I don’t know if you know, but Lent has begun.
In Christianity, Lent is the 40 days before Easter and tradition has it that you should make a sacrifice during this time as a reflection of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us all on Good Friday. Thankfully, nothing as major as getting crucified is required, but I do try and do something challenging over Lent. It seems only right to do that, given what He did for us. Giving up chocolate doesn’t seem appropriate when I can take or leave it generally and rarely eat it anyway.
In years past I have given up caffeine. That was really, really hard; not just on me but on anyone within ear shot of me. I get really grumpy without caffeine. So, in the spirit of being kind to my husband, I decided to give up sugar instead.
Now, if I was being all medieval and hardass about it, I would give up all refined carbohydrates for Lent and just eat meat and fruit and vegetables. However, having done the Atkins diet years ago, I know that style of eating is not as easy as it sounds. I also learned that my body needs carbohydrates to work properly, and I do not want to go through the kind of pain my digestive tract put me through last time.
So, instead, I am giving up all the fake sugar and the added sugar that I seem rather adept at keeping in my diet, despite being careful about what I eat. I am not going to drink diet or “full fat” sodas. I am not going treat myself to candy or sweets. I am not going to have pudding, dessert or fake sugared anything. I am allowing myself to continue to eat fruit and vegetables though, so I won’t come down with scurvy or kill my nearest and dearest when I am jonesing for sugar. Who knows, maybe I will be able to re-educate myself into craving an Orange rather than Fizzy Cola Bottles or Jelly Beans. Yeah… I am not going to hold my breath on that one either!
So why sugar? Well, I know I am addicted to it. As a pre-diabetic (and I have been for nearly 20 years, which is allegedly impossible according to the medical textbooks, but I have managed it…!) I should avoid sugar anyway. It is also not great for the eating plan I am following and having success with at the moment, and also, I have often had issues with candida infestations, so starving it of sugar is a really, really good idea.
Lent is going to be tough this year, no question, but I am hoping to come out of it with better habits than I went into it. What are you giving up for Lent?