It's that time of the year again - lent! Now, let me just say, I am not Catholic, but for the past couple of years, I have decided that I would participate in lent for myself. To see that I could actually give something up and stick with it for six weeks (give or take). Now, some people say that on Sundays, you can do whatever you gave up, but I don't do that. I tried to do some research to find out if this was true and to be honest, it could go either way. For me, I am hardcore and stick with it the whole time. Lent starts today, Wednesday, February 13th and goes all the way though Saturday, March 30th. I know this seems like fooooorver, but once you get past the first week, it's really not all that bad. Seriously. Would I kid? I don't think so. Okay, maybe a little, but not about this.
Last year was a biggie - I decided to give up chocolate. I am not going to lie, giving up chocolate was not easy. 1. Because it's so delicious and 2. It's all over the office! My sister definitely didn't think I could do it. That was probably because she tried it once and couldn't make it more than a few weeks. I was determined to be chocolateless (is this even a word?) for the entire time and I did it! It was hard, especially considering I have a piece of dark chocolate just about every night before bed as my little sweet treat, but I stuck with it and did not cave. Not even one little bit. This year, I thought about doing the chocolate thing again, but decided I needed to go a whole other route. Something different and something a little harder.
Before I tell you what I decided to give up for lent this year. Here is a list of things I thought about giving up and the reasons why I didn't:
- Texting - ya, right. Do you know how much I text? Yes, this would be hard and I could do it, but I honestly don't think I would make it. I text more than I talk. Plus with having an iPhone work and one for personal business, it's near impossible.
- Television - I really don't watch all that much to begin with (there are a few of my favorite guilty pleasures), so this didn't seem like that much of a stretch.
- Using the oven - my sister suggested this one and almost went this route, but with all my baking orders coming in, that would be near impossible. Although, I have decided to give up using the oven for month this summer and see how I do. I think this will be a fun challenge for my blog. Plus, who wants to heat up the house in the summer when it's 100 degrees? Not me!
- Baking sweets - again, suggested by my sister and with the orders I need to fill within the next couple of months, it's not going to work.
- No booze - this would be fine, but would this really be hard enough? I do enjoy wine, but I don't have it that much. And since I am trying to cut back on the booze for my weight loss, I didn't think this would be too much of a stretch.
I had a few more too, but my brain is not working and I can't remember what they were. Nevertheless, are you ready to find out what I decided to give up this year? Wait for it. Wait for it....
This year I will be giving up anything with artificial sweeteners, taking candy for people's candy bowls at work as well as giving up the claw machine. I know what you are thinking. Three things? Yes, three things! I told you I wanted to do something different and harder. I wasn't kidding. Let me do a little explaining here.
- Artificial Sweeteners - now, I try to stay away from most of them, but there are a couple of things I have been addicted to lately that have the sweeteners in them. I love my Poweraid Zeros. Especially the Fruit Punch flavor. I could drink these all day if I really wanted to, but the sweeteners and the coloring are not good for me. Also, I thoroughly enjoy a cup of fat free hot cocoa when I get to work in the morning as well as a cup before bed. Since I don't drink coffee anymore (this year marks two years without a cup of joe!), this warm cup of joy hits the spot. Again, it has tons of stuff in it, one being artificial sweeteners. Also, I don't drink that much soda, but I do enjoy the occasional diet root beer. No more of those either. During lent, I will be replacing these items with water and tea (with no Splenda of course).
- Dipping Into Candy Bowls - candy and treats are all over at work. Most of the time I can avoid them, but there are some days where I am just craving a little sweet treat. Not a piece of cake or a cookie, but a little nibbly - ie. Hershey kiss or a mini Reese's peanut butter cup. I always track these on my calorie counter, but they add up if you go back more than once. I don't always do that, but if it's a bad day, you know I go back at least one more time. Plus, it seems like better and better candy is being placed around the office these days. Are they trying to make me eat it?! Can't they put something like black licorice or hard candies in the bowls? Because I have a habit of grabbing one or two, especially after lunch, I am giving this up too. Not only will this be an additional challenge, but this will also help me be strong and help me get towards my next weight loss goal (like I said, those calories add up!).
- Claw Machine - please tell me you know what I am talking about? You know, the machine filled with stuffed animals (and sometimes toys too) that you move around a big claw that drops and picks up the prize? Well, let me just say, I am addicted. Way addicted. One of our local stores has a claw machine and pretty much every time I go to get groceries, I play. It's 50 cents per game, and I always seems to have at least that in my wallet. Although, let's be real. I usually put in a dollar (hello two tries!). The thing is, it's not like I lose most of the time. I am usually winning! If I had to put a percentage on it, I probably win 80% of the time. In fact, I put in my last dollar into the machine the other day and I won two! Yes, you heard me, two prizes! It's going to be hard to walk by it and not play, but I can do it. Maybe I just need to stop shopping there so I am not tempted when they fill it up with all the good stuff!
Here's to surviving until March 30th!
What would you give up for lent?