Indulgence, Synonyms: luxury, extravagance, pleasure, treat

6 Jun
This blog is about self-control and goal setting. I realize that I, like everyone else, have two options. I can make steps towards change and goals, or I can continue to live life as I have been, an indulgent mess of reckless spending and consuming. As much as I talk/think/obsess about losing weight and getting out of debt, year after year, the numbers on the scale and in the bank account are relatively constant. Why? Because I have no self-control and a lack of direction. I have not set any goals or set myself up to succeed at these enormous tasks in any way. I hope that this blog will keep me accountable, to myself first and foremost. I am unsure how any blog gets readers/followers, so I won’t worry about that right now.
Although not tied to a weight loss or debt control goal, I will also be chronicalling my marathon training. This is just another example of poor self-control and goal setting that beat me two years ago, when I stupidly ran a marathon for which I wasn’t properly trained. I had plenty of time to do it, but like a running coach once said to me, “You can’t fake a marathon.” It’s not an undergraduate final exam – you can’t just cram the night before. It takes real commitment and self-control, and months of it.
I feel ahead of the curve this time. I have deadlines set, and I’m already underway on the marathon training. The marathon is scheduled for October 16th, in San Francisco. It’s the Nike Women’s Marathon, the same one I attempted two years ago. I say “attempted” not because I didn’t finish – I did – but because I was crying at mile 20 and walked, at the snail’s pace I could muster, the last excruciating 6.2 miles. Not exactly how I imagined the finish of my first marathon! It wasn’t because I was so excited that I outdid myself in the beginning of the race, either. It was because I had never run more than 13.1 miles at once. When I signed up for the race, 6 months prior, I did intend on training properly, up to the standard 20 or 22 miles. I just never had a plan to do so, so it didn’t get done.
Today, more than 4 months before this marathon, I am on track with a custom training plan that I am actually following! I still haven’t run more than 13.1 miles, but only because the plan hasn’t called for such ambitious long runs yet.
So this leads into the weight loss/management situation. One might think that training for a marathon would lead to pretty automatic weight loss. Well, one might think incorrectly. Many people training for a marathon overestimate the number of calories they’re burning while training, and so they eat too much. I don’t think this is my problem. I think my problem is figuring out how to fuel my body properly to support my training. It’s no longer ok to consume empty calories and call it quits when I’ve reached my limit for the day (as if I’ve ever called it quits, or set “limits”). I have to think about fueling my body so that I’m not hungry on long run days, because hunger is an unmanageable feeling for me. When I’m hungry, I eat so quickly, there’s no telling what I could consume in the time it takes me to feel full again.
For the purposes of this blog and my committment to my weight loss/management, I am not going to focus on counting calories, and I’m not going to set weight loss goals in the form of pounds lost. I’m going to focus on eating healthy, whole, unprocessed foods, and sticking to my training so that I can finish the marathon season without crying mid-race. I do think it’s necessary for me to lose weight, though. It can’t be good to put my knees through the pain and stress of the mileage needed to do this race at the weight I’m at now (which, according to my BMI, is clinically referred to as “obese”).
And finally, my financial goals! My end date for this is August of 2012. I picked this because it is when I am no longer financially obligated to pay back my tuition reimbursement from my current company, and also when I am no longer financially obligated to pay the government back for the first time homebuyer tax credit. In August, I will be free of any committments and will be able to pursue my dreams!!! Whatever those may be. I can sell my condo and move to FL, or Sweden, or Hawaii and start a cupcakery on the beach, if I want to! The world will be my oyster – if I don’t have the credit card/student loan debt and $400 in my savings account problem hanging over my head.

One Response to “Indulgence, Synonyms: luxury, extravagance, pleasure, treat”

  1. Willow Finishing Course June 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    I am all about learning about personal finance. I don’t know how other people do it, but I automatically funnel money from my checking account into a savings account and an investment account at the end of every month. I don’t have to think about it and it’s getting done. I’m all squeeful that you’re getting started. =)

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