Lenten Do Over?

Coca-Cola_FamilyAdI promised to give up soda for Lent and it went really well

for about four days.

Oops.

I’m not particularly Catholic, so I’m not too concerned that this mistake will lead to eternal damnation (but then again, what do I know??).  However, I’m disappointed that I made a promise to the blogosphere that I didn’t keep.  So, are we ok?  Can we look past this?  I’ll try harder next time.

The thing is, I’ve been on this “lifestyle change” for awhile now – following the Weight Watchers plan and *almost* completely eliminating alcohol intake.  Diet cola is one of those little tricks that fills my belly, replaces, say, truffles, and feeds my serious caffeine addiction.

So, I’m actually not that disappointed because the past month has been one of the most successful at following “the plan”.

But, I’ll leave it to you to tell me: is diet soda doing more harm than good?  While it might be helping me in my quest for a waistline, I also have serious concerns that chemicals like aspartame cause nasty diseases.

What’s your opinion? Do I can the can?

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Further Thoughts on Lent, and a Goal (or five)

Lent is perfectly placed in the calendar… just enough time has passed to falter on New Years resolutions and people need an excuse to regain focus.  As for me, I feel pretty good about my New Years resolutions: in 2013 I’m looking to meet more deadlines, find space, and drink more tea.

For the most part, I’m keeping my end of the bargain, but I’ve also been itching to take it to the next level.

You see, I’ve been on a diet for a few months.  Let’s call it “Weight Watchers” (because it is).  I didn’t add anything food related to this year’s resolutions because, frankly, I know better.  This is my third attempt with Weight Watchers and it’s taken awhile stick.  But now that I’ve embraced the plan it’s starting to work.  Overall the thing I’ve benefitted from with Weight Watchers is a renewed mindfulness toward what goes into my face.  The problem is, I’m not losing much weight.

Maybe this should concern me more than it does…

Part of my ambivalence has to do with realizing that I abolished the plan and joyfully gained weight over the holidays. So after four careful weeks on plan I’m now about where I started.  The other part is: my pants fit better.  I actually feel as though my body is lighter and leaner even though it’s not reflected on the scale.  Given my past piss-poor relationship with food, I consider my laissez faire attitude a huge victory.  Every shred of my intelligence about food and fitness tells me I’m on the right path, and that it’s not about the numbers, but about the overall lifestyle.  Still, it’s frustrating to not see much in the way of tangible results.

So I think it’s time to take it up a notch.  By notch, I don’t mean a juice cleanse or joining The Biggest Loser, I mean Lent.

Having mastered the vending machine last year, I decided that I was up for another 60-day challenge.  What better excuse to deprive yourself of superfluous indulgences than Lent?

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So long, old pal

Disclosure: I made a not-so-public pledge at New Years to dramatically reduce my consumption of alcohol.  I was drinking enough that my energy levels were consistently low, as was my motivation and zeal for life.  Plus, I’m pretty sure I’ve pegged alcohol in causing my waist to rapidly disappear over the past year.  I made a promise to myself that I was going to cut back, and I did.  I’ve gone from 1-2 drinks a day to 1-2 drinks a week.

Long story short, it’s working, my waist is shrinking, but unfortunately I replaced one vice with another: caffeine

Give up coffee? Are you kidding me? Not a chance.

I’m kicking the diet cola for 60 days.

That deliciously refreshing, bubbly treat.

A caffeine boost that I can drink after 4pm and get away with.

I’m giving it all up.

This will, I imagine, save me a boat load of money and dramatically lower my consumption of caffeine and chemicals.  The replacement: tea, which promotes adherence to one of my three resolutions… win win.

Teaser:

There’s one more goal I’ve added to the pile for 2013, but you’ll have to wait until the next post for the big reveal.  Here’s a hint: it involves padded shorts.  See you on Wednesday!

Grounding and granola

I admit it.  I have a easy time making goals, and a hard time keeping them.  Some say I’m over-committed, others say I’m wishy-washy. Over ambitious. Unrealistic. Even simply a jerk for making promises that I can’t possibly keep.

In a last-minute lenten experiment in February I swore off the vending machine for 60 days, and hopefully for good.  While it might seem trivial, this was no small feat for me.  Perhaps more so because of my reputation for making and breaking goals, as time wore on my chemical dependence on sugar and chemical additives faded and my resolve grew stronger.

And I did it.

It’s in those dark moments of your life that you go toward the toxic things that give you shallow comfort.  It could be drugs or alcohol; cigarettes or food.  For me, the vending machine was that thing.  So I find it particularly awesome that during a particularly chaotic time for me I haven’t strayed off the path. Even after Easter came and went.

How did you do it, Lauren!?!

Simple: granola.

I can’t completely deny my personality – I’m a person that requires a pacifier from time to time.  I replaced M & M’s with granola and yogurt, nature, and namaste.   Not only did this satisfy my need for a crutch, it gave me energy and health and fortitude.  And now, not a day goes by that I don’t get a little granola in my life.

Loosing my religion: Lent

I’m Catholic, technically,

but fully admit that I’m not at all Catholic.

However, in a moment of religious fervor, I decided that Lent is a pretty good idea.  I mean, giving up something excessive for the sake of understanding that you don’t need it is an exercise in self-control and a reminder that we live in a world of obscene abundance.

My friend Erin is currently sweating it out in Benin, Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer, bathing out of ceramic pots.  So, it’s pretty much the least I could do to put the kabbash on the vending machine.

The vending machine and I have had a tumultuous relationship, at best.  We’ve had our ups and downs, but mostly downs.  Nothing from the vending machine tastes good.  Nothing from the vending machine makes me feel good.

After a particularly rough “Fat Ash Wednesday”, I’ve joined up on this lenten hootenanny and sworn off those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad chips, and chocolates, and fruit snacks for the next 39 days.

But really,  I hope this is the Lent that never ends.