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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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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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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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10 Way Not to “Lose Yourself” in Motherhood

It’s so common to lose yourself once you become a Mom. You spend a majority of your time caring for your children, caring for your spouse, cooking; cleaning….the list goes on! So it makes sense that during that time you can start to lose yourself a little when you’re rarely putting yourself or your needs first. So here are a few things I do to hold on to the person I once was, the person I am and the person I want to continue to be.

1) Keep your Hobbies– Before I had my first many people told me I was going to need to quit my hobby of playing sports. I was playing on 2-4 recreational soccer leagues a week and softball in the summers. Clearly, I was going to need to cut back but why would I need to stop playing all together? I felt like I got flack from people when I was insistent I was going to go back after the baby arrived. It’s something I LOVE to do! It keeps me active, I see my friends, and play with my sisters. Oh and it’s a great stress reliever as well. I’ve continued to play, usually only once a week for soccer and I’ve kept summer softball, which I play with my husband on a co-ed league. It’s been great to get out 1-2 times a week and it’s helped me to continue to feel like the same person I have always been! Whatever your hobby is, reading, writing, gardening, scrapbooking or exercise; I encourage you to keep making just a little bit of time to do those things

2) Curse– I used to have a bit of a potty mouth. I am now reformed since I am with my children basically 24/7. But when I’m out with adults sometimes it feels good not to have to worry about what I say! Tossing out an F bomb or a Holy S***, somehow becomes relaxing and refreshing!

3) Lean on your Spouse– If there is anyone that truly knows you, it’s your spouse. They’ve known you before, during and after children. They are your partner in everything; your supporter, confidante, champion, and your love. Talk to them about anything and everything. Lean on them and it will help you keep centered.

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4) Stop Worrying About what Other People Think! I used to want for people to like me. I still do in some ways because I try to be a kind and thoughtful person; and I genuinely care. But spending time trying to please others just ends up making you try to be someone you’re not. So stop worrying about others and focus on you! You’re got enough to worry about supporting your children and husband.

5) Be Ridiculous! In the summer I like to roll the windows down, with the wind blowing in my hair, sunglasses on, jamming to some tune that is now considered “Classic Rock,” and sing my heart out! Sometimes, I try to convince myself that I am super cool while doing this! It takes me back to a time when I was young and carefree; a version of myself that I think of fondly. Bring that girl of the past out sometimes, even if you’re alone and there’s no one to see her. Keep her present!

Sunglasses

6) Keep having Sex! Yes, I went there! I tell people being a mom is the most amazing and exhausting thing I have ever experienced. Well, the exhaustion part for parents can really put a damper on the lovin! I can’t tell you how many couples I know who are rarely having sex. Remember before you had kids when sex didn’t take the effort? Well, those days are likely gone, but the effort is worth it! Make the effort, make the time. The connection with your spouse, the stress relief, the link to that once carefree sexual person; it will keep you feeling like YOU!

7) Have a Cocktail– As a mom you are always “on.” At any age there are little eyes always watching, observing and learning from you. Give yourself a break and have a drink everyone once in a while. Hell, make plans to go out a couple of times a year to really let loose. Going out on the town with some girlfriends to drink and dance the night away…. that keeps me in touch with my love to have fun self!

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8) Take Time for Yourself- This is the HARDEST thing for any mom to do; working, SAHM, it doesn’t matter. We ALL love our kids and want the best for them and taking time away from them is hard. Go for a massage, take a bath, or even a 30 minute drive to Dunkin Donuts to sip coffee alone and check Facebook. That little bit of time can be rejuvenating and all you need to recharge.

9) Exercise– Who are we kidding ladies, our bodies change after children in many way. Even if you have never been someone who exercised, working on your body will help you keep respect and appreciation for it. Your body may never be the same again but loving and accepting it will make you feel comfortable and confident. The added perk with this is setting a good example for your children. When I run on the weekends my oldest always wants to run with me. After I get back we always go on our own little run just the two of us!

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10) Never Give up and Keep Dreaming! The reality is that as the years go on our children will need us less and less. Someday they will be grown with families of their own. I know that I’ll always need my parents love and support. I need it now still as an adult, but I don’t depend on them like I did when I was a young child. We are living our lives now! So don’t give up on some of the things you love to do, want to do or dream of doing. Keep a notebook, make a bucket list! Just never give up and keep on dreaming!

Doing these things has helped me keep myself during these early, demanding years or motherhood. Well, mostly anyway! And that in turn is helping me be the best Mom I can be to my three beautiful children!

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Until next time….Thea 🙂

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How Motherhood Changed my Dreams

I recently had a few job opportunities come my way. I’ve been home full-time, working part-time, most of the past 3 and ½ years. When trying to figure out what I wanted to do I discovered that my goals and aspirations in life have change quite a bit since becoming a Mom.

Don’t misunderstand this statement as me saying I no longer have dreams for myself. I do, I have many dreams and things I would like to do and achieve. But when analyzing and soul-searching the lifelong question, “what do I want to do when I grow up,” everything seems different because my life is no longer just about me; or even just my husband and I. My choices now strongly take into consideration what is best for my family? Not just from a financial stand point, but also well-being.

I have years of successful sales experience. My last few years in the work world I was encouraged to try to move into a Field Sales position and that had always been my plan. I much prefer working with customers face to face, but traveling for days at a time, regularly, that just didn’t sound appealing anymore knowing my husband and I wanted to start a family.

Successful business woman giving a presentation on flipchart.

I always felt a sense of accomplishment based on my level of success in my career. I think that is very common in our society these days. So once I started staying home I think I went through a bit of an identity crisis, LOL! Who had I become? The answer was just a Mom, and was that enough? For a long time I didn’t think it was because I felt like I have skills, potential, whatever you would like to call it, and I wasn’t using those things to benefit my family. I used to focus on what I did best, or could do the best, to make the most money; which in turn I felt was best for my family. I’m have to be honest! I wasn’t really focusing on what I had a true passion and interest in doing with my life. I felt like financial stability was going to help my family; especially after living paycheck to paycheck for years after deciding to stay home. I envisioned myself going back into a sales career, moving up, maybe striving for management. It’s what I had done, and pretty well!

I remember before having children I told someone my dream job was to be a personal trainer. I love fitness, being active, and pushing myself to continue to do new things; even as I get older. Well, my husband laughed at this statement one time! I asked him why and he said, “Because you say it’s your “dream job” like it’s something that would be hard for you to accomplish. In reality you could quit your job and change careers very easily!” He was right. My hold up was that a passion job wasn’t as lucrative a sales career, and that just didn’t seem like a smart decision. But the saying, “The best things in life are free,” is so true! I’ve been much happier being home and dealing with limited funds. Raising my children and trying to make the best of these years when they are young. So being a Mom has changed me, and changed my goals in life because making sure I can create the best family life for them is my most important goal.

Currently my husband’s job has become very demanding. It’s a good thing! He has a great job but he works long hours and has been traveling recently. When thinking to myself what kind of life do I want for my family and what do I actually WANT to do with my life. The answer is, I want to be there for my family, both in actual time AND I want to be present. Sales, though a great career, is also stressful and can require extra hours. I envisioned myself getting stressed out, overwhelmed and not being the person I needed to be for my family back in that career.  My husband’s job is going to continue to be demanding and I don’t want my kids to spend hours at a daycare and then come home to a rushed couple hours with stressed out parents. I want to give them what I can, and that is time, support and a sane happy Mom!

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For now, I’m going to focus on my family and just be a Mom. After thinking about career options personal training would be a great fit in my life going forward. It can be part-time, flexible with scheduling and is something I would absolutely LOVE! So here’s to the future and all of its possibilities!!

(Am I alone in this? Have you other Moms out there experienced a whole new perspective that changed your goals and dreams for yourself? I would love to know how motherhood has changed you?)

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Hormones….you suck!

hormones making women crazy

If anyone has seen my sane self around, please return her! I told my husband the other day I am just feeling straight up crazy lately. He gave me an eyebrow raise and said, “This is different from the usual how?” He’s right! I am a bit nutty regularly. I tell him he’s my rock and he tells me I’m his tornado, LOL! But really, after having 3 children in less than 5 years I’ve dealt with the ups and downs of pregnancy hormones, to the nursing hormones, to a state of postpartum depression!

I’m on my second type of birth control since June and I will be switching to another here shortly. I’ve always been sensitive to them (they make me feel crazy) but since I’ve started taking them again this time around my body just seems pissed off!

Lately, I’ll be happy kissing and loving on my little ones,

happy mom

and within 5 minutes I snap!

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They are usually doing something they shouldn’t, or not listening, but snapping at a degree that is not needed. And it just feels like an out-of-body experience sometimes. The highs and lows of hormonal changes at this age take me back in time to those years of teen angst. When you feel like you have no control because your brain can’t keep up and register the insanity that is going on!

I was talking with one of my besties recently about my frustrations and she said to me, “These are the things people don’t tell you.” And she’s right. People talk about the joys of motherhood, but they don’t talk about the effect it takes on your body physically,  mentally and hormonally! It’s totally worth it, yes. But sometimes just knowing you’re not alone, that how your feeling, what you’re going through, is normal. That can give you some inner peace.

Being a girl is tough! I love that I was able to have the experience of having my kids! I did not particularly enjoy pregnancy, but I’m glad I was able to have that experience three times. The joy I feel from seeing my little ones grow up is something I can barely put into words, but I just want to get back to being myself again……

So in closing today, I’m just going to say, “Hormones, you suck!”

Until next time…. Thea 🙂

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DIY Children’s Winter Wrist Warmer/Protectors

Remember playing out in the snow when you were a kid and the annoying snow that would get on your wrists and ankles when your coat and snow pants would rise up?!? Well, this is cheap, simple and very effective way to protect your little ones wrists from the cold winter snow and wind.

My son has very sensitive skin. With the extreme cold this winter, even being outside on a warmer day for 15 -20 minutes, he will end up with frost bite. After telling my husband about how bad the frost bite was on his wrists (they were raised and white/red for a couple of hours), my husband suggested we make little wrist protectors to keep any snow from getting on them. Here is what we came up with!

What you will need:

  1. An old pair of kids socks; full length.
  2. A pair of scissors

Directions:

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– Cut off the tops of the socks

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– Next cut a V-shape in the heel area of the sock.

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– Here is what they will look like with the holes cut in both places.

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– Now simply put them on before your child’s coat and put their winter gloves over top. Here is what they look like on my son without, and with the gloves over top.

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Extra Tip! You can also use these on their little legs. Simply put an adults full size sock on under their clothes to the knee. That way if their snow pants rise their little legs will be protected from the snow.

Until next time…… Thea 🙂

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