Wednesday, February 13, 2013

having my sweet tooth removed

For Lent 2013 I will mostly be giving up my sanity. Let me explain...

A couple of days ago I had the following conversation with myself.*

Me: maybe I should give up sugar for Lent
Me (the other side of me): WHAT??? Have you completely lost your mind? Since you stopped eating Marmite on toast**, sugar has been your staple diet. You'll die.
Me: yeah you're right. But...

Yeah one of those moments. Where you're sort of pleading with yourself not to do it. But the more you do, the more you realise you need to give it up.

Lent trends have varied around the UK church in recent years.

There's the standard catholic giving up of luxuries (wine, chocolate, caffeine etc***)
Then the subversion - taking something on rather than giving up. 40 days of exercise, reading, learning etc.
Some of it is cause-related, challenges to live on £1 a day, or on a benefits budget, or with a minimal wardrobe, as a way of understanding the life of others.
Or another alternative, encouraging 40 days of service or kindness, with schemes from Stewardship, Soul Survivor and the Church of England sending Lent-ers****

I love the creativity that Lent brings out. It's inspiring to see people consider a slightly different way of life for 40 days, whether that's sacrificial, life-improving, eye-opening, servant-hearted or perhaps all four.

There are, obviously religious and theological reasons for Lent too. Denying one's self in order to better focus on God, giving up something in order to dedicate the time to reading or praying etc. This morning I read about idolatry being anything which we depend upon to provide that which we should be receiving from God.

And the reality is, I depend on sugar.

To be clear, really clear, I don't think food is evil. Or that eating meals is idolatry. Of course not. It's good, necessary and (usually!) enjoyable. A healthy balanced diet is an essential part of human survival and there's plenty of opportunity to be grateful to God as he provides for us through farmers, supermarkets, restaurants etc.

It's definitely fair to say my food habits wouldn't be listed in any textbook as healthy or balanced. My working week is far from routine so there aren't any regular mealtimes or patterns. So it looks like this:

Breakfast - if I'm driving to the office or a school I probably won't have any. If I'm working from home I might grab a bit of toasted soda bread, but I'm just as likely to eat cake if there is any, or chocolate.

Lunch - again, some days I won't have any. Partly through working but also due to snacking so I'm not hungry. More on that later. On a good day I might make cheese on toasted potato farls, or microwave some soup. Or if I'm at the office perhaps a wrap from Boots, or a Greggs sausage, bean & cheese melt, or maybe a jacket potato from the van.

Dinner - this brings my score up a bit! Dan and I cook. We cook everything from scratch and enjoy it. So evening meals are usually healthy and balanced. They do almost always include dessert though.

Snacking - my number one pastime! If there's chocolate in the house, I'll eat it. And given that I love baking, there's often cake around too. It's bad for my teeth and waistline, it stops me from eating proper meals at mealtimes, it's often expensive and sugar is a short-term energy boost.

So for example, yesterday I survived on three homemade carrot cake muffins, two coffees, one chai latte, two glasses of water, three creme eggs^, two lemon and sugar pancakes and a good bowl of homemade tomato and mushroom pasta.

If you've managed to read this far, you're probably urging me to give up sugar for Lent before I descend into a diabetic coma. Quite.

Can I do it? Watch this space...

* I fully believe everyone has conversations with themselves. If that's not the case, please stop reading. You already have enough evidence that I have lost any shred of sanity that I might ever have had.
** Yeast intolerance. Most things can be replaced. Marmite? That's a beautiful, unique and completely irreplaceable thing. I am still in mourning.
*** if your response to that list is "Luxuries? Those are essential life-blood items" I hear ya. Perhaps you should give them up for a few weeks?
**** Is that even a word?
^ in my defence they were spread throughout the day. My autocorrect changed that to Crime Eggs. How appropriate!

1 comment:

  1. I gave up sugar a couple of years ago. It was very hard! Crisps are the thing that I absolutely depend on. When we did our church fast a couple of weeks ago, during the various fasts I did, I did not eat any crisps and it always makes you realise how much you depend on things! You can do it Rach! Crime eggs is hilarious!! Do computers make Freudian slip perchance?
    I have considered a few things this year to give up and take on, it's always hard to know what to do!
    Great write up- I love it!
    By the way, Floss is doing A pause for Lent x
    Oh and PS. I meant to say to you when we met up, I loved your bunting necklace! I meant to say it as I kept looking at it, but somehow, never managed to say it at the appropriate time!x



Sometimes I do go on...