It’s not always about being ‘Skinny’…

skinnyLet’s save some time here and all just admit that the “swimsuit model” to your left is way too damn skinny! Like, sick kind of skinny. I’d like to say that no woman would want this level of ‘thin’ but there are women out there who would.

Fortunately, I am NOT one of them. I am happy with my weight and don’t feel I need to lose anything. So let me share why I am on this “Get Fit” journey…

Since I was a tween I have always cared about health, fitness, and nutrition. I didn’t always know how to use it properly and I really didn’t have all the knowledge I have now, but I always took an interest. I can honestly even say that I know my body pretty well by now, too much I think sometimes! It can be a good thing but it can be a bad thing too. However, like I said, it’s a passion for me. Just as some might be taken by religion or travel or some other 3rd thing (lol, can’t think right now), I am taken by this.

Mind you, I have always been off and on about it. I’ll go head over heels into it and then stop for months. Especially during my pregnancies, I didn’t care about nutrition! Chocolate? Bring it on! So I had some weigh to work with afterwards.

Right now there are a few different reasons why I am on this journey. I am currently taking a course in Personal Training. It’s a 300-page textbook with an exam at the end and if I pass I get my certificate. I am pretty psyched! Afterwards I’d like to work in a gym. Or maybe open my own one day, who knows! I am a girl of many big dreams!

Anyways, I’ve been doing the Insanity workouts and am on my 3rd week now. It’s a challenge to get through those workouts, I won’t lie! They make Jillian Michaels look like fun. But I love a good challenge. However, for the first couple weeks I wasn’t paying attention to my nutrition. I just ate what I had in the house. I know what’s healthy but I usually can’t afford the good stuff so I eat what I can and hope the workouts just burn all the extra calories. Well, the other night I took a look at the nutrition guide that comes with Insanity and learned all about my caloric needs (I will show you how to do this later, pretty cool) and found that I am suppose to be getting about 1700 calories a day.

Anyways, I decided to start keeping a food journal, which I have been doing now for two days…it’s hard! Having to track everything, calculate the calories/carbs/protein..(thank God there are sites to help you with all that). But oh boy am I learning a lot. First thing I learned is that I am NOT eating the right amount…in fact I am eating about 3 times more than I should and not at all what I should be! (I guess wine & munchies don’t count!)

This also makes me wonder how much I am over feeding the rest of my family. It’s crazy when you start measuring out your food and counting the calories. I mean, the other night my hubby had some chips and I thought, I’ll just make myself a baked potato. Smart eating, right? Hmm…well apparently 19 plain chips vs a baked white potato both have the same amount of calories. And this just basically broke me down and I said, F*** it, I’m eating some chips. πŸ˜‰ lol. It’s not always about the calories I guess…because one is def healthier than the other. So knowing the difference is a big deal. Thankfully I have been reading up on all this stuff for years and years so I feel pretty educated! It just gets a little overwhelming when I get ahead of myself.

I go through all of this, though, not to be skinny but because it’s my passion. It’s not always fun, it can be a lot of work, but I love it. I love learning, I love knowing my body, I love being educated in health & nutrition, and I love the rush I get when I am sweating my ass off and can barely breath. I love the burn! I know not everyone does and that’s fine…but for me, I just can’t get enough…for now lol.

So here is how you’d calculate your caloric needs, have fun!…

For Women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years) =
For Men: 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years) =

Now take your number from above and multiply by the level of exercise listed below:

modThe number that you now have will tell you your calorie needs for weight maintenance.
You can also adjust this number up or down depending on your weight loss or gain goals.

-For weight loss, subtract 500 calories per day from your number above.
-For weight maintenance, do nothing. Just use the number from above.
-For weight gain, add 200-300 calories per day to your number from above.

Hope that helped a bit! πŸ™‚

~Tanya~

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You can’t know your own strength if it’s never challenged…

Strength-SymbolHave you ever told someone, “You are so strong!” or “Be strong!”?

Sometimes we look at what others have conquered in the midst of change, tragedy, and trying times and we think,Β wow, look at how strong they’ve been through this all! And in seeing that we often think ourselves weak because we may have never been put in those exact situations, so we don’t know how we’d really react. Truth is, we don’t know what we’re capable of until we’re in the midst of it. And strength is not something that only some people have, we all have it. But more often than not, our strengths are all tested in different ways.

I’ve been guilty of looking at other people and thinking they were so strong and that I could never handle that level of strain on my life. But when I really sit back and look at some of the things I have overcome, I am actually impressed. I am impressed with how far those things have gotten me and what they taught me.
For instance, my mom passing away when I was still a kid. That was hard! And to this day it still is.
Another instance was the first time I got pregnant. I had wanted to have a baby for so long and it was finally happening. Then at 12 weeks I started bleeding and come to find out the baby had lost it’s life at 9 weeks, so I miscarried. I can’t tell you how rough that was! Even at 12 weeks along I was super attached, thinking of baby names and buying baby stuff already. It was a tough thing to go through!
And then going into labor 9 weeks early with my second child, wow…that was scary! It was like a horror movie with all the blood I lost in our tiny apartment, and then rushing to get me to the hospital…nearly in tears BEGGING God to let this baby be alive because I could not handle losing him!
This year I had a bit of a scare thinking I might have breast cancer. There was a small chance but the re-occurring pain under my arm had been around for months and I just could not seem to get rid of it. That mammogram was one of the scariest moments, not knowing and then having to wait a few weeks for the results. Pretty scary! (not to mention, painful…those damn machines!)
Then, to completely change topic, there’s my workouts. I started at the beginning of this year with some light workouts. I am now into the Insanity workouts and damn, those are tough! It’s hard getting through even one of those workouts but I do it 4-6 times a week and I push myself to get through it.

Apart from things like that, there’s also life changes…some which leave you with a pretty empty wallet. Some days having to choose food over past due bills and wondering where the hell you’re going to get the money to pay all these people. Feeling like you are way in over your head. It’s just money but it’s a huge weight on the shoulders when you don’t have any. But you learn to deal and you continue on with day to day life and you make it work.

You see, strength isn’t a 7 out of ten people kind of thing. Everyone has strength but we are all challenged in different ways. And often while we’re in the middle of something really challenging we’re so focused on being stressed about it all to even notice how strong we are becoming.

Strength is actually the easy part, the hard part is how we handle the challenges. Because hiding behind the dark clouds somewhere is always a ray of sunshine. Whether we find it or not is up to us. πŸ™‚

~Tanya~

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Life is a Frame…

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There are many theories about what life is or what the meaning of life is…here’s my perspective and two cents…

When I was a Christian during my teen years, I thought the meaning of life was about God. About bringing people to God and personally bringing myself to Him and following the ways of Christianity. I thought that in doing so, the end would mean going to Heaven for eternity.

I ended up leaving Christianity and I started searching for what the meaning was…because after leaving something you believed for so long, you start to feel like a lost sheep. I soon discovered that for me the meaning of life and everything was simply love. To love others, to love myself, and to love life.

After that I began writing a book called, “Search For God” and I asked my friends and strangers to e-mail me (long or short) what their version of life, here and after, was. I read some incredible things and it made me really think, is there just one truth? These people all came from a good place with good hearts, some believed nothing at all. But everyone had something to share. The book was never finished but it was great material to read!

This year has been a rough year for me and my family, as it has been for a lot of people. We bought our first house last December and there was much debt that came along with buying this place. So it’s been a lot of having to decide what matters most. In Summer I was given some of the best news, that my mammogram came back clear πŸ™‚ HAPPPYYY. But sometimes the stress of money and everything can weigh a person down, even after having heard such great news.

Well, one night I was putting Ryver to bed and I looked at this little three year olds face, and I realized how happy he makes me. How meaningless life would be without him (and his brother of course!). And I started weighing in on all the great things I have in my life. I mean, sometimes watching others succeed while you fall behind…it can be even more weight and make ya miserable! And then I thought about how life is a canvas and you can paint whatever you want on it, right? That each person is given a canvas and what we paint/draw on it is our choice. Then I thought about the frame that goes around the canvas and I thought, maybe life is a frame. Life is merely the frame and what goes into that frame is our choice. Our journey, our experiences, our memories, our thoughts…it all goes into this frame.

In my years so far I have learned that not everyone is the same. Not everyone believes the same. Not everyone goes on the same journey with the same memories and experiences. But we all hold the frames to our own lives.

I thought it would be neat one day to hang a giant frame in my living room surrounded with other frames around it. In the frames around it I would pin memories and pictures and things that I want to look back on everyday. In the big frame…leave it empty so that I can always remind myself how uncomplicated life is. How this is my frame, my life, my choices.

Peace!
~Tanya~

 

 

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Hot & Sexy

It is amazing what the mind thinks when it sees certain pictures or things. When I see the picture on the left I think, “I aspire to look like that someday!” But truth is, they are Victoria Secret models, this is their job, their life. They dedicate themselves to looking so good and probably have access to many things we don’t or can’t afford…like personal trainers! But when I look at that picture I almost study it! Whereas, the one on the right doesn’t faze me at all. I see that all the time and because it’s reality, I don’t even bother looking at the picture twice. Why is that?

See, there is a difference between Hot and Sexy. Hot is what you see in picture #1. Five attractive women who seem to have the body we all long for. Tall, slender, tight abs, beautiful hair, perfect teeth and smiles, perfect boobs, and perfectly tanned skin. It’s hot and woman to woman you can’t deny it! We see it on TV, magazines, and internet because that’s what we aspire to look like. Most of us would kill for perfect bodies like that!
But at the end of the day that’s all it is, it’s a hot body.

Sexy is more like picture #2 because sexy goes far beyond everything listed above. In fact, sexy is more about what blossoms from the inside out. When I think if sexy I think of Marilyn Monroe. I think of a woman who, with all her physical faux pas, can walk into a room naked with her head and shoulders held high. A woman who not just is sexy but feels sexy. A woman who can say, “This is me, this is my body, and I love it!” Even if some days she hates it, sexy comes with a sense of pride.

Yes, we all would love to look like the Angels in picture #1. We’d all love to have perky breasts and rock any bikini we want. But for most of us, we’ll never never get there. Food should not feel like a guilty pleasure (unless of course you are over0-indulging in it!). We should not feel the need to pass up a great dessert or count calories on every meal.

Don’t do what you think is going to make you beautiful, do what you need to do to feel beautiful, to feel sexy. Don’t try to build yourself into something you’re not. You’re living in the skin you’re in, so work with it and make it work. Confidence is sexy!

~Tanya~

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Merry F&%$#@! Christmas!

Before you go ahead and think, “Oh my, someone has lost the Christmas Spirit already!”…I just want to point out that I’m using the “F” word wisely in this post, as it stands for “Frugal” (count the letters).

Last year we weren’t able to go all out on Christmas so I decided to go ahead and go as frugal, as cheap, and as free as I could. It didn’t go exactly as I had hoped but I got some wicked good deals after spending a few days looking around online.

This year I decided to go ALL out and try to make gifts for the boys. I came across some brilliant ideas and would like to share them since not everyone has Pinterest! This is all, of course, for those moms/parents out there with young kids who don’t care if they get a box or a used toy. For those people who are happy with a small gidt that they know you didn’t have to pay for. Just throwing out ideas here!

1. Cardboard Boxes

So here is a link to a site where you can find a bunch of ideas for uses with cardboard boxes (for kids). Everything from forts, to playhouses, to cars, to mazes!

Cardboard Fun!

2. Homemade Gifts For Kids

Some of these require a bit of money to be spent in order to make the project but it’s still a lot of fun!

Homemade Gifts for Kids

3. Kid Stuff

This is the link to my Pinterest board “Kid Stuff”. I have a few different cute ideas there as well!

Fun For The Kids!

This year I also posted an AD on my local buy/sell/trade sites asking parents if they’d like to donate any toys to my kids. Anything, could even be missing pieces or a little broken. I know this sounds very cheap but a lot of things can be re-polished or fixed up and to tell you the truth my boys aren’t going to care as long as it is a toy they have never seen before. I am lucky that they are still at that age! I just posted that AD today and already had one gentleman tell me he had some toys he could donate to them. So that is also an idea if you can find a local buy/sell and don’t mind traveling to get the stuff!

Another thing I did last year, because I collect points anyway I can, is I cashed in on our Pampers points and Airmiles and got free stuff that way. I also went to VistaPrint as they have many free things and all you have to pay for is the shipping. There’s a few other sites I found free stuff on. Like hats, clothes, calendars. If you look, it’s there.

I also always try to find alternatives. So while kids are now getting leapPads or Tablets of sorts, I know my kids are young enough to enjoy the old school Gameboys. EBay is a GREAT source for that stuff. My boys are also INDULGED with SpongeBob and I found a number of SpongeBob items on eBay that were $5 or under and inc. shipping costs. So it’s all about checking things out, seeing what’s around and what you can afford. I am lucky that in PEI people are pretty generous too, means my kids will get a great Christmas this year even if they aren’t getting all the new toys.

Food

The holidays are also a time for family to get together and eat and drink. Try and look for discounted items at the supermarket, liquor on sale, and frozen foods that will keep. Another option (my fave) is a potluck. Everyone can bring something. This saves you having to cook up a storm, it adds variety, and people always love to feel included. They can make something or pick something up…and this way they can also choose the foods they love and share them.

Hope I was some sorta help!

That’s all I got for now!
~Tanya~

I leave you with this cute idea for homemade stockings made from an old sweater!

(Instructions)

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Meaning Of Life…In My Perspective…

First off, I want to say I am not impressed with my blog lately as it won’t let me post pictures in proportion as it used to. I guess something changed and to keep it stress free I have to post the picture at the bottom. It is rather annoying but I will proceed!

So, as life would have it, things have been changing in my life a lot this year! I won’t get into details but 2012 has been the year I’ve had to sit back and visualize life, my life, and all the little details of it. Questions like, what’s my life plan? and Am I happy?

I tried going on Google to find one sole image or quote that explained a very positive view of the all-over meaning of life. There are lots of good finds but then I realized there isn’t just one answer and that’s because we all have different answers. It doesn’t make any of them true or not true, it simply states our own views on how we see life. So I would like to share some of my views on my perspective on my life and it’s meaning.

First, I believe it’s so crucial to be happy. And not to just be happy with stuff, but with everything. To find the good in the bad. To take every day one step at a time. And as of recently, to look for all the things I am grateful for in a 24 hour period. I believe [now] happiness can be found by simply reprogramming the brain to focus on positive things and leave behind anything that isn’t positive. After all, the brain can only hold so much memory, like a computer, so I must choose what it stores up there and I choose to keep the happy thoughts because they fuel my day!

Secondly, the people we choose to let into our lives, the people we choose to walk with/behind/in front of. The people we choose to love and the ones we let love us back. No one likes to go on a journey alone as it can get pretty lonely after awhile. So I believe having good people by your side and good examples to follow are also very important!

I think Greed and money go hand in hand and I think they are one of the TOP reasons life loses it’s quality. Greed, money, & power are the keys to losing everything that really matters and they cause us to lose focus the same way a drunk man loses his keys. I think it’s important to stay humble and to understand that every path is different and every person is different and just because we don’t all share the same views or walk the same path doesn’t mean we can’t unite and live in harmony.

Food! I believe food is important! As is wine πŸ˜‰ But food is an art and it’s something that brings unity and harmony and brings people together. Not only at holidays but on any occasion. I used to go to church and sit through an entire sermon because there was a potluck afterwards. Food is very powerful! It is a road that can lead to beautiful friendships and start fantastic traditions. I could go on and on but I think we all get the point! Moderation is key as is quality. But enjoy food! Just because Jennifer Anniston weighs 90 lbs wet doesn’t mean we have to ban food from our lives! If you want a bite of that cupcake, take a damn bite!

When I decided to walk away from religion I felt a little lost, as I have been religious my whole life. So I began searching and trying to find an answer, something that made sense to me. After a long MSN (remember those days before Facebook!) conversation with a friend I realized that it all boils down to love. Loving others, loving ourselves, and welcoming love. Loving what we have, loving everything around us. Because if we can do that, if we can love and be loved, it all comes back to being happy and like I said, happiness is the fuel to my life!

There are so many other things, I could go on and on. I see life as this giant canvas that some of us choose to paint carefully whereas some of us choose to fingerpaint or even just throw paint on the canvas and rub it around until we have a spectacular ambiance of colors that awaken our souls! Life is not just one things, it’s many things to many people. But what I am learning for myself this year (as it comes to an end) is that I have the ability to put my life together the way I want to. And this year has given me so many reasons to just be happy with all that I have. Great friends, great kids, a great boyfriend, and NOTHING beats the day I found out my mammogram was clear! πŸ™‚ So many reasons to put the shitty stuff aside and keep a smile not only on my face but in my heart. That’s what life means to me…at least this year πŸ˜‰

~Tanya~

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The Hardest Part Of Raising Kids…

The other day I lied to my little boy. I said, “Stop it, or else…” But I truly had no idea what “or else” meant. I had no intentions of anything and had he continued doing what he was doing I think I would have been dumbfounded. There are times, too, in which I lie and tell him I will give him a cookie when I really don’t have any with me, it’s just a con to get him to listen to me. Many a times I lie but I know that as my kids get older I will want them to be honest with me. I know there’ll be times they have to lie about certain things and we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, but I want them to be honest with me.

This got me to thinking about the way I treat my kids and the way they treat me. I am the mother, I am half responsible for providing food & shelter. I make sure they eat, sleep, and stay happy. I put their needs in front of mine. But often that is not enough. I want my kids to respect me but often I don’t give them the same treatment. How I treat them is not always the way I would want them to treat me.

Today, like other days here and there, I started the day completely stressed out. I cleaned for 3 hours thinking someone was coming to see the house and because of that I was getting super aggravated with the kids. This resulted in them lashing back out at me the way kids their age do (in sneaky not so obvious ways). So far today I have had to clean up yogurt off the carpet, cola off the kitchen floor, and Lewis (knowing he’s NOT suppose to for the 1,000th time) touched the thermostat in the living room putting the heat up so high the heater smelled like fire! All these things, of course, get me even more worked up than I already am/was.

Then I get a call and am reminded from someone who loves me dearly that on the days I am calm, reserved, and relaxed…the kids are as well. And the days I am stressed right out, the kids are as well. Because they feed off my energy.

I cannot ever expect my children to give me the respect I want if I am not giving it back to them in return, or giving it to them first actually. I can’t expect my children to always be honest with me when I lie to them more often than so. I can’t expect them to laugh, dance, smile, and give I am not the prime example of such things. Maybe they’ll learn from others but I am the one they see 24 hours/7 days a week. I am the one they feed off of, learn off of, and they will do, say, and act the same way I do.

There’s so many reasons why raising kids is tough. The lack of sleep for example! But I think in my eyes this would be my number 1 hardest. Because while I am dealing with so many other things in life, they are trying to simply be children. And sometimes I forget what that’s like and I feel like relating to them is impossible.
I don’t know who or what ever made us adults forget about childhood but at some point in life it’s stolen from us and as parents I think we have to work at just letting things go (like bills and work stress, etc) and simply being the kind of person we’d like our kids to be.

~Tanya~

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