This isn’t masochism…

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.

Moving on.

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!

Consumed: White chocolate macadamia + Dark chocolate frozen yogurt. Topped with fresh raspberries, a few brownie crumbles, Oreo bits, white chocolate chips and hot fudge.

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!


11 responses to “This isn’t masochism…

  • alex

    wow. I am doing the same exact thing as you…with that same reasoning. you are awesome 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful day

  • fitchocoholic

    I haven’t decided what I’m going to give up yet, but I will be spending more time reading the Bible and praying!

  • Sophia @ Raven Waves

    Good luck on giving up chocolate!! That’s seriously amazing! I don’t know if I could do that. I’m just doing no meat on Weds. and Fri.

  • Mackenzie

    Thanks so much for this post. I too have been struggling with what to give up for Lent, in light of my own eating issues. I’ve decided, though, that I’m going to give up sweets in an unselfish way by approaching it as replacing my cravings for sugar with a craving for God. Good luck with your own Lenten promise!

  • Alaina

    Hmm, I love sweet potato fries!

    I think one year I gave up Diet Coke for lent. Every year, my friend gives up alcohol but always has a drink on St. Patrick’s Day because “The Pope said so.” 🙂 I haven’t thought about giving anything up this year; I rarely do actually. Maybe sweets?

  • christina

    good luck to you! i gave up chocolate a couple years ago and on easter i didn’t even want it!! it took me like 2 weeks to like it again. so weird! i can’t wait to see how you do 🙂

  • Joanne

    Well, I told you this morning that I was going to give up chocolate and pray 5 mins each night and now it’s only 1:45 pm and I just ate some chocolate. I forgot! Maybe I should just concentrate on the praying.

  • katecooks

    i love that you have frozen yogurt strategy! i used to just add everything i liked and in the end could never taste one flavor…just a big old mess of ice cream and toppings! now i try to restrict myself to fewer flavors and toppings so i can actually taste each one 🙂

    nice to know i’m not crazy that i actually think about this!!

  • KT80

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I think the time you have taken out of each day for prayer will help to keep you focused on your goal. I am not religious, but I think sacrificing for Lent is an admirable thing to do, especially when it has a self-reflection component to it. You’ll do great!

  • Vegetable shortage «

    […] good news is that my shortage of veggies took my attention away from my chocolate fast. Instead of dreaming about cake, I was imagining rich, leafy […]

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