Friday, September 10, 2010

Funny thing about these laundromats out here

Current location: Chester, CA

I discovered something that I didn't think was possible, or at least not prevelant. The laundromats in this part of the country actually expand clothes instead of shrinking them!

Before we left our stix n brix, our clothes continually shrank. C'mon, I know you all know what I'm talking about. You buy a new pair of pants and they fit first. But before you know it they're a little snug and eventually you reach a point where they're either no longer comfortable or they look terrible on you. Then you have to go buy a new pair, but you go up in size thinking that that will account for the magical shrinking problem. But sooner or later, the same thing begins happening. The only conclusion that I could reach was that it was all due to the washers and dryers. It certainly couldn't be me gaining weight!

This summer we've experienced an amazing phenomenon. ALL of our pants and shorts have become loose and some are downright uncomfortable to wear because they are too big! Isn't that ironic??

About mid-summer I had another suprise. I can now fit into a pair of shorts which were once my favorites. I haven't been able to wear them for probably 3 or 4 years. Tracy is about a size smaller than me so when I outgrew a pair of shorts (my pants were too long for her), I would hand them down to her. Her wardrobe grew quickly as mine shrunk. Now, much to her dismay, I am starting to steal them back!

We haven't weighed ourselves - I try not to get too hung up on numbers. I prefer to go by feel - so we don't know how much we've lost, but it feels good. The downside is that we don't have a very large budget for clothes, but we're going to have to replenish a few pair of jeans. At least we don't need much.

Success in such a short amount of time is astonishing, especially since we didn't even try. We didn't go on any diets, nor did we really watch what we ate. But I think we can attribute the difference to 2 things: a more active lifestyle. and a lack of convenience foods.

On the first point, we are most definitely more active. Although we haven't worked as much grounds work as we thought we would, we're also not sitting behind a desk all day. Throughout the summer we averaged about 10 hours a week on grounds; the rest of our shifts were in the store. But even when we're in the store, we're on our feet all day and moving about. I don't know of any formal statistics, but I'm sure you burn a lot more calories simply by standing instead of sitting. Add to this that Hunter no longer has a fenced yard where we can just let him out. So he requires walks, at least 2 a day if he has his way. Each of those walks is generally at least a mile, sometimes upwards of 3 or 4 miles.

Although the exercise is great and we feel better because of it, I really believe that our weight loss is as much due to my second point, lack of convenience foods. In our prior life, we ate out a lot. And I mean a lot. I would go out for lunch at least 2 or 3 times a week. I used the excuse that I needed an escape from the office, but I also know that I am an emotional eater. I was unhappy at work, so I would sell myself that a delicous lunch prepared by someone else would make me feel better. It rarely did, but I continued the trend anyway. After working all day and coming home emotionally drained, neither of us felt like cooking. Living in the suburbs of a large city, there were a lot of (too many) restaurants nearby, many of which we passed on the way home. The sight of a sign, or a billboard, implanted the idea of eating out into your brain. You're hungry and you're tired and what better idea than eating out. So we did, at least a few nights a week. The problem with eating out, as I'm sure you all know, is portion control. One restaurant serving is frequently 2, 3 or more times the recommended portion size. But we've been accustomed to big servings and we have a habit of eating what's in front of us. Although we frequently shared meals or took leftovers home, I have no doubt that I was ingesting more calories than I could burn.

Nowadays, we rarely leave the campground on our working days. We do venture out on our days off, which usually includes one meal out. The restaurants in and around Chester are not all that tempting, and a bit on the expensive side, but we have found a few favorites. Where we used to average 3 or 4 days out a week, we now average 1, and that is either for lunch OR dinner, not both. Needless to say, this helps our budget as much as it does our waistlines. And you know, I really don't miss eating out. More often than not, we appreciate our own cooking much more than someone else's.

One of my original goals of this new lifestyle was to be more fit. I still couldn't run a marathon (nor do I want to) or bike a mountain pass (not sure I really want to do that either), but we're definitely headed in the right direction. Now if we can just manage not to backtrack during the winter!


  1. Congratulations! I wish I could say the same after a year of campground hosting! But I know there is hope. Come meet Bonnie and Butterfly when you have a minute.

  2. Good for you! I guess we don't need to send any leftovers your way!

    Stay Safe

  3. Congratulations girls. I think you are right about the eating out stuff. A few years ago I started having a salad and bottle of water for lunch instead of restaurant food or fast food. That was the only change I made in my diet or habits. I went from 235 to 208 in 3 months. Additional exercise probably helped y'all but I don't want to send my body into a state of shock.

  4. Good for you! I'm still using the defective washer and dryer.

  5. We agree with you about numbers not being as important as how you feel. Right now, we feel a bit a blimp. Yep, we have that same "defective" washer/dryer.


  6. Way to go! We've only been gone a couple weeks and we've also noticed we don't eat out as much and we are definitely more active. Hope we have the same results. Keep up the lifestyle changes.

  7. Glad you found those defective washer/dryers, they do such a better job. All kidding aside, I think you are right about the convenience foods, although your lifestyle has also changed. You are more active and out in a more natural environment. All that is GOOD!
    Take care and be safe.
    Mike & Gerri

  8. I'm thinking it's the dog's fault! :)

  9. Thank you guys for following A Camp Host Housewife's Meanderings: An RV Adventure. I hope you enjoy the journey with us!

  10. You've really changed your lifestyle for the better in many ways, and the weight loss is one of them. Taking the dog out, I had to laugh. Lots of people take 'em out,stand there, wait till he goes, then back in the house. If you're walking 1 to 3 miles or more each day, THAT'S more than taking the dog out. And that's a decision you're making that's good for you guys and the dog. Good Job!

  11. I love your blog. Well done! I live, work, play, travel in my old motorhome with a puppy dog I rescued.

    I love dining in and rarely ever dine out. My health has improved dramatically. I'm not getting all the sugars and chemicals found in convenience foods. You'd be surprised how much restarants rely on sugars and sweeteners to make their food appear appetizing.

    I use lots of herbs and spices on fresh honest to goodness produce and what a huge difference in both my wieght and health.

    I'm on a teeny tiny budget, so I shop for my clothes at Goodwill. I'm super picky, but still my modest wardrobe is full of fun things to wear that I enjoy. The price is right no doubt, sometimes even brand new items turn up at Goodwill.

    It takes patience to pick through all the clothes looking for your size (I carry a tape measure with me since sizing seems all over the place anyhow) then if I like the outfit, I try it on. If it fits well, has no defects, and I truly like it, then I buy it.

    Sometimes after an hour of picking through stuff, I come up empty handed and that's fine too. But when I see a Goodwill, I generally pull over and go check it out. I might only find one or two things at a time, but that's fine too. Since my motorhome is small, I go for quality over quanity.

    Many people comment on my nice clothes, I usually just smile and graciously say thank you! I bet they would be shocked and surprised I got it at Goodwill.

    So while you are changing sizes, check out Goodwill and other thrift shops. You might be surprised at what you find.

    Chech out my blog and misadventures if you get a chance at DearMissMermaid.Com