Lent

Lent

Goodbye chocolate, sweets and cakes. Or, in fact, anything overtly high in sugar. It's been fun.

 

While everyone was on their 'new year, new me' wave of cheer in January, starting their health kicks and exercise regimes, I was still up to my neck in retail's busiest time of year. Chocolate was pretty much the only thing keeping me standing. To get me to give that shit up, you'd have to prize it out of my cold, dead hands.

But I knew full well it wasn't good for me. When you allow yourself to become dependant on sugar for energy, you get lazy with the whole balanced diet thing. Lunch takes longer than just shoving a cake in your face, after all. Bad, bad, bad. But the more you eat, the more you want. And so the cycle continues.

And it's definitely taking its toll. With the slight whiff of spring in the air, a winter spent binging on sugar has left me feeling slow, lethargic and all round pretty shit. Time to do something about it, and isn't Lent a handy kick up the arse?

I went for Lent because it's six weeks. In my experience, setting yourself a time-sensitive target cuts out any of that losing-the-will-to-live stuff. You imagine all the Easter Eggs you'll allow yourself to eat. It gets you through.

Not only that, but with a whole bunch of other people sacrificing similar things, you don't feel like your out on your own. It's a reboot on all the new year resolutions that quickly fell by the wayside. And one that doesn't come with quite so much pressure. You're not looking to create a whole new self, you're just looking for a version of you that functions a little better.

And I know from experience that all this crappy food slows me down. Last year, I gave it up for six months. Then I started introducing 'treat weekends', where I'd allow myself to eat whatever the hell I wanted. I enjoyed myself immensely, but by the time Monday rolled around, I felt like a wreck. It upset my stomach, disturbed my sleep and made a dot-to-dot out of my skin. Without it, I had more energy, better moods and what's more, I didn't catch a single cold. Makes you wonder what the hell happened to allow me to slip this deep into a sugar coma, right?

That bastard sweet tooth, that's what.

So ... yep, the junk has gone. The first week is the hardest, because not only are you going through an honest to God sugar withdrawal - seriously, proved by science and everything - you're breaking habits. And they're stubborn little buggers. Changing what you eat is not nearly as hard as changing the decision making process in your head of what you're choosing to eat. But it's all within your control. 

That little evening treat? Bin in. You don't need it. Switch out the Haribo for raisins, the chocolate for a banana and the boredom snacking for as much water as you can tolerate before you feel like you're sloshing. 

Six weeks. It's really not that hard. And I bet you anything that after a celebratory Easter Egg, you'll be ready to kick the junk food all over again for another six weeks. Well, that's the plan, anyway. Wish me luck.