Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lent Begins

Several years ago, I started observing the season of Lent. I won't go into the all the religious significance of the holiday, but the gist of it is that you give something up or deprive yourself of something in recognition of Christ's suffering and deprivation before his crucifixion and resurrection at Easter. I'm sure those more religious than I am can explain it a bit better than that, so if you have more to add, please feel free to comment.

This year, I'd already decided that I would again observe Lent by depriving myself. Some people get confused that I do this since I don't go to church regularly (although regular church attendance does not necessarily correspond to devout belief) and many who do go to church no longer deprive themselves. I can't remember anymore exactly what I gave up . . . either soda or chocolate, but it doesn't really matter what I gave up, just that I decided to give up something that would be significant. When I first decided to give something up, my motivation was twofold. First, I had never observed Lent and wanted to try it out and actually observe something. The United Church has always been quite "laid back" about their observances and formalities so I'd never felt as though I should or I had to. But, I wanted to see what it was like, and if I could use it to focus my spiritual side more. My second reasoning was so I could purify myself of the "junk." It's always been difficult for me to ween myself off things, so going cold turkey seemed like a good method to try. I found that once I had it completely out of my system, I didn't really miss it that much, and was much less likely to indulge even after Lent was over.

My husband, who is not religious, but is spiritual, decided last year (or the year before - I forget) to also join me in my observation of Lent. He was quite impressed with the will power I show over the season and wanted to flex his will power. Plus, he enjoys the health benefits of cutting out bad foods for a time.

This year, we both decided we would again give something up for Lent. The way I always do it, is if I do have an occasional slip, instead of feeling incredibly guilty or anything like that, I "Buy a Bit of BC Goodness." What I'm referring to is a $2 contribution to the food bank that you can make at most grocery store cashiers, by simply tearing off the little coupon and adding it to your order. Anyway, this year we're both giving up alcohol and I'm also giving up chocolate, cake, 'junk' etc. It'll probably be a great move for our fitness training!

Now, there are certain things that I'm putting on my allowed list from the beginning . . .

1) fizzy o.j. - this is a treat Lance and I sometimes have that involves mixing orange juice with some seven-up. It's much healthier than straight pop is and since we don't drink pop and are giving up alcohol, it will be our indulgent beverage.

2) popcorn - the air popped kind made at home. I'll probably try it without butter and with less salt added.

3)chocolate protein shake - this is part of the training program we follow and I'm not going to spend $40 on a different flavour.

4)chocolate covered protein bars - same kinda deal as above. Besides, I don't think I've ever seen a protein bar that doesn't have some kind of chocolate flavouring/coating.

Since Easter Sunday is the week before we're supposed to run the Sun Run, I don't anticipate any giant binge that week. Maybe a glass of wine with Easter dinner and a small slice of dessert. But, other than that, we'll probably ease the foods back in.

Ok, I could go on a bit more, but I am still at work, so I should get back to it now!

1 comment:

Kim said...

Good luck with Lent this year! I think it's great that you give something to the food bank when you slip up - that's an awesome idea!