Ashes to Ashes

Yesterday was a fairly important day for most Christians, especially those in the Catholic Church–a religion in which I was raised but don’t really participate in now. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Without going into the specifics, I’ll just tell you that Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter, during which it is tradition to give something up to show sacrifice and discipline. For example, we don’t eat meat on Ash Wednesday or any Friday during lent–a rule which led my family on the journey to discover the best fast food fish sandwich (it’s McDonald’s, naturally). Most people give up sweets, or TV, or something material that is difficult for them to live without. Side note, I have a friend who gives up Diet Coke every year, since she typically goes through a few cans a day and drank it the way most people drink water. In college the girl even carried multiple cans around with her in her purse.

Sweet nectar of the Gods

My point in all this is to share with you my Lenten resolutions. I haven’t really been in the habit of giving things up over the past few years. In fact, I think the last time I participated in this was during college when I tried to giving up swearing. A friend of mine happily volunteered to punch me in the arm each time I swore, which happened a lot, so I’m not sure how well I hit the mark that year. This year I’m giving up two things that I’ve been fighting especially hard since I began this weight loss journey: laziness and fear. These two monsters are the be all, end all holding me back from achieving any and everything in my life. I am too afraid to get out in the world and live my life at this weight, so I sit at home, safe and sound, and watch TV. And eat.

To combat my laziness, I plan to workout at least once every day for the next 40 days. Not only will this put the laziness to bed (ha!), but it’ll break that “21 days to make a habit” rule that I’ve been struggling with. Hopefully, by Easter, exercise will finally just be a natural part of my daily life.

To combat my fear, I plan to just say “yes” more.  Too often I make excuses or back out of plans or shy away from the uncomfortable. I have a mantra that I’ve been repeating to myself a lot lately: “Nothing changes if you’re comfortable.” I plan to live this by making myself as uncomfortable as possible as often as I can. Bring it on, Lent! Let’s do this!

Do you participate in Lent? What do you plan to give up? If you don’t participate, what would you want to give up for 40 days?

2 thoughts on “Ashes to Ashes

  1. It’s funny because my husband hasn’t stepped foot in a Catholic church since his first marriage in 1985, yet he celebrates lent. I made him tuna fish for lunch, not sure what dinner will be yet!

    If I did give up anything, it would be pretzels – they are like crack to me! 😀

  2. Love pretzels! Have you tried Pepperidge Farm’s pretzel thins? Newly discovered favorite of mine. 11 pretzels for 110 calories and zero fat. Decent amount of fiber and sodium, too. Great with a little roasted garlic hummus!

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