New Years And Lent Go Hand In Hand This Year

Every year I give up something for Lent.  The season of Lent leads up to Easter in the Christian church, and many people ‘give up something’ as a recognition of Jesus giving something (His life) for us.

What I give up usually ties back to one (or more) of the following things:

  • Candy (chocolate or not chocolate)
  • Snacks
  • Alcohol

None of the above items appealed to me.  Usually something jumps out but while all seemed like good ideas, none were things that would make me feel accomplished.  Even saying all of them just seemed ‘meh’.

Then, I thought back to one of my New Year’s Resolutions and I immediately hit my excitement.  The resolution which I listed was “Have treats (notably chocolate) primarily in social situations

I decided that I would give up all of the things on the list in terms of doing them alone.  This means that all of the following things would be off the table:

  • Having an after dinner snack while watching TV.  For me this is usually something like a couple of graham crackers, a handful of chips, or something along those lines.
  • Grabbing a drink on Saturday while catching up on blog work or things around the mb-201403treatshouse
  • Raiding the candy dishes on various co-workers desk during the day
  • Or anything along these lines.

This may not seem much, but I realize that I do these things far too often.  I have a snack just about every night.  My wife has one maybe twice a week.  So, now I’ll be ‘OK’ to have a snack twice a week, only when my wife does.  I will normally have a drink or two once or twice a week.  My wife has an occasional glass of wine or maybe a drink if we go out to dinner.  So, this will reduce my alcohol consumption.  My boss at work has candy dish and it would be about routine to stop by mid-afternoon and grab something.  No more.

So the bottom line is that I’m not completely cutting alcohol, sugar, or chocolate, but I’m cutting them all significantly.

And, honestly, my hope is that I can continue this as a routine practice even when Lent is done.

Do any of you out there ‘give something up’ for Lent?  What’s on your list this year?  And, giving up winter doesn’t count!

Lent’s Over…So How’d I Do?

A few weeks back, I blogged about how I was giving up laziness for Lent.

Specifically, I wanted to get into an exercise routine, so I set a somewhat vague goal to exercise on a routine basis.

I’m happy to report that I kept with it.  I rode the exercise bike a total of 28 times during Lent, going for nearly 12 hours total, burning just over 4,000 total calories according to the readout, all while pedaling nearly 200 miles.  I know the intensity is pretty light with those numbers, but compared to what I had done in the months leading up to it (nothing), I’m very happy.

Now, the next goal is to keep it up!

As a side note, my wife’s goal (which I joined her in) was to stop snacking before bedtime (we used 8pm as the cutoff).  This was achieved as well!

All in all, it was a pretty healthy and successful Lent!

Giving Up Laziness For Lent

Many Catholics ‘give up’ something during Lent, with the idea that they’re making a sacrifice during the Lenten time so as to acknowledge the sacrifices made by Jesus as we approach Easter season.

In the past, I’ve given up things like sweets, alcohol or eating anything outside of mealtimes.

This year I decided to change it up a little bit.  I’m giving up ‘laziness’.

OK, that requires some explanation.

A couple of months ago I wrote about how I hadn’t started exercising as part of any New Year’s resolution.  I don’t think New Year’s resolutions work for most simply because the pressure is too great, so I’d always had it in mind that I would start a workout program a bit later.

You know, when all the hype died down.

So, I’m giving up being lazy and not exercising.  I’m giving up 30 minutes of sleep every morning as I get up and do my exercising before I get my day started.  I guess you could say that I enjoy sleeping in and not exercising, so even though some may argue that I’m not giving up anything, I can assure you that those are big things for me.

So far, I’ve done great.

My secondary goal is to continue this long after Lent.  I’ve always heard that the key to making an exercise program last is to make it part of your routine, so that you do it without even thinking about it.  This is where I’ve failed in the past, and hopefully by the time Lent is over and I’ve been exercising for six weeks, it will be routine enough that I’ll continue on.

(Note: My wife decided to give up snacking after we put our son to bed, something that we had made too regular of an occurrence.  I’ve gone along with her on that, so technically I am still giving something up in the more traditional sense of the term, though I consider the ‘giving up being lazy’ the bigger sacrifice.  Never hurts to keep those bases covered!)