Self. Denial.

“You should give up hamburgers for Lent.”
“Why on earth would I do that?”
“Well, I’m giving up something bad for me, so you should too.  Be supportive.”
“I’m giving up smoking.”
“You don’t bloody smoke!”
“See?  I’ve improved myself already.”
– C. and J.

I’m at a loss.  New Year, the time for such bursts of ardent revamping passed without so much as a guilty twinge.  The number on the scale creeping upwards gave me pause, but not enough.  The subtle tightening of my trousers was acknowledged, but then dismissed (though oddly enough my shirts displayed no such variance).  No no, friends.  What gets C. back into the gym, swearing off junk food and dedicating herself anew to salads?  

Alright, I'll work out. I'LL WORK OUT!


Of course I’m not going down by myself so J. has been bugged, hounded, and generally harassed until he agreed to give up Mountain Dew (though not all sodas, he would like it noted).  He’s also being dragged to the gym with me to keep me on the straight and narrow.  I got on an elliptical machine today for the first time in six months and clocked nearly three miles before doing a half hour of weights, so I forsee the traditional Lenten feelings approaching tomorrow: sorrow, remorse, and reliance on prayer to get one through. 

I’m already craving sugar.  Keep me strong, friends!

46 thoughts on “Self. Denial.”

  1. What? Lent? When did M’s start Lent? I’ve heard no announcements over the pulpit or in GC. We follow the WoW, now Lent? I’m just, just…

    I’m faklempt.

    1. Gosh, could you imagine the self-flagellation that would ensue if we had an Advent to GC that we were forced to observe? People giving up diet coke, PG-13 movies, and scrapbooking, and the wailing and gnashing of teeth that would follow?

      I use Lent as an excuse to make a decision to cut out something that’s no good for me. Like unto New Year’s Resolution, it often doesn’t make it.

      1. If M’s tried to give up cold caffeine, PG-13 movies, and scrap-booking … the economy would collapse. That would be tragic.

        I will send all my resolution your way for support during your run at Lent.

        I’ll keep all the Cadbury Mini-eggs on this side of the Mississippi. Good luck!

  2. I’ve tried cutting back on sugar but I work in a bakery. It hasn’t gone superbly. But take some exercise class that you enjoy and you’ll get into it more!

  3. stay strong C. We know you will make it. I like to ride my bike to work 3-5 days a week, that way I can eat as much as i want. take care and best of luck.

  4. I’m also “observing” Lent this year; I’m giving up candy. I’m getting through it by maintaining a very strict definition of what candy is.

  5. Matthew 6:16-18 “Moreover when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret …”

    Any fast isn’t about getting in shape, like so many NewYears resolutions are. It’s about giving up something important to you and spending that time/energy in prayer, trying to get closer to God.
    We usually don’t fast on Lent but we are this year, without all the ashes and such. I gave up [all] soda and I’m trying to get past the caffeine withdrawal. I’ll be praying for you! Good luck 🙂

  6. Great post. All I remember to do is the “no meat on Fridays” stuff that all “good” Catholics do. I think that’s enough suffering right there.

  7. I’m giving up late nights. So far, I’m half and half for success vs. failure rates. I’m also giving up lousy guys (100% success rate so far.)

    1. Did you just hear that not getting enough sleep makes your body hold onto weight? Maybe all we need is more sleep and we can eat burgers and still loose weight!

  8. A fantastic sense of humour and great “pic” to support it. Wonderful exchange. Lent seems to conflict with “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Really, really, really learning to like fish. Beef gets a break this time.

  9. LOL!! The picture and caption is hillarious! I just saw this on the wordpress homepage and had to read it. I’ve already messed up for my first time today. I can’t say what I gave up but it’s definitely something negative. It’s really, really hard when you’re in that moment of being tempted. You know the answer is prayer and stepping away but you just don’t always think that way when you’re in the moment. Does that make any sense? Anyway, it’s nice to see your humor during lent but still being sincere about trying, too. I’m gonna keep trying!

  10. I feel your pain and have often felt the gym is very similar to a torture chamber, but you gotta do what you gotta do, or so they say.

  11. phantastic post. I think it nicely illustrates how most (at least starters) feel.

    i dont lent, but thinking about it every year, keeps at least the conscious thought alive.
    maybe one day…but if, I am doing it, not for the church but for myself! 😉


  12. You cannot compair the two unless you consider your body a spiritual temple. If that is the case then water is your drink to cleanse and healthy foods are what you eat. I say this as someone who has just made this change. These are not diets. These are lifesyle changes.

    If you wish to truely get your weight off and keep it off it does take time. Depending on how much it usually takes about a year to do it right. Your body really is the temple of your organs and your blood. If you eat right 5 days a week and slide 2 days a week, and I don’t mean totally blow it. You can still loose weight. The hardest part is realizing only you can make the commitment to change.

    I went from 180 to 110 back up to 120 now. I started this in July of 2001 and was down to 110 by December 2002. stayed between 110 and 115 till January 2005. From January 2005 until March of 2009 my weight went from 118 to 135. I was up and down multiple times. Since then I have gotten refocused and I am back on track and I am now at 120.

    Just make the commitment. You’ll thank yourself in the end.

  13. Good heavens. I’m with J. I gave up my Diet Coke (and all other sodas, however.) I also gave up the mini Cadbury eggs. Although that had more to do with that nasty scale number than Lent. 🙂 But, I’m counting it for Lent because it sounds better!

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