Lent & life’s simple pleasures?


It’s that time of year again; the time of abstention.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not religious but I still see the point of a longer time of reflection and evaluation of myself and my habits. That sounds very pretentious; in reality I “just”abstain from certain things during this period and hope for the best. This year, like last, I’m not eating any added sugar for 40 days and 40 nights.

I do not have a weight problem(or maybe I do; I don’t weigh enough according to some) nor do I have an addiction to sugar. But it is a bad habit; for my skin, my teeth and for my blood sugar levels, and as someone you gets really hungry(and “hangry”) keeping those in check is a service to mankind.

Previous years I’ve been a vegan( a fail in many ways; I was tired all the time and lost weight. Totally undertand why vegans often mention that they are vegan: it’s all you can think about), abstained from dairy and given up on things related to my incessant running around like a ninny(take-away coffee etc.). It’s always an experience, I do learn something about myself, and it’s a chance to live “outside the box”.

My decision to not eat any added sugar until Easter has a lot to do with vanity and also that horrible low blod sugar in the afternoon. Some people talk about sugar like it’s the devil and compare it to drugs; I don’t. But it is a shame that sugar has become such vital part of social gatherings, that it is used in a way that many things just taste like it(it is absolutely the kind of thing where you build up a tolerance for it; like salt you need more and more to taste it). So in a way this is about recalibrating my own tastebuds.

The social things is the hardest; if I ever get an inkling of what sober alcoholics go through it’s now. I know this from last year; not having a cardamom bun when everyone else is tucking in is frowned upon to say the least.

I’m not saying that I’m morally superior because I do this, but some people act like I imply it. All I want is to stop eating sweet stuff that I don’t actually like, just because it’s there. And I do, for convenience, hunger or politeness, it is a fact that some of the stuff that effects my skin and mood in a bad way wasn’t worth it. I could just eat less of it, but that’s not how I work sadly. Adding that to the fact that it’s everywhere and often offered to me; I have willpower but not that much.

I’m not alone in this, not counting religious people all over the world that observe Lent, I have two friends that when I suggested this a few years ago really liked the concept and have done it too, but with other things. The original push came from Elspeth Thompson and her book “The wonderful weekend book-reclaiming life’s simple pleasures”. If I haven’t written an ode to it already it’s sure to come. I think  it’s a brilliant collection of advice and ideas,  like the big sister I’ve never had. Maybe it’s a bit outdated now(it was originally published in 2008) but a lot of it still rings true. If anything life has become even more hectic and demands multiplied, it’s my sorely needed slow life talisman.

So no licorice and no chocolate but fruit. No cocktails(which contain liqueurs and syrups) but maybe a glass of wine on occasion. I’ll put cheese and apple on my toast or maybe some mashed banana and a dash of cinnamon.

Will report back around Easter.



4 thoughts on “Lent & life’s simple pleasures?”

  1. Hello! I discovered your blog through #bookstagram and find it a good read – new books, new ideas. The sort of thing that the Internet was meant for 🙂
    This time however, it was interesting to read that there are others observing the Lent non-religiously in various ways. I have done it for a few years (no alcohol, meat, wheat or added sugar) and what you said rang a bell. This year, in addition to avoiding certain things I try to make sure I add other, good things – drinking water, moderate sports and fresh air. The aim is mostly to remind myself of those things and maybe observe my reactions and those of others. I hope you enjoy your Lent and find plenty of things to write about!

  2. My boyfriend has done it (with alcohol, sugar, red meat and maybe smth else) and I have a lot of respect for him and you for going thorugh it. I have considered the sugar thing myself, for the exact same reasons as you, but now is simply not a good time for me. Work has been horrid – it was expected and it’s OK, just not the right time for adding another challenge. And as I’m starting my new job in a bit more than a week, it will not be the right time for a while yet. I’ll be very interested in your experience, though.

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