What is the origin of Lent?
The Teutonic word Lent, which we employ to denote the forty days’ fast preceding Easter. It is typically Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday. These forty days are supposed to represent (according to some of the gospels) the forty days that Jesus spent fasting in the desert before beginning his ministry, where he endured temptation from Satan.
During these 40 days, people give up a luxury or something that they or a habitual sin. (please correct me if I am wrong!)
Yesterday I got home & Craig asked me what I was giving up for Lent. He didn’t even realize that Ash Wednesday had already passed & that Lent has already started. He was like ‘oops! Guess I’m starting late this year!’
I’m always kind of iffy about doing this because well I had never given up anything for Lent until I met Craig. Typically each year I follow along with him, and give up something. Last year it was ice cream/ frozen yogurt/ anything of that nature and the year before that was diet soda, I believe.
But this year I feel different. This year I just don’t really feel ‘it.’ My whole thing is that something you give up for Lent should be something you WANT to give up, or something that you SHOULD give up. Lent shouldn’t just be a forty day thing, it should be something that you want to change about yourself…for good. Lent should just be a starting point to a new positive habit. That’s just my opinion.
Now I don’t mean if you decide to give up chocolate for lent, that you should give up chocolate forever.
What I mean is that I think that ‘giving something up for Lent’ should be a habitual sin or a habitual bad habit that you want to get out of your life. FOR GOOD.
So what got me thinking. That’s something I would like to participate in. There are definitely things that I would like to change about myself for good. But then I realized that I actually started Lent about two weeks before Lent began. Yep, I know that sounds a little crazy, you are probably like ‘well, Holly, then that’s NOT Lent.’ Ok, ok, I’ll give you that one. 😉 But just hear me out.
Remember when I told you 2 weeks ago that I planned on giving up weighing myself daily for one month? I have done it. I have succeeded so far. It’s been over two weeks (ok, so two weeks & one day) since I weighed myself.
I’m not going to lie. It’s was hard….at first. It was such a routine. Something that I did everyday. The scale was the indicator of my mood.
I was either this:
It didn’t matter. This is what I did. Every.single.day.
Not anymore! Can I tell you how much HAPPIER I have been everyday??? It’s almost unbelievable. Even Craig noticed. He said for the past two weeks it seemed like I have just been in such a better mood lately & he was happy to see the old Holly back. As soon as he said that I remembered HOW MUCH the scale had impacted my mood. (He never mentioned anything about the whole scale issue) It’s amazing how a stupid scale can make such an impact on one’s life.
NO MORE! I’m done. Now I just use my clothes to make sure my weight is on target. Now I actually feel better about myself..and my self images issues have actually been less frequent as well. My brain was just wrapped completely up in a number. How silly! So glad I finally decided to ‘see the light’ & no longer need to hop on a scale everyday.
So yes, I decided that I started my Lent two weeks ago….and it feels fantastic! 😀
Are you giving up something for Lent? What are your thoughts on Lent?
I think too many people use Lent as a way to diet or as a way to lose weight. I don’t think that is what Lent is about. I am Jewish so I don’t do lent but I cringe when I hear people talk about giving up chocolate for Lent in an effort to lose 5 pounds. I feel like it is missing the point. If you are going to give something up for Lent then it should be something that you want to do to make you a better person and to bring you closer in your relationship with God. If not weighing yourself anymore makes you a happier person (it sounds like it does) then you are much more likely to be nicer and kinder to those around you because you feel better then keep it going!!
I LOVE your comment Kelly & I totally agree. It always feels like a reason to lose weight, and I’m SURE that’s not what the intention was all along.
Congrats on giving up the scale!! Sounds like it was definitely a positive thing in your life!
I have a sightly different take on Lent than you do. To me, Lent is about giving something up, not for personal improvement, but to feel what it is like to make a sacrifice. To me giving something up for personal improvement falls more under the category of a new year’s resolution or a general goal. For example, a new year’s resolution for me would be to eat less sugar because it is bad for me while for Lent I would give up peanut butter because I rely heavily on it for calories, nutrients, and flavor.
Wait..are you giving up peanut butter when you rely so much on it for your caloric intake? I hope that not the case (unless of course you are getting th calories you would be getting from peanut butter somewhere else!)
I’m giving up sugar during Lent because it truly is something I over indulge in and it’s a struggle for me – but I’m also focused on adding in more positive actions and intentions, too.
I think sugar is a good thing to give up because it IS hard & it is a sacrifice.
I am not giving up anything for lent because I’m not super religious and feel a bit fake if I were to use Lent as a way to diet for instance or give up PB or sweets or something. I appreciate the meaning and love the idea of you making a positive change!
I don’t do lent. However, I am very involved in my faith. And I have found that sometimes, I need to give something up for a while in order to get my relationship with the Lord back on track. For example, I’ve gone without facebook for a while, because I found I was putting it first before Bible study.
Great job on staying away from the scale! I’ve stopped counting calories since the beginning of January, and that was a HUGE step for me! 🙂
LOVE that Kristen!! I think that is such a wonderful thing! I don’t think Lent necessarily needs to only be for 40 days once a year. It’s all about improving yourself & your thinking.
Holly, GREAT post! You’re inspiring. I think I’m going to do the same thing 🙂
Thank you very much Amy!!!
I agree with you 100% about Lent! That’s why I haven’t done the whole “give something up” thing in a couple years – besides sugary treats, I don’t really have any bad habits. So I guess Lent now just serves as an annual check for me – I ask myself if there is anything I really need to stop doing, and typically the answer is no. 🙂
I like that idea, rather than just making it a once a year kind of thing, it should be something you sit back & think about regularly!
l give cake and chocolate and crisp and bicets for lent 2013 for 40 day and l am doing well and l fell so good in my self and happy 🙂