I’m not a religious person. But even though I don’t subscribe to organized religion, I do see a lot of value in some of the traditions and rituals associated within a lot of religions. And one of those traditions that really resonates with me and my lifestyle is Lent.
For me, (obviously) Lent isn’t about the traditional religious goals. But, for me, it is a great way to turn the focus inward for 40 days. I love spending that time really doing intensive work on strengthening my resolve, my spirit, and my health. Granted, since my Lent isn’t really tied to holy days, I could technically wedge those 40 days into any time of the year, but I find that the traditional period is a really great time for me. It’s like spring cleaning for my body and soul. By the time Lent is through, the daffodils are blooming and I feel strong, healthy and ready for a new season!
There are a lot of elements to what I like to do during Lent, but I think sacrifice is the category that people are most familiar with. You know, the “I’m giving up Coke for Lent” kinda thing. For me, I really love this part of Lent, because I have a tendency to get…well…bratty. I think I deserve things. I think I need things. I think I should be rewarded. And, sometimes, that’s true. But more often than not, it’s just a way for me to rationalize spending extra money on a new purse or eating another chocolate chip cookie. So I think every now and again, it’s nice to remind myself that my willpower is strong, and that life does go on if I don’t get that one thing that I think I need rightnowthisverysecond. It’s also a nice little opportunity to work on an aspect of my life that maybe isn’t as shiny and polished as I hope it to be.
If you’ve been paying careful attention over the past few weeks (and noticed the photos on this post), you can probably guess what I’m sacrificing for Lent—sugar. My attachment to sugar is really something I need to get ahold of. I literally feel a physical pull to sweets and sugar. It’s actually kind of a scary thing for me. So, I’m cutting out all sweeteners. Sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, anything. Basically, if I put it into something to make it sweeter, it’s out. Is this a permanent change? No way. But I think a clean slate can go a very long way to help shake my sugar addiction.
I’ve given up sugar before for short periods of time, and I always felt so incredible without sugar. I felt strong, I had a ton of energy, and I slept incredibly well. My body feels much better with less sugar, so I’m really excited for this reboot to get back to feeling my absolute best. Plus, there is just something really awesome about accomplishing something that is really hard for you. And this is going to be really hard for me.
I’ve heard before that humans have such a hard time regulating our sugar intake for biological reasons. Sugar means quick energy. And that used to be really good stuff to have kicking around (you know, when you were getting chased by a herd of wooly mammoths), but with our sit-down culture? Not so much. I’m not sure how much truth there is to that, but I’ve definitely seen in myself that moderating sugar is really, really hard. I can’t just have a “little bit” of sugar. Or, if I can, it’s just the beginning of a sugar snowball. One teaspoon of honey in tea? No big deal. Except then that doubles for me a week later. And doubles again and week after that. And before you know it, I’m sitting on the floor of the kitchen scooping honey into my face with my hands (not really, but still).
I’m working with Coach Krissie from Committed Coaching to help me get through this sacrifice and work through other spiritual and emotional challenges. I’m so very happy to have Krissie to back me up and work with me through my physical and emotional attachment to sugar. It may sound silly to say I’m emotionally attached to dessert, but I know I am. It’s deeper than just wanting sweets because they taste good. There are emotional ties to sugar that I just can’t deny.
Wish me luck!