Wednesday, November 05, 2014

My Trim Healthy Pregnancy

I found out about the book Trim Healthy Mama from my Above Rubies magazine a few years before it was published and already couldn't wait to get my hands on it, as I have always sought to learn more and more about nutrition and healthy living, and I trusted the source.

My mother got me a copy last year (2013), and it came at a good time. My fifth child was already about 18 months, and for the first time, I still had not lost all the baby weight. I was only about ten-ish pounds away, but I had been there for over a year! And was not budging, even though I considered my diet quite healthy already.

So I read the book and jumped right onto the bandwagon. :) That was August of 2013.  In about four months, I lost what I wanted to lose, plus a few pounds. And I enjoyed every minute of it! That is the really great part - it is not a diet, I did not feel deprived, I was able to feed the whole family far healthier, and not break our budget.

Another huge benefit to me was that it motivated me to get into a good exercise routing, doing HIIT's (high intensity interval training), which is just great for busy mamas because it is 20 minutes or less per day! I figured I could find 20 minutes to exercise, and I did. 

Then I got pregnant, shortly after reaching my goal.  I was excited by the testimonies I had read on the facebook page of trim, healthy pregnancies and hopeful that this would be my best pregnancy yet, in spite of it being my sixth baby, and being older than when I had my first ones!

I think one of the GREATEST things I learned from THM in a more concrete way was how to balance my blood sugar. I "sort of" knew from pregnancies past that I have a hard time with my blood sugar during pregnancy. I had had a glucometer in the past and saw my sugars spike with sugary foods and such, and had partially understood the need for good protein during pregnancy from the Brewer diet, and from the book Nourishing Traditions, but THM for me was sort of like putting together the pieces I had of a puzzle, as well as giving me several pieces I was missing. I *got* it, and had the tools to make it happen, as well as ENJOY the journey!

I have always gained about 55 lbs with each of my pregnancies, which was always depressing, but I just figured that it was what my body had to do. Nothing I had tried before in other pregnancies had made any difference, and I HAD tried to do other things.  I had also had big babies in the past, two being eleven pounds at birth. Maybe it would make a difference with that too?

I noticed early on that my body was not handling carbs well, even healthy on-plan carbs (E meals).  I gained five pounds between weeks 7-8 and started to get worried! Then I did one day of pure S meals (no carbs) and in ONE day went back to my pre-pregnancy weight! That really shocked me. However, I was also leery of doing too much low-carb stuff, so at times I was a little lost in trying to find a balance. Acquiring a glucometer helped a lot to monitor what was actually happening with my blood sugar and how my body responded to different foods. I realized that I just could NOT do carbs in the morning (after the night fast) without spiking my blood sugar - even something super healthy like oatmeal with no sugar! So I stuck to only S meals for breakfast and then to mostly S Helpers the rest of the time, with my main "Helpers" being sweet potatoes, carrots, quinoa, oats, small quantities of fruit, and beans. My blood sugar remained stable with these carbs, in moderate quantities, when eaten with an S meal. The proteins and fats seemed to keep sugars down. And I think I have never eaten so many veggies of all different varieties before... and LOVED it!!! I loved learning new ways to do food.

When I reached the third trimester, I began to feel the need for more carbs. I knew my baby needed them too, and it was interesting that I was craving them as I had not before... but still the GOOD ones! Fruits, sweet potatoes, and sometimes even white potatoes. So during the third trimester, I did mostly S Helpers and Crossovers. Lots of crossovers. And still my blood sugars stayed stable.

The other thing that I KNOW made a big difference was the recommendation from the book to do kettlebell workouts during pregnancy, and to adquire the book Maternal Fitness by Julie Tupler. I did both, getting a kettlebell for Mother's Day and streaming the DVD Baby Bells for my pregnancy kettlebell workout routine. I didn't do it every day, but usually about three times a week, mixing it with some t-tapp and some pregnancy workouts I found on youtube. And from the book by Tupler, I learned how to heal my diastasis rectus (even during pregnancy!). I didn't do her whole workout, but I found this exercise for the abs of a many-times-pregnant mama invaluable! I could literally feel my abs getting tighter, even while I was pregnant!

So... results.

First of all, I had VERY little morning sickness. As long as I ate protein every two hours, I felt great. Unlike my last pregnancy, I did not get behind on all the housework and homeschooling. I was able to keep up with life, which is HUGE when you have a busy household like ours!

My energy levels stayed up quite nicely the whole pregnancy. I DID feel pregnant, in that I did tire more easily, felt the need to sleep more hours and never skip my sacred nap, etc...  but not the exhaustion I have felt before, especially with my last pregnancy.  From about 36 weeks, I did notice the difference in fatigue levels, and I mostly stopped working out at that point. I did a little exercising and kept on doing LOTS of stretching, but no full-out workouts.

And... this is HUGE for me: in comparison with the average of 55lbs I gained with my other pregnancies, I only gained THIRTY this time around! I still can't believe it!  Now I am at one week postpartum, and I am only about 12 lbs away from my goal weight, which has never happened before, even with my first back when I was "young"!

And besides a number on the scale, I am also SO surprised at how fast my belly is going away! In the above picture, I AM holding it in, but the point is that I can hold it in! I actually still have abs!  I think it is a combination of the kettlebell and the Tupler technique that has helped immensely in this area.

This has made a big difference for clothes. My "normal" pants size is 6, and after birth I am usually a size 14! I have relied on thrift shops for all the other sizes I need while the weight slowly is coming off, but now in Brazil I don't have a Goodwill to run to for that, so I am REALLY thankful that my baggier pants and things can fit me until the rest of the weight comes off. 

The birth went beautifully as well. And for those who have read my birth stories, I wonder if part of the trouble I had with Olivia's birth was my lack of ab muscles? She was "stuck" over my pubic bone... so could it have been because my muscles were so shot that they didn't hold her in the right place? I think it very likely.  This birth was SO much better!

And the baby's weight? A whopping TEN POUNDS! So... I guess THM didn't help me to create a tiny baby, lol, but honestly I am glad that she is so robust. I did have my "fears" along the way about her not getting enough carbs, in particular, to be big and healthy enough. It seems I needn't have worried!

So, that's my story. If I can do it, you can do it too! Can't say enough good about Trim Healthy Mama!!

Here is my not-so-trim-but-very-robust-and-healthy baby, Annaliese Victoria, about an hour after birth:


Phyllis said...

Wow! That's amazing! I think I'm a lot like you: a relatively small woman who gains a lot while pregnant. I think I've probably struggled with blood sugar, too, but I've never actually tested it. I got rid of the weight afterwards each time, but never fast.

I've heard really good things from others about THM, too, but unfortunately, I've also heard that it's not quite possible here.

Anyway, congrats to you, and thank you so much for taking the time to share the details.

Desiree said...

Thanks for putting this out - I found you on the THM pregnant and nursing facebook page. I'm about 23 weeks and finding a similar experience to yours - I have always gained around 70 lbs (!) in pregnancy. This is my 8th, and my first on thm. So far I've only gained 18 lbs, so I am pretty thrilled. I've noticed I have trouble with carbs too, though without a glucometer I can't track it as well. I have tried to go by what makes me feel good, which seems to be a lot of E and the rest S Helpers. I can't seem to handle much straight S at all, I get tired and sick.

Anyway, congrats!!

Hannah Diane said...

That's so great! Thank you for such good information for when I get pregnant. :)

Anonymous said...

I am 43 and have had 4 children and still 30 lbs overweight 2 years after the last birth. This makes SO much sense! I thank you for posting this and am encouraged to lose the weight and be healthier with these tips and lifestyle changes. Sounds so similar to my experiences! Again, thank you for helping others! God bless you and your family! :)

Lisa said...

I have bought the book and I've read some but I just don't know where to start.