Easter was the previous Sunday and the 6 weeks prior to that...was Lent. I always give up things for Lent and this year was no different. Here is the lovely run down on the million and a half things that Shelley gave up for Lent. Be warned...it's a long entry. Of course...no one is requiring you to read it. *winks*Pizza:
This is always the staple thing I give up for Lent. Pizza is my nemesis...with it's warm, cheesy goodness. I swear, I could eat pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day and never get sick of it. I kid you not. I used to always give up pizza for Lent as some kind of kick start to whatever diet I was working on at the time. For decades, I don't think I ever went close to 40 days without eating a slice or many slices of pizzas. Nowadays, it's less about that and more just about tradition. Of course, all the pizza places are having these $10 pizza specials...just to taunt. However, I am happy to report I was not even tempted to eat some pizza. Lent came and went..and I am still quite pizza free. I am sure I'll eat pizza again...but have no intense craving desire to do so.Candy:
This one...let's be honest...is all about the Cadbury Mini Eggs. Lent is the 6 weeks prior to Easter. This is also the same exact time that all the stores have their shelves stocked FULL of Easter candy. The day after Valentine's Day...the shelves are suddenly full of Peeps and jelly beans and yes..the Cadbury Mini Eggs. I love those suckers. I have not found a candy to date that can challenge the mini eggs on their smooth, chocolately goodness. They are THE AWESOME. So, if I don't give up candy for Lent...I'll spend a lot of time and calories from Feb 15th until whenever Easter happens to fall eating those mini eggs. I do buy a bag of them prior to Easter...hide them...and then proceed to enjoy them at my leisure sometime after Easter. One bag...doesn't break the calorie bank....many many bags..yeah, when that happens I suddenly no longer can fit into my pants. Just sayin... And I am happy to report that I didn't have a lick of candy this Lent. I did buy a bunch of discounted Easter candy on the Monday afterwards...but, I haven't eaten it yet. It's just sitting there...LOOKING AT ME.
That is usually it for me and Lent. However, this year I went a little Lent crazy. So...as time went on, I kept adding to the list of things I was giving up for Lent. Here is the rest.Soda:
I only drink diet soda. However, it's still not healthy. I find that if I am drinking soda...I drink less water. I used to drink one can a day...with dinner. I noticed, I was drinking more than that. I was having one with my lunch, one with dinner and often one after dinner. Crisis? No, but I didn't like it. Plus, soda is flippin expensive...and water...is free. So, for Lent...no soda...nada. The only beverage I was drinking was water. I had one day that was dragging tired and would have liked to have a soda, but all in all...very easy. I still think I am going to continue only having a soda on a rare occasion...like one a week, if that. Fast Food:
I rarely eat fast food anyways. I think it's been years since I have been in a McDonald's or a Taco Bell. I do though...eat at places like Subway. It's healthy, but it's still expensive fast food. I wanted the food I ate to be food I made at home. So, no fast food for me. Bread and Bread-like Substances:
This one was new for me. This one stemmed off my kind of cheats off the pizza give up in previous years. If I was giving up pizza...I would just replace it with something else. I would have breadsticks. Umm, that's just deconstructed pizza. However, my mind could justify...it's not pizza. I also...I was trying to kick a few pounds to the curb before Opening Day...so, I was going more low carb. Easy way to do that...no bread like things. No cookies, no bread, no tortillas, no chips, etc. You get the point. When Girl Scout cookies showed up on the scene....yeah, I was cursing this one, but within a few days...I was thankful for it. It's much easier to say no to the cookie pushers (at work mainly) when you can say you gave it up for Lent. Pulling the God card gets their food pushing tendencies to back off pretty quickly. The hardest was the night I went out to dinner at a Mexican food restaurant with two friends. Try getting a meal at an authentic Mexican restaurant...being a vegetarian and not eat tortillas or corn chips, etc. I did it though. I had a nice salad with salsa on top. So, go me!Resentments:
This one. My pastor has always said that Lent should not be about helping your diet...or getting you to lose some weight. She has said that all these things people give up for Lent is really using God. Let's be real...she's right. My example above just proves that. She has talked for the past few years about how Lent is about looking at yourself and your relationship with God. I agree with her. So, I do admit that I use God for dieting and health purposes...no doubt, but I also like to have something that fulfills the meaning of Lent. So, I gave up holding resentments. They aren't healthy and they aren't good for me. If I feel hurt by someone or feel they wronged me...being resentful about it, just continues to hurt me. If I can just let it go and move on, I am much more at peace a human being. It doesn't mean that I can't have emotions about things...it just means I deal with them and let them go. I can still choose to not have someone and their destructive behavior in my life, but if I hold onto resentments...then aren't I in essence keeping that person in my life? This ne...has PAID dividends for me. I'm a happier, more at peace person. I am also better at seeing the good in people...not judging people...forgiving people...and being the best version of Shelley I can be. If I hold onto resentments...no matter how big or small, I become a bitter, vengeful mean person. That is not who I am. I can remember years ago...having a falling out with a friend and I held anger and resentment for years. Being able to let it go...was the healthiest thing I ever did. I was able to grow and realize how beautiful that friendship was...even if it was strained at the time. That...is who I want Shelley to be.
So...there is my Lent report. I am always grateful I participate in Lent. I learn things about myself...and I also cement some really nice habits. And, thanks to my pastor...it's not just about diet and health.