It's that time of year again - Lent! And there were so many things I thought about giving up. Like, I could give up spinning for 40 days and 40 nights. Yeah, right. Or, I could give up using colorful language. Feckin'. How about no alcoholic beverages? No ice cream? No dessert-type foods?
And while any of those would have been a challenge (except for the spinning one - I would not give that up unless I physically could not spin, and even then, I'd find a way), many of them I've done before with some success. The only one that I couldn't see through to the end was the year I gave up swearing. That lasted less than a week.
This year, I've decided to give up house meat. What the hell is house meat, you ask? House meat is any meat I bring home and/or coerce others to bring home so that I can eat it. 40 days and nights of no sausages, burgers, chicken breasts, pork chops, and steaks. No firing up of the grill or the rotisserie - unless it's to grill-wok greens and veggies and tofu.
This will be tough, and that's why I built in some guilt-free wiggle room. If I eat out with friends, I'm allowing myself the option to select a meat dish. If I'm going out to breakfast, I'm not turning up my nose at bacon. I'm not putting a restriction on number of times I can eat out (legitimately, as opposed to cheatingly), I will know if I'm truly making the best effort in this challenge. If I don't feel like fixing something for dinner, too bad - I can either suck it up and run to the market, or eat a salad: delivery of meat will count as house meat, as far as I'm concerned. That would be cheating!
So, why give up meat for Lent? Most of you that read my wee blog know I'm hardly religious. What you might not know is that I have a difficult relationship with food - I will eat all the things! I'm a card-carrying member of the Clean-Plate Club! There's a lot more to that story, but that's for another time. Suffice to say, for several reasons, I feel the need to break the meat habit. Mike and I had already been remarking on the lack of vegetarian fare in our meals (or, more specifically, the preponderance of chicken in our lives), so this challenge coincides nicely with Lent.
Am I going to become a vegetarian? I don't think so. I mean, my diet is already restricted enough with having to be wheat-free/gluten-free (though to be honest, I really only come across that challenge when I don't eat at home - I've found it so easy to prepare naturally WF/GF meals at home!). I actually don't even know what I expect the result of this experiment to be: to feel healthier? To feel some sort of success when I make it to Easter? To lose weight? Maybe all of those are what I expect, maybe I just want to do it so that I can tuck it away as proof to myself that I can change. The only thing that came to mind when I made this choice was the notion of giving myself a reset of sorts.
Do you make any sacrifices or Lenten challenges? Feel free to share them in the comments.
*One of the many awesome hazards of being a Children's Librarian (again) is that I sometimes find myself stickered. This week, I have Mr. Snuffleupagus affixed to my ID badge holder.