40 Days and 40 Nights

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Christmas saw us stuffing our faces silly and January had us pinching the pennies and scraping together meals from what was left over. Now it's mid-February and we're feeling a little back on track and it's time to really begin thinking about how we want to continue into the year. Lent is upon us and we're given the chance to all come together and eradicate (at least) one thing from our lives that isn't serving us in the long run. Traditionally it was a 40-day fast, but now we mark the occasion with giving up a single vice like chocolate or alcohol.

As I was thinking about what I wanted to give up, I thought 'wouldn't it be even more productive to actively do something for 40 days, too?'. So I'm giving up one thing I have a total love / hate relationship with and taking on one thing I'd otherwise put off. I was wracking my brain trying to think of what would be best... something not too difficult that I'd cave within the first week, and something not too easy that it wouldn't make a difference and I'd just feel like I was cheating myself. 

I eat fairly well, on the whole, and so giving up something like chocolate or crisps wouldn't make much of a difference. My biggest food foe is the oh-so-lovely and oh-so-terrible carbohydrates. There are obviously good carbohydrates (quinoa, bulgar wheat, beans...) that I wouldn't give up as they form the basis for most of my meals, so I decided upon something that isn't necessary in my diet and is actually causing me to feel heavy and bloated and can easily lead to a few more pounds plonking themselves right at the middle... bread. Oh, this delicious and oh-so-addictive yet terribly guilt-ridden doughy substance. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the stuff, which is why I wanted to give it up. I wanted it to be a real challenge but something that I'd feel amazing about achieving... so bread, my dear, farewell for now, I dare say we will meet again in 40 suns and 40 moons from now.

Ditching the bread also means ditching the bread basket (by which I mean the extra few pounds I've accumulated around the belly). So I've decided to do a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise every day. I didn't want to tie myself down to a strict regime because that only seems to lead to frustration and, eventually, failure. Keeping it open will make it more fun because I can switch it up and do what I feel will be best for my body on the day. I ride my bike to yoga classes and my job requires me to stand for 8 hours a day so a lot of the time I'll also be doing at-home workouts and stretches so let me know if you'd like me to post about routines I find beneficial or particularly enjoyable.

Let me know what you're giving up for lent this year!

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