It’s Not the Number on the Scale that Matters

OMG Scale

 

How many of you have had the thought, if I could just get to “X” lbs on the scale I would be happy?! I know that I have. Especially as a mother. As someone who has gained and then worked on losing the baby weight, three times, it is a struggle!! We can become so focus on our goal number that we forget what we really want from it. You may associate that magical number with being trim and thin, being back to a body you had in the past, a feeling of strength, or being content and confident in your appearance. But I have to tell you, you are focusing on the wrong thing! Weight isn’t everything; nor is it what is going to get you that magical result that you want by hitting a specific number. Take the number out of the association you have with confidence, happiness and (I can’t believe I’m going to say this) with your health; and your weight is only a piece of the puzzle.

When it comes to your health, and in regards to your confidence and happiness, most people simply need to have an appreciation and respect for their body to feel those things. But most of us tend to believe that allusive number on the scale is our end all be all goal. I’ve hit my goal = I have succeeded, OR I haven’t hit my goal = I have failed. Putting your main focus on hitting a specific number can lead to negative feelings of motivation. Negative motivation and feelings towards your body are counterproductive in achieving what most of us ultimately want. A healthy, toned body we can be proud of and feel good about!

I was recently doing a workout when the trainer, Chalene Johnson, talked about the benefits of weight training. She said, “Many people feel their metabolism slows as they age simply because they are getting older. But really it is a lack of muscles that fuels your metabolism that has changed.” So many people, many women, think that lifting weights is going to bulk you up and make you look masculine.

lifting-weights what women think happens vs what actually happens

It’s so sad, and frustrating, because many of the women who think are the women who want to have toned arms, a trimmed sleek stomach and lean legs; and that will NEVER be achieved spending hours on an elliptical or cardio alone. It is achieved by working those muscles and converting the fat, and lack of muscle in those areas, to toned lean muscle!

I can tell you from experience that I have been a cardio queen in the past. I trained and ran my first half marathon after I had my second child. I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I still felt my core and arms were lacking strength, definition and firmness! Cardio, during the actual exercise, does typically burn more calories, but it doesn’t challenge your body in a way that requires a large amount of muscle rebuilding and growth. That is what will boost your metabolism and that is what will give you a toned body.

Check out these images showing the difference in size between 5 pounds of fat vs. 5 pounds of muscle.

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You’ve probably heard that muscles weights more than fat. Well, weight is weight, BUT the difference is the space they take up. Someone once explained it to me saying, imagine a bag of popcorn. Popped the popcorn takes up a lot of space. That is like fat. Before its popped, in the small hard kernel state, that is similar to muscle. The weight may be the same but they are very different in size.

Check out this before and after images. The lady on the left has lost no weight at all, but has clearly decreased in size and gained a lot of definition. And the woman on the right gained 14 pounds. 14 POUNDS GAINED to achieve a stronger, slimmer build. This should help you see that the number on the scale doesn’t always reflect what image we imagine. Had these ladies only used the scale as a reference for success they may have quit and become discouraged because they weren’t “seeing results!!” It takes a healthy diet and a cardio/strength exercise program to achieve the body most of us would really like!!

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What should our goal or focus be then?!? Our goals should be to focus on what actions we need to take in order to achieve a healthy, well fueled and worked body. Start by making one small change at a time. If you don’t workout at all, make a goal to be active 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes. If you’re a moderately active person now, try adding in 1-2 extra workouts a week, increasing the intensity and making sure you include strength training exercises.

In order to determine your success FIRST consider how you are feeling? You will likely find you have more energy and feel better about how you look because you are working your body. Track and use your body composition as your analysis for success. Take your measurements, and before photos, and use those as a benchmark for progress. This will give you a well rounded analysis of your changes.

If you don’t currently have a workout plan (that includes strength training of some sort) and a healthy meal plan, here are some resources and exercises you can try out.

A few exercises that you can add into your weekly routine, or use to start a weekly strength training routine are, Push-ups, Bicycle Crunches, Squats, Burpees and planks (if you’re not sure how to do any of these exercises you can search YouTube for a quick demonstration video or refer to the image below).

All of these exercises work multiple muscles and will help to strengthen the arms, shoulders, back, core, glutes, legs and offer some heart pumping cardio benefits. Try doing 3 sets of 10, three times a week, and build up from there.

In order to track your diet I recommend using a Free app or website; https://www.loseit.com/ and https://www.myfitnesspal.com/ are both great options. They will take into account your height and weight to determine your calories needed daily and you can add in any exercise to determine your calorie burn.

don't try to change overnight

It’s not easy to make changes or make the time, but it is possible for everyone to live a healthier and more active lifestyle! Focus on your actions and everything else will fall into place!

Until next time……Thea 🙂

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If you are interested in fitness program options feel free to visit my Beachbody page at; www.teambeachbody.com/theasinclair

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Growth through Change- The #5 Things I Learned in 2015

It’s been a year since the start of my blog and shared my 2015 Resolution goals. It’s been a truly eye opening year! Many goals were accomplished, but along the way I learned some things about myself. I was reminded about my inner strength and perseverance, but also had many old fears and insecurities rear their ugly head; leading to a fulfilling yet, emotionally challenging year.

Setting goals and publicly striving for more, it leads to growth and discovery. Here are the top things I learned in 2015!

#1- The Importance of Setting Goals and Making a Planning

If you’ve heard the saying, “Failing to plan, is planning to fail,” it is incredibly true. I had many goals I wanted to accomplish over the year; fitness goals, personal relationship goals, and organization goals. Many were accomplished, but many were not…. At the start of the year I made a monthly calendar that included all of my “To Do’s,” but I found that there really weren’t enough hours in the day (with 3 children to care for) to get to everything most days; so I needed to prioritize. At first I was discouraged when I wasn’t be able to get to everything, BUT I realized that having a schedule and planning when I was going to accomplish my tasks resulted in getting A LOT more done than had I not planned to begin with.

Until you get into a routine of setting goals, developing a plan and then sticking to it…. it can be overwhelming; but it’s worth the effort.

Admittedly, I slacked a bit on my organization goals. I was able to make some good progress and I will be making that a priority again this year. I was, however, able to meet my fitness goals for the year and, making date nights a priority with my husband (almost every month), was great since we had a crazy busy year!

#2- Only You have Control of YOU!

This has become my personal motto! Not just to keep myself motivated to stick to my workout schedule and nutrition plan, but also with helping me manage my anxiety issues. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that it’s a struggle I have had to deal with most of my life and I’ve wanted to share about this more, but I haven’t quite gotten up the courage to let that heavy, dark side of me out.

Simply reminding myself that ultimately only I have control of me and my life has been a huge help. Life and circumstances are something that every person needs to deal with. We can get weighed down by outside negative influences, inner struggles or a hectic busy life; or we can remember that we DO have CONTROL! Choose to be positive, choose to take action (on your own personal goals & dreams) and choose to have gratitude for the things in your life.

#3- Technology and the Need to Disconnect!

I knew this prior to starting this blog, but after spending added time on a computer, on social media and researching now forms of social media (Twitter, Instagram and so on), I was often left feeling a need to detach and disconnect! One of the reasons I decided to stay home and leave my career was because I didn’t like being at a computer all the time. Now, as a mother, in a world that is packed full of technology distractions, I have found more than ever a need to disconnect. I want to try and show my children that we shouldn’t depend on technology in our day to day lives. It offers many benefits and is a necessity in today’s day in age for school and work, BUT it is a distraction from the world and people right in front of you.

#4- I am a Private Person

The biggest discovery for me during this year was to realize that I am really a pretty private person. This surprised me and probably surprises those of you who know me well! I’m the type of person who will talk your ear off and over share at times; but I do that with my tight inner circle. Sharing my life with the world, honestly, I found it is not something I fully enjoyed. It brought out old insecurities and made my anxiety levels sky rocket; It is a pretty one-sided medium. It’s been fulfilling to share, but I don’t know if it will ever be something I love to do in this type of format. I much prefer a face to face genuine connection.

#5- Very few things in life are easy, but the things that take effort are worth it!

Setting goals and sharing my successes and failures was a challenge. Going through my own day to day struggles with anxiety and depression battles most of the year was hard. But I didn’t use them as an excuse, I used them as my reason to preserver, and I can say that I grew in many ways. It was a year of hard work, self discovery, struggles and accomplishment. It was the good, the bad, the ugly and the amazing all rolled into one! I’m glad I pushed for more and shared along the way. It was a great experience of growth through change!

Going into 2016 I have set new goals that make me feel excited, scared and totally out of my league. It will be a tough 2016, but I am going to make it another incredible year because only I have control of my success and my life.

If you want to live your best life, to be a better you (not a new you; but your best, authentic self), then I encourage you to push for more. Take on a new challenge or follow a dream. It will be hard and you’ll likely face negativity and doubt that you’ll need to power through; but making changes to live a more fulfilling life is worth it. And as I say to myself on a daily basis, “Only YOU have CONTROL of YOU!”

Until next time……Thea 🙂

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Simple, Healthy Spaghetti Sauce

I have always been a big pasta fan! Family dinners growing up often consisted of my Dad’s pasta sauce, more than one helping and a few pieces of Italian bread.  Surprisingly, we’re not Italian!

Over the years, as I’ve gotten older, carbohydrates, large portion sizes, and 3 pregnancies had really hit the waistline!! I switched from traditional pasta to wheat pasta; and recently I developed a huge love for Spaghetti Squash. Seriously, it’s soooo good! I also made adjustments to the Sauce I was using and thought I would share this simple, yet healthy recipe.

What you’ll Need:

  • Olive Oil (for cooking)
  • 1 Pepper (any color)
  • 1 Onion (red or sweet)
  • 1- 14 oz. can Diced Tomatoes (plain or with seasonings)
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Minced Garlic
  • 1 Jar Organic Spaghetti Sauce (I used Pellicano’s)

**This is a chunky vegetable sauce, but you can add 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey to make it a meat sauce and add some protein.**

Step 1: Diced the Pepper and Onion.

Step 2: Saute the vegetables in Olive Oil with 1 tsp minced Garlic (1-2 cloves) and 1 tsp Italian Seasoning. Cook until softened.

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Step 3: Add the can of diced tomatoes. Let cook 1-2 minutes then add the jar of Spaghetti Sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes.

 

Step 4: Serve over Pasta of your choice, or as I mentioned, my new favorite Spaghetti Squash. Enjoy!!

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Condensed Recipes Details

Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil (for cooking)
  • 1 Pepper (any color)
  • 1 Onion (red or sweet)
  • 1- 14 oz. can Diced Tomatoes (plain or with seasonings)
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Minced Garlic
  • 1 Jar Organic Spaghetti Sauce (I used Pellicano’s)

**This is a chunky vegetable sauce, but you can add 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey to make it a meat sauce and add some protein.**

  1. Diced the Pepper and Onion.
  2. Saute the vegetables in Olive Oil with 1 tsp minced Garlic (1-2 cloves) and 1 tsp Italian Seasoning. Cook until softened.
  3. Add the can of diced tomatoes. Let cook 1-2 minutes then add the jar of Spaghetti Sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve over Pasta of your choice, or as I mentioned, my new favorite Spaghetti Squash. Enjoy!!

 

Until next time……Thea 🙂

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Potty Training Boot Camp- The 3 day Method!

Potty training can be a real struggle! I used this 3 day method for all of my children; they were 2&1/2, just over 2 &1/2 and my youngest just went through “Potty Training Boot Camp” two weeks ago; she will be 2 at the end of the month. Here are my tips for a successful Potty Training 3 day Boot Camp! Here are some of my tips to help your child become diaper free!

First, be sure your child is ready! Here is a link to help you determine if they are ready to lose the diaper and use the potty for good! http://www.babycenter.com/0_potty-training-readiness-checklist_4384.bc

Planning!!

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  • Clear your calendar– You will want at least 3-4 days of obligation free time to focus on your potty training mission. Going out to grocery shop, to visit friends/family, doctors appointments….leaving home to do anything will be an issue. For my second I planned during Spring Break vacation when my older one was off from school. If you are a working parent you may need/want to take a day or two off before or after a weekend, or plan with your childcare provider on handling the final days.
  • Set the date and do a “countdown”– Buy some big kid under pants and do a countdown the week before. In the morning say, “5 more days and you will be wearing your new Frozen or Cars underwear like a big boy/girl!” This gets them thinking about it and excited for the change.
  • Commit FULLY! You need to be prepared to stick with it 100%! If you put them in underpants for a day or two then go back to diapers it will get harder and harder to get them to want to wear underpants all the time. This can be HARD! With my son (my second to be potty trained) the first night he needed to go #2 and he kept trying to stand up. They aren’t used to sitting all the time when they go #2, and I kept helping him sit. This turned into him getting hysterical, crying for a diaper, not understanding, and me questioning myself and crying along with him. I gently pushed him to sit as he finally went! I had worried I may have scarred him for life not giving in, but when he saw that he had gone, he clapped and cheered that he was a “big boy and went poo on the potty!” Stay strong but be calm and comforting.

mop-and-bucket-photo-by-KPEL

  • Be prepared for the mess!
    1. The first day they are likely going to pee all over themselves. They are learning to control their bladder; they will not have any idea how to stop at first. That is what you will be helping them learn over the next several days.
    2. Have a mop, bucket and disinfecting floor cleaner. I typically put in scolding hot water with cleaner and left it in the first floor bathroom tub for a few hours at a time, then replaced as needed.
    3. If you have carpet, I recommend borrowing or renting a carpet cleaner, if you don’t own one. (On a side note, owning a carpet cleaner has been a must have with 3 kids and animals). If you have areas that are only tile or hardwood, try to use only those spaces as much as possible to avoid the carpet mess.
  • Be present and aware– You can’t be emailing, distracted by TV, in another room and so on. You NEED to be with your little one learning their queues and helping them to understand when to get to the potty. Timing is everything! My youngest just went through this training and she didn’t say much when she had to go. She would take a quick breath, raise her eye brows and look for me. If I wasn’t right there, she would have kept having accidents. These are the teachable moments. When she gave this queue I said, “Potty! Run, run, run!” And we would run together and I would congratulate her on a good job.

EncourageWordle

  • Most Importantly, ONLY give praise and acknowledge for positive and do not scold them for accident for at least 3-4 days. This is so, SOOOO important!! They are not going to understand at first and how you react will make a huge difference in how they take to the training. For example; on day one when your little one starts crying or gets upset because they went to the bathroom all over themselves, tell them, “It’s ok. Next time run to the potty when it starts coming out.” You may need to mop a trail to the bathroom the next time, but they will start to know to get to the bathroom.

Training:

Ok! It’s time to do this! (Make sure you talked a lot the night before about the excitement of wearing underpants the next day on the Eve of training. Get them pumped about it!

Day one:

  • In the AM remind them that they will be a big boy/girl from now on and will be going on the potty. Show them again where it is and have them sit down to get comfortable as soon as they get up. From there I set a timer for every 20 minutes and they needed to sit and “try.” The first day they might not go at all during those times, but it is setting a routine.
  • If they have an accident, encourage them to run to the bathroom and sit and then continue to set the timer again. Often times if they have an “accident,” they will start stopping the flow of urine and may need to go more. Having them sit right away will help them learn to control their bladder and empty it fully when they sit.
  • **I recommend having them wear just a t-shirt and underpants the first 3 days.**

Day Two:

  • Repeat day one. At this point they should be learning that they have to go. Keep an eye out for the queues that they need to and encourage them sit on the potty.
  • Recognize all new accomplishments!! For all my kids once they started actually going on the potty we would cheer, give a high five and I would have them flush and say, “Goodbye tinkle!” All three of them thought it was the greatest and got excited to use the potty and then flush and wash hands like a big kid.

Day Three:

  • Try to stop using the timer if you still are. They should know now when they have to go. Ask them instead. This way they have to think about it and answer instead of automatically just trying.
  • On day 3 I typically found they were able to get to the bathroom and sit, but they often times had a little bit of an accident on the way, but not totally soaked themselves. Keep MANY pairs of clean underpants handy!! And remember to only use words of encouragement. Around this day I would say, “Great job! You’re being such a big boy/girl. Next time try to get to the potty a little sooner and your underpants won’t get any mess.”

Day Four and on:

  • I took their lead based on body language/queues from this point on. All 3 of my kids were pretty much accident free (minus a few early releases that required just a change of underpants, but pants were clean) from around days 6 an on. Yes, they still had them sometimes but it wasn’t frequent.
  • Keep encouraging all progress and be patient. The first day I took my youngest to the grocery store (Day 9) she needed to go to the bathroom twice. Fun times!

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You can totally do this! They can totally do this! Now plan, execute and have a good supply of wine available to help you through! 😉

cheers-brian-roberts

Until next time……Thea 🙂

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Don’t let your Opinion of your Appearance Affect your Physical Capabilities

I’ve spent countless hours critiquing myself in the past; picking out the things that were wrong with me or not good enough! Looking in the mirror and seeing my flaws instead of my strengths.

How many times have you done this yourself? I don’t think I’m alone with these negative lenses I look through. For some reason we live in a society that has a general level of superficial focus…..Do you have a nice big house? A fancy car? Are you thin? Are you attractive?  It’s sad, but true. I feel over the past few years there has been a bit of a change, focusing more on strength over being thin; but it still feels like a competition out there about LOOKS and SUCCESS and not about just being your best you.

After I had my children like many new moms I felt as though my best years (from a physical standpoint) had passed. After 3 c-sections, and complications with recovery on my third, I did feel as though maybe my body was just ruined in ways that could never be repaired. But I decided I wasn’t going to succumb to those feelings and I changed my focus to strengthening and challenging myself. I wanted to get back to a place where I felt comfortable in my own skin. I started taking pictures about 8 weeks postpartum and began training for a half marathon; which was just 5 months to the day after I had delivered my youngest!

I’ve written previously in Respecting my postpartum body about the physical and mental challenges and changes that training and accomplishment had on me. And recently, after completing two half marathons this year, I looked up those old postpartum pictures I took to see what progress I’d made.

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Here is a comparison showing my progress. It’s humbling to see myself in the left pictures. I was 5 months postpartum and had just completed that half marathon I was training for. I used that training as my motivation to help me get back into shape. I had lost weight and was feeling good about the progress I was making. Looking at them now it’s interesting to see what perspective and self-appreciation will do to those lenses we critique ourselves with!! That body still needed some work, and the one I have now still needs some work! But I didn’t let my negative opinion hold me back because I started focusing on new motivations. It was no longer a motivation to be thin or look my best, it was a motivation to challenge myself and appreciate what I could do regardless of how I looked. This change in focus has helped me get 10 pounds UNDER my pre-pregnancy weight and has helped me have confidence in how I look for the first time in, well, I can’t tell you how long.

The best take away I can share from my experience is to stop setting weight loss goals, and start setting physical goals that challenge you in a way that seems impossible! Follow through with those goals and the weight will come off, you will appreciate your reflection, but most importantly you will find a real, true sense of self-appreciation and respect. And THAT is the best gift you can give yourself!

Until next time……Thea 🙂

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Back to School Blues!

It’s back to school tomorrow for my big girl Piece’s, UPK for Mr. Man AND Mr. Man turns 4! Big day all around and I have to say I am excited for them, but so heavy-hearted….. I know so many parents are excited to get their kids back to school and I am excited that we can get back into more of a routine AND I’ll be able to do some of the “must do” projects I couldn’t get to in the summer! But I just can’t help feeling so emotional….!

2015 kids summer collage

The start of a new school year and birthdays marking another year passing always make me sad! I’m not sure why but all of my kids birthdays I feel a little sad and emotional because all the clichés about parenting are true. ” The years fly by,” “Cherish the time when they are little. They grow up to fast!” You’ve heard them; and they are right on! My favorite, after a fun but tiring summer, is “The days are long, but the years fly by.” I feel that way today after enjoying hours in the pool, long spontaneous visits to the Zoo, play dates and park visits. We filled our summer!  it was a great one and it went by in a blink. There were things we didn’t do on our summer bucket list, there were wasted days watching TV when it rained instead of going to a museum.  I realize the joy of just being together and doing nothing was just as enjoyable to my little ones, so I focused on relaxing right along with them. But now it’s time to get excited about what this new school year will bring and not just for my kiddos. My focus on organization really needs to get back on track, along with my workouts (which are a focus but also a need for sanity purposes) AND I’m going to be working part-time so there are many new and exciting changes for not only the kids but also for me to look forward to.

I’ll keep in mind the countless hours of watching them use their imaginations by making forts and creating story lines to act out, playing in the playhouse, swimming and laughing uncontrollably for no reason; I’ll hold on to those memories and feel complete with the summer we enjoyed!

kids reading

Here’s to a new school year, relishing in the memories you’ve created and looking forward to what is to come! I’ll be thinking of all you moms out there as you go through the same! XOXO

Until next time…Thea

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Mom Brain!

People talk a lot about pregnancy brain and it’s something that I’ve definitely experienced. I used to have an incredible memory and now most days I’m lucky if I remember just the daily tasks. The thing I have discovered about pregnancy brain is that once you have children it turns into MOM BRAIN! As a mom we all have a lot to remember! We are typically the organizer of our home. We care for our children, our husband (obviously) and lastly, ourselves! For our kids we feed them, bath them, and for me, with a Kindergartener and Preschooler I need to get them to school & remember what is needed for school….oh and did they even brush their teeth this morning? They did right…..? Or am I remembering yesterday morning? Not sure, I have mom brain!

Lately, it’s been getting a bit excessive. I’ve run into people I grew up with and I barely remember them. It’s as if my brain has become too full of memories that it is now replacing old ones for new ones. With the end of the year events and to do’s; field trips, dance recitals, registration for summer programs, and planning/completing of stuff! Its fries my brain and left me in a haze…..

Brain silent treatment

More often I have also been forgetting myself. For example; I’ve left the house without brushing my teeth to take my son to preschool. That is the one main thing I don’t do! I’ve loosened up on my make-up standards but brushing my teeth is a must. I also was rushed all morning the day of my daughters dance recital that once we got there I noticed I hadn’t changed out of my jeans and t-shirt. I wasn’t going to be super dressy, but black capri’s and a nice shirt would have been much better! OH, and last week I left my front door open when I drove Piece’s to the bus stop!!

I can’t change those things and really they aren’t a huge deal, but this constant haze from my mom brain has made me feel socially awkward at times. I say things that don’t even make sense, or that are unintentionally hurtful to others. It’s so frustrating! I hope that my friends and family are forgiving. I know that they appreciate me for who I am, and they know I mean well, but I’m getting annoyed at myself for my complete lack of brain function! I feel like I spend most days with this half blank stare, half look of confusion!

Confusion pic

If someone has any advice on how to combat this please let me know. I sat down to write this post and realized I needed to check our bank account. That lead to a couple minutes on our online account, to wondering why I got on the computer, to checking my email and finally leaving my desk. By the time I got to the kitchen my thought process came back to me and I returned to the computer. Oh the joys! I feel like I walk in circles sometimes recounting my last steps to see if I’ll remember one of the 100 things I try to get done in a day.

I know I’m not alone. I know that many of you moms out there are also struggling with Mom Brain in some shape or form, so I thought I would write this post to give you some comfort. And maybe a little bit to explain myself to some of those individuals in my life who may think I’ve lost it.  So if I’ve forgotten who you are or said something hurtful; I want to say I’m genuinely sorry! Please be forgiving with me; I’m suffering from a pretty bad case of MOM BRAIN!!

Until next time… Thea

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