A positive Lent

I realised yesterday when I was ‘warned’ that a colleague was giving up coffee for Lent, that it’s that time again. A year ago, I gave up sugar, which you can read about here.

After listening to various people talking about the usual chocolate, coffee, alcohol, biscuits and crisps embargos they were launching into I realised that I was bored of giving stuff up for Lent. Don’t get me wrong. Giving up sugar last year had some really interesting and positive benefits. I felt better, my skin looked better and I learned some useful things about the way my brain and my body react to it in very different ways. But at the end of Lent, if I’m brutally honest, it didn’t really change anything in the long run. I wanted it to. But sugar, like any one of our personal vices, whatever they may be, is a slippery customer.

But it’s nice to use the camaraderie of Lent and I still felt I wanted to do something. I just didn’t want to give something up.

Then in a flash of inspiration about 10 minutes ago, I decided I would define this year’s Lent by the doing of something rather than the absence of something. I’ve made great progress recently with eating a proper breakfast. But I’m still falling down on the lunch bit. Time, inclination, lunchtime meetings, general busyness – I have plenty of excuses. But no more.

For Lent, I will make my lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY. No excuses. It doesn’t have to be a creation worthy of Masterchef. It could be a cheese and tomato sandwich. But it needs to be made by my own hands in my own kitchen.

And I’m hoping that this one positive change will bring about other positive changes. I’ll save a lot of money. I’ll eat much more healthily (it’s easy to be virtuous when you’re putting together a salad after filling up on dinner; it’s much less easy when you’re already starving and mooching around the supermarket aisles with 10 minutes to go before the next meeting). And I’ll hopefully establish a new habit that outlives the end of Lent.

I’d love to hear what you’re planning to do.

And now I’m off to the kitchen to find out whether my impulsive decision means I’ll be eating an inspirational feast at lunchtime tomorrow or a cold can of baked beans.

[p.s. When I have the ingredients, I will DEFINITELY be trying this 'kettle soup' from the truly excellent Stone Soup, to whom this beautiful picture belongs. If you haven't come across them and are looking for some foodie inspiration, I strongly recommend that you check them out. Their food is genuinely simple, tasty looking and most blog entries come with a handy 'how to' video. You can find out about the kettle soup here.]

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2 thoughts on “A positive Lent

  1. I appreciate this blog post. Last year during Lent I gave up all processed foods and it was extremely hard! Even though Lent starts tomorrow, I still haven’t fully decided what I am going to give up, but reading your blog has really opened my eyes to doing something rather than giving something up. I think I’m going to incorporate exercise more days during the week to give myself the extra energy I need rather than depriving myself of some of my favorite foods. In the long run, giving things up haven’t really worked out so well for me either besides feeling better during that time period and feeling better about challenging myself. Thanks for this post!

    • Thanks so much for your comment – I’m glad the post helped! Exercise is a great idea for something positive to do. I’ve also found it can have extra side effects that I didn’t anticipate. I always start my exercise ‘kicks’ thinking that it’ll help balance out the unhealthy things I still want to eat. Then I often find that I’m feeling all virtuous from the exercise and don’t really feel like eating them anymore. Good luck with whatever you do!x

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