Friday, March 10

Adding it on for Lent

Happy Friday! Last week, Jana posted about Lent and listed some wonderful ideas even those who don’t normally observe the season could incorporate. Personally, I have never observed Lent, just like I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I’m a creature-comfort kind of gal, and the thought of taking any of that away or adding unnecessary stress to my life doesn’t interest me. When my step-daughter was a six-year-old upstanding Catholic schoolgirl, she gave up chocolate for Lent until she realized that meant she couldn’t order the brownie for dessert. To which she claimed, “If I’d known that, I would have given up picking my nose for Lent.”

Yeah, I’m kind of with her on that one ;-)

However, this year, I decided to add something to my life for Lent: eating right and exercising. Okay, maybe it was strongly recommended by my doctor after a shocking jump in my blood pressure readings. And, hopefully I won’t let it go once the Lenten season is over, but instead have it intimately incorporated into my daily routine. And maybe (just maybe) it was because we have a Spring Break cruise planned and I’ll be wearing a swimsuit on the sooner side of things. Ack!

So, yes, the timing of when Lent began this year conveniently coincided with my epiphany that I desperately needed to get a handle on my physical well-being. Rather than dwell on the details, I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned during my week and a half Lenten addition.

1)      I can wake up an hour earlier than normal and still function at an almost acceptable human being level and without increasing my caffeine intake. Yay for not turning into a Walking Dead Zombie!

2)      Even during my pre-dawn workout--when I’m a sweaty, panting, gross, snarling beast--rerun episodes of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” still make me cry happy tears. Maybe it’s a romance writer thing, but happily-ever-afters are a great way to start the day!

3)      It’s possible to cut back on portion sizes, limit carbs, and increase fresh veggies without tailspinning into a pizza bender. And along that same train of thought, it’s also possible to have only a handful of Hershey’s kisses instead of the whole bag. I know right… who knew?!

4)      I can do it. Just that, plain and simple. I can do all of it, keep it real and reasonable, without making excuses or having to give myself a daily SuperBowl-level pep speech.

The 1.5 week results? Blood pressure on the way down. Weight also on the way down (not enough to register in my clothes yet, but I’m okay with that). Stamina on the way up (soon, I’ll be adding reruns of “What Not to Wear” to my exercise viewing). I know that a week and a half does not make a lifetime, but I’m happy with the process so far and thinking that this is something I might be able to keep up for the long-term. Which would be an Easter-size miracle for me, because implementation of the whole eat-right-and-exercise concept has never stuck. But, hey, this time of year is all about hope and renewal in all things, myself included.

Like Nan in her efforts to stay away from social media, let’s be accountable to one another here. What have you added/sacrificed for Lent? And how is it going so far? I want to cheer you on, because if I can say “thanks for the offer of the bacon cheeseburger, but I’d rather have my salad,” then you can succeed as well!

13 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this, and good for you! I'll join in the "you can do it" chorus. I think I said here that I gave up anger and that week and a half in you mentioned, it's going really well. I had one little (yes, it really was little) meltdown, but it was kind of a necessary one, so I did some self-foregiveness for that one and moved on.

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    1. Wonderful! Of course, I can't even imagine you angry, but I'm thrilled you are embracing happiness (and forgiveness:-)

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  2. Well, it wasn't technically for lent, but I started my interval training back up this week. So I'm running 3 days each week.

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    1. Wow! I don't even run for bacon, so you're a much better person than I am ;-) Keep up the great work!

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  3. Good for you. I read an article late last year titled, Younger Next Year. It said you should exercise six days a week (4 cardio and 2 strength). I set that as my goal and have maintained it. I feel so much better. Not much weight loss but my clothes are looser and I notice better stamina. So keep it up. Little changes can make a big difference.

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    1. Six days a week is amazing, Carolyn! Isn't it funny how a little exercise can really up our stamina? Great job and good for you!

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  4. Ava, you are an inspiration. I have to confess that leaving social media is way, way harder than I expected it to be because I'm lonely. I miss everyone. But I'm doing it and I think it's a good thing for me. I'm also not eating to comfort myself--I'm knitting...incorrectly, but I'm knitting. Looking forward to seeing you and everyone else tomorrow at IRWA! Hugs, baby!

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    1. I have some kitty videos to share with you tomorrow 😉
      Nan, you are a brave soul to step away from social media, but I applaud your strength (and your knitting skills). You can do it!

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  5. Congratulations. Sometimes getting started is the hardest and you have done that. I have taken the opportunity to attend some more classes at Newtone fitness since my retirement. The classes have pushed me but hanging in there. Enjoy though doing push-ups yesterday proved to be very difficult I know it's good for me. Thanks for sharing your positive addition to your life.

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    1. Push ups?!? That's fabulous Patrice! My noodle arms can't push me away from the dinner table, much less up off the floor! 😂 Stick with it, you'll be arm-wrestling Marines soon!

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  6. I like this idea. I haven't done it, but I admire you for creating your own unique twist on Lent.

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    1. Margie, your positivity is always an inspiration!

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  7. Sorry, I'm late to the party, Ava. Congrats on taking action to better your health. I wish you much stick-to-it-ness!

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