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Tax Season is NO Excuse!!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

As a newly-minted CPA, this is my first tax season. My plan since I switched from audit to tax last May was to get a system firmly in place well ahead of tax season so that the insanity that is a CPA office from February to April wouldn't derail me.

Obviously, based on my recent (non) weight loss, that system is not in place. I know lots of tax CPA's who just expect that they will gain 10-20 pounds during tax season and plan to make up for it the rest of the year. Except most of them don't manage to lose in May - December everything they gained in January - April.

That's not going to be me. I refuse to use tax season as an excuse to do the things that got me to 270 pounds! Yes, I will be working 50ish hours per week in the office and then up to another 10 from home. Yes, I will usually not pull into my driveway until 7:30 - 8:00 in the evening. But none of that means that I have to give myself permission to snack on junk and fast food for 10 hours - or to camp out on the couch with another meal of junk/fast food from the time I get home until I finally roll myself to bed.

I'm not going to expect myself to be perfect - I don't even manage that outside of tax season when I only work 4 days/week. But I am going to do better than just give in to the stress and use it as an excuse to reinforce my bad habits.

To that end, I have set up a few "Tax Season Treats" to help me get through the Season without a feedbag of Doritos wrapped around my face.

1. I don't work Friday's outside of tax season, so getting up each Friday morning is going to be .... let's say 'not fun'. So - each Friday, assuming that I have stayed on plan Monday through Thursday, I will stop on the way to work at Panera, Subway or Dunkin Donuts and treat myself to a yummy breakfast. Panera has a French Toast Bagel Breakfast Sandwich that is absolutely heavenly - 660 calories. At Subway I can get a Egg & Cheese Omelet Flatbread sandwich with bacon - 485 calories. Finally, Dunkin Donuts has a Egg White Turkey Sausage Wake-Up Wrap - 150 calories. They look small, so I can have 2 for 300 calories.

2. Bottled Diet Mountain Dew - I drink waaaay too much diet soda. There is no need for argument or lectures - I know and it's not up for discussion. Anyhoo- even though I love Diet Mountain Dew (particularly in the bottle), buying Coke Zero by the case is a much more cost effective way to fuel my soda habit. So bottled Mountain Dew is a fairly rare treat. All this to say - during tax season I am going to keep my fridge stocked with 12 oz bottles of Diet Dew. I am only allowed 2 per day at most, which provides a nice pick-me-up in the early afternoon and/or early evening.

I'm also going to continue with my year-round strategies that work well when I stick to them - minimal (at most) eating lunch out, alternate bottles of water with soda, a drawer of 100-calorie pack yummies, and mini-goal rewards every 10 pounds or so.

So... that's the plan. If you think of additional treats/rewards (relatively inexpensive) I could add to help me stay on track during the Season, all suggestions would be welcome.
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLGIRL1234 2/23/2011 9:07PM

    I would imagine its hard being a CPA during tax time AND focusing on your diet and exercise. Way to go on making a commitment to keep yourself in line this time around.

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TBID227 2/10/2011 12:55PM

    Sounds like you have a great plan! I know what also helps me, besides working in a super cool office, is that we have oranges, apples, nuts, and peanut butter crackers stocked by my boss, we are also adding in string cheese this next shopping run. One thing my boss and I do is that before we put something other than what is listed above into our mouths, we tell each other. Makes you really think about what you are eating! I also prep everything on Sundays. Our only day off during tax season. I prep all my veg for the week, it is then in individual bags that can be taken with me for the rest of the week. Has been working out great since Oct/Nov. I also do meal planning and write it down. I find that if I have told myself and prepped for chicken and veg with brown rice on Tuesday, I am more likely to have that than go through a drive through. Also, I bake/grill chicken on Sunday to use throughout the week for my lunch. Again, takes the guess work out of what I am going to have, one less decision to make during this time, best gift to myself! Good luck through your first tax season, it's gonna be fun! Of course, we will talk again in October. The real deadline.

As for rewards, hmmm... A new workout dvd, a new pair of tennis shoes, a new workout outfit, pedi, mani, I try to not reward with food, as it sends me the wrong message, get that new mascara you have been wanting to try, massage, new songs, dvd you have been wanting. Just some suggestions. Hopefully you can splurge a bit with all the overtime you will be working!

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