Monday, March 7, 2011

Top of the muffin to ya! Week 8

In just two short days, a Catholic you know might whisper sweet nothings to a bag of M&Ms, look forlornly at a glass of wine or tie themselves to a chair to keep from checking their Facebook page.

Without fail, they will refrain.

Yes, yes, y'all. Lent begins on Wednesday.

I'm giving up the usual - sweets. No cookies, no candy, no cake, no anything else that, midway through the 40 days, I decide I might try to use as a substitute. Like peanut butter and jelly in excess. I've almost done it and I know it when I see it.

The first few days are rough.  Not because I'm actually thinking of cheating. . . but because I simply forget (which speaks volumes about what I eat without thinking about it).

Oh, the poor people around me during Lent. . . My unintentional lapses have resulted in spitting out chewed food (very attractive. very.) and actually swallowing a forbidden item then, in realization, yelling, "Oh my Gawd!" to the confusion and shock of bystanders.

Lent drums up interest.  People ask questions about Catholicism and there's always someone to look out for me and keep me on the straight and narrow.

To this day, when I'm torn over an item and wondering, "Can I eat this?," I hear my childhood friend Misty's syrupy Southern voice yell the same words she did across the high school softball field as she saw me poised to pop a piece of sugary, ballpark bubblegum into my mouth: "Court! You're lenting!"

I wish I heard Misty's voice every single day of the year instead of just 40 days.

Lent isn't about a diet, which is why I hesitated to even write about it here. It's about suffering & sacrifice & an effort to change bad ways forever, which is why I did decide to write about it.

For the next 40 days, I'll be reflecting on a permanent life change and hopefully not spitting out too many half-chewed peppermints in public.

Oh. And no loss this week, after a couple unfortunate run-ins with a Pyrex of banana pudding. 


  1. This is horrible, but I'm not even Catholic and am considering doing Lent for sweets in hopes that I'll actually do it! I'm not sure I have enough Catholic friends, though. I'm a strong Christian, but am Protestant. Shoot, I went to a Catholic University and on Ash Wednesday I was TOTALLY confused! Ha! Maybe I'll try it anyway, you have inspired me! A Pyrex of Oh Henry Bars got me this week, so I totally sympathize with your lack of weight loss. You are not alone!

  2. lol! Give it a try - as a Protestant, you can definitely get behind the principles surrounding Lent and you'll be able to stick to it :) Darn a Pyrex full of anything. I'm considering throwing all of mine away. . . nothing healthy ever comes from those things.

  3. I'm a Southern Baptist and I have given up something for Lent for years. When I went to a Methodist church we had an Ash Wednesday service and a lot of people I know gave something up. Of course my mother in law thinks I'm crazy and that only Catholics commemorate Lent, but really? We could all stand to spend 40 days reflecting on the sacrifice given to us so freely.

    This year it's sweets. It will prove to be my hardest year yet, I'm certain. I've done soft drinks and (2 years ago) television. Consequently, 2 years ago during Lent my husband decided to go to seminary and we decided to start a family so I will be forever grateful for a lull in the action and a time of reflection.

  4. My severely lapsed-Catholic self will also be participating in Lent this year. Last year I got a severe case of food poisoning a few days before and that sort of jump-started my decision to try giving up meat for the full 40 days. I lapsed a few times last year though. A few times I just forgot something contained meat, and then there was one moment when I broke down and had to have a cheeseburger. This year I've decided to do the same thing and strive to truly make it all 40 days. No meat (except fish) and also going to give up my nightly popcorn addiction. It's a healthier snack alternative, but I buy the Ultimate Butter kind and sprinkle parmesan on top, so I think I should give it a break. Hoping it will help me lose 5 lbs and think it might help me rule out if I'm allergic to anything that might be what's causing some breakouts.

    Good Luck Courtney! I usually try to keep dried fruit on hand if I crave sweet things. I usually crave more salty things though. Guess I better stock up on Kosher dills and pistachios in lieu of buttery popcorn.

  5. P.S. I bought a wok from Ikea months ago and finally broke it out after last week's post about your stir fry adventure. It worked great and I plan to use it a lot during Lent to cook up my veggies and tofu.

  6. I do Lent every year and every year my husband sighs. He tells people I give up life for 40 days. Good Luck to you!