Category Archives: Money

Navigating the World of Clothes!

This is a total “First World Problem” type of post and rant, so reader beware!

Losing weight is great, it really is. I feel better about myself, how I look, how I feel, my ability to not wanting to pass out after a quick jaunt around the neighborhood (though jogging/running still isn’t happening for probably around another 100 pounds, seriously), etc. That being said, clothes-shopping is still a bitch.

I’m still big, so I don’t get to shop at the normal stores. I’m happy to have Lane Bryant and Torrid, but sometimes their clothes are just crazy expensive and I don’t feel it’s necessary to pay $30 for a tank top.

And don’t even get me started on Old Navy (okay, I’ve already started, there’s no stopping me). I used to want to give them infinite amounts of high fives for having cute plus-size clothing in-store that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. But then, out of nowhere, they apparently felt that having their plus sizes for women in store was just not working (seriously, where did the love go for all the plus-size ladies, Old Navy?), and they made their Women’s Plus section available online-only.

This is infuriating because hi, I’d like actually try this shit on first before I buy it. Okay sure, you give me “free return shipping” but I don’t really have time in my day or my life for that matter to ship it back to you and wait for you to refund my money. Plus, I’d much rather go through the very quick, “Welp, this makes me look 5 times larger than I actually am” deal while in your dressing rooms versus waiting 9 days for my shit to arrive, only to put it on all excitedly and look in the mirror with a sad look on my face of, “Welp, this is terrible and a waste of money and blah.” I can’t even begin to tell you guys how many ugly oversized sweaters and dresses I’ve now donated (with tags) to Value Village or whoever because of this lameness.

Yet I still shop there. Why? Because their pants, for whatever reason, fit me better than any other place I’ve ever shopped. Granted, this may have a lot to do with the fact that because of my size, I’m limited to where I can actually shop, but yeah, Old Navy pants seem to fit me best (with the exception of a few styles that have just been outright way WAY too large and make me look like I’m wearing MC Hammer pants). So curse you, Old Navy, for being the one store that fits me best when it comes to pants. CURSE YOU!

Anyway, enough with the ON rant. Since I’ve start losing weight, things have been fitting obviously either much looser, or items that were really tight before are now fitting normally or even starting to be a bit looser. Problem is, my hips haven’t lost as much as other parts of my body, like my legs, so my pants now fit nicely in the hip area, but are so so SO baggy in the legs. So much so that I feel like a homeless person with MC Hammer pant-syndrome walking around my office. It’s kind of embarrassing, but at the same time I don’t say much since I’m complaining about something good. It’s hard though when you’re still big and inbetween sizes and want nothing more than to just drop enough weight to be able to wear a smaller size.

Every now and then though? I score with a cute outfit and pants that fit me properly:

Shirts have been a slightly different story. I’ve been losing weight more in my upper body, so I’ve actually gone down a size in all of my work shirts. All items from Old Navy have been a size down, which has been great. No problems in this area for the mostpart, it’s the pants situation that has been kind of a bummer.

Quick side story on the shirt side of things: Recently I donated a TON of clothing that no longer fits me (YAY! It usually used to be because it was too small and I lost hope on ever fitting into the items, but now it’s the opposite!), and as I went to put in one of my argyle sweaters that I wore all the time, I kept one of them. I kept it to remind me of how much I’ve lost since I began this journey, especially on days where I’m just feeling extra fat. I throw that bad Larry on, and realize how much progress I’ve made and give myself an epic high five. This sweater, mind you, used to be a little tight on me, and it is now very tent-like on me.

Target has become an option for me to shop at which is really great. Nice alternative to Old Navy when I just don’t like what they have to offer. My major issue with Target is their plus-size stuff, I’d say 90% of it, is really ugly or just not going to work on me for work. That and I’ve had some huge problems with their sweaters pretty much crapping on all other items of clothing in the dryer, causing me to have to pick of little piece of lint. I guess you get what you pay for it, but it’s still frustrating.

Being plus-size and trying to stay on budget when it comes to business casual-type clothing has proven to be pretty difficult. I don’t want to go and spend $100 on clothing only to have it not fit me in a few months… Hence why I’m trying to be frugal when it comes to buying new stuff. If I had a job where I could wear hoodies and jeans and sneakers, no problem, I’d be golden. But unfortunately, that’s not where I’m at right now and so I continue to struggle.

I suppose this is additional motivation so I can have much more of a variety of places to choose from, but it’s going to be awhile before I get there. For now I have to settle for what I’ve got, try to pick out some non-ugly items while not spending an arm and a leg, knowing that I probably won’t be fitting in those items come next year. It’s exciting, but currently? It can be really frustrating.

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Filed under Money, Weight Loss

KAPOW! I just karate chopped credit card debt in the face.

(This was the best karate chop I could give. Matt thought it could’ve been better.)

I always said when it came to credit cards, I would never get myself into any debt. I didn’t want to end up like my Dad did and have terrible credit; he often reminded me of this to not end up in his shoes. I opened my first card when I was 18 and freshly graduated from high school, just so I could start building credit for the future. I was really good about charging it for small things, and then immediately paying the card off. I wasn’t going to get into any debt, no-sirree, no way, Jose. Well of course that didn’t happen, why? Because life happened.

I moved to Seattle and into an apartment with Matt, and I obviously didn’t have a job. Matt was making absolute crap where he was working, and of course I knew I needed to find a job so we could enjoy our apartment and not live in a cardboard box. I searched daily for a job, had a few interviews here and there, but had a difficult time finding something. It took me 2 months to finally get a job as a barista at a coffee shop. Within those 2 months of unemployment, Matt and I wracked up some credit cards debt while trying to keep ourselves financially afloat. I had around $3,500 in debt between two AMEX cards, Matt with around $3,000. It was scary but I figured if I just made minimum payments, I could manage that and not worry about how long it was going to actually take me to get rid of the debt. I chose to stay ignorant and tried not to think about it.

Throughout the years, I had a few store credit cards here and there, but always paid them off in full because I had these two American Express cards dangling over my head. I never had enough money though to put more than around the minimum payment towards my cards every month. Though I was really on top of making my payments, it still sucked to know I was paying an absurd amount of interest on these cards and I couldn’t do a thing about it.

I eventually transferred one of the AMEX balances over to a Chase card, because they offered 0% interest on transferred balances for a year. I figured I could start paying $100 a month and hopefully chip away at the card. Though I made progress through the 5 years of living out here and making minimum payments, I still owed over $2,200 as of last week. Matt by this point had already paid off his card in full, as we decided that his was first to go due an insane interest rate.

This past weekend, we started discussing money and cards and we came to the decision that we should just pay off my cards in full. All $2,200+ of it. We could afford it, it would save us over $150 monthly in payments (and a lot more in the long run), and it was time to get rid of them.

It was time to get rid of the debt that was sitting over my head for years upon years. The debt I created when I was at a time in my life where I had no experience, I was in a brand new city, trying to figure out what exactly I was going to do for work. Being able to pay off these cards means more than just saving ourselves money. It means I am finally at a place in my life that I am able to afford to be able to get rid of these things hanging over my head, from a time in my life where Matt and I were really struggling. To be able to finally say goodbye to that, to some of the most difficult few months of my life (rejections got old quickly, especially for simple jobs, so it was a pretty defeating experience and gave my self-esteem a swift punch in the face), and to finally feel free from my very own debt… It’s one of the best satisfying thing I’ve done in a long time… and I feel so grown up, too!

So in the past few months, I’ve gotten myself free of credit card debt and I’ve gotten all of my dental work done (that’s something that was hanging over my head for 6 years, another entry for another day for sure). It’s been pretty awesome to be living an overall healthier lifestyle. To finally take steps in the right direction and start to be proactive about lifting these weights off of my shoulder, even if it seems minor like going to the dentist, is actually pretty awesome and I feel like I’m kicking ass and taking names.

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Filed under Adulthood, Money