I grappled with what to give up for Lent: alcohol or sweets. Back and forth I vacillated through to Ash Wednesday.
For those of you with eyebrows furrowed, here’s the background. Ever heard of Mardi Gras? Well alrighty then, party revelers. Mardi Gras is French for ‘Fat Tuesday’ when people from all over the world flock to New Orleans just to catch a glimpse of (yeah, you guessed it) Britney Spears. But seriously, on Mardi Gras, people party, get drunk, and pig out because the next day—Ash Wednesday—is the start of Lent. Lent is the 40 days before Easter. Historically, it represents the 40 days Jesus resisted temptation while in the desert. Just like Jesus, we pray and fast. It’s customary to give up something for Lent, but one year back in college I ran every single day of Lent even when it was pouring rain. For all the years I’ve been doing this, running every day was the most memorable thing I’ve done.
I’ve got a lot of vices which gives me a lot of options when it comes to Lent. I knew that alcohol would be a huge sacrifice. Come on now, I’m an alcoholic. There’s no way this girl is going to completely eliminate wine or bloody marys from her diet for 40 days. Not gonna happen. It’s supposed to be for 40 days, but I counted and this year it’s actually 46 days. 46 days of hell. Whoops, forget I wrote that.
Then I got to thinking of sweets. I don’t drink alcohol every day, but you know me and chocolate chip cookies. So I kept trying to talk myself into thinking that chocolate chip cookies were an even bigger sacrifice since I eat them every day! But in all honesty, alcohol really is the bigger sacrifice.
I really wanted to make an effort this year so I decided to do a hybrid sacrifice: give up sweets and allow myself only one alcoholic drink per day. I think that’s pretty good. It’s not unreasonable. Giving up alcohol completely would have been unreasonable. Giving up sweets is still tough, but I think I can do it.
I gave up dessert the first year of business school. Unfortunately, Lent coincided with spring break…a cruise…lavish buffets…and unbelievable desserts. After one or two days on the cruise, I couldn’t help myself and went for it. Got home and mentioned it to my sister. Big mistake. Her response? “Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross and you couldn’t go 40 days with having some dessert?” Oh boy. Might as well have nailed me to a cross, I felt like shit.
Just so we’re all on the same page. By sweets, I specifically mean cookies, ice-cream, and chocolate. Sweets is too broad a grouping. My co-worker was trying to give me crap for making myself a PB&J. Am I not going to have salad dressing because it contains high fructose corn syrup? Not having my daily chocolate chip cookie fix is huge!
How am I doing? Thanks for asking, I am not doing too well! I’m sticking to the plan alright, but there are some major side-effects like withdrawal and hunger!!!
Today is the 5th day of Lent. This week was especially hard because on Ash Wednesday and for all the Fridays through to Easter, you can’t eat meat. It’s some kind of rule. Well, if I don’t have meat, it’s like I haven’t eaten. It didn’t matter how many rolls of sushi I devoured on Friday night, I woke up Saturday morning weighing two pounds less.
And not having chocolate chip cookies is the worst. It’s weird, I just don’t feel satisfied without them in my tummy. By the time Easter rolls around I’m going to be skin and bones, I tell ya. I’ll be so light I can practically float on up to heaven with Jesus Christ.