Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and marked the first day of Lent in the Christian calendar. Lent is a time of penitence and fasting during the forty days from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Fasting means limiting food intake to modest amounts and eating no meat on Ash Wednesday and the seven following Fridays. 

Many Christians choose to “give up” something for Lent. By giving up something that we enjoy, we are depriving ourselves of that pleasure, and in turn we are making a sacrifice to God. We can give up anything we enjoy from watching television, to going to sporting events, to eating our favorite foods. For the purposes of today’s post, I’m going to focus on the food aspect of Lenten sacrifice.

A friend once told me that when she told our priest that she was giving up bread for Lent, and was hoping she’d lose a few pounds in the process, our priest replied with something like, “I don’t think that’s exactly how you should be looking at it.”

It can be argued that something like bread, which for my friend was a major temptation, would be a very good thing to sacrifice even if a small part of her reasoning was selfish, quite the opposite of what we’re striving for during the Lenten season. Some other common foods given up, and my take on them, include…

 

1. Chocolate – Let’s face it, some people love their chocolate and denying themselves of this one delicacy for forty days would truly be a sacrifice. It might be easier for them to give up oxygen.  

2. Wine/Alcohol – You know I love my cocktails, but wine? I probably wouldn’t even notice… If I were going this route, I’d have to include tequila and vodka to truly make it a sacrifice.

3. Bread – Bill and I have cut back on bread so much in recent years, that giving it up wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice – except for Wegman’s W bread still warm from the oven…

4. Sweets – Ahh, my downfall! I have, and always have had, a sweet tooth a mile long. I’ve never met a fresh baked cookie that I didn’t like. Cookies, ice cream, brownies – you, my friends, are going to have to wait forty days until we meet again! 

5. Pastas/Rices – Meh… I’ve eaten so much pasta carbo-loading for long training runs and marathons, that I could last forty years on my stored glycogen.

 

Bonus: Instead of giving up something for Lent, one can choose to do a good deed each day. I’ve usually chosen this route; however, this year in addition to the good deed, I’m giving up sweets. It’s going to be a long forty days, and on Easter Sunday I’ll enjoy a cannoli, or two!

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Photo courtesy of Bill

 

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Today I’m joining the DC Trifecta’s Friday Five Linkup with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!  Please stop by these DC area bloggers’ blogs to say hello; and while you’re there, be sure to check out other bloggers who are also participating in the linkup.

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  • Questions:
  • Do you give up anything for Lent? If so, what?
  • What’s your biggest food temptation?
  • Are you racing this weekend? ~ I’m running in the Run Your Heart Out 5K and the temperature at race time is forecasted to be around 15°, with a wind chill of 1°. 🙁 

 

Happy Running! ~ Deb