As Lent begins (last week) a lot of people are giving up certain things during this time. I think the idea of fasting/giving certain items/activities up varies among the participants… some use it for religious reasons, some use it for personal issues/growth, and some are doing it because everyone else is. With the 3rd group probably giving Lent the New Year’s Resolution commitment (good intentions, but short-lived).
I, for one, have not really participated in Lent in many years. This year I decided to change that up. With joining a new church, and trying to be more active, I think it made sense. Justin Rudd, who also runs Long Beach Losers competition, started a 40-Day Challenge. In this challenge, you give up 4 things… which can be as specific as Lo-Carb Monster Energy Drinks… or as a grouping, “Energy Drinks.”
I decided my four things would be:
1) Energy Drinks
2) Soda pop
4) Fast Food (besides Subway)
I have grown accustomed to drinking Lo-Carb Monster as my daily fix, but have since gone about a month without one. I wanted to continue that trend for another 40 days. Although the lack of Monster has then contributed a rise in soda consumption. Needless to say I can’t quite quit the caffeine fix cold-turkey, so I’m using tea, etc. for some daily “pep.”
Chocolate is something that I don’t often crave, but yet seem to enjoy quite a bit. It has been awhile since buying an actual candy bar in the store, but with Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and soon to be Easter, there is usually not a shortage of it around. Funny how when you decide not to eat something, that even though you normally wouldn’t crave that particular food… you soon find your mouth watering over it.
The first big test was this weekend for Mariam’s mom’s birthday. We got a Rossmoor Pastries birthday cake, which was chocolate cake, mandarin-orange creme filling with chocolate ganache frosting. I made it through without having any, not even a bite, although I did have a bite of the creme filling.
The last item is really not a huge part of my daily routine, but it will help to stop any of the bad influences that are fast-food. I’ve gotten away from the fast food burger cravings, but sometimes will hit El Pollo Loco, Del Taco, etc. for a quick fix. I think I’d tell myself that it isn’t as bad as BK, Carl’s etc. but I’m not sure if the difference is negligible. Either way, I want to ward off any future cravings of the stuff… so on the list it goes.
Overall, it should be a challenge, which is what this time is all about. Although our Pastor told us on Ash Wednesday that you are supposed to fast, but not let anyone know that your fasting/sacrificing… so this will be my one and only post (and twitter/facebook/etc), until the end so I can report how I did.
A side goal of this is hoping to lose about 12 lbs. in the process… definitely would be a good thing and hopefully living a “cleaner” lifestyle I’ll see a change for the better.
If you’d like to share your Lent experience(s), feel free to post a comment below.