Yes, that’s what I’m calling this Lenten season: “Lose Weight Lent”. Last year was “Sugar-Free Lent”, this year is “Lose Weight Lent”.
Today marks one week down, and boy oh boy, was I an utter failure.
This is the problem with tackling Lent the way I have chosen to this year. When I give something up completely, I can be strict about it. I can control myself. By doing this general and vague “I’m going to use these 40 days to lose weight” promise, it gives me too much wiggle room. It gives me too much freedom to cheat, bend the rules, and lose sight of the goal.
But that is also why this is the perfect Lenten practice for me this year. One week in, I can see that even more clearly.
It’s not going to be easy to keep focused when the goal is “giving up 15 lbs.”. But focused is what I must be. I used to be able to do this really well. I could be tempted by a buffet of my favourite foods, and instead of diving in, I’d show restraint. Somewhere along the way, I lost my ability to do that. I was throwing caution to the wind so often that I forgot what it was like to show a little willpower.
Throughout Week 1, I was unsuccessful in getting back in the groove. There were too many occasions where I was tempted and failed.
But I did reflect quite a bit on how I once was able to face these challenges and walk away feeling successful. For instance, last year for one of the lunches, I was doing a 7 Day Clean Eating Challenge, and I was able to tackle Soup & Sandwich without breaking any of the rules.
I think I’m finally ready to step up and be that girl again.
I’ve already wasted one week of Lent, and I’ve now resolved that I’m not going to waste any more of these precious 40 Days.
Today is the first challenge: Soup & Sandwich lunch at our church. This is an occasion that I always have trouble with. The soup is never an issue, but when faced with a platter of delicious sandwiches, I struggle to find restraint. If I was making a sandwich for myself at home (which is rare), I would never make more than one. Yet faced with those delectable little triangles at Soup & Sandwich, I can easily lose track and eat the equivalent of two full sandwiches…sometimes more.
Then comes the dessert. I always bop around the dessert table – today, it will be laden with assorted kinds of pie – and search for the biggest piece. Once I’ve selected my giant piece of pie, I’ll top it with a huge dollop of whipped cream. And no, I won’t leave one crumb on my plate.
Then, I return to the office feeling stuffed, and by mid-afternoon, very dopey and sleepy. Happens every time.
My goal today is to enjoy Soup & Sandwich, but dig deep to find some willpower. To not go pure glutton once I hit that church basement. My plan is to eat no more than 4 little sandwich triangles – the equivalent of one sandwich. I contemplated skipping the pie altogether, but I’ve decided I will allow myself a modest piece. But then a very light supper tonight shall follow.
There will be more challenges coming up in the coming Lenten weeks. A baby shower, an Irish Tea, a day of bridesmaid dress shopping that I’m sure will include a stop for a bite to eat…
Today will set the tone. Today, I will prove to myself that I can do it.
If I can “give up” 15 pounds by Easter Sunday, I will be feeling rejuvenated, and very much back on track again. My clothes will feel good again, and I’ll have my confidence back.
This Lenten goal is probably more important than any other I’ve had before.
I can’t lose sight of that.