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Lent. That time of year where Christians prepare for Easter by giving something up or doing something extra for a period of 40 days. Almost everyone seems to recognise Lent as a time to try something different. But it’s not always so easy…
Every year I religiously tell myself that I’m giving up all things sweet. Chocolate, cakes, sweets, biscuits, you name it. Everything that I essentially love to eat I vow to give up for Lent. When you were younger this was an easier task as you constantly had your Mum reminding you what you’ve given up; the sad puppy dog eyes didn’t even work!
It’s always good having that little extra push reminding you that you’ve given something up for a good reason, whether it’s preparing for Easter for religious reasons, doing it to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have such luxuries or just because you want to prove to yourself that you can live without chocolate for 40 days… I haven’t quite managed this one yet.
As you get older and live on your own, temptation suddenly surrounds you. It’s not quite so easy to give something up when there’s no one there to help you. It’s all about will power I’m afraid. Do not, I repeat, do not go into that sweet shop if you know you’re too weak to resist chocolate’s calling. Remember why you wanted to give it up in the first place and use that as your motivation to carry on. Over the years, I have heard some bizarre (in my opinion) things to give up, like tomato sauce. Don’t get me wrong, I like tomato sauce on my chips just like any other person, but how much are you having that you feel that it’s become hardship to give up? Each to their own I suppose. Yet, it goes to show that everyone falls victim to something and if you can pluck up the motivation to give this something up, then I’m sure you won’t regret it.
Whilst Lent is traditionally a season where people give up something, I think that doing something extra might be more worthwhile. If giving up certain food isn’t a hardship for you, then perhaps pledging to get more involved in charity work is the way to go. You might not shed the few pounds that you would from giving up treats, but doing this is definitely something more valuable, and not to mention, I’m pretty sure it will have the same positive effect on your wellbeing that looking a little trimmer will.
So Lent may appear to be a daunting task ahead of you, but it doesn’t have to be. After the first week or so you’ll surprise yourself with how easy it is to give something up or do something extra. If it’s giving something up don’t put yourself in temptation’s way, also doing it with a friend certainly makes a lot easier – you could always have a competition of who lasts the longest! If it’s doing something extra then make sure you’ve got the time to do it, don’t do it just to show that you’re a good person, do it because you believe in the cause you’re supporting and give as much as time as you can.
That said, good luck to everyone and be sure to avoid 3 for £1 crème eggs in home bargains. Who said that?