Monday, 27 February 2017

Giving Up or Taking Up for Lent?

Our Personal Trainer has insisted that we give something up for Lent.

She's blonde with a well-developed pout when necessary, plus she's the one who determines how many squats get done, so if she insists on something, we tend to comply.

I haven't smoked for decades, don't have sugar in tea or coffee, don't generally eat crisps, cake or biscuits - none of the obvious options. And before you suggest alcohol, we have a very fancy dinner coming up, all prepaid, which includes alcohol, so, no. I could - I gave it up for two months a couple of years ago for a blood test, long story, so I know I could - but I'm not going to.

Eventually we settled on takeaway food. We have Chinese or fish and chips probably once or twice a fortnight, so it's not a massive sacrifice, but it will mean I need to be more organised on the shopping list and ensure that there is something suitable in the freezer for my null days when I don't have the energy for cooking.

But it got me thinking about developing habits. Apparently it takes about four weeks of repeating a behaviour before it becomes a habit, so part of the modern take on Lent, especially for us non-religious people, is developing new habits. In theory we could develop any habit over the six weeks of Lent if we have the discipline to start them.

This may mean not going without something, but instead introducing something. For example, I know I don't always drink enough water every day, so I'm going to try drinking a litre of water by lunchtime each day during Lent (in addition to the large quantity of coffee). If I can get another litre in during the afternoon, that's a bonus. But perhaps by the end of Lent I will have developed a healthy habit that doesn't need thinking about.

And can celebrate it by having a huge glass of water with my Chinese takeaway.

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