While I have never traditionally participated in Lent as I have never been a member of a church that follows the practice, I have been thinking about it a lot lately. To be honest, all I know about it is pretty much things I’ve heard people say and not a lot of the people I interact with lately have been talking about it. So I did a little research and found out that it starts March 9th this year, which is coming up pretty quickly. I don’t intend on joining in the tradition this year, but it does relate somewhat to something that I am doing this month.
While I won’t be giving up meat, I will be giving up coffee and soda (the latter for probably the tenth time now). I also intend on giving them up almost permanently. While I have no intention of following the traditional 40 days, I will be giving these two items up for a solid month. After the month, I might allow myself the occasional cup of coffee when my energy level is sitting on low, but the idea being that I won’t drink them as regularly as I have been recently.
In fact, I spent the last week of February sans soda. And while I didn’t immediately kick the coffee habit, I did start opting for tea instead during the last few days and now, on the fourth day of this new month, I’m only drinking tea, water, or milk!
There are a couple reasons why I’m giving up these two items. First being health related. In the past I have cut soda out of my diet several times and ended up losing a nice big chunk of weight, usually in the five to ten pound range. Of course, my lack of willpower usually means I end up drinking soda again eventually when someone I’m living with starts buying multiple cases at a time, but this year I fully intend on practicing my self-control; Something which I have been doing pretty good at with other things lately! So, I’m going to kick the habit for real this time. No more soda for this girl!
Coffee, on the other hand, I’m mostly giving up for the sake of my teeth. I don’t think any amount of teeth whitener can compete with the coffee sludge that gets made at work. And while sometimes I really need the pick-me-up, I believe if I rely on it less, I will find that I can get the energy from other healthier venues. Not to mention, I won’t have to deal with the crash later when the caffeine wears off.
While I may not end up practicing a traditional Lent this year, nor following the prescribed 40 days, I will be piggybacking off the energy that comes from the people around me that will be to help me keep my self-control high.
So, for any of you out there planning on giving up something for Lent or even following the traditional practices, good luck! And if you need someone to help keep you in line, feel free to share what you are giving up in the coming 40 days.