The Catholic (I think it's only Catholic) tradition of Lent began about 2.5 weeks ago, and this year I decided to give something up.
I am not a practicing Catholic, and haven't really thought much about Lent in years -- though I do sometimes catch myself not eating meat on Fridays. But this year, I took a look at my life and some habits I'd been forming, and thought it might be a good opportunity to clean those up.
Despite what some may argue, this isn't a religious thing for me. Rather, it's about having a set period of time to get things back in line. I've often heard that when starting something new -- exercise, diet, etc. -- it takes about six weeks to make it habit. I venture there are some things that take less, and some more, but I like it as a general guideline.
So, for six weeks, I am only allowed to drink 1x/week, and eat junky food/sweets for 1x/week.
Yes, I know Lent is about giving things up altogether. But, like I said, this isn't a religious thing. And, it is something at which I would like to be successful. If I deprived myself completely of these things, I would not only go nuts at the end of six weeks, I wouldn't succeed at all. The point of this exercise, for me, is to reset my body's expectations and cravings. I had been craving sweets quite a bit, and indulging more than I needed to, and I'd like that to change. (the alcohol wasn't as big a deal, as I usually only drink once or so a week, anyway)
So far, so good. Though I can't believe it's only been 2.5 weeks, I am already craving the sweets a little less. I don't stop by my colleagues cube and mindlessly take anything from her little candy jar (though I'd like to!). I don't meander downstairs for a little something something from the vending machines at work, and I have fruit after dinner instead of ice cream*.
Will I last another 3.5 weeks? Who knows. I sure hope so!
* reading this you may think I am a sweets girl, and that is not the case...While I won't turn down a cookie or a bowl of Dreyers, I generally crave salty/savory items, which is why this sweets craving threw me and needed to get in check!