So I am well under way with Lent and I realized I haven't given an update on progress. The season kicked off with a Toberlone bar and a lovely Ash Wednesday service, where I got the eponymous administration of ashes and sang any number of obscure Lenten hymns. This is an area rich with opportunity for improvement- so to my musically inclined friends, please get on it. I know it has to be somber, but maybe something just a bit catchy? Is that permissible?
The meat part hasn't been too terrible- though, as predicted, whenever I let myself dwell on it, usually during a conference call, I can only think about having a delicious, succulent slab of beef product seasoned ever so subtly with garlic and salt. And then whoever I'm talking seems to have their head begin to look awfully like a well marbled cut. I have to quickly shake my head and refocus on requirements traceability matrices and lessons learned. The other major discovery of this vegetarian season? Veggie fried rice isn't worth the calories. It needs some slightly grizzled "chicken" meat in with it to get the full experience.
Sweets, on the other hand, have been a much stiffer challenge. I think the most interesting part has been realizing what times of day I get the strongest cravings. Because I don't really dig coffee, I've realized the extent to which I've relied on sugar to keep my stimulated during the day. The mid-afternoon has been the real dip in energy and I find myself twitching to have a chocolate or cookie or froyo. I've tried to mitigate through increased hot tea or diet Snapple intake. Yet I still find myself very tired and head-achy by 3pm every afternoon.
The other time is at night, when I get home, if my roommates aren't there. I didn't realize it, but I begin to lust after sweets at that time of night. It's when I've not gotten home until 8 or 8:30 after a long day and don't have dinner until 8:30 or 9- then the yen sinks in and I can only think of something terribly sweet. I had never made this connection until it was denied to me. I think it's because I'm tired and a little lonely because I only have an hour before I have to be in bed and no one to chat with. I just want to sit there and tune out until it's time to sleep. But not having the numbing affect of sugary anesthesia has forced me to engage in the evening, and I must say, I am relishing being made to enjoy my evenings again. I'm reading more, initiating with far away friends more, writing more- who knew?
And I also have to say, only have one day a week to have sweets has been really rather good for me. It keeps me from wasting on little caloric packed fillers and just indulge in the items that I've truly been craving and are worth the calorie count.
So, all in all, this is a successful venture so far. In fact, don't hold me to this, but I may keep the sweets thing going after Lent. I like that I can tangibly feel the difference in my spiritual life and overall enjoyment of life. But we'll see how I feel after 40 days :)