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3.08.2011

Are you ready for Lent?

I don't talk much about religion, partly because (yes, I'm going to admit this out loud) I'm pretty lukewarm about my religious beliefs... at least in reference to organized religion. I'm not going to go into my beliefs other than to say that I believe in God, but am not the biggest fan of organized religion. But I am Catholic and continue to attend a Catholic church mostly to make my family happy. And right now I'm really happy that my grandma doesn't have a computer and that my mom thinks I'm crazy so she doesn't read my blog. And family members who do read this, be nice and keep this to yourself, K? Thanks.

How do I rationalize this blatant hypocrisy? Well, I believe what I believe, and the fact that my church isn't 100% behind my beliefs doesn't bug me that much. I figure only God knows who is "right" so why stress that much- all we can do is pray and reflect and do what we think is best. And I don't always believe that the church (any church) is the best authority on this.

But that is not my point- one of the things that I do like about the Catholic church (and that not everyone likes) is Lent and it's emphasis on sacrifice and fasting. I think that both are important to physical (yes, I said physical), mental, spiritual, and emotional health and that Spring is the best time for it. Fasting not only gives our system a break (because digesting the large amounts of food we normally eat is hard work) but helps us to reflect both on our relationship with God and on how lucky we are to have so much great food at our fingertips. And sacrificing something for the duration of Lent is a great way to practice self discipline and to potentially break some bad habits (or at least lessen their hold on us).

But I'm not good at keeping these resolutions. My biggest problem is that I forget. I don't work (I mean at a real job...), so in all honestly I don't know what day of the week it is most of the time... often it will be afternoon before I realize it's Friday, and I will have already eaten meat. And in the past I haven't been able to come up with anything that I am willing to give up for the weeks of Lent, either because I didn't think I could realistically keep it up or because I couldn't think of anything that was worthy of giving up.

This year, however, I have far too many ideas (and Izzy's preschool schedule should keep me abreast of when Friday rolls around). Here are the ones at the top of the list:

-No sugar. This one scares me the most, but I also think it would be the best for me. I have never done a full-on sugar detox (although I use exclusively natural sugars like honey and maple syrup) because since I don't have much of a sweet tooth I don't feel I have much of a sugar addiction. But I think it's time.
-No grains. I lied, this would be much harder than giving up sugar. I feel 99.9% certain that I NEED grains to function and feel good, but I also know the effects of gluten "addiction," and am concerned that my feeling that I "need" grain may be a result of it. This has also been one I've put off because I don't suffer from most of the maladies that those who have intolerance to grain suffer from EXCEPT FOR difficulty in loosing weight. **
-No alcohol. I don't really drink that much or that often, but this is still a good one. **
-Be in bed EVERY NIGHT by 11pm. **
-No electronic device usage after 10pm.

(the ones marked ** will be temporarily suspended during next weekend's trip to Oregon... I know that defeats the purpose, but I don't care!).

The last two I believe would benefit my sleep (and my health) and would be just challenging enough to be a sacrifice. I will likely pick three or four of the five I have listed. I have until tomorrow to decide...

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