Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Friend Makin' Mondays: Grocery Store

This is a post related to All the Weigh.

1. Do you make a list when you go grocery shopping? Do you stick to it? Lately I have because I've been couponing! I saved about 90% the last time I went shopping. I try to make a list of staples I need to restock at least because I never remember once I'm at the store.

2. Do you buy more groceries when you're hungry? Absolutely. That's also part of the reason I make a list. If I have a physical list, I tend to stick to it better than simply having a mental list.

3. Coupons. Use 'em? Like I mentioned, yes, I really do. One of my favorite sites is Southern Savers. She matches the weekly grocery ads with coupons available online or from the last several Sunday inserts. It lets me save without having to spend several hours a week trying to find deals.

4. Have you ever complained to the manager of your grocery store? Not that I recall. I almost did once because I was aggravated, but they fixed the problem pretty quickly.

5. Do you like to buy groceries at huge chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target? Or do you shop exclusively at food stores? I shop where the deals are, and those can even be found at places like CVS or Walgreens. I avoid Wal-mart like the plague because of their questionable business ethics, but I love shopping at Target! Kroger is by far my favorite place to grocery shop, though.

6. How much time do you spend reading labels in the grocery store? Not too much time. I might scan for caloric content and breeze through the ingredients list, but I usually purchase the same items time and time again.

7. Do you push your own grocery cart to the car and return it? Of course, unless I have so few items that I don't need a buggy.

8. What is the one food item you always buy at the grocery store that you must have in the kitchen? Hmm...there aren't many. I try to always have milk, eggs, cheese, pasta, and butter on hand because I can do so much with those few items.

9. Do you enjoy grocery shopping? Sometimes. If I know that I'm getting a fantastic deal, it's really enjoyable. I try to go at times when the store isn't packed so that I don't become too anxious with massive crowds. If I miscalculate my travel time and get stuck in traffic or in a crowded store, it's not so fun.

10. How often do you shop for groceries? Usually once a week, unless a super deal arises that I have to take advantage of on a certain day. If I run out of milk or eggs, I might stop by in the middle of the week, too. Generally, I grocery shop on Friday mornings.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fantastic Trainers

From "amused - aroused to mirth"

Because I wrote such a negative post, I felt it's only fair to make a positive one. Overall, I adore this program. The best part of the program is my trainer, Annie.

Annie is phenomenal. She is incredibly helpful and so encouraging. Some people think of fitness trainers as being overwhelmingly aggressive and off-putting yet knowledgeable. With Annie, I get all the knowledge and none of the nasty. It's great!

Before this program, I didn't really work out. Sure, I'd do yoga once in a while or dance the night away, but I didn't lift weights or hit the gym. Therefore, I didn't know how my body would react all the time. Annie made it clear that we needed to tell her if we were ever uncomfortable or feeling pain beyond the normal strain of working out. I never felt embarrassed or awkward expressing discomfort because she was accommodating. As it turns out, I have some sort of wrist problem. Annie kept that in mind and started adjusting my workouts immediately to make sure I didn't cause serious injure.

Also, she encourages when she's off the clock! This is our second "accountability week," a time when we're supposed to let her know whenever we work out. I sent her a text earlier this evening to let her know that I'd gotten my cardio with an extended bike ride home. She responded almost immediately with "Good girl. Super proud." That means a lot to me. I like knowing that I'm not in this alone and that she will support me for doing the best that I can.

UKY Fitness Trainers: you're doing it right!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Program Suggestions

From "exasperate - to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely"

As you may know, I started this to track the progress of my health and fitness through the University of Kentucky's Time to Change Weight Loss Program. I fully intend to send the URL for this blog to the program director at the end of the program, but I will continue after that.

I am incredibly tired of walking to the gym in adverse weather conditions. It's exhausting! For the unacquainted, Lexington has some monstrous wind; it's much more windy here than it was in Charleston, WV. Both umbrellas I brought when I moved here have snapped like twigs with the blustery weather. Why do I have to walk to the gym? Here's the skinny.

Although I'm a grad student, I don't have a GA position, so I don't get an employee parking pass (the only way to park near the gym). Even if I did have a graduate assistantship, I still wouldn't have an employee parking pass. I live in graduate housing, and at the University of Kentucky that means that I can only have a residential parking pass for only my housing parking lot. (By the way, I still have to pay the full price of a UK parking pass even though I can only use it to park in the apartment where I also pay UK rent.) The only exercise times are during the day between 7am and 3pm. Because I do have some UK parking pass--as most students have--I can park in the employee lot. However, I can only park there after 3:30pm, so even if I had a time later than my 9am session, I still wouldn't be able to park over there. The other option from walking is taking the campus bus. Because of where I live, I would have to do a bus change, and it would take about an hour to get there. It seems very silly to hop two buses and waste an hour when I can walk there in half an hour. Plus, the earliest sessions wouldn't have the option of the bus because they don't start running until 7am.

I can see two ways to correct this issue. One, offer evening sessions. This way, students who have work and/or day classes will have a chance to participate. My group only has two students, so I'm sure we could've taken another two or three easily. The Time to Change programmers decided not to have anything between 4pm and 8pm due to the overwhelming popularity of the gym during that time, which I completely respect. Still, with a gym that's open until midnight, an 8pm or even 9pm session wouldn't be totally unreasonable. The second solution would be to offer the program in the fall. Strangely, the spring semester has been far more uncomfortable than the fall. September to December is nicer in central Appalachia than January to April (especially lately with the horrible, horrible winters). If some of us have to walk or bike anyway, it would be more pleasant in nicer weather. I'm not opposed to walking; if I were, I wouldn't be in a fitness program! Still, it's dangerous trying to navigate the streets of Lexington when it's snowing and the sidewalks are covered in ice.

At any rate, those are my suggestions to improve the program: 1) offer some evening classes, and 2) try the program in the fall semester. Even if nothing comes of this, I feel better having said my piece.