was able to feed myself and my family the meat from Dickey’s and supplement it with a pot of rice I made as well as baby carrots, snow peas, and other veggies that didn’t even need to be cooked.

Where there’s a will there’s a way!

______________________________

Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 1 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 2 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 5 of my Reverse Diet

 

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Filed under Education, Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Rhabdomyolysis, Weight Lifting

My Brush with Rhabdo

Admitted to hospital Rhabdo RhabdomyolysisI am guessing that a few of you may have noticed the absence of my Reverse Dieting update on Monday.  Let’s just say this has been a very interesting week.

Let me just pull the band aid off and tell you that I ended-up being admitted to the hospital Last Sunday night with Rhabdomyolysis (aka Rhabdo) and was in there through Wednesday.

For those of you unfamiliar with this condition (I had NEVER heard of it), Web MD explains it as:

Rhabdomyolysis is a serious syndrome due to a direct or indirect muscle injury. It results from the death of muscle fibers and release of their contents into the bloodstream. This can lead to complications such as renal (kidney) failure. This occurs when the kidneys cannot remove waste and concentrated urine. In rare cases, rhabdomyolysis can even cause death. However, prompt treatment often brings a good outcome.

Causes of Rhabdo (also from Web MD):

There are many causes of rhabdomyolysis. The most common causes include:

  • The use of alcohol or illegal drugs such as heroine, cocaine oramphetamines
  • Extreme muscle strain, especially in someone who is an untrained athlete. This can happen in elite athletes too, however. And it can be more dangerous if there is more muscle mass to break down.
  • A crush injury such as from an auto accident, fall, or building collapse
  • Long-lasting muscle compression such as that caused by prolonged immobilization after a fall or lying unconscious on a hard surface during illness or while under the influence of alcohol or medication
  • The use of medications such as antipsychotics or statins, especially when given in high doses
  • Electrical shock injury, lightning strike, or third-degree burn
  • A very high body temperature (hyperthermia) or heat stroke
  • Seizures
  • A Metabolic disorder such as ketoacidosis
  • Diseases of the muscles (myopathy) such as congenital muscle enzyme deficiency or Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy
  • Viral infections such as the flu, HIV, or herpes simplex virus
  • Bacterial infections leading to toxins in tissues or the bloodstream (sepsis)

The following are common signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis (Web MD):

In talking to the nurses and doctors they see this most often in Cross-fitters (though from what I have read Crossfit is working hard to educate their trainers about how to avoid this and how to recognize the symptoms), endurance athletes, and football players who go from having the summer off to 2-a-days in the HOT summer sun.

It seems that a perfect storm came together and resulted in my getting this condition.  At the beginning of the month I had a colonoscopy and (TMI…sorry), the prep didn’t work for me as effectively as it should, so the instructions said to DOUBLE the amount of Miralax I was supposed to take.  Even after doing that I still hadn’t had a BM, so I talked to the doctor on call and was told to take 2 more Dulcolax.  That finally got things moving, but that meant that all told I ended up taking 575g of Miralax (that’s over a pound of Miralax) and 4 Dulcolax.  My colonoscopy was 11/4 (on a Wednesday) and I never quite recovered my stamina after that.  I didn’t workout the day of my colonoscopy and gave myself 2 more days afterward away from the gym to recover, but like I said, I was still exhausted.  Later I did a search of Miralax and Rhabdo and found some interesting links / studies.

As I mentioned to all of you in my last update, I began a new workout program the following Monday 11/9.  On Wednesday part of the workout called for 4 x 15 chin-up negatives.  They were REALLY hard for me, but I pushed through and did all 60 reps.  I was SUPER sore the next day and thought, “Man, I am going to get so strong if I am this sore.”  I was so sore the next day and my arms had difficulty straightening.  I was walking around like a T-Rex.  I posted the picture below to Instagram a few days later:

Instagram Rhabdo 1 Instagram Rhabdo 2I was feeling a bit better by Saturday so I went ahead and STUPIDLY did another arm workout that involved 4 x 15 parallel chin-up negatives (later I will discuss the danger of eccentric exercises if you are not used to doing them).  I felt ok until I started doing them and then during it I was in pain, but thought I’d push through because in the past if I would do a workout where I would get sore, the soreness would subside, and when I worked out that body part again a few days later it actually helped.  This time this was not the case.  The T Rex arms came back with a vengeance and more stiff than ever.

By Sunday my arms were starting to feel swollen, I was gaining weight (despite following my macros), and felt VERY bloated.  Without thinking much about it I posted a picture of my swelling to Instagram (normally my arms taper in a good amount where my bicep meets my forearm).

Swollen arm rhabdo RhabdomyolysisSwollen commentsSwollen comments

pritnam_brownhulk meant no harm by his comment and was trying to be motivating, but I really want people to learn from my experience and realize that you are always better off playing it safe.  “Better safe than sorry” won’t do harm.

I went about the rest of the day with my family as I normally do.  We went to the mall, ran some errands, and I was just beat.  My daughter kept trying to hold my hand and I had to keep asking her to “Please be careful not to pull on mommy’s arms because they hurt.”

As the day went on I was just exhausted and at our last errand I asked if it would be ok for me to stay in the car which is not normal for me at all.  At this point where my biceps met my forearms they were so swollen I couldn’t even get my hands half way around them.  I also noticed that my brain just wasn’t processing like normal…it was almost as if I was on slow-mo and was a little confused.

When I got home my forearms began to swell more and feel really tight.  I sat down on the couch and was scrolling through Instagram and looking at comments when I noticed that my guardian angel… fit_with_becca left the following comment… and this comment ended-up being THE reason I took myself to the hospital Sunday night after the kids went to bed:

fit_with_Becca Comment

After reading her comment I started researching the condition (Dr. Google) and it was sounding a little too familiar.  I went in to the bathroom and measured my arms in a few different places thinking I just wanted a point of reference.  About an hour later I measured again and my arms had gotten 1/2″ bigger.  Uh…not good.

I turned to my husband and said, “You are probably going to think I am crazy, but when the kids go to bed I am going to go to the ER.  It might be nothing, but this doesn’t feel right and we have 11 people coming to stay with us next week and I can’t be sick…if this is something I need to nip it in the bud.”  He responded, “You know your body better than anyone” and I know he was thinking it would probably be nothing, but he is always really supportive.  I told him to stay home with the kids and started packing a few essentials to bring with me in case I had to stay (meds, phone charger, extra water, apple, protein bars, PJs, etc).

I am going to sail through the ER experience (St. Lukes was awesome), but they drew blood to test my serum CK (creatine kinase).  The doctor didn’t think I had Rhabdo because I didn’t have the tell-tale cola/tea colored urine, but he said he’d test my levels anyway.  When the doctor came back in he looked shocked.  He informed me that a  normal serum CK level is supposed to be less than 100 and mine was over 27,000 and I needed to be admitted to the hospital.  I texted my husband and he wrote back, “I guess you really DO know your body!!!”

When I spoke to the hospital doctor a few hours later we were discussing that fact that I drink a gallon of water a day and I was shocked to hear her say, “That gallon a day habit is THE ONLY reason you showed up here tonight NOT in kidney failure!”  Whaaaaaattttttt????  That was so scary to hear.  My response was, “Am I done working out?  Because if I am, that’s fine…my kids and family mean the world to me and I need to be with them.”  She told me that was not going to be the case at all and that I just needed to recover and get my numbers below 10,000 to make sure my kidneys would be in the clear.  After that I needed to take it easy and get my numbers back to normal, but the other hospital doctor told me he wanted me to start doing cardio 2 days after I got home and weights about a week later.  The told me they wanted me to keep working out because that will keep me healthy.

We discussed the fact that I now know what that “different” soreness feels like and I also know that “different” kind of difficult that I felt when doing those darn chin-up negatives.

For those of you new to my blog I need to emphasize that I am really fit.  I could go run a 10K no problem, I lift weights heavy 6 days a week, I have been active since I was 3 years old, etc. (I’m totally NOT trying to be conceited, just stating a fact).  A lot of people think this only happens to newbys who walk into Crossfit and hit it too hard, or people who show up to basic military training and have never been active, or roided-out gym nuts who have something to prove and that just isn’t the case.

While in the hospital I was contacted by a ton of people through Instagram who shared their stories with me…the doctor whose teenage son got it from a pull-up contest at school, the lady whose firefighter nephew was doing a Crossfit workout at his station, and on and on and on.

It took 2-3 days of IVs to get me below the 10,000s.  I think I had 4 saline IVs and then they changed to Lactate Ringers IVs.  Let me tell ya…those IVs felt amazing.  After a day they tried taking me off the IVs to see if my body could bring my numbers down on its own with me drinking a ton of water and it wasn’t successful, so I went back on the IV for another 8-12 hours.  After that we did the off the IV challenge again and my numbers finally got down below 10,000…the magic number that indicated my kidneys were out of the kidney failure danger zone.  I went home from the hospital later that day and have been laying low since then.

I have to admit that this whole experience scared me.  While in the hospital I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how the heck this happened.  It seems like that perfect storm occurred that resulted in my Rhabdo…my colonoscopy and the double prep that must have left me less hydrated than my normal state mixed with the new workout and those chin-up negatives and my overall exhaustion.

My research on the subject of Rhabdo led me to information about how dangerous those eccentric motions can be when your body isn’t used to them.  According to THIS scholarly article (and many others I found), One of the main causes of rhabdomyolysis is eccentric exercise against high resistance.”  Please, please, please ease into these movements.  I wished I had known about this because I would have started with 4 x 3 chin-up negatives one week and progressed to 4 x 4 the next week, etc.  Had I known the potential danger of eccentric exercises I wouldn’t have pushed it to finish all of the sets.

While in the hospital I made sure to keep my nutrition on point.  Being sick and injured puts a toll on your body and you NEED that food to help you heal.  Despite the fact that I was not training, I kept my calories the SAME and I still lost weight.  I made the best choices I could and St. Luke’s menu made it fairly easy for me.  I did lower my protein macros by 20g per day in order to ease the burden my kidney’s were experiencing and I raised my carbs by 20g to make-up the difference.  I have kept my macros that way for the last week and will be increasing my protein a little tomorrow.

Here are some of my breakfasts from when I was in the hospital (my hubby brought me my favorite smoothie each day):

hospital breakfast rhabdo

And some of my lunches and dinners:

hospital meals healthy

I told my clients that if I was able to stick my macros while in the hospital they had better be killing their programs at home 🙂

Thank you to everyone for your well wishes and prayers.  I head back to the doctor on Tuesday to see how my numbers are progressing.

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Filed under Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Rhabdomyolysis, Weight Lifting

REVERSE DIET – WEEK 2 RECAP

Week 2 11.9.15 Reverse Diet FitQuestWeek 1 11.2.15 FitQuestAt the very top you will see my Week 2 Reverse Diet progress pictures as compared to Week 1 (directly below that set of pictures).

Date:  11/09/15

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 134.5 this morning (135.1 last week / 134.8lb at end of cut).

Below is my weight log for the past week.

Reverse Diet Week 2 Weight Log Balanced Grettie FitQuest

Last Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Last Week’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1624 calories 135C / 145P / 56F

Friday 1861 calories 200C / 155P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1607 calories 115C / 145P / 63F (rest day)

This Week’s Macros:

Time to increase again...

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1682 calories 145C / 145P / 58F

Friday 1919 calories 210C / 155P / 51F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1665 calories 125C / 145P / 65F (rest day)

Week 2 11.9.15 Abs Reverse Diet

Workout Plan:

Last week I took it relatively easy and just did what I felt like in the exercise department.  I lifted weights Monday and focused on lighter weight with higher rep ranges.  On Tuesday I did 45 minutes of walking on an incline right when I woke-up and then spent the rest of the day prepping for my colonoscopy.  Wednesday was a day off and Thursday and Friday I did light weight high rep ranges again.  Saturday my little one wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t go to my regular class and worked out at home with weights.  Sunday was a day off.

This morning I began Jessie Hilgenberg’s 14 week  Muscle Building e-book.  I always get excited to begin a new program and this morning’s workout was awesome.  I took before pictures this morning and will share my before and after’s with you in 14 weeks.

Comments:

Monday 11/2 was my actual 40th B-Day, so I allowed myself to indulge in a pint of my favorite ice cream (So Delicious’ Coconut Milk Ice CreamChocolate Peanut Butter Swirl), as well as a small chocolate torte from Whole Foods and a few bites of gluten-free cupcake.  I would have taken a picture for you guys, but I was all about just enjoying it.  My birthday is once a year and treats like this aren’t something I regularly indulge in…I got a pimple as proof of that…awesome…pimple on my cheek at 40!

I also had my first colonoscopy on Wednesday, so Tuesday I was stuck only consuming a liquid diet and thus the weight loss you see on Wednesday.  I have a family history of some issues and my doctor wanted to start screening me.  All looks good and I need to go back in 3 years and then if all looks good then, 5 year increments.  It was all definitely worth it for the peace of mind and to establish a baseline.

As you can see I maintained my level of conditioning this week, so it is time to increase again.  I decided to take a leap and increase a little bit faster.  Please know that even though I am a nutrition coach I get nervous about increases too.  I am committed to the process and will see how this week goes on the new macros.  If for some reason I gain weight, then my plan will be to stick with the same macros next week as well to allow my body to acclimate to them prior to increasing again.

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Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 1 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 3 & 4 of my Reverse Diet

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Filed under Education, Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Weight Lifting

REVERSE DIET – WEEK 1 RECAP & How to Log Restaurant Meals

Week 1 11.2.15 FitQuest

FitQuestMom Day 50 Collage Blog 10.26.15At the very top you will see my Week 1 Reverse Diet progress pictures (I thought I’d change-up my swimsuit for the Reverse Diet series) as compared to the end of my 7 week cut (directly below that set of pictures).

Date:  11/02/15

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 135.1 (134.8lb at end of cut;  This is not really a true indicator of my current weight…it’s water retention).  I had lunch at my favorite Mediterranean restaurant (gyro salad) yesterday and that salad is much saltier than what I typically eat on a daily basis.  I also had a salty dinner.  Below is my weight log for the past week.

Reverse Week 1 Weight Log

Last Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Last Week’s Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1595 calories 130C / 145P / 55F

Friday 1832 calories 195C / 155P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1578 calories 110C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

This Week’s Macros:

Time to increase again...

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1624 calories 135C / 145P / 56F

Friday 1861 calories 200C / 155P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1607 calories 115C / 145P / 63F (rest day)

Workout Plan:

This week is not going to be my typical kind of week when it comes to workouts.  Today I did the Ashley Kaltwasser Glute & Ab Program workout I have done for the last 4 weeks, but lighter and higher rep.  I have been a bit exhausted for the past few days, so I am taking it a little easier and doing a de-load of sorts.

I also have a colonoscopy scheduled for Wednesday and have to do the prep for that all day tomorrow which basically means I can’t eat anything solid and have to give myself diarrhea for the day (awesome, right?).  I have a family history of diverticulitis and my mom has had polyps removed, so my doctor wants to take precautionary measures and start screening me.  WELCOME TO 40!!!

Having never gone through the procedure before, I plan on waking up tomorrow and working out before my prep begins, but I am guessing I won’t have much energy for my typical workout the next day so I am just going to play it by ear this week and do what I feel like in the gym each day.

NEXT week I will begin the 14 week program I purchased which is Jessie Hilgenberg’s Muscle Building e-book.  I always get excited to begin a new program.

Comments:

As you can see I maintained the leanness from my cut this week and if anything I think my physique may be a little bit leaner which makes sense because when accounting for water retention I actually lost weight this week.  I considered adding in MORE macros than typical this week because of the weight loss, but ultimately decided not to since my workouts will not be nearly as intense this week and I plan on taking it easier than I normally would do to the colonoscopy and my level of fatigue.

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I had a great week last week.  It’s always fun to begin a Reverse Diet and shift your focus from fat loss to maintenance and increasing calories.  Friday we went out with my my Boise besties and our husbands for a nice night at the gorgeous new Chateau de Fleurs to celebrate my 4oth a little early (great excuse to buy a new dress! Goldendoodle photobomb by Russell).

Gretchen Tseng FitQuest FitQuestMom

When I looked at the menu ahead of time (I always do that to plan my macros) I was so excited to see that they had monkfish on the menu.  As a child I would always ask my mom to make either monkfish or flank steak (which I made last night) for my birthday dinner.  I hadn’t had it in YEARS and it was just as good as I remembered it.

Gretchen Tseng FitQuest and friends

I know a lot of people struggle with eating out and how to track macros for a meal, so I thought I’d let you know how I tracked this particular meal.  I decided to start with the Garden Greens Salad.  The description read, “Mixed green salad with Château dressing.”  I looked up a garden salad w/o dressing or croutons in MFP and found one from the Dominos chain for 70cals/3.5F/5C/4P.  I then looked-up Balsamic Dressing and logged 2Tbs of Panera’s Balsamin Vinaigrette at 90cal/8F/6C/0P.

The monkfish dish description read, “Monkfish Provençal –  Monkfish sautéed with seasonal ratatouille and finished with a white wine and tomato reduction. Served with a turmeric and ginger basmati rice.”  I always assume that restaurant proteins range between 4-5oz and decided to log 5oz. of monkfish (cooked dry heat) at 137cal/2.8F/0C/26.3P.  I assumed the ratatouille would be about 1cup and chose a homemade version from MFP at 40cal/1F/6C/1P.  I also assumed the basmati rice would be around 1cup and looked up “ginger basmati rice” in MFP and found an entry titled “cooked basmati rice w. ginger” so I decided to log that 205cal/0.4F/44.5C/4.2P.  Lastly, restaurant meals tend to be higher in fat than what I cook at home, so I decided to add 3 tsp of olive oil to my dinner macros at 119cal/1.35F/0C/0P for a grand total meal macro count of 662cal/29F/62C/35P.

The dessert menu looked great, but I have been waiting 8 weeks for frozen yogurt so we all loaded up in our nice clothes and hit Aspen Leaf at 10:15pm for 13oz of frozen yogurt with chocolate sprinkles.  Those of you who have been following me for a while know how CrAzY my froyos used to be LOADED with candy and piled crazy high.  Abstaining for 8 weeks brought me back to a place where I truly didn’t even want to do that.  I really really enjoyed my froyo with just chocolate sprinkles (my husband was shocked!).

All macros accounted for and all thoroughly enjoyed.  I really want to do this Reverse Diet right and feel like I am finally in such a good place when it comes to my relationship with food…the best gift I could give myself at 40 years old.

Have a great week everyone!

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Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 2 of my Reverse Diet

 

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Filed under Education, Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Weight Issues, Weight Lifting