Hey Lovelies happy Friday. Weather isn’t too great today but it’s still Friday, yay! I’m really ready for spring now.
What does lent mean to you? Is it something you participate in and if you do why? I’m going to talk a little bit about my thoughts on it and what I am doing this year.
Traditionally lent started within the catholic and protestant faiths as a time of moderation and self denial. Some believing it to be a way to receive Gods blessings and grace and yet it tells us in the bible that grace is “the gift of righteousness” (Romans 5:17). In other words it cannot be earned so doing it for that reason is unnecessary and against everything that I believe God to be, loving, kind and patient, which is why it has never been something I have felt a need to do.
There are those who use lent to ‘give up’ certain comforts as a way of meditating on all that Jesus has done for us which is a beautiful thing to do as long as it’s not out of any misguided sense of obligation but rather a heartfelt desire to be closer to Him, which can obviously be part of our lifestyle everyday not just lent.
A lot of people that I know don’t have any particular religious views and so do it as a tradition and an opportunity to give up things that they either don’t want to do anymore or feel they indulge in too much i.e smoking, chocolate, drinking etc which is never a bad thing, especially if it kick starts them to make a permanent change for the better.
That being said I have decided to do something this year which is a combination of what I have already mentioned. I have decided to give up all kinds of refined sugar (could you tell from the picture?). Talk about going from not observing lent to this – it’s huge! Let me explain how I have come to this decision and why.
I have touched on food and image very lightly in previous posts, one being Growing Into Our Skin. Food and body image has been a massive deal for me all my life, as for a lot of people. I have tried every single diet, most kinds of exercise, just not eating, and everything in between. My weight has gone up and down and with it my emotions.
There has been so much talk about how bad sugar is for us and I have an incredibly sweet tooth. It tends to rule my mind and emotions as I get strong cravings, leading to poor food choices and then mood swings and dips. So I have decided that giving up sugar could be just what I need. I have done some research and like anything there are some varying ideas about what sugar free means and the best way to do it. I’m going to be learning as I go, but my starting point is cutting out the obvious sugary things to start, but also looking into what contains sugar (which is far far more than you would think, it’s quite scary really).
The reason I decided to do it for lent was partly a coincidence as I was thinking about it seriously at the beginning of the week and thought it would be the perfect opportunity, but so much more than that it has to do with my faith and that God wants us to be free and enjoy life to it’s fullest as well as looking after our bodies (which I believe is so that we can get the most out of our life). I have prayed so many times for help with my eating habits but when it comes to wanting something that isn’t very good for me I just put my fingers in my ears and say “lalalala” like when I was a child and I didn’t want to listen to my Mum, you did that too right?. (That is metaphoric by the way, I don’t actually stand in the middle of the kitchen with my fingers in my ears!)
So heres the plan
- Take each day as it comes
- Learn as I go
- Do my best
- Not to get down on myself if I mess up
- Do it with Gods help and grace
- Do it for the right reasons
When I say do it for the right reasons I mean I’m doing it for the greater good not just image which is what has always driven me before. The slimmer I was the better I felt about myself and the more confident I felt, but I have come to a point where I just want freedom, to eat well without counting calories constantly or feeling guilty about everything I eat. I have always been an all or nothing girl, eating everything that I want or denying myself and not eating what I want with no balance, it’s so exhausting and we weren’t designed to live with all that pressure. I want to be healthy in the real sense of the word, to have more energy and be more balanced.
This is going to be a marathon and not a sprint, even though I’ve chosen to do it for lent I am so hoping that this will be the beginning of a permanent change. I’m planning on writing a bit of a journal to see the changes that occur and what really works for me. Everybody’s body is different so we have to find the right balance for ourselves.
I will keep you posted along the way which will also be helpful. If you have tried sugar free eating I would love to hear how you have found it and what benefits you reaped. Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed this post.
Wishing you a fabulous weekend