Lean for Lent: Curbing the Chocolate CravingsPosted on Feb 24th 2010 10:00AM by Karla Carrington
Every year on Ash Wednesday, Christians worldwide kick off the season of Lent. Most pick something to give up during this season as a way of denying self and drawing closer to God in the lead up to Holy Week and Easter. I have participated many times giving up an array of things ranging from beef to makeup. This year I am giving up chocolate. And it has been hard.
Only five days in and my co-workers are begging me to eat chocolate as they think I am noticeably more irritable. Between me and you, I agree. I am certain that this experience has shined a light on how heavily I rely on chocolate without even knowing it and how much I consume. Even the frequency is surprising, but I'm sticking to my commitment and have no designs of eating a morsel of chocolate until Easter. Avoiding chocolate has also sparked the urge to consume less sugar.
In my attempt to avoid chocolate or any of its derivatives, I've been reading every label. What has become obvious is the many different ways of unknowingly consuming sugar. I refused ahead of time to give up sugar altogether because I have suffered more than one failed attempt -- but figured chocolate alone would not be so bad. And it's not if you don't count the cravings! They are starting to wane a bit, but the first few days were like chocolate withdrawal. I never realized that I eat chocolate in some form almost daily. While there are many health benefits to eating chocolate in moderation, I tend to lean to the chocolate extreme.
I am going to stick out these full 40 days and continue to see how I feel. Maybe my irritability will subside and the cravings will go away completely. To keep me on track, I have enlisted the help of my nieces and nephew -- Catelynn, age 6, Christian, 9 and Caroline, 12. Catelynn and Christian have given up candy, except gum and Caroline has given up tea and juice.
At the last check in with my sister, all three had fallen off the wagon and slipped up with candy and a juice chaser. Fortunately, all three have picked themselves up and started again in hopes of making it to the end successfully. I am happy to report that I am doing well and have not fallen off. Doing it with the kids makes it more rewarding and motivational for me to be the example and stick it out to the very end. I won't miss the extra calories, and may even be able to buy an Easter outfit in a smaller size. Hmm, lean for Lent sounds pretty good to me!
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