Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Lesson in Self Discipline


I fought off both the urge for unnecessary expenses and unnecessary calories last night. Knowing I would I would have a lengthy wait from the time I arrived in town and when the bus would pull in so I could pick up my daughter, I wanted nothing more than to drive through the McDonald's drive through and grab a double cheeseburger and a strawberry shake. I had a little twinge of hunger, and passed numerous signs taunting me on drive. I had been good calorie wise, sort of all day, though not frugal. As show choirs are a fundraiser for the host school, I felt obliged to have some of my meals there but opted for healthier options like a smoothie with fruit and yogurt, veggies and hummus, and fresh fruit for sort f a brunch. More veggies and humus, and a box of popcorn as I could not resist the smell, were my dinner. I drank lots of water, refilling my own water bottle. 

When I got the text that they had just gotten on the road, and it would be another 45 minutes, I thought, "Sod it!" and actually drove the couple blocks to the McDonalds.  Some common sense kicked in, and I ended up driving right back out again. It would be 30 minutes round trip to drive home and back so not worth the time or gas. To kill time and as I did need to pick up a couple things, I ran into the Walmart next to the school. These were sensible things like, vinegar for some stubborn rust stains in the toilet bowl, and a loaf of bread. I bought nothing else, and went back to my spot in the lot, checking and returning a few late e-mails and played on Facebook. I went to bed  glad I neither spent the money, nor had fat and sugar laden food in my stomach. 

Here's my lesson. Saving money and losing weight require the same tenacity to be successful, and often the efforts are connected. Both require self discipline to not take the immediate pleasure, instead foregoing the treat of the moment, whether that be the strawberry shake, new clothes, or a pretty pair of earrings, for something more important and long lasting. Planned rewards are more appreciated. I'll thank myself for skipping the 11:30 cheeseburger when I finally decide to buy some new clothes and I feel a smidge more confident. I'll be glad the $6.00 stayed in my wallet this, and dozens of additional times, when I am strolling along a foreign street and not sweating the cost of stopping for a cup of coffee at a little European cafe.

Life is busy, hectic and expensive right now with an extremely active kid in high school. I'm running regularly to get her where she needs to be and money seems to pour some weeks from the checkbook. I love it though, while knowing I need both the energy and the money to keep up with the life we have right now. I also need to prepare for the life we want as empty nesters. It's hard stuff not acting in the moment when temptation is everywhere, and some days I completely miss the mark. Self discipline-a life lesson I need to continue to hone everyday.

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