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

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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Pumpkin Gingerbread Recipe

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This bread has been a favorite in our house for years!! I got the recipe from an old co-worker and over the years I’ve updated it to try to cut the sugar and overall calorie content. (It originally called for almost 3 cups of sugar and a cup of vegetable oil!!)

With my new clean eating endeavors this year I have converted this to a much healthier, yet still awesomely delicious family favorite! So here’s what you need!

  • 1 Cup Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (no sugar added)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 3 & 1/2 cups Whole Wheat flour (or flour preference /required for your diet)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder (this is debated with clean eating, but it’s only a 1/2 tsp)

Step One: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly grease two 9×5 loaf pans.

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Step Two: In a large mixing bowl combine honey/maple syrup, apple sauce, coconut oil and eggs. Beat until smooth.

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Step Three: Add water and blend well.

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Step Four: Stir in pumpkin puree and spices.

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Step Five: In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and blend with a spoon until just mixed (pumpkin chunks are good).

**Optional: Add dark chocolate chips, nut of your choice, or unsweetened coconut.**

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Step Six: Pour into pans and bake for 45-50 minutes. Check with a toothpick. Once it comes out clean it’d done.

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Step Seven: Remove from the pans while warm, cool on Rack and store in a sealed plastic bag to retain moist texture.

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    Now enjoy!!!

0412151727Recipe Details

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (no sugar added)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 3 & 1/2 cups Whole Wheat flour (or flour preference /required for your diet)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder (this is debated with clean eating, but it’s only a 1/2 tsp)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly grease two 9×5 loaf pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine honey/maple syrup, apple sauce, coconut oil and eggs. Beat until smooth.
  3. Add water and blend well.
  4. Stir in pumpkin puree and spices.
  5. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and blend with a spoon until just mixed (pumpkin chunks are good). **Optional: Add dark chocolate chips, nut of your choice, or unsweetened coconut.**
  6. Pour into pans and bake for 45-50 minutes. Check with a toothpick. Once it comes out clean it’d done.
  7. Remove from the pans while warm, cool on Rack and store in a sealed plastic bag to retain moist texture.

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7 ways to Improve your Fitness and Lose Weight

I expressed my goals to lose weight this year in my 2015 Resolutions post. I’ve had a large number of friends and family ask me how I stay motivated to exercise regularly. I thought since I’ve yet to meet my ideal weight who am I to tell others the “how to’s!” But after hitting a new milestone this morning (I’m tipping the scales just inside the 140’s for the first time since late 2006) I thought, I DO have some good pointers I can share!

Here’s a little back ground on my fitness journey. Since 2007 I’ve either broken a bone, or had a child, almost every year. And I’m not exaggerating on that. Here’s a timeline!!

  • February 2007- Broken foot
  • June 2008- Broken Ankle
  • November 2009- Piece’s was born via c-section
  • October 2010- Tonsillectomy
  • September 2011- Mr. Man was born via C-section
  • January 2013- Fractured tibial plateau with severe MCL sprain
  • November 2013- Miss T was born via C-section

When I read all of that I think to myself it is a wonder that I was able to stay in any shape at ALL! During that time I went back to playing recreational soccer after I was cleared for activity and I ran 2 half marathons; One in 9/12 & 4/14.

I tell you all of this because I KNOW how HARD it is to get back into shape and stay in shape!!! I think the hardest part is getting into a routine and sticking with it. So here are my top tips to increase your fitness and lose weight!

  1. Set a goal and timeline; then share it with others– If you want to lose weight, if you want to run your first 5K. Set that goals and share it with others! It really does keep you accountable because most people want to support you in your circles. For example; I shared in January that I want to lose 15 pounds by April 26th, when I’m committed to running my first half marathon of the year.
  2. Give your goal a purpose!! This is very important. Just having a goal to do something won’t help you get there. It would be like setting a goal at your job but having no objectives to accomplish it. I recommend setting a goal to do something you haven’t done before. Say running your first 5K, doing 50 push ups, or playing on a sports team. All of these things require training that will support you meeting your goal set in #1 AND it will give you a motivation other than simply getting in shape and losing weight.
  3. Make a training schedule-
    1. Whatever your goal is make a training schedule. I typically make a weekly training schedule from my start date until my goal. My first half marathon I made a 20 week schedule which I hung on my refrigerator in the kitchen. I marked my workouts to see my accomplishments and I always knew my weekly plan. This also meant my family saw it as well, to support and encourage me.
    2. Use the internet for this! If you’re looking to run your first race, search for “training for a 5K, 10K, Marathon” and so on. If you looking to be able to do 50 push ups, search for a push-up challenge program. There is SOOOO much free information out there; take advantage of it!
  4. Use a diet plan/tool- It’s very difficult to lose weight if you are just cutting your calories. If you really want to get in better shape and see your body change in a positive way you need to eat right, not just less. Here are a few programs I have used and would recommend.
    1. myfitnesspal.com– This is a FREE online site/app where you can track your calorie intake, calorie burn and it guides you on the % of Fat, Protein, Carbs and so on you should be consuming each day. It’s simple and free!
    2. Weight Watchers– I have used this program 5 times (after college, before my wedding, and after all 3 kids). I used the online only option the last 3 times because I didn’t feel I needed the meetings. But they offer weekly support meetings and also track/add points for work outs.
    3. 21 day Fix/Clean Eating- I have to say after using the 21 day fix program for 2 & ½ weeks so far, I do feel a big difference and see it as well. The workouts are short, 30 minutes, and very effective. Also, clean eating has really made my body FEEL so much better. Cutting out most processed foods and eating healthy, balanced, REAL food is giving my body a leaner and firmer look. (If you’re interested in details let me know)
  5. Focus on a week at a time- If you look at the big picture and have a few hiccups it can be discouraging. This one change for me has made a HUGE impact on my health. In the past I would have an off week and it would spiral into a month. When we have goals we can be very hard on ourselves if we get off track. I found by setting a weekly goal and focusing on a week at a time, I would reset each week. If I had a bad week, well no biggie! A new week was starting and I had my plan already set for me to continue on. This kept me on track because my goals had purpose beyond just losing weight. I wanted to meet my fitness goals I set as well.
  6. Don’t go it alone! This one makes things SOOO much easier. I have gotten into a routine to doing a lot of working out and dieting on my own, but it took me a LONG time to get there. It is so much easier to have a support system. Be it a gym buddy, running buddy, training group, diet program support (like weight watchers or beach body programs) or just committing to playing with a recreational sports team, will give you a support system to help keep you motivated.
  7. Give yourself a break! Don’t be too hard on yourself! You WILL have off days, weeks, and slip ups. You may be injured and need to take time off. It happens; it’s NOT a big deal! Stop beating yourself up about it and put that energy into setting a goal, making a plan, finding support and reset each week! Stop over complicating things and being your own worst enemy. You are capable and CAN meet those goals. Just move on, get out there, and JUST DO IT!!

Running feet

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Feedback Needed: What type of posts do you like best?

Feedback needed

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and follow my blog. Your support has meant so much to me! Putting myself out there has proven to be challenging, therapeutic and humbling to say the least.

I’ve found that even though I greatly enjoy sharing my posts with you all, I am discovering it is VERY time consuming. Especially with all of the daily tasks of being a SAHM, and with my organization and weight loss/fitness goals. So, I thought I would “ask the people” so to speak; what types of posts do you enjoy the most? I’m going to try and stick to 2 posts a week and this will let me know what everyone is the most interested in!

Thank you so very much for your feedback!

Warmly, Thea 🙂

 

February’s Successes and Failures

I heard on the news that February here is the Rochester area was the coldest month on record! It was a doozy of a month…! It was so cold and snowy all month that it left everyone cranky and full of cabin fever! I tried to stay positive and did take some really cool pictures (below), but I am ready for warmer weather and some time outside!

The picture on the left is of Lake Ontario. Check out how frozen it is!! I don’t ever recall seeing ice as far as the eye can see, pretty cool! The other pictures are of my side and back yards.

Winter Collage

With all the cold and snow, well, I just can’t run outside safely. There is very little shoulder on the sides and snow and ice all over the roads. With my track record of injuries and the state of my back, it just hasn’t been worth chancing it. So my half marathon training really just started yesterday. It was a sunny, 20 degree day and the roads were pretty clear for the first time in a long time. It felt great to get out!

Here’s an overview of my successes and failures for February in regards to my resolution goals. (2015 Resolutions)

Health and Fitness:

  • Even though I got in limited running miles for the month I am still feeling confident I’ll be able to get in enough training for my half marathon in late April.
  • I did however do strength training twice a week, Yay! I am going to switch out my cross training to one day of yoga for runners and one day of Pilates. This will help me keep a focus on my core (which needs constant work to support my back issues; especially after 3 c-sections), but also keeping my cross training activities impact low and focusing on stretching and flexibility.
  • So far for the year I have lost 8 pounds. I’m actually at the lowest weight I have been in about 8 years!!! It’s crazy when I think of that. I’ve done the clean eating challenge three times since the New Year and I am also following the Weight Watchers program online. Well, being honest, I haven’t been as committed to tracking on Weight Watchers, but one thing I have learned over the years of having children, and losing weight, is that even following the program 75% of the time helps me maintain and lose small amounts.

Connections:

Vday me and Jon

  • The Hubs:
    • This month my husband and I were able to get out on Valentine’s Day for an afternoon lunch at Cheesecake Factory and then to see American Sniper! It’s been so nice to have one-on-one time, out of the house, two months in a row. I am definitely going to keep this as a priority going forward.
    • My sister also let us borrow all except the final season of Sons of Anarchy, which is really awesome! We’ve already watched two seasons this month. One of my favorite things is to just sit together and watch TV, I have no idea why, but it’s my fav. That being said, we don’t always like the same shows so when we find something we both enjoy and want to watch together it’s a total win!
  • Friends:
    • Weather and sickness really put a damper on seeing many friends this month. I had to cancel dinner and a movie with one of my best girlfriends because the roads were just terrible and it was about 2 degrees! Plus, we had to reschedule a family gathering because my girlfriend and her daughter were sick. Really, Spring, you can come now!!
    • I was able to see some good friends to celebrate their daughter’s birthday this month. Only Piece’s and I were able to go because our younger two were sick, big surprise I know! Our busy, growing families have made our get togethers limited, so we rarely see each other anymore. I was very happy that I was able to see them since they moved this weekend out of state.
  • Family:
    • We were able to have some great family fun this month. I went with Pieces & Mr. Man, my Mom, Sister, Nephew, and a few cousins and their child to Disney on Ice. It was SOOO much fun! I love to just watch them watch and experience new things. The look on their faces is priceless!
    • My big girl Piece’s got her hair cut yesterday! This might not seem like a big deal, but she cut off 10 inches to donate to Lock of Love, so it was indeed a big deal and so exciting! I think I was more nervous than she was. I am definitely attached to my hair! But man, I was so proud of her for being so brave and donating her hair to a great cause! (picture below)

Reese Hair cut Collage

De-cluttering:

  • Yikes, as usual this was my downfall! As I mentioned in an earlier post this month, (Little Victories), I did have some small successes but I didn’t come close to my 40 bags in 40 days challenge or make much progress with de-cluttering other areas of the house. This week however I was able to clean out the main floor bathroom closet. I couldn’t believe how much stuff was in there! I am going to work on this area in March.

March Goals:

  • Stick with my training schedule for the half marathon and follow the Weight Watchers program more closely. I have considered doing the Beach Body 21 Day Fix but I haven’t been able to come up with the money for the cost yet, so we will see.
  • Reschedule and have that movie and dinner night with my girlfriend G!
  • Date night with the Hubs
  • We have two family get togethers scheduled already for this month. Looking forward to them!
  • Make a cleaning schedule for each week on Sundays.
  • List the items I have been accumulating to sell on eBay!
  • De-cluttering; clean out the two other closets on the main floor AND sort through and get rid of some older, unused toys! We have WAY too many!

Hoping I can keep to these goals and really make March count after a lack luster February! I’ll likely be posting only 1-2 times a week because as much as I love it, it does take up a lot of time. Plus, I’m picking up a part time job once a week and with all the additional running I’ll be doing, I am going to need to cut back!

Have a great month everyone!!

Until next time… Thea 🙂

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Learning to RUN

I mentioned in my previous 2015 resolution post (2015 Resolutions) my goal to run two half marathons this year. I’ve run two in the past, but I wasn’t always a runner. Actually, I used to HATE running! I loved playing sports and still do, but just going for a run was terribly boring and annoying to me. I would take 20 minutes of sprint drills over a 2 mile run any day. I just DID NOT LIKE TO RUN!

I’ve been active my whole life, playing recreational soccer and softball, and doing various fitness workouts over the years. But after I had my second child I set a goal to train for a half marathon for two reasons. One, to help me lose the baby weight. Because for most of us moms it takes a LOT of work to get it off. And two, to challenge myself to do something I never, EVER thought I would do. I started a 5 month training schedule and I couldn’t believe that I DID IT! It was a really an amazing feeling! It gave me even more respect for my body, especially after pregnancy. I’d ballooned to over 200 lbs during my first two pregnancies! And then look what I had done!

I ran my second half marathon 5 months to the day after having my third child; via c-section I might add. I had a lot less time to train, and it showed. I dragged through the last 3 miles and was literally chanting to myself, “you can do this! you can do this!” And I did. I tell you this not to boast about my accomplishments but to say that your body is so much more capable than you realize! It really and truly is!

Running-Lessons

During all of this I developed a major love for running! It’s become my release, my challenge, and honestly, my sanity. As a person who has always struggled with anxiety there is nothing like a long run to get your head clear and straight again.

There are countless resources on the web regarding training programs. I have taken the information from many sites to make a schedule that works for me. Here’s a link to the training schedule I will be using to prepare for my next half marathon this Spring; FC Half Marathon Training 2015. If there are any locals interested in training I would LOVE to have a running buddy or two!

For anyone interested in running. People have said to me many times, “I’d love to run,” “How do I get started?” and really it’s simple. You just get some sneakers, gym clothes, a sports bra for the ladies, and you just do it! If you’re a total beginner I would recommend checking out the Couch to 5K running program or app at http://www.active.com/mobile/couch-to-5k-app. They start you with short run/long walk intervals and build up to running a full 5K. It’s a great way to get started! And for anyone with doubts, this image below is so very true! Push through to a better you!

voice_in_your_head runner

Until next time…… Thea 🙂

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