What are You Giving Up For Lent?

February 17, 2010


I just realized that today is lent. I never grew up observing Lent or really understanding what it is. I remember being a freshman in college and telling the girl behind me in line at the cafeteria that she had some sort of black smudge on her forehead. She politely explained that it was Ash Wednesday. Talk about embarrassing!

Once I found out it was Lent, I had to consult my spiritual advisor better half, Toni, to figure out what I should give up. Our conversation went something like this:

ashley hicks: Are you giving up anything for lent
tmarshall1908: I should, starts today right?
ashley hicks: I think its going to be meat, fried foods and soda
tmarshall1908: Wow! That's a lot ash
ashley hicks: Wait...pump the breaks! That's too much? I honestly don't even know how this whole thing works. I’m not Catholic.
tmarshall1908: ROFLMAO
ashley hicks: How many things does God want u to give up?
tmarshall1908: OMG, you are crazy! I think he just wants you to sacrifice something. Like he sacrificed his life for us

Please excuse my ignorance of the holiday. I decided to look for some real advice and came across Bustedhalo.com. They have non-traditional advice for Catholics and non-Catholics. According to the site, Lent “is fasting, prayer and almsgiving. The belief is that our consistent participation in these practices — like exercise we do for our physical health — is a form of purification that improves our spiritual wellbeing by stripping away all that is unnecessary and by becoming more mindful of our ultimate dependence on God in our lives.” With that being said, I’m looking at this experience as a spiritual exercise that requires discipline and a change in habits for the next 40 days. Here are the things I decided to give up for the sake of a deeper relationship with God and a lot more focus.

1. Caffeine and Soda – Diet soda is crack. I drink it everyday and if necessary, I would sell my tv to buy it. If my tweets are a little off for the next week, it’s because I’m going through detox. Pray for me.
2. Fried Foods – French fries, chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A, kettle chips oh how I love you! You will be missed, but I know that I will have more energy and a smaller waistline in forty days after giving you up.
3. EXCUSES - Excuses are the tools of the incompetent which build mounds of nothingness. Those who use them fail to accomplish anything! (Shoutout to Eta Psi) Someone on twitter suggested that we should give up Excuses for Lent. By far, this is the best suggestion I’ve heard. As runners and workout enthusiast, when we fall short of our fitness goals we usually form excuses. No more…at least for the next forty day.

Do you observe Lent? If so, what are you giving up? Will it help you with your fitness goals?

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