Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bear with me here...

I'm in the process of dusting off my limited HTML skills and learning some new ones while I fix up the old blog template. It'll probably look different today than it does tomorrow, and things will definitely be moving around.

In the end, though, it'll be worth it, so I hope you stick around!

The One Constant in my Life - Weight Loss

If you want to look young and thin, hang around old fat people. – Jim Eason

When I was pregnant, I ate healthier than I’ve ever eaten in my entire life – and amazingly, it was easy! Knowing that the development of that little life was totally dependent on what I put (or didn’t put) into my body made passing up the Twinkies and choosing the banana a no-brainer. Sure, I slipped up every once in awhile, and during the final month of my pregnancy I may have had a McDonald’s chocolate milkshake every single day…but then I’d come home and have salmon, brown rice and green beans for dinner.


I gained 29 pounds with Busy, and within two weeks after delivering her I’d lost all but five of those pounds. In the next few weeks I lost those last five pounds, then five more, and even a few more. Unfortunately, my eating habits quickly returned to pre-pregnancy mode once I stopped exclusively breastfeeding, and those extra pounds I lost somehow got packed back on.

Before I got pregnant I was trying to lose weight, mostly to get my body ready for pregnancy, but also because I was heavier than I’d ever been. While I was also happier than I’d ever been, I was tired of the extra weight and wanted it gone. Now that I have a child, I want it gone more than ever, mainly because I want to be able to keep up with her when she’s an active toddler (and beyond). My secret reason, though, is this – when summer rolls around Busy will be nearing one year of age, which is the perfect time to start swimming lessons with some Mommy & Me swim time. I LOVE to swim, and have always loved it. However, I avoid pools like the plague, because I am so incredibly embarrassed to be seen in a swimsuit.

I’ve felt this way since high school, which is ridiculous because I look back now and I looked great in high school (I’ve always had curves, but back then they were good curves, not fat rolls). I have always looked forward to the day that I could take my kids swimming, and there is no way I’m going to ruin this chance to enjoy the pool with my first born because I’m mortified to be seen in a swim suit.

Because I now have a goal in mind, I am a woman on a mission. I have a pantry and refrigerator full of healthy food (not to mention two freezers in the garage – seriously), a lunchbox filled with veggies, fruits, and lean proteins at my desk, and a water bottle ready and waiting.

I WILL LOSE WEIGHT.

The healthy way, so it stays off and does not come back. I’m putting it up here on my blog so that I will be held accountable to you, Blog Land, and so that I can share my journey with anyone who chooses to read it. In order to be sure I keep it up, I will state my starting weight, keep track of what I’ve lost, and hopefully reach my goal weight with the world watching.

So here goes. I weigh….

Nope, I can’t do it. I can’t share the number. I know numbers on a scale don’t mean anything in the real world, but really they do. I know you won’t judge me Blog Land, but it’s too scary. Let’s just say, it’s a big number. Real big. Three big numbers, actually, which add up to a prime number.

Maybe someday, when I’ve lost the weight, I’ll share it with you. Maybe that’ll motivate others. But for now I’m keeping it to myself!

Now, I have to get back to munching on my green beans while trying not to think about Twinkies. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Oh Costco, how I've [Not] Missed Thee...

I have an uncle who absolutely loves Costco. We joke that everything he buys is from Costco, because really, about 98% of what he buys actually comes from Costco (the other 2% comes from Home Depot). He even has a "Costco Room" in his house (okay, it's a very large pantry in his very large laundry room, but to us, it'll always be his Costco Room).

I, on the other hand, loathe Costco. I haven't been to Costco in years.

Unfortunately, now that I have a baby, I find myself needing to go to Costco again. I avoided Costco for the first three months of Elizabeth's life, but after I needed to start supplementing her on formula, I started buying Kirkland brand formula because a) it's super cheap and b) it's actually a highly recommended brand. Several moms I know also love the Kirkland brand diapers, and since I was buying formula at Costco, I decided to start buying their diapers (I'm totally a Pampers mom - I LOVE Pampers Swaddlers and recommend them to everyone - but they are incredibly expensive, and I'm trying to recommit to saving money wherever I can. Although the Kirkland brand diapers are pretty great, I'll admit I miss Pampers. (Moms, I have a post I'm working on for baby items I recommend (because I know you all want my opinion), and we'll talk diapers...let me just say now AVOID HUGGIES AT ALL COSTS. That's it for now.)

Don't get me wrong - Costco has some great stuff, and they do have good deals. I used to shop at Costco each month, buying paper towels, toilet paper, soda, chicken...the list went on and on. Unfortunately, that was the problem - the list was long and I never left Costco without spending $100-$200. After Costco, I'd head to the grocery store for "big shopping" and spend another $100; add to that the money I'd spend picking up "just one thing" multiple times a week, plus buying produce and milk throughout the month, and I was spending over $500 each month on food and household items. That might not be too bad - except that there were only two of us!

One problem I found with Costco is that I often found better prices at stores like Winco and Wal-Mart. Okay, I don't always like going to those stores, either, but sometimes the savings were significant. Plus, I already had to go there, so it became easier to make just one trip and not another trip to Costco.

Another problem I had with Costco were the lines and the PEOPLE! The Costco nearest to my house (both the one near my house when I lived downtown, and the one near my house now), are always packed - always. Minutes before they open until minutes before they close, the parking lot is full and cars are driving around, blocking lanes because they're waiting to get that perfect front spot.

I hate all these people.

Why? They're rude. I love people, but I love people who are sociable and have manners. People at Costco do not have manners. Take today for an example. I've been going to a Costco a little ways from my house because it's not as busy as the one near my house; today, however, I made a quick run to the one near my house because I had the opportunity to go baby free. I got a parking space fairly close to the front of the store (amazing), and went in to get my items. I had three items, count 'em, THREE: a set of storage boxes and two cans of formula. I went to the front of the store to get in line, and....crap. 90% of the check stands were open, and they all had a line of at least three people, if not more. I found a line with two people and headed over. Just as I pulled up, a young punk (he was probably 25 or so, which is younger than me so therefore young punk) pulls up to the same line. We literally arrived at the exact same time. Now, I had three items...he had two carts! If I were in his shoes, I totally would have let me go first. Three items, come on, it's not going to take long to check out. Did he let me go first?

Of course not.

No, he pretended not to see me, so I moseyed back to another line. Jackass. Then the line I was in didn't move at all, so he and his two carts ended up checking out before I even got my items up on the conveyor belt.

You've got to love the people who check your receipt when you leave, too. I've always wondered what they're actually looking for when they study your receipt with a highlighter in their hand - are they actually looking at each item I have and checking to see if it's in the cart? Are they making sure I haven't smuggled a flat screen tv under my 10 lb. bag of onions? I think they're just faking it, honestly.

Today, my suspicions were confirmed.

In front of me was a couple who had a cart full of items. The husband was pushing the cart, and the wife had the receipt. A Costco employee took the receipt and began scanning it (all important highlighter in hand). She looked at it for quite a while...and while she was looking, the husband was pushing the cart right out the door! I don't think she looked once looked at anything in the cart, because she sure didn't seem to notice the husband (and the cart) were halfway to the car by the time she gave the receipt back to the wife!

So there you go, my frustration with Costco. Maybe you love them, maybe you don't. Either way, thanks for letting me vent about them a bit!