Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sacrificing for Lent

Fat Tuesday is almost over and Ash Wednesday is tomorrow, kicking off the season of Lent. This is a time of sacrifice. A time to fast. I can't imagine doing an actual fast given my unending love for food, but ever since I was a child, I was encouraged to pick one item to "fast" from during Lent. As a kid, I almost always gave up soda or sweets. And I always failed. The first year I can remember successfully completing the whole Lenten season without cheating on my fast was my senior year of high school. I gave up soda that year. It sounds crazy now because I drink less than one soda a month on average, but back then, I was working at a law firm where a major part of my job was restocking the soda in the fridge. This was a trying time.

C can't really remember whether or not his church encouraged its congregation to give up something for Lent, but he and his family never really participated if they did. I believe he thought I was crazy the first year we were dating and I chose to give up chocolate for Lent. He wanted nothing to do with it, which was fine since we didn't live together. However, being the supportive husband he is, he chose to (or maybe I told him he was going to) participate in Lent last year. Together, we gave up chocolate and coffee. To put this into perspective, we eat at least a little piece of chocolate almost every day and I drink approximately 3 cups of coffee each morning on average. Lent was long last year. C doesn't really drink coffee, but he does enjoy the vending machine cappuccinos as well as coffee flavored things, like ice cream. For the purposes of Lent, we did not allow ourselves anything coffee flavored or made with espresso, so this made it a little difficult for C as well.

A few weeks ago, C and I were watching television and he turned to me and told me he had been thinking about Lent. This was shocking. This is the guy who thought I was crazy just 3 years ago for giving up something. What is even more shocking, is that C had decided that we should give up meat for Lent. Seriously? Who is this guy? Not only had he just thrown out an idea for Lent that wasn't a joke (last year he wanted to give up working out I believe) but he had suggested something that would truly be a sacrifice.

We have spent the last few weeks thinking and talking about this option, and have decided to give it a shot. I want to be clear. We are not trying to become vegetarians, vegans, or implement any other major lifestyle change. We are doing this solely for the purposes of Lent in the spirit of sacrifice. We have decided that we are still allowed to eat fish and seafood, but since I don't really care for fish or seafood much, these aren't things I cook. Basically this would only apply when we go out to eat, which is usually about once per week. Since we are not going vegan, we obviously are still eating eggs, cheese, milk, etc.

I'm excited for this challenge. I think it will be somewhat difficult to come up with dinner ideas other than pasta (we obviously don't want to gain weight due to this decision). We will definitely have to make sacrifices as we spend time with family and friends in the coming weeks, but I think we can be successful.

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