New Year’s Day 2009, my best friend and I were out for a run on the freshly iced roads of Lincoln.
Between slipping and sliding around, we managed to have a conversation. From this discussion, we drew one main conclusion: we are masochists. Not only were we unnecessarily braving the cold, but it was also day #1 of our big resolutions: I was giving up chocolate and she was foregoing sweets.
One year later, I was in the midst of dealing with an eating disorder and my masochism didn’t seem like such a laughing matter…
That’s why, Lent is very serious to me. I know there is a fine line between sacrificing for the sake of God and sacrificing for the sake of self. For this reason, it may seem hypocritical that I am giving up chocolate from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. This is something I’ve wrestled with. But I’ve ultimately decided that when I give up chocolate this time, it will be with a different intention than last time: This isn’t about proving that I can give up chocolate. This is about recognizing the greatness of Jesus’ gifts.
In addition to give up chocolate, I am also setting aside at least five minutes for solid prayer each night. I’ve done this in the past and it really is one of the best ways for me to keep faith at the forefront of my mind.
Today is most commonly known as “Fat Tuesday,” but I prefer to think of it as “Give yourself a little treat Tuesday.” Sounds so much nicer that way, right?
I started out big oats in a jar — for the second day in the row! Wonderful!
Consumed: 1/3 C oats cooked with 2/3 C water and “whipped” with half of a thinly sliced banana. Scooped into a nearly empty jar of almond butter, topped with other half of chopped banana and the rest of my crunchy dark chocolate granola.
Just about as soon as I made it to my running class, the skies opened up to a cold, bitter rain. Unfazed, my running teacher still told us to go outside. Normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with that (see anecdote above), but I had serious classes right afterward that would run straight through to 5 o’clock. Suffice it to say, I didn’t want to be a wet, cold mess.
Thankfully, my teacher allowed me and another girl to stay inside and complete our fartlek workouts on treadmills. That way, I was just a clean, warmer mess!
A few classes later, I broke for lunch. It was good, but contained no chocolate, so not too worth explaining.
A few more classes later, I was finally done. Whoop! I walked straight down to Dan’s hall to meet up with him and his sister, who was in town to do some math homework. I “helped” them figure that out for a while, and then tagged along for dinner. Math can be appetite-creating!
The restaurant of choice was Dempsey’s Burger Pub, which, in addition to a really fun atmosphere, also boasts the best selection of veggie burgers in town — Oh, and sweet potato fries! Can’t forget the sweet potato fries!
Clearly, I couldn’t take too long on pictures, or else the fries would all be gone!
A little while later, dinner was served. I opted for the “burger salad” with a Portobello mushroom, mozzarella, crasins, walnuts and dressing.
I asked for the mozzarella in replacement of the bleu cheese, but they ended up putting both on the salad. I don’t like to create a fuss, but I really, really despise blue cheese. The waitress was kind enough to get me a quick replacement, which was totally sans blue cheese!
As good as the food was, I really had my sights set on something else: 3 Spoons Frozen Yogurt!
I’ve learned that it’s best to go to 3 Spoons with a strategy, or else I end up with a (still delicious) hodgepodge of everything. This time, I aimed to recreate the flavors or my potential wedding cake with chocolate and raspberry. I’m glad to report that it turned out delicious! Plus, it was great to spend time with Dan and his sister, Claire!
Now, as I am wrapping up this post, I am also feeling ready for 40 days without chocolate. In other words, I’m ready for 40 days of greater devotion to God.
Questions: Are you giving up anything for Lent? Have you in the past?
One year, I gave up sweets altogether. I ended up eating a lot of peanut butter and cereal!